Latter-day Saint Life

What President Ballard Hopes Latter-day Saints Will Appreciate About the Martyrdom on Its 175th Anniversary


One of President M. Russell Ballard's most spiritual moments came as he spoke of two special ancestors.

It was 2012 and he was speaking at the seminar for new mission presidents held at the Missionary Training Center in Provo. He titled his remarks, "Brothers Bound by Love and Faith." On that occasion, he said he knew of "no greater missionary companionship that has served in this dispensation" than the Prophet Joseph Smith and his older brother Hyrum.

"Much can be learned by our missionaries in following the example of these Prophets. They were men of integrity, loyalty, courage, trust, faith and unwavering testimony," he said on that occasion.

When he concluded, William W. Phelps' tribute hymn, "Praise to the Man," was softly played and the hearts of everyone in the congregation were touched.

"Of all the talks I have given at the MTC, and I have given a lot of them, this one was very special. The Spirit was overwhelming," President Ballard said. "This story of the greatest missionary companionship in the world is something we ought to all remember."

This experience was one of several memories and thoughts that came to mind as President Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, contemplated the 175th anniversary of the June 27 martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum Smith, his great-great-uncle and his great-great-grandfather.

"My feeling is we have to stand in awe, in reverence and deep appreciation for their courage, their spirituality, their integrity, and their love for the Lord Jesus Christ," President Ballard said.

Story by Trent Toone, lead image by Ravell Call, Deseret News.
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