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David O. McKay Diaries – “Ecumenism”

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

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Mon., 30 Aug., 1948:

“Judge Sterling R. Bossard of the Fourth Juvenile District of Utah, Manti, Utah called at the office–he discussed with me information that has come to him concerning delinquent girls and the need for assistance.  Said that at a meeting of the Juvenile Court Judges on August 30 they raised the problem of having some type of Training Center or School for delinquent girls.  Judge Clark had received a letter from the Catholic Church stating that the House of the Good Shepherd was anxious to establish a branch in the State of Utah.  Its purpose is to have a boarding school for delinquent and semi-delinquent girls between the ages of 12 and 30.  They advise that they will teach them regular academic courses as well as home economics and fine arts.  They also will give religious instruction to all students in this school.  They advise that the cost will be about $40 per month per student and they expect the County in which the child lives to pay this fee.

Judge Bossard said that it has been his experience during the past several months that the Catholic Church is doing very good work in helping delinquent girls and boys to re-adjust themselves in society.  Many boys and girls, because of this kind and considerate help from the Fathers and Priests, have become interested in the Catholic Church and are joining.  Judge Bossard said that he has found that in almost every case the child is joining the Catholic Church without having known what the principles of the Latter-day Saint Gospel are.  He thinks that the Church for the sake of our delinquent boys and girls should be able and willing to establish some type of work center or boarding school whereby we can help them to re-adjust in society and also teach them the principles of the gospel of which they are members.  He suggested that it might be possible if the L.D.S. School buildings are not being utilized to their full extent the church could set it up as a detention home and boarding school for semi-delinquent girls.  The need is for girls who are not so far off the straight and narrow path as to go to the Industrial School.  It would be mainly for those whoa re bored at home and for that reason run away and have not interest in their school or home.

I advised Judge Bossard that this matter would be taken up at the leading council meeting as soon as possible.”

Sat., 19 Feb., 1949:

“At 2 p.m. in the Ogden 3rd Ward, I met all the Stake Presidencies of the 8 stakes in Weber County . . .

Another question that came up was the seeming determination of the Catholics to convert as many Mormons here in the West as they possibly can.  There is no doubt but that there is an organized campaign on in this respect.

Wed., 2 Mar., 1949:

“At 9:40 this morning Brother Harry Clarke called me by telephone and said he had been disturbed over the Editorial appearing in the Tribune paper Monday morning—Feb. 28.  This editorial pertains to the high rate of divorce in Utah.  Brother Clarke said he felt that the editorial was prejudiced and that inasmuch as the Tribune is the 13th largest newspaper in the U.S. and that ‘their editorials are potent’, we should do something about learning the real facts.  I said we have no objection to the paper publishing the facts, and that they have the right to comment on anything that is News.  Brother Clarke then said that he had spoken to Bishop Hunt of the Catholic Church about the editorial and that he (Bishop Hunt) would like to talk to me, and Brother Clarke wondered if I had any objection to talking to the Bishop.  I said no, that I would be glad to talk to him.

At 10:20 Bishop Hunt of the Catholic Church called me.  Said Harry Clarke called him last night and made him feel ‘upset over the editorial that had appeared in the Tribune Monday, February 28’ pertaining to divorce rate and family life in Utah.

Bishop Hunt said that ‘Harry indicated that some of you think I had something to do with the writing of the Editorial.’  I assured Bishop Hunt that there is no such thought at all.  Bishop Hunt said: ‘You know very well I do not direct the editorials of the Tribune and they do not consult me about them–I gave very little attention to the editorial in question–I read it but thought no more about it.’  He said further, ‘I just wanted to clear that up.’

I then told Bishop Hunt that I did not know about the editorial until this morning; that I had not even seen Brother Clarke, that my secretary had called my attention to the editorial only this morning.

Bishop Hunt then said he thought when anything like this comes up that it is better to get in touch directly; that he did not want any misunderstanding–said he had enough to do in running the Church and that he tries to keep close to that channel although other things do creep in occasionally.

I said that the editorial seems to imply that we have been boasting of our high birth rate and low divorce rate and the writer is trying to prove that we have nothing to boast about.  I said further that it is a regrettable thing that divorce is increasing. As President Taft once said, ‘We must stop this breaking up of homes or go out of the business of government entirely’–divorce is a threatening evil.

Bishop Hunt said the current is against us, and that there is no use of our trying to close our eyes–the solidity of the Pioneers, etc., is not with us.

I told Bishop Hunt that I questioned the statement in the editorial that the divorce rate is almost 1 to 4; that in 1945 and 1946 the ratio was in excess of one divorce to every 3 marriages, and that I was interested to know our Church rate; that we have all classes of people in Utah that contribute to these statistics.  I said that I had asked a church statistician to check our church figures on divorce–Bishop Hunt said he would like to have them at hand, because he meets the question throughout his travels.”

Fri., 11 Mar., 1949:

“[Telephone call]  James H. Martin–Called him and told him that I wanted to speak to him personally about the contents of his letter of November 26, 1948 wherein he asks about the dedicating of cremated remains of the deceased.  I told him that I was appointed to see him personally about it rather than to write.  I then told him that it is deemed inadvisable to dedicate graves in which cremated remains are buried.”

Sun., 18 Aug., 1949:

“Sister McKay and I left Salt Lake at 7:45 this morning, and drove to Huntsville where I attended a 9 o’clock meeting of the Bishopric and Presidents of Quorums, only three of whom were present.  At 9:30 a.m., I met with the Priesthood of the Ward.  No special announcements had been made of my coming, so I met just the regular attendance at Priesthood meeting.  I presented to them the avowed activity of the CATHOLIC CHURCH here in Utah, and called their attention to a leaflet (copy attached) that designates Utah as ‘a foreign Mission close at home.'”

Fri., 7 Oct., 1949:

“Met Brother Harry Clarke at the counter as I was passing through the office, and he told me that Bishop Hunt of the Catholic Church is very anxious to see me and to talk to me about the pamphlet published under Bp. Steck’s direction.  I told Brother Clarke that if Bishop Hunt would call me by telephone and request an appointment, I should be glad to make a convenient time when he might see me.”

Tues., 11 Oct., 1949:

“Bishop Hunt of the Catholic Church called me by telephone at 9:45 this morning and asked if he could see me sometime today.  I told him that unfortunately I had regular meetings today that would keep me busy until about 12:30 p.m., and that this afternoon I had an appointment out of the City.  It was decided that 10 o’clock tomorrow morning would be a convenient time to meet, and I told Bishop Hunt that I should be pleased to see him.  Preferred that I meet him in his office at the Holy Cross Hospital.”

Wed., 12 Oct., 1949:

“At 10:15 a.m.–Met by appointment at his request Bishop Duane G. Hunt of the Catholic Church at his private offices in the Holy Cross Hospital.  (see notes attached hereto):

Report on visit with Bishop Duane G. Hunt of the Catholic Church, October 12, 1949:

President McKay reported that yesterday he accepted an invitation from Bishop Hunt of the Catholic Church to meet him at the Holy Cross Hospital this morning at 10 o’clock.  President McKay said that Bishop Hunt greeted him courteously and invited him into his private office at the hospital.  President McKay summarized the conference as follows:

Bishop Hunt said, ‘I am very much perturbed over this pamphlet, for the publication of which I will take the blame.  I did not prepare it, but in a thoughtless moment I did approve it.  I was caught off guard and I am to blame’–he repeated that.

Bishop Hunt continued in effect:  ‘I told Bishop Steck in our conference that we needed funds to carry on our mission.  Bishop Steck said, “Well, I can raise those funds,” and he submitted this plan last January.  I looked at his plan and gave my okey, and told him to go ahead.  It was to be sent out only to Catholics, including, of course, Catholics in Utah.’

Bishop Hunt continued, ‘When we found out that our own people objected to it, and that your people especially had objected to it, we discontinued the distribution of the pamphlet.’

President McKay said:  ‘We received a copy, it seems to me, only six weeks ago.’  Bishop Hunt said Bishop Steck told him that it had not been circulated since January.

President McKay said ‘Naturally we were perturbed.’

‘Well,’ said Bishop Hunt, ‘Catholics all over the United States are.’  And he added, ‘I am very sorry; I hope you will believe me.’

President McKay said, ‘I have no occasion to disbelieve you; I am sure that what we say here should be frank, open, and truthful on both sides.  That is the way I am approaching you this morning, and I take it you are approaching me the same way.’

‘Now,’ said Bishop Hunt, ‘I would explain that Mission means something different from the meaning that you give to it.  The term mission,’ explained Bishop Hunt, ‘is used by Catholics in two senses; one for propaganda in non-Christian countries; another in the sense of a mission in a parish, in which the Priest has insufficient funds to carry on his work.  We have such a mission in Richfield; we have such a mission in Davis County.  When, for example, the Priest down in Richfield is unable to support himself,’ (I interrupted and said, ‘You mean from the Catholic membership in that Parish,’ and Bishop Hunt said, ‘yes’) ‘then,’ he continued, ‘he must call on me for additional funds.  It is in this latter sense that we use this term mission in the pamphlet.

President McKay said:  ‘I rather think, Bishop, that the people of the United States would not have that distinction in mind, because it says on the pamphlet, “A Foreign Mission Close to Home.”‘

Bishop Hunt replied ‘I realize that it would be hard for me to make you believe otherwise.’

President McKay said ‘I believe it would be hard to make anybody believe otherwise.’

Bishop Hunt said, ‘Believe me, to the Catholics it will mean only the use of the Mission in the sense of the Priests; it was to support these priests; that is, a Mission down in Richfield.  There is a Priest appointed to take care of the Catholics in that parish who has not sufficient funds to pay his expenses.’

President McKay said, ‘Well, now to us that meant that you are doing missionary work there.’

‘I can understand that,’ said Bishop Hunt, ‘but believe me, we are not carrying on missionary work in the sense of propaganda here in these Western States.’

President McKay told Bishop Hunt that he would so report to his associates in the Presidency.

Bishop Hunt said that he wished I would; but, said he, ‘Let us not make it public; you do not realize what I have had to go through here.’

President McKay said, ‘Now, Bishop, since you have made these statements, I should like to open my heart to you.  It has been reported to us that you have publicly made appeal for funds in the United States, and that you have emphasized the need of missionary work here in Utah.  I think I have in my files a letter from one of our missionaries or branch presidents in Louisiana who attended one of your lectures there in Louisiana, in which you made just such an appeal as Bishop Steck has made in this pamphlet.  More recently, it is reported to us that you made another talk in Detroit, Michigan.’

Bishop Hunt said, ‘I have been in Louisiana; I have not been in Detroit for years.’

President McKay said, ‘Well, this is within the last year.’

Bishop Hunt turned to his book and said, ‘I have not been in Detroit for about five years, but I did speak in Chicago.’  He then said, ‘I refrained from saying anything about Mormons in Utah.  I do not give a prepared speech, but I refrain from mentioning the Mormon Church in public.  Of course, Utah means Mormons, but wherever I have appealed for funds in New Orleans, Chicago, or New York (I have spoken in New York recently), I have used the term Mission in the sense I have given to you.  That is the only sense in which I have used the Utah Mission, and I hope you will believe me on that.’

‘Furthermore,’ said Bishop Hunt, ‘I have been attacked recently by our Priests because the report has gone out that the Mormons are attacking the Catholics in Utah, and that I, as the Bishop, and doing nothing in retaliation, and,’ said Bishop Hunt, ‘I am not doing anything, and I do not propose to do anything.  Whenever an article was about to appear, I have telephoned them to stop it, if I have known about it.’  Bishop Hunt gave me special instances.  He said ‘Our paper out in Denver will probably print something; I am not sure whether I can stop that or not.  There is a feeling throughout the United States (this is from our side now) that the Latter-day Saints are persecuting the Catholics and are going to drive them out of the city, and they blame me for doing nothing about it.’

Bishop Hunt said, ‘We are not circulating any of these pamphlets.’

President McKay said, ‘We are; we are putting a copy of it in the hands of everyone of our Priesthood throughout the Church.’

Bishop Hunt made no comment.

President McKay said ‘Have you seen our answer to it?’

Bishop Hunt said ‘No.’

President McKay said, ‘I will send you one.  We cannot stop that, because it has already been distributed.’

Bishop Hunt said, ‘I am truly sorry; undoubtedly that will fall into hands of the Catholics.’

Bishop Hunt commenting upon Catholic meetings that are being held throughout the State said, ‘We held a meeting, for example, up in Ogden with our Priests and other Catholics, but that was to urge them to work among our delinquent Catholics.’  He said, ‘We do make some converts, and you make converts from us.’

He mentioned a man named Curran who at one time was preaching in some L.D.S. meetings.  Curran was attacking the Catholic Church, and irate Catholic members came to Bishop Hunt and said, ‘Why don’t you do something; why don’t you answer their attacks?’  Bishop Hunt reported that he replied to them,’ We will not say a word; he will run his course.  Later,’ Bishop Hunt said, ‘we learned he had been excommunicated from your Church, and we heard also that you had told your Bishops he was not to be invited to speak in your meetings.’

President McKay said that Curran is out of the Church, and is acting on his own responsibility.

In speaking of the need of funds here in Utah, Bishop Hunt said, ‘It is reported that we get money from the Pope.  That is not a fact; we have to send money to the Pope.’

Bishop Hunt further said:  ‘I like my radio work and you folks over at KSL have been kind enough to give me six months, but I cannot do my radio work and do duty to the parishes.  It is my duty to visit each parish–I must look over the receipts, the accounts, examine the vestments, etc.  I examine the office and buildings, and attend to all those details of all the parishes.  These matters take too much of my time, so I asked for an assistant, and Bishop Steck was given to me as my co-ordinate worker.’

President McKay said, ‘We understand that he is especially skilled in missionary work, and that that is why he has been sent to Utah.’

Bishop Hunt said, ‘No, he isn’t a missionary; that is not his work.’

In corroboration of what Bishop Hunt said about his efforts to keep peace between the two churches, he cited some accusations that had been made by members of our Church, including one apostate–

1. The answer of the Deseret News to an attack made by the ‘Catholic register’ was very caustic, and the Catholics insisted that Bishop Hunt ‘come back at us,’ but Bishop Hunt said: ‘No, we started this thing, and we will stop it.’

2. Remark made by Joseph F. Smith when he was Patriarch to the effect that if the Catholic religion were combed with a fine tooth comb, you would be unable to find one of them who believes in the resurrection of the body from the grave. Bishop Hunt said: ‘Members of our Church insisted that we publicize this as a most erroneous statement, but I said: “No, we shall pay no attention to it.”‘  Bishop Hunt then said: ‘That remark is just as ridiculous as I should say that you could comb the Mormon Church with a fine tooth come and not find one of them who believes in baptism.’

When at Bishop Hunt’s invitation I entered his office he motioned for me to sit in a certain chair, stating, ‘I’m getting old; I can hear you better if you sit on this side.  I cannot hear so well on the other side.’  He then said that he is 65 years of age.  I said: ‘You’re just a young man–I’m 11 years older than you are.’  Bishop Hunt then remarked that he thought I was well preserved and asked me if I attributed it to the keeping of the Word of Wisdom.  I said ‘Yes, I do.’  Bishop Hunt then said: ‘There is virtue in your Word of Wisdom; I keep it myself.’  He said that he doesn’t smoke nor drink tea or coffee.  He asked me what I thought about ‘Sanka’ coffee.  I said that inasmuch as the caffein has been removed, it should be harmless, but that I did not use it bcause persons coming to the house would not be able to distinguish it from the real thing.  Bishop Hunt said that he drank ‘Sanka’ three times a day.”

Wed., 12 Oct., 1949:

“Mark Petersen called–Said Junius Jackson could tell  me about Bishop Hunt’s talk (I believe in Chicago) during which Bishop Hunt made the statement that the Catholics here are having such a time with the Mormons because we are ‘running everything,’ and that missionary work is extremely difficult and that is the reason they are appealing for funds.  Bro. Petersen said he would call Brother Jackson and have him come in and give me the facts.  Said that Bro. Benson on two or three occasions has had incidents regarding Bishop Hunt called to his attention.”

Wed., 7 Dec., 1949:

“[Telephone call] Mrs. Reeder–She told me about the Youth meeting she attended Sunday night at which one Ralph Bailey, a former member of the Catholic Church, was the speaker.  She said that he impressed the young people very much, 968 of them being present. They were permitted to ask questions regarding the Catholic Church, and Bro. Bailey compared the beliefs of that church with our own church.  I told Sister Reeder that Brother Bailey should not be permitted to go from ward to ward as he has been doing; that I should like to speak to the brethren about it, and will let her know.”

Fri., 27 Apr., 1951:

“[Clare note] Dean Dunham Taylor of the Episcopal Church and Dean of the St. Marks Cathedral telephoned to say that on Tuesday, May 1, Bishop Henry Knox Sherrill, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal, and President of the World Council of World Churches will be in the city, and wishes to pay his respects to President McKay.  I explained to Dean Taylor that Pres. McKay is leaving the city this evening and is not expected to return to the office until Wednesday morning; that if he should return in time to meet this gentleman that I should call him.”

Tues., 28 Aug., 1951:

“An interesting letter was received from The Right Reverend Richard S. Watson, Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Utah, who extended friendly good wishes and then stated that at the early service of the St. Marks Cathedral Sunday morning, August 25, prayers were offered in my behalf.  I truly appreciated their consideration and kindness.”  [Pres. McKay had been ill for several days with an inner ear disorder.]

Sat., 8 Sep., 1951:

“78th Birthday . . .

Later in the afternoon I became pretty well fatigued, so went upstairs to lay down.  About an hour later Mama Ray came up and said, ‘While you were resting, Reverend Arthur W. Moulton called to see you.  She handed me the Reverend’s card which gave his address on 5th East, and apartment number, and upon which the Reverend had written (immediately following the apartment number) the words ‘also 78.’

When I read the card I said to Ray: ‘I must dress and repay the Reverend’s visit.’

I immediately dressed and drove to the address on the card.  I entered the building and climbed to the second floor to ‘apartment 78’ only to find that it was not the Reverend’s apartment.  I then walked down to the first floor to the Manager’s office and was informed by the Manager that the Reverend’s apartment was on the fourth floor, so I climbed four flights of stairs to his apartment.

Mrs. Moulton answered the door, and I asked if Reverend Moulton was in.  At first she did not recognize me, but invited me in and went to the next room to tell the Reverend that he had a visitor.  When he came in and saw me standing there, his face lighted up, and he said: ‘President McKay–why President McKay!  This is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me–Why it’s wonderful!! Come in, come in–sit down, let me take your hat.’

I then said to him: ‘Reverend Moulton the doctors were probably right when they told me that I should take a rest and see no more visitors for the day, and my son was undoubtedly right when he explained to you when you called that I was under doctors orders to see no more visitors for the day, but it is not right for me to let your gracious, considerate call go unheeded, so I am here to pay my respects to you, and to thank you for your consideration in calling at my home today to offer your congratulations and respects on my birthday.’

The Reverend was visibly moved and he repeated, ‘Why I have never had anything so nice happen to me before.  Won’t you please sit down and visit with me.’

I said, ‘No, thank you, I cannot stay; I must get back home.’  I then said: ‘I notice that you wrote on your calling card the words ‘also 78.’  Is it your birthday today?’  He answered: ‘No, I just wanted you to know that I am also 78 years of age; but how I wish I had the honor of being born on the same day as you!’  I then said: ‘When is your birthday?’  He replied, ‘May 3,’ and I exclaimed: ‘Why that is my father’s birthday!’  The Reverend remarked: ‘How wonderful!  Now I feel like I am related to you.’

As I picked up my hat to leave the Reverend came over to me, put his hands upon my shoulders, bowed his head, and gave me a blessing.  I reciprocated by giving him a blessing.  He then told me that Bishop Watson of the Episcopalian Church had offered prayers in my behalf in their Sunday morning meeting September 2, 1951 when I was so ill in the hospital.  I told Rev. Moulton that the Bishop had sent me a letter to that effect, and that I had sincerely appreciated their thoughtfulness and prayers in my behalf.

Reverend Moulton insisted upon going down the stairs to the door with me.  When I remonstrated, he was more determined than ever to go with me.  He accompanied me right to my car, and when he saw that there was no one at the wheel, he exclaimed, ‘What! did you drive the car yourself–didn’t any one drive you over here?’  I said, ‘No, I usually drive my car.’  He then said he appreciated more than ever the effort I had put forth to come to see him to repay his visit.

I left the Reverend feeling satisfied that I had done the right thing by repaying his visit of this afternoon, and that much good would result from the contact we had with each other this day.”

Tues., 16 Oct., 1951:

“At 5 p.m. Ralph W. Hardy, Director of Government Relations of the National Association of Broadcasters, Washington, D.C., formerly a member of the Young Men’s Superintendency, called at the office.

The purpose of his visit was to explain the reasons why he and Elder Alton B. Moody think it advisable for the Church to withdraw from membership on the General Commission on Chaplains.  They had made that recommendation sometime before.  Pres. Clark had advised that they consult the chief man of that organization and present the case to him.

Brother Hardy reported that in compliance with that advice they had had a meeting with Dr. Thomas Rymer, Director of the Commission on Monday, October 1.  At this meeting they opened up the subject of possible withdrawal of the Church from the Commission.  Mr. Rymer looked upon their plan favorably; he could see how the church’s plan was really not fostered much by the recommendations and publications of the Protestant group.  Mr. Rymer asked, however, if Brother Hardy and Elder Moody had thought about how the Mormon Chaplains would give instructions regarding their administering final rites to Protestant soldiers who were wounded or dying.

I remarked: ‘Well Mormon Chaplains would get it just as the Catholics or Jews get it.’  Brother Hardy answered, ‘Yes, that is what they thought.’

I suggested that they go ahead and make plans for the separation.”

Sun., 16 Dec., 1951:

“During the afternoon called at the Holy Cross Hospital to administer to little Julene Butler, who is afflicted with ‘polio.’ Dr. Beck is taking care of her.  She is a very sweet little girl.

As I entered the building I met Dr. Duane G. Hunt, Bishop of the Catholic Church.  He introduced me to the Sister Superior.  I am afraid I caused quite a ‘stir’ among the sisters.  one of them took me through the building.  I also met two of our own girls who are training at the hospital.  Two of the Catholic sisters were present while I administered to Julene.”

Fri., 9 May, 1952:

“Rabbi Fink called to invite me to be present at the dedication of a new structure in connection with the Jewish synagogue on 249 South 4th East.  Would like me to say a few words at that time. Later, through my secretary, I thanked Rabbi Fink for his invitation and expressed regrets that an appointment to Fresno, California would preclude my attendance on this occasion.  (Richard L. Evans to represent the Church.)”

Wed., 22 Oct., 1952:

“[First Presidency meeting]  I mentioned that the Catholic Jesuits, who are the missionary force of the Catholic Church, have come to Utah and have published a scholarly work on baptism for the dead in answer to our claims.  They are following this up with other attacks.  I thought this might be answered in special priesthood meetings in the stakes in connection with quarterly conference.”

Sat., 28 Feb., 1953:

“Meeting held Saturday, February 28, 1953, at 1:00 p.m., at the Ogden Third Ward.

Present:  President David O. McKay and Weber County stake presidencies, as follows:

Ben Lomond Pres. Heber J. Heiner and two counselors

East Ogden Pres. Scott B. Price and two counselors

Farr West Pres. W.J. Maw and two counselors

Lake View No representatives

Lorin Farr Pres. Elton W. Wardle and two counselors

Mt. Ogden Pres. Albert L. Bott (counselors excused)

North Weber Pres. Thomas O. Smith and one counselor

Ogden Pres. Laurence S. Burton and two counselors

Riverdale Pres. Rudy L. Van Kampen and two counselors

South Ogden Pres. Wm. J. Critchlow, Jr., two counselors

Weber Pres. N. Russell Tanner and two counselors

Invocation—President Burton

President Critchlow introduced the subject of the meeting, consideration of plans to build a new Ogden Tabernacle.  A tabernacle, he stated, was needed for cultural, as well as ecclesiastical, activities.  The Catholic Church had acquired a place for a convent, were already building a high school to be ready for occupancy in the fall, on upper 25th Street.  They had tried to acquire the Central Building of Weber College.  The State also desired the building for housing various state agencies.  The Reclamation Service was interested in acquiring the Industrial Arts Building.  Weber College, if it should receive the appropriation desired, would be on its new campus very soon.

The meeting was then turned over to President McKay.  He expressed thanks to meet with these brethren, and also for their offer to meet with President McKay in Salt Lake City.  He then continued, substantially as follows:

Fifty-eight years ago my brother, my father, Jeanetter, Annie and I rolled over the sand ridge with horse and wagon, a cow in the trailer, with a sack of flour milled form wheat we had grown, with jars of fruit which Mother had put up, going down to start our schooling at the University.  We got as far as Farmington and had a chance to sell the cow, so we did this and took another one later.  We were assured of bread, milk, and fruit.  We rented a house and thus began our first year.  The second year, we rented a house from Mrs. Riggs, the mother of my wife.  I tell Sister McKay I found it easier to marry than to pay rent.

How the years pass!  George F. Richards and I came up to divide the stakes into four; now we have eleven!  That is typical of the growth throughout the Church.  It is just thrilling to see how the Church is moving on.  I was deeply impressed with it last Sunday.  Palo Alto is one of our new stakes.  Before going there, I anticipated a new stake needing new halls, and so on.  San Mateo, fifteen miles from Palo Alto, is the first to be dedicated.  It is a magnificent meeting house, costing $200,000.  After two sessions, we drove over to Burlingame, where another chapel was ready for dedication within two weeks.  To my astonishment, a group there in the city had volunteered to do all the landscaping and keep it up.  They had already transplanted two trees worth at least $300 each, had placed flowers in the entranceway where there was a garden box, and they agreed to keep flowers there all through the year!

Three other wards have their buildings under construction.  That will mean that all those five wards will have their own buildings within eighteen months.  Two of those wards already are ready to be divided, so at least two buildings will be used by two ward each.  This is indicative of the growth of the Church.

When we came home, there was a contribution from one man of over a million dollars.  He had turned over his land and cattle and then offered to take care of them!  They can’t tell me that there isn’t as much faith in the Church as there ever was!

We are short of missionaries, of course, but it is surprising how many are sending in contributions to help pay the local people.  We do not support any local man entirely, but if he can pay his way half time, our missionary fund will help him the other half.  This will supplant the fast-dwindling corps of missionaries.

One man and his wife sent in their first check for $50, saying they had knelt down in prayer and decided they could keep a missionary in the field for two years.

However, we must not shut our eyes to the fact that we have our enemies in our midst.  Any amount Catholicism needs to counteract one Church they fear will be at hand.  It is all right—we know them and they know us.  We challenge their authority, and they know that of all the dissenting sects of Christendom, the only one they need to fear is not one dissenting, but one established by direct revelation.  That challenges their authority; the others do not.

Regarding this building, the Central High School:  Confidentially—we do not want to advertise this ( we have no reporters here, have we?)—steps were taken to establish a Catholic high school on the old Weber College property.  This is what is meant to me:  My grandfather settled down there on 28th Street and Lincoln.  You young boys do not remember the orchard there.  My grandfather said to me, ‘I ken what ye did last night.’

‘I did nothing last nigh,’ I answered.

‘Yes, you did.’

‘I did not!’

‘Ye slept with your hair on your head and you tongue in you mouth!’

Uncle Isaac sold it to the Catholics, and there is an elementary Catholic school there now.

The choice spot in the Ogden Valley is owned by the Catholics.

I shall always respect Bishop Hunt and what he did the other day.  Before I went to California, he asked for an appointment, came to the office, and said, ‘Frankly, we are contemplating building a high school up in Ogden.  You know where our church is over there on 24th Street.’  He pulled out a plan of the academy block and said, ‘It is the Central High School.  I understand that if Weber College vacates the buildings on that block, some of them come back to you, but I think that this one is not included.  I am here for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not you want that building.  If you do, we will withdraw.  If you do not, we would like to purchase that and also the interior of this block for recreation.’

Without hesitation, I said, ‘We want it.’

He said, ‘Then we will withdraw.  May I ask what you want it for?’

‘Well, I think we will use it for educational purposes.’

He wanted to know which grades, specifically, but I told him we would have to consider that.

These things are given to you confidentially, as well as reminiscently.

For years we have had here in mind a tabernacle on the tabernacle square, and some of you remember the old foundation that was put in and finally left crumble.  It was put there in the center of the square, and I suppose there is not a rock left there.

The desire for a tabernacle dates way back in time.  It was my privilege to be associated with the Presidency when they investigated the title and carried it right to Congress, which decided that nothing short of an act of Congress could improve the title.

Now, as to the advisability of building a tabernacle.  We need it, and we need a good one.  I am glad President Critchlow could hear you say, and I was glad to receive your letter with ten signatures to the effect that you would like to go ahead.  I am surprised that the plans are not completed.  We submitted them to the Brethren.  The first plan was rejected because it was decided that there should be stake centers for recreation, and I still think that is right.

In Palo Alto, every ward has a recreation hall, but not one where they can play basketball.  They are planning to have a stake center for this.

The plans, if I remember right, will seat about two thousand people; do you feel this is adequate?  I called Thomas E. this morning, who sends his love to you, and he said, ‘Don’t let them build it too small!’

President Critchlow:  There was an anteroom to be built on the side, which would take care of another five hundred to one thousand people.

President McKay:  That is all right.  I believe it is ample, and we so decided.

The Expenditures Committee has approved of it; there is no question down there.  Brother Anderson, the architect, approved of it.  The Building Committee, the Presiding Bishopric wonder why you are not going ahead with it, and I have wondered.  Somewhere along the road, it is stymied.

President Critchlow:  They told us they would not proceed until they had the signatures of all the presidencies.  We lacked one, as you know.

President McKay:  I am sorry President Peterson is not here, but he did come to the office several weeks ago and presented the question then of whether they should hold their stake meetings in their new meeting house.  He reported that the Riverdale Stake would be satisfied to hold meetings there.  But that  would be inadvisable.  If you start holding two stake conferences in one ward meeting house, you will have trouble.

President Van Kampen:  We decided to go along with the rest.

President McKay:  You present, in your letter, a solid front.  I thought, if it meets with your approval, we will say to President Peterson and his counselors, ‘Present this question to your people.  If they wish to carry on as an independent stake and not join in the building of the tabernacle, let the people so express themselves.  If they express themselves that they would like to remain, we will have eleven stakes instead of ten.  If they wish to go independently, that is their right.’  Is that satisfactory?

(General agreement was expressed)

President ________:  I am anxious to have a stake building as anyone, but I believe I speak the mind of many people when I say this:  Realizing the cost, these thoughts run through my mind:  If the Church comes back into possession of the Moench Building, would it be possible for the Church to purchase that whole half block?  We have the Institute of Religion on that block.  If the Moench Building were razed, and the other buildings removed, it would make a beautiful location for the tabernacle, away from noise and other disturbing factors.  The old block would be purchased by business such as Sears, who would build a store like that one in Salt Lade.  Many people feel that way.  If it could be done, they would like to see it.  If a beautiful tabernacle were where the Moench Building now, many would like it.  Sears had no desire to remove the old tabernacle.  I am merely expressing the opinion of many people, but I will support the motion to build on the old ground when it is presented.

President McKay:  I am glad you brought that up.  We have had several from time to time, call and give that suggestion, so it has been under advisement, and, as you say, it has merit; but there are so many elements which deserve consideration.

When that block comes back to us, besides the Moench Building, there will be the gymnasium, the addition which we have built in 1905, the two Ricks Buildings, the Institute Building, the Harvest (?) Building.  All of those will come back to us and will be used for educational purposes.  If you attempt to put in this tabernacle, you first problem is that of parking, which is one of the most serious problems of this modern day.  The parking problem could be overcome.

This could not be overcome:  Getting through legislative action so that you could get a title to sell.  You have ample space in the old tabernacle block.  You brethren can arrange for helping the City with parking.  You could get quite an income on week days.  There may be a tax problem, but if it were necessary to pay taxes, you could give it to the city.

For these and other reasons, we are prompted to go ahead and build a beautiful building of the tabernacle square and arrange parking for those who come into the city.

You will be delighted with some additional plans for the other block, of which you are not now aware.

President _______:  Many have wondered whether or not a temple will be needed in Ogden sometime.

President McKay:  Several years ago a committee came from Ogden, giving figures showing the financial saving to the people of Ogden if we had a temple.  They even went so far as to give a plan where the ordinances could be presented completely, saving time and all.  It appealed to me at that time.  To my surprise, the Building Committee and the Presidency already had a similar plan, and that plan will be used in Bern, Switzerland, I hope, beginning this spring, and it will not cost more that $350,000.  As far as Ogden is concerned, blessed are they who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed.  If it should ever come to Ogden, however, wouldn’t that up there be a wonderful place?  Let us say nothing about this to the public.

Moved by President Maw that President Peterson and his counselors of Lakeview Stake be asked to present the question to their people of their remaining as an independent unit outside the ten stakes in the matter of building a new Ogden tabernacle; that they abide by whatever their decision might be with the understanding that if they should come in, they should share equally the expense; if they should stay out, the other ten stakes should assume the responsibility of financing the project.

Motion seconded by President Tanner.  Motion carried unanimously.

It was felt that Lakeview Stake should be encouraged to remain with the other ten stakes, that its support might not be lost, since so much more could be done cooperatively.

Question:  If we get more stakes, this might be a problem.

President McKay:  Perhaps one conference a year could be held in the high school.  If the Weaver College buildings come back, we will have additional room.

Question:  I hope the outside would be beautified—not just as a parking area.

President McKay:  That will be left to the vote of you brethren.  It will be done to you satisfaction.

Question:  We would still have the old tabernacle, would we not?

President McKay:  Coming up here today, this verse came to my mind:

Woodsman, spare that tree

Touch not a single bough.

In youth it sheltered me,

And I will protect it now.

With a little expense I think it can be preserved and used as a music hall, for special meetings of your Priesthood, welfare meetings and other purposes.  My advice would be to keep it.  We are tearing down too many of our landmarks.

Another thing—and this must be in confidence:  Somebody here in Weber said we haven’t anybody here to take the contract.

President Critchlow:  We had bids from several L.D.S. contractors.

President McKay:  This is coming up next Tuesday before the Expenditures Committee.  We should start building this spring.

President Tanner:  We have at least two contractors here who could be bonded.

President Critchlow:  The lowest bidder was not an Ogden contractor.

President McKay:  What do you think about choosing someone and putting it on a cost-plus basis?

President Tanner:  I think it would be better to put the responsibility on the contractor.

President Critchlow:  We would like to have Ogden architects draw up the plans.

President McKay:  I shall report this meeting, too, and if they have already begun to itemize specifications, we shall have to let it go as it is.  We shall notify you after next Tuesday.

Just this in conclusion:  Never before were the lines drawn so definitely between the Roman Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as they are drawn today.  Thus far there is no enmity in the hearts of the Catholics—at least it is not shown outwardly.  There is no enmity in our hearts.  One priest said to President Clark:  ‘I m you enemy,’ but he said it with a good nature.  He also said, ‘We are going to win as many of your folks as we can, but up to date you are winning more from us than we are from you.’

May the Lord help us to continue that.  With unity, wisdom, and, above all, with inspiration, the Lord’s work will progress; and I pray that you and all of us may be so guided that the work may be increased and continue to grow as it is.  I ask it in the name øƒ Jesus Christ.  Amen.”

Tues., 19 May, 1953:

“9 a.m.—Met by appointment in the First Presidency’s meeting Miss Pierce, Executive Secretary of the Y.W.C.A., and Mrs. Lavina Brown, a member of the Board of Directors of the Y.W.C.A.  They discussed their campaign to raise $400,000 to provide necessary improvement in their buildings.  Said they had received some very generous gifts and were hoping the Church would be willing to give their generous support.  They expressed hope that the Church would match their largest gift.  In the course of the interview they said one man had contributed $33,700.  We explained that the Church is building 400 chapel a year besides a $3,000,000 Temple in Los Angeles, and taking care of our own need in the Young Women’s M.I.A. and the Relief Society, etc., that the Relief Society is going to build a new building.  We explained that business companies in which the Church is interested will no doubt be solicited also.  They said they wanted to have this conference with the First Presidency before going to the other Church institutions.  We told them the business enterprises stand on their own footing.

Mrs. Pierce explained that this is a community enterprise and that many of our own people participate in the use of their facilities; they have many of our workers active with them, two of our people, Mrs. Garff and Mrs. Dewey are on their board, and that because of the large support our members give to the Church it is difficult to get them to contribute to other enterprises.  In answer to inquiry they said that a majority of the girls at the Y are between 17 and 25 and that they pay $11 to $12.75 per week for room and board.  They have forty beds and that is not adequate to take care of those who need their service.

I explained that the Church has an organization looking after girls who come to the city form the country to work, who do not apply to the Y.W.C.A.  Mrs. Pierce said that their Mrs. Poulson is constantly in touch with our Bee Hive House residents.  They explained that the Y gives opportunity for girls to meet others under the same circumstances and gives them a security they do not have in hotels.  They do not permit drinking of beer or liquor, but do permit smoking.  In answer to a question from Pres. Clark, they said they permit boys and girls to swim together and the Negroes are permitted to go into the pool with the white girls and also to dance with the white girls.  They said that they have many service men come there for entertainment, both white and colored.

We said we would take the matter under advisement.

Tuesday, June 2, 1953—At Chicago, Illinois

Just before we arrived in Chicago, we heard part of the ceremonies of the crowning of Queen Elizabeth the II.  I heard enough to convince me that the Coronation was a sacred ceremony.  (see attached)

Sat., 13 June, 1953:

“Spent several hours at the office during the day.

This evening, just before Sister McKay and I left to attend the Scout program at the U or U Stadium, a Mr. William F. Barton and his wife and child called at the house.  Mr. Barton said that they are not members of the church, but had come to me for financial help after having been to me local Catholic parish (they being members of the Catholic Church) where they had been refused help.  Mr. Barton said that he had lost his purse containing all the money they owned.

As they had no place to stay that night, I arranged with the covey’s Motor Lodge to reserve a room for them for the night and to send the bill to me.

Sunday morning, the Bartons came to the house again, and this time Mr. Barton asked me to lend him money to get to his home in Illinois.  Feeling sorry for the wife and baby, I gave him $60, the amount he said needed to get home at 4034 North Washington St., Downers Grove, Illinois.  Mr. Barton thanked me with tears in his eyes.  It remains to be seen if he will keep his promise to return the $60.”

Tues., 8 Sep., 1953:

President McKay then made the following remarks: . . . As long as we are one, and we have the Lord with us, nothing else need worry us or give us concern.  No matter how many enemies attack us, no matter how subversive the influence of Catholics, Communism or other isms, we are all right as long as we are united in supporting one another.

Thurs., 3 June, 1954:

“9 to 9:50 — First Presidency’s meeting – see attached sheet.

10 to 3 p.m.  – Council meeting

President McKay made the following observation, at the Council meeting today:

‘It is more apparent than ever, becoming more apparent each day, that two great organized forces, the purpose of which is to undermine the high principles of the Restored Gospel, are operating.  One is Communism, which is moving aggressively over the face of the earth, fundamentally prompted by disbelief in the existence of God, a rejection of the life of Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world, and is against the Church.  The other is the Catholic Church, which is showing more clearly than ever before that they are determined to counteract the influence of the Church in this western country.

‘Illustrative of the Communistic influence is the recent dismissal of a great scientist, not that he is a Communist, but that he is risky, a pretty weak dismissal of a man in such a high position, who has threatened the safety of our Republic.

‘And then the farce that is going on now in Washington between McCarthy and the Army.  Undoubtedly, the Communistic influence is being exerted there to lessen the influence of men who would ferret out the enemies in the high places of our government.

‘More than ever the responsibility is ours to appeal to our people to be loyal and true to the reality of the restoration of the Gospel, which discloses the reality of our Father in Heaven, the relationship of his Son to the Father, ‘This is my Beloved Son,’ and the principles of the everlasting Gospel as restored.  May God’s influence and guidance be yours, members of the Twelve, and ours as the First Presidency, to discharge our duties in accordance with his mind and will, I fervently pray in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Catholic Advertisement in Wall Street Journal

At the request of President McKay, there was then read for the information of the Brethren a Catholic Church advertisement which appeared in the ‘Wall Street Journal’ Tuesday, May 25, 1954, entitled ‘Will you Help the Latter-day Saints,’ and containing a picture of the proposed abbey to be built in Huntsville.  The article is an appeal for funds to help build the abbey in their campaign to convert Latter-day Saints.  In this connection President McKay referred to a conversation he had with Bishop Hunt of the Catholic Church a few years ago regarding the missionary pamphlet that that Church had published, at which time Bishop Hunt said that missionary work did not mean that they had in mind the conversion of the people of Utah, but the paying of the expenses of the mission of the Catholic Church.” 

Tues., 6 July, 1954:

“Contributions for Huntsville Monastery

A letter was read from President Mortenson of the Rochester, Minnesota Branch reporting on his investigation regarding the advertisement issued by the Catholic Church pertaining to and asking for contributions for the building of a trappist monastery in Huntsville, Utah.  The Brethren thought it might be advisable to tell the people in Huntsville about these activities by the Catholics and that perhaps something might be published in the Deseret News.  They made no decision in regard to the matter.”

Fri., 20 Aug., 1954:

First Presidency’s meeting

4.  Indian Converts and Catholic Persuasion

Letter was read from President Buchanan of the Southwest Indian Mission, stating that we have converted quite a number of young Indian people, and that the Catholic Church is giving to these young converts clothes and other help to persuade them to go to Catholic schools and come under Catholic instruction.

Wed., 28 Sept., 1955:

Telephone Conversations

September 28, 1955

Senator Arthur v. Watkins called me by telephone today regarding the case of Falzapore Granese, an Italian.  Senator Watkins had received a message on this case from President Harold I. Bowman, President of the Spanish-American Mission, San Antonio, Texas.  Mr. Granese was a Catholic Priest who has been converted to the L.D.S. Church.  He married a girl who is a member of the Church.  She had been a Catholic.  The Catholic Church authorities are trying to have this man deported.  The matter is quite urgent inasmuch as it is indicated that the Sheriff of the county is about to arrest this man and give him a bad record.  Senator Watkins wanted to know how far we desired him to go on this case.

I told the Senator that I recalled seeing something in some accumulated correspondence which probably pertained to this same matter.  I told him I would look this material up and that I would like to discuss the matter with my two counselors.

Senator Watkins stated that he would like to know about this matter as soon as possible in order that he could call Washington and try to get the Immigration Authorities to hold up any action.

Senator Watkins also stated that he would like to have an appointment with me as soon as possible to discuss the situation here in the State politically.  I told him that I would make an appointment with him as soon as possible.

Later I phoned to Senator Watkins and read to him letter of  July 28, 1955 from President Harold I. Bowman and our reply thereto regarding the Falzapore Granese case.  I told Senator Watkins that this is all we know about this man, and that they had better hold the man here until we know more about him.  Senator Watkins said that he would call the Immigration officials and do what he could for this man, but if they deport him and he got into Italy, they would never let him out.

(see next page for letters pertaining to this case.)

September 28, 1955

August 8, 1955

President Harold I. Bowman

Spanish American Mission

519 West Ashby Place

San Antonio, Texas

Dear President Bowman:

Your letter of July 28th regarding an unnamed Catholic priest has been received.

We do not understand your statement:  ‘The Catholic Church will not give him his citizenship until next June.’  Of course, you understand that the Catholic Church does not grant citizenship to aliens, but the government of the United States.  That is, of course, controlled by Federal law.  If he has any question regarding steps that should be taken in order to acquire his citizenship, he should consult some competent attorney.

We know nothing about this man except what you have written, but we might say to you that we have had unfortunate experiences with persons, ex-priests or near priests, who have joined the Church.  Usually they are men of intelligence and ardor and apparently sincere, but sometimes these people remain in the Church long enough to go to the temple and then become discouraged or disheartened, or whatever it may be, and go back to the Catholic Church.

We think that your local officers should be most cautious and careful in their dealings with this man to be sure that he understands just what the effects will be if he comes into the Church and then is excommunicated from the Church for some reason.  You will also have in mind what the effect can be on our Church and those who come in contact with him and come to place reliance in him.

Faithfully yours,


/s/ David O. McKay


/s/ Stephen L,. Richards


/s/ J. Reuben Clark, Jr.

The First Presidency

September 28, 1955


Office of Spanish American Mission

    519 West Ashby Place  Telephone Plaza 5–7821

San Antonio, Texas

  July 28, 1955

Office of the First Presidency

47 East South Temple Street

Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear Brethren:

We have a Catholic priest that came into this country as a student, under the auspices of the Catholic Church two years ago this coming September.  He has a special training in Greek, Hebrew and Latin.  He is teaching these subjects here in San Antonio in the Catholic schools.  The Catholic Church will not give him his citizenship until next June.

He has become very interested in our Church, first through one of our lady members, whom he loves very much, and who will have nothing to do with him unless he becomes a member of the Church.  But after studying, he seems to be very sincere in his interest.  He is very desirous of breaking with the Catholic Church, but fears to do so until he gets his citizenship.

Should we try to help him do this, and if so, could we be supplied with the information we should work under?

He is really an intelligent man.  I have not investigated him too closely until I get your reaction.  Our district president feels that he could be a great asset to the Church.

Sincerely your brother,

/s/ Harold I. Bowman

Harold I. Bowman

Mission President

Wed., 9 Nov., 1955:

“2:30 p.m.  Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, Pastor of the Marble Collegiate Church, New York, and internationally known author and lecturer, paid me a visit in the office of the First Presidency.  Dr. Peale is here in Salt Lake City to lecture in the Salt lake Tabernacle on the subject “Believe You Can, and You Can.’  Mr. Millard Bennett, internationally known speaker and as ‘Voice of Selling’ accompanied Dr. Peale.  He is also scheduled to speak tonight at the Tabernacle.

Note:  As Dr. Peale, an authority on psychology and personality, was heard by bishop John L. Herrick who sits in the foyer of the Church Offices, to say enthusiastically:  ‘He (President McKay) is the greatest personality I have ever met — he is a great man.’  Later, in his address in the S.L. Tabernacle he paid this same tribute publically to President McKay. (cm)  (see copy of tribute paid to Pres. McKay by Dr. Peale in the Salt Lake Tabernacle which follows)

November 9, 1955

Transcript taken from the talk given by Norman Vincent Peale in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on November 9, 1955:

‘Radio Service Corporation of Utah

Station KSL


‘And, I should like to thank President McKay and the authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the great privilege they have accorded us to hold this meeting and speak in this great auditorium.  Incidentally, I had the pleasure today of a visit and interview with President McKay and I hope he won’t mind if I say that I’ll long remember this experience — for he is one of the most inspiring human beings that I have ever met and I shall never forget him.  Also, I’d like to say that I was in Europe all summer and everywhere I went I heard of the wonderful impression made by the great Tabernacle Choir that is famous around the world, and I just wish that I could have heard it tonight, but I guess it is not on the program much to my regret — we’ll hear the Choir again at some future time.’

November 9, 1955 – Tribute to President David O. McKay from Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

On November 9, 1955, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale visited President McKay, and later wrote the following:

I had a curious experience recently on a speaking tour out West.  I left New York on Monday night by plane.  I spoke in Boise, Idaho Tuesday night, in Salt lake City Wednesday night, in Tacoma, Washington Thursday evening, and was back in New York Friday morning; all this in thre days and four nights.  I returned with a jumbled, but inspiring impression of great cities, vast prairies, and huge mountain masses, fading into sunset and emerging into sunrise.  I have a hazy memory of the grim outline of the Wasatch Mountains over Great Salt Lake, that spot where Brigham Young said to his followers, ‘This is the place.  I remember the sun-kissed Saw-Tooth Range of mountains and the wilderness of Idaho emerging.  I saw Mount Rainier emerge from the clouds into radiant sunlight, its great cone covered wtih deep snow.  I saw the wind blowing that snow so that it looked like a sweeping bridal veil which the rising sun turned into rainbow colors.  I shall remember it as long as I live.

And that hurried trip did something for me; it refreshed me, elevated my spirits.  What a terrific country this is, a great, rugged, man-sized, indescribable land.  Some people say that flying over the United States in an airplane makes it shrink in size.  Not for me.  It makes it bigger, and it makes me feel akin to the tremendous land it is.

I can see why the Bible ties man in with the bigness of nature.  It is good for him.  The Psalmist talks about the tracery of His fingers, the sun and the moon, which He has ordained.  and against this backdrop He places people, the greatest specimens of God’s creative art.  No human being has any business being little, for he is carved on this scale and according to this pattern.  This is one reason why I have always had a great enthusiasm for people.

In Salt Lake City I met the President of the Mormon Church — the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I was ushered into a beautiful room; President Woodrow Wilson once called it the most beautiful room in the United States.  There, standing tall and stately against the beautiful panelled background, with a grat head of white hair, stood this imposing man of eighty-two.  At first I thought I detected a certain frailty of age, but concluded it was saintliness.  He impressed me with a depth of dignity that was apart from his position.

‘I would like to ask you one question, sir,’  I said.  ‘How can you be like this at eighty-two?’

He replied:  ‘I had the privilege I wish more American boys had today; I was born and reared on a farm.  I had to get up in the morning and work; that built up my body.  I was taught from my youngest days that it was important to carry a healthy body into old age.’  Then he added simply, ‘And I have always tried to live the life of Jesus Christ.’

God makes tremendous human beings.  Pull yourself up; eat right; sleep right; take care of your body.  Never think of your body as growing old.  Keep it young by keeping young thoughts in your mind, the temple of the soul.

(From ‘There’s A Lot In People’, a pamphlet written by Dr. Peale, 13N55 Vol. 7, No. 16)”

Tues., 15 Nov., 1955:

Telephone Calls

“Mrs. Christopher Athas regarding the conferring upon President McKay of the ecclesiastical cross of the Greek Church in New York — see notes following.

President Theodore C. Jacobsen of the Eastern States Mission regarding representing me in receiving the Greek ecclesiastical cross – see notes following

Telephone Conversations

    November 15, 1955

Mrs. Christopher Athas (EL 5-5061) called.  She said that last evening Mr. Athas received a phone call from Mr. Nicholas Papadakos, 80 Wall Street, who is representing the Arch Bishop Michael of the Greek Orthodox Church in New York.  The Church desires to confer upon President McKay the ecclesiastical cross in appreciation for what the Church did for the Greek people during the earthquake.  The Greek government has recognized the Mormon Church for what they did, and now the Church desires to do so.

This presentation is to be made Sunday, November 20, 1955.  If President McKay cannot be in attendance, they wish him to appoint a representative – probably the President of the Eastern States Mission.

I called President Theodore C. Jacobsen by telephone.  I explained to him about the honor the Greek Church desired to bestow upon me and asked him if he could represent me in New York City next Sunday, November 20th.  President Jacobsen stated that he had an appointment in Sunbury, Pennsylvania next Sunday, but he said that he would get one of his counselors to take care of his appointment, and he would go to New York to represent me.  President Jacobsen also stated that the Greek Church headquarters is located just around the corner from the Eastern States Mission headquarters, about fifty yards.  I told President Jacobsen that the Greek Church people would contact him, pick him up and take him to the television station where this honor is to be bestowed.

President Jacobsen stated that he would be glad to take care of this matter for me.  He asked if I had any special message to be given at that time.  I told him to acknowledge the honor and tell them how much I appreciate it.”

Sun., 20 Nov., 1955:

“Attended to special duties at the office.

Conferring of the ‘Golden Medal of the Greek Archdiocese of North and South America:

On November 18, 1955 received a telegram from Archbishop Michael of the Greek Orthodox church stating that their Church had decided to ‘officially acknowledge its gratitude for the contributions of the Church towards both the Greek War relief and the Ionian relief drives by offering its Golden Medal to your (our) Church.’  (see copy following)

On November 15, 1955 received a telephone call from Mrs. Christopher Athas who reported that Mr. Athas received a phone call from Mr. Nicholas Papadakos of New York who was representing ArchBishop Michael of the Greek Orthodox Church in New York who reported that Arch Bishop Michael was desirous of conferring the ecclesiastical cross upon President McKay.  (see Nov. 15, 1955 for this telephone conversation)

Inasmuch as President McKay cannot be in attendance at the service of the Greek Orthodox Church to be held Sunday, Nov. 20, it was decided to call by telephone President Theodore C. Jacobsen of the Eastern States Mission and ask him to attend the service and represent President McKay in receiving the Cross (see Nov. 15 for this conversation with Pres. Jacobsen)

On November 21, 1955 President Jacobsen sent a letter giving a detailed account of the presentation which was made at the Television Studios of Station WATV in Newark, New Jersey at 6:35 p.m. Eastern Standard Time by Father James Aloupis who represented ArchBishop Michael.  (see copy following – also see newspaper clippings, and President McKay’s letter of acceptance to ArchBishop Michael)

November 20, 1955


Telegram:  Western Union November 18, 1955

7:00 p.m.

From:  New York, New York

To:  President David O. McKay:

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, mindful of the great interest shown and the generous contributions of your Church towards both the Greek War relief and the Ionian relief drives, has decided to officially acknowledge its gratitude by offering its Golden Medal to your Church.

Presentation of the medal to your representative, Mr. Theodore Jacobson, will take place next Sunday, November 20, between 6-7 p.m., at the Hellenic American Television Hour TV Station Number 13.

May God Almighty bless you and your organization, and may he strengthen you in your magnificent philanthropic endeavors.

Archbishop Michael

November 21, 1955

November 26, 1955

The Most Reverend Michael

Archbishop of North and South America

10 East 79th Street

New York City, New York

Your Eminence:

Our Mission President, Theodore C. Jacobsen, has informed us of the impressive proceedings at the Hellenic American Television Hour, Station W.A.T.V., last Sunday, 6:25 p.m. during which the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America most graciously bestowed its Golden Medal ‘denoting the dignity and glory of unselfish deeds.’

In behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I acknowledge with gratitude the receipt, on Thanksgiving, of this prized Golden Medal, and especially the gracious sentiments expressed in your personal telegram announcing the presentation, and invoking Divine blessings upon the church and its President in all philanthropic endeavors.

May God bless you and the Hellenic people.

Very truly yours,



November 20, 1955


November 23, 1955

President Theodore C. Jacobsen

Eastern States Mission

973-5th Avenue

New York City 21, New York

Dear President Jacobsen:

Just a note to thank you for your letter of November 21, 1955, giving me the details regarding the presentation of the ‘Golden Medal of the Greek Archdiocese of North and South America.’

I greatly appreciate your kindness in representing me at this presentation.

With prayerful wishes for your continued success, I remain

Sincerely yours,




November 21, 1955



Eastern States Mission

New York 21, New York

  November 21, 1955

President David O. McKay

47 East South Temple

Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear President McKay:

Last night about 6:25 p.m. Eastern Standard Time at the Television Studios of Station WATV in Newark, New Jersey, you were presented with the ‘Golden Medal of the Greek Archdiocese of North and South America’, a recognition ‘denoting the dignity and glory of unselfish deeds.’

The presentation for the Greek Orthodox Church was made for Archbishop Michael by ‘Father’ James Aloupis.  In accordance with your instructions, I was honored to represent you and the membership of the Church.

In the main, the following is about what the writer said in accepting this medal on the television program:

‘Thank you, Reverend Aloupis.  Representing President David O. McKay 

of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the members of the Church, I am honored to humbly accept this medal from the Greek Archdiocese of North

and South America.  May I make this brief explanation that when the Mormon

people contributed these supplies to the courageous Greek people in the time of

their need, there was no thought that any medal would be given or any public recognition made of this act.

‘In common with freedom-loving people everywhere, we of the Mormon faith 

have high regard for the contributions of Greece and her people to our civilization

and we are aware of the great defense of their homeland that the citizens of Greece, time and time again, have made against tremendous odds.

‘If these supplies have proven useful and helpful to the Grecian people, we are

appreciative of the opportunity we have had to be of service to our fellowmen.

‘Would you kindly convey to Archbishop Michael the thanks of President McKay

for this token of appreciation.  May I further express our gratitude for the spirit

of kindness and brotherhood which prompted the presentation of this Golden

Medal.  Thank you again, Reverend Aloupis.’

You may be interested to know that this program was televised ‘live’ over Channel 13 whose transmission facilities are atop the Empire State Building in New York City.  The coverage of this station is New York City, its metropolitan area, western Connecticut, and northeastern New Jersey.  Probably not less than 15,000,000 people live in this area.

Andre Michaelopaulis, who visited in Salt Lake about two months ago, and who is Advisor to the Greek Embassy, had a prominent part in the Television Program.  In his remarks he told of his visit to Salt Lake City and made reference to ‘President McKay of the Mormon Church as a kind, Christian gentleman.’

Reverend Aloupis was most gracious and complimentary to our Church for the aid rendered the Greek people in the hour of their need.  The Reverend Aloupis talked about the same length of time as I did.  The program was an hour long and our part a phase in almost the middle of the hour period.

As I drove over to Newark in the late afternoon, I thought if President McKay were here, then Archbishop Michael would make the medal presentation, but because of your inability to be present, protocol, in their mind, was involved and therefore ‘Father’ Aloupis, a lesser authority, was chosen for the assignment.  However, when I met the Reverend Aloupis, I learned why he had been selected.  He is one of the most handsome men I have met, very photogenic and gracious.  There was no question but what he gives a fine impression on television.

Archbishop Michael phoned one day last week and invited me to visit him around the corner where their headquarters are, just a small, half-block from our Mission office.  Possibly when you are here again, you may be able to meet him at our office or in theirs.

President McKay, I enjoyed this unusual experience.  I hope that everything was done in a way that was pleasing to you and the Church.

Under separate cover the Medal is being forwarded to you by registered mail.

Sincerely your brother,

/T//S/Theodore C. Jacobsen

Mission President


Monday, April 29, 1957

Telephone conversation with Bishop Joseph L. Wirthlin, Monday, April 29, 1957.

Re:  Wearing of crosses by L.D.S. girls.

Bishop Joseph L. Wirthlin called me by telephone and asked me the Church’s position on the following question:  He stated that he had been asked today if it would be proper for L.D.S. girls to purchase crosses to wear.  It is Bishop Wirthlin’s understanding that there is a company downtown which is pushing the selling of these crosses to girls.

I told Bishop Wirthlin that this is purely Catholic and Latter-day Saint girls should not purchase and wear them.  I stated further that this was a Catholic form of worship.  They use images, crosses, etc.  Our worship should be in our hearts.

Bishop Wirthlin said that this had been his opinion, but he felt that he should check with me before making a statement.”

Mon., 20 May, 1957:


Received through the mail today from Mr. James H. Petter, owner of the James H. Petter organization, importers and exporters, 489 Fifth Avenue, New York a ‘Chrismah’, a charm which, as explained by Mr. Petter in his letter of May 2, 1957, combines the Byzantine Cross with the star of David, symbolizing the essential unity of the world’s great faiths.

According to authenticated historical research, this charm was a talisman of the Royal House of David in biblical times.  It has survived through the ages, as a token of combatting personal misfortunes and adversity.  It was under this device that David defeated the Philistines.  The reputation it earned in those bygone centuries for bringing good fortune is firmly believed in by many thousands of the world’s peoples today.

‘Chrismah’ can be traced as a talisman through the Byzantine Era to the Royal House of Ethiopia, where it was incorporated in the Royal order of Saba.  It is also found in the 4th century monastery of St. Anthony and St. Paul.

‘Chrismah’ was sent to me with the personal good wishes of Mr. Petter ‘for my good fortune.’

This afternoon, I took the charm down to my son, owner and manager of the McKay Jewelry Shop and asked him to attach a pin to the charm so that I can wear it on my lapel when I so desire.  (See letter from Mr. Petter in letter scrap book)

Tues., 1 Oct., 1957:


Telephone conversation with Ezra Taft Benson from Washington, D.C. regarding world tour to include Hawaii, Japan, the Far East, and Near East, and finally Rome, Italy where about November 11 to 15, he will be the representative of the government of the United States at an international meeting.  He will be one of the scheduled speakers.

The American Ambassador has suggested to him that a meeting with the Pope be arranged.

Later, the Presidency decided that if he could avoid such a meeting without embarrassment,’ we would prefere that he do so.’

(see telephone conversation with Bro. Benson following)

Wednesday, October 2, 1957

Last evening, October 1, 1957, Elder Ezra Taft Benson called me by telephone at my home and asked whether or not he should accept a government appointment to go to Rome, Italy.  The American Ambassador to Italy there would like to arrange a conference for him with the Pope.  I told Brother Benson that I would talk with my counselors this morning and then let him know.


Telephone conversation with Elder Ezra Taft Benson, Wednesday, October 2, 1957.  (Brother Benson was contacted in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.)

President McKay:  Can you hear me, Brother Benson?

Brother Benson:  Yes.  I am in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

President McKay:  Regarding the matter we were discussing yesterday, we are all united in the feeling that if you can in honor, and without embarrassment, avoid that conference it would be well for you to do it.

Brother Benson:  All right.  I think I can.

President McKay:  Was it the Ambassador?

Brother Benson:  The American Ambassador to Italy.

President McKay:  Yes.  I see.

Brother Benson:  He is the one who has proposed it.  But I think I can avoid it, President McKay, because I am going to be in Rome for a very short time.  I have to make an important address for a World Agricultural Congress, and I think the shortness of my stay can probably be used as a reason for not doing so.

President McKay:  We have in mind particularly the effect upon our own people.

Brother Benson:  Yes.  That is the thing that concerned me too.

President McKay:  And the dignity that you would have to give to such a conference.

Brother Benson:  Yes, that is right.

President McKay:  And really they have everything to gain and nothing to lose, and we have everything to lose and nothing to gain.

Brother Benson:  I am in full harmony with that feeling.

President McKay:  Well that is good.  We are glad of that.  We all feel that it would be pretty embarrassing to you, and we are helping you out of what might prove to be a conference that will reflect upon our Church.

Brother Benson:  Well, I think it could be embarrassing both to me and to the Church.

President McKay:  All right.

Brother Benson:  I shall do my best, and I think I can work it out.

President McKay:  The brethren all send their love to you.

Brother Benson:  Thank you and my love to them, and thank you for calling.

President McKay:  Thank you, and good-bye.”

Thurs., 10 Oct., 1957:

“Note:  Attempted Expansion in Huntsville of Catholics

In Council meeting this morning I referred to the attempted expansion in Huntsville by the Catholics; that they had purchased some additional property on the west, and price seems to be no question to them.  I reported that it is difficult for me to understand why they now want to buy 303 acres of good property over in what is called ‘the middle field,’ which is a mile and a half or two miles from their present property.  The bishop of the ward in Huntsville is considering obtaining this property.  I mentioned this just to let the Brethren know what the Catholics are trying to do there.  Sometime ago they tried to buy the Bingham property just a short distance from their present holdings for the purpose of establishing a nunnery, and it may be that is the purpose they have in mind in trying to get this property in the middle field.  I hope to purchase 50 acres of the land for myself in order to help the Bishop secure possession of the property.  I said ‘The Catholic Church is against us, and wherever they can prevent our growth they are going to do it.”

From Council Minutes October 17, 1957

On Monday, October 14, had a meeting with George Eccles regarding some loans in Huntsville to see whether he could help out the bishop who is trying to acquire 300 acres and probably keep the property within the Mormon Church, rather than to let it go over to the Trappists.

Wed., 11 Dec., 1957:

“3:30 p.m. – Accompanied by Gus Backman called on Mr. John F. Fitzpatrick who is recuperating from an illness at his home.  We visited with him for thirty minutes or more.  While there, Monsignor Pat McGuire of the Catholic Church came in.  (Mr. Fitzpatrick a member of that Church).  Rather jocularly Monsignor McGuire said to me:  ‘Well, you are invading my territory.’

We had a very pleasant visit together.”

Wed., 26 Mar., 1958:

March 26, 1958




110 Maryland Avenue, N.E.

      Washington 2, D.C.

April 5, 1958

Dear Doctor McKay:

Your fine communication of March 26, 1958 awaited me on my return from Knoxville, Tennessee.  Just got home this noon.  I was conducting Holy Week Services.  Began Palm Sunday Morning, concluding Good Friday night.  I hasten to thank you.  I am deeply appreciative of what you wrote.

Your words shall profoundly impress the Member of the Committee.  As you know, I present such letters rather dramatically; so that they get more than routine attention.  If you could appear in person that would mean more.  But I understand the reasons and shall impress them on the Committee.

I trust that your mission to New Zealand shall be ‘prospered of the Lord’.  I doubt not that you shall have some blessed experiences ‘down under’ in the far-off lands.  I shall be lifting you on the wings of my petitions.

With best wishes and kind personal regard, I am

Sincerely yours,

(signed) Wilbur E. Hammaker


President David O. McKay, D.D., LL.D.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

47 East South Temple Street

Salt Lake City, Utah

(Original letter is in general file)

Thurs., 3 July, 1958:

“12:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. – Was in conference with officials of the Greek Orthodox Church who are in the city attending the 14th Biennial Ecclesiastical Congress of the Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America.  Archbishop Michael, who is the leader of this Church for the Western Hemisphere, was ill in his room at the Hotel Utah, and could not be present at this conference.  On July 15, 1958 received word that he had passed away.

For names of those who were present, and for a brief report of the conference see following report.  Also see newspaper clipping following.  See July 15 for telegram of sympathy to the leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church over the passing of Archbishop Michael.

Thursday, July 3, 1958.

At 12:15 p.m. President McKay received a group of Greek Orthodox Church officials who were in Salt Lake City in connection with the 14th Biennial Congress of the Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America.  Elder Richard L. Evans who had addressed one of the convention sessions, was present during the interview.  Accompanying the visitor were the two pastors of the local Greek Orthodox Church, Rev. Steven A. Katsaris and Rev. James T. Adams. 

The visiting dignitaries were the Rt. Rev. Demetrios, Bishop of Olympus (Los Angeles); Rt. Rev. Izekiel, Bishop of Nazianzos (Chicago); Rt. Rev. Athenagoras, Bishop of Elaia (Boston); Rt. Rev. Polyefktos, Bishop of Tropaion (Pittsburgh); and Rt. Rev. Germanos, Bishop of Nyssa (Charlotte, N.C.)  (Archbishop Michael, Primate of the Western Hemisphere of the Greek Orthodox Church, who is also visiting in the city, was confined to his bed in the Hotel Utah with an illness, and, therefore, was not present on this occasion.)

President McKay extended the group greetings and wished them every success in their convention.  He showed them the medal presented him by the Greek government in 1955 in recognition of the Church’s assistance in the Greek war and disaster relief drives.  The visitors explained, at President McKay’s request, the jurisdictional arrangement of the Orthodox Church, with its four metropolitan centers (patriarchates) at Constantinople (Istanbul), Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem.

At their request, President McKay explained the order of the Priesthood of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Church’s administrative and educational system.

The visitors expressed great interest in what they had seen and heard of the Church and expressed thanks for their cordial and gracious reception here.

Several pictures were taken at the close of the interview.”

Tues., 15 July, 1958:


Before leaving the office today, I dictated a wire to the Greek Orthodox Church, (a copy of which follows) expressing sympathy and condolence over the untimely passing of Archbishop Michael, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Western Hamisphere:

‘The Very Reverend Stephen Katsaris

c/o Greek Archdiocese of North and South America

10 East 79th Street

New York, N.Y.

Shocked to learn of the sudden demise of Archbishop Michael.  The presence of His eminence recently in our City makes his passing seem almost a community loss.  For me personally and in behalf of the First Presidency of the Church please accept our sympathy and condolence.


David O. McKay

President, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Archbishop Michael was taken ill in Salt Lake recently when attending the 14th Biennial Conference of the Greek Orthodox Church.

Tuesday, July 15, 1958


10 East 79th Street

New York 21, N.Y.

July 24, 1958

President David O. McKay

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear Mr. McKay:

We received your telegram sent to us in the care of Rev. Katsaris.  We remember very well how politely and brotherly you received our Bishops in your place on July 2nd of this year.

A few days after that, our Archbishop left this world.  Everyone of us feels his absence as his life was a really Christian one.

Thank you and your co-workers for all your sympathy you have shown us on this sad event.

Yours in prayers,

/s/ Bishop G. Polizoides

Bishop Germanos Polyzoides

Acting Archbishop of the Archdiocese


Thurs., 18 Sept., 1958:

“Telephone conversation with President Ernest L. Wilkinson, B.Y.U.

President Wilkinson:  Hello, President Wilkinson.

President McKay:  Good morning.

President Wilkinson:  Glad to have you back.  I thought you would be in India today.  I thought you might take a trip around the world while you were at it.

President McKay:  That shows what kind of an opinion you have of me.

President Wilkinson:  We are happy to have you back.

President McKay:  Last night at a party I heard that one of our seminaries is hiring a bus either today or tomorrow, or soon, and taking the seminary students up to the Trappists in Huntsville.

President Wilkinson:  That is news to me, but I shall certainly check into it immediately.

President McKay:  Find out if it is a common practice.

President Wilkinson:  Do you know which seminary it is?

President McKay:  No, I do not.  I asked for the man’s name, and he couldn’t give it to me.  It is a seminary here in Salt Lake City.

President Wilkinson:  Is there any way I can identify it better than that?

President McKay:  Ask your man at the head of it, and ask if he has granted permission.

President Wilkinson:  I just assume that our attitude is that we don’t want them to do this.

President McKay:  Their answer was that they are studying the apostasy and this is a feature of it.  Its relationship to that is remote it seems to me.  Will you please look into it?

President Wilkinson:  Immediately.


(Later in the day Brother Floyd G. Eyer, Salt Lake Valley Seminary Co-ordinator, called by telephone and stated that he has checked into this matter and that this trip has been stopped.  The East High Seminary had planned this excursion as the brother in charge of the seminary there did not know that there was a ruling against such an excursion.)

Thurs., 31 Mar. 1960:

“3:15 p.m.

Prepared a statement for the local newspapers regarding the sudden passing of Bishop Duane G. Hunt of the Salt Lake City Catholic diocese.  President Clark, also assisted in the preparation of this statement, which follows:

‘Just as we came out of a special meeting of the General Authorities of the Church held in the Temple today, we heard of the sudden passing of Bishop Duane G. Hunt.  Needless to say, the news came as a shock to all of us.

‘In common with the members of all faiths in our City, we are deeply grieved at the sudden passing of this eminent and devoted leader of the many loyal and law-abiding members of the Catholic Church of the diocese of Salt Lake City.  He gave to them the spiritual guidance that helped them to shape their lives in accordance with the teachings of his Church.  They have lost a trusted and respected adviser.  To all of these we extend sincere sympathy.’  The First Presidency, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

Tues., 5 Apr. 1960:

“At 9:40 a.m.  President Henry D., Moyle and I were met in the rear of the Church Offices by two members of the Catholic Church who graciously drove us to the Cathedral of the Magdeleine on Third East and South Temple to attend the Solemn Pontifical Funeral mass for the Most Rev. Duane G. Hunt, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City.

It was the first high mass that I have ever attended.  The cathedral was crowded and loudspeakers carried the ceremonies to people outside the cathedral.

As I watched the pompous mass – the sprinkling of water at each side of the casket in remembrance of baptism – the incense which was passed three times over each side of the casket in symbolism of the rising of prayers to Heaven – the absolutions (blessings) performed by the five different Catholic bishops – the changing of the robes, etc., there passed through my mind the words of Burns in ‘Cotter’s Saturday Night’:

‘The Power, incens’d, the pageant will desert,

The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole;

But haply, some cottage far apart,

may hear, well-pleas’d, the language of the soul,

And in His Book of Life the inmates poor enroll.’

The Most Rev. Robert J. Dwyer, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Reno delivered the funeral sermon.

At the conclusion of the funeral services at 12 noon, the new Bishop — The Most Rev. Joseph Lennox Federal, came out on the steps of the Cathedral to greet President Moyle and me, and to thank us for coming to the services.  I was very favorably impressed with him.  (See newspaper clippings following – also see March 31 for statement by First Presidency regarding Bishop Hunt’s death)  We were driven back to the Church Offices where I attended to some important matters and then left for home.”

Mon., 12 Sept. 1960:

“Passing of John F. Fitzpatrick, Publisher of Salt Lake Tribune.

Was shocked and grieved to learn of the sudden passing of my dear friend, John F. Fitzpatrick, publisher of the Salt Lake Tribune.  Was contacted by reporter of the Tribune for a statement last evening.  (see newspaper clipping following for statement by President McKay, and also for statement by the First Presidency.)  (see below for wire sent to Mrs. Fitzpatrick and to Gus Backman.*)

At 4 o’clock today Mr. John Gallivan, who will succeed Mr. Fitzpatrick at the Tribune, called by telephone to say that Mrs. Fitzpatrick had asked him to extend a personal invitation for my counselors and me to attend funeral services of Mr. Fitzpatrick to be held in the Cathedral of the Madelene, Wed., September 14, at 10 a.m.


Mrs. John F. Fitzpatrick

Salt Lake City, Utah

Mrs. McKay and I hasten to assure you and your two sons of our heartfelt sympathy in the passing of your beloved husband and father.  I know of no greater comfort that can come to your sorrowing hearts than the Divine assurance given by Jesus, our Savior, to Martha: ‘Your brother shall rise again.’  May your love, and our friendship, be renewed in that Spiritual Realm which knows no parting.  /s/ Sincerely David O. McKay.


Mr. Gus Backman,

Secretary, Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce

Salt Lake City, Utah

My heartfelt love and sympathy in the passing of our mutual devoted friend, John F. Fitzpatrick.  God comfort you in this loss, and bless you always.

Affectionately.  /s/ David O. McKay

(see Sept. 14 for funeral services)

I have always appreciated John Fitzpatrick — he was a true friend to the Church, and proved it in many ways.  Ones of his latest kind acts was his refusal to print in the Tribune a complaint signed by a number of citizens in Salina regarding the erection of a hospital in Richfield which came to Mr. Fitzpatrick’s hands, and was never printed in the Tribune.  The Catholics were involved, but Mr. Fitzpatrick did not permit the attack to be printed.”

Tues., 13 Sept. 1960:

“8:30 a.m.

Attended the regular meeting of the First Presidency.  I told President Clark and President Moyle that Mrs. John F. Fitzpatrick had extended a personal invitation to members of the First Presidency to attend the funeral services for Mr. Fitzpatrick in the Cathedral of the Madelene, and that transportation would be provided.  A car will take us to the special entrance at which we shall be spared the necessity of walking up the stairs.  Arrangements will be made by Mr. Jack Gallavan.  The car will come for us at the rear of the Church Offices at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday.  Elder LeGrand Richards has expressed a desire to attend.  President Clark said that he had written a letter to Mrs. Fitzpatrick expressing his regret at being unable to attend the service, and also expressing his great affection for Mr. Fitzpatrick.

I stated that I shall attend the services, and President Moyle said that he would also like to attend.

Wed., 14 Sept. 1960:

“10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Attended funeral services for Mr. John F. Fitzpatrick, Pres. and publisher of the Salt Lake Tribune, held in the Cathedral of the Madelene on South Temple.  Mr. Fitzpatrick was a valued and trusted friend.  (see newspaper clippings following)  (see Sept. 12 for account of his passing)

11:50 a.m.

Returned to the office — picked up several folders full of birthday cards, letters and telegrams and took them to our apartment in the Hotel so that Ray and I could go over them together.

Sent bouquet of red roses to Mrs. John F. Fitzpatrick expressing from Sister McKay and me ‘loving remembrance and heartfelt sympathy.'”

Tues., 22 Nov. 1960:

“9 a.m.

By appointment made by my secretary through Mr. Henry Kasai, President of the Japanese-American Citizen’s League, I met in the office of the First Presidency a Buddhist Delegation, as follows:  Chief Abbott, Reverend Chisan Koho, of the Sojiji Buddhist Temple of Yokohama, Japan, ‘head of 20,000 temples and 20 million Zen Buddhists in Japan’, who is visiting Salt Lake City accompanied by Reverend Otagawa, his secretary, Reverent Nomoto, Professor of English in Kamazawa (Buddhist) Univesity, interpreter Bishop Komagata, chief of the Zen Buddhists, Hawaiian Mission, Bishop Yamada, chief of the North American Mission in Los Angeles.

Accompanying this delegation were also Mr. Henry Kasai, and Salt Lake Buddhist ministers – Reverend Shintaker Sarada, and Bishop Nippo Aoyagi, of Nichi Zen Buddhist Temple.

I welcomed the delegation and said to Reverend Chisan Koho, the Chief Abbott:  ‘We are very happy to have you and your associates pay us a visit here at the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Through the interpreter, Reverend Koho said, ‘Thank you very much.’

I then recalled a visit I made to Japan in 1921 with Elder Hugh J. Cannon who accompanied me, when we saw several Buddhist temples in Tokyo, and later also when we visit in Nikko where we were impressed with the beauty of the place and the 20-mile approach lined with beautiful trees.  It was at Nikko that we saw the original representation of the three monkeys admonishing, ‘See no Evil, Hear no Evil, Speak no Evil.’  I said that our visit was never to be forgotten.

Reverend Koho asked me if we had Mormons in Tokyo, and I told him that we did.  He then said that while in Hawaii the delegation passed the chapel of the Church on Beretania Street and that they visited the University at Laie.  I explained that I had visited in Honolulu during the dedication of the chapel.  I asked if the delegation had gone to Laie by way of Pali where the wind blows so constantly, and they said yes that they had had that experience.

Reverend Koho said, ‘We are very grateful for your kindness and for the kindness to citizens of Japanese origin, as well as to the Japanese-Americans.’

I said, ‘We have found them to be very choice people.  We have a number in our Church.  At the dedication of the chapel on Beretania Street, Honolulu, the Japanese session was held, at which the Japanese members participated in the entire program, including the singing, which was in English.

Abbot Koho said that confidence in the democracies of the East and of the West is strong now.  He expressed the belief that the old religions of the world must cooperate with each other to protect themselves against the Communist menace.

I said, ‘We are pleased with the elections in Japan, favoring cooperation with the United States’ to which Abbott Koho said, ‘Friendly relations between your country and our country will be promoted as a result of the elections.’

I said, ‘We shall do all we can to foster these relations and encourage them.  We should like to keep Japan out of the hands of the Communists.’  To this Abbott Koho heartily agreed.

I said, ‘I am so glad for that.’

I inquired if the delegation is being accommodated well in the city, and Mr. Kasai said that they have been very well cared for.  He also stated that the members of the delegation would like very much to visit Welfare Square this morning.  I explained that we would make arrangements at once so that they could go down and see how we take care of our poor.

Abbott Koho said, ‘We are also engaged in social welfare work in Japan.  The scale of our work, however, is inferior to your own.’  I recalled how efficiently, through mutual cooperation, the Japanese and Americans rendered help on the occasion of the catastrophe caused by the Japanese earthquake in 1923 which brought such suffering in Tokyo and Yokohama.

Abbott Koho, through his interpreter, requested my autograph.  I distributed my personal cards to each member of the delegation, and also autographed for Reverend Koho a copy of the Book of Mormon in English and also in Japanese.

At this point the delegation withdrew.

Thursday, June 15, 1961

22 May 1961

Dr. David O. McKay, President

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

47 East South Temple Street

Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear Dr. McKay:

Several of my close friends who are loyal members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have suggested that I write this letter to you.

You may remember me from our last meeting in the photography shop owned and operated by Johnny Eccles here in Ogden.  It was at my suggestion that Johnny make a photograph of you for the Easter window he planned and followed through in a fine way.  Your photograph was excellent.

I am personally very anxious to have your name in our ‘Book of Remembrance,’ and in your capacity of President of a great church.  This book is a large and dignified read leather-bound one.  Each page reads:

To The Glory of God

And in Honor of



Was Presented by



Let me explain breifly why I am very anxious to have the LDS Church in our historical records.

For four years I have been here organizing a new church under the auspices of the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. and the First Presbyterian Church of Ogden.  I have A.M., B.D., Th.M. and D.D. degrees, and am a regularly ordained Presbyterian minister.  We are seeking to serve the Protestant residents in a new housing area in the northeast bench of Ogden.

It has been my experience that newcomers, especially from the eastern seaboard section of our country, required constant ‘re-orientation’ in Utah.  To this task I have given hours-upon-hours of my time in the pulpit and in pastoral calling.  Merchants and citizens of all faiths will testify to the fact.  From grudges some people seem to cling to, from unbrotherliness others practice, and unleanness still others seem to harbor, and selfishness so many have clung to I do all in my power as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to expel.  It is not easy, as only you know so well.

In July we should be moving into our first unit church structure on First Street at Tyler in Ogden.  The church will be dedicated to the glory of God and the brotherhood of man regardless of that man’s race or creed.  In the meantime, we are trying to secure enough funds for pews, pews to be bought through Z.C.M.I. I hope.  Several firms in Ogden have given us sums ranging from $10.00 to $500.00.  We lack $1,150.00 for pews.  Any sum from the LDS Church will be deeply appreciated, and I especially desire to have a contribution entered into our church records.  If this is not asking too much, I shall send you a photostatic copy of the record.  If it is asking too much of you, rest certain that my highest respect and regard continues right on for the great Church which has your wonderful leadership.

With kind personal regards, and all good wishes for a continued strengthened Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I am,

Respectfully and cordially yours,

/s/ C. Sumpter Logan



enc. Brochure

Thursday, June 15, 1961

June 9, 1961

Rev. C. Sumpter Logan

Trinity Presbyterian Church

935 Fillmore Avenue

Ogden, Utah

Dear Reverend Logan:

In your letter of May 22, 1961, you explain that you are trying to secure enough funds to install pews in your new Church structure located on First Street at Tyler, in Ogden, Utah.

In behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the First Presidency is pleased to enclose herewith a check for $1000.00, as a contribution toward this project.

Please accept our sincere wishes for your continued success.

Sincerely yours,

/s/ David O. McKay


Enclosure:  $1000.00

P.S. Regarding your invitation to have my name in your ‘Book of Remembrance’, I shall be pleased to stop at your Church at some mutually conveninent time, and sign this book.

Thursday, June 15, 1961

13 June 1961

Dr. David O. McKay, President

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

47 East South Temple Street

Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear Dr. McKay:

You are a mountain peak among men!  How different perhaps would the history of the LDS Church be today and in the future if God had not raised you up and blessed the church through you as President.

I search for new ways to express my deep, abiding and heartfelt gratitude for your letter, which touched my heartstrings as few letters have done in my twenty-two years in the ministry; and, I have received my full share of correspondence both great and small.

Your check in the amount of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) is received in the spirit in which you send it, and with eternal gratitude to you and to the First Presidency.

Your letter with the generous check enclosed came last Saturday.  I announced it from my pulpit to the congreagation.  You could have cut with a knife the hushed awe.  After the service of worship every person present had something to say each to the other and to me about the magnanimous gift and the spirit in which it was given.  This did my heart good, and I put it mildly!

Your check raised our church pew fund to within $1.19 of the necessary amount of money to accept the lowest bid for oak pews – $5,255.00 for the solid oak pews.  We have ordered them.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has made it possible for us to complete our seating necessity.  This I shall never forget even if I live as long as some of the patriarchs of the Old Testament days!

I should like to have the privilege of bringing our ‘Book of Remembrance’ to your office for your inscription and at your convenience.  If you will set a day and a time of day, I shall be there promptly.  If there is a more convenient way for you, I’m at your service.

You have my personal full and complete co-operation now and for ever; and, in the words of the Apostle Paul:  ‘Eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace’ will be our goal.

Allow me to conclude with the words in Moroni 8:3 –

‘I am mindful of you always in my prayers,

continually praying unto God the Father in

the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he,

through his infinite goodness and grace, will

keep you through the endurance of faith on

his name to the end.’

You have a birthday coming up in September, and if you are in Huntsville for this great celebration I hope that I might have the privilege of extending to you in behalf of the Trinity Presbyterian Church family our genuine Christian love for you.

As to Habakkuk so to me:  ‘Write the vision; make it plain upon tablets, so he may run who reads it,’ (like ads that can be read after you have passed them by in a car today).  I’m not a Habakkuk, but I shall make what you have done plain upon human tablets as long as I have breath!

You have my sincere good wishes always for an always increasing and strengthened Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I am choosing my words carefully from my heart and mind combined.

Gratefully and cordially yours,

/s/ C. Sumpter Logan


enc. receipt

       newspaper clipping

Thursday, June 15, 1961

June 26, 1961

Rev. C. Sumpter Logan

Trinity Presbyterian Church

955 Fillmore Avenue

Ogden, Utah

Dear Reverend Logan:

Thank you for your gracious letter of June 13, 1961, which I have read with interest and appreciation.  I am most happy to learn that you now have sufficient funds to install the pews in your new Church.


You state in your letter that you would like to have my inscription in your ‘Book of Remembrance.’  I shall be honored to put my name in this book.  At the present moment I do not know just when I shall be in Ogden, but will get in touch with you at the first opportunity and let you know when I can call at your office.

As requested, I am returning the clipping concerning the production ‘All Faces West,’ which you enclosed with your letter.

With prayerful wishes for your continued success, I remain

Sincerely yours,

/s/ David O. McKay



Fri., 8 Sept. 1961:

“Presbyterian Minister of Ogden, Utah sent Birthday Message

I read to the Brethren a birthday greeting from C. Sumpter Logan, Presbyterian Minister in Ogden, Utah on which was written ‘God Bless You.  This brings a special birthday prayer.  God keep you always in his care and day by day may you be blessed by all that makes you best.’  In his own handwriting he wrote:  ‘You know we are proud of you — a well-tempered pride for all that you are and for all that you have done.  I hope that your 88th milestone will be a happy day, and that the Lord will continue to bless you in doing His will.’

This minister appealed to us sometime ago for funds to help defray the cost of benches for their new meeting house.  We assisted them and have made friends with them forever.

Tues., 27 Feb., 1962:

“8:00 a. m.

By appointment, Archbishop Iakovos, primate of the Greek Orthodox

Church in North and South America, and President of the World Council of Churches, paid a courtesy call on the First Presidency. He was accompanied by Reverend Steven A. Katsaris, rector of the Salt Lake parish; Nikolas L. Theos, president of the Greek Orthodox community; and Peter N. Gustos, vice president of the community.

I explained to them that President Brown is in Pennsylvania addressing a meeting of the Presbyterian Church at their request to explain Mormonism. I added that I am very pleased to extend to these visitors our appreciation for the honor their nation gave to the Church, and exhibited to them a framed diploma given to me by the Honorable John A. Tzounis, Acting Consul General of Greece, who came from San Francisco upon command of His Majesty King Paul of the Hellenes, at a banquet held on the Starlite Roof Gardens, Hotel Utah, Monday, November 29, 1954, which reads: 

“PAUL, King of Hellenes, We confer upon Mr. David Oman McKay, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Cross of Commander of Our Order of Phoenix and in witness thereof We grant him this Diploma, signed by Us and Countersigned by Our Minister for Foreign Affairs. Done at Athens this thirteenth day of the month of July, in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and fifty-four.

signed by PAUL R.

Countersigned by S. Stevenopoulis. ” 

(This diploma consists of the foregoing statement in Greek, and at the side of it a translation in English. )

The conversation continued as follows:

Archbishop: “It is a very deserving distinction. We know what you have done for the people of Greece and we are grateful that we have your friendship. “

President McKay: “I hope the friendship for which this stands will be eternal.”

(I also exhibited medals which had been conferred upon me a year later in New York by Archbishop Michael. Archbishop Iakovos explained that Archbishop Michael was his predecessor who had died since the conference of the Greek Orthodox Church in 1958. )

President McKay: “There is nothing so precious as friendship and through the years we prize the friendship of your nation with the Church, and with the State of Utah, and with the United States.”

Archbishop: “We reciprocate that friendship, and we are deeply grateful for what you have done for the people of Greece after the world war, and for the demonstration of your spirit. “

I asked him if this was his first visit to Salt Lake City, and the Archbishop replied that it was.

I also related an instance in Beirut when an official of the Greek Orthodox Church took me to Beirut, and wanting to learn more about the separation of the Ronmn Catholic and the Greek churches, I asked when the Roman Church excommunicated the Greek Orthodox Church, and the man answered “Never!” I said that I had then learned to my satisfaction that the difference in the claim of authority between the Roman Catholic and the Greek Orthodox Church is that the Roman Church goes back to Peter, and the Greek Orthodox Church goes back to the apostles who survived Peter and the five patriarchs, which I said is a better claim.

The Archbishop said yes and then continued: “Our foremost claim should be that we are Christ’s and that’s what we are trying to promote now for the benefit of our people of the different churches to try to recapture the unity we had once. “

I said that we must keep that in mind and the world needs it today especially in view of the fact that the Communists deny the power of Christ and the existence of deity and are doing their best to throw us back to the animal existence and deprive man of the opportunity to develop the spirituality within him.

The Archbishop said that we are going to overcome Communism, but only with the help of God.

I agreed that this was right, and that we need that help.

Archbishop: ”We do not want to take much of your precious time. We appreciate your giving us the time to make your acquaintance. Please be assured of my respect and of my wish for your good health and for the progress of your Cilurch. “

I replied: “Thank you, we appreciate that very much. May the blessings

of the Lord continue to attend you and your associates, and may our friendship continue forever.”

The Archbishop and delegation thereupon left the meeting.

In telling the Brethren at Council Meeting of this visit of Archbishop Iakovos I remarked that I have met few men – non-member visitors – who made a more favorable impression upon me than this Archbishop, that he is a very cultured, fine gentleman spiritually, and I was very much impressed by his sincerity.”

Fri., 7 Sep., 1962:

“12:00 Noon

Left for home.

As I entered the lobby of the Hotel, I was stopped by Rabbi Sloan of the Jewish Congregation of Salt Lake City.  I invited him to come over and see me in the next couple of weeks.  The Rabbi said he would come ‘when I would stand still long enough for him to see me.’  I would very much like to have a talk with the Rabbi, as I have a great deal of respect for him.”

Sat., 26 Jan. 1963:

“7:30 a.m.

Accompanied by my son, Lawrence, and at the invitation of Governor George D. Clyde, attended the Second Annual Governor’s Prayer Breakfast held in the State Capitol Plaza Cafeteria, at which more than four-hundred State government, business, and civic leaders were present.

Lt. Gen. M.H. Silverthorn (retired) of Washington, D.C. was the featured speaker.  Elder Richard L. Evans offered the invocation.

It was a very commendable gathering, acknowledging officially the existence of God.  The guest speaker emphasized Christian principles and Christian ethics.

Sitting at the table on my left was Rabbi Strom, whom I have met before.  The Rabbi ordered his coffee, and surprised me by saying: ‘Now, if this coffee offends you, I will not drink it.’  I answered: ‘You go ahead and drink it,’  and thinking I would make it easy for him, I said: ‘I like the smell of it, but I shall drink my milk.’  I think it was very considerate of the Rabbi to ask my permission to drink his coffee.”

Fri., 1 Mar. 1963:

“8:15 a.m.

Tabernacle Choir – Recordings

Brothers Ted Cannon, Assistant Manager of the Tabernacle Choir, and Richard P. Condie, Director, came in and reported that they had a request from the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra that the Tabernacle Choir participate with them in recording a Catholic Mass, but that they had declined their invitation.  Other proposals have been offered.  I told these brethren to get a statement in writing from the President of the Choir on the subject, and that they should present the matter to the Choir members.

Tues., 16 Apr. 1963:

“8:15 a.m.

Japanese Buddhist Christian Delegation – Visit of

By appointment, made by my secretary through Mr. Henry Kasai — Japanese representative here in Salt Lake City, received in the office of the First Presidency: Dr. Masaharu Taniguchi, President of Seicho-No-Ie; his wife; Dr. Katsumi Tokuhisa; Rev. Yasuchi Sento, and Dr. Yoshimaru Miyao from Japan.  My counselors, Presidents Moyle and Brown were present during the interview.

Dr. Taniguchi founded an international renowned humanity enlightenment movement or truth movement in Japan in 1930, ‘through divine revelation based on a sublime ideal of bringing genuine happiness to all mankind, an ideal world of happiness, gratitude, and peace — not a mere visionary Utopia, but to manifest here on this earth a home of infinite unfoldment brimming with abundant life and creation.’

In their conversation, through a translator or interpreter, said the visitors had discovered that their teachings are quite similar to the teachings of the Church.

I expressed pleasure at their meeting, and in having opportunity to become acquainted.  I told them that we have many Japanese people in the Church in Japan.  The conversation was mainly between Dr. Taniguchi and me through the interpreter.

Dr. Taniguchi expressed satisfaction in discovering similarity of beliefs with the principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his religious body.  I said that universal brotherhood is a possibility, but not an immediate probability.

Dr. Taniguchi spoke in Japanese and the interpreter repeated in English that when the doctor delivers a lecture he has seen an image of Christ and Buddha together with a kind of transformation and the audience has seen it also.  It appears when he gives a lecture.  He says it is because he is teaching in tune with the teachings of baptism and Christianity.

I said that we teach that in terms of the spirit, and recounted a conversation of Jesus and Nicodemus, and the account of Christ conversing with the woman of Samaria, and explained that we believe the transformation takes place within and the kingdom of God is within you.  I said the purpose of man and his physical life should be to develop the spirit.  The interpreter repeated that the doctor says he teaches that we come to earth to study and to improve the spirit.  We are here to develop the soul and the spirit of man.

I explained that the whole purpose of life is to subdue matter and that we may realize the ideal and overcome the passions, the physical tendencies and hatreds and enmities.  The ideal is to have the spirit within respond to the spirit of God.  Through the interpreter Dr. Taniguchi said that is quite identical with his teaching.

I said the Church has many congregations and members in Japan, and the doctor expressed much interest in this and asked where they were located.  The address of the Northern Far East Mission was obtained for him.

I again extended a welcome, and asked if there is anything we could do to make the visit of these people to Salt Lake City memorable.  The interpreter said they were pleased with the opportunity to meet with the First Presidency, and that the delegation had a full schedule of visits to make, and that the visit with the First Presidency was first.

At this time the delegation of Japanese visitors withdrew from the meeting.

Mon., 3 June 1963:

“Statement on Death of Pope John XXIII

Received a telephone call from my secretary, Clare Middlemiss, who reported that newspaper reporters had contacted her asking if I would make a statement regarding the death of Pope John XXIII.  I said, you may give them the following statement:

‘In the passing of Pope John XXIII, the

Catholic Church has lost one of its greatest

personages, one who was forward-looking, 

wise, and fearless in his leadership.  We

join the world in regret and sympathy.’

(see newspaper clippings for details of the

Pope’s passing following.)

(see also diary of June 21, 1963 for statement

regarding appointment of new Pope.)

Thurs., 2 Dec. 1965:

“8:15 a.m.

Went into the office of the First Presidency where I held a meeting with Presidents Tanner and Isaacson.  President Brown was absent in the hospital, and President Smith was attending a meeting with the Council of the Twelve in the Temple.

President Brown’s Illness

Sister Brown had reported this morning that President Brown is still in the hospital, but is improving and it is expected that he will be able to return home within the next few days.

We considered and passed upon a number of recommendations of the committee appointed to investigate re-baptism and restoration of excommunicants.

Billy Graham – Statement Regarding Church

Other general matters were discussed, including a report that Truman Madsen of the Brigham Young University had given us that Billy Graham declares the Church to be anti-Biblical and anti-Christ.  President Isaacson had suggested the advisability of someone who might be selected by the First Presidency to contact Reverend Graham and outline to him our true views regarding the Savior; that perhaps if he had the facts he might change his attitude and expressions regarding us.

I said that I felt that we should take no action in the matter; that Billy Graham must have in his possession the facts regarding our Church.

Wednesday, March 1, 1967

March 1, 1967

President David O. McKay

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

47 East South Temple

Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear President McKay:

The year 1967 marks the 100th anniversary of the life of the Episcopal Church in Utah, and we give thanks for our life here and for the gracious relationships that have always existed between our Church and the Church of Latter-day Saints.

As you well know, many of the Protestant Churches and the Roman Catholic Church throughout the world have in recent years been increasingly concerned about Ecumenical Dialogue leading to Church Unity.  As part of our Centennial Year celebration we are inviting the Clergy of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Utah and the Ministers of the Protestant Churches to join us in a day of Ecumenical discussions under the leadership of The Rt. Rev. Stephen F. Bayne, former Executive Officer of the Anglican Communion and presently Director of the Episcopal Church’s Overseas Mission.

We would be very pleased if one of your representatives would join us for this important occasion, Friday, April 7th from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., at St. Mark’s Cathedral.  If you could let me know your appointment, I would be happy to send him my invitation and details of the day’s discussions.


The Rt. Rev. Richard S. Watson, D.D. 



I do hope both you and Mrs. McKay are in good health.  I pray God’s continued Blessing on you both.

Wednesday, March 1, 1967

March 6, 1967

My dear Reverend Watson:

It gave me great pleasure to receive your letter of March 1, 1967, informing me that this year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the life of the Episcopal Church in Utah, and I wish to take this opportunity to extend to you and your associates my congratulations and commendation for the service you are rendering mankind.

In your letter you invite me, or one of our representatives, to join in a day of Ecumenical discussions to be held at the Saint Mark’s Cathedral on Friday, April 7, 1967, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

As you know, our Annual General Conference begins on April 6th, and meetings are scheduled for all of the General Authorities until the closing meeting on Sunday evening, April 9th.  However, we shall be pleased to see if arrangements can be made for one of the General Authorities to attend part of your session.  We shall telephone you later giving you this information.

With warm regards and best wishes, I remain

Sincerely yours,

David O. McKay


The Right Reverend Richard S. Watson, D.C.


The Episcopal Church in Utah

231 East First South

Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

Note:  Later telephoned Reverend Watson and informed him that Elder Thomas S. Monson would represent the Church.”

Wed., 26 Jul., 1967:

10:15 a.m. 

By appointment at his request through letter dated July 12, 1967, I received in the office at the apartment Reverend David R. Fraser, Baptist Minister from England, who has been a resident in Bountiful, Utah for the past three months where he has been studying the “life of the society and of the churches here.”

The Reverend said that he had enjoyed his stay in Utah and had learned much about our people. Following a brief conversation about the Church, it was readily seen that this minister, who is just a young man, had asked to see me principally to ask me the direct question as to why our Church does not accept his calling as a minister of God, and why he cannot go into the Temple. I said that we accepted him as a minister in his church, and had nothing but good will and respect for him in the work he is doing in the Baptist Church. I explained our belief in regard to the restoration of the Priesthood which had been lost from the earth.

He then wanted to know why he could not go into the Temple. I explained that members of the Church have to live up to the principles of the Gospel before they can enter the Temple, and that the doors of the Temple are not open to the public.

I could see that the Reverend had had all these matters explained to him, but that he could not accept them. It was suggested that he have a conference with Elder Mark E. Petersen, who is in charge of the Church Information Service, who would be pleased to answer all his questions and arrange to have him taken to all the Church points of interest in the city.

He thanked me for the interview, and my secretary accompanied him to the door.”

Thur., 10 Aug., 1967:

10:00 a.m. 

Visit of Reverend Gerard Leo Tierney, of the Catholic Church

In accordance with an appointment made through correspondence, received in the office at the Hotel Utah, Reverend Gerard Leo Tierney, Catholic Father, who is General Chairman of The Religious Education Committee of The Priests’ Senate of The Diocese of Albany, New York. Father Tierney lives at Saratoga Springs, New York.

He was accompanied by Elder Mark E. Petersen of the Council of the Twelve.

Father Tierney had written, under date of July 10, 1967, stating that “a quiet something deep within me tells me that it will never let me rest until I . . . ask for even the smallest portion of your precious time” during my visit to Salt Lake City sometime between August 9 and August 12. He said further, “I have no idea of what I plan to say to occupy the time, or why this urging is prompting me. I can only tell you that there is something about an encounter with you that is deeply important to something within me.”

(See letters following.)

I was very impressed with the sincere attitude of this young Catholic Father who is associated with the Education division of his church.

He asked me if I had a message for him, and I responded by bearing my testimony and telling him that the Gospel had been restored in our day through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and that the Church of Jesus Christ is now restored in all its fullness and power.

At my request, Elder Petersen explained to Father Tierney about his calling as an Apostle, and told of the meetings which are held each week in the Temple where the First Presidency and the Twelve discuss and conduct the affairs of the Church; that all this is done under the direction of the President of the Church.

I then explained to Father Tierney the importance of the calling of an Apostle in this dispensation, and stated that the Twelve of today hold all the same powers held by the Twelve in ancient Palestine, and that their calling is equally as important. He (Elder Petersen) explained how the Apostles travel around the world, visiting the missions and stakes, administering to the affairs of the Church, and setting all things in order.

I bore my testimony to Father Tierney that the Apostles are present-day living witnesses of Jesus Christ to all the world.

Father Tierney then expressed appreciation for my testimony and said, “In our church, through our prayers, we bless each other. Will you pray for me that the Lord’s blessings may be with me?”

I answered “I will, and I do pray for you; that the Lord’s choicest blessings may be yours, and that the Holy Spirit will guide you and direct you in all truth.”

I stood up to say good-bye, and told this young Catholic Father that I was honored with his visit, and said again, “My prayers are with you.” This young man is seeking for something he does not have.

Before Father Tierney’s departure, I presented him with a copy of the booklet “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”, bound in white leather with his name engraved thereon, in which I had placed a gold-edged card with my signature.

Elder Petersen then departed with Father Tierney. He arranged with a member of the Church Information Service to take Father Tierney to all the Church points of interest. He was first taken to the LDS Institute of Religion at the University of Utah where he sat in on some of the classes and talked with members of the faculty. I learned later that he was very interested and impressed with our system of Institutes, and said that this is the very type of youth training he had hoped for in his own Church; and then he added that he had strongly recommended it to his Diocese Bishop, but that the Bishop had become offended at the suggestion, thinking that present methods were satisfactory and “strongly reprimanded” Father Tierney for suggesting any changes.

I was moved when I learned that Reverend Tierney admired the organ at the Institute, and he was asked if he would like to play it. He said yes he would, and sat down and played two of our favorite hymns “O. My Father”, and “Come, Come, Ye Saints”.

After a tour of welfare square, Temple Square, etc., he met with Brother Petersen in his office, where he asked many questions about the organization of the Church and the manner in which officers are appointed, and particularly how an Apostle is chosen.

That evening, Reverend Tierney attended the practice session of the Tabernacle Choir and the performance of “Promised Valley”.

(See following Elder Petersen’s account of meeting.)

Note by CM 

Later, Reverend Tierney returned to Salt Lake to attend the 137th Semi-Annual Conference of the Church; the full story of Reverend Tierney’s previous visit and his attendance at the October Conference was written up by Mrs. Irene E. Staples of the Church Information Service, who accompanied him to the various Church points of interest and to the Conference at the request of Clare Middlemiss, secretary. A copy of this report follows.

Following Elder Petersen and Reverend Tierney’s departure from the apartment, my secretary, Clare, remained for a few moments to take up a few letters and other office matters.


Here is a memo on Father Tierney.

I think he is becoming converted.

He was thrilled with President McKay


Aug. 11, 1967


On Thursday morning, Aug. 10, 1967 Sister Irene Staples of the Church Hosting Committee, brought to the office of Sister Clare Middlemiss, the young Catholic Priest who had written to President McKay and to Sister Middlemiss, for an appointment with President McKay.

He is the Rev. Mr. Tierney, of Albany, N.Y.  He is very interested in our Church and our doctrines, although he carefully explains that he is not converted to them — at least as yet.

President McKay had requested that I accompany Father Tierney to the President’s apartment for the interview, which I gladly did.

On arriving at the apartment at 10 a.m. we were admitted to President McKay’s office, where in a most cordial manner he greeted Father Tierney and made him welcome.

Father Tierney said that he was honored to be in the President’s presence, and asked if President McKay had any message for him.  The President quickly reponded by bearing his testimony to the young priest that the gospel has been restored in our day through the Prophet Joseph Smith and that the Church of Jesus Christ has now been restored through the Prophet, in all its fulness and power.

President McKay then asked Brother Petersen when he came into the Council of the Twelve, and Brother Petersen responded that it was at the April conference of 1944.  Then President McKay asked Brother Petersen if he would tell Father Tierney how often our council meets.  Brother Petersen then explained that the council of Twelve meets each Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. to conduct business assigned to that council, and that then at 10 a.m. the same morning, the First Presidency comes into the Council room, for the weekly meeting of the Council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve.  These meetings are held in the council room on the fourth floor of the Salt Lake Temple.

Brother Petersen explained further that President McKay comes to these meetings, conducts them, and directs the work, makes the policy and other important decisions, and assigns any special work to the members of the Council.  Brother Petersen further explained that President McKay lives very much in the present, is well aware of all that goes on, and actively directs the work of the Church.

President McKay then explained to Father Tierney the importance of the Calling of the Apostles of this dispensation.  He said that the Twelve of today hold all the same powers held by the Twelve in ancient Palestine, and that their calling is equally important.  They traverse the world of today as the ancient apostles travelled through the known world of their times, administering the affairs in all the Church and setting all things in order.

He bore testimony to Father Tierney that these modern Apostles are present day living witnesses of Jesus Christ to all the world.

Father Tierney then expressed appreciation for the President’s testimony.  He said then, ‘In our Church through our prayers we bless each other.  Will you pray for me that the Lord’s blessings may be with me?’

President McKay then said: ‘I will and I do pray for you, that the Lord’s choicest blessings may be yours, and that the Holy Spirit will guide you and direct you into all truth.’

Sister Middlemiss then brought to President McKay a beautifully bound copy of the book ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,’ with a card, signed by the President who then presented the book with his good wishes to Father Tierney.  He then left in company of Brother Petersen.  He was deeply impressed with the President.

Sister Staples then took him to the L.D.S. Institute at the University of Utah, where he sat in on some of the classes and talked with members of the faculty.  He said that this is the type of youth training he had hoped for in his own Church, and added that the had strongly recommended it to his diocese bishop.  However, the bishop was offended at the suggestion, thinking that present methods were satisfactory, and strongly reprimanded Father Tierney for suggesting any changes.

Father Tierney told Sister Staples that he was much offended at his bishop for this and other matters.

Sister Staples then took him through the chapel section of the Institute building.  Father Tierney admired the appearance of the organ.  Sister Staples asked if he would like to play it.  He said he would.  Then he sat down to the organ and played without the use of a book two of our favorite hymns — ‘Come, Come Ye Saints’ and ‘O My Father.’

Then they came to Brother Petersen’s office where Father Tierney asked numerous questions about the organization of the Church and the manner in which officers are appointed, and particularly how an Apostle is chosen.

Following this discussion he went to his hotel, and afterward attended the presentation of ‘Promised Valley.’

Friday he spent with Sister Staples in further sightseeing.  He left for home Saturday Aug. 12.

Mark E. Petersen.”

Fri., 18 Aug., 1967:

“8:30 a.m. 

Held a meeting of the First Presidency. We discussed several matters of general Church importance.

10:15 a.m. 

Rabbi Strom – Courtesy Visit 

Met by appointment, at his request, Rabbi Strom of the local Jewish synagogue, who came in to say good-by before leaving Salt Lake City for Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he has been assigned to new duties which he says will give him more of an opportunity to do what he has always wanted to do; that is, teach the young people of his Church in the different phases of their Jewish faith, especially the history of their faith.

I told Rabbi Strom that I was very pleased and honored that he had called, but sorry to learn that he will be leaving our midst. He answered, “I have enjoyed very much my nine years in Salt Lake City, and leave with the highest respect for your Church, and want you to know that I love and respect you, sir.” I answered, “Thank you — I reciprocate your feelings of respect and affection, and want you to know that you have my best wishes and prayers for your health and success in your new assignment.”

Rabbi Strom then said, “Your efficient secretary, who has been very gracious to me during the years I have been here, told me that she filled a mission for your Church in Colorado Springs, and that when she was there only five members of the Church were there at that time, and that now there are two or three organized Stakes.” I said, “Yes, the Church has grown in that area, and we shall still be interested in you, and in your work there.”

Following a very cordial interview, Rabbi Strom arose to go, and I stood up, shook his hand, and said, “God bless you in your work”, and he said, “Good-by. I shall never forget you, your kindness, and cooperation while I have been in Salt Lake.”

My secretary reported that as she took him to the door, tears were in his eyes as he waved and said good-by again.

Thur., 19 Dec., 1968:


Of The Greek Orthodox Church

It was November 8, 1968 that I learned from a letter sent to me by Elder Mark E. Petersen of the Church Information Service that His Eminence, Archbishop Iakovos, head of the Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America, would be in Ogden, Utah at ceremonies to be held Saturday and Sunday December 21 and 22, 1968.

Elder Petersen thought it would be a gracious thing if I would extend an invitation to the Archbishop to come to Salt Lake City as the guest of the Church two days earlier than his planned visit, at which time he could hear the Tabernacle Choir, see the Christmas scenes and lights on Temple Square, and also be the guest of honor at an early evening dinner.

Being agreeable to this suggestion, I sent a letter, under date of November 15, 1968, to the Archbishop and extended an invitation for him to be our guest of honor here in Salt Lake City prior to his duties in Ogden, Utah.

On December 3, 1968, I received a letter from Archbishop Iakovos in which he said: “I have arranged my schedule so as to arrive in Salt Lake City on Thursday evening December 19 as you request, at which time it would give me great joy to see Temple Square dressed up in its Christmas splendor and to hear the Tabernacle Choir which is always a special treat. It will be a pleasure to renew my acquaintance with your beautiful City, and looking forward to seeing you again.” He was also pleased to accept the formal dinner invitation.

(See letters following)

5:15 p. m. Visit of His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos

According to arrangements made following the Archbishop’s arrival in Salt Lake City, Sister McKay and I were honored with a visit from His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of all of North and South America.

He was accompanied by his traveling companion, Father Simeonidis. They were escorted to the apartment by President Hugh B. Brown and Elder Mark E. Petersen.

The Archbishop greeted Sister McKay and me very warmly. We recalled our visit of six years ago (February 26, 1962) when he called on me at the office of The First Presidency in the Church Administration Building at 8 o’clock in the morning. “And now”, I said, “I am very happy to see you again!” The Archbishop, still clasping my hand, replied: “Thank you, and I again express gratefulness for what you and the Church have done for my people in Greece and for our people here in Salt Lake City. “

I replied: “Thank you for the honors Greece has given the Church”, and referred to the Cross of the Commander of the Royal Order of Phoenix which was conferred upon me by King Paul through his representative the Honorable John A. Tzounis, Acting Consul General of Greece. King Paul said: “I hope that friendship for which it stands will be eternal. There is nothing so precious as friendship, and through the years we prize the friendship of your nation and the Church. “

The Archbishop said “We reciprocate that friendship, and we are deeply grateful for what you have done for the people of Greece after the World War and for the demonstration of your spirit. I am happy to renew our friendship. It is an honor and unique opportunity to meet you again. “

Note by CM: During the course of conversation the Archbishop said this to President McKay:

“President McKay, I believe you are a true man of God. You are representative of the true word of God. I am sure God preserves your life because He loves you and knows that you have had a great work to do. I feel younger when I find myself among people whose youth is endless “

(End of Note)

In referring to our previous visit, I asked Elder Petersen to read from my journal of February 27, 1962 (a copy of which my secretary Clare had provided me with prior to the visit) in which I had recounted the Archbishop’s former visit, and in which I had recorded my remarks to the Council at their meeting in the Salt Lake Temple this visit of six years ago. In telling them of my impressions of the Archbishop I stated: “Few men have impressed me as did the Archbishop, who seemed a very cultured and spiritual man. “

The Archbishop seemed pleased to hear this excerpt from my journal.

(See following copy of this journal)

After exchanging Christmas greetings and renewed expressions of mutual goodwill, I told the Archbishop that my blessings go with him. The Archbishop and his group then left the apartment and went to the dinner in honor of the Archbishop which was held in the President’s Room of the Hotel Utah.

I later learned that at the dinner given in his honor, the Archbishop in his remarks “cited the work of the Church in its Youth Programs, its educational system, for courage and faith of its members in not shrinking before ‘natural or human obstacles or difficulties.'”

He said further, “I have always been impressed with the youth program of your Church. NO OTHER CHURCH CAN COMPARE WITH YOUR CHURCH IN THAT RESPECT.”

(See following Elder Petersen’s minutes of meeting with President McKay, and newspaper clippings re: the Archbishop’s visit. )

Invitation to the Consecration of the Orthodox Church in Ogden

On December 11, 1968, I received a letter from His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos, through his director of Public Information C. Nina Cutrubus, inviting Sister McKay and me to attend the ceremonies to be held in association with the consecration of the Orthodox Church in Ogden, Utah.

I sent a letter thanking them for this invitation, and sending regrets that it would be impossible due to doctors orders for Sister McKay and me to make the trip to Ogden to attend these events. I later appointed Elder BENSON to represent me.

(See copies of letters following)

Consecration Ceremonies – Report by Elder Ezra Taft Benson

On Thursday, January 9, 1969, Elder Ezra Taft Benson reported to the Brethren at their Council Meeting in the Temple that he filled an assignment given to him by President McKay to attend the consecration ceremonies of the Greek Orthodox Church in Ogden, which was attended by His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos, and that he (Elder Benson) was favorably impressed with the Archbishop’s address on that occasion.

Elder Benson said there was a banquet following the Consecration services, and on this occasion the Archbishop paid high tribute to the Church, and that he singled out the President of the Church particularly. He also mentioned favorably the dinner which was given in his honor by the First Presidency.

Notes by CM:

On December 20, 1968, Elder Mark E. Petersen sent a letter to President McKay expressing appreciation for his courtesy and kindness to the Archbishop. He said that the Archbishop and his party were “quite overwhelmed at President McKay’s kindness and his great generosity. ” “The Archbishop himself was deeply impressed,” said Elder Petersen, “and expressed his appreciation for you, for your kindliness and your holding out the Christian hand of fellowship to him. I am sure that he will be our friend for life. “

(See copy of letter)

On December 30, 1968 – Telegram from Archbishop Iakovos

President McKay received a telegram from Archbishop Iakovos which reads: “May God bless your New Year with Peace and Happiness and May He continue to endow you and yours with good health and success.”

(See copy following and President McKay’s answer thereto)

On December 31, 1968

President McKay received a letter from C. Nina Cutrubus, Chairman of Consecration Program of Events, Ogden, Utah, extending in behalf of the Greek communities of Ogden and Salt Lake “deepest and sincere gratitude for your most gracious hospitality extended to His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos during his visit to Utah.”

Wed., 6 Aug, 1969:

By appointment at 10:45 Elder Richard L. Evans came in to see

me. As I took his hand I held it tightly and said it had been too

long since I had seen him. Elder Evans said that it was just before

Christmas when all of the Twelve and Presidency were at the

apartment together since he last saw me and that he had felt “a void in not seeing me and was grateful to see me looking better without the help of oxygen.” He continued, “Your color is good; your speech is good.” As I continued to hold his hand I said, “I know whose hand I am holding, and I bless you and encourage you in your work;” also I said many other things of a personal and encouraging nature to him.

Elder Evans said, “The people ask about you as one of the first questions worldwide.

Elder Evans then mentioned how much he appreciated Clare Middlemiss, my secretary, who had made the appointment for him; that she has given such wonderful service, and I told him how much I appreciated her long, faithful service and expressed gratitude for her successful heart surgery and progress toward recovery.

(For matters regarding his speaking appointments etc., see following

Minutes by Elder Evans.)

“(Memo of a Visit with President David O. McKay with Elder Richard L. Evans)

I reported to the President the success again of the Hill Cumorah Pageant, despite some adverse weather on four of the six days, and also the very favorable impression I received at our Montreal Fair Exhibit, which I visited before returning from the Pageant .

Also, presented to the President for his reaffirmation or otherwise, counsel given me over a long period of years pertaining to invitations to speak to groups not of our Church–and specifically that I had a request at this time from the “Wise Master, Mr. Norris G. Abbott, III representing the Masons of Rhode Island” to speak at an Easter season observance that they hold every two years, the next one being Monday, March 23, 1970 at which they have invited me to be the speaker.

Also, an invitation from a Catholic Layman’s Foundation to speak at the National Shrine of “Our Lady of the Snows” in Bellevue, Illinois, just outside of St. Louis, where they gather crowds of 5,000 or more of all faiths.

On these I had earlier conferred with President Tanner who voiced his encouragement for acceptance, and reminded President McKay that over the years he had counselled me to accept such invitations to speak to non-Church groups where time and strength and circumstances suggested, and he re-affirmed these instructions, as he has done from time to tirne.

Also reported to the President that “the spoken word” as earlier authorized by him was being used daily as a “Thought for the Day” on several radio stations in Missouri and Texas, and used by the Driggs boys in Arizona, and am proceeding further under his instructions “to use my best judgment. “

Reported to the President again, as I have done in times past, about the policy I was pursuing with moneys received from listeners to the CBS Tabernacle Choir broadcast, and took over and showed to him a $500 check made out to me from a Miss Thrall of LaJolla, California, a $100 check from a Dr. Douglas Warner made out to the Church, and a $50 check made out to the Children’s Hospital, all of which I am sending to the Primary Children’s Hospital, and, depending upon the wording and spirit of the letters received from donors, sometimes send these contributions to the Children’s Hospital, sometimes to the Choir, and sometimes return them with grateful appreciation to the listeners who sent them, if they sent them in payment for a copy of a comment or some service, because we didn’t want them to think we were selling anything. The President reaffirmed what he has told me in the past–for me to use my best judgment .

It was a satisfying visit–the President was sitting in his office and looking well, with no oxygen attachments, and I was grateful for the visit-the first in several months.”

Thur., 14 Aug., 1969:

Minutes of the Meeting of the First Presidecay

Held Thursday, August 14, 1969, at 9:30 A.M., in President McKay’s Apartment

Present: Presidents David 0. McKay, N. Eldon Tanner and Joseph Fielding Smith .

President McKay seemed to be feeling better this morning. President Tanner reported that President Brown was in Alaska and President Dyer was not in his office, and Joseph Anderson was on his vacation. In their absence President Tanner and President Smith met with President McKay.

Conference on “The Relvancy of Organized Religion – An Agenda for the Future.”

President Tanner referred to a letter he had received under date of July 22, 1969, from George D. Dayton II, President of the George D. Dayton Foundation. He invited President Tanner to attend a Conference on “The Relevancy of Organized Religion – An Agenda for the Future” to be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 6, 7 and 8, 1969.

The purpose of this conference is to evaluate the current impact of organized religion on life in the United States. Certain individuals will prepare advance papers in response to questions which they will be given, and then participants from various denominations will discuss and react to the summaries given by those who prepare papers.

President McKay approved of President Tanner’ s inquiring further into this situation and attending the conference if thought advisable.”