Speakers recall President M. Russell Ballard’s unwavering faith in Jesus Christ
Nov 17, 2023, 8:39 PM | Updated: 8:59 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — Hundreds gathered in the Salt Lake Tabernacle for the funeral of President M. Russell Ballard Friday morning.
He was remembered for his devotion to his family and his faith.
President Ballard’s daughter called him a ‘beautiful soul,’ an Apostle called him ‘a best friend.’
It was a time to mourn and to celebrate the life of President M. Russell Ballard whose service as a Church leader spanned nearly 50 years.
Family and colleagues spoke of his tremendous faith in Jesus Christ and his constant empathy.
“Often he would be returning from an assignment, weary and jet-lagged, but instead of going home, he would ask me to accompany him to the hospital or to someone’s home to give a blessing,” his son Craig Ballard said. “In fact, the last blessing he gave was to someone while he was a patient in the hospital.”
Holly Clayton, President Ballard’s daughter said, “He was motivated in all things by his love of the Lord Jesus Christ. He carried a picture of the Savior in his coat pocket and he would often hold it up and say how much he loved Him and loved serving Him.”
The Tabernacle Choir sang “Faith in Every Footstep”, a hymm that President Ballard commissioned, finding inspiration from his ancestors, Joseph and Hyrum Smith and President Joseph F. Smith.
“M. Russell Ballard was the most dedicated missionary of our generation,” Elder Quentin L. Cook, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said. “One of the reasons he has been such a great missionary and leader is his love for people, all people. Everyone he met realized he was truly interested in them and any challenges that they faced.”
Friends for 30 years, President Jeffrey R. Holland, Acting President, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared a private, parting moment saying, “I got to kiss President Ballard’s cheek, for the last time, just hours before he passed.”
President Dallln H. Oaks, First Counselor, of the First Presidency said, “Until we meet again, dear friend and brother, we thank you for a lifetime of tireless service, inspired teaching and genuine kindness.”