Elder Ballard Sees Potential for Church Growth in Russia

Contributed By the Church News

  • MOSCOW, RUSSIA

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles participates in a priesthood leadership meeting in Moscow, Russia, on June 4.  Photo by Andrey Semenov.

Article Highlights

  • Elder Ballard, Elder Hallstrom, and Bishop Davies are visiting Russia on Church business.
  • The largest ever stake conference in Russia was held in Moscow on June 5.

“I see significant potential for growth in the Church in Russia. There is deep spirituality among the citizens of this great country.” —Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Sunday, June 5, witnessed the largest combined gathering of Latter-day Saints in stake conferences in the history of the Church in Russia.

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who is traveling in that country, presided at the Moscow Russia Stake conference. Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy presided at the Saratov Russia Stake conference. Bishop Dean M. Davies of the Presiding Bishopric attended the St. Petersburg Russia Stake conference. Accompanying them were Elder Bruce D. Porter, President of the Europe East Area, and his first and second counselors, Elder Jörg Klebingat and Elder Larry S. Kacher. Traveling with their husbands are Sister Diane Hallstrom, Sister Darla Davies, Sister Susan Porter, Sister Julia Klebingat, and Sister Pauline Kacher.

Elder Ballard, Elder Hallstrom, and Bishop Davies are visiting Russia and conducting an area review in Moscow, headquarters of the Europe East Area. Additional meetings have been held with missionaries, young single adults, and youth.

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles participates in a priesthood leadership meeting in Moscow, Russia, on June 4. Photo by Andrey Semenov.

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles participates in a priesthood leadership meeting in Moscow, Russia, on June 4. Photo by Andrey Semenov.

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles greets a young child after a stake conference in Moscow, Russia, on June 4. Photo by Andrey Semenov.

On Saturday, June 4, a priesthood leadership conference was held in Moscow and was also broadcast to priesthood leaders gathered in meetinghouses and homes across nine time zones in Russia. At least 178 different sites accessed this meeting.

Similar meetings will be held in several other cities and countries of the Europe East Area in the coming days.

Of special interest was a luncheon held on Monday, June 6, in Moscow. Attending were many “friends of the Church,” who gathered to discuss important matters, including religious freedom. Included were religious, government, and academic leaders who know and respect the Church. The highlight of the meeting was an address by Elder Ballard, who spoke of the history and fundamental doctrine of the Church and the need for a unified effort to combat growing threats to religious freedom throughout the world.

Reflecting on his impressions after just a few days in Russia, Elder Ballard said, “I see significant potential for growth in the Church in Russia. There is deep spirituality among the citizens of this great country, and the Church provides the ideal environment for these good people to develop their spiritual nature. I am very optimistic.”

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles participates in a stake conference in Moscow, Russia, on June 4. Photo by Andrey Semenov.

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles participates in a priesthood leadership meeting in Moscow, Russia, on June 4. Photo by Andrey Semenov.

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles participates in an auxiliary training meeting in Moscow, Russia, on June 4. Photo by Andrey Semenov.

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles participates in a priesthood leadership meeting in Moscow, Russia. Photo by Andrey Semenov.

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles participates in an auxiliary training meeting in Moscow, Russia, on June 4. Photo by Andrey Semenov.

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shakes hands with a young child in Moscow, Russia, June 4. Photo by Andrey Semenov.

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles looks at a member's cell phone in Moscow, Russia. Photo by Andrey Semenov.

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles participates in a priesthood leadership meeting in Moscow, Russia. Photo by Andrey Semenov.