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Video: What President Ballard wishes he could talk to his grandfather about — and what he wants his grandchildren to know

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Elder Melvin J. Ballard was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and is the grandfather of President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Melvin J. Ballard died on July 30, 1939, at the age of 66; at the time President Ballard was 11.

Screenshot from YouTube


When he was a child, President M. Russell Ballard’s family was not active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He did not understand what it meant for his grandfather, Elder Melvin J. Ballard, to serve in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Melvin J. Ballard died on July 30, 1939, at the age of 66; at the time President Ballard was 11.

Melvin_J_Ballard_screenshot.jpg

Elder Melvin J. Ballard was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and is the grandfather of President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Melvin J. Ballard died on July 30, 1939, at the age of 66; at the time President Ballard was 11.

Screenshot from YouTube

The Church News video, titled “Grand Design,” features President Ballard’s memories of his grandfather. Now the Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, President Ballard would give anything to have spoken to his grandfather about their shared Apostolic calling.

“He should have told me who he was,” said President Ballard. “So I've tried really hard with my grandchildren to talk to them from time to time and let them know what my testimony is. Because I think one of the key roles of a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is to try to encourage and lift and help those who are trying to get through this mortal experience.”

Read more: President Ballard recalls 46 years of speaking in general conference

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President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, smiles during an interview in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, March 22, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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