As a young man, Ray T. Clifford served a mission in Austria for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His experiences there shaped interests in both language and gospel service. Learning the German language was a challenging, humbling, and rewarding experience, as has been the case with every language he has studied—whether it be a language of the world or the language of the Spirit.
Clifford received his PhD in 1977 from the University of Minnesota. His expertise has given him the opportunity to serve his country and community in many ways, including as the chancellor of the Defense Language Institute in Monterrey, California. He joined the faculty at Brigham Young University in 2004 and now serves as the director of the BYU Center for Language Studies.