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This week in Church history

75 years ago

Spreading the gospel through missionary work was the topic of an address given by Elder Melvin J. Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on March 25, 1928.

He said, as reported in the March 31, 1928, Deseret News: "When I returned from assisting in opening a mission in South America recently I met a friend of mine, a non-member of the Church, a very influential man in this city, who said: 'I don't see why you want to spend such sums of money to continue to send missionaries to all parts of the world. You have gathered up a fine lot of people. With the nucleus you have, surely if your people would adhere to their teachings, you could produce a wonderful generation of men and women. Why are you not content to take care of those whom you have already gathered in and save the great drain upon these communities in the support of foreign missionaries?'

"It is a great drain; it has been estimated that the amount the Church has expended in this cause, if saved, would have built another city like unto Salt Lake.

"My answer to my friend is the answer that I should like to make to you this afternoon, my brethren and sisters. Why are we under this obligation? Have we any personal ambition in the matter? Not at all. It is pure and undefiled love of God that prompts us to render this service."