“Called to Serve,” New Era, Dec. 1985, 15
Called to Serve
Quorum of the Twelve
M. Russell Ballard, 57, has been called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. At the time of his call, Elder Ballard was a member of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
Elder Ballard was also serving as executive director of the Missionary Department and formerly headed the Curriculum and Correlation Departments of the Church.
In the closing session of October general conference, Elder Ballard said, “Each of us obediently learns that we will come forth as we are called to try to do the very best we can in our callings, whether it be home teacher, whether it be stake president, or whether it be General Authority. I understand the source of the call and pledge to you that I have learned during the past nine and a half years that this is our Heavenly Father’s church and the errands that I have been sent on to act in the name of the Lord have caused me to be able to witness to you today that I know, as I know that I stand before you, that Jesus is the Christ, that he lives.”
Born in Salt Lake City on October 8, 1928, to Melvin R. and Geraldine Smith Ballard, M. Russell Ballard graduated from East High School and later attended the University of Utah. As a young man, he served a mission to England, where he was a counselor in the mission presidency. He has also served as a counselor in a bishopric, as a bishop twice, and as a member of stake high councils.
In 1974 he was called as the president of the Canada Toronto Mission and was serving in that capacity when called to the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 3, 1976.
Prior to accepting his lifetime call as a General Authority, he was involved in automotive, real estate, and investment businesses. He is a director of Deseret Book Company and a member of the advisory committee of the David O. McKay Institute of Education at Brigham Young University.
Elder Ballard and his wife, Barbara Bowen Ballard, have two sons and five daughters.
First Quorum of the Seventy
Jack H Goaslind, Jr. and Robert L. Backman were appointed members of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
Elder Jack H Goaslind, 57, was Area President of the North America Northwest Area and a managing director of the Priesthood Department at the time of his call. He was sustained as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on September 30, 1978. Elder Goaslind and his wife, Gwen Caroline Bradford Goaslind, have three sons and three daughters.
Elder Robert L. Backman, 63, was serving as the general president of the Young Men at the time of his call. He has been a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy since April 1, 1978. Elder Backman and his wife, Virginia Pickett Backman, are parents of seven daughters.