In correspondence with O. Boyd Mathias, Rowena J. Miller, on behalf of J. Reuben Clark, counselor in the First Presidency, states that blood is separated by race at LDS hospital but that Clark gives never gives guidance on blood transfusions.

Mar 3, 1953
Rowena J. Miller

Rowena J. Miller, Correspondence on behalf of J. Reuben Clark to O. Boyd Mathias, March 3, 1953, Register of the Clarkana Papers of Joshua Ruben Clark, Jr., 1873–1962, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University, MSS 303, Box 389, Folder 2 (accessed March 3, 2023)

Rowena J. Miller
O. Boyd Mathias

O. Boyd Mathias

February 18, 1953

Pre Fab 2007

Logan, Utah

President J. Reuben Clark

47 E. So. Temple

Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear President Clark,

It has been said that you advised members of the Church of Jesus Chirst of Latter-day Saints to refuse blood transfusions from people with Negro ancestry. Is that correct?

One hears so many things, he is not quite sure what is actually so. I thought you would be the best source for determining the validity of this rumor.



O. Boyd Mathias


February 20, 1953

Dear M. Mathias:

Your letter of February 18, 1953 has been received in President Clark's absence.

He is in the East at the present time, and I shall be happy to bring your letter to his attention so soon as he returns.

Faithfully yours


(Mrs.) Rowena J. MIller

Secretary to President Clark

Mr. O. Boyd Mathias,

Pre Fab 2007,

Logan, Utah.


March 3, 1953

Dear Mr. Mathias:

In further reference to your letter of February 18, 1953, and to my preliminary acknowledgment of February 20th, President Clark wishes me to say to you that he has never made any statement such as you report in your letter. He has never attempted to direct anybody as to what they should do with reference to blood transfusitions. As a matter of fact, however, the L.D.S. Hospital here in Salt Lake City, has a blood bank which does not contain any colored blood.

Faithfully yours,

JRC:RJM [Unsigned]

(Mrs.) Rowena J. Miller

Secretary to President Clark

Mr. O. Boyd Mathias,

Pre Fab 2007,

Logan, Utah.

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