News Release

Elder Rasband Invites Youth to Be Witnesses of Christ

“I could just sit down and listen to you forever,” said Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to Bettyara Kaleopa, who sang “Witness,” the opening song at a youth devotional held in Apia, Samoa on Thursday, 21 March 2024.


With the support of a large youth choir providing backup vocals, Bettyara sang passionately the words:

“I will try to be like [Jesus Christ],
Shine a light in the darkness.
I’ll be a witness,
And live the way He lived,
At all times and all places.
Whatever happens, I’ll be
A witness of all His love,
A witness of what He’s done.
I’ll stand and tell everyone
At all times and all places,
I’ll be a witness.”

The song tugged at Elder Rasband’s heart, prompting him to share about being ordained as an Apostle and special witness of Jesus Christ by President Thomas S. Monson in 2016.


The Apostle was visiting Samoa as part of his ministering tour in the South Pacific.

Travelling with Elder Rasband was Elder Paul V. Johnson, a General Authority Seventy and Sister Jill Johnson; Elder Jeremy R. Jaggi, a member of the Pacific Area Presidency, and Sister Amy Jaggi; and Elder Sapele Fa’alogo Jr., Area Seventy.

Elder Rasband invited the 2,200 youth attending the devotional and the thousands of others joining by broadcast from Savai‘i and American Samoa to be witnesses of Jesus Christ, by preparing now to receive their endowment and to serve as missionaries.

“President [Russell M.] Nelson has asked every young man… to serve a fulltime mission. We also want as many of you young women, who choose, to serve a mission,” the Apostle said.

He spoke about his happy assignment as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, to “assign… missionaries [to their missions] around the world.”

“One of my choices,” Elder Rasband said, “is to assign you to serve here, in your home country. There’s honour and goodness in that.”

He reminded young people that in 2018, President Russell M. Nelson taught that “the greatest and most important thing that you can do is to prepare now to go out and gather Israel.”

“Invite people to come unto Jesus Christ. …Be His witness. People all around the world are drawn to the Spirit of Christ by our witnesses,” he explained.

A group of young women from Navu 2nd ward (congregation) attended the devotional. When asked what they heard and felt inspired to do after hearing an Apostle speak, they responded:

“Elder Rasband gave us an invitation, that Jesus Christ needs us to gather the children of God,” said Laxmitania Tauti.

“We are needed. I’m going to learn how to speak in English and study things in English and read scriptures, so when I’m a missionary, I can help people in other countries,” said Tuloto Fiti.

“The Lord needs us. I’m looking forward to staying on the covenant path, read[ing] the scriptures and prepar[ing] myself to be a missionary by being endowed in the temple when I turn 18 later this year," said Tapaileipuolealofa Ah Siu.

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