As a young man, Clinton Louis Cutler spent many hours in the company of his ancestors. Through their journals, he learned of their devotion to the gospel and shared their insights. “It made me want to be true to the cause they sacrificed so much for,” he says.
Elder Cutler has followed the example of his forebears. Among other callings, he has been a bishop, a regional representative, and twice a stake president.
He traces his love of the gospel back to his earliest years. “I had wonderful Primary teachers. I had strong advisers and great bishops.”
The scriptures also helped to shape his life. “My mother had a set of children’s Bible stories. As a small boy, I would listen to her read them. The lives of those great biblical heroes inspired me.”
He feels a very special love for the Book of Mormon, too. “It’s the Lord’s text for our times,” he says.
In fact, the Book of Mormon has been the focus of Elder Cutler’s missionary work as a mission president. When asked if Mormons are Christians, he invites his questioner to join him in reading from 3 Nephi. “Afterward I say, ‘That’s the Jesus Christ we worship—the living, the compassionate, the loving. He weeps for us. He prays to the Father for us. Now you judge whether we’re Christians.’”
Clinton Louis Cutler was born on 27 December 1929 to Benjamin Lewis Cutler and Nellie H. Sharp in Salt Lake City, Utah, the first of ten children.
As a young man, Elder Cutler fell in love with basketball. He was an all-state player in high school and played on the freshman team at Utah State University. He later coached many Church teams.
On 18 September 1948, Elder Cutler married Carma Nielsen. “She is the heart of our home and totally unselfish,” he says.
Sister Cutler returns the compliment. “He is so full of integrity. He has always stood for what’s right.”
Elder and Sister Cutler have six children: Connie (Giauque), Cathy (Peterson), Clinton Reed, Clark Nielsen, Carolee (Wright), and Charles Louis.
Elder Cutler worked for more than thirty-two years for Mountain Bell Telephone Company. At his retirement in 1986 he was serving as director of marketing operations.
About a month after Elder Cutler’s retirement he was called to serve as president of the Washington Seattle Mission, where he has served till the present time. He says, “Those missionaries have a place in our hearts like our own children. We worry about them. We pray for them. We lose sleep over them. We’re happy when they’re happy and sad when they’re sad. We have added five or six hundred children to our family.”
Elder Cutler has an unshakable faith in the goodness of people—even those who may not seem to measure up. “Most missionaries are strong and faithful and obedient. But I guess the ones who really linger in my heart are those who have to struggle to find themselves. You counsel with them; you hug them; you teach them; you love them. It’s a joy to see their testimonies finally flower. When they go home, there are tears in their eyes because they don’t want to leave. We have a loving Father, and we’re all struggling to become as he is. It isn’t easy, but his love is infinite. We are never alone.”
Elder Cutler enjoys gardening, but his favorite hobby is his family. “I played basketball the other day with my 15-year-old grandson. He’s now 6′4″, and he trounced his 60-year-old grandfather, but it was fun,” Elder Cutler says.
“We love being together. When we’re at our home in Draper, Utah, five o’clock Sunday afternoon is always family dinner, and anyone who can come does.”
He approaches his new calling humbly but with enthusiasm: “I love to see the gospel change people’s lives.”