President Ballard and Barbara Ballard
Image from lds.org.
According to a 1986 Ensign, President Ballard met his wife Barbara at a University of Utah “Hello Day Dance” in 1950. President Ballard had just returned from his mission, and a friend of his introduced Barbara to him at the dance. President Ballard was only able to dance with her for 30 seconds before he was tagged out, but that was the start of a courtship of 11 months.
In his talk “Following up,” Elder Ballard shares, “Having learned the importance of follow-up on my mission, I got her telephone number and called her the very next day to ask her out, but she was busy with school and social commitments. Thankfully, my mission taught me to be persistent even in the face of discouragement, and I was eventually able to make a date. And that date led to others. Somehow during those dates, I was able to convince her that I was the only true and living returned missionary—at least as far as she should be concerned. Now, 64 years later, there are seven children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren who stand as evidence of the significant truth that no matter how good your message is, you may not get a chance to deliver it without consistent, persistent follow-up.”
Elder Ballard says in the 1986 Ensign article, “She was not only beautiful, but had a sparkling personality. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to marry her, but she didn’t share the same feelings. It was a little hard convincing her. I kid her now that getting her to agree to marry me was the greatest sales job I ever did.”
Elder Holland and Patricia Holland
Image from Mormon Channel
According to lds.org, Elder Holland was very involved in athletics when he was in high school and college, which is how he met his wife, Patricia, who was a cheerleader. However, Patricia’s first impression of Elder Holland was not the most complimentary. Sister Holland says, “I remember writing home to my cousin about how I had just met the smartest boy in school, who was a terrible tease and even though I couldn’t stand him at the time, I had the strangest feeling, even then, that, when I was older, I would marry him.”
During their courtship, Patricia strongly encouraged Elder Holland to go on a mission, and she waited for him during that time. “No one in my family had ever gone on a mission. But when I met Pat and we became reasonably serious, I could see that she was very firm about the fact that I should go,” Elder Holland says. “Her (Patricia) faith has always been as pure and as powerful and as strong as any person’s I’ve ever known.”
After his return, Patricia went to New York to study music for a year. She says, “When he returned we knew immediately that it was all there and in a couple of weeks we were engaged. But then it was I who was leaving. We thought that if our romance had endured two years and was still that good, then surely it would endure another year while I continued my music training.” At the same time, Elder Holland decided to pursue a career in teaching. When Elder Holland told Patricia that they wouldn’t have much money, Patricia simply replied, “Who cares?” They were married in the St. George Utah Temple in 1963.