Charles A. Callis

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Charles A. Callis
Charles A. Callis 1939.JPG
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 12, 1933 (1933-10-12) – January 21, 1947 (1947-01-21)
Called by Heber J. Grant
LDS Church Apostle
October 12, 1933 (1933-10-12) – January 21, 1947 (1947-01-21)
Called by Heber J. Grant
Reason Death of James E. Talmage
at end of term
Henry D. Moyle ordained
Personal details
Born Charles Albert Callis
(1865-05-04)May 4, 1865
Dublin, Ireland, United Kingdom
Died January 21, 1947(1947-01-21) (aged 81)
Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Resting place Salt Lake City Cemetery
40°46′37″N 111°51′29″W / 40.777°N 111.858°W / 40.777; -111.858 (Salt Lake City Cemetery)
Nationality Irish
Spouse Grace Elizabeth Pack
Children 8
Parents John and Susannah Callis

Charles Albert Callis (May 4, 1865 – January 21, 1947) was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was ordained an apostle by church president Heber J. Grant on October 12, 1933 and remained in the Quorum of the Twelve until his death.[1]

Early life[edit]

Callis was born on May 4, 1865 in Dublin, Ireland to John and Susannah Charlotte Callis. While living in England, Callis met Mormon missionaries in Liverpool and subsequently joined the LDS Church along with his three siblings and their widow mother. The Callis family immigrated to Utah Territory in 1875 and settled in Davis County, first in Bountiful, Utah and later in Centerville, Utah. At age 16, Callis moved to the town of Coalville in Summit County where he worked in the coal mines for 11 years.[2]

His mother married George Hyrum Williams on July 25, 1878 and they had several children.[1]

In 1891, Callis was elected constable of Coalville. In 1892, he served as a missionary in Wyoming under the direction of the Summit Stake. Then from Decenmber 1892 until June 1895, he served as a missionary in the British Isles, first in the Liverpool Conference; he later served as a missionary in Iowa.

At the age of 31, Callis was elected to the Utah House of Representatives in 1896 and served in the 2nd Utah State Legislature in 1897.[2] In 1898 Callis became country attorney for Summit County.

Callis married Grace Elizabeth Pack, a granddaughter of John Pack, in 1902. The Callis were the parents of eight children.[3] The tender love they had for each other will always be remembered among those who met them.


Callis and his wife Grace, along with their two daughters, began serving as missionaries in Florida in 1905. Callis was soon admitted to the Florida bar, and with this position was also able to work to defend church missionaries in legal cases, such as the 1907 case against George Perry in Darlington, South Carolina.[2] In 1907, the Callis family returned home to Utah but were almost immediately sent back to the southern United States, this time with Callis being appointed to head the South Carolina Conference.

In 1908, Callis was called as the president of the Southern States Mission of the church, succeeding Ben E. Rich. He held this position until his call as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve in 1933. When he began his tenure as mission president he presided over 250 missionaries spread in about 10 states.


Callis became an apostle in the LDS Church on October 12, 1933. He was added to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to fill a vacancy created by the death of James E. Talmage. Callis served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve until his death. Henry D. Moyle was added to the Quorum to fill the vacancy created by Callis's death.

Richard E. Bennett wrote of Callis: "Today Elder Charles A. Callis is an almost forgotten figure among younger members of the Church. Yet to those who knew him, he was utterly memorable."[2] Nephi Jensen, a fellow missionary who worked with him in Jacksonville, Florida, long before Elder Callis was even appointed mission president, wrote:

"C. A. Callis in many respects [is] a very remarkable man. He is one of those heroic souls who have come up from the depths. A few years ago he was working in a coal mine in Utah, now he is a practicing attorney and has been admitted to the bar in two states. Without opportunities or aid from friends he has risen by the sovereignty of his determination to an enviable station in life. He not only acquired a knowledge of law by self effort but read widely on general subjects and trained himself in the art of public speaking. He is an able, pleasing and convincing orator."[4]

His guiding light and inspiration was always the Lord Jesus Christ. He once said, “From my earliest recollections to the present time I have always had an abiding and intense love for my Savior. I cannot read the story of His sufferings and crucifixion without shedding tears.[5]

As an Apostle, he only authored one work, Fundamentals of Religion (Deseret Book, 1945), a collection of seventeen lectures about the tenets of the LDS Church he gave over national radio in 1943.


Elder Callis died of a massive heart attack[6] on January 21, 1947. Sister Grace Callis's death, which occurred in October 1946, deeply affected Elder Callis, and he never fully recovered from that great loss. Callis died in Jacksonville, Florida, at the age of 81, the day after the organization of the first stake of the church in the Southern United States.[1] He referred to this as the “crowning achievement” of his life. Elder Callis told many brothers both during and after the meetings, that he saw his wife many times everywhere he went.[7] The night before his death, he wrote to his daughter: "The Lord gave me strength to go through with the organization. With his aid I am battling through. I feel that your mother is not far from us."[8] His massive funeral services were held both in Jacksonville, Florida, and in Salt Lake City. He was buried in Salt Lake City Cemetery.


"The awakening of the conscience is the grandeur of the soul."[9]

"In far too many cases riches and their owners change places—the riches own the owners. Money will become the master if it is not made to be the servant."[10]

“The greatest thrilling experience that you and I can ever have in our hearts will be on those occasions when deep down we receive the witness that our acts and our labors are approved by our Heavenly Father.”[11]

"This is the world in which to cultivate righteous tendencies and just causes that will produce, in the world to come, results and harvests of perfection and heavenly fruit."[12]



  • Callis, Charles A. (1945). Fundamentals of religion: A series of radio addresses. Independence, Missouri: Zion's Printing and Pub. Co. OCLC 7057249. 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Flake, Lawrence R. (2001). Prophets and Apostles of the Last Dispensation. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company. pp. 461–463. ISBN 978-1-57345-797-2. 
  2. ^ a b c d Bennett, Richard E. (April 1981). "Elder Charles A. Callis: Twentieth-Century Missionary". Ensign: 46. Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  3. ^ Andrew Jenson (ed.), LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, Deseret Book Company, 1930, p. 380.
  4. ^ Nephi Jensen Journal, July 1907, pp. 65–67, Archives & Manuscripts, Brigham Young University.
  5. ^ Bryant S. Hinckley, "Charles A. Callis," Improvement Era, July 1934, p. 435.
  6. ^ "Charles A. Callis", in Donald Q. Cannon, Richard E. Cowan, and Arnold K. Garr (eds.), Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History, Deseret Book Company, 2001.
  7. ^ Brent L. Goates, Harold B. Lee: Prophet and Seer, Deseret Book Company, 1985, p. 205.
  8. ^ Charles Callis to Kathleen Larsen, 20 January 1947, Callis Collection, Mss 22, Archives and Manuscripts, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.
  9. ^ Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, Bookcraft, 1969, chapter 11.
  10. ^ Charles A. Callis, "Give me neither poverty nor riches", Improvement Era, June 1946, Vol. XLIX, No. 6.
  11. ^ Harold B. Lee, The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, Deseret Book Company, 1996, p. 414.
  12. ^ Charles A. Callis, "The Eternal Years", Improvement Era, August 1944, Vol. XLVII No. 8.

External links[edit]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
Joseph F. Merrill
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 12, 1933–January 21, 1947
Succeeded by
J. Reuben Clark