Rudger Clawson

President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (March 17, 1921 – June 21, 1943)

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (October 10, 1898 – June 21, 1943)

General Conference Addresses

  • April 1904 General Conference
    • Unity in Prayer
      • “We must not suppose that when an Elder of Israel is called upon to pray, the words which he utters belong to him, or that the prayer is altogether his prayer. I do not so consider it. The prayer which is offered up ascends to heaven in behalf of the entire congregation.”
      • “We must pray under all circumstances. Prayer is not reserved for the Sabbath day or for any particular occasion. It is not only to be used at the general conferences of the Church, but the spirit of prayer must be in our hearts unceasingly. We must pray in our families; we must pray in secret; we must pray in our hearts. The spirit of prayer must be with us when we retire at night and when we arise in the morning. It must be upon us when we leave our homes for our daily employment; in the office; in the shop; in the field; in the mountains or in the valleys, or wherever we are.”
      • “To show the importance of prayer I remind you, my brethern and sisters, that in this world there are two great powers, and these two powers are at warfare. There is the power of good and the power of evil. They do not harmonize, they do not mix. Like oil and water, they will not mix. On the one hand, there is the power of good striving with every man and woman; on the other hand, there is the power of evil striving with every man and woman.”
      • “Although Simon Peter was one of the chiefest of the Apostles; like other men he had his weaknesses and his imperfections, and I suppose the Lord knew wherein he was the weakest. He understood that Satan desired especially to sift Peter as wheat, and to destroy him if possible. Herein comes the power and virtue of prayer. The Lord Himself prayed for him. He did not criticize or scold him, for He saw that he had weaknesses—as we all have, and I doubt not but Satan would like to have all of us that he might sift us; as wheat. I firmly believe that if it were not for the faith and prayers of this people, which are ascending continually to heaven, Satan certainly would have power over us, and perhaps in many instances we would be overcome and destroyed. The Lord prayed for Peter, and His prayer was heard, and so He charged Peter that when he was converted he should strengthen the brethren.”
  • October 1903 General Conference
    • The Sin of Idleness
      • “We can see that idleness is a positive sin, and that those who indulge in this spirit, to the neglect of their duties, shall be found unworthy of fellowship in the Church.”
      • “The Twelve esteem it as binding upon them, when in the city, to be present at their meetings. They regard it as one of their highest duties; they feel they must be there, unless perchance there is sickness or death in the family, or they are sent elsewhere by the Presidency. That is how they feel in relation to their quorum meetings. That is how we want the brethren of the Priesthood throughout the Church to feel, in relation to their respective quorum meetings.”
  • October 1902 General Conference
    • Obedience
      • “But I often think that some of us are like the people of ancient Israel—we are slow to hearken to the voice of the Lord. We acknowledge His hand; we admit the importance of these things, and see the necessity of them: but in many cases fail to carry out counsel, and thereby lose the blessing.”
  • April 1902 General Conference
    • Restoration of the Priesthood
      • “The Priesthood connects this Church with the heavens, and the channel of communication is open. Oh! how weak indeed would we be without this authority; and oh! how weak indeed are we except we honor it, for if we do not we come under condemnation.”
      • “I do not believe that it is the duty of the president of a stake to spend his whole time in preaching the Gospel. I look upon the presidency of a stake as executive officers. You will find in every stake of Zion scores of preachers, eloquent men, who can edify and strengthen the people, and It is not needful for the presidency of the stake to spend very much time in preaching the gospel. But it is their duty to see that others magnify their calling; to see that the presidency of the High Priests’ quorum honor the Priesthood; to see that the presidency of the Elders’ quorum are active, diligent and faithful men, and to watch over these quorums of the Priesthood and see that «very man does his duty.”
  • October 1901 General Conference
    • The Marvelous Work of the Lord
      • “What manner of men ought they to be? Quick to manifest the spirit of obedience that was so beautifully alluded to by Apostle Smoot. They should be humble, prayerful men, quick to hear the word of counsel, and to impart that word to their people.”
    • Eternal Character of the Priesthood
      • “There is no appointment in this Church, that I know of, that is absolutely permanent, excepting the Holy Priesthood, which we are called to hold. When we receive that we hold it in this life, and we take it with us in the life to come. We exercise It in the world, and we exercise it out of the world, so long as we are faithful.”
  • April 1901 General Conference
    • Salvation of Self, Family, World
      • “So the matter is clear in my mind that in this kingdom a man must first begin at home. He must start with himself. He must place himself in the way of salvation, and obtain the Priesthood. Then he must set in order his own household, and labor for the salvation of his family. He must not ignore his own home, and forget those who are near and dear to him. A man who cannot save himself through the power of God; a man who cannot save his wife and children, cannot bring to Christ the souls of men in the world.”
      • “But let me tell you brethren and sisters, that we must not stop here. The piuiciple of repentance is not only intended for the world, but it belongs to the Latter-day Saints. It is a principle that should come into our lives and be before us continually. Have we not need of repentance?”
  • October 1900 General Conference
    • Temples and Temple Work
      • “The value of that building is not in its outward appearance, not in the expense that has been put in it, not in the beauty of its architecture, nor in the richness of its furnishings. The value of that Temple is in the ordinances which are performed therein for the living and the dead.”
      • “Now, I want to tell the men of means among the Latter-day Saints of a good investment; where they can place some of their means to bring them in a hundred per cent. Find me an investment in this country today that pays twelve per cent, or perhaps fifteen per cent, and I will point out to you a most splendid enterprise. But this investment that I allude to will pay one hundred per cent, and never fail. What is it? Lay up some of your treasures in heaven. Invest with the Lord. Put some of your means into His temple.”
      • “I believe that God speaks to us as if we were in eternity, and that whenever He gives a commandment or a law unto this Church, it is done as if there were no such thing as death or a veil dividing us from His presence. His laws are permanent and eternal in their nature; they are binding upon this world and upon the world to come; they are binding upon the living and binding upon the dead.”
  • April 1900 General Conference
    • God’s Goodness
      • “Here is a very strange explanation given in the case of a Seventy: It states that he does not like the Bishop, consequently he ignores the law of God. I suppose that because he does not like the Bishop, he won’t be saved. Of one Elder it was said that he was full of good intentions for the future. Of course we have no means of knowing whether these good intentions may be relied upon for the future, but we do know that these good intentions did not lead him to pay his tithing in the year 1899.”
      • “Now, brethren and sisters, if there are in this vast congregation of Israel, or in any of the Stakes, people whose names appear on the record that President Snow exhibited to us, I say it is to your interest to see to it that your names are taken from it, and that they appear, instead, in the book of the law of God, in order that, in due time, you may receive your eternal inheritance in the  kingdom of God.”
  • October 1899 General Conference
    • Obedience
      • “We can see that when the Lord gives a commandment to the children of men He requires the strictest obedience to that command. When the Lord speaks he means something.”
      • “We have strayed in a measure from the commandments of the Liord. Some of our people have put private interpretations upon the laws of God. Take the law of tithing for instance. It is very simple and easy to be understood. Very few words are employed by the Lord to set this law before his people. He says that He requires of his Saints one-tenth of their interest annually. It seems to me that every man, woman and child could easily determine what their interest is annually. It is not a command of man; it is a command of our Heavenly Father. I have no right to put a private interpretation upon it, or to vary from it, or to say that a man is entitled to figure out this that and the other until he has nothing to pay tithing on, and in some cases until the Lord himself is brought in debt to the individual.”
      • “We are told that if we would have salvation we must follow the example of the Savior, and the great distinguishing quality of the Savior was his obedience.”
      • “We do not single out the principle of tithing and say it is the greatest commandment God has given. We simply say, it is a commandment of God and we should obey it. We do not say that a man will be saved and exalted simply because he obeys the law of tithing. We must live by every word that proceedeth forth out of the mouth of the Lord, and one commandment is as sacred as another. They are all needful for the welfare of the Church and for the accomplishment of the purposes of God. We cannot pick and choose and say we will keep this commandment because it is pleasant to us and we will slight another because it is not agreeable.”
  • April 1899 General Conference
    • Pride
      • “Let us imagine for a moment a poor man, albeit an honest, intelligent man, and one who may stand high in the estimation of heaven, coming into a gathering of the rich—why, the social distinction between that poor man and the rich man is so great that doubtless it would be thought to be a contamination to have him there, and a demand for his withdrawal would be made. They cannot associate together. Yet, my brethren and sisters, the Prophet Jacob tells us that we are made of one flesh. God does not draw these distinctions that we find upon the earth. We are led to understand from the scriptures that God is no respector of persons, and that these social distinctions that are in the world, and in some degree perhaps in our midst, are not pleasing in His sight.”
      • “So, my brethren and sisters, if there are to be distinctions among us, they must not be based upon our financial condition, but rather upon the principle of righteousness. One man is better than another if he is more righteous than the other. One man is more acceptable to the Lord than another if he lives nearer to the Lord than the other.”
    • The Temple
      • “The grandeur of that building, which is estimated to have cost between three and four million dollars. The beauty of its finish, the richness of its furnishings, are nothing compared to the spirit that you find in that building.”
      • “When the Saints go into that building they are at first impressed by its surroundings, by the spaciousness of the rooms, and the beauty of the furnishings; but after awhile they forget all that; they have no time to think about the building, they are so deeply impressed by the spirit that is there. A place where they can enter and leave the world behind them. They are not troubled in that house by the cares and the anxieties and the troubles of this world. The world seems to be far beneath them. They have no time to think about it. They are swallowed up in the spirit and power of God.”
  • October 1898 General Conference
    • A New Call
      • “When I came out of the penitentiary I was told that the Lord wanted me to labor as President of the Box Elder Stake, and I assure you, brethren and sisters, that that was a great surprise to me at that time, and very trying. I had been brought up in Salt Lake City; all my interests, all my associations, and, as I thought, all my expectations were in Salt Lake City, and it was a great trial for me to be called away. No inducements were offered, but I was told that the Lord would bless and sustain me in that appointment, and I testify to you, my brethren and sisters, that I have been sustained in my presidency of the Box Elder Stake of Zion, and I have enjoyed my labors there.”
      • “My patriarchal blessing, that was given a number of years ago, indicated that I would be called to  a high appointment in the Church in the due time of the Lord, and I presume that this is the appointment now. I feel very weak; I feel very humble. I know that unless I can enjoy the spirit of the apostleship and the faith and prayers and the support of my brethren and sisters of this Church I cannot stand, I cannot succeed in this labor; and therefore I earnestly pray that God will be with me, and that I may have your faith and prayers, and I ask it in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

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