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Melvin J. Ballard
Full name Melvin Joseph Ballard
Born February 9, 1873(1873-02-09)
Place of birth Logan, Utah Territory
Died July 30, 1939 (aged 66)
Place of death Salt Lake City, Utah
LDS Church Apostle
Called by Heber J. Grant
Ordained January 7, 1919 (aged 45)
Ordination reason Death of Joseph F. Smith; reorganization of First Presidency
End of term July 30, 1939 (aged 66)
End reason Death
Reorganization at end of term No additional apostles ordained[1]
LDS Church General Authority
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Called by Heber J. Grant
Start of term January 7, 1919 (aged 45)
End of term July 30, 1939 (aged 66)
End reason Death

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). He was born in Logan, Utah Territory. His grandson, M. Russell Ballard, was also ordained an apostle.

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

When Church President Heber J. Grant was pondering who to call to replace the vacancy caused by the passing of former Church President Joseph F. Smith, he decided to call on his good friend Richard W. Young, as many suspected he would. As he 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 instead. He used this experience to teach about inspiration and to testify that the Lord calls the leaders in the church. [2]

Ballard served for several years as president of the Northwestern States Mission of the church.

Ballard was ordained an apostle and became a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on January 7, 1919. He served in the Quorum until his death in Salt Lake City from leukemia.[3] Sylvester Q. Cannon was called to fill the vacancy caused by his passing. Ballard opened up missionary work in South America in 1925 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Ballard graduated from Brigham Young College in Logan, Utah.

Grave marker of Melvin J. Ballard.

Published works

  • Ballard, Melvin J (1966). Melvin J. Ballard, Crusader for Righteousness. Bookcraft. 1.  
  • --- (1922). Three Degrees of Glory: A Discourse. Deseret Book Company. 2.  
  • 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. ^ Reference for last two sentences in this paragraph - Church History in the Fulness of Times, 2nd ed. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2000. 496.
  3. ^ State of Utah Death Certificate


Religious titles
Preceded by
Richard R. Lyman
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
January 7, 1919–July 30, 1939
Succeeded by
John A. Widtsoe


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