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biosjrc (Elder Clark ** )

President J. Reuben Clark, Jr.

  • Born in Grantsville, Utah in 1871.  Oldest of 10 children.
  • Early chronology
    • Age 17 – ordained a priest
    • Age 18 – ordained an elder
    • Age 19 – ordained a Seventy by his father
    • Age 61 – ordained a High Priest and set apart as Second Counselor in the First Presidency
    • Age 63 – ordained an Apostle and set apart as First Counselor in the First Presidency
  • Attended University of Utah, graduated from high school two years early
  • Completed 6 years of academic work at the University of Utah in 4 years
  • Graduated as Valedictorian of his university class
  • Worked during his university years to support his father serving on a foreign mission.  His jobs during that time included:
    • Assistant Curator of the Deseret Museum
    • Secretary to the President of the University of Utah, President James E. Talmage, author of “The Articles of Faith”  (Elder Clark later quipped that he “wrote” the Articles of Faith, on my secretarial typewriter.  In other words, he transcribed the manuscript for Elder Talmage.)
  • Became a teacher a two schools and a principal at two others.  Some of his pupils included Harold B. Lee, Spencer W. Kimball, Marion G. Romney, Henry D. Moyle, Thomas S. Monson, to name just a few.  His pupils described him as the ULTIMATE TEACHER.
  • In his youth, he aspired to study law and become a Senator from Utah, United States Secretary of State, and a Justice on the U. S. Supreme Court, but he never aspired to a leadership position in the Church.  He did teach Sunday School from time to time.
  • At age 32, he entered Columbia Law School.  A friend paid for this schooling
  • After graduating from Columbia Law School, he was admitted to the New York Bar of attorneys.
  • After law school, he went directly to the U. S. Department of State as an Assistant Solicitor.  He worked for 28 years in governmental service.
  • In 1928, he made an unsuccessful bid for a U. S. Senate seat
  • In 1931, he received a letter inviting him to serve in the First Presidency of the Church, serving with President Heber J. Grant and President Anthony W. Ivins.
  • 1932:
    • January 2 – sent a return letter to the First Presidency, accepting the call to serve in the First Presidency
    • March 1 – Quorum of the Twelve were told of President Clark’s call.  The call was kept confidential.
    • June – Republican Party of Utah attempts to nominate Elder Clark for Senator from Utah of Governor of the state of Utah
    • October – did not attend General Conference
    • November – Democratic Party landslide in Utah, with no Republicans elected to national offices
  • 1933:
    • January – Rumors run rampant about J. Reuben Clark becoming a member of the First Presidency
    • February – President Clark returns to Salt Lake City
    • March – at age 61 he begins his service as Second Counselor in the First Presidency
    • April – sustained in his calling at General Conference
  • 1934:
    • October – sustained as First Counselor in the First Presidency
  • He served in the First Presidency for 28 years.  Up to that time, only Brigham Young and Joseph F. Smith had served longer in the First Presidency.  He served as a counselor to Presidents Heber J. Grant, George Albert Smith, and David O. McKay.
  • He was the first member of the First Presidency in this dispensation who had received a graduate degree.
  • U. S. Presidents he served under:
    • William Taft
    • Woodrow Wilson
    • Warren Harding
    • Calvin Coolidge
    • Herbert Hoover
  • President Clark was a night person.  He usually read and studied past midnight, often until 2 a.m.   President David O. McKay was very much a morning person and wanted to hold his First Presidency meetings at 5 a.m.   President Clark was not too “keen” on that idea!
  • He died at age 90.

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