Elder M. Russell Ballard was called to be a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on October 6, 1985.
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 as a counselor to the president of the British Mission. He has been a bishop twice and a high councilor in two stakes.
In 1974, he was called as president of the Canada Toronto Mission, where he was serving when he was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy in April of 1976. He served as a member of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy from February 21, 1980 to October 6, 1985.
Prior to his call as a General Authority, Elder Ballard had interests in automotive, real estate, and investment businesses. He has served on many civic committees and boards. He is the author of two books. Our Search for Happiness is designed to enhance understanding of basic gospel truths; the second, Counseling with Our Councils, discusses the importance of stake, ward, and family councils in finding solutions to the challenges of today.
He married Barbara Bowen in the Salt Lake Temple on August 28, 1951. They have two sons, five daughters, and forty grandchildren.
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