LDS apostle M. Russell Ballard recuperating at home after hospital stay

The 95-year-old is latest top church leader to be dealing with health setbacks.

M. Russell Ballard, a senior apostle for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced Thursday he was back at home after being hospitalized for “respiratory issues” sometime last week.

The 95-year-old acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles made the joint announcement of his hospitalization and release just after 4 p.m. on X, the site formerly known as Twitter.

“Following a wonderful and inspiring General Conference, last week I suddenly found myself in the hospital with respiratory issues,” he wrote. “However, I have since been released from the hospital and returned home where I am attending to duties as I am able.”

Ballard spoke slowly and somewhat haltingly during his General Conference address, delivered Oct. 1, and was unable to read from the teleprompter due to failing eyesight.

“My children tell me they think I’m a lot older than [I am] some days,” he remarked. “But that’s OK. I’m doing the best I can.”

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Apostle M. Russell Ballard delivers extemporaneous remarks at General Conference on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023.

Health issues, meanwhile, prevented fellow apostle Jeffrey R. Holland and church President Russell M. Nelson from attending the biannual event held in downtown Salt Lake City’s Conference Center and broadcast or streamed around the world.

The 99-year-old Nelson injured his back in a fall in September that prevented him from attending October’s conference in person. He did deliver a concluding speech via video.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Church President Russell M. Nelson delivers a recorded sermon at the close of General Conference on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023.

Holland, who turns 83 next month, spent more than five weeks in the hospital. The apostle, who reported undergoing kidney dialysis, didn’t attend the April conference either when he and his wife were “suffering from the effects” of COVID-19. Pat Holland died in July at age 81.

As last report, Jeffrey Holland is recovering from home and “looks forward to resuming active service in his ministry.” He did attend the funeral Oct. 21 of Kathleen Johnson Eyring, wife of fellow apostle Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the faith’s governing First Presidency. She died Oct. 15 at age 82.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland reviews the program for the funeral services for his wife, Patricia T. Holland, at the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 28, 2023. Two of his children, general authority Seventy Matthew S. Holland and Mary Alice McCann, are at his side.