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David O. McKay Diaries – “Callings”

Below you will find diary entries on the topic of “Callings.” You can view other subjects here.

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Wed., 16 Jul., 1947:

“[Telephone call] President J. Berkeley Larsen, Shelly Stake, Firth, Idaho.

‘First, let me say, Pres. Larsen, this is merely an inquiry, not an official call in any way.  Brother Ursenbach has been sustained as President of the Lethbridge Stake and is now presiding over the Canadian Mission, and we shall have to get somebody to take his place in that mission in order that he may return to his business after an absence of 3 1/2 years.  Your name has been suggested, among others, as one who would make a success of that Mission.  We do not know how your finances are, or what a Call at this time would do to your family affairs, or whether it would be detrimental to your business affairs.  I have been appointed by the brethren to make inquiry.’

Brother Larsen answered:  ‘I would have to think about it a little President McKay.’

I told him again that this is not an official call, and assured him that he would not be shirking his duty if he felt that it would be detrimental to his work or in any way interfere with family relationships at the present time.

Brother Larsen said that he appreciated our confidence in him, and wondered if he could give an answer when he comes down here on the 24th.  I told him we should have to know before then, and for him to write a letter stating his feelings in the matter.  He said he would do this.”

Fri., 18 Jul., 1947:

“12:45 p.m.–President J. Berkeley Larson and his wife (Shelley Stake) called at the office.  Discussed the possibility of his accepting a Call to preside over one of the Missions.  (After consultation with him, it was deemed best that he be not called at this time.)”

Fri., 16 Jul., 1948:

“[Telephone call]  Lieut. Col. A. R. Boyack, Adjutant General’s Office, Cheyenne, Wyo.  Told Brother Boyack that I had called him in the interest of time.  I then told him that we would like to have him preside over the Eastern States Mission to succeed Elder Roy Doxey who is there now.  I then asked him regarding his wife’s health.  He said that it is such that he could accept the call, and that it might do her good to travel around.  I said that I called him by telephone this morning in order that he could shape his affairs, that Pres. Doxey would like to be relieved no later that September 1.  I told Brother Boyack to consult with his associates in the Adjutant General’s Office, and to send a letter giving the details regarding his consultation.  I also asked him to send with his letter a photograph for the newspapers.  I then told Brothery Boyack that we had consulted the brethren of the Twelve and that they are united in expressing confidence and trust in him.  Brother Boyack said taht the call is truly a great honor and most unexpected; that Sister Boyack and he are subject to the call of the Church, and will go anywhere at any time at a moment’s notice. (Bro. Boyack is a former member of the Big Horn Stake Presidency.)

Later, Brother Boyack brought his wife into the office, and after some little consultation it was decided that Sister Boyack’s health is not good enough for her to take on the responsibility that devolves upon a Mission President’s wife; consequently, it was thought best not to call Brother and Sister Boyack to preside over a mission at this time.”

Wed., 11 Aug., 1948:

“[Telephone call]  Called by long distance Elder Evan P. Wright–confidentially asked him how he felt about accepting a Call to preside over the South African Mission.  He said he would call at the office immediately upon his return to Salt Lake City the last of this month.”

Mon., 20 Sep., 1948:

“At 8 o’clock this morning, met by appointment Brother and Sister Harry Clarke–discussed, (first) Mrs. Clarke’s alleged marriage to John Burt, and its effectiveness in the Hereafter.  I said–It would absolutely have no effect in the Hereafter; that in the first place, it was unauthorized; in the second place, Mr. Burt was excommunicated, and if at any time in the future, he is reinstated in the Church, that sealing will not stand, because in 1906, years before, President [Joseph F.?] Smith recalled any authority that had been given to any man to seal in the Temple [plural wives?], and had that authority cancelled from that day on.  I heard President Smith say that when the authority was recalled any man who has officiated since has done so without authority.

(Second) Brother Clarke feels that he hasn’t been recognized in the Church.  I asked him if being chosen as one of six to act as co-ordinators for the thousands of our young service men, was not an outstanding distinction.  Told him that the service he had rendered in that field alone would bear fruit throughout Eternity.  I also said that the service he is rendering now in public speaking in the various wards, giving comfort at funerals, etc., merits the fulfillment of the promise–‘inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my servants, ye have done it unto me.’

I think Brother Clark, who has been greatly downcast the past several weeks, went away from the office feeling encouraged and a feeling of hope within him.”

Wed., 3 Nov., 1948:

“Following this consultation, Stephen L. Richards called at the office–he brought with him Elder Wayne Moore Beck, ostensibly to ask him his advice about purchasing property at Sao Paulo for the Church, but the main purpose was to ‘size’ him up as a successor to Brother Rex.  Was sorry to learn that Elder Beck is afflicted with chronic laringitis.  Later, when Brother Richards telephone to me, I suggested that he have Brother Beck go to Dr. Gil Richards for an examination.”

Thur., 4 Nov., 1948:

“President Walter Hunzeker of Montpelier Stake–I called him the other day and asked him to report back on Brother Earl Sorenson who lives in the Montpelier Stake.  This morning President Hunzeker called to say that he had tried to contact the Bishop of Earl Sorenson but that he had gone out of town.  Said that he had talked to Brother Sorenson himself, and learned that early last Spring he moved out of Montpelier, Idaho on account of his wife’s health, but that she is quite a bit better now because she doesn’t have to do so much work.  They have two children, the eldest is 5 years of age.  Mrs. Sorenson is expecting another child in two or three months.  She is not healthy, and it would probably be unwise to call Brother and Sister Sorenson on a mission under these conditions.  She has had trouble, having lost one or two babies.

Brother Sorenson is buying a ranch with his father and brother. President Hunzeker said he asked Brother Sorenson how things are coming, and he said they were not making any money and that he would like to get a ranch of his own.  He does not own his home; probably has some equity in it.

I told Pres. Hunzeker to keep the matter confidential.  He said Brother Sorenson knows nothing whatever about it.  I also said that under the circumstances we had better look around for someone else, that it wouldn’t be wise to call Brother Sorenson to take the presidency of a Mission with his wife’s health in the state it is.”

Fri., 3 Dec., 1948:

“Called Pres. John M. Iverson of Los Angeles re: his accepting a call to preside over the Northern California Mission.  Explained that this inquiry is not a Call.  Pres. Iverson said he had just started a new business in partnership with his son.  Said the son is inexperienced and could not run it himself; that if he were to accept a call it would probably necessitate his selling his business.  Pres. Iverson said he would write a letter giving the details.  I told him to talk it over with Sister Iverson.”

Fri., 3 Dec., 1948:

“[Telephone call]  Sister Bertha Reeder of the Mutual Improvement Ass’n.  Asked if the Mutual Presidency is supposed to interview the sisters to be appointed to the General Board, or if the Advisers were.  I told her to send the list of new Board Members to the First Presidency, notify the Advisers, or send a copy of the letter to them, and the First Presidency will give authorization to call the new Board members in.”

Mon., 21 Mar., 1949:

“At 8 a.m. A. Hilton Robertson, newly appointed President of the Chinese Mission, called at the office.  He is desirous of information pertaining to–1.  Whether or not Hongkong is still under British Control, 2.  What special entrance papers, if any will be required.  3.  Whether there are restrictions regarding the taking of clothing, kitchen utensils, etc. into China–restrictions on automobiles, etc.  It was considered advisable to write to Ernest L. Wilkinson in Washington, D.C. and have him look up this information for us.  Accordingly, I prepared an air mail letter to Pres. Wilkinson, and had it sent this evening.

Immediately following Brother Robertson’s visit, Gordon Weggeland came in and reported that his son is about to be called on a Mission.  His son is deeply concerned as to where he is going to be sent.  I told Brother Weggeland to tell the boy that he is going out to represent the Church and his father, and that he should take the attitude that he will go wherever the Church needs him.”

Fri., 25 Mar., 1949:

“This afternoon, at the request of the Council, I called President J. Earl Lewis, President of the West Utah Stake, and asked him if he could recommend as a prospective Mission President Brother William D. Norman who is Patriarch of the West Utah Stake.  Brothe Lewis said that he could wholeheartedly recommend Brother Norman for a mission, and that he is of the opinion that Brother Norman has very good leadership and would make a good mission president.

Immediately after my talk with Pres. Lewis, I called Brother William D. Norman at his place of business in Provo.  I told him that I was speaking to him confidentially, and that I was merely making inquiry.  I then told him that I had been authorized to consult him regarding the possibility of his presiding over a Mission.

Brother Norman was quite overcome for a moment or two, and then said: ‘Well, Sister Norman has to be in touch with her doctor constantly for special treatment.  She has a chronic ailment that requires treatment every six months or so–the tube between her kidneys and bladder closes up.  She is perfectly all right in between treatments.  Dr. Weaver of S. L. treats her when he is in Provo.  These treatments must be given if she wants to enjoy life. So far as I am concerned I am in pretty good shape.  I have been bothered with blood pressure–I am 67 years of age, although my mind is young.  I do have broken arches, which causes me to hobble around.’

I said, ‘Well, Brother Norman, this is just an inquiry, and it is a compliment to you to think your name is before us–you have been spoken of very highly by everyone, and just now your Stake President gave you an excellent recommend.  We shall say no more about our inquiry, and you stand just as high as ever, and have our full confidence.'”

Fri., 1 Apr., 1949:

“Mr. Gordan Weggeland called by telephone to express his appreciation over the Call that has been received by his son Gale to go to the South African Mission.  He then said that Leah Gedge Johnson would like her son, who has been a constant companion of Gale Weggeland, to also go to the South African Mission.  Brother Weggeland was advised that the Johnson boy’s recommendation would be considered when it is received here at the office, and if deemed advisable that he should be sent to South Africa that appointment would be made.”

Thur., 19 May, 1949:

“Just before leaving for Council meeting I telephoned to Brother Vinal G. Maus, 627 Athol Avenue, Oakland, California, and made inquiry regarding the possibility of his being called to preside over the Japanese Mission to succeed Edward L. Clissold.

Brother Maus’ son returned from a mission a month ago; he is planning on entering the University at Berkely.

Brother Maus’ health is good, so also is Sister Maus in good health.

He is in the mortuary business and also real estate and insurance business.  There would be no one to carry on his business should he leave for a Mission.  Said he hasn’t developed his business as he would like as he has been spending a lot of his time in acting as Bishop of the Oakland Ward.  Thinks, however, if he is called to preside over the Mission that he could arrange for his business affairs.  I said that his expenses of course would be taken care of as Mission President.  Brother Maus said he would be very happy to do what he can, and felt sure that Sister Maus would cooperate in every way.  They have one boy who is going on 10 years of age, and a daughter who will soon be 19.  His son who just returned from a Mission is 21.  It was thought possible that he could enter the English College in Japan.

I told Brother Maus that he had been highly recommended by the brethren, that this is merely an inquiry, and for him to talk the matter over with his wife and children and then report to us.”

Fri., 20 May, 1949:

“Bishop Vinal G. Maus of Oakland Ward, Oakland, California, called by long distance to answer the query from me yesterday relative to his presidency of the Japanese Mission.  Said he hadn’t slept much last night; that he had given careful consideration to the matter and had discussed it with his wife and family today, and that they feel honored to accept the Call to preside over the Japanese Mission.  I said that of course a written Call would go forth from the First Presidency, but that he could accept this telephone message as his Call to that Mission, and that I would report to President Smith and President Clark his willingness to accept the call.

He then asked how soon he is expected to leave for his Mission, and I said that as soon as he could arrange his affairs.  Said that he had a number of business deals which he thought would take about two months to straighten out.  It was then decided that he would leave about August 1.  Bishop Maus asked if there are facilities at the Mission Home in Japan for a family of five.  I said that I think there are facilities for that many but that we probably should write to make sure.  Bishop Maus said that he would write to President Clissold if we would send his address to him.  The matter of transportation was then discussed.  I told Bishop Maus that I would ask Brother Murdock to arrange at once for passports, steamship reservations, etc.

I asked Bishop Maus to send a brief sketch of him and his family, and also his photograph so that I could hand it to the papers.”

Fri., 20 May, 1949:

“I called Brother [Henry D.] Moyle who is at present visiting in the Northern States Mission–I located Brother Moyle at Akron, Ohio in care of Carl Spencer.  I told Brother Moyle that I had alled him regarding President Haymond’s counselors–that the brethren here feel that it would be unwise to appoint those two young men who will be released soon; that in the first place it is against our policy to extend a missionary’s time, and, secondly, it is recommended that one local man be used.  Brother Moyle said that he had talked this matter over with President Haymond, and he feels that there isn’t a local man who is qualified available; that all the qualified men are so terribly busy that they would not be able to attend conferences, and the like, and that they would not be of very much help to Pres. Haymond.  Brother Moyle said the two young Elders they are considering are G.I.’s, and are very outstanding, and that he sincerely feels, after discussing this matter with Pres. Haymond on several occasions, that it will be best to choose the young Elders.  I then said that it just occurred to me that inasmuch as Brother Haymond will be released the last of this year anyhow, and that his successor will want to choose his own counselors, that we shall abide by Brother Moyle and President Haymond’s decision in this instance.”

Thur., 4 Oct., 1951:

“10 to 2:15 p.m.–Council meeting–this was an unusually important meeting inasmuch as the choosing of a new apostle to fill the vacancy in the Twelve, and four new Assistants to the Twelve was undertaken at this time.

I invited all the General Authorities, including the Seventies and the Bishopric to attend this meeting.

We dressed in our robes, had prayer circle, and partook of the Sacrament.

Each group was represented as follows:

Council of the Twelve–Elder Joseph Fielding Smith

First Council of 70–by Levi Edgar Young

Assistants to the 12 by Clifford E. Young inasmuch as Marion Romney was asked to open the meeting;

Presiding Bishopric by Bishop LeGrand Richards, each of whom spoke of his love and confidence in his brethren, and assured all of his loyalty to the Presiding Authorities, and bore his testimony.

Each of the Presidency then addressed those present, the result being a real spiritual feast.

I then did something which has not heretofore been done:  I told each one when he would be called upon to speak at the approaching conference.  The brethren were very pleased about this.

All were then excused excepting the members of the Council of the Twelve and the First Presidency who carried on their regular duties.  At that meeting the following recommendations were made to fill vacancies, and each was unanimously sustained:

Marion Romney to fill the vacancy in the Council of the Twelve.

Elder George Q. Morris, Elder Stayner Richards, Elder E. L. Christiansen, and Elder John Longden were sustained as Assistants to the Twelve.

. . . .

5 p.m.  Returned to the office.  Had Clare call Elder Marion Romney and ask him to come to my office.  He arrived a few moments later and I then informed him that he had been chosen to fill the vacancy in the Twelve, and that his name would be presented at the General Conference meeting Saturday morning for the sustaining vote of the people.

As soon as Brother Romney departed, I called by long distance Elder George Q. Morris, President of the Eastern States Mission at his headquarters in New York City, and informed him that at the meeting of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve held today, he was chosen to be one of the Assistants to the Council of the Twelve.  I explained that I was calling to see if he was willing to accept such a Call, and he unhesitatingly answered: ‘Of course, anything you want me to do, I shall do.’  I then told him that he would be sustained Saturday morning, and that we would correspond with him later–also that in the meantime he was to go right on with his work in the Mission Field until further notice.”

Wed., 9 Jan., 1952:

“At 8 o’clock this morning, I met by appointment at his request, Bishop J. Leonard Love who has been called to preside over the British Mission.  He was emotionally quite upset.  Said he had been praying about the Call all night, and expressed the wish that he be not sent so far away because of the condition of his business. He preferred to remain in the United States where he could be in touch by telephone with his two sons and son-in-law who will be left to manage the business.

I was impressed that it would be better to release him entirely for the present and let him remain with his business.  I so reported later to my counselors in the First Presidency’s meeting today.”

Fri., 11 Jan., 1952:

“Elder [Delbert] Stapley called regarding the reorganization of the Moapa Stake.  Said that he had talked to President Bunker last evening by telephone and had asked for his suggestions regarding his successor.  He had named several persons.

I told Brother Stapley to see President [Stephen L.] Richards; that he is well enough to see him, and has some very definite ideas regarding the brethren in that Stake whom he knows very well.  I inquired of Brother Stapley if President Bunker had named Brother Empey, and he answered that he had not.  I remarked that Brother Empey is a very fine man.

It was agreed that Brother J. Harold Brinley, the first counselor, would not be strong enough to head the Stake.  Brother Bunker has recommended him as good Patriarch material; and stated that the present Patriarch wants to be relieved to do Temple work.  I said I thought it would have a good effect to appoint Brother Brinley as Patriarch at the time of the reorganization, but that he (Elder Stapley) should talk it over with President Richards.

Later, Elder Stapley called again and wanted to know my decision regarding Brother Brinley–I told him that that would be left to him; that he should study and discern whether Brother Brinley has Patriarch material in him, and then follow his impressions.”

Thur., 24 Jan., 1952:

“Telephoned to President El Ray L. Christiansen of the Logan Temple to tell him that I had set apart Brother Raymond as President of the Logan Temple, that I had instructed Brother Raymond to get in touch with him (Pres. Christiansen) to counsel with him regarding his duties, counselors., etc.  I said that we had considered and prayed about Brother Raymond as President of the Logan Temple, and that we feel we have done the right thing.  President Christiansen said that he was sure that we should know for certain as time goes by–that he highly favored the choice, and was sure that his wife will make a good matron, that she had already been engaged in the work in the Temple and is familiar with it.”

Tues., 29 Jan., 1952:

“President [Stephen L.] Richards telephoned President David O. McKay at Laguna Beach and discussed the following items:

. . . .

Tahitian Mission.  Pres. Richards had called Brother J. K. Orton relative to his accepting the presidency, but Brothe Orton has a big law suit on his hands, and thinks it will be October before it will be cleared up.  However, Brother Orton is very anxious to go, and Brother Richards thinks he would do a good job; and wondered if it would be feasible in the meantime to appoint a Brother George C. Billings of Vernal, Utah, a man 51 years of age who is serving in that mission at the present time, and who has previously filled a mission there, to serve as president, if investigation proves that he could fit into the position.

Pres. McKay said he did not know Brother Billings but said that arrangement is seldom satisfactory.  He wondered if we could get someone to go down for 2 years.  Pres. Richards mentioned sending Brother Mitchell back, and it was agreed that would not be satisfactory since it would reopen an old sore.  Brother Hess of Ashton, Idaho, was mentioned but Brother Richards thought we needed a stronger man and didn’t want to let Brother Orton get out of the picture.  President McKay thought it would be all right to investigate Brother Billings and suggested that his wife and children might go down and join him for a year.”

Sat., 5 Apr., 1952:

“I called Joseph L. Wirthlin to my office.  I told Brother Wirthlin we had decided to call him to the position of Presiding Bishop of the Church, and that I was speaking to him tonight in confidence so that he might have time to think of his counselors as the matter had not yet come before the Twelve, and the matter must have their approval.  Bishop Wirthlin said that he would report his decision first thing in the morning.”

Sun., 6 Apr., 1952:

“At 8 o’clock this morning, Bishop Joseph L. Wirthlin, to whom I spoke last evening informing him that he had been called to be the Presiding Bishop of the Church, called to report that after a night of prayer he and Brother Isaacson (whom he had chosen, with permission, as his first counselor) had considered a number of brethren, any one of whom would make an outstanding counselor, and had decided to recommend Brother Carl W. Beuhner as second counselor.

At 8:30 a.m.–went to the Temple where a special meeting of the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve was held. During this meeting LeGrand Richards was unanimously approved to fill the vacancy in the Council of the Twelve caused by the death of Elder Joseph F. Merrill.

The brethren also approved the choice of Elder Joseph L. Wirthlin as the Presiding Bishop of the Church with Bishop Thorpe B. Isaacson as First Counselor and Elder Carl W. Beuhner as second counselor.

. . . .

Following the morning session, I returned to the office where at 12:20 p.m., I met Brother Carl W. Beuhner and informed him that he had been chosen to be the second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric.  With emotion he wholeheartedly accepted the position.

Immediately following my conference with Brother Beuhner, I met in my private office Bishop LeGrand Richards and informed him that this morning in a special meeting in the Temple of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve, he had been unanimously chosen as an Apostle of the Church to fill the vacancy in the Twelve caused by the death of Elder Joseph F. Merrill.

After a confidential conversation with him, Bishop Richards left my office overcome with emotion.  I then left for home where I had time to get a ‘bite’ to eat, and then returned to the Tabernacle to preside over and conduct the closing session of the Conference.

At this meeting Bishop LeGrand Richards was sustained by the conference as an Apostle of the Church, and Bishop Joseph L. Wirthlin, Thorpe B. Isaacson, and Carl W. Beuhner, as the Presiding Bishopric of the Church.

. . . .

At the conclusion of this, the 122nd Annual Conference of the Church, my heart is full of gratitude to the Lord–The spirit of the Lord was with the brethren and the messages they gave were very impressive and well received by the people.  Never before have I felt such a strength as was in the Priesthood meeting Saturday evening!”

Sat., 3 Oct., 1953:

“Following the Priesthood meeting, at 9:30 p.m., held a meeting of all General Authorities.  New members of the General Authorities appointed.  Elder Richard L. Evans, a member of the Council of the Twelve; Elder Hugh B. Brown, an Assistant to the Twelve, and Marion Hanks, a member of the First Council of  70.  Later, I called Brother Hugh B. Brown who lives in Canada, and told him of his appointment.  He said that he is willing to accept any call that comes from the brethren.”

Mon., 19 Oct., 1953:

During our conversation Brother Brown said that the Friday night before he received the call from me he was seized by something the like of which he had never had before that seemed to be crushing his very life out of him, that he and his wife spent a good part of the night in prayer, with the result that some peace came to him Saturday morning; that he worked through the day, Saturday, and was relaxing in a warm bath when the telephone call came from me, and that with the call came a rejuvenation of his whole spirit; that he has accepted it with a complete consecration, the like of which he has never before been prepared to do.  He then said that he would appreciate being set apart for his duties at the first opportunity.  This was arranged for the following day.”

19 to 27 Apr., 1955:

“Trip to Laguna Beach and Los Angeles, California

continued April 19 to 27, 1955

At the conclusion of the handshaking, I tried to locate Brother Alfred E. Rohner.  He had changed his address so I could not reach him by telephone.  I spent three hours hunting for him, and finally learned that he was attending a Sunday School session, so Brother Done drove us over to the ward building.  It resulted in another round of handshaking, for as soon as the people learned that I was outside in the car, they started coming out.  I obtained Brother Rohner’s new address (5644 Garth Avenue, Los Angeles) and later drove out to his home.  My consultation with him lasted for thirty or forty minutes, and Sister McKay and Brother Done waited outside in the automobile for me.

I told Brother Rohner that the First Presidency would like him to preside over the Southwest Indian Mission.  He answered ‘When do you want me to go?’  He was willing to leave everything to accept the Call.  I was very much impressed with him — he is solid, somewhat retiring and modest – a man of good judgment, and loyal.  He is successful in his building business.  They have just moved into a beautiful new home, but he and his wife are willing to give it up to accept the call to preside over a mission.  I discovered that Brother Rohner is in the midst of a building project which will take about two months to finish, so I told him that it would be all right for him to go ahead with that and then let us know when he has finished.”

Thurs., 5 Jan., 1956:

Telephone Conversation with Ray Dillman, Roosevelt, Utah.

I called President Ray Dillman in Roosevelt, Utah, by telephone.  I asked him in what type of work he is engaged at the present time.  He stated that he was just doing routine work in the law office.  I asked him if it would ‘break him up in business or blight his future’ if we were to call him on another mission.  President Dillman answered that nothing would blight his future.

I then told President Dillman that we needed a good leader down in Laie to be President of the Hawaiian Temple.  I told him it is a good mission and a lovely place, and that there is a good temple there.  I also told him that we had called Brother Bowring to preside over the Los Angeles Temple.  President Dillman stated that he knew of this.  President Dillman sated that he would like to come to Salt Lake to discuss this matter with me.  We made an appointment for him to come to my office Thursday, January 12, 1956 at 8:30 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. whichever time is more convenient to Brother Dillman.

Fri., 4 May, 1956:

“May 4, 1956

Telephone Conversation with Brother Octave W. Ursenbach, Friday, May 4, 1956.

I called President Octave W. Ursenbach of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.  I asked him about the condition of his health and that of Sister Ursenbach.  He said they are both in pretty good health.  I also asked Brother Ursenbach if he is living in Lethbridge, and he answered, ‘Yes,’ that he has his home in Lethbridge.

I then inquired if he and Sister Ursenbach could come down here in the near future.  Brother Ursenbach said that he thought it could be arranged.  I told him that we would pay his expenses, and Brother Ursenbach said that they would not worry about that.  I asked him if he would drive down or come otherwise, and he said that they could come by automobile.

I told Brother Ursenbach that we should like him to take charge of the Temple; asked him if that would interfere with his present vocation.

Brother Ursenbach expressed surprise about our desire to appoint him as President of the Alberta Temple.  He asked if it would require full time.  I said that I thought it would.

I then told him to think about the matter and talk it over with Sister Ursenbach, and at their convenience, he and Sister Ursenbach come to Salt Lake.  Brother Ursenbach asked when we should like them to be here.  I told him that I did not like him to drive on Sunday, and asked him if he could be here early Wednesday morning.  I told him that he could probably arrive here Tuesday night and come to the office Wednesday morning.

Brother Ursenbach said there might be a little difficulty with his business there, that he hardly knew what to say about it.

I again told him to think about it, and for him not to come down if things did not work out.  I emphasized the fact that this is just a telephone call of inquiry.  I told him to call me any time next Monday morning at DA 2-4843.  I said that if this matter is going to interfere with his work for him to call me, Monday morning at DA 2-4843, thus saving him a trip to Salt Lake.

Brother Ursenbach asked if he could speak to the manager of his company.  He would not tell him about the position in the Temple.  I suggested that he take it up with his Company, and see what it means in this connection.  I said that it will be all right if he feels that he should remain where he is.

I again told Brother Ursenbach that this is not a Call; it is just a consultation, and that he is free to accept it or leave it.

Brother Ursenbach stated that it was very kind of me to consider him.  I told him that we knew his worth, and that we knew the sweet spirit of Sister Ursenbach; said there are others in mind, but he is the first choice.”

Wed., 9 May, 1956:

“11:30 a.m.  Brother and Sister Octave W. Ursenbch and their son Gerald Redd Ursenbach, called at the office.  Brother and Sister Ursenbach had come at my request by telephone on May 4 for a personal interview regarding Brother Ursenbach’s accepting the position of President of the Alberta Temple.

After consultation, and Brother Ursenbach’s acceptance of the appointment, I set him apart as President of the Alberta Temple and conferred upon him the sealing power.  I also set apart Sister Ursenbach as the Matron of the Alberta Temple.

Thurs., 31 Jan., 1957:

“*During Council Meeting I engaged in a long distance telephone conversation with President Samuel E. Bringhurst of the Swiss Temple.  President Bringhurst has had an affliction in one of his eyes which does not seem to get better.  The First Presidency have felt that he should be relieved of his responsibility.  Sister Bringhurst also is not physically well, and it is understood that she feels that she would like to be home.

Before making a recommendation to the Council of a successor to President Bringhurst, I felt impressed to call President Bringhurst and let him know that we had in mind releasing him; and also to ask his opinion of the one who will be recommended as his successor.  President Bringhurst expressed a willingness to accept his release most graciously, and said he would remain as long as necessary for his successor to be thoroughly initiated in the work of the temple.  I commended Pres. Bringhurst for the work he has done and stated that we would extend to him an honorable release.  I asked Pres. Bringhurst if he knew Brother Walter Trauffer who is being considered for his successor.  Pres. Bringhurst stated that so far as he knows Bishop Trauffer has left a very good record and would be received very favorably.

After the telephone conversation I reported to the Council that Bishop Walter Trauffer has excellent recommendations in his work here as a bishop and in other positions.  The members of the Presiding Bishopric and others have recommended him highly.  Brother Trauffer’s wife is also well recommended, and speaks the German language.  I presented Brother Trauffer’s name to the Council for their approval as a successor to President Bringhurst in presiding over the Swiss Temple.  The recommendation was approved.  (See Council Meeting Minutes, January 31, 1957.)”

Tues., 7 Jan., 1958:

January 7, 1958

“Telephone conversation with President Lloyd P. Mickelsen, North Idaho Falls Stake, Tuesday, January 7, 1958.

President McKay:  President Mickelsen, David O. McKay.

President Mickelsen:  How are you today, President.

President McKay:  Pretty well, thank you.

I am calling in confidence regarding a recommendation you made for a Bishop of the 7th Ward.

President Mickelsen:  Yes.

President McKay:  We note that this man is some kind of specialist.  Would his appointment to the Bishopric have any affect on his business.

President Mickelsen:  Well, we think not President.  The reason we think not is because he has been a citizen here in the area among the people for sometime.  He is now in the Bishopric, and we do not think it would make any difference.

President McKay:  What is his profession?

President Mickelson:  He is a naturopathist.  I think he does a little massaging and a ltitle work like that.  His office is in his home.  We considered that angle, but we did not think it would make any difference.

President McKay:  Has he a standing as a physician?

President Mickelsen:  He does not, of course, practice in the hospital or work with the other doctors, but he just has his practice in his home.  Quite a few people come to him for various reasons.

President McKay:  We wonder whether or not giving him this position will give him a chance to promote his business.

President Mickelsen:  Well, now we thought of it from that angle before, and we did not think it would make any difference.  His ward is the only place where he would have any particular close association with his people.

President McKay:  We are thinking of the members of the ward.

President Mickelsen:  Yes, but I do not think that would make any difference.

President McKay:  You do not have anyone equally capable for the position?

President Mickelsen:  We think he is far the superior man.  In organization he is a good boy’s man.

President McKay:  Does he have any other means of making a living?

President Mickelsen:  That is his only means of livelihood.  He operates on his own in his own home.  

President McKay:  Is he a recognized physician?

President Mickelsen:  No, I do not know just how far he can go.  He does not have a license to operate.  I think he just takes his own business in.  I do not think he has any right to administer prescriptions for medicine.

President McKay:  How long has he been in the Bishopric?

President Mickelsen:  About five years in May.  He was chosen as a counselor to Bishop Williams five years ago and has been with him since.  He has been lst counselor also.  He is a very good boy’s man.  He has been the athletic director and has followed that program.  His work has been to direct the activities of the boys in the Ward Aaronic Priesthood.  We feel that he is our best man.  He is very good.

President McKay:  He makes a living entirely as a naturopathist.

President Mickelsen:  Yes.  He has a nice home.  He has not made a lot of money.  He is just living nicely and has a nice car.  He has a nice family of four or five children and an espcially lovely wife.

President McKay:  You have given full consideration to this point, and you think it is all right?

President Mickelsen:  Yes, we have.  We discussed it at great length, because we knew that sometimes this sort of thing would have a tendency to bring people to him who otherwise would not.  But as we discussed it, knowing him as we know him, we felt it would not make any difference.

President McKay:  It was passed by the High Council?

President Mickelsen:  Yes, it was passed by them.  He is well known and well liked here, and I do not think he is the type of person that would take advantage of anyone, nor do I think it would give him any more business because we have so many doctors in Idaho Falls.  I think he has the following that he would have regardless of his position here.

President McKay:  All right then.  I shall present this to the Presidency this morning and will let you know.

President Mickelsen:  I wonder if we might get that tomorrow.  The reason we wanted it was to announce the reorganization so the people would have a week’s notice.

President McKay:  If you do not hear from us, you may go ahead.

President Mickelsen:  All right, thank you.”

Mon., 3 Feb., 1958:

“11 a.m.  At my request Brother Fred Schwendiman called at the office.  I talked to him about the New Zealand Temple, and the possibility of his becoming the President of that Temple.  I told Brother Schwendiman that this interview did not mean that he was being given a Call, but that I should like him to think it over, talk to his wife, and then let me know how he feels.”  (see February 5, 1958)

Sat., 15 Feb., 1958:

“At 8 o’clock this morning I met with Brother Reed Halverson and asked him to give me some names of Maori missionaries among whom I might choose a man to be President of the Temple.

I called Brother Halverson to see how he felt about serving as President of the New Zealand Temple but after learning from him by casual inquiry that his company in Ogden – the California Packing Company – had been very loyal to him when the Church called him to be President of the New Zealand Mission; that they had given him a leave-of-absence for two years, and later extended it to four years; that upon his return home they had given him a good position, and that since that time they have promoted him with increased salary, and that furthermore in nine years he will retire with a good pension, I could not ask that this company again give Brother Halverson a leave-of-absence.  I therefore did not mention to Brother Halverson that we were considering him for the position.  However, I did ask him to submit some names of men who could probably serve as President of the New Zealand Temple.

Since my meeting with Brother Halversen I have been studying and inquiring from others for the name of a good man to be President of the New Zealand Temple.

At present I am trying to get in touch with Albert Rosenvall of Hamilton, New Zealand.  He and his wife have been there for three years working on the building program.

I believe that Brother Rosenvall is just the one we need if he can accept.  He has done very well in New Zealand and understands the Maori people.  He has been a Bishop; his wife seems to be pleasant and full of faith; he has a good personality, and according to Brother Mendenhall and Elder Harold B. Lee who knows him (Bro. Rosenvall having been a neighbor to Brother Lee) he is an excellent man for the position.  (see February 18, 1958 for further information)

Following my appointment with Brother Halverson I left the office, went home to change my clothes, and then left for Huntsville.

Was busy on the farm until late afternoon, and then left for Salt Lake.  Stopped at the office on my way home and attended to a few matters there, and then continued on my way home.”

Tues., 18 Feb., 1958:

“New Zealand Temple President

This evening I talked by long distance to Brother E. Albert Rosenvall of Hamilton, New Zealand.  Brother and Sister Rosenvall have been in New Zealand for about three years working on the Temple and the school.

I questioned Brother Rosenvall as to how he and Sister Rosenvall would feel if he were called to preside at the New Zealand Temple.  I think he was very surprised.  He said there were some family matters that needed attention and that he should probably come home before he took over the Presidency of the Temple.  However, Brother Rosenvall said that he would send his answer as soon as he had talked to his wife.

The following day, I received a cable from Brother and Sister Rosenvall, copy of which follows:

‘Hamilton, New Zealand – February 19, 1958,

President David O. McKay

47 East South Temple Street

Salt Lake City, Utah


/s/ Elder and Sister Rosenvall.’

Also see letter of acceptance which arrived Feb. 26, 1958.

(see newspaper clipping following about their appointment)

Brother Rosenvall was appointed and sustained President of the New Zealand Temple at Council meeting held Thursday, February 20, 1958.

    Construction Office


The New Zealand Mission


Private Bag. Frankton Junc., New Zealand

Cables and Telegrams



Phone 75-149 Feb. 21, 1958

President David O. McKay

47 East South Temple St.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear President McKay:  

I have cabled you our acceptance of the call that you made to me by telephone day before yesterday.  May I say further that we, my wife and I, feel very highly honored that you have considered us worthy, even in a measure, of this very great responsibility.

At this moment we feel very humble and very incapable of filling this very important assignment.  But on the other hand we have been trained to obey the calls that come to us from the leaders of the church.  So in keeping with the covenants we have made in holy places, we are willing to give of our best.  With a prayer in our hearts that the Lord will be kind to us in our weaknesses, and give us the strength and wisdom and courage necessary.

In keeping with your request I am enclosing pictures of my wife and I.

We have been in New Zealand nearly three years now supervising the construction of the temple under the direction of Elder Beisinger.  We have enjoyed our work very, very much.

We had anticipated returning home after the dedication of the temple.  And had our affairs at home set up to that end.  This new call will make it necessary of course to change our plans regarding family and business arrangements.  Which we are willing to do.  But in order to take care of these changes it will be very helpful to us if we could return home for a short period soon after things are organized and going here.  Some of our affairs can be taken care of by letter.  But some will require our presence, we feel.

If this can be arranged it will be of great help to us.

We are at your disposal and awaiting whatever instructions you have for us.

All the saints here are praying that the Lord will continue to bless you with every needful thing.  And we are looking forward to your visit here at dedication time.

Your brother in the Gospel,

L.D.S. College

Frankton, New Zealand

Wed., 16 July, 1958:

“Wednesday, July 16, 1958

Telephone conversation with Mr. Eric Aaberg of the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Co.

Mr. Aaberg:  Hello, President McKay, this is Eric Aaberg.

President McKay:  Oh, good morning.

Mr. Aaberg:  I hope you are well this morning.

President McKay:  Yes, I am pretty well.

Mr. Aaberg:  I checked with the Pacific Telephone Company on the matter regarding Robert L. Simpson, and they are agreeable to give him a two-and-a-half years’ leave of absence when and if he requests it from them to do this work for you in New Zealand, and so I think that if your plans go through, and he asks the company for this leave, you may tell them that we have discussed this matter.

President McKay:  Well, that is very kind.  We appreciate that very much.  He may come back at the conclusion of two-and-a-half years without losing any rights of retirement?

Mr. Aaberg:  He will lose about 5% as near as I can figure of his retirement pay.

President McKay:  Well, that is all right.  That is expected.  Thank you, Mr. Aaberg, I appreciate it very much.  I shall get in touch with him and let you know what we decide.  Thank you, good morning.

Wednesday, July 16, 1958.

Telephone conversation with Bishop Donald A. Barraclough, Los Angeles.

(Bishop of Westchester Ward, Inglewood Stake.)

President McKay:  Hello, Bishop.

Bishop Barraclough:  Hello, President, how are you?

President McKay:  Pretty well thank you.  Do you know Robert L. Simpson?

Bishop Barraclough:  Yes.

President McKay:  A member of your ward?

Bishop Barraclough:  Yes.

President McKay:  Is he in good standing?

Bishop Barraclough:  Very good.  He is a fine young man.

President McKay:  How many children does he have?

Bishop Barraclough:  Three children.

President McKay:  What kind of a wife does he have?

Bishop Barraclough:  She is outstanding.  She is a good girl.  She teachers seminary and Relief Society.  She is really ‘tops’.

President McKay:  Could you recommend Brother Simpson worthy as a man to preside over a mission?

Bishop Barraclough:  I certainly could.  He is outstanding.  He is also a good speaker.  He is on the high council.  He has done quite a few things in the ward, but he has been on the high council most of the time.  His wife’s father is just about to pass away.  They do not expect him to live very long.  He had a stroke last Friday or Saturday.

President McKay:  You just keep this in confidence will you?  We may use him as a President of a mission.  I will speak to him now.

Bishp Barraclough:  He is 100% all down the line.  I can certainly recommend him.

President McKay:  Thank you, good-bye.

Wednesday, July 16, 1958.

Telephone conversation with Brother Robert L. Simpson.  He is a member of the Westchester Ward of the Inglewood Stake.

(Office phone no. – Axminister 4-0110, home phone no. – Orchard 4-4454.)

President McKay:  Hello, Brother Simpson, this is David O. McKay.

Brother Simpson:  Yes, Brother McKay, how are you today?  It is nice to hear your voice.  I haven’t seen you since we were in New Zealand together.  We had a good time.

President McKay:  I have called to see if you would like to go back to New Zealand.

Brother Simpson:  Now, you are speaking of a subject close to my heart; you have hit a weak spot.

President McKay:  We are going to divide the New Zealand Mission into the New Zealand Mission and the New Zealand South Mission.

Brother Simpson:  I have heard rumors of that.

When does this take effect President?  I would be very delighted to accept this call.

President McKay: This will take effect immediately.  Brother Ballif will be released on August 15th.  He would like to leave there August 15th in order to get home for his school position.  We have called Brother Alexander P. Anderson to take Brother Ballif’s place and preside over the New Zealand Mission.

Brother Simpson:  Yes, I read about that in the Church Section.  What will the new mission be called?

President McKay:  It will be called the New Zealand South Mission.

Brother Simpson:  Will the division of the mission be taken care of at the same time Brother Ballif is released?

President McKay:  When I said ‘immediately,’ I meant that it would be fine if the two of you could go down together.

Brother Simpson:  When is Brother Anderson leaving?

President McKay:  He is leaving in time to be in New Zealand August 15th.

Brother Simpson:  He will have to leave in about two weeks or so.  Is he going to fly or go by boat?

President McKay:  I think he will fly.

Brother Simpson:  I think my affairs could be arranged that quickly.

President McKay:  Well, I think that is lovely.

Brother Simpson:  I cannot see any reason why I cannot speed things up.  Not having my own business will help me a lot.  I am working with the telephone company.

President McKay:  I will report to you now that I have been making some inquiries of 

your employers.  I know Mr. Eric Aaberg who is associated with the Telephone Company in Salt Lake.  Your employers are favorable to your going.  I wanted to know whether they will give you a leave-of-absence.  I want to compliment you on your standing with the company.  When you make application for a leave-of-absence I think you will find a favorable attitude.

Brother Simpson:  Well, I shall make that application today, President.

President McKay:  Now, there is this thought I am going to give you–you know the Maori language?

Brother Simpson:  Yes sir.

President McKay:  You should have the northern part of New Zealand because the Maoris are in the Northern part.  So I am just thinking now (and I have spoken to one or two of the brethren) and I may speak to Brother Anderson and let him have charge of the pakahas and you have charge of the Maoris up north.  When we set you apart, we shall have it all decided.

Brother Simpson:  All right.  Now, would you like me to come to Salt Lake.  I guess that will be decided later on.

President McKay:  We shall let you know.

Brother Simpson:  Thank you very much.  It is nice to hear your voice.  I am real excited.

President McKay:  You explain it to your wife.  Talk it over with her.  Do you think she will be willing?

Brother Simpson:  Yes, I am sure of it.  Will you do me a favor?  As soon as this is official, will you let Sister Joseph Fielding Smith know.  She is my mother’s sister, and she will be anxious to hear that.

President McKay:  Your mother is her sister?

Brother simpson:  Well, they were raised together.  My mother’s mother passed away when she was an infant and Sister Evans raised my mother.

Brother Simpson:  Thank you President.

President McKay:  Thank you.”

Wednesday, July 30, 1958.

Telephone conversation with Brother T. Bowring Woodbury, Wichita, Kansas.

President McKay:  President Woodbury.

Brother Woodbury:  President McKay, how are you?

President McKay:  I am very well.

Brother Woodbury:  Isn’t that wonderful?  I am glad to hear your voice.

President McKay:  Thank you.  Where are you now?

Brother Woodbury:  In Wichita, Kansas at work.

President McKay:  Brother Woodbury, we have designs on you.

Brother Woodbury:  Oh!

President McKay:  I am calling this morning to ascertain if it is possible for you to get away from your business for two and one-half or three years.

Brother Woodbury:  Well, President McKay, whatever you ask me to do I will do, you know.

President McKay:  This is just a matter of inquiry.  What would your absence from your business do to you?  Could you come back to your business after an absence?

Brother Woodbury:  Well, if I couldn’t, I know that I would be blessed with something else.

President McKay:  I knew that would be your answer.

What do you do?  Do you have a partnership, or are you employed?

Brother Woodbury:  I have two interests.  My one interest is in the manufacturing business in which I have a sizable stock interest, and to that, of course, I could come back.  My other business is a stock brokerage firm that depends on personal contacts.  That would be a matter of rebuilding.

President McKay:  We should like you to preside over the British Mission to succeed Brother Kerr.

Brother Woodbury:  Oh, President McKay, I feel so inadequate!

President McKay:  We have confidence in you, but we do not want to interfere seriously with your business interests.  We want you to be frank.

President McKay:  This is not a call.  Consult your associates, take it under advisement.  Let me know what such a call would mean to you.

Brother Woodbury:  I will be very happy to do it.  My faith is such that there won’t be any question about my answers to you.

President McKay:  We anticipated that.

Brother Woodbury:  I feel very humble in talking to you.  I love the Lord, and I love this work.

President McKay:  You have proved it as your father before you.  Now, Brother Kerr will probably have to come back home after the dedication of the Temple in September.  Would that give you time?

Brother Woodbury:  Yes, I should say.  Whatever you say would be right with me.

President McKay:  Talk it over with your wife, talk it over with your associates, and let me know.

Brother Woodbury:  It is wonderful to hear from you, but it is very shocking news.

President McKay:  Thank you.

Brother Woodbury:  Thank you very much President McKay.”

Thurs., 31 July, 1958:

“Telephone conversation with President Stephen L. Richards.  He called from West Yellowstone, Montana.

. . . .

President McKay:  You be sure that you take care of yourself first.

Do you know T. Bowring Woodbury?

President Richards:  Yes, the one from Kansas?

President McKay:  Yes.  What do you think of him for President of the British Mission?

President Richards:  Oh, Brother Woodbury.  Well, he is a very devoted worker.  I believe he is a great missionary.  Perhaps, he might do a very satisfactory work there.

President McKay:  I telephoned him yesterday about his business.  He is a real businessman, but I wanted to know how it would affect him.  He said, ‘I can get business when I get back.’  He is a partner in a broker’s business.  He pays a good tithing.

President Richards:  He is a nice appearing man who makes a good impression.

President McKay:  If you approve of him, I feel that he is a good man.

President Richards:  His father used to live in our ward–he was President of the Tahitian Mission, but I haven’t known his boys so well.  I think he would do a good job.  If that is your inspiration, I sustain it.

Tues., 5 Aug., 1958:

“British Mission President

I read to the Brethren at the First Presidency’s meeting a letter I had received from Elder Thomas Bowring Woodbury, in which he reviewed his financial and family circumstances and expressed his willingness and readiness to accept a call to serve as President of the British Mission.

We decided to call the members of the Council who are in Salt Lake City into session today at 12:30 to consider this and other matters.

Sat., 31 Oct. 1959:

We also held a meeting with President Benjamin L. Bowring who is still wrestling with the serious problem regarding his first counselor.  I told Brother Bowring that this is a matter which he must handle himself.  This counselor was chosen by President Bowring, and sometime ago he wanted us to call him on a mission.  I told Brother Bowring that we do not call men on mission just to get rid of them.”

Fri., 6 Oct. 1961:

Carl W. Buehner, Mission President

We had some discussion in regard to appoint Bishop Carl W. Buehner to preside over one of the missions in Europe.  It was the unanimous sentiment of the Brethren after considerable discussion of the matter that Brother Buehner should be asked to preside over the new mission to be organized in Bavaria, Germany.  Someone had suggested, I mentioned, that Brother Buehner be asked to preside over the European Mission succeeding Alvin R. Dyer.  It was agreed that Brother Buehner should be called to preside over the new mission to be formed in Bavaria, Germany, and that he should be given three months in which to prepare to leave for the mission, and in which time his wife could arrange to have the proper treatment for her eyes.  It was agreed that the appointment should be publicized now, that doing so at this time would have a good effect under all the circumstances.  (This was changed later and Bishop Buehner was chosen second counselor in the General Superintendency of the Y.M.M.I.A. for the time being).

Thur., 13 Sep., 1962:

(2) Successor to Elder George O. Morris

I said that I think the Twelve should he asked today in the meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve that each one submit his recommendation as was done of old. I suggested, also, that the Twelve be asked to consider the need of a successor to George Aposhian of the Central States Mission, and that they send their recommendation on this to President Moyle.  The recommendation for a successor to Elder Morris is to be sent to me.

Wed., 3 Oct., 1962:

I then dismissed Elders Joseph Anderson and A. Hamer Reiser, secretaries to the First Presidency, from the meeting, and confidentially took up with my counselors the matter of the appointments of a new apostle, a new Assistant to the Twelve, and also the release of Elder Joseph T. Bentley, General Superintendent of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association, and the appointment of a successor to him, and the appointment of someone to succeed Lester F. Hewlett as President of the Tabernacle Choir.

At the conclusion of the meeting, I told the brethren that the meeting of the First Presidency tomorrow morning would be held subject to my call.”

Thur., 4 Oct., 1962:

“9:30 – 10:00 a.m. 

Had a meeting with my counselors at which time I discussed matters

pertaining to the appointment of a new Apostle, and an Assistant to the Twelve. At this time I called Elder Nathan Eldon Tanner into the meeting and told him of the decision to call him as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, and asked his feelings regarding the matter. I said his name would by presented to the Council today for approval. Also presented names of the other new appointees mentioned later.

10:00 – 12:15 p. m.

The meeting of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve was held in the office of the First Presidency, Church Offices. The construction and renovating that is now going on over at the Temple make it impossible for us to hold meetings there unless we have them cease all work.

Apostle, Appointment of

At this meeting, I thanked the Brethren for their suggestions regarding someone to fill the vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve caused by the death of Elder George Q. Morris, and said that we now have before us the responsibility which the original Council of the Twelve had when they met together and asked the Lord to guide them in filling a vacancy in the Twelve and that was a very important occasion in the history of the former-day Church.  I said that I had always been impressed with what Peter said on that occasion, “From those who have been with us while Christ was here and who witnessed his resurrection, we are to choose a man to take his place.”

I then said that the First Presidency had considered the full list of names submitted, and that one who it seems is worthy to fill the vacancy is Brother Nathan Eldon Tanner, now presiding over the West European Mission. The brethren unanimously approved of Brother Tanner. 

Assistant to the Twelve, Appointment of 

At this meeting Brother Bernard P. Brockbank, President of the Scottish Mission was unanimously approved as an Assistant to the Twelve. 

Sun., 5 Apr. 1964:

“1:00 p.m.

Search for Paul Harold Dunn

Sent word through Henry Smith of the Deseret News to my secretary, Clare, for her to get in touch by telephone, or any other way, with Paul Harold Dunn and ask him to come to my apartment in the Hotel Monday morning at 8:00 a.m.  (see Note by CM Following)

2:00 p.m.

I asked President Nathan Eldon Tanner to conduct this session of the Conference, and President Brown gave the opening address.  (see newspaper clippings following.)

*Note by CM

After receiving the above message from President McKay, thinking that Brother Dunn would be in Salt Lake for Conference, all the hotels in town were called to see if he were registered.  Not being able to locate him in the city, the secretary checked and found that Brother Dunn is a member of the Downey Third Ward in the Huntington Park Stake, California.  After much telephoning, she finally reached the Bishop of the Ward, who informed her that Brother Dunn had not attended Conference, that he would locate him immediately, and have him call her.  When she finally talked to Brother Dunn she gave him the message that President McKay wanted to see him Monday morning; that it may be possible for him to get a plane on the Western Airlines at midnight.  That night at 10:00 p.m. Brother Dunn called the secretary at her home from Las Vegas and said that he had decided to take his wife and drive up to Salt Lake City.  After driving all night, he reached President McKay’s hotel apartment fifteen minutes before his appointment at 8:00 a.m.”

Mon., 6 Apr. 1964:

“8:00 a.m.

Interview with Paul Harold Dunn

Was pleased to welcome to my office in the apartment at the Hotel Brother Paul Harold Dunn of the Downey Third Ward, Huntington Park Stake, Downey, California.  Brother Dunn, in company with his wife, had driven all night in order to keep this appointment with me.

I asked Brother Dunn to tell me something about himself.  As I listened to him, I was impressed with his sincerity and faithfulness.  I then told Brother Dunn that we should like him to fill the vacancy in the First Council of Seventy caused by the death of Elder Levi Edgar Young.

Brother Dunn tearfully expressed his willingness to accept this position, and I told him that he would be presented at the Conference this morning.

Wed., 6 Apr. 1966:

“7:15 a.m.

Interview with Elder James Albert Cullimore

In accordance with appointment that I had made with Brother James A Cullimore by telephone message through my secretary, Clare Middlemiss, I met Brother Cullimore in my apartment.

I discussed in a general way matters pertaining to Church positions he had held; namely, President of the Oklahoma Stake, President of the Central British Mission, and the present position he holds as a member of the General Priesthood Welfare Committee.

After feeling of his spirit and attitude, I told Brother Cullimore that I feel impressed to call him as one of the Assistants to the Twelve and that if he feels he can accept this position, he will be sustained at the general session of the Conference this morning.

Brother Cullimore exhibited a very willing spirit, and said that he is just now in the process of retiring from most of his furniture business; that he had held in abeyance the renting of one building for the one furniture business he still maintains when he received the telephone call from my secretary, even though she had not indicated in any way to him the matter about which I wished to talk to him.  He said that Sister Cullimore is in the Hotel with him and that he would go now and talk to her and that he is certain she will go along with him as she has done in the past on any Church call that comes to him.

Brother Cullimore then departed.

8:00 a.m.

My secretary, Clare, came in, and I asked her to call President Joseph Fielding Smith, and ask him to have all members of the Twelve over to the apartment at 8:45 a.m.  I also asked her to call Presidents Brown and Tanner and tell them to be here also.

8:45 a.m.

Meeting of the Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve — Elder James Albert Cullimore 

Approved as new Assistant

Meeting of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve held in my apartment at the Hotel Utah.  At this time I presented to the Brethren for their approval and sustaining vote the choosing of Brother James Albert Cullimore as the new Assistant to the Twelve.  They approved unanimously of Brother Cullimore’s appointment, many of the Brethren being acquainted with him and his work.”