- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsQuorum of the Twelve Apostles, 1985 - present
Elder M. Russell Ballard is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has been serving as an Apostle since October 6, 1985, traveling throughout the earth to instruct Church members and direct day-to-day affairs of the worldwide Church.
He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 8, 1928, to Melvin R. and Geraldine Smith Ballard. He attended the University of Utah.
As a young man, he served a mission to England for the Church, where he was a counselor in the mission presidency. He has also served as a bishop twice.
In 1974, he was called as president of the Canada Toronto Mission, where he was serving when called to the First Quorum of the Seventy in April of 1976. As a member of the Seventy, he supervised and trained leaders in his assigned geographic regions. He later served as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy from February 1980 to October 1985, overseeing the Church’s Quorums of the Seventy. Much of his ministry has been focused on missionary work.
Prior to his call as a full-time Church leader, Elder Ballard had interests in the automotive, real estate, and investment businesses. He has served on many Church and civic committees and boards.
He married Barbara Bowen in the Salt Lake Temple on August 28, 1951. They are the parents of two sons and five daughters.
- University of Utah
As I attended the dedication of the Indianapolis Indiana Temple this weekend, I knew that I was walking on sacred, holy ground—a place of refuge from the storms of the world.
I invite you to go to the temple. Go as often as you can, and turn off your smartphones and put them away before you enter the temple grounds. If you choose, you can hear the still, small voice of the Spirit in the temple or on its sacred grounds in ways you never will at the mall, in restaurants, and in public places. In fact, you will find that the temple is a wonderful place to receive answers to your prayers.
You women have been divinely endowed with unique discernment and strength. Your qualities don’t make you better than or inferior to men. They just make you different—wonderfully, deliberately, and everlastingly so.
Each of you must come to know what the Lord wants for you individually. While one of you may be inspired to continue your education, another of you may receive inspiration to begin a family.
We should not question each other’s choices or the inspiration behind them. We should refrain from asking hurtful and unsupportive questions. We can all be kinder and more thoughtful of the situations in which our sisters throughout the world find themselves as they seek to follow the will of our Heavenly Father in their lives.
I know that as you draw nearer to the Lord, He will guide you to become the best version of yourself and to make inspired decisions in your life. He needs you—with your unique strengths, insights, and experiences—to save souls and build the kingdom of God.
"I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.”
Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind, is not dead. He lives—the resurrected Son of God lives—that is my testimony, and He guides the affairs of His Church today.
To any of you who feel this way, I would encourage you to change your perspective. We are eternal spirits! We must live our lives with the end in mind—not the middle. We must trust in the Lord. We must understand that some will be tested more than others. We should remember that no blessing will be denied if we continue to keep the commandments.
Turn to the plan of salvation—it can answer all of your questions. Take the sacrament each week. It will help you regain spiritual strength. Trust in the Lord and understand that all blessings will come at the right time.
Seek to make the Atonement more literal and more real in your life. The key to doing this is to worthily partake of the sacrament each week. When you partake of the sacrament, you are promised that you will always have Christ’s Spirit with you. This is a very real promise because it comes from our very real Lord.
As you anchor yourself to the Atonement, I promise you that blessings will come in your life. You will feel His presence in your daily activities. You will be guided to accomplish God’s will in your life. You will feel His approval.