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David O. McKay Diaries – “Compassion”

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

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David O.  McKay  Diaries

Fri., 8 Jan., 1937:

“Only one of the Presidency at the office.  Heavy mail, and important decisions to render:

1. Question of advisability of urging a Bishop to reconsider refusal to give a recommendation, since the happiness and even the faith of a young girl seemed at stake.  Found a satisfactory solution without sacrificing principle.”

Wed., 21 Aug., 1940:

“At 11:30 a.m. met by appointment President Robert O. Hatch and his counselors, James D. Hoggan, and Adonis H. Nielsen, of the Burley Stake.


The question of ordaining to the Priesthood men who are not keeping the word of Wisdom was discussed.  They have in mind a man who is a good husband, an honorable citizen, who pays his tithing, but who uses tobacco.  He is about 70 years of age, and they feel that he is worthy of the Melchizedek Priesthood.  I told them to labor with him and tell him that they would like him to set the example to the Elders, some of whom are now using tobacco.  Not to exact a definite promise, but appeal to him to conform more fully to the teachings of the Priesthood.

Mon., 21 Jul., 1947:

“ElRay Christiansen, President of the Logan Temple called regarding the validity of the recommend to the Logan Temple for Mrs. Cassity. I told Pres. Christiansen to let her go right in without further questioning–that there should be no more wounded feelings in this case.  (See attached notes from President Reichman)–also concerning Bishop Seth W. Pixton.”

“Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Bonneville Stake Presidency

Summary of interview between Bishop Seth W. Pixton, President Owen G. Reichman and George L. Nelson on Tuesday, July 15th–5:00 to 7:00 P.M. in President Reichman’s office.

Bishop Seth W. Pixton had previously been approached by a Mrs. Cassity and her daughter for temple recommends to the Logan Temple.  The daughter planned to be married in the temple on July 21st and desired to obtain her own endowments.  The mother wished to witness the marriage.  Some question had arisen as to the issuance of the recommend to the daughter until the serological examination had been completed.  Bishop Pixton brought the recommend in duplicate to the meeting duly signed by him and President Owen G. Reichman signed both copies and returned them to the Bishop.  A recommend for Mrs. Cassity to the Salt Lake Temple had been signed by Bishop Pixton a few days previously and brought to President Reighman by Mrs. Cassity for his signature.  It then appeared that the recommend should have been made to the Logan Temple and President Reichman informed Mrs. Cassity that she should return the recommend to Bishop Pixton who would correct it and he would then sign it.  Upon her inquiry President Reichman advised that she could make arrangements accordingly.  It now appeared that Bishop Pixton had decided to decline the issuance of a recommend to the Logan Temple to Mrs. Cassity.

During the course of the conference the following facts were established.  Bishop Pixton stated that he had come to the conclusion that he should not have issued the recommend to Mrs. Cassity in the first instance and the issuance of the recommend was not only erroneous in that it was a recommend to the Salt Lake Temple but also in the fact that it never should have been issued.  President Reichman inquired as to whether any new facts or evidence had been established by Bishop Pixton since the issuance of the first recommend and he replied that no additional information had come to light, but that he had now concluded that she should not have the recommend and that his conclusions came not from any human knowledge or information but solely and entirely from the promptings of the spirit which promptings had been strengthened by the developments of the last few days during which time pressure from various sources had been brought to bear upon him to issue the recommend.  President Reichman pointed out that inasmuch as the Bishop had issued and signed the first recommend, and that during the interview with Mrs. Cassity he was only advised that an error was made in issuing the recommend to the Salt Lake Temple instead of the Logan Temple, and he had assumed that in all other respects the recommend was properly issued and that if she would return it to the Bishop for correction there should be no question about the issuance of the recommend, consequently there was involved in the matter the problem of keeping the promise which was made in good faith to Mrs. Cassity.  He stated further that in view of all the circumstnaces he would strongly urge the Bishop to issue the recommend unless there were some substantial and new reasons for declining to do so.  President Nelson made the comment that the failure to issue a recommend under the circumstances might not only reflect upon the Bishop but upon the Stake President as well, and that the consequences of not issuing it might be considerable and that these facts should be borne in mind by the Bishop in making his decision; and that while it would not be advisable in any case to issue a recommend to one who is not wholly worthy, nevertheless the facts mentioned should be considered by the Bishop.  Bishop Pixton stated that he was well aware of these things but that he frankly admitted that he had made the mistake in the first instance in issuing the first recommend, that as advised him through the office of the President of the Church, the issuance of the recommend was his responsibility and his only, and that he could not and would not shift that responsibility to anyone else.  He again emphasized the need for following the promptings of the spirit which were the sole basis for his decision and stated that he knew from these promptings that his decision was right.  He further stated that he would not change his decision unless President Smith advised him to do so after hearing the case, and that he did not believe that would ever occur because his decision was based upon the spirit of revelation and it would be the same spirit that would move President Smith to make his decision. President Reichman asked the Bishop if he thought that his decision in this case, in view of all the facts and circumstances, might weaken his position as Bishop of his ward.  He stated that he did not think so, that the faithful members of the ward would support him in his decision and that those who would criticize the Bishop under such circumstances would do so because they were moved by the spirit of the adversary.  President Reichman asked the Bishop whether a further interview with Mrs. Cassity might cause him to change his mind and whether any promise or act that she might do or make as to her further conduct might form the basis for a reconsideration of his decision.  He stated nothing that Mrs. Cassity could now do or say would change his decision. President Reichman stated that while he recognized the correctness of the principle that the Bishop had the power of decision in matters of this kind, nevertheless in view of the facts and circumstances he believed that the recommend should be issued and that if he were in the Bishop’s place he would issue the recommend.  The Bishop stated again that the responsibility was his and that he would have to rely upon the promptings that came to him.”

Fri., 29 Aug., 1947:

“President John K. Edmunds of the Chicago Stake telephoned at 11 a.m. regarding Glen Butterfield, missionary of the East Central States Mission who has been in the field three months.  This missionary it seems has been unable to adjust himself to missionary work.  He had infantile paralysis before coming to the Mission Field, and his legs are too weak to keep up with the other missionaries in tracting, etc.  President Brown thought it would be well for him to work in the Mission Office, but Elder Butterfield did not want to do this, saying that he thought office work was not doing missionary work.  President Brown then instructed the missionary to return home.  Pres. Edmunds said that he and Brother Williams of the Chicago Stake have worked with the boy and prayed with him, thinking that he (the boy) might change his attitude about not finishing his Mission.  Now the boy has decided that he does not want to go back to the Mission Field, and has decided to get married.  Pres. Edmunds feels that this is one of the reasons he wanted to come home.  The missionary has asked Pres. Edmunds to officiate at the ceremony, and Pres. Edmunds wonders if he should do this under the circumstances.  The boy says if Pres. Edmunds will not perform the ceremony Pres. Brown has assured him that he will.  If he is not permitted to get married this way, then he will go to a minister of the Church to which his mother belonged before joining the Mormon Church.

Pres. Edmunds said he had talked to Pres. Brown about the boy, and Pres. Brown says that the boy should have an honorable release because he is physically unable to carry on missionary work.

I told Pres. Edmunds to officiate at the marriage, and let Pres. Brown and his counselors carry the responsibility of releasing this missionary.  The girl whom he is marrying has not been in the Church very long.  I told Pres. Edmunds to counsel with the couple and tell them to get right into the work and so live that they may go through the Temple and be properly married.”

Thur., 5 Aug., 1948:

After seeing this Movie, the following is interesting:

At 8 o’clock, soon after Sister McKay and I had returned home, a woman came to the house, having driven alone from Trenton, Utah. It was evident when she began to state the purpose of her visit that she was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  It was difficult to determine just why she had come to see me.  A few questions disclosed the facts, first, that her husband was not with her; that he did not know where she had gone; second, that the person out in her automobile was a stranger to her; a man working at a service station at South temple and 2nd West whom she had asked to drive her up to my address.

I immediately called Sister McKay, and in company with Mrs. Reed, drove the station man back to his station.  In answer to my question as to how much the lady owed him for his services, he said ‘Nothing at all; I was glad to render her the service.’  The man’s name is Snow.

Mrs. Reed wanted to go right back home.  I said, ‘No I think we had better go back to the house and get in touch with your folks.’ This we did.  Mrs. Reed had left her mother with three children, the youngest of whom is 6 months of age.  When I called the mother,she stated that Mrs. Reed’s husband was looking for her and didn’t know where she was.  She expressed appreciation that I had called.  I suggested that we let Mrs. Reed go up to bed;that she could leave in the morning, although she was very eager to start out right then at that late hour.  She seemed to be worried over the fact that the doctors had told her not to have any more children, and she felt that if she permitted any operation to accomplish that end, she would be violating her covenants made in the Temple.

By 10 o’clock she became more rational and realized what she had done and insisted that she be pemitted to drive home alone.  We finally persuaded her to go up to the bedroom and go to sleep under the promise that we would let her go at 5 o’clock in the morning.

At 2 o’clock a.m. her husband, his brother, and her father came. The husband explained to me that his wife had had a nervous breakdown previously and had spent sometime in the mental hospital, and recently had shown signs of another attack.

After he had consulted with his wife, they decided they had better go back home immediately and not wait until morning, so they left about 2:30 a.m.  I invited the husband to stay at our house with his wife until morning, but he thought it best to leave.

After they left I went back to bed, but didn’t sleep the rest of the night.”

cConkie of the California Mision who reported that a Brother and Sister Brenue of Barstow, new converts to the Church, have a son who is getting married and holding the reception in Las Vegas.  The mother is very devout and faithful, and the father is a good man but not ready to go to the Temple. Inasmuch as the young people are going through the Temple, the father has asked for permission to go, but I have refused to let him go.  This man belongs to the Masonic Lodge and his friends are working to get him out of the Church and producing a lot of material against Joseph Smith.  President McConkie has worked with this brother and is trying to persuade him to stand fast in the church.  President McConkie feels that if he is permitted to go to Las Vegas and officiate at the wedding at that place, even though it is out of his Mission, that it will accomplish a lot of good and make this man feel as though the Church has an interest in him. I told Pres. McConkie that it would be all right for him and Sister McConkie to attend the wedding in Las Vegas.”

Fri., 3 Sep., 1948:

“[Telephone call]  Mark Petersen reported hiw work with the Deseret News, which has taken him away from the city most of the time. Said that yesterday he talked with President Morris of the Deseret Stake regarding a missionary who was assigned to the Spanish American Mission five months ago.  The young man’sname is Darrell W. Wright.  Was in the service, complains of a pain in back of his head, and has had difficulty adjusting himself to missionary life. He has also had difficulty in learning the Spanish language.  He became so discouraged that he left the missionary field without permission from his Mission President and returned home.  Now the parents are terribly upset–they won’t attend church because of their embarrassment.  Pres. Morris felt that if the boy could be sent back into the mission field–to a mission where he wouldn’t have to learn a new language–that a great deal of good would be accomplished, both for the parents and the boy.  The parents want to bring their son with them to the Church Offices and have an interview with Thomas E. McKay in whom the boy has great confidence.

I told Brother Petersen that I thought we could send Elder Wright back into the field, that it is true that some boys are not inclined to a new language.  I told Brother Petersen that I would get in touch with President Jones of the Spanish-American Mission, and also President Morris of the Deseret Stake and straighten this matter out. . . .

[Later the same day]  President Lorin F. Jones of the Spanish-American Mission–Reported to him my conversation with Mark Petersen regarding one of the missionaries laboring in the Spanish-American Mission; viz., Elder Darrell Wright.  Pres. Jones said that he had received a wire from the boy’s parents stating that the boy had arrived home.  I advised Pres. Jones that it is the desire of the parents, and the boy’s sweetheart that Elder Wright go back into the Mission Field and complete an honorable mission.  Pres. Jones said this Elder had been a problem ever since he came out. I told Pres. Jones that I had called him to let him know that the parents would like to consult us with reference to their son’s going to an English-speaking mission if he has no objection.  Pres. Jones said that that was all right with him, but that he knew that the boy would be a real problem no matter where he is sent.  I then advised Pres. Jones that we would let the parents and their son come up here and after interviewing them would notify him of our decision.”

Tues., 28 Sep., 1948:

After seeing this Movie, the following is interesting:

At 8 o’clock, soon after Sister McKay and I had returned home, a woman came to the house, having driven alone from Trenton, Utah. It was evident when she began to state the purpose of her visit that she was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  It was difficult to determine just why she had come to see me.  A few questions disclosed the facts, first, that her husband was not with her; that he did not know where she had gone; second, that the person out in her automobile was a stranger to her; a man working at a service station at South temple and 2nd West whom she had asked to drive her up to my address.

I immediately called Sister McKay, and in company with Mrs. Reed, drove the station man back to his station.  In answer to my question as to how much the lady owed him for his services, he said ‘Nothing at all; I was glad to render her the service.’  The man’s name is Snow.

Mrs. Reed wanted to go right back home.  I said, ‘No I think we had better go back to the house and get in touch with your folks.’ This we did.  Mrs. Reed had left her mother with three children, the youngest of whom is 6 months of age.  When I called the mother,she stated that Mrs. Reed’s husband was looking for her and didn’t know where she was.  She expressed appreciation that I had called.  I suggested that we let Mrs. Reed go up to bed;that she could leave in the morning, although she was very eager to start out right then at that late hour.  She seemed to be worried over the fact that the doctors had told her not to have any more children, and she felt that if she permitted any operation to accomplish that end, she would be violating her covenants made in the Temple.

By 10 o’clock she became more rational and realized what she had done and insisted that she be pemitted to drive home alone.  We finally persuaded her to go up to the bedroom and go to sleep under the promise that we would let her go at 5 o’clock in the morning.

At 2 o’clock a.m. her husband, his brother, and her father came. The husband explained to me that his wife had had a nervous breakdown previously and had spent sometime in the mental hospital, and recently had shown signs of another attack.

After he had consulted with his wife, they decided they had better go back home immediately and not wait until morning, so they left about 2:30 a.m.  I invited the husband to stay at our house with his wife until morning, but he thought it best to leave.

After they left I went back to bed, but didn’t sleep the rest of the night.”

Sat., 2 Oct., 1948:

“Note:  President Harry L. Payne of the Arizona Temple stopped in at the office to see me; since I was occupied at the time, he dictated the following to my secretary:

Pres. McKay:  Lorin F. Jones of the Spanish American Mission wrote to his wife here in Salt Lake City twice, and then telephoned her regarding a family by the name of Castillo who are living in Douglas.  The wife and mother of the family has been a member of the Church for five years, and is a very devoted Latter-day Saint.  She and all of her children have been very active in the Church.  The husband has been converted for two or three years, but he had a habit of smoking, and therefore was not baptized until a few months ago, less than a year.  The Mission has maintained missionaries in Douglas for five years largely to help this one family become well established in the Church.

The question is:  These people are moving from Douglas, going to California at a point where it will be difficult for them to come to the Temple when they become settled in California. They are poor people, and it would be difficult for them to come back to the Temple.

I explained to Sister Jones that this is not a problem for me, but for the First Presidency, but in view of the fact that Pres. Jones is not here in Salt Lake, and because of the urgency of the matter, that I would ask the First Presidency about the matter, and that they in turn could notify Pres. Jones.

In a letter to Pres. Jones, dated Oct. 7, I said to Pres. Jones: If it is a fact that this brother has been converted for two or three years, but was not baptized because he could not refrain from smoking, and if he has been baptized, and you and the Elders think that he is entirely worthy to go through the Temple to have his wife and children sealed to him, then you may take the responsibility to issue the recommend.  However, experience has demonstrated the fact that it is not wise to permit newly baptized converts to go to the Temple before they are thoroughly seasonsed in the principles of the Gospel.  This rule is made for their good entirely.”

Fri., 19 Nov., 1948:

“Later in the afternoon, Jay Quealey from Honolulu came in with papers covering record of his father, for whom he wishes to have the baptism ordinance performed.  I presented to President George Albert Smith the desire of the family to have Brother Quealey’s work performed for him now instead of waiting for the usual period of a year, explaining that Brother Quealey was conferted to the Church before his death, and the only reason he didn’t joinwas out of respect to his Catholic mother.  President Smith said that he thought there would be nothing gained by waiting the year; that he thought it would be all right to have this work done.”

Mon., 13 Dec., 1948:

“President Axel Andresen of the South Salt Lake Stake, and Bishop Stoker of the Central Park Ward of that Stake reported that Kenneth W. Barber’s fiance reports her condition such that Elder Barber will have to return to give a name to the expected baby.  The parents of the girl wonder if she could go to the Birtish Mission to marry him, and then leave him there to finish his Mission.

I said that she certainly cannot, as that would be condoning a sin; that he should return, ask forgiveness of the Priesthood, marry the girl, and show by his acts that he is thoroughly repentent.”

Thur., 30 Dec., 1948:

“9:30 a.m.–Bishop Roland Hart of the Pocatello 3rd Ward, West Pocatello Stake, called at the office to consider the case of Conn W. Carver who has been called home from the Netherlands Mission because of sexual transgression prior to his having left his home for the Mission.  The young man has married the girl, asked forgiveness of the Priesthood, the Bishopric of the Ward, and I have suggested that he remain home until he has asked and obtained the forgiveness of the Presidency of the Stake.”

Mon., 10 Jan., 1949:

“Telephone call from Pres. Rulon Petersen of Ogden.  Said there is a young man whom he would like to recommend for a mission even though he is only 19 years of age.  He is living with Sister because of trouble in home.  He is older than his years and is highly qualified for a mission.  I asked Pres. Petersen what he would say to other 19-year-olds who come to him.  He said he would risk that to save this boy.  I told Pres. Petersen to talk to the young man and tell him to finish his school year, and that it is possible he will be able to leave for a mission next June.  Pres. Petersen said he thought that would be agreeable to the young man, and that he would send in the missionary papers at that time.”

Mon., 14 Feb., 1949:

“Bishop Ferrel E. Carter of the Ogden 34th Ward called regarding a missionary who has recently been sent from his Ward to the Mission Field, & who left a girl at home who is expecting a baby–she has confessed to her parents, and the Elder has also made a confession to his parents.  The Mission President is aware of the situation.  I told Bishop Carter that there is only one thing to be done–that he (the Elder) must be treated as one other–he must come home, marry the girl, ask the forgiveness of the Priesthood who trusted him–the Bishopric and the Presidency of the Stake. I told Bishop Carter that what he does further than that depends upon his judgment; that the boy’s repentance might lead to disfellowshipment, according to the sincerity he manifests, etc. I also advised Bishop Carter that we would get in touch with the Mission President & tell him to send the Elder home.  Also that there is no need of giving the case undue publicity.”

Wed., 16 Feb., 1949:

“Elder Harry L. Payne, Pres. of the Arizona Temple called–said there is an elder lady–83 years of age at the Arizona Temple this morning.  She wishes to do the Temple work for her deceased husband who has not been dead a year.  He was an active member of the Church, having joined two years ago.  He held a recommend to the Temple and was to have taken his wife to the S. L. Temple this April to be sealed to her.  Pres. Payne wondered, in view of this lady’s advance age, if she should not be permitted to do this work. I told Pres. Payne that I could see no reason why the work should not be done.”

Tues., 22 Feb., 1949:

“I also received a cable from Pres. A. Richard Peterson of the Norwegian Mission, which reads:

‘Lindsay refuses to continue laboring.  Claims doubts divinity of Gospel.  Insists cannot preach what he disbelieves.  Sonne recommended return home.  Father called for money.’  Peterson.

I prepared and sent the following answer:

Quickmere Oslo Lindsay  ‘Pause Kenneth.  You are at crossroads.  Gospel and Parents Hearts most precious in the world.  Please write me.’  McKay.”

Thur., 24 Feb., 1949:

“Brother Clyde Lindsay called from California concerning his son Kenneth who is in the Norwegian Mission, and who has decided that he wants to come home because of loss of faith in the Gospel.  I told Brother Lindsay that I had sent a personal cable to Kenneth as follows:  ‘Pause, Kenneth.  You are at crossroads.  Gospel and parents hearts most precious in the world.  Please write me.’ McKay.

I told Brother Lindsay that it would be advisable not to send Kenneth money to return home by air, that if he come, he should come by boat so that he will have time to think and deliberate on the action he is taking.  Brother Lindsay said that he could not understand what had happened, and that he thought it would be advisable to send a cable to President Sonne and have him send for kenneth and interview him personally to see if he can get at the root of the trouble.  I said that I thought it wouldn’t hurt to send President Sonne a cable to have Kenneth come to his office and interview him personally to see if he can get at the root of the trouble; that it is possible the boy has been placed under some adverse conditions and that he had become discouraged, that we would handle him carefully to see if we would save him from making this mistake.  I suggested to Brother Lindsay that he wait for a reply from Kenneth before taking any steps; that he at least owes me the courtesy of a reply to the cable I sent him.”

Sat., 12 Mar., 1949:

“At 6 p.m., in company with Lou Jean, left for Provo to attend the special program held in honor of the city’s 100th anniversary, in the Joseph Smith building of the Brigham Young University. . . .

Immediately after the meeting Sister Lester R. Taylor came up and wanted me to go to her home to administer to her husband.  I was very tired, and had promised to attend the B.Y.U. Prom, so I told Sister Taylor that I would put her husband’s name on the Prayer List for Thursday’s meeting in the Temple.  She looked very disappointed.

Lou Jean and I then went to the Prom–I was somewhat disgusted with the posture of the dancers, and spoke to Pres. Macdonald about it–told him I thought something should be done about it, and that I thought they should be taught the art of dancing by the M.I.A. Dance Instructor, and others.

Arrived home after midnight.  I worried about the fact that I had not been able to administer to Mrs. Taylor’s husband.”

Sun., 13 Mar., 1949:

“This morning decided to drive to Provo to administer to Brother Lester R. Taylor whose wife approached me last evening after the meeting in Provo.  Left here at 11 a.m., administered to Brother Taylor and immediately left for Salt Lake returning here at 1:30 p.m.

Brother and Sister Taylor were very grateful that I had returned to Provo to give Brother Taylor a blessing; in fact, they were overcome with emotion that I had come all the way down there to fulfill their desire.”

Fri., 10 Jun., 1949:

“President J. Robert Price of the Central Atlantic Mission called and reported that one of his missionaries desires to go home to Mesa to attend his grandfather’s funeral to be held next Saturday. Pres. Price said he thought it would do the boy good because he is moody and homesick. I said ‘We didn’t use to let the missionaries come home for such reasons when we were in the Mission Field.’  I then said that inasmuch as the Elder’s folks are requesting that he come home, and President Price advising that the boy should go, that it will be all right to let him go home, but that he (Pres. Price) should tell the boy to get back into the field as quickly as possible.”

Mon., 20 Jun., 1949:

“Pres. Andresen of the South Salt Lake Stake telephoned in regards to Elder Rulon Burton who has returned from the Danish Mission. President Andresen wants advice as to what he should do about this Elder’s desire to return to Denmark and marry a girl who has been in the Church only a short time and return with her to Salt Lake. I was out of the office when Pres. Andresen called but left word that he should advise this young man to remain here for a year, and then if he still feels that he must go back to Denmark, that will be time enough.”

Wed., 20 Jul., 1949:

“I received a call from Pres. Gardner of the Northern California Mission.  Said he had written a letter with regard to the missionaries laboring in the Fresno District as to the requirements of their wearing coats.  Said the Elders are really suffering from the heat where the temperature is 105 to 100.  I told Pres. Gardner that Pres. Smith had been out of the office for four or five days, and that I was waiting for an opportunity to present the matter to the brethren because this question involves making a decision for other missions.  Said a meeting of the twelve is to be held Friday, and that a letter would be sent to him immediately thereafter.  In the meantime, I told Pres. Gardner to write to the missionaries and tell them to use their own judgment in the matter, but to do nothing that would be undignified; to follow the customs of dress of the people of the towns where they are laboring.”

Sun., 6 Aug., 1950:

“At 12:30 p.m. took Sister McKay to the 11th Ward where she attended Fast meeting, and witnessed the blessing of Edward’s baby boy who was named Edward Lund McKay.  I did not go because I thought Lottie’s father would like to attend to the blessing of Lottie and Edward’s second child.”

Thur., 2 Nov., 1950:

“President David I. Stoddard of the California Mission telephoned. Said that the missionary system that had been instigated at the hands of his predecessor in having the missionaries work without purse or scrip is not working out satisfactorily.  Said that the missionaries are spending 75 to 80% of their time with members of the Church.  Some of the members are rebelling as missionaries are using the money which is sent to them by their parents to pay for other things and the members are keeping them.  Pres. Stoddard asked if it is a rule of the Church that the missionaries work without purse or scrip.  I said there is no such rule, that the same plan had been tried in the New England States Mission and was not working out.  I stated that the matter is entirely in the hands of the Mission President; that he should handle his mission the way he thought best under the guidance of the spirit.  I said if the California Mission would do what they are doing in the Northern California Mission they will have wonderful success, that I had just visited that Mission and saw for myself.  Pres. Stoddard said the mission was very disorganized.

. . . .

I then told Brother Stoddard that a young man had come to the office, pleading to do missionary work in the California Mission. He is a spastic case, and his recommendation for a mission had been turned down because of his handicap.  He cried on my shoulder and said that he had saved $600 for the purpose of doing missionary work; that he had worked for the government, that he was successful in his work and that he could not understand why he could not do missionary work.  I told the young man to report to Pres. Stoddard who would interview him, and see if there is something that he can do around the office.  Pres. Stoddard said he would interview the young man and do what he could.”

Fri., 8 Jun., 1951:

“11 a.m.–went to the Temple where I officiated at the marriage of Brother Fletcher Hicks, blind B.Y.U. Student and Miss Lilly Glauser, an albino, and also a student of the B.Y.U.

As I saw Brother Hicks groping for his wedding ring, it brought tears to my eyes, and I thought how blessed we are to possess our eyesight.  I was thankful that I could be present to perform the marriage ceremony for this young couple.”

Sat., 15 Dec., 1951:

“At 10:30 a.m. I had arranged to meet the Ogden 8th Ward Quorum of Deacons.  However, the janitor in the outer foyer of the building, told Bishop Elton Wardle that I was not in.  This carelessness on the part of the janitor disturbed me a great deal, and rather than disappoint these boys, I shall go to Ogden tomorrow to meet them. I tried to locate the Bishop and the boys in Salt Lake but was unable to do so.

Later:  Telephoned Bishop Elton Wardle of the Ogden 8th Ward and told him how disappointed I was that I had missed meeting the boys Saturday, and that I should drive up there to meet them if he thought I should do so.  Bishop Wardle said that they were coming to Salt Lake anyway, and that it was not necessary for me to make a special trip to Ogden to see them–that they could see me when they next come to Salt Lake.”

Wed., 2 Jan., 1952:

“6:30 p.m.–Left for home.  A little later went over to the Ward for tithing settlement; On the way over I found a car stalled in the snow, and a young couple trying to get it out.  I went over to them and helped push the car.  However, I think I strained myself in so doing, as I have felt a pain in my side ever since.”

Wed., 6 Feb., 1952:

“Received the following telegram today:

President David O. McKay, Salt Lake City, Utah

Mrs. Mills died this morning.  Funeral Saturday morning. Letter following.  (Signed Leonard L. Riccardi)

Mrs. Mabel L. Mills is an old friend.  I first became acquainted with her and her father when I was attending the University of Utah, and thus began a life-long friendship.”

Sat., 9 Feb., 1952:

“Was attending to duties at the office all morning.

As I have decided to go to California to check on matters pertaining to Mrs. Mabel Mills whose funeral services are being held today in Los Angeles, I sent telegrams to Pres. Wilmer J. Maw of the Farr West Stake telling him that a sudden call to California will prevent my attendance at their quarterly conference tomorrow, and to Pres. John L. Clarke of the Ricks College, Rexburg, Idaho, telling him that it will be impossible for me to attend Ricks College Leadership Week.  I had previously cancelled an appointment with the Logan Presidency for next Monday.

At 6 p.m.–In company with Sister McKay left via Union Pacific RR for Los Angeles.”

Sun., 10 Feb., 1952:

“In accordance with a telegram I sent Lou Jean, she met us at the Union Station in Los Angeles at 10:30 Sunday morning, prepared to drive to San Diego.  While enroute there she reported her attendance at the funeral service of Mrs. Mabel Moody Mills, who died February 6, 1952.  The services were held in the Reynolds’ Mortuary, Pasadena, California, February 9, 1952 at 11 a.m.  Rev. D. V. Johnstone.  Lou Jean said she tried in vain to find out what Church he belonged to, but all she coulid find out was that he was of the City Community Church in Pasadena.

There were in attendance only ten or twelve people all told, one of whom Lou Jean believes was Mr. Riccardi, although she had never met him.  The services lasted exactly six minutes!”

Tues., 19 Feb., 1952:

“When I returned to the office my secretary, Clare Middlemiss, told me that she had received a telephone call from E. Bentley Mitchell of Logan, Utah (former President of the Tahitian Mission) stating that he had received word that Captain Elmer K. Kenny of 3315 Santa Ana Street, Huntington Park, California had been killed in an automobile accident last evening.  President Mitchell suggested that Mrs. Kenny would appreciate a telegram of condolence from me. I met Captain Kenny in March of 1950 at which time we secured his services to sail the yacht purchased by the Church for use in the Islands of the Tahitian Mission.  The vessel was named ‘The Praita’, and sailed from Wilmington Harbor, California March 12, 1950, at which time I sent the following telegram to Captain Kenny:

Captain Elmer K. Kenny, Skipper Yacht ‘Fandango’ (name later changed to Praita) Wilmington Boat Works, Wilmington, California.  Please accept assurance of your gracious indispensable services, and of our prayers that kind Providence will protect and prosper you and your crew on the historic trip of the ‘Fandango’ from Los Angeles to Tahiti. (signed David O. McKay)

Under Captain Kenny’s able direction the voyage was made with remarkable dispatch–the distance of 3665 miles having been covered in 19 sailing days, only one day more than the all-time record for sailing vessels.

Captain Kenny was a very fine gentleman, and was generous, loyal, and true in fulfilling this service for the Church.  He was not a member of the Church.

I sent the following telegram this day to his bereaved wife:

Mrs. Elmer K. Kenny, 3315 Santa Ana Street, Huntington Park, California.  Shocked to learn, through President Mitchell, of Captain Kenny’s tragic death.  Esteem him highly, as do my associates.  Mrs. McKay joins in heartfelt condolence.  May you find comfort in the divine assurance that though he be dead, yet shall he live.  Sincerely, David O. McKay.”

Fri., 14 Mar., 1952:

“At 8:10 a.m.–met by appointment David W. Bennett, and Miss Bonnie Stone.  This young couple had previously invited me to officiate at their wedding in the Salt Lake Temple, but due to an appointment out of the State it was impossible for me to comply with their request.  I therefore invited them to my office for a brief consultation.  They are outstanding young people, and I enjoyed my interview with them.”

Mon., 8 Sep., 1952:

“[79th Birthday]  There were four outstanding events of the day that touched me deeply:

1. The birthday greetings from Jan Keller who is 11 years old today.  His greetings and his sweet manner touched my heart.

2. The presentation of the wallet by the children of the Primary Children’s Hosptial.  Little Dennis and Beatrice, two patients of the Primary Children’s Hospital, came to our home bearing a gift from the other children who are confined to the hospital.  They were accompanied by Mrs. Neoma T. Mason, hospital superintendent, and Mrs. Frances Grant Bennett, Vice-President of the Board of Trustees.

The gift they brought was a hand-made leather wallet, which the children had made themselves.  They had tooled it with an Indian butterfly design which symbolized life everlasting, and the arrowhead denoting alertness.  Each youngster at the hospital had taken a stitch in the leather lacing about the edge of the purse, and Dennis, each hand in a cast, proudly pointed out the stitch he had taken.

The children had made their own birthday card, carrying the message: ‘We hope you will have joy everlasting.  Best wishes.  The Children of the Primary Hospital.’  Each had signed his or her name.

I was so impressed with this heartfelt token of love that I decided to make a visit to the hospital right there and then to personally thank the boys and girls for their gift.  It was truly a treasured experience for me.  When I arrived the little children who were gathered in their school room, sang ‘Happy Birthday, President McKay.’  I greeted all the boys and girls and thanked them for their beautiful and thoughtful gift.

The Deseret News photographer was there and took pictures of the occasion.

3. The calling at the house of seven deacons bringing greetings of their associates and the members of the Tenth Ward.  I spent sometime visiting with the boys.

4. At 8 p.m. ‘Aunt Mary Smith’ (wife of President Joseph F. Smith) made her way through the dark to our home.  She presented me with a bouquet of flowers, and said: ‘I should like to present these flowers to a young man who has just completed an outstanding trip to Europe!'”

Tues., 13 Jan., 1953:

“Brother Willard Marriott of Washington, D.C. called with reference to hotel reservations during the Inaugural Ceremonies.  Said he thought it would be best for me to stay at the Westchester Hotel, 4000 Cathedral Ave., at which hotel Elder and Sister Ezra Taft Benson have rooms.  Said the room that has been engaged for me at the Statler Hotel is very small, and that the hotel is so crowded that it will be next to impossible to get anything to eat there. I told him that Mr. Max Carpenter of the Hotel Utah had been kind enough to arrange for the reservations at the Statler Hotel and that I should not want to change that reservation if it would embarrass him.  Brother Marriott said he has been in touch with the Manager of the Statler and he would be very pleased to have me relinquish the room as he did not feel it would be suitable for me. Brother Marriott said he would call Mr. Carpenter and explain to him the reason for the change of reservations.

Brother Marriott then extended an invitation to Sister McKay and me to attend the dinner to be given for the Utah delegation at the Columbia Country Club just prior to the Inaugural Ball Tuesday evening.  I told him that we should be pleased to accept the invitation.”

Wed., 25 Feb., 1953:

“Z.C.M.I. Exec.  Later in the evening had Lawrence drive me up to Bertha Irvine’s home.  Bertha, who worked as a secretary in the office of the First Presidency for 55 years, is suffering from heart trouble and a stroke.  As I walked into her room and approached her bedside, she recognized me; she was unable to speak, but she smiled and shook my hand.  I gave her a blessing.

I have always admired Bertha for her loyalty, efficiency, and willingness to serve!”

Tues., 3 Mar., 1953:

11:30 a.m.—In company with Clare, Pearl, and Ralph, who was at the wheel, left for the Garden Park Ward where at 12 noon we attended funeral services for Bertha Irvine, 80 years of age, who for 56 years served as a secretary to four Presidents of the Church.  Brother Sterling Joseph Fielding Smith was present on the stand.  I was very much pleased to see members of the Auxiliaries of the Ward present sitting in a body, as a tribute to Sister Irvine.  I think we have had no more loyal member of the staff than was Bertha.  She was in the office under her father and also under George F. Gibbs.  The tributes at the services were beautiful, and Bertha merited every word that was said.  She rendered a life of service in which she lost herself for the good of the work.  I was proud of our people coming out in such numbers to pay tribute to her.”

Fri., 28 Aug., 1953:

“8:15 – President Allen of the Hyrum Stake came in regarding a mission for his son who is afflicted with epilepsy, but who has overcome this affliction to the point where the doctor says he will be able to fulfill a mission.

I asked Brother Allen to see Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith of the Missionary Committee and he and the others will give this case special consideration.”

22 Oct., 1954:

October 22, 1954


1084 East 150 North St.,

Salt Lake City 3, Utah

November 3, 1954

Dr. David O. McKay, President

47 East South Temple Street

Salt Lake City 1, Utah

Dear President McKay:

The voice of an angel would have ben no more welcome than was your voice when you called first Amy B., and then me to the telephone Saturday evening, October 16th.  And no voice could have delivered a more welcome and sweeter message than did you when you said that by unanimous vote the First Presidency and the Twelve at the regular weekly council meeting held Thursday, September 23, 1954, granted my appeal to be admitted to the Church.

With tears in our voices and in our eyes we both tried to say:  ‘A thousand thanks President McKay and God bless you!!’  Your good will and kindly feelings toward me, reported by our mutual friends, have been a source of great encouragement.

Complying with your instructions written October 22nd, I called Bishop Harrison who came to our home at once after I gave him the good news.  He and Sister Lyman and I agreed that it would be most appropriate and fitting to have my good friend Dr. Irvin Hull, who is our Stake Mission President, perform the ceremony of baptism.

Arrangements for having this done at the Tabernacle Wednesday, October 27th were made by Marion Hanks and Alexander Schreiner.  I was confirmed by my childhood companion, my life-long intimate friend, my beloved classmate, President Bryant S. Hinckley, assisted by Marion Hanks, Alexander Schreiner, Irvin Hull, and Russell Harris, the other brethren present.

With the ceremony completed I had these brethren gather around me and I said to them:  ‘I hope you will remember these words of mine.  Eleven years of darkness and daylight at last.’

During those eleven years I have not closed my eyes in sleep in any day until I have, on my bended knees, in secret, prayed, with all the faith at my command, that my short-comings might be forgiven, that I might have a spirit so repentant and humble that I would be worthy of being admitted to membership in the Church.  Finally, the Lord has heard and there is ‘daylight at last.’

Faithfully and admiringly your affectionate friend and brother, with another thousand thanks and God bless you,

/s/ Richard R. Lyman

RRL/rrl Richard R. Lyman”

Thurs., 26 May, 1955:

“Dictated a letter of sympathy to Mr. and Mrs. Obert C. Tanner, of 3501 27th East whose son was accidentally killed.

May 26, 1955

May 26, 1955

Mr. and Mrs. Obert C. Tanner

3501-27th East

Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear Brother and Sister Tanner:

Having been released from the hospital only yesterday, I’m in no condition to call personally, therefore I take this means of assuring you that Sister McKay and I are bowed in grief with you in this your tragic bereavement.

If it could possibly ease your heartache to know that your friends truly love you, then be assured of our affection and confidence.

With all our hearts, we pray that the sweet memories of Gordon’s radiant life will bring heavenly comfort to your souls, and that from the Highest of all Sources, Our Lord and Savior, will come again the divine assurance:

‘Your son shall rise again

It is not death to die–

To leave this weary road,

And ‘mid the brother hood on high,

To be at home with God.’

May Faith and Peace give you comfort this night and throughout your coming days, I pray

Sincerely and affectionately,


Mon., 27 June, 1955:

“At 7:30 this morning Sister McKay and I were at the Salt Lake Temple ready to go through the first session for the day.  Our purpose in going through the Temple today was to do the endowment and sealing ordinance work for Jesse Monroe Wilbur and his wife Minnie Lavina Farrell.

For many years Brother Wilbur attended to the shoeing of my horses — his blacksmith’s shop was located in Eden, and I took the horses to him, and he always rendered the best of service.  It was their wish that I do this work for them.  We also attended to the sealing of the following children to them:

Daisy May Wilbur

Ellen M. Wilbur

Lindsay Worden Wilbur

Irma Ruth Wilbur

Loran Wilbur, Glenn Monroe Wilbur, and Earl Burton Wilbur are living children, but have not yet received their endowments.  In a letter addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Glen Monroe Wilbur of this date, I said: ‘Sister McKay and I have just come from the Salt Lake Temple where we have taken out endowments for your father and mother.  They have received not only their endowments, but have been sealed in marriage for time and eternity, and the following children sealed to them, (the above names given).  Now, my dear friends, is there anything we can do to help you complete the family circle in the Church?’

We were through the Temple by 10:30 a.m.; however, it was 11:30 a.m. before we could get away as there were so many persons who wanted to shake hands.”

Friday, August 26, 1955:

At 7:30 a.m. Elder Spencer W. Kimball, now visiting officially the European Missions, telephoned for advice regarding what action to take against an Elder who has confessed to sexual immorality.  The missionary has his release to return home.  I recommended that excommunication is usual procedure in such cases.  However, as Elder Kimball seemed to think that the young man is truly repentant, we concluded that disfellowshipment would be the extent of punishment for the present.

Thurs., 6 Oct., 1955:

“10 to 12:30 p.m. – Council meeting.  During the meeting received word from Dr. O. Preston Robinson of the Deseret News that a United Air Lines Plane has crashed with the following members of the Tabernacle Choir aboard:

Mrs. Victor J. (Dorothy) Beck

Mrs. Elden C. Schow

Mrs. Charles B. (Rhea) Smurthwaite, and her sister Mrs. Hanks who

accompanied her, but who was not a member of the Choir

Mrs. Donald A. (Marian) Kirk

Mrs. B. Ray Seare – sister-in-law of Mrs. Kirk (see newspaper clipping following regarding this air disaster)  (Also see Oct. 7 for additional items)  The news was a shock to all assembled in Council meeting and brought great sadness to us.

Editorial regarding this tragedy follows, and also copy of letter sent by President McKay to the funerals of Mrs. Kirk, Mrs. Seare, and Mrs. Schow.

October 6, 1955

October 10, 1955

Dr. Donald A. Kirk, and Family

2204 Emerson Avenue

Mr. B. Ray Seare, and Family

733 – 9th Avenue

Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear Brethren and Sisters:

An appointment out of town of ten days standing conflicts with the funeral services of Sister Donald A. Kirk and Sister B. Ray Seare who were numbered among the victims of the fatal plane disaster of Thursday, October 6.

May I take this means of expressing to bereaved Loved Ones my heartfelt sympathy and condolence in this your hour of Gethsemane.  Sister McKay joins me in assuring you that our hearts are heavy and with ten thousand others bowed in grief at this tragedy.

It is said that, ‘Come he slow or come he fast,

It is but death that comes at last.’

There is some consolation in the thought that the sixty-six victims of this crash passed from mortality to immortality instantly, without anticipating fear or pain; but that very suddenness deepened the anxiety and sorrow of bereaved Loved Ones.

Though young, each of these two women’s lives of beauty and of service was such as to merit from our Heavenly Father the plaudit, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant:  enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’

The one great consolation to you so suddenly and tragically bereaved is that no accident however sudden, no sickness however prolonged which results in death, can end the life of a worthy man or woman.  ‘Death is but passing out of one little dusky room of our Father’s house into another that is fair and large, lightsome and glorious, and divinely entertaining.’

And so we paraphrase to each of you Loved Ones this morning what Jesus said to the bereaved sister of Lazarus:  Your wife, your mother shall rise again.  ***’I am the resurrection, and the life:  he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.’

God bless you with the assurance that your Loved Ones still live, and that you through your faith and faithfulness will meet them again and rejoice in their society throughout Eternity.

Sincerely yours,



A similar letter of sympathy was also sent to Mr. Elden C. Schow, and Family, 470 East 4th North, Bountiful.  Sister Alceodene Hofer Schow, a member of the Tabernacle Choir also, was numbered among the victims of the fatal plane disaster of Thursday, October 6, 1955.”

Friday, October 14 to Wednesday, October 19

Report of Trip to Arizona

“We stopped at Nephi to put in gas at 12:50 in the afternoon.  Some High School girls spied me from across the street, and just as I was stepping into the car a whole group of students surrounded me.  I shook hands with them and autographed papers and books.  I suppose one hundred or more students came over from their school which was located just across the street.  Soon others came until I was completely closed in.  By this time the highway patrolman came over and said:  ‘Clear the way, clear the way; you are smothering President McKay!’

Then two or three students spoke up and said:  ‘Won’t you come over and speak to us in a general assembly – please, please!’  I reminded them that their principal may not like them to disrupt their school work, and they said, ‘Oh, we have already asked the principal and he wants you to come too.’  Finally, I think every pupil in the school had come over to the gas station.  They brought me a chair, and I sat down and spent nearly an hour signing autographs for the students.

They were a choice group of boys and girls, and I felt complimented at their eagerness and loyalty.

I finally said goodbye, and expressed regret that time would not permit of my going over to the school to speak in a general assembly.

We then continued on to Salt Lake, arriving there in the late afternoon.

Sat., 28 Jan., 1956:

“Left Salt Lake City about 10 o’clock this morning and drove up to Corinne, Utah, and called on LaMont Maurice Larson, a young man nineteen years of age who is afflicted with carcinoma in his right leg.  This young man was brought on a stretcher to the dedicatory services of the seminary and church building for the Indian Members at Brigham City held Sunday, January 8, 1956.  At that time I think he was greatly disappointed that neither Elder Spencer Kimball nor I had the time to administer to him.  However, we did tell him that we would place his name on the list of those to be prayed for at the next meeting of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve.  I could not help thinking about the look of disappointment on this young man’s face, so this morning I decided that I would drive up to his home and administer to him.

When I arrived at Corinne, I learned that LaMont is living away from his home where he is constantly under the care of a nurse, heroically meeting adverse conditions.  His mother – a widow with nine children, is gallantly trying to overcome great difficulties in running their farm with the help of her children.  The father – just a young man – passed away with a heart attack a year ago.

I was very glad that I had taken the time to come to his home.  The nurse and the patient were very much surprised when I went in.  The nurse immediately called the mother who came running over weeping and grateful that I was there to administer to her son.  Just as I was leaving the Bishop of the Ward came, he having heard that I was in town.

While I was in Corinne, I called on Mr. A. G. Adney, former member of the Utah State Agricultural College Board of Trustees at Logan.  Mr. Adney, a very high-principled gentleman whom I hold in the highest esteem, was much surprised when I called on him to pay my respects.  He is retired and remains at home — I do not know how old he is.

February 29, 1956

Telephone Conversation, Wednesday, February 29, 1956

Telephone Conversation with President Oral J. Wilkinson, Murray Stake.

I called President Oral J. Wilkinson, Murray Stake, regarding a letter I had received a few days ago.  The letter was signed:  Mrs. ‘A.S.’  The address was given as 83 West 61st South, Murray 7, Utah.  I told President Wilkinson that I was not sure of just what Ward this address would be in.  I told him that I should like to give this letter proper attention, and should appreciate it if he would investigate this matter and get more information on it.  I read the following part of the letter to him:

‘A little widow I know.  A lady who lives and breathes the gospel.

‘The only close kindred she has to love and to work for is one 14 year old son.  And he has quit going to Church.  Has outside associates.  This little woman is heart broken.  And nearly every time I have a conversation with her she mentions

wistfully how she wishes her son would go to church.  Yes, she’s talked to the

bishop and his teachers etc.  They tried a little to help.’

I told President Wilkinson that perhaps we should give a little extra attention to this matter, and he said he would check on this problem.

I told President Wilkinson that I also wanted to add that the writer of the letter has ‘lost’ her son.  He has turned away from the Church.  That was her main purpose for writing the letter.  Her son seems to be gone entirely.

President Wilkinson stated that maybe the writer of the letter’s friend does not live in his stake, but he will find out who it is and where she resides and do whatever possible in this case.   

I told President Wilkinson that perhaps we could have someone put his arm around this son and let him know that he is needed back in the Church.

President Wilkinson said that he would be very happy to take care of this problem.  I told him that I should appreciate his doing so.

Mon., 5 Mar., 1956:

L.A. Temple – and Incident of Resentment

At 9:30 a.m.  Met by appointment Brother and Sister Henry Peterson of Logan, Utah.

I invited these people in at the request by letter of Ervine F. Smith, 15313 Via de Los Olas, Pacific Palisades, California, son-in-law of the Petersons, who said that Brother Peterson is planning to visit with him in the near future in Los Angeles, and that ‘if possible an invitation for him to attend the Los Angeles Dedicatory Services, will be a fitting tribute for the service he has rendered to the Church and the people of Utah and California through his long life of unselfish service.  He also feels his presence would bridge a long period of church history since he was present also at the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple.’  And then he made the request that I invite him to my office for a consultation, which would ‘help to make his remaining years happier.’

Professor Peterson, a life-long friend and former member of the Sunday School Board, in his conversation with me, referred to the difficulty he had while teaching at the Brigham Young University in 1911 when he, Dr. Chamberlain, and Dr. Joseph Peterson resigned from their positions at the Brigham Young University.

He said it is true that he had resentment in his heart because of the actions taken by the President of the Brigham Young University and by the General Superintendent of Schools, and that because of his harboring that resentment he had injured himself; that he is sorry that he had caused it to affect his life, for he is the one who had been injured by holding this resentment in his heart.  But now, he said, ‘I hold no resentment whatever.’

Brother and Sister Peterson had with them their Temple recommends from the Bishop of the Logan 8th Ward, so I gave them admittance tickets to the first session of the Los Angeles Temple dedicatory services to be held Sunday, March 11.

I think their visit to the office, and permission given to attend the dedicatory services made them very happy indeed, and that it will result in much good.  I was happy to have the opportunity of talking to Brother and Sister Peterson.

Tues., 13 Mar., 1956:

“March 13, 1956

Mrs. J. William Knight and Family

Provo, Utah

Dear friends:

Sister McKay and I are deeply grieved in the passing of our life-long friend and associate in Church and business — and your beloved husband and father.

President Knight was true to the Right as he saw it — loyal, generous, faithful to Loved Ones, and to his God.

He merits and has received the divine welcome:  ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant.  Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’

To you bereaved Loved Ones we pray that the comfort be yours in the Divine Assurance that Christ is ‘the Resurrection and the Life’.  He that believeth in Him, though he were dead, yet shall he live.

God bless you!




Thurs., 17 May, 1956:

“6 a.m. – A Mrs. Darlene Clayson, and a companion, Mrs. Dora Lee Hatter, from Shelley, Idaho called at the home.

Though Mrs. Clayson had called me by long distance the evening before and had been told to see her local authorities about her problem she had disregrded the advice and driven from Shelley to see me.

I explained to her that I was preparing to leave for an appointment at the office, but that she could state her problem to me.   She then went into a long story about her unsuccessful attempts to bring about an abortion when she was going to have a child.  It was born, unwanted, in six and one-half months.  Now she is grieving and thinks that she has committed an unforgiveable sin.

She was very hysterical, so I gave her a blessing and told her to seek her forgiveness from her Heavenly Father who knows the real intent of her heart.”

Wednesday, June 13, 1956.

Telephone Conversation with President Lawrence D. Olpin, Lorin Farr Stake, Wednesday, June 13, 1956.

I called President Lawrence D. Olpin, Lorin Farr Stake, in reply to a letter he had written me, dated April 2, 1956.  He had explained in the letter that the daughter of Brother John Van Alfen, a member of the Lorin Farr Stake High Council, had married Brother Keith Barker who had asked to be released from his mission when he heard that his girl friend was to become a mother as the result of an illicit affair.  Regardless of this act, the missionary forgave her and married her.  The baby has now been born, and the couple would like to be sealed in the Temple.

I told President Olpin that if everything else was in order, he need not wait until the year’s time is up for this couple to go to the temple to be sealed.

President Olpin stated that the couple had been in Provo this past year.  Brother Barker has been a student of the B.Y.U.  Inasmuch as President Olpin has not had too much contact with them this past winter, he said he would interview the couple, and if everything is in order, he will issue recommends for them to go to the temple.  The couple would like to have the child sealed to them as soon as possible, and I feel that more good would result from this if they are permitted to do so than harm.”

Mon, 25 Dec., 1956:

(Copy of handwritten notes of a letter I wrote to Mrs. Angus W. McKay, widow of my cousin, Angus W. McKay.  Angus passed away December 24, 1956.)

December 25, 1956

Mrs. Angus W. McKay

2757 Gramercy Avenue

Ogden, Utah

Dear Christina and Family:

Last night when Ernest called and informed me that Angus, your beloved husband and my cousin, had just passed away, I was shocked, because I was not aware that he was so seriously ill.  As I hung up the telephone, and before announcing your message to the folks who were present, I experienced a feeling of self-condemnation for having procrastinated for several months an intended visit to see him.

The following lines might have been written for me:

‘Tomorrow Never Comes

‘Around the corner, I have a friend,

In this great city that has no end;

Yet days go by and weeks rush on,

And before I know it a year is gone.

And I never see my old friend’s face,

For life is a swift and a terrible race;

He knows I like him just as well

As in the days when I rang his bell

And he rang mine.  We were younger then, 

And now we are busy, tired men —

Tired with playing a foolish game,

Tired of trying to make a name.

‘Tomorrow,’ I say:  ‘I will call on him.

Just to show that I’m thinking of him.’

But tomorrow comes — and tomorrow goes,

And the distance between us grows and grows

Around the corner, yet miles away.

‘Here’s a telegram, Sir.’  Jim died today!

And that’s what we get — and deserve — in the end,

Around the corner, a vanished friend.’

–Charles Hanson Towne

But Angus has not ‘vanished.’  True, his physical senses are stilled and he has gone from our presence, but his spirit lives in an environment to which mortals are unresponsive.  He has passed from the land of the dying to the realm of the living.

Such was the comforting message Jesus gave to the bereaved Martha when he said:

‘Thy brother shall rise again.

‘Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again

in the resurrection at the last day.

‘Jesus saith unto her, I am the resurrection and the life:

he that believeth in men, though he were dead, yet shall he 


Sister McKay joins me in sincere condolence and in the prayerful wish that this divine truth of Immortality will bring peace and comfort to your Loved Ones in this hour of bereavement.




Wednesday, June 12, 1957

Telephone conversation with Bishop Milson Clark, 2337 North Avenue, Chico, California (Fireside 2-6481).  (Chico Ward, Gridley Stake).

I called Bishop Milson Clark of the Chico Ward, Gridley Stake (California) in regards to the plane crash last Sunday, June 9, which killed four members of the Church who were returning from attending the Solemn Assembly in Los Angeles.  The victims were:  Owen Summer Wallis, 33; Harry Harris Smith, 42; Terrance P. Lockhart, 33; and Robert F. Peterson, 52.

I told Bishop Clark that I wished to express my personal sympathy and condolences on the great tragedy that had come to their Ward.  Bishop Clark said they appreciated my expression.  I then asked Bishop Clark if it would help in comforting the bereaved loved ones if a member of the Council of the Twelve were sent to attend the funeral services.  Funeral services will be held Thursday, June 13, at 11 a.m. in Chico, California for three of the brethren.  Funeral services for one of the victims of the party will be held in Downey, California, Friday, June 14 at 11 a.m.  Bishop Smith said it would be a wonderful thing, and would bring great comfort to the families if one of the Council of the Twelve could attend these services.

Bishop Clark stated further that he wondered about airplane connections.  He had checked yesterday, when inquiring about having temple clothing sent to Chico for the deceased brethren, and found out that the plane from Salt Lake City would arrive in Chico late in the afternoon–too late for the funeral services.  However, they would be happy to have someone meet the General Authority in Sacramento which is 100 miles from Chico.  I then asked Bishop Clark if there is a filght to Gridley, and he said that there is no airfield in Gridley, and the plane lands at Chico instead.

Bishop Clark asked me if I would let him check further on the plane schedules, and then he will call me back with more definite information.  I gave him the telephone number at the Church Office.

I said in the meantime that I should like him to extend to each family my sincere condolences and the assurance that their Loved Ones still live and that they will meet them again.

Bishop Clark thanked me for my telephone call and message.

Bishop Clark called me by telephone a few moments later and stated that connections could be made in time for the funeral services if one of the General Authorities would leave Salt Lake City, Western Airlines Flight 703, at 3:45 a.m. in the morning.  The plane would arrive in San Francisco at 6:20 a.m., and leave San Francisco at 8:45 a.m., and arrive in Chico, California at 10:20 a.m.  Bishop Clark said they will meet the General Authority, and that they will advise the airport to keep them informed regarding the schedule until the General Authority arrives.  The funeral services will be held at 11 a.m.

I then told Bishop Clark that I should take steps to have one of the General Authorities on the plane tomorrow morning.  Bishop Clark said, ‘I know that will help; you do not know how we appreciate this!’  I repeated again that we sympathize with them.

I then asked Bishop Clark if the report is correct that he was with these brethren about thirty minutes before the crash, and he said, ‘Yes.’  I asked him if there was any hesitancy on the part of the brethren to take the plane, and he answered that the brethren did not hesitate, and that they seemed to be just as ‘jovial and happy as ever.’  I then asked him from whom they rented the plane, and he said they rented it from the Dennis Airport in Chico.  I questioned further and inquired as to whether or not there was anything wrong with the plane.  Bishop Clark said that he did not think so.  It was the Bishop’s feeling that the black smog had confused the pilot, that he had lost control of the plane, and took a nose dive too fast, which tore the wing off.  They were going to visit a friend of one of the brethren on the way home.  The pilot apparently became lost in the black fog, and lost control of the plane.  At least, when the Bishop left the group they had indicated that they were stopping to see this friend on the way home.

I thanked Bishop Clark for the information he had given.

Telephone conversation with Bishop Fred G. Beebe, 7722 Allengrove Avenue, Downey, California (Topax 19711, Ext. 309.)  (Downey 1st Ward, So. Los Angeles Stake).

I called Bishop Fred G. Beebe of Downey 1st Ward, South Los Angeles Stake regarding funeral services to be held for one of the members of the party who was killed in a plane crash returning from the solemn Assembly held in the Los Angeles Temple, Sunday, June 9.  Bishop Beebe stated that the services were to be held Friday, June 14, at 11 a.m., Downey 1st Ward Chapel.

I then asked him if he thought it would be helpful for one of the members of the Council of the Twelve to attend this service and speak, and Bishop Beebe stated that it would be wonderful.  He felt that it would be tremendous if the Brethren would be that thoughtful and arrange for this.  I then stated that Elder Marion G. Romney will be attending the funeral services of three of the brethren who were killed in this same accident at Chico, California, Thursday, June 13, at 11 a.m.

Telephone conversation with Bishop Fred G. Beebe, Downey, California.

I told Bishop Beebe that we had asked Elder Romney to take a plane to Downey, and attend the funeral services there Friday.  Bishop Beebe then asked if they could make any arrangements to meet Elder Romney at the airport.  I asked Bishop Beebe where they would have to go to meet Brother Romney, and he stated that he would assume that he would arrive at Inglewood at the Los Angeles Municipal Airport.  Bishop Beebe stated that if he knew the flight number, he could arrange to have someone meet Elder Romney.  I told Bishop Beebe that I would have Brother Romney get in touch with him.  I then asked the Bishop for his telephone number in order that I could give it to Brother Romney, and Bishop Beebe stated that he would get in touch with the family this evening.

I asked him to extend to the family my personal condolences and assurances that this brother still lives and that they will meet their Loved One and associate with him in the Eternities.

Bishop Beebe stated that the family would be thrilled to know that I had called.  He thanked me again for my telephone call.

Later, Brother Romney called from the Salt Lake Airport, and I gave him the information given to me by these two Bishops.”

Mon., 16 Dec., 1957:

“After taking care of Huntsville business, drove to the Miller Floral Company in Farmington where I selected poinsettias and azalea plants for Christmas gifts.

I then drove down to Salt Lake and before going home called on Mrs. Ruth Petersen who has been confined in the County Hospital for over three years, having suffered several strokes.  Her voice is gone and she is totally paralized with the exception of her left arm.  As I came up to her bedside she recognized me, and took hold of my hand.  I presented her with a poinsettia plant, and her eyes shown with gratitude.  I have never known such a remarkable case–She has been unable to speak because of a stroke for twenty years; her husband passed away about the same time that she had her first stroke, and with dauntless courage she reared her two little girls to womanhood, managing to take care of all the duties of the home.  To visit her and partake of her sweet spirit was one of the sweetest experiences of my life.”

Wed., 18 June, 1958:

“Wendell M. Smoot, Senior Vice President of Zion’s First National Bank, funeral services held this day.

(see copy of letter to Mrs. Wendell Smoot, and newspaper clipping regarding Brother Smoot’s death, following)

Wednesday, June 18, 1958

June 18, 1958

Dear Sister Smoot and family:

When I learned that Brother Smoot’s affliction was undoubtedly fatal and might cause him unendurable suffering, I felt that in his passing, Death’s hand had a touch of gentleness; yet that does not lessen the poignancy of grief caused by parting from one whom we admire and love.

For several years, more especially since he was appointed Cashier of Zion’s Savings Bank and Trust Company, I have been closely associated with Brother Wendell, and learned not only of his clear vision and sound judgment as a leading banker, but of his unwavering adherence to what he thought was right.  His desire as a public servant was to be true to every trust.  His word his bond.  Truly as a business associate and friend we shall greatly miss him!

This makes us more keenly sensitive of the sorrow in your hearts at parting from a beloved husband and father.

Sister McKay joins me in expressing heartfelt sympathy and condolence, and in prayers that you will find consolation in the divine assurance that this parting, though final as to this mortal life, is but temporary as it pertains to the Spirit.

Said Jesus to the weeping Martha when Lazarus died:

‘Thy brother shall rise again.  Martha said unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.  Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life:  he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.’

Sister McKay and I pray that with cherished memories of association with a loving husband and noble father, this divine promise will bring comfort and solace to your aching hearts this day.


David O. McKay


Mrs. Wendell M. Smoot

    and Family

2941 St. Mary’s Way

Salt Lake City, Utah


Sat., 20 June, 1959:

“At 9 o’clock this evening a knock came at our door, and when I answered it I found a Mr. and Mrs. Dallas L. Barrett, Jr. of 952 W. 9th So. Street, Salt lake City.  Mrs. Barrett who was crying, held a baby in her arms.  I asked them in, and then they told me the story of how their three-year-old son was drowned in Great Salt Lake while the father was teaching the boy to swim.  They said the child had been taken to the County Hospital where they were applying artificial respiration.  Then the father said, ‘I have confidence that if you come down to the hospital and bless him, he will come back to life.’

I got the impression that the father had drowned the boy –he was besides himself with distraction.

I hurried out and got in the car and accompanied them to the County Hospital.  When we arrived there, we could not find a soul around to help us — no receptionist.  Finally we found someone and learned that the little boy had been taken to the morgue.

The parents urged me to give the boy a blessing, so I said to them, ‘The boy has gone; we cannot bring him back.  He ws born under the covenant and is yours for eternity; it is better the way it is.’  However, in order to comfort the parents I went down to the morgue with them and said a prayer over the child’s body.

Following this, the parents were confused as to what to do, so I said the first thing to do now is to get to a mortuary and make arrangements to have the body embalmed.  I don’t remember which one of them (either Mrs. or Mr. Barrett) said their Bishop (Bro. Julius A. Whitaker of the 26th Ward) had told the members of the Ward that if they needed a mortuary they were to call on the Deseret Mortuary.  However, I accompanied Brother and Sister Barrett up to the Larkin Mortuary from which place I called the Bishop (Brother Whitaker) and told him that I was there with members of his ward helping them to make arrangements for the burial of their little child.  He said that he had heard of the tragedy and had been trying to get in touch with the father.  I told him that the matter was now in his hands.

After making arrangments with the Larkin people, I left the parents and went directly home, it being 10:45 p.m..  I found Sister McKay very worried.  She feared something had happened to me, and had called our son, Llewellyn, who was trying to locate me.

Sunday morning Brother Barrett called at the house again.  He had written a letter which he handed to me.  He said that he would like me to attend the funeral services of his little boy if possible.  In his letter he said a few disturbing things.  For instance, ‘I realize more fully than ever that the waters are cursed and Lucifer reigns over them xxx amount of salt in Great Salt Lake xxx having never swum in it before xxx Little Ralph spoke to my wife in a dream and said all was well and he is being cared for and reared by his two grandfathers, with which he is very happy.  Heavenly Father and my earthly Father also spoke to me thru my mind and assured me all was well, so we both have assurance that all is and will be well in every way.’

This has been one of the most disturbing tragedies with which I have every been associated.

Tues., 3 May 1960:

“At 12:15 p.m., I met by appointment Sister Sara Minson of Boise Idaho (50 years of age) who was stricken with polio when she was two years of age, and was completely paralyzed for a few years.  Eventually she gained sufficient strength in her arms and upper body so that she moves around with help of braces, and also with crutches, on her still paralyzed legs.  She makes her own living.  Recently she wrote to me about receiving her endowments, which letter I took into the meeting of the First Presidency.  We had a serious question in our minds as to whether she could wear the garments next to her body (because of the necessary braces) in the event she obtained her endowments, or whether that would be an impossibility.  So I decided to invite her in to have a talk with me.

This morning, in discussing the problem with her, I advised her to wait until she might be given a husband, and then have her endowments.  She said that, of course, that could not happen in this life as she is totally paralyzed from the waist down.  I said that she would lose nothing by waiting until the time comes when she can receive the blessings of the endowments.

She was accompanied by her sister, a widow, with whom she lives in Boise.  They went away feeling all right about the decision that was made.

Tuesday, May 3, 1960

1302 North 21st

    Boise, Idaho

  May 17, 1960


Office of President David O. McKay

L.D.S. Church Headquarters

47 E. South Temple Street

Salt Lake City 11, Utah

Dear Sister:

I want to take this opportunity to express my thanks for the kind, understanding consideration you gave me and my sister when I had the privilege of talking with President McKay on May 3.  My heart was so full and I was so consumed with awe at being in the presence of the Prophet of God, that I was unable to control my emotions sufficiently to express my gratitude to you as I left your office.

You are truly a wonderful helpmate to the President – a most efficient secretary – and I am sure you appreciate the opportunity which is yours to be so closely associated with a man of President McKay’s calibre.

My Patriarchal Blessing told me that my handicap would prove to be a blessing in disguise, and because of it I would receive special blessings from the Lord which would bring me joys beyond measure, even such joys as others know not of.   My visit with you and our dear President was a fulfillment of that promise.

President McKay’s assuring words of encouragement were most helpful and comforting to me.  It was a real inspiration to witness his humble desire to serve and administer to my needs.  It was indeed a privilege to partake of the love and spirituality which radiated from his kind, understanding eyes.  Here was a man who was willing to consider my personal problem despite his anxiety over his wife’s health and the terrific responsibility which is his in these troubled times when it is often necessary for him to make momentous decisions which affect the lives of many.

We sincerely pray that Sister McKay’s health is improving and that both she and the President will be blessed with health to continue their wonderful mission here.  May you also be blessed in your special calling of lightening the President’s load; and helping others, as you did me, with your warm, understanding personality.  Thanks again.

Sincerely yours,

Sara Minson

P.S.  I am sorry I neglected to get your name when I was there.”

Tues., 8 Nov. 1960:

“Principle of Repentance as it Pertains to Prospective Missionaries Who May Have Trangressed

At this point, the members of the Presiding Bishopric and counselors of Richard L. Evans withdrew from the meeting.  Elder Richard L. Evans was asked to remain for a discussion of the case of a missionary from Colorado, a convert of two or three years, who had been guilty of transgression two years ago.  Elder Evans’ careful interview with the missionary brought out the impression that the missionary had repented and that he is a young man of good character and should normally be recommended to be called as a missionary, though the views of others would seem to be that he should not be recommended for call.

President Moyle explained that he and Brother Evans meet the newly arrived missionaries at the Missionary Home Monday mornings and instructions are given in the importance of a clear conscience before they go to the Temple and into the Mission Field.  Missionaries needing to make confessions do so.  Missionaries who disclose transgressions are not now sent into the Mission Field, but are returned to their homes from the Mission Home.

I emphasized the importance of Repentance and the possibility of saving a soul.  I said that I think we are not justified in sending a boy home who makes a confession, and who has kept himself clean since his transgression.  If he has truly repented, we are not justified in prohibiting him from going on a mission.

I then said that if you brethren feel that this boy in question is telling the truth, and if we then refuse to let him go on his mission, I feel that we are doing him an injustice, and the Lord will not be pleased with us.  When we say we shall not send any boy on a mission, we are taking judgment into our hands, and that decision really belongs to the Lord.  If a boy lies, that is his responsibility, and he will not amount to anything here or anywhere else.

President Moyle then said that he felt that way yesterday morning, but that he did not tell them (the missionaries) that he who confesses and repents will be forgiven.

I said that I feel that that attitude is Christlike, and that I feel that He would do it.

Brother Evans said that the boy confessed and was repentant.

I said ‘Go thy way and sin no more.’

Brother Evans said, ‘That is my feeling, President; I feel that any time we close the door forever, we discourage repentance and confession and confidence.’

I said that if we do not forgive, then we do not acknowledge that there is power in repentance; that I think repentance is a most Godlike principle.  Of all principles, repentance is the most Godlike.  I then said that I think we had better have an understanding about this with the Twelve.

President Moyle said that it becomes a matter of discretion for the Twelve to determine whether the repentance is sincere, and if it is, then the missionary should be allowed to go on his mission.

I said that I could see no other way; otherwise, we become somewhat pharisaical in our judgment and condemn a soul irrespective of his desire to do right.  I said that I would let this boy who has confessed to go on his mission.

Wed., 14 Feb., 1962:

“Today I called on Sister Willa Mae Wansgard who is suffering from muscular dystrophy and cannot move from her chair.  She cannot move a limb except her left arm.

When I was up in Huntsville two years ago to dedicate a new meeting house, Sister Wangsgard sent word asking that I administer to her, but I did not receive this request, and she was greatly disappointed.

Accordingly, today, before leaving for Salt Lake City, I called on her and administered to her.”

Fri., 16 Mar., 1962:

At this point, my secretary, Clare, came in and told me that President William Bates of the Manchester Stake, England, was on the telephone.  I, therefore, left the meeting and received his call.

He said that invitations to come to the annual conference of the Church had been issued to all their bishops and branch presidents, and that yesterday they had received a wire telling them to cancel the invitations for the branch presidents.  He said that there are six in his stake, four in the London Stake, and two in the Yorkshire Stake in Leeds.

I stated that there is nothing else to do but to let these people come since they have already made all arrangements.

(See following notes of conversation for details.)

Telephone conversation between President William Bates of the Manchester Stake, Manchester, England, and President David O. McKay, Friday, March 16, 1962, at 10:45 a. m.

McKay: Hello

Bates: Hello, President McKay ?

McKay: Yes .

Bates: This is President Bates. I am the Manchester Stake President.

McKay: Glad to hear from you.

Bates: Some time ago, President Tanner issued all our bishops and branch presidents a personal invitation to the forthcoming conference, and then we had a wire yesterday telling us to cancel the invitations for the branch presidents. Now, there are six of them. They will be very, very disappointed. They have already made arrangements to get their time off work, and told their friends they are coming. I am afraid it will do the Church a lot of harm if we cancel it at this stage.

McKay: Presidents of the Branches ?

Bates: Yes

McKay: Of course, that is a mistake. We wanted only the bishop s .

Bates: Yes, but we had already invited them. You see, President, we have already given them the invitation. They have got visas and passports, and they are all ready, and they have gotten time off work to come.

McKay: And how many are there?

Bates: Six. And I might suggest that if they came this time then we could economize next time, and not send anybody .


Bates: Then we will not do the Church any harm. Alternatively, I am willing to pay half if the Church will pay the other half. But, President, if we had gotten the names in time we could have gotten the fares at half rate on the boat, booking the passages of 25, and instead of paying $750.00 each, it would have only cost us $300.00 each, on the boat booking.

McKay: Yes, but you cannot do that now.

Bates: No, it’s too late. You see, it will look so foolish. They have told everybody they are going to America and everything, and then to have to go back — and for some of these men it has been a lifetime ambition to go to Salt Lake. And I actually checked with President Tanner and asked him to ring up Salt Lake to make sure that everybody was invited before I gave them the invitations, because I considered it would be better not to invite them, rather than to disappoint them. And he did check back to Salt Lake to make sure, and then, of course, I issued the invitations out after we had made sure.

McKay: Are these independent branches?

Bates: Independent branches, yes, President.

McKay: Within the stake?

Bates: Yes, within the stake. There are six of them,

McKay: The Presidents of branches in the missions are not invited?

Bates: No, they are not invited.

McKay: This relates only to stakes ?

Bates: Just for the stakes, yes. There are six here in my stake here–the Manchester Stake, and I believe there are about 2 in the Yorkshire Stake in Leeds, and about 4 in the London Stake. I should say there is about 20 involved in England.

McKay: Have you taken this matter up with Brother Tanner ?

Bates: Yes, and the reason why I am ringing up is because I am prepared to pay part of the fare expense myself.

McKay: (Laughter )

Bates: So I take the responsibility myself.

McKay: What about the other stakes ?

Bates: I don’t know. But I think it will do us more harm than good if we cancel at this stage now.

McKay: I see.

Bates: It will be terribly disappointing, and bad for the Church I feel. It has come too far. They have had the invitations for three weeks.

McKay: I see. We had better let them come this time.

Bates: I beg your pardon?

McKay: I say, we had better let the presidents of the branches come since they have prepared for it.

Bates: Yes, they have gotten the visas and passports, and not only that, the bishops who are going with them will feel a bit disappointed and upset if they have to leave these behind. It might spoil it for everybody.

McKay: Well, we had better let them come this time, and then we will make arrangements for next time.

Bates: Very well.

McKay: All right, thank you.

Bates: Thank you, President, and God bless you. We love you very much over here.

McKay: Thank you. Good-bye.

Bates: Good -bye.”

Tues., 12 June 1962:

9:00 a.m.

Met by appointment at their request, Brother and Sister Malan Johnson of Salt Lake City, parents of Elder Bryan Thomas Johnson who was killed, along with his companion, in an auto-train collision in Australia while on a mission.

I offered such consolation as I could to these good people.  They manifested a lovely spirit, and I was glad to meet them and talk with them, giving them assurance of the activity of such a missionary on the Other Side.  I said that no one can measure the good their son had accomplished in his seemingly short life, stating that ‘our echoes roll from soul to soul, and go forever and forever.’

Wed., 5 Mar, 1969:

“9:00 a. m. Meeting of the First Presidency. Presidents Brown, Tanner, Smith and Dyer were present.

Among the matters discussed were the following:

Church Attendance of Pregnant Girl

President Tanner also presented for the consideration of the brethren a draft letter that he had prepared addressed to Sister Jacobsen of the YWMIA in answer to her letter to Bishop Vanderberg relative to a 14 year old girl who had become pregnant out of wedlock. The specific question pertained to whether she should attend MIA and associate with the girls of her age group or if she should be asked to stay away from MIA during her pregnancy. The draft letter to be signed by the First Presidency suggested that it would be unwise for the girl during pregnancy, whether living in her own home or a foster home, to attend or associate with her age group in Church gatherings. The letter also suggests that if she has friends or relatives who live away from the area where she has her membership and her problem is known, it would be desirable to have her placed in such a home; that, however, wherever she lives people should be encouraged to show love, kindness and consideration to her during this trying time in her life. The letter was approved as drafted, with minor amendments.