Thousands gathered at the Tabernacle on Temple Square on Friday, Nov. 17 to commemorate the late President M. Russell Ballard, who dedicated his life to the service of others.
President Ballard began his service to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1976 when he was called as a General Authority. Eight years later he was called to serve as an apostle in the Quorum of the Twelve.
During the funeral service, apostles and family members shared stories about President Ballard’s life and the different qualities he possessed.
“He was a consensus builder, a problem solver, a unifier, a dear friend to many and had a kind heart open to all,” President Ballard’s daughter, Holly B. Clayton, said.
President Ballard’s son, Craig B. Ballard, shared he appreciated his father’s motivation to his work and service to the Church.
“My dad was a do-er. Two days before he passed, he was convinced he was going to the office on Monday,” Craig Ballard said.
Elder Quentin L. Cook explained President Ballard’s life was defined by his service to others through his love of Jesus Christ.
“The principal message in the hymn ‘Faith in every Footstep’ is an invitation to give service to and build faith in Jesus Christ. This was President Ballard’s Life mission,” he said.
During the session, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland shared the one quality he knew about President Ballard when they first worked together in 1990.
“What I did know is that he was one of the most remarkable missionaries of any era in the Church,” Elder Holland said.
President Dallin H. Oaks concluded the service by reminding Latter-day Saints of life after death and the opportunity to be reunited with loved ones.
“Fortunately, our loss is a gain for innumerable loved ones and leaders who are greeting him on the other side of the veil,” President Oaks said.
BYU President Shane Reese and his wife, Wendy, said the event was a wonderful tribute to the late President M. Russell Ballard.
“We extend our love and condolences to the family. But also today was a day of remarkable celebration for a life well lived,” President Reese said.
At the conclusion of the event, family members exited the tabernacle to attend a private graveside service in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.