Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
J. Reuben Clark, Jr. J. (Joshua) Reuben Clark, Jr.

1871 - 1961
  • Born 1871 Grantsville, Utah
  • Baptized as a child; Aaronic Priesthood as a youth; Melchizedek Priesthood as a young man
  • Married Luacine Annetta Savage 1898, Salt Lake Temple; five children
  • Second Counselor to Heber J. Grant, 1933-34
  • Ordained an Apostle and sustained to the Twelve, 1934
  • First Counselor to Heber J. Grant, 1934-45
  • First Counselor to George Albert Smith, 1945-1951
  • Second Counselor to David O. McKay, 1951-59
  • First Counselor to David O. McKay, 1951-61
  • Died 1961 Salt Lake City, Utah

    One of the brightest of the luminaries who gave up a promising career in government service to fulfill a higher call as a General Authority of the Lord's True Church, the legendary J. Reuben Clark, Jr. is truly a giant among giants.

    Joshua Reuben Clark, Jr. was born on September 1,1871, in the small farming town of Grantsville, a Mormon settlement thirty-five miles southwest of Salt Lake City. Although he did not begin his formal education until he was ten years old, young Reuben had been home schooled by his mother and had developed a love for learning that lasted his entire life.

    Although he did not attend high school, young Reuben was accepted at the University of Utah where in 1898 he earned a Bachelor of Science, Summa Cum Laude. He was valedictorian of his class and Student-body President. He served as secretary to another luminary, Elder ( or Doctor, if you find that more impressive) James E. Talmage, who at that time was serving as President of the University.

    On September 14, 1898, J. Reuben Clark married in the Salt Lake Temple, with Elder Talmage officiating, Luacine Annetta Savage by whom he would father five children. For the next four years he held various positions around the state as a teacher and administrator on both high school and college levels.

    In 1903 the Clarks, including two small children (two more were to follow), moved to New York City, where Reuben entered law school at Columbia University. His first year's work was of such high quality that he was among the three second year students elected to the editorial board of the Columbia Law Review. By the end of his second year he was admitted to the New York Bar. He received an LL.B. degree in 1906.

    Three months after graduating from law school, Reuben Clark was appointed assistant solicitor of the State Department by Elihu Root, secretary of state under President Theodore Roosevelt. Shortly thereafter he was also named an assistant professor of law at George Washington University, where he taught until 1908.

    In July 1910, under the administration of President William Howard Taft, J. Reuben Clark was appointed solicitor of the State Department. As part of his responsibilities he represented the United States in a dispute with Chile. The king of England, serving as arbitrator, ruled in favor of the United States and granted one of the largest international awards of that time - nearly a million dollars. Also during his solicitorship, Clark published his classic "Memorandum on the Right to Protect Citizens in Foreign Countries by Landing Forces." Secretary of State Philander C. Knox declared of him: "I am doing him but justice in saying that for natural ability, integrity, loyalty, and industry, I have not in a long professional and public service met his superior and rarely his equal." J. Reuben Clark left the State Department in 1913 to open law offices in Washington, D.C., specializing in municipal and international law. His clients included the Japanese Embassy, Philander C. Knox, the Cuban Legation, the Guatemalan Ministry, J.P. Morgan & Company, and the Equitable Life Insurance Society.

    During World War I, Brother Clark received a commission as major in the Judge Advocate General's Officers' Reserve Corps. In this capacity he helped prepare the original Selective Service regulations. He was then assigned on active duty to the U.S. attorney general's office where he prepared "Emergency Legislation and War Powers of the President." In recognition of his meritorious service, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

    By President Coolidge's appointment, Clark became the Under Secretary of State in 1928. During this service he published the "Clark Memorandum on the Monroe Doctrine," praised by critics as a "monument of erudition" and a "masterly treatise." The Law Society's semiannual publication takes its name from this famous work.

    On October 3, 1930, J. Reuben Clark was named U.S. ambassador to Mexico. After his resignation two and a half years later, Brother Clark's diplomatic efforts were praised by President Herbert Hoover, who said, "Never have our relations been lifted to such a high point of confidence and cooperation."

    In 1933, at age sixty-two, Brother Clark's lifelong devotion to the Church culminated in a new calling - Second Counselor to President Heber J. Grant of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was called to this office while still a High Priest, but a year and a half later was ordained an Apostle and sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve, both on the same day he was re-sustained as a Counselor. This interesting event placed him in the line of succession to the Presidency. It is singular because he never served in the Quorum, spending the rest of his life as Counselor to three successive Presidents. As a member of the First Presidency, President Clark was a leading supporter of the Church welfare plan. He also helped put the finances of the Church on a budget plan. He was an inspirational leader and spoke forcefully on topics including freedom, his country, the inspired Constitution, work, integrity, and chastity. An avid student of the life and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ, he authored many scholarly books on gospel topics.

    In addition to his Church duties, J. Reuben Clark continued to share his professional expertise as a member of corporate boards; government, political, and private committees; and academic journal and educational boards. He also bought and maintained a farm in Grantsville, his boyhood home.

    After over sixty years of distinguished service to God and his fellow man, President J. Reuben Clark died October 6, 1961, in Salt Lake City.

    J. Reuben Clark Law Society Biographical Sketch(Principal Source
   Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.4, Appendix 1
   2005 Church Almanac, 58

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