Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Mormon Book Bits #22: J. Reuben Clark, Our Lord of the Gospels

Editor's note: This is # 22 in a series of posts by Dennis Horne about collectible books. The introduction is here.

            Elder Thomas S. Monson wrote the following account:

We met [with Elder Mark E. Petersen] in the office of J. Reuben Clark, Jr. President Clark advised me that he was going to prepare a book, a harmony of the Gospels, the preliminary work for which he had accomplished when he was a law student in his young manhood. President Clark retrieved from his roll-top desk pad after pad of yellow legal-size sheets which contained his handwriting concerning the manuscript. Brother Petersen then left the room, and I had the opportunity to become better acquainted with President Clark as he invited me to work with him on the book. Every working day for the next six or eight months I had a brief visit with President Clark, at his suggestion, as we put together the manuscript which became Our Lord of the Gospels….

During the course of President Clark’s research, he told me he wasn’t certain regarding a particular subject relating to the number of times the Savior had appeared since His resurrection. He gave me a particular number and then said, “Let me think about it over the weekend.” He had put a question mark by the number he had provided me.

            The following Sunday morning while I was at a meeting, Frances received a long distance telephone call from Grantsville, Utah. The caller said, “Is President Monson home?”

            She replied, “No; he’s at church.”

            The caller asked, “Do you think a bishop ought to be in church on Sunday?”

            I’m sure Frances wondered, who is this individual? She responded, however, “Oh, I would think so.”

            Then the caller said, “I would agree with you. This is President J. Reuben Clark. Would you have Brother Monson call me when he returns?”

            When I returned home and called President Clark, he simply said, “Tom, you may remove the question mark from the number I gave you. It is correct.”

            I felt President Clark had received a confirmation by the Spirit as well as through his research regarding the question which he had on the manuscript.” (Thomas S. Monson, On the Lord’s Errand [Salt Lake City: privately printed, 1985], 175-76)

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