Today is M. Russell Ballard’s birthday. Wahoo! He was born Born October 8, 1928.
Here are a dozen things to get to know him better:
• M is for Melvin. (Named after grandfather and Apostle Melvin J. Ballard)
• Great-great grandson of the Hyrum Smith.
• 1st Lieutenant in the Army Reserve.
• Ran a car dealership, concert venue, and other business ventures. Mowed lawns as a boy to make money.
• Back in the 50’s, the Holy Ghost told him not to start an Edsel car dealership in Salt Lake City. He ignored the impression, and it proved to be a financial disaster. He feels that the experience taught him empathy.
• Jokes that his struggle to convincing Barbara Bowen to marry him “Was the greatest sales job I ever did.”
• When I was a young missionary in South America, I was once assigned to be Elder Ballard’s companion speaker. Before the meeting, I found myself standing next to him at the urinals in the bathroom. He gave me some personal counsel that I remember to this day. He said, “Be careful, because when you flush, the water will spray up on your shoes.”
I heeded his warning. (True story)
• Favorite meal? Steak and fries.
• When he was in college, his fraternity brothers called him “The Bishop,” because he was so solidly righteous.
• Would take his son Clark to Nevada to explore abandoned mine shafts. (I am happy to say he is still with us.)
• Loves to talk about missionary work – and practices what he preaches.
• Is an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Happy 85th Elder Ballard!