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Melvin J. Ballard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Melvin J. Ballard
Melvin J. Ballard.JPG
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
January 7, 1919 (1919-01-07) – July 30, 1939 (1939-07-30)
LDS Church Apostle
January 7, 1919 (1919-01-07) – July 30, 1939 (1939-07-30)
ReasonDeath of Joseph F. Smith; reorganization of First Presidency
at end of term
No additional apostles ordained[1]
Personal details
BornMelvin Joseph Ballard
(1873-02-09)February 9, 1873
Logan, Utah Territory, United States
DiedJuly 30, 1939(1939-07-30) (aged 66)
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Resting placeSalt Lake City Cemetery
40°46′37.92″N 111°51′28.8″W / 40.7772000°N 111.858000°W / 40.7772000; -111.858000 (Salt Lake City Cemetery)
Spouse(s)Martha A. Jones

Melvin Joseph Ballard (February 9, 1873 – July 30, 1939) was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). His grandson, M. Russell Ballard, also became an apostle.

Birth and early life

Ballard was born at Logan, Utah Territory, to Henry Ballard and Margaret McNeil. His father was a native of England and had immigrated to Utah in 1852 to gather with the Latter-day Saints. Henry Ballard had been aboard the Saluda when it exploded at Lexington, Missouri, and was injured in that incident. He later served under Porter Rockwell in the Nauvoo Legion when it made efforts to prevent the entry of Johnston's Army into Utah Territory. In 1858, Henry was the first settler of Logan, and he served as bishop of the Logan 2nd Ward from 1861 until 1900.[3]

Prior to Ballard's birth, his mother had an experience that led her to believe her son would be an apostle. In Ballard's patriarchal blessing, this was reaffirmed.

Ballard attended Brigham Young College; he graduated in 1884.

Career and early church service

In June 1896, Ballard married Martha A. Jones. The following month he left with B. H. Roberts and George D. Pyper on a mission to the large cities of the eastern United States. He was later reassigned to the Northern States Mission. Ballard returned to Utah in December 1898.

In 1899, Ballard organized the Logan Knitting Factory along with Joseph E. Cardon. In 1900, he became a counselor in the bishopric of the Logan 2nd Ward.[3]

Mission President

Ballard served for several years as president of the Northwestern States Mission of the church. While serving in this capacity, he organized missionary work on some of the Native American reservations in Montana.


When new church president Heber J. Grant was pondering whom to call as an apostle to replace the vacancy caused by the death of his predecessor, Joseph F. Smith, he decided to select his good friend Richard W. Young, as many suspected he would. As Grant met with the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to announce his decision, he found himself saying that the Lord wanted Melvin J. Ballard to serve in the position. Grant used this experience to teach about revelation and to testify that the Lord gives inspiration to the President of the Church.[4]

Ballard was ordained an apostle and became a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on January 7, 1919. As an apostle, Ballard opened up missionary work in South America in 1925 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Ballard served in the Quorum until his death in Salt Lake City from leukemia.[5] Sylvester Q. Cannon was called to fill the vacancy caused by Ballard's death. Ballard was buried in Salt Lake City Cemetery.

Published works

  • Ballard, Melvin J (1966). Melvin J. Ballard, Crusader for Righteousness. Bookcraft. 1.
  • Three Degrees of Glory: A Discourse. Deseret Book Company. 1922. 2.

Biographies by others

  • Hinckley, Bryant S., ed. (1949). Sermons and Missionary Services of Melvin J. Ballard. Deseret Book Company. 3.


  1. ^ Sylvester Q. Cannon was added to the Quorum of the Twelve to take Ballard's place; however, Cannon had been ordained an apostle the year before.
  2. ^ Entry on
  3. ^ a b Andrew Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, vol. 1, p. 418–19.
  4. ^ "Chapter 38: Change and Consistency", Church History in the Fulness of Times, 2nd ed. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Church Educational System, 2000) p. 496.
  5. ^ State of Utah Death Certificate Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine.

External links

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
Richard R. Lyman
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
January 7, 1919 – July 30, 1939
Succeeded by
John A. Widtsoe
This page was last edited on 22 October 2020, at 21:09
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