Did the Lord truly love
President Clawson or was He playing a trick on His Apostle? Despite serving
twenty-one years as President of the Twelve, Rudger's tenure was eclipsed
by Heber J. Grant's twenty-seven years
as the Prophet and Rudger never sat in the Prophet's chair.
Rudger Clawson was born March 12, 1857 in Salt Lake
City, Utah to Hiram Bradley Clawson and Margaret Gay Judd. Raised as a
member of the Church, he was called to several leadership positions, most
notable of which were the Holy Apostleship on October 10, 1898, Second
Counselor to Lorenzo Snow October 6, 1901, and President of the Twelve
March 17, 1921.
Meanwhile he found time to marry three times and
father eleven children.
Rudger Clawson was the first member of the Church
to be prosecuted under the infamous Edmund's Law. His jury was composed
of twelve gentiles although Utah at the time was better than nine-to-one
Latter-day Saint. Lydia Spencer, one of his wives refused to be sworn and
was herself committed to the penitentiary in a scurrilous and ultimately
failed attempt to force her to testify. Ultimately he was convicted in
an unconstitutional ex post facto application of the law. As a result
of his conviction he was subjected to a fine of $500.00 and the extraordinarily
harsh sentence of three years and six months to a federal penitentiary
for which he had donated $1000.00 to its construction. He was pardoned
in 1887 by President Grover Cleveland which cut only four months off his
Rudger Clawson died June 21, 1943 in Salt Lake
City, Utah, well beloved and respected by all while the names of his persecutors
lie in the trash heap of history despised by those few who even bother
to search them out.