Melvin J. Ballard

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (January 7, 1919 – July 30, 1939)

General Conference Addresses

  • October 1920 General Conference
    • Who Are We?
      • “I am impressed, my brethren and sisters, that we are shown whom we are—chosen sons and daughters of God, sent into the world in this age for a specific purpose, and we are gathered here for the accomplishment of definite things.”
      • “For Zion must show the way. We have the key. We know the way, and we are in training to accomplish those things. I want to advise you, my brethren and sisters, there is no solution to those questions, except by and through the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
      • “He has no purpose to deny the rich the blessings of heaven. He has no enmity in his heart against the rich whose hearts are broken.”
      • “I rejoice that in this Church we do have men of wealth and means whose hearts are broken, and who pay their honest tithing, whose example is a shining one for all Latter-day Saints ; but there are those who live only for themselves, who hold all they get for themselves, and therein they are in jeopardy.”
      • “It is a sin of this age, that men of poverty become envious and are in as great condemnation before the Lord as the rich whose hearts are not, broken, who are full of envy, who are full of malice toward those who have some of the things of this world.”
  • April 1920 General Conference
    • Positive Testimonies
      • “We know what we know, and we testify to it in earnestness and in humility.”
      • “Joseph Smith did not know, because of earthly wisdom and his reading of the scriptures, more about our Father in heaven and his Son Jesus Christ, than the learned ministers of the world. Not by that means did he obtain his knowledge, but in the few moments that he knelt in the sacred grove in the presence of the Father and the Son he knew more about God the eternal Father and his Son Jesus Christ than all the ministers of all the world ever have known, or ever will know, except they shall be, in like manner, informed and instructed. So that the wisdom he had came to him from the source to which men must go if they shall know our Father in heaven.”
      • “We have the perfect system and it has, radiating through it, the power of the living God, the authority of the holy Priesthood, and the ordinances thus performed are efficacious and valid for men on the earth and remain sealed upon their heads through their faithfulness, even into the eternal world.”
  • October 1919 General Conference
    • O, That I Were An Angel
      • “The Church has been subject to criticism, in the past, because of its unity, because of the willingness on the part of the membership of the Church to listen to the counsels of its leaders. I remember upon one occasion listening to a very severe criticism of the Church on the part of an eminent divine who charged that while we were the most perfect religious organization in the world, he feared the consequence because he said the membership of the Church is absolutely under the control and the domination of its leaders. I recall also that another one expressed it that the two most efficient organizations in the world were the German army and the “Mormon” Church, and he hoped that he would see the day when we would have equal efficiency and still retain individual liberty.”
      • “There are two means by which obedience may be obtained on the part of parents over their children. One is by force and compulsion. You may compel them to yield obedience. That method will work until your child becomes a man or a woman, and then your spell is broken, your power is gone. The other method is slower to obtain results, but it endures longer, and obedience is obtained through the exercise of love and patience and gentleness and kindness.”
      • “While, temporarily, the adversary who waged this war, to prevent the rule of right and of Christ in the earth, has been defeated in that way, he now tries another means to defy law and order and to stir up the hearts of men to rebellion against the forms of government to destroy the very foundations thereof. If he can not rule it, then he will wreck it. That is his spirit and the contest is on and my soul rejoices in every and all measures that look to the winning of the world for our Christ.”
  • June 1919 General Conference
    • A New Calling
      • “I recall many years ago being in the city of Nauvoo, attending a celebration of newspaper men of the state of Illinois, in that city. The representative of one of the leading newspapers of that state was giving the history of the city of Nauvoo. He told of its growth until it became a city of twenty thousand people when Chicago was only a small village and St. Louis on the south was only a trading post. He told of the prejudice that inspired the hearts of those who drove the Latter-day Saints from Nauvoo, and how Nauvoo had gone down until it had but twelve hundred souls and not a railroad yet. He told of the vandalism that prompted the burning of the Nauvoo temple, and that even while the blackened walls of that temple stood, the steamboats stood half a day at the wharf to allow passengers to come and view its ruins. And then he told of the travels of the Latter-day Saints in their pilgrimage across the plains to these valleys of the mountains, how they had made the desert to blossom as the rose; and said, “Maybe God likes the ‘Mormons’ better than he does bigots and vandals, if not, why doesn’t he give the inhabitants of Nauvoo better evidence that it was all right to drive the ‘Mormons’ out?””
      • “Men and women who die shall not see Peter, they shall not look upon the face of the Redeemer of the world, they shall not have . Paul to come and visit them ; but they shall have the elders of this Church, whom the Lord sent to them in the earth; and they shall receive this gospel from none other, for the Lord will vindicate them, and he will have them honored. He will not discredit them. And when they go to the other side, we shall find standing in places of honor; representing the Lord Jesus Christ, men like President Joseph F. Smith, who will be given greater authority and greater power than they ever had upon the earth.”
    • Scourges
      • “No man has been able to build so well, and no man has yet acquired knowledge and information so that he can secure himself against the hand of the Lord, if he desires to reach him and touch him; for we stand helpless before him.”
      • “Now I do not understand that the plague of influenza shall continue until the Lord comes, but I do think that one form or another of chastisement shall follow, with its seasons for repentance, for the preaching of the gospel, and crying to the nations of the earth: “Will you now listen unto the Lord,” and if they shall not listen, then another affliction will come, until men shall either repent, or they shall perish.”
      • “As I read the statement that those who were guilty of the excessive use of tobacco had fallen easy victims to the influenza, I thought that the Lord, in giving us the Word of Wisdom, was trying to make the Latter-day Saints immune, so that they might stand in the midst of the plagues and judgments that are to come. We will not escape them; we will be touched by them; but I want to testify to you that when the Latter-day Saints turn to the Lord and keep his commandments, and serve him in all things that have been required, these judgments shall not harm us; and our loved ones shall not go from us until the day appointed for them to go has come. But if we shall be touched, it is because the Lord is preparing us to stand in our places to be a light among the nations of the earth, the salt, the very savor of the world; and we cannot be that except we keep the commandments of the Lord.”
      • “I feel there is danger, in the midst of this material prosperity, that we may be disposed to build ourselves up financially rather than to devote ourselves to the accomplishment of the great work that the Lord laid upon the shoulders of our fathers, namely, to convert the world and to save ourselves.”

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