80 years ago today - Jul 25, 1939

[President Heber J. Grant Diary]
I went directly to the hospital having been told by my son-in-law, who met us at the depot, that Brother McKay had just telephoned to him that Brother Melvin J. Ballard was in a dying condition and he doubted that he would be alive when I reached the hospital. I went directly to the hospital. President Clark was there and we called in Brother Ballard's room. His wife and children were there and they asked us to dedicate Brother Ballard to the Lord feeling that he ought to be relived (sic) of his pain. I do not think he recognized us. His eyes glared, and I felt that I just could not utter a prayer dedicating him to the Lord. He is the first man that I nominated to be an apostle, and I asked Brother Clark to comply with the request of his family. I was impressed by his putting a good, strong if in his prayer, if his time had come that he might go quickly, otherwise that he might be healed. I remained there about three-quarters for an hour expecting him to pass away. Then I excused myself and went hom (sic) for breakfast.

[Diary of Heber J. Grant, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

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