He accepted the position, for the reward and challenge it offered. All three have since served as Regional Representatives of the Twelve.In 1963, he was called as second counselor in the presidency of the Chicago South Stake. Dallin Oaks approached his Church assignment with the usual vigor.She accepted the necessity of being self-sufficient and developing her own interests.Dallin Oaks industry and scholarship won him the opportunity to serve as law clerk for Chief Justice Earl Warren of the United States Supreme Court after graduation.He was called to be stake mission president for the Chicago Stake in 1961.His law practice had him working nights, and he wondered how he would be able to fulfill the responsibilities of the new calling as well, Sister Oaks recalls, but he took it on faith.Several members of the Council of the Twelve called to welcome him to the quorum. His family jokes that it is really Work first, play never. He lauds her as a woman of great faith, a very skilled parent, and a woman possessed of great natural executive ability. Before her death in 1980, Stella Oaks was known as a force for good in Provo, in both Church and civic service.It is one measure of the man, perhaps, that he reacted with the same gracious attitude toward all callers, whether another member of the Twelve or the aged best friend of his mother. Once, she recalls, he had been hosting a group of visitors when, during a lull, the conversation turned to other kinds of educational experiences. If you had any more positive mental attitude, youd be unbearable. She gave me a great deal of responsibility and freedom.
She recalls hearing him say: There are a lot of guys over there at the law school who are smarter than I, but none works any harder. And yet she managed to avoid the mistake of self-pity.
But then, he is always gracious to everybody, no matter who they are, says Janet Calder, who was his secretary while he was president of Brigham Young University from 1971 to 1980. In response to a comment, the university president remarked that he had never received any training in developing a positive mental attitude. She encouraged me to have a job, Elder Oaks explains.
From the time he first worked for pay, at eleven or twelve, he has been continuously employed.
But while other, closely related units went, his was never activated.
At that time, a limited number of young men were being called on missions because of the war, and Dallin was not among them.
That first job was sweeping out a radio repair shop.