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Clate W. Mask Jr.

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Clate W. Mask Jr.
Second Quorum of the Seventy
April 5, 2003 (2003-04-05) – October 3, 2009 (2009-10-03)
Called byGordon B. Hinckley
End reasonHonorably released
Personal details
BornClate Wheeler Mask Jr.
(1942-08-20) August 20, 1942 (age 79)
El Paso, Texas, United States

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Clate Wheeler Mask Jr. (born August 20, 1942) was a general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 2003 to 2009. Mask was a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy and was the president of the Caribbean Area of the church from 2006 to 2009. Mask is also the first American general authority of Mexican descent in the church's history.[1]

Mask was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. Although his mother was a member of the LDS Church and his grandfather had been the first native Mexican to serve as a missionary for the church, Mask's father was not a member of the church when Mask was young. However, after returning from his time in the U.S. Army during World War II, the elder Clate Mask did join the church. Mask's grandfather, Andres C. Gonzalez, had been a Spanish teacher in the Mormon Colonies in Mexico, while his maternal grandmother, Minnie Spencer, was the child of Mormon Anglos who had settled in the colonies.

Mask served as a Mormon missionary in the church's Central American Mission from 1961 to 1963. He later served in the United States military and then studied at Brigham Young University. Mask married Paula Carol Garns, whom he had first met when they were both missionaries. They were married in the Los Angeles California Temple in 1965.

For a short time after earning a bachelor's degree in English and Spanish, Mask was involved in construction sales. However, after serving for a time as an early-morning seminary teacher, he became a full-time employee of the Church Educational System, where he was employed for 30 years. He later earned a master's degree in education from California State University, Northridge. Among other things that Mask did while employed by CES was the establishment of institute classes in Spanish in both Southern California and Arizona.

Mask served for three years as president of the Spain Barcelona Mission from 1997 to 2000. He served as a bishop, a branch president, a stake Sunday School president and in several other callings in the church prior to his becoming a general authority. From 2009 to 2012, Mask was the president of the Guatemala City Guatemala Temple.

The Masks are the parents of six children.


  1. Mask's mother was of Mexican birth and ancestry. Although previous general authorities (such as Marion G. Romney) were Americans who had been born in Mexico, they were all of Anglo descent.


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