Charles was an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His family migrated to Davis County, Utah and then to Coalville where he mined twelve hours a day to support his family.
He eventually studied law, and served a mission in the southern states where he again later served as Mission President.
Even after the call to the Twelve Apostles, he never lost his missionary zeal, passing away not long after his original mission goal was complete, to organize a Stake in the South.
Charles was the subject of a famous story, where he gained his nickname of "The Dirty Little Irish Kid."
His story is referenced in “The Teachings of Harold B. Lee,” ed. Clyde J. Williams (1996), 602-3 as follows,
"THEM THAT HONOUR ME I WILL HONOUR "
President James F. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency
General Conference April 2001. Ensign, May 2001 pages 45-47
For you to achieve your potential, you will need to honor four sacred principles in your lives. These four are:
1. Reverence for Deity.
2. Respecting and honoring family relationships.
3. Reverence for and obedience to the ordinances and covenants of the holy priesthood.
4. Respect for yourself as a son of God.
The fourth is to respect yourself as a son of God. Those of us who have served missions have seen the miracle in the lives of some we have taught as they have come to realize that they are sons and daughters of God. Many years ago an elder who served a mission in the British Isles said at the end of his labors, "I think my mission has been a failure. I have labored all my days as a missionary here and I have only baptized one dirty little Irish kid. That is all I baptized."
Years later, after his return to his home in Montana, he had a visitor come to his home who asked, "Are you the elder who served a mission in the British Isles in 1873?"
Then the man went on, "And do you remember having said that you thought your mission was a failure because you had only baptized one dirty little Irish kid?"
He said, "Yes."
The visitor put out his hand and said, "I would like to shake hands with you. My name is Charles A. Callis, of the Council of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1 am that dirty little Irish kid that you baptized on your mission."
That little Irish boy came to a knowledge of his potential as a son of God. Elder Callis left a lasting legacy for his large family. Serving as a mission president for 25 years and in his apostolic ministry for 13 years, he blessed the lives of literally thousands. I feel privileged to have known this great Apostle of the Lord when I was a young man.
"BECAUSE I LIVE, YE SHALL LIVE ALSO." (John 14:19)
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