Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the First Quorum of the Seventy was born February 24, 1950 to L. Whitney Clayton, Jr. and his wife Elizabeth. Elder Clayton was raised in the Church and baptized as a child. He grew up in Whittier, California where he received the Aaronic Priesthood and served the Church even as a youth.
He matriculated at the University of Utah and while there began contemplating a mission. One of the important factors in his decision was watching other students who were returned missionaries. In an interview with the Ensign (May 2001, p. 104) he commented," It was not so much what they said, although several said things that were helpful. It was the way they carried themselves, the way they acted. There was something about them that was different from all the other young men I knew. And it was obvious that the key to it was a mission." He decided to accept a mission call.
When the mission call came in 1970 it was to the Andes Mission in Peru. In common with many missionaries who have life changing experiences in the mission field, Elder Clayton looks back to his years as a full time missionary. He especially remembered a testimony meeting held in Lima, Peru in which Elder Boyd K. Packer bore his testimony. Whitney's own testimony was much strengthened by the power of Elder Packer's.
The years following his mission were momentous ones for Whitney Clayton. He completed his education at the University of Utah, taking a Bachelor's Degree in finance, then went to the University of the Pacific in California where he earned a law degree. He married Kathy Ann Kipp on August 3, 1973 in the Salt Lake Temple. They would have and raise seven children.
Brother Clayton worked several years with other law offices before deciding to take a partner and open their own firm.
In the Church, Brother Clayton served as Stake Mission President, High Priests Group Leader, Bishop, Stake High Councilor, and Counselor to a Mission President before being ordained a Seventy and called as an Area Authority Seventy in the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy. It was while serving in the Fifth Quorum that Elder Clayton received the call to the First Quorum and the ranks of the General Authorities.
On April 5, 2008, Elder Clayton was elevated to the Presidency of the Seventy, replacing D. Todd Christofferson, who had been called to the Council of the Twelve.
Elder Clayton continues to serve at this posting.