Melvin Joseph Ballard (February 2, 1873 – July 30, 1939) was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was born in Logan, Utah. His grandson, M. Russell Ballard, was also ordained an apostle.
Prior to his birth, his mother had an experience that led her to believe her son would be an apostle. In his patriarchal blessing, this was reaffirmed.
When Church President Heber J. Grant was pondering who to call to replace the vacancy caused by the passing of former Church President Joseph F. Smith, he decided to call on his good friend Richard W. Young, as many suspected he would. As he met with the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to announce his decision, he found himself saying that the Lord wanted Melvin J. Ballard to serve instead. He used this experience to teach about inspiration and to testify that the Lord calls the leaders in the church, not the men who lead.
Ballard was ordained an apostle and member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on January 7, 1919. He served in the Quorum until his death in Salt Lake City from leukemia. Sylvester Q. Cannon was called to fill the vacancy caused by his passing. Ballard opened up missionary work in South America in 1925 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.