News Release

President M. Russell Ballard Inspires Congregations Across the Asia Area

Hundreds of members, friends and missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered to welcome Elder M. Russell Ballard, President of the Quorum of the Twelve during his recent Asia Area tour May 18-26, 2019.

President Ballard was accompanied on different portions of his trip by Elder Robert C. Gay of the Presidency of the Seventy, Bishop Dean M. Davies, First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, and Elders David F. Evans, Peter F. Meurs, and David P. Homer of the Asia Area Presidency, and their wives. The tour included visits to India, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand.  

In the meeting with missionaries in Hong Kong, Elder Meurs said, “What a privilege it is to have the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles with us. Just think about that, in all history—we’re here with the President of the Quorum of the Twelve to be taught by him.”

As an Apostle of Jesus Christ, President Ballard shared, “We just came from Rome—all the Twelve and First Presidency were there where we dedicated a temple. I felt on that occasion, the presence of Peter and Paul who gave their lives in declaring that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind.”


Visiting India for the first time in his many years traveling the world was a deeply gratifying experience. “Now I will know more when I sit on the fourth floor with the Quorum of Twelve Apostles as we talk about you and we talk about this country and how and what we need to do to continue to find more of our Father’s children in India,” he said in New Delhi at the stake conference. “It is a great country with a great future.”

There has been a swell of enthusiasm throughout India as plans for construction of a temple were announced last April. The eternal nature of families and the binding family ordinances performed in the temple resonated with the congregation in New Delhi, India as President Ballard shared his sure knowledge of the afterlife having lost is wife Barbara just last October: “I know where Barbara is, I know she is alive and she is waiting in the great world of the spirits….”

Bishop Davies shed more light on highly anticipated news regarding the temple progress in Bengaluru. With deserving praise, he first declared, “This is the most reverent stake conference I have ever attended.” He then disclosed, “I can’t tell you where the temple will be, but I will tell you that you’re very close to it.” He added, “For every temple that is built, the power of God is amplified.”

In the Bangkok Thailand Stake special conference, Bishop Davies also mentioned his close ties to temple construction. The groundbreaking for the Bangkok Thailand Temple took place in January of this year. He explained, “I asked for the Lord’s guidance, and I could feel the place where it would be best to build it.”

President Ballard addressed several groups of full-time missionaries who gathered to a central location from various parts of their countries to listen to his inspired counsel. He said to the missionaries meeting in Wan Chai, Hong Kong, “‘Hong Kong’—you are here under the direction of heaven through one of the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

In the Taiwan Taipei Mission meeting, Elder Evans affirmed, “As a missionary, you are an extension of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.”

Reflecting on lessons learned through challenging times in his own life, President Ballard provided wisdom and counsel regarding how to get through hard times.

“Now you’re going to have days that are hard days. When I have a hard day and wonder if I’m going to be able to make it, do you know what I do? I stop and think about Gethsemane…. When I do this, all of a sudden, I have no problems. I’m not tired anymore. I just keep going. Why?” he said with tender emotion, “Because that’s what our Savior did. Never forget that.”

“Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind,” President Ballard declared with conviction to the missionary congregation in Wan Chai, Hong Kong. “And that is your message, that is what you know, that is what you have a witness of. That the fulness of the gospel has been restored. You ought to be so excited about what you have to tell the world that you just can’t wait from day to day to be anxiously engaged.”

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