February 24, 2023

Get to know President David O. McKay

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David O. McKay was born in Huntsville Utah to David McKay and Jannette Evans McKay on September 8, 1873.

President David O. McKay served as Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for almost 19 years!

David O. McKay served the Church as a General Authority for almost sixty-four years! His years in Church service were longer than any other prophet before him.

Two famous quotes from President McKay are: “Every member a missionary.” And “There is no success that can compensate for failure in the home.”

David O. McKay’s early life

When David was seven years old both his older sisters died suddenly within weeks of each other. It was devastating for his family.

He was baptized on his birthday at age 8 in Spring Creek in Huntsville Utah, while his father served a mission in Great Britain.

President David O. McKay studied at the University of Utah and graduated with a teaching job in Salt Lake City. He wanted to start teaches quickly to get money for his younger brothers and sisters to attend school. Instead of accepting the teaching job, David received a mission call to Scotland.

Davids time at University of Utah was a member of the football team and was class president. He also became friends with James E. Talmage, Richard R. Lyman, and Joseph F. Merrill, J. Reuben Clark, Stephen L. Richards, and George Q. Morris. They all served as apostles with David.

It was very hard for David O. McKay to go on his mission. On the day he left on his mission he wrote in his journal “The saddest morning ever spent in Huntsville or anywhere else! At eleven o’clock, bid my home, dear ones, relatives and friends ‘good-bye.’ Sobbed. . . “

While at the University David met Emma Ray, his future wife. When David returned from the mission field they dated and married. The couple was married in the Salt Lake Temple on January 2, 1901. They were the first couple to be married in the new century in the Salt Lake Temple!

David and Emma had seven children, one died as a child.

David O. McKay’s Time as an Apostle

David O. McKay was called to be an apostle at the are of 32 by President Joseph F. Smith on April 9, 1906.

David O. McKay dedicated the land of China to missionary work in 1920-21.

In 1922-1924 David was called to be the president of the European Mission.

President McKay was instrumental in getting the church welfare plan started during the “Great Depression” of 1934.

David was called as a counselor to President Heber J. Grant at the age of 61.

When David was seventy-seven years old he was sustained as President of The Church on April 9, 1951.

President David O. McKay dedicated five temples: The Bern Switzerland Temple, Los Angeles California Temple, Hamilton New Zealand Temple, London England and the Oakland California Temple.

President David O. McKay passed away quietly on January 18, 1970, he was ninety-six. His sweetheart passed away shortly after in the same year. They are both buried in the Huntsville Utah Cemetery.

More Blog Posts:

Fun Facts about Joseph Smith

Get to know the Prophet Brigham Young

Get to know the Prophet John Taylor

Get to know Wilford Woodruff

Places to Visit:

Huntsville Utah

Salt Lake City Temple

Huntsville Cemetery- where David and his wife are buried

Idaho Falls Temple

Oakland Temple

Los Angeles Temple

London England Temple

David O. McKay Building BYU Provo Utah

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