CV NEWS FEED // The Diocese of Salt Lake City issued a statement on the death of Elder M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Ballard was 95 years-old at the time of his death on November 12.
The Diocese of Salt Lake City published a statement on Ballard’s passing this week:
On behalf of Bishop Oscar A. Solis and the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, we extend our deepest condolences to President M. Russell Nelson, the General Authorities, General Officers and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the death of Elder M. Russell Ballard. He was a man of integrity and true friend of our Catholic bishops, many of our clergy and other leaders. We were pleased that he was able to travel to New Mexico for the installation of his friend, the Most Rev. John C. Wester, as Archbishop of Santa Fe, and that he could meet personally in Rome with Our Holy Father, Pope Francis.
We pray that the family of Elder M. Russell Ballard finds consolation in his love and faithful dedication to his calling.
Ballard had attended Solis’ installation as bishop of Salt Lake City in 2017.
“Latter-day Saints cherish the long-standing friendship we have developed with the Catholic community in Utah and around the world,” Ballard said at the time, commenting on the Catholic-LDS relationship in Utah.
Ballard also attended the installation mass for Archbishop John Wester in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2015. Wester had been the bishop of Salt Lake City for eight years before being installed as Archbishop in Santa Fe.
Ballard, along with LDS President Russell Nelson, met with Pope Francis a day before Nelson dedicated a LDS temple in Rome in 2019. “We had a most cordial, unforgettable experience. His Holiness, he was most gracious and warm and welcoming,” Nelson said. “What a sweet, wonderful man he is, and how fortunate the Catholic people are to have such a gracious, concerned, loving and capable leader.”
“We explained to His Holiness that we work side by side, that we have projects with Catholic Relief Services all over the world in over 43 countries. [We’ve] been shoulder to shoulder as partners in trying to relieve suffering. He was very interested in that,” Ballard told the media after the meeting.
We talked about our mutual concern for the people who suffer throughout the world and want to relieve human suffering. We talked about the importance of religious liberty, the importance of the family, our mutual concern for the youth [and] for the secularization of the world and the need for people to come to God and worship Him, pray to Him and have the stability that faith in Jesus Christ will bring in their lives.