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David O. McKay Diaries – “Missionary Work”

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

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Sat., 20 Feb., 1937:


3. George F. Richards and Antoine Ivins, regarding secessionists in Mexican mission.  Leaders to be excommunicated.”

Tues., 20 Sep., 1938:

“After luncheon talked over long distance to Alfred C. Rees in Copenhagen.  President Rees called to advise the brethren that the danger of war was over and that he was taking the missionaries back into Germany.”

Sat., 11 Jan., 1947:

“There never has been a time in the history of the Church when people generally seem to be so favorably inclined to listen to the message of the Restored Gospel.  It is gratifying to note that the bitterness and prejudice heretofore fanned by ignorance are now being greatly allayed.  Intelligent men and women are beginning to recognize how applicable are the principles of the Church to the alleviation of ill-will among men, and how potent it is in establishing and upholding Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world.

There are now over 3000 missionaries in the field, the majority of them being returned Veterans of World War II.  They are still going out at the rate of 200 per month.  Never before in my life have I been so proud of the young men who are representing the Church, and never more grateful for their loyalty and integrity to the Truth.”

Sat., 18 Jan., 1947:

“Brother Cyril F. Andersen of Grace, Idaho, son of Leo Andersen (mother recently died) came into the office for advice as to whether or not he should go on a mission and take his young wife. I explained to him the conditions under which he might go on his mission.  He has a sweetheart.  If he chooses to marry her now before he goes, then, he might do so, but the Church would not call him and her as a young married couple into the field together. Secondly, if he married her, and she remained home, & if conditions were favorable after 18 months, she could join him and spend the last six or eight months with him in the field.  Third, he could go on his mission and postpone his marriage until his return.

Advised him to consult his sweetherat, his parent, and her parents, and then together they could decide what they wanted to do.”

Fri., 14 Feb., 1947:

“Pres. Dunn [Tooele Stake] called regarding a 21-year-old girl who is a member of his stake, and has just returned from the Coast with her parents.  She is out of employment, and her parents want her to go on a Mission.  Pres. Dunn asked if exceptions are made to the rule regarding the age of lady missionaries.  I told him that we were trying to avoid making exceptions, because it just causes offense, and suggested that the Bishop put this girl to work in the ward.

Pres. Dunn also said they had a couple who were less than 60 years of age, who would like to fill a Mission in Sweden and wondered if the Church would want to send them.  I told him yes if he felt that they could serve the Church to good advantage over there.”

Wed., 2 Apr., 1947:

“Meeting of the Council of the Twelve, Assistants to the Twelve, Seventies, Presiding Bishopric, and Mission Presidents

At the request of the Missionary Committee, I presented the question of each Mission President having counselors.

I explained to them that for sometime past the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve had been considering what might be termed an anomalous condition and practice in the Church.  That anomaly not only affects directly the missionary work of the Church [?].

I then explained the policy of the Church with regard Quorums, Auxiliaries, Stakes and Wards–that in every case there are three either in the Presidency or in the Superintendency, their being only one exception given in the case of a Bishop who may be a direct descendent of Aaron–that when it comes to a Mission President, whose responsibilities are even greater than that of a Stake President, we give him no counselors.  Yet, in four great fields of activity he carries great responsibility as follows:

1. First, it is the Mission President’s responsibility to have personal contact with his missionaries.  He msut know their moods, whims, their doubts, their yearnings, their discouragements, etc.

2. The Mission President has the responsibility of organizing and setting in order Districts and Branches.

3. Of controlling and supervising finances, the choosing of building sites, approving of new buildings, teaching, collecting, and handling tithes, fast offerings, etc.

4. Proclaiming the truth of the Restored Gospel.  In this connection, he is a public relations’ man, meeting Governors, Mayors of cities, civic officers, Chief of Police, radio officials, etc.

In view of these responsibilities, it is recommended that each Mission President be given two counselors to be chosen by the President, but submitted to the First Presidency for approval before the men are spoken to.

In choosing, it might be advisable to choose a local man and one from the missionary group.  No personal allowance will be given these counselors, but expenses will be paid in their official visits.  Counselors will be set apart by one of the General Authorities in the United States Missions, by the President of the European Mission, or by the President of the Pacific Missions.

The Counselors will be released when the President of the Mission is released.  His successor may or may not choose the same counselors.

A council meeting should be held regularly.

It would be well to divide the responsibility among the three in the Presidency.  A Counselor may hold district and Branch conferences, and perform under such circumstances all the duties of the President.

When a new Mission President is appointed, it may be his prerogative to suggest that some able man here at home be called on a Mission with a view later of acting in the Presidency.”

Fri., 29 Aug., 1947:

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

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

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

Thur., 16 Oct., 1947:

“At 7:30 a.m., met by appointment Eldon Lowder, missionary now at the Mission Home, who just yesterday confessed that he is married and has been for 8 months–neither of the parents being informed of this fact.  As the young couple was not married in the Temple, Elder Lowder will not be able to go on his Mission.  I called Elder Lowder’s father at Burley and talked to him about the matter, and later talked by Long Distance to Mrs. LeRoy Clark of Burley, Idaho–mother of the young wife.  It was decided that Mrs. Clark would accompany her daughter to Salt Lake tomorrow and that the young couple would be properly married in the Temple, and then Elder Lowder will be given permission to go on his Mission.”

Fri., 17 Oct., 1947:

“3:30 p.m.–Elder Lowder, missionary who confessed to being secretly married, his parents, and his wife’s parents, met at my office to straighten out difficulties pertaining to Elder Lowder’s obtaining health certificate in order that he and his wife might have their marriage consummated in the Temple before his departure for his mission. . . .

4:50 p.m.–Called the County Clerk and asked him if it would be possible for a young couple to get their marriage certificate provided they were able to get their health certificate before closing time.  I then told him about Elder Lowder and his wife’s desire to go through the Temple before Elder Lowder’s departure for his mission, and that Sister Lowder had come from Idaho Falls without her certificate.  The County Clerk kindly consented to keep his office open until he heard further regarding the matter.”

Mon., 3 Nov., 1947:

“[Telephone call]  Mark Peterson–Telephoned to him and advised him that we just received a cable from Pres. Zappey of the Netherlands Mission containing information which I consider is one of the most glorious incidents in our modern missionary work.  The cable reads as follows:

First Presidency:  Just received permission from the Netherlands Government to ship 66 tons of potatoes raised by Dutch Saints in a Welfare Project to Presidents Stover and Wunderlich in Germany for distribution among Saints in Germany.”

Sat., 29 Nov., 1947:

“10 a.m.–Called President J. Robert Price of the Central Atlantic Mission.  Told him that I had just received his letter of November 26 wherein he states that he is leaving the city of Roanoke for two or three weeks in order to take care of Mission affairs.  I told him that I had called especially to see if he were leaving any lady missionaries alone at the headquarters.  He said there were two very dependable girls there.  I asked him if he had a housekeeper there, and he said there was no one there at the present time, but that he could get the colored housekeeper to stay there.  I told him that I thiought the girls should be chaperoned while he is away.  Furthermore, that he should caution the girls not to invite the two Elders living in Roanoke to the Mission Home while he (Pres. Price) is away.  This is not because we do not trust the girls, but because the neighbors will be watching, and it is best not to give them anything to talk about.”

Tues., 13 Jan., 1948:

“Telephoned to N. Eldon Tanner.  Referred to the recent Canadian law which makes it difficult for Canadian missionaries now laboring in the United States to receive any funds.  We are facing the problem of reassigning these missionaries to Canadian provinces and are wondering if anything could be done or some special arrangement made so that these missionaries could have money sent to them until the completion of their mission.  I asked Brother Tanner if he would find it if it would be possible to make some exchange, and suggested that probably the United States missionaries now laboring in Canada, either in the Western Canadian or the Canadian Mission, could leave their money here at the office and let that be used to pay for the Canadian missionaries who are laboring in the United States, and let the Canadian Missionaries leave their funds in Canada to be sent to the United States Missionaries laboring in Canada.  Brother Tanner said he would look into the matter and let us know.”

Fri., 16 Jan., 1948:

“President George M. Anderson, of the Moroni Stake, talked to President Smith and said Pres. Smith had referred him to me.  He said that so far the Mt. Green Ward has no missionaries in the field.  However, there is a possibility now that they could get a young lady and a young man to go into the mission field before they get married.  The young lady is 20 years old in April, and the young man is 23 in October.

I told Pres. Anderson that we had just made a rule that an engaged girl may go on a mission even though she be under the regular age of 23.  I suggested to Pres. Anderson that he call the young man for a mission right away, and that in a year from now the young lady can go on her mission, then they would be ready to come home about the same time inasmuch as his mission will be about 2 1/2 years, and the young lady’s about 18 months.”

Fri., 16 Jul., 1948:

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

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

Fri., 3 Sep., 1948:

“[Telephone call]  Pres. [J. Robert] Price [Roanoak, VA] spoke of his need for lady missionaries.  I told him that we have just lowered the age limit for lady missionaries from 23 to 21 years of age, and that we would try to send him additional lady missionaries.”

Fri., 3 Sep., 1948:

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

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

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

Fri., 24 Sep., 1948:

“Interview with Colonel Oscar W. Gray of the Selective Service.

President David O. McKay and members of the Missionary Committee met with Colonel Oscar W. Gray of the Selective Service on Friday, September 24, 1948 at the Church Office Building for the purpose of working out a practical program with reference to the missionaries of the Church.

President McKay outlined to Colonel Gray the procedure followed in the calling of missionaries by the Church, namely:  That all young men who are worthy and have reached the age of nineteen years and six months, or who have had two years of college, or military service are recommended for missionary service.  Young men who meet these requirements are given calls to report to the Missionary Home to receive special training and be set apart as ordained ministers of the Gospel, and will be between the age of nineteen years and six months and twenty years of age when the reach the mission field.  President McKay explained that during the Second World War the following working arrangement with the Selective Service proved to be very satisfactory:  The Church continued to call missionaries as they had done for over one hundred years, and the young men were assigned to the Missionary Home to be ordained.  If a young man received his notice of induction from the Selective Service before he entered the Missionary Home, the Church excused him from Missionary Service.  If the young man arrived at the Missionary Home before he received his notice of induction, then he was automatically deferred by the Selective Service from military service for the duration of the term he was to serve as an ordained minister, after which he was to report to his local Draft Board.

Colonel Gray stated that this arrangement would be very satisfactory to the Selective Service, and that he felt it could be worked out in a very practical way under the new Selective Service regulations.

Colonel Gray pointed out the desirability of all young men receiving the advantages which come from military training and suggested that if the bishops of the Church would carefully extend their full cooperation to the Selective Service Draft Boards in the selecting of young men for military service, that he felt much criticism of the Church would be avoided.  He also suggested that if a representative of the Church, who understands the problems of the Selective Service, could be assigned to his Advisory Board, that better cooperation would result.

President McKay pointed out that detailed instruction pertaining to registration of all young men between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six had been sent to all missions of the Church, and that the Church stands ready at any time to full cooperate with the Selective Service.  Colonel Gray emphasized the desire of the Selective Service to cooperate with the Church in their missionary program.”

Wed., 13 Oct., 1948:

“[Telephone call]  Brother Evan P. Wright called regarding the advisability of Brother Yarn and his family who have been called to serve in the Presidency of the South African Mission leaving from New Orleans instead of going to the expense of bringing his entire family to Salt Lake City.  Brother Wright said that Brother and Sister Yarn have been through the Temple; that they are matured people, and have had missionary experience, and that it is his opinion that they do not need to come to the Missionary Home.  (The above reported by Clare to Pres. McKay who is in the hospital. Pres. McKay said to tell Bro. Wright that Brother Yarn and his family need not go to the expense of coming out here if the above facts are true.)”

Tues., 2 Nov., 1948:

“Telephoned to President Walter A. Hunzeker of the Montpelier Stake and asked him if he is acquainted with Earl Sorenson, a former missionary to Denmark. Pres. Hunzeker said that he is well acquainted with him.  I then asked him if he could recommend Elder Sorenson for a mission, and he answered, Yes, that he (Elder Sorenson) is a member of the High Council.  I inquired regarding Elder Sorenson’s finances, and Pres. Hunzeker said he didn’t know much about that; that all he knows is that Elder Sorenson and his father are in business together.  I asked Pres. Hunzeker to consult Elder Sorenson’s Bishop and confidentially inquire regarding finances, the state of health of his wife, number of children, and whether or not a mission would work a hardship upon the family. Pres. Hunzeker said he would call me Thursday morning and let me know about this.”

Thur., 4 Nov., 1948:

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

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

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

Wed., 10 Nov., 1948:

“[Meeting with Colonel Oscar Gray of the Selective Service]  Some borderline cases having arisen, the question was considered of modifying our present rule which is that if an inductee enter the missionary home before he is notified of his induction into the Army, the missionary status is changed, and he becomes an ordained minister and is not subject to the draft.  this is now modified so that if a missionary receive his notice of acceptability for service, he is then to cease all preparation for coming into the Missionary Home, and prepare for his draft into the armed service.

It was suggested that we send out notice to the Presidents of Stakes, giving information regarding this modification.

For those who have already been called, and are now waiting their entrance into the Home, the original understanding with the Government will take precedence.”

Mon., 13 Dec., 1948:

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

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

Thur., 30 Dec., 1948:

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

Mon., 10 Jan., 1949:

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

Thur., 27 Jan., 1949:

“Today at Council meeting I presented the recommendation that definite steps be taken toward the organization of a mission in China, further recommendation to come next week.  On motion this recommendation was approved.”

Thur., 3 Feb., 1949:

“At Council meeting this morning I referred to the action taken by the Council a week ago regarding the opening of the Chinese Mission, and presented the recommendation that steps be taken to open the mission, and that Brother Hilton A. Robertson be interviewed with respect to his taking charge of the mission. While Brother Robertson cannot speak the Chinese language, he can choose as counselors men who are familiar with the language.  On motion of Brother Bowen, seconded by Brother Lee, this recommendation was approved.”

Mon., 14 Feb., 1949:

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

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 . . .

Following that meeting, I had a meeting with the Presidency of the Farr West Stake in which the three men made a plea that Elder _____ who was recommended to go on a Mission and who was advised not to go may have his Call reconsidered.  He has been married five years and they have no children.  They are now building a home.  I told the young man that it would be better to complete his home and start to have a family, because it looks as though they are practicing birth control, and it will be another two years before they have children, and he might lose his wife.  The Presidency said they had not thought of that angle of the question, and that they will have a confidential talk with the couple.”

Tues., 22 Feb., 1949:

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

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

I prepared and sent the following answer:

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

Thur., 24 Feb., 1949:

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

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

Mon., 28 Feb., 1949:

“At 10:30–President Hilton A. Robertson, former President of the Japanese Mission met in my office by appointment.  I discussed with him the desire of the brethren that he be appointed to open up the Mission to China.  Brother Robertson is willing to accept the responsibility of presiding over this new Mission.

After discussing with Pres. Robertson the advisability of having Brother Henry Aki of Honolulu, Hawaii (A faithful Chinese member of the Church) act as a counselor in the Chinese Mission Presidency, and upon his approval, I put in a long distance call to Hawaii to talk personally to Brother Aki.  In a matter of a few moments Clare had Brother Aki on the wire, and after exchanging Alohas, I told Brother Aki that I had just talked to Brother Robertson about his being appointed to preside over the Chinese Mission, and had called to see if he would be willing to act as a counselor to Brother Robertson in that Mission.  He answered immediately: ‘Certainly I will.’  I repeated to him again (to make sure he understood) that the Church is considering opening up the Chinese Mission and sending Hilton A. Robertson as the Mission President and would he and Sister Aki be willing to go to that Mission.  He answered again ‘We are willing to serve wherever the Lord wants us to.’  I told him that no announcement had been made; that he could speak to Brother Matthew Cowley who is there about it, and to have Brother Cowley call me.  I then let Brother Robertson speak to Brother Aki for a few moments about the matter.

[Later the same day–Telephone call]  Matthew Cowley in Honolulu–Asked him if he had been in conversation with Brother Henry Aki about the Chinese Mission.  He said that he had.  I then told Brother Cowley that I had called to see what his itinerary is.  He said he is going to Australia where he has two missionaries to be set apart, then to New Zealand and back to Honolulu, and from there to Japan about the month of May.  I told Brother Cowley that we think it is necessary for him to go to China with Brother Robertson and Brother Aki to see that it is established properly.  Brother Cowley said he thought so too, and that he would make plans to accompany the brethren over there.”

Mon., 21 Mar., 1949:

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

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

Fri., 25 Mar., 1949:

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

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

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

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

Fri., 1 Apr., 1949:

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

Wed., 18 May, 1949:

“At 8 a.m. Brother A. E. Bowen of the Council of the Twelve brought down to my office a Mr. M. C. Cheek, Rincon Annex P.O. Box 3661, San Francisco, who is associated with the F.B.I.  He expressed a wish that he might be able to interview some of our returned missionaries from Europe and other countries.  But I told him that we would have to consider very carefully giving him a list of these as we give the assurance to each country in which our missionaries labor that they do not participate in any way in local political, and economic affairs.”

Thur., 19 May, 1949:

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

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

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

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

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

Fri., 20 May, 1949:

“At 11:10–Mr. M. C. Cheek, who called at the office the other day regarding securing information from our foreign missionaries, again came in to discuss this matter further with me.”

Fri., 20 May, 1949:

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

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

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

Fri., 20 May, 1949:

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

Fri., 20 May, 1949:

“At 11:10–Mr. M. C. Cheek, who called at the office the other day regarding securing information from our foreign missionaries, again came in to discuss this matter further with me.”

Thurs., 9 Jun., 1949:

“President Brown of the Central States Mission telephoned.  Said that Donald Bowman one of his missionaries who has been in the field 4 1/2 months, and who at present is working in the country, has notified his companion that he is leaving the Mission Field. He gives no reason for doing so.  They are working in Poplar Bluff, Mo.  Pres. Brown said he telephoned Elder Bowman and tried to convince him not to leave, but that Elder Bowman seems to be determined.  Pres. Brown thinks he is just homesick.  I asked Pres. Brown if the Elder’s folks know, and he said no that Elder Bowman doesn’t want to let them know.  I then told Pres. Brown to go immediately to Poplar Bluff and have a personal interview with this Elder and tell him of the sorrow that he will bring upon his parents, how embarrassing it will be to him to report to his Bishop and the members of the Ward, and that he will never feel right about it all his life, that only this morning we have a letter from an Elder who did the same thing several years ago, and now wants to go back to complete his mission.”

Fri., 10 Jun., 1949:

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

Mon., 20 Jun., 1949:

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

Sun., 17 Jul., 1949:

“Spent part of the morning at the office, and then went home and spent the rest of the morning and afternoon with the Family. Called at the office again at 4 o’clock and gave some study to problems that confront me–the finding of capable mission presidents, dedicatory appointments, etc. etc.”

Wed., 20 Jul., 1949:

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

Mon., 3 Oct., 1949:

“Dr. Paul Clayton, who is in charge of anesthesia at the Holy Cross hospital, called me by telephone this morning.  Said his father had heard my address yesterday at the 10 o’clock session of General Conference and that he had been terribly upset over my reference to a letter that had been received by one of my missionaries when I was presiding over Europe in 1923-24.  I said in my remarks that this letter, containing only three words–‘QUIN KEEP CLEAN’–had impressed me as being one of the sweetest, wisest letters ever sent by a mother to a son.  It seems that this Elder has not kept himself ‘clean,’ and Dr. Clayton who is his brother telephone me to tell me that Quinn had been a chronic alcoholic for sometime, that he had broken his mother’s heart, and that his father had grieved over his condition until his health was almost broken. Quinn divorced his first wife and she and their two boys–ages 13 and 16 years–are living here in Salt Lake.  Dr. Clayton is in close contact with the older boy.  Quin has married again, and now his second wife has instituted divorce proceedings in Arizona.

Quinn, who used to be an accountant, worked for the General Motors Company and the Ford Motor Company, and it was while he was in the employ of the Ford Motor Company traveling from one place to another that he ‘lost his footing.’

Dr. Clayton feels that the right type individual could reach Quin somehow and make him see the error of his ways.  He is only 45 years of age.  Dr. Clayton warns against giving him money–said that under no circumstances is the church or the missionaries or any one else to give him money as Quin will spend it as fast as he gets it.  What he needs is moral and spiritual guidance.  If he nneds monetary help, Dr. Clayton will be glad to provide it.

Dr. Clayton said his father, and he himself had recogized immediately the words as I sopke them, and knew that it referred to Quin although I had not mentioned his last name, nor did I remember it.  Dr. Clayton was listening over the radio, and his father, who is a devout Latter-day Saint, was attending conference. Said his fater was Ward clerk in the Van Nuys Ward in California, but since his wife’s death last year had moved to Salt Lake and is now employed on the elevators at the Holy Cross in order to give him a little something to do.  He has an apartment near Dr. Clayton’s home.

I told Dr. Clayton that this whole story was very enlightening to me, that I had not heard of Elder Clayton nor of his whereabouts since 1923.  I said that I remembered meeting him when I was presiding over the European and British Missions.  When Elder Clayton showed me the letter that he had received from his mother I thought that it was one of the sweetest, most eloquent things I had ever seen–that it had impressed me a great deal and that I had written an editorial about it.  I said further that I had not thought of it until the morning I spoke in General Conference.

I stated that the reference to the letter could be left out of the printed speech if Dr. Clayton wished it, but also felt that it might be well to leave it in and to get a copy of the printed speech into Quin’s hands and when he reads that reference it might touch him in some way.  Dr. Clayton agreed that this might be one way of reaching him.

I told Dr. Clayton that we have a fine young man appointed to succeed Pres. Glen G. Smith of the Texas-Louisiana Mission, and that I should have a talk with him about Quin, and see if something can be worked out whereby the missionaries or others there could get in touch with him.  I said, too, that possibly Pres. Pierce’s son who lives in El Paso could help us.  I also said that I should give some thought to writing a personal letter to Quin.

Dr. Clayton said that he is afraid his brother has a long, long way back, that he himself has not been able to do anything with him. I remarked that this tragedy could have been avoided if Quinn had followed the advice of his sweet mother.”

Wed., 12 Oct., 1949:

“At 5 p.m., met by appointment Mrs. Quinn Clayton, whose divorced husband–Quinn Clayton–was a missionary in Europe during the time I presided over the British and European Missions.  Quinn has been on the ‘wrong path’ for many years and due to drinking and other causes his wife divorced him.  She came to me for advice as to what she should do about him.  Since she divorced him he has remarried and his second wife is now suing for divorce.  I told Mrs. Clayton that I had written to the Bishop in El Paso, Texas asking that he get in touch with Quinn and see if something can be done to rehabilitate him.”

Fri., 18 Nov., 1949:

“At 12 noon–Brother Don Colton of the Mission Home came in to report an investigation he had made with regards to Robert Stanley McClelland at the request of President George Albert Smith.  This investigation came as a result of a conference Brother Colton had with Pres. Smith, Pres. Clark, Antoine R. Ivins last Saturday.

It was about 1 o’clock before I left for home.

This afternoon I called Brother Mallory–father-in-law of Robert McClelland–and asked him to come to my office Sunday morning at 8:30 o’clock–Told him to bring Brother McClelland with him.”

Sun., 20 Nov., 1949:

“At 8:30 a.m. this morning, met by appointment Brother Leroy Mallory and his son-in-law Robert McClelland.

I asked Brother McClelland if he had told his father-in-law anything about the trouble he had got himself into, and he said ‘No.’  I said ‘Then you had better do it right now in my presence.’

It was evident throughout the conversation that young McClelland was not telling the whole truth, admitting only that which he had to admit.

Brother Mallory was very much wounded in his feelings, and said: ‘Bob, why didn’t you tell us this a week ago.’ (meaning, of course, before you married our daughter).

I telephoned to Bishop Joseph Rees Beard of the Olympus South Ward, Big Cottonwood Stake, and told the Bishop to postpone Brother McClelland’s missionary farewell for November 27, and to merely state that financial matters will necessitate the postponement of his departure to the Tahitian Mission with Brother and Sister LeRoy Mallory, newly appointed to preside over that Mission.

BIshop Beard then asked if Pres. Mallory, Brother McClelland and his young wife, Carol Mallory McClelland, McClelland’s mother and sister, could come up to have a conference with me.  I said that I could not today, but that I would meet them tomorrow morning at my office.

I was at the office most of the day taking care of this McClelland matter, and other duties that crowded in.”

Mon., 21 Nov., 1949:

“At 8:30 a.m. met by appointment Captain Burbidge of the Police Force on the Robert McClelland case.  Captain Burbidge disclosed the fact that McClelland admitted that he had taken from the Sigma Chi fraternity house, in addition to the articles of clothing and money, three fraternity pins and some phonograph records which he had not admitted to me yesterday, showing that he is still hedging.

I told Capt. Burbidge that I think he had acted wisely inasmuch as McClelland had made restoration of everything that the fraternity boys had accused him of stealing.

. . . . 

At 10:30 a.m., met by appointment President Leroy Mallory, Bishop Beard and young McClelland.  I especially requested that the two Bishops be present when I quizzed Brother McClelland on the following points:

(1) in our meeting Sunday morning, in answer to my question when he registered in the University of Utah, Brother McClelland answered ‘last January in the Department of Education.’  Now this morning I said, ‘Brother McClelland, you have not registered in the University at all.’  Brothe McClelland admitted that he had not.  I said, ‘Then you deliberately falsified in the presence of Brother Mallory, Bishop Beard, and a member of the First Presidency.’  Brother McClelland said that he had registered in a class of physical education and the teacher’s name is Anthony Simone.

(2) ‘You said you had contacted a man by the name of Franklin at the Culver City Airport, Culver City, California,’ I said to Brother McClelland.  ‘But I called that airport this morning and learned that Mr. Franklin had not been associated with that company for over a year, how do you explain that?’ ‘Well,’ said Brother McClelland, ‘I met him at a restaurant down there and asked him if there was an airplane for sale.’ (Brother McClelland had approached several Sigma Chi frternity brothers and interested them in purchasing an airplane.  He took $80 each from these boys on pretence that he would purchase the plane.)

(3) I then said to Brother McClelland: ‘Yesterday morning you gave me the impression that you had named all the articles that you had stolen from the Sigma Chi.  I have learned since that in addition to the articles of clothing you named and the money that you stole, that you also stole three fraternity pins and some phonograph records.’  He said ‘Yes, I did.’

We then excused Brother McClelland with a sound lecture that honesty is the foundation of character; that if that is missing the whole structure falls, and taht he stands at the crossroads with the penitentiary facing him down one road, and a noble life at the other.  I gave him a very straight talk in the presence of his Bishop.

Bishop Beard then stepped out, and Brother Mallory (whose daughter Brother McClelland has just married in the Temple) said, ‘I should like to take him with me when I sail.’  (Brother Mallory is the newly appointed President of the Tahitian Mission, and Robert McClelland and Miss Mallory were to go as missionaries with Brother Mallory.)  I said: ‘That cannot be done; he cannot go at the present time.  You make take his wife with the understanding that if Brother McClelland is repentant and proves worthy, he can go later, or his wife can remain here, and the two of them go down later under the same conditions.’

Bishop Beard came back into the office and inquired about the Farewell.  I told him that the farewell is off, and that he could tell the people that it had been postponed because of financial conditions.

After this conference, I dictated to Clare until 1 p.m., at which time I left for home.  I was thoroughly worn out after the problems that had been presented to me this morning.

Drove up to Huntsville for a breath of fresh air and attended to farm matters.

Telephone Calls:

1. Mr. Paul Franklin of Culver City Airport, Culver City, Calif.  Report given that Mr. Franlkin has not been with this company for over a year.

2. Mr. Norton, Registrar of the U of U–asked him if Robert McClelland had ever been registered at the University.  He said they did not have a Robert McClelland registered; they did have a Kenneth R. McClelland registered, but the records do not show what the ‘R’ stands for; that he was in the service but has been at the University for two years, including summer; that he is doing satisfactory work up there now.  I told Mr. Norton that this is not the man in whom we are interested.  Mr. Norton said that evidently Robert McClelland had never registered at the University.

3. I then put in a call for Mr. Anthony Simone, Professor in the Physical Education Department at the University–see report Nov. 22.”

Tues., 22 Nov., 1949:

“Bishop Beard came in regarding the McClelland case.  Pres. McKay was in meeting at the time, so Bishop Beard was asked to call later in the day by telephone.

At about 4 p.m. Bishop Beard called by telephone.  Said that Robert McClelland has an opportunity to go to San Francisco to work for his brother who is a general contractor.  Robert says he can make much more money there than he can here.  I told Bishop Beard that he had better put in a call for this brother and verify this.

Bishop Beard further said that he thinks Robert’s wife in her heart would prefer to stay here with her husband rather than go to Tahiti with her parents, but Brother and Sister Mallory are of the opinion that their daughter should go with them.  I said: ‘Oh, well, we cannot decide that for them–that is a family matter and will ahve to be decided by them.’  Bp. Beard says the parents’ attitude is affecting Robert as he things they are siding against him.  I said ‘Well he hasn’t much to say about it; that if he continues to blame others for his predicament, he will not go at all to the mission field.’  Bp. Beard said that he wanted to be sure what his position is in the matter.  I said that Robert has to prove himself before we allow him to go into the Mission Field.  The Bishop then said: ‘Suppose Carol remains with her husband and becomes pregnant, would that present any situation?’  I said, ‘No, we will let things take their course, and in that case Mrs. McClelland can give us her confidence, and if considered wise, she will be allowed to go to Tahiti.’  ‘However,’ I said, ‘we shall make no commitments at this time.’

. . . .

Telephone Call:

Mr. Simone of the University of Utah called in answer to an inquiry of a day or two ago–he said that ‘he was confused about this Robert McClelland, that he was not a student now, the had checked with the registrar’s office; that Robert McClelland had assisted him in a gymnastics class last winter, and incidentally, Robert is a very good boy.'”

Fri., 2 Dec., 1949:

“I called on President Geo. Albert Smith in his office, and called to his attention a letter just received from President Evan Wright of the South African Mission in which Brother Wright suggests a time for the dedication of the Johannesburg Chapel.  I said that my visit, which was tentatively planned for right after the first of the year could be put off until the time of the dedication which will be at the end of 1950 instead of at the beginning.  This suggestion seemed to please President Smith very much, and he intimated that he thinks it would be better if one of the other brethren could go instead of one of the Presidency.  Said that I was the only one who could take the missionary work, and that he felt that a member of the Presidency should not be gone for the length of time needed to make the trip to So. Africa.  This matter will be considered later.”

Fri., 9 Dec., 1949:

“Bishop Beard of the Mt. Olympus Ward telephoned regarding the case of Robert McClelland whose call to the Tahitian Mission has been postponed.  Bishop Beard reported that Bro. McClelland is going to live in the Ward instead of taking the job in San Francisco, and that his wife, the former Miss Mallory, is going to stay with him.”

Tues., 27 Dec., 1949:

“Bishop Beard telephoned regarding Robert McClelland.  Said that Robert’s position with the Z.C.M.I. has terminated and he now wants to go to San Francisco to work for his brother.  I told Bishop Beard to keep Robert’s recommends in his ward, and that if he so desires to let him go to San Francisco.  He can then later report to Bishop Beard, and if all goes well, he may be permitted to go to Tahiti in accordance with his missionary call that was postponed because of Robert’s actions.”

Mon., 27 Mar., 1950:

“Pres. Joel Richards of the Northwestern States Mission telephoned from Portland, Oregon.  Said an Elder from Great Falls had fallen in love with a member of the church–a married woman with a child. The Elder had been transferred to another district in order to get him away from this woman and had been told not to correspond with her.  The Branch Pres. has now come to Pres. Richards stating that the Elder has been corresponding with this woman, urging her to get a divorce, and the husband has the letters, and is threatening to make them public.

I told Pres. Richards that if he has proof that this Elder has written these letters, that he should send him home at once with a dishonorable release, that we cannot tolerate such actions–that he had given him one chance, and the Elder had disobeyed his orders not to write to the woman.”

Tues., 16 May, 1950:

“[Telephone call] President Rulon Peterson of the Lake View Stake–inquired relative to a young girl in his stake who had received a call for a mission, and who has now received a proposal of marriage and she is undecided whether to go on her mission or to get married.  I told Pres. Peterson to advise the girl to stay home and get married, that her mission is to get married and rear a family.”

Mon., 17 Apr., 1950:

“7 a.m.–Dr. Thomas A. Clawson telephoned my home and asked for an appointment.  I said that if he would come to the office at 7:45 a.m. I would see him.

He reported the case of a young girl in Farmington who is pregnant and the boy involved in the case is on a Mission in Hawaii.  The doctor wanted to know if the boy could come to San Francisco, marry the girl and go back and fulfill his mission.

I told the doctor that this could not be done; tht the Elder must come home, marry the girl and accept the responsibility of his child, and then later if he is worthy, we shall consider his going on a mission.  I said further ‘I am now going to keep your confidence, so you arrange for the girl and her parents to come in here so that I could consult with them.”

Mon., 22 May, 1950:

“Marion Romney of the Church Welfare then called–He inquired regarding a young woman by the name of Cleo Bagley, age 30, who is divorced, and who would like to go on a mission.  Said that 12 years ago she married a man who was 18 years her senior–they lived together 10 years, when he became ill and had to have a ‘rest cure.’  He sent her home to her folks, and told her to get a divorce that she would never see him again.  She tried to find him, but failed, and finally got a divorce.  Brother Romney said that he has been advised that the General Authorities are counselling against divorced persons going on missions, and he wonders what he should do in a case of this kind.

I told Brother Romney to have the regular missionary papers sent in, and that we would consider her case.”

Mon., 22 May, 1950:

“[Telephone call]  President Merle Hyer–Benson Stake, Lewiston, Utah.  I called him and told him that we have a request from the President of the Central Atlantic Mission taht his son–Wendell L. Hyer–be permitted to purchase an automobile for use in the mission field.  I asked Brother Hyer if he could afford to buy a car for his son.  Pres. Hyer then told me that he has another son in the mission field, and that it would work a hardship on him to have to purchase an automobile for this son.  I then told him that I would tell the mission president to tell Elder Hyer to conduct his missionary work without the use of a car.  Pres. Hyer seemed pleased with this decision.”

Fri., 26 May, 1950:

“Bishop Frame of Cedar City telephoned regarding mission for Brother and Sister William H. Manning of his Ward.  Said they would like a mission to Germany.  Later–Telephoned to Bishop Frame and told him to send to the office of the First Presidency the regular missionary papers for Brother and Sister Manning, and they would be considered at the regular meeting of the Missionary Appointment Committee, and assigned to some field where they are needed.”

Mon. 29 May, 1950:

“Bishop Taylor of the Liberty Ward called regarding the daughter of Karl Weiss, (a carpenter who did work at Pres. McKay’s home) who is under the regular age for lady missionaris and who would like an exception made in her case.  I instructed my secretary to tell Bishop Taylor that I had talked to her Brotehr Weiss and had explained to him that it would not be wise to send his daughter on a mission at this time.”

Tues., 6 Jun., 1950:

“Dr. H. Ray Hatch teoephoned and discussed the following item: Gerald Beazer, missionary who is to sail for Australia on the 15th has decided to get married before he leaves, and the parents of the young couple are in agreement that this should be done.  Pres. Hatch said he is of the opinion that he should not go on his mission.  I then said that they should talk to the young couple and to the parents, and give the boy a choice of either going through with his mission, or staying home and getting married.”

Tues., 13 Jun., 1950:

“Brother Bigler of the Wandamere Ward Bishopric called.  Said his son Richard is gonig to the New Zealand Mission, and that after he gets out of the Mission Home, he will have to wait six weeks before he can get transportation on one of the boats to New Zealand.  He wonders if it would be advisable for him to be sent to the California Mission until the time of the departure of the boat. I informed Brother Bigler through my secretary that it is impossible to get transportation sooner, and that it is not advisable to send Elder Bigler to the California Mission to labor for that short period, that we had tried that out with other missionaries and found that it had not been successful, in fact, had been very disrupting to all concerned.”

Thur., 15 Jun., 1950:

“8:30 a.m.–met by appointment Brother James L. Barker, former President of the French Mission, and Franklin Murdock of the Missionary Department relative to visas for our missionaries to enter France.  We decided that it would be best to send the missionaries already assigned to the French Mission to the Canadian Mission until the visas are obtained.  To that end I put in a long distance call for President Floyed Eyre of the Canadian Mission, but we were unable to reach him all day.”

Fri., 16 Jun., 1950:

“President Floyed Eyre of the Canadian Mission–Telephoned him and informed him that we have 28 missionaries appointed to the French mission, ten of whom will be leaving here in about two weeks, but we do not want to send them to France just yet as they are working over there to get better relationships regarding visas, and that I wondered if we could appoint those ten missionaries to Canada and have them go to school up there for the French language and also do missionary work in addition to their studies at Montreal.

President Eyre then asked if any of them have the base language, and I answered that they did not, but that we had considered sending President Barker up there to give lessons to them.  Pres. Eyre then said that he could use the chapel at Montreal as a school, and in addition give the Elders valuable experience in missionary work.  Said that they had had a teacher until just recently, but the teacher had left.  Said that he would make immediate plans for the ten missionaries and would be pleased to cooperate with us in this respect.  Said that all is well in his mission.”

Mon., 19 Jun., 1950:

“President Thomas W. Gardner of the Northern California Mission telephoned regarding a lady missionary who has been in the mission only six months, and who three months ago had to undergo an appendectomy, and has since had female trouble, and has again been under the doctor’s care.  Just recently while out tracting she completely broke down, and President Gardner fears that she is on the verge of a complete nervous breakdown.  He asked if he shoiuld send her home. I told him that this should be done immediately. He said that he would get in touch with her parents in Heber City, utah, arrange for her transportation, and have the parents meet her when she gets off the train.

President Gardner then told of the case of Elder Muir who underwent an operation for hernia, and then later suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized for several weeks.  The doctors in the case–members of the church, one of them being in the Branch Presidency–Dr. Mark Lewis and Dr. Brockbank–send a bill for the hernia operation for $400 with a courtesy discount of $200.  The emergency appendicitis operation was billed at $250.00 with a discount of $100.  The hospital bill for Elder Muir was $1000 which has been paid.  Now these doctors, much to the dismay of President Gardner, send an additional bill of $650 to cover the cost of treatment of Elder Muir during the heart attack.  I said that I thought that was an outrageous price–that they would nothave to do very much for him in the treatment of this heart attack.  Pres. Gardner said that they have doctors all up and down their mission who are not even members of the church who have gladly given their services free of charge.  I told Pres. Gardner to face these doctors; that there is something wrong in their attitude and if they insist upon these prices, we shall pay the amount they ask, but that will be an end to their services.  Pres. Gardner said that that is just what he wanted to do, but did not feel that he should without consulting me about it.”

Wed., 21 Jun., 1950:

“From 9 to 10 a.m.–President John B. Matheson called at the office–He brought up matters pertaining to the East Central States Mission, and mentioned particularly the fact that there are 25 motorcycles operating in the Mission and wondered if the missionaries should be allowed to continue to use these.  I told him that the practice of using motorcycles in the Missions is not according to instructions given out from this office, and that a letter would be sent out to Mission Presidents regarding the use of these vehicles, as well as automobiles by missionaries.  He then said that Elder Orlande D. Heaton, Hiawatha had had his mother, Mrs. D. E. Heaton, borrow money in order to purcahse a car.  I said that we looked with disfavor upon missionaries putting their parents to this expense.”

Wed., 21 Jun., 1950:

“7:45 a.m.–H. W. Valentine called and related the case of one of our returned missionaries–Elder Duane Kump of the Northern States and later Great Lakes States Missions, who consorted with a Mrs. Louise Carsey, 45, of Athens, Illinois.  Elder Kump was released 60 days ago, and has now sent for Mrs. Carsey and she is located at 376 N. 1st West, this city.  Day before yesterday Elder Kimb married her.  It was further reported that the missionaries in the vicinity of Athens, Ill. are trying to dispose of Mrs. Carsey’s property for her.  (Mrs. Kumb works at the Miners Hospital, City.)

I immediately got in touch with President Waldo Anderson of the Northern States Mission, related the above information to him, and told him that he should get in touch with the Elders who are disposing of Mrs. Carsey’s property and put a stop to it at once; that the church must have nothing whatever to do with this.  I further said that Mrs. Carsey will in all probability be excommunicated from the Church and so will the Elder–that they will have to attend to their own business.  President Anderson said he would get in touch with them (the missionaries) immediately and see that they do not involve themselves in this matter in any way.”

Thur., 22 Jun., 1950:

“[Telephone calls]  Mrs. William B. Armstrong, 58 E. 27th South, Salt Lake City relative to her missionary son now laboring in the East Central States Mission, who has applied for permission to purchase an automobile to be used in the Mission Field.  I asked Mrs. Armstrong if the purchasing of an automobile for her son would not work a hardship upon her, and she said: ‘My son sold his car before he left on his mission, and the agreement was that we were to keep him on his mission so that he would have the money to get another car when he returned home, but he has now decided that he would like to get the car now and then come home in it when he is released.’  I then said: ‘Does he have the money for the car?’ Mrs. Armstrong answered ‘Yes, he does.’  I then told her that the Presidency do not [want] to place an added burden on the parents, and while a number of missionaries have asked for permission to purchase cars, we have given no permission to obtain cars without first consulting the parents, and asked her if she felt that she could allow her son to purchase a car without any undue hardship. Mrs. Anderson said unhesitatingly that she felt they could do that. I told her to talke it over with Brother Anderson, and if he thinks it will be an added hardship he can call me later.

Mrs. D. E. Heaton, Hiawatha–I then tried to telephone to Mrs. Heaton, but the operator reported that she had no telephone listed for a Mrs. Heaton.  I therefore wrote a letter to her and inquired if it would work a hardship to her if her son Elder Orlando Heaton now laboring in the East Central States Mission purchased a car to be used in his missionary labors.  Told her that President Matheson of the East Central States Mission had shown to us her letter of May 29, 1950 in which she states that she now as a contract to teach school next year and is sure that she could borrow the money to buy a car.  I explained to Mrs. Heaton that she need not go to this expense, that the General Authorities look with disfavor upon the missionaries using automobiles in the mission field.”

Fri., 23 Jun., 1950:

“President Ellsworth of the Central States Mission telephone regarding permission for Elder Claude Burris of Phoenix, Arizona to return to his home in order to help his widowed mother to attend his sister who is in ‘a strenuous mental’ condition.  The sister becomes violent at times and the mother is not able to handle her. It is the recommendation of the Stake President (President Stapley who will advise us later regarding this case) that Elder Burris be returned home for a month or six weeks.  (Telegram was sent to President Ellsworth, giving him permission to let Elder Burris return home immediately to help take care of his sister.)”

Wed., 5 Jul., 1950:

“Came to the office at 7:30 this morning and was busy with office affairs until 9 a.m., at which time Brother Murdock of the Missionary Department came in.  We discussed for a short time matters pertaining to the removal of our missionaries from Europe should war develop, and also the advisability of sending missionaries already assigned to the European Missions.  I shall consult with President George Albert Smith regarding these matters as soon as he arrives at the office this morning.”

Mon., 10 Jul., 1950:

“Came to the office this morning at the usual hour–7 a.m.–and was busy with office matters until 11:50 a.m.–From 9 a.m. to 11:50 I dictated letter to Clare.  Also called Brother Murdock of the Missionary Department in and instructed him to give me a list of the names of all missionaries now laboring in the East German and the West German Missions.  I told him that we must be prepared to evacuate those missionaries at the first suspicion of war in that area, and that the Mission Presidents must be furnished with enough funds to take care of an immediate evacuation should such step be necessary.”

Mon., 10 Jul., 1950:

“Mrs. Klineman telephoned.  She asked for advice as to whether or not her husband should again accept a job with the Arabian government.  She has a son–Charles–who will be 19 years of age next September, and I think Mrs. Klineman would like him to go on a mission.  I explained to her the present policy with respect to the age for young men to go into the mission field, and said that we had just turned down a young man in Arizona who is just the same age as her son and that we had advised him to continue his college work; that if we make one exception, then in fairness we have to make other exceptions for these young men to go into the mission field.  I then told her that my advice would be that Mr. Klineman accept his job with the Arabian government and that Mrs. Klineman stay home with her son until he has completed his college; that she should not leave him alone.  She then mentioned that he might be drafted, and I said that I thought he would not be drafted at the present time, that the government will accept volunteers first, and that her son will have a chance for another year of college before he is drafted.  I also explained that we have an understanding with the government that Elders who have entered the missionary home, and then receive notice of induction, the draft is not effective. So if her son completes another year of college and enters the mission home, the draft will not be effective for him, even though he be eliglible for the draft.”

Wed., 19 Jul., 1950:

“After Brother Bowman and Brother Anderson were excused, the First Presidency took up other matters, among which was the advisability of sending one of the General Authorities over to consult the Presidents of the West German, the East German, and the Finnish Missions with a view of laying plans to protect missionaries in case of sudden eventualities that might result from the present international crisis.  Our meeting lasted until 7:30 p.m.”

Tues., 25 Jul., 1950:

“President [George Albert] Smith telephoned and said that he would like to have a meeting with President Clark and me at 3:15 p.m. I answered that I should appreciate holding an earlier meeting with President Smith at 2:15, and would like to bring Dr. John A. Widtsoe with me to talk over the European situation–Dr. Widtsoe having just returned from Europe might be able to give us some information concerning conditions there.  Pres. Smith said that he would be pleased to have us come to his home as he was feeling a little tired and would not come to the office.

At 2 p.m. I called for Dr. Widtsoe at his home and we went to Pres. Smith’s, where we held a discussion regarding conditions in Europe as they will affect our missionaries.  Dr. Widtsoe could not give us much information concerning the political situation in Europe.”

Wed., 26 Jul., 1950:

“10 a.m. President Smith, Pres. Clark and I met to discuss missionary problems–especially the problem of being prepared to safely evacuate our missionaries in Europe should the necessity arise.”

Mon., 31 Jul., 1950:

“Judge Joseph G. Jeppson, District Judge, telephoned and said that he was calling at the recommendation of President Reichman and the Bishop of his ward.  Said his son who was 18 years of age last March would like to go on a mission, although he is under the age limit of 20 years.  Judge Jeppson said he is an outstanding boy, has had one year of college, is an eagle scout, and has been employed as a traveling salesman and that during his trips away from home he has been in close touch with the missionaries, and has helped in their work whenever he can.  For these reasons Judge Jeppson thinks his son should receive an exception and be called on a mission.

After considering the above, President McKay instructed his secretary to tell Judge Jeppson that undoubtedly his son would make a success of his mission, but there are others who are not so well prepared who will call and ask that an exception be made in their case, and if an exception be made in the case of the son of Judge Jeppson, and the Presidency refuse the others, the feelings of the parents will be offended.  The brethren, therefore, have decided to hold rigidly to the rule and make no exceptions unless the prospective missionary has had two years of college.

Judge Jeppson said that he understood the position of the brethren, but would like to be notified should the age limit be lowered.”

Wed., 2 Aug., 1950:

“At 8 a.m. I met Brother Henry D. Moyle of the Council of the Twelve.  He came in to ask if we had any suggestions for him on his visit to Hawaii to attend the Centennial of the opening of the Gospel in that land.  I suggested that he listen and observe how local matters stand with respect to the following:

(1) Stake Presidency

(2) Mission Presidency

(3) The need of a church High School at Laie.

Also to observe carefully for possible successors in the Presidency of the Stake and in the Presidency of the Mission.”

Fri., 4 Aug., 1950:

“Brother Stephen L. Richards of the Council of the Twelve came in to discuss matters pertaining to his official visit to Europe.  I instructed him to go directly to Berlin and meet with Presidents Stover and Wunderlich and decide what is best to be done with missionaries there in Berlin and in Finland.  I told him to make his own arrangements with Pres. Matis of the Finnish Mission, either have him meet Brother Richards at a place designated by him, or arrange to meet him at the mission headquarters.

I also instructed Brother Richards that if conditions warrant it, he get in touch with President Badwagon Piranian of the Palestine-Syrian Mission and if convenient that he go over to Syria and study the conditions first hand, because our mission there is not fulfilling its destiny.

Brother Richards asked me to give him a blessing for the special mission that has been assigned to him.  I responded and set him apart for his assigned duty.  He seemed very appreciative of the blessing given.”

Fri., 11 Aug., 1950:

“[Telephone call]  President Ray E. Dillman–Western States Mission–telephoned and reported that Elder Elwood Bowler of Fallon, Nevada, had received a call from his Reserve Corp to report on August 18.  Elder Bowler has less than a month to go to finish his Mission.  I asked President Dillman why Brother Bowler could not get permission to finish his mission from the commanding officer.  Pres. Dillman said that Brother Bowler had requested that he be allowed to finish his mission, and the commanding officer sent a telegram of refusal.  I said that in that case until we get the policy here on Reserves, that we had better adhere to the calls that come, but that Pres. Dillman should do all he can to hold them in the field, and that in the meantime we shall do all we can on this end to get a ruling on our missionaries belonging to the Reserves.”

Mon., 14 Aug., 1950:

“At 10 a.m. Mrs. Hilton A. Robertson of the Chinese Mission called at the office. . . .

The question then arose as to whether President Robertson should go ahead in his search for a suitable place for a meeting house. I told Sister Robertson to tell President Robertson yes, that he should go right along, and do whatever he thinks best for the future of the Chinese Mission, and not be deterred because of fear of the Communists coming in to confiscate whatever property they might purchase.”

Mon., 21 Aug., 1950:

“[Telephone call]  Pres. [Frank H.] Brown [Big Horn Stake] then mentioned the Elder Fillerup case–the missionary who got into trouble while on a mission to Germany, and asked if it would be all right for him (Pres. Brown) to write to the Bishop where Elder Fillerup is now living, attending school, and ask the Bishop to ‘put his arm around him and encourage him to keep to the path of repentance.’  Said Brother Fillerup was excommunicated, but has very humble admitted his guilt, and has a repentant spirit.  I said that by all means he should write to the Bishop and seek his assistance.  Pres. Brown then said that Brother Fillerup wants to keep his garments on, and I told him that that is an individual matter; that if he feels that he would like to do that it would probably be a point in his favor when he applies for reinstatement, but that he cannot wear them authoritatively until he has his former blessings restored.”

Wed., 30 Aug., 1950:

“President McKay called President Edmunds of the Chicago Stake about President Edmunds letter of August 3 relative to two missionary cases.

First, a couple had been recommended for a mission.  President McKay said they could be used unless they were practising birth control.  Pres. Edmunds said he thought they were.  Pres. McKay explained that the Church could not be a party to this, and suggested that they stay home and build up a family.  In answer to President Edmunds’ question as to whether the couple could be sent to different missions, President McKay said he did not think this should be done.  Pres. Edmunds then asked, since the husband is very desirous of having a mission, if he could be called.  Pres. McKay said this might be done, and suggested that Pres. Edmunds send in the papers when his case would be given consideration.

Second, they discussed the case of an elder in the Eastern States. Pres. Morris had suggested that he stay an extra six months, but before that extra period, he should return and marry his fiancee and return to the mission field with her.  Pres. McKay said this could not be done since it would be breaking our promise to the draft board that these missionaries would be held for 2 years only. It was agreed that Pres. Edmunds should write to President MOrris and give him this information.”

Mon., 11 Sep., 1950:

“President Lorin F. Jones of the Spanish American Mission called by telephone and said that one of his missionaries is a member of the Reserves and has received a summons.  He has received no compensation from the government.  Pres. Jones asked what he should do in this matter.  I told him to have the Elder answer his summons, and tell them that he [is] in the mission field, and that the matter of Reserves who are in the mission field being exempt is now under consideration at Washington, D.C.  All others are in 4-D until after they have finished their missions.  Pres. Jones then asked if he should write, as Mission President, to the draft board, certifying that this elder is an ordained minister.  I said I thought that would be a good thing, and for him to send it at once.”

Wed., 20 Sep., 1950:

“7 a.m.–at the office–First Presidency’s duties until 8:15, at which time I met Colonel Oscar W. Gray, Director of Selective Service in this area.  Brother Franklin J. Murdock of the Missionary Department was present.  I had a very profitable consultation with Colonel Gray, and we concluded to carry on the same plan in calling missionaries and releasing them as was adopted during the latest war.

Colonel Gray was very cooperative and the Conference resulted in much good.”

Wed., 20 Sep., 1950:

“President Albert Choules of the Southern States Mission asked if he should send the Elders directly home at the completion of their missions; that some of them are asking to stay a little longer. I told him that only this morning I had had a conference with military officers here and we have an understanding with the government that we shall release our Elders at the end of their regularly allotted time, and that a missionary should report to his draft boar within 5 days after his return home.  Told him that a case came up yesterday where an Elder had neglected to get in touch with his draft board upon his return, and now he has to go directly into the army without even an examination.”

Thur., 21 Sep., 1950:

“At 8 a.m. Colonel Robert I. Osborne, accompanied by Mr. Gordon V. Nelson, who acted as his orderly or secretary, called at the office.  President Franklin J. Murdock, and at the end of the consultation, President George Albert Smith, met in the office of the First Presidency during the consultation with Colonel Osborne.

We considered the status of active and inactive Reserves in regard to their being deferred from military duty to perform missions.


Active Reserves are already in the Army, and have been receiving compensation for months, and some of them for years.  They, therefore, cannot be classified as ministers of the gospel, and cannot be released on the grounds of ordained ministers.

We concluded that each case will be considered on its merits, and we will find out about how many of our boys are affected and report to Colonel Osborne.

Inactive Reserves will receive the same consideration as young men in the selective draft.  Young men who are members of the enlisted Reserves should first discuss with their commanding officers the possibility of their being released, and secure permission to be released before they are recommended for missionary service.

The following paragraphs are taken from a letter to be sent to all of our Stake Presidents pertaining to this matter:

Selective Service:  If young men of draft age have received their certificate of acceptability they should not be recommended for missionary service.  We have a working arrangement with the Selective Service that if a young man has received his call to a mission and enters the Mission Home before the Certificate of Acceptability is received he will be deferred from military service for the duration of his mission.  If a young man who has his Certificate of Acceptability is not inducted within a period of five months then he may be recommended for ministerial service.  inasmuch as young men called for the ministerial service must make extensive preparations such as securing permission to enter countries, obtaining passports and visas, notifying employers, arranging farewell testimonials, securing space on steamships, and planning well in advance their educational programs, it is advisable in order to avoid any borderline cases that the Certificate of Acceptability should be received a minimum of ten days before the missionary is to enter the Mission Home. We urge Bishops to cooperate in every way with the members of the Selective Service who in turn will cooperate with the Bishops, that the needs and the well being of all concerned will be best served.  At the conclusion of a missionary’s mission he will be expected to report to his draft board within five days after he returns home.

Military Reserves:  Young men holding commissions in any of the military reserves should not be recommended for missionary service.  Young men who are members of the enlisted reserves should first discuss with their commanding officers the possibility of their being released and secure permission to be released before they are recommended for missionary service.  Young men now serving as ministers for the Church already in the mission field have been deferred from military service for the duration of their mission terms and will be expected to report to their reserve units within five days after their return home.

National Guards:  Young men holding commissions in the National Guard and belonging to units that have been activated should not be recommended for missionary service.  Young men who are members of the National Guard, but on the inactive listing, should first discuss with their commanding officers the possibility of their being discharged and permission assured before they are recommended for ministerial service.”

Mon., 2 Oct., 1950:

“Mr. A. C. Deck, Managing Editor of the Tribune-Telegram called by telephone.  He said that about a week ago news reporters Clarence Williams, and Jack Reed, relayed the request that missionary farewells be not advertized in the daily press.  Said that he had refrained from calling during Conference because he realized how busy I would be.  I told Mr. Deck that I had received word that he would cooperate, and that the reason for our asking this cooperation is that after consultation with military authorities–Colonel West and Colonel Osborne–we have come to the conclusion that it would contribute to the lessening of the difficulties which they ahd we have experienced from people who really do not understand the relationship we have with our missionaries–the government appreciates that we are sending a lot of missionaries out, but they are also coming back, and they report within five days to their different draft boards–but the people do not understand and when they see the number of farewells that are being held, they imagine that some of the boys are going into the mission field to escape the draft, and it causes unrest.

Mr. Deck said that they get numerous requests from members of the L.D.S. Church to print their farewells, and they do not like to refuse to print them unless they understand why they are refusing to run them in their papers.  He therefore wondered if it would not be well to notify all the Bishops and Stake Presidents that it is the Church who is requesting that these farewells be not publicized.  I explained to Mr. Deck that we intended to do just that, and word will be sent out immediately to the Stake Presidents and Bishops.

Mr. Deck assured me of the Telegram and Tribune’s full cooperation in this respect.  He then said that he would like to offer his congratulations upon the excellent Conference, and also upon the sustaining of myself as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  He asked if this announcement of a President and an Acting President is a little unusual.  I told him that there was one other case, and that was when President Anthon H. Lund was in the Presidency, he also became Senior member of the Council.  He retained his position as counselor to President Grant, and was sustained, also, as President of the Council of the Twelve, and Rudger Clawson as Acting President.  I further said that upon the dissolution of the Quorum of the First Presidency by the passing of the President of the Church, the presiding authority of the Church is the Council of the Twelve Apostles, and the President of that Council by virtue of his position presides over the Council, and the body of the Church.  Then that body chooses the President of the Church, who through the years has always been the President of the Council of the Twleve Apostles.

Mr. Deck said he appreciated my giving him this information as the question arises very often.

I told Mr. Deck that we are very pleased to cooperate in any way possible, because they have been most considerate in their reporting the meetings of the Conference and also in other church matters.”

Tues., 2 Oct., 1950:

“Brother Harold B. Lee telephoned and suggested that Dr. John T. Wahlquist be considered as a Mission President in one of the missions of the Church.  Brother Lee stated that he thought Dr. Wahlquist is not too happy at the University of Utah, and that John and his wife would make an excellent team for one of the missions. Said he is sufficiently sound in the Gospel, that he has heard him bear one of the most unusual testimonies of the Gospel.  I told Bro. Lee that I knew John very well; that I had called him on the Sunday School Board years ago; that he has a lovely wife, and they ahve been loyal and true.  I told Brother Lee that we would put his name on our list of prospective mission presidents.”

Wed., 11 Oct., 1950:

Pres. Parley A. Arave of Blackfoot Stake called long distance to say that General Walsh is coming to the office to confer on Selective Service matters, and he thought Pres. McKay would be interested in some figures.  In Bingham County, where some difficulty has arisen on this matter, they have 117 eligible for military service, that is all churches together.  Out of that number 15 have been inducted.  In the Blackfoot Stake there are 59 who are L.D.S., in the Shelly Stake (in Bingham County), 35 L.D.S., and there is also a part of the American Falls Stake and one ward of the Pocatello Stake in Bingham County.  Out of the total eligibles, 90% are L.D.S.  They have objected vigorously about our having too many missionaries.

President McKay pointed out that many missionaries would be returning, and will report 5 days after they return, in fact just as many boys are coming back as we are sending out.  We have an understanding here with Colonel Osborne and Colonel Gray on this matter, and also a letter from Washington that gives authorization for our missionaries to go out.  If betwen the time of their physical examination and their call to the service they enter the Mission Home, then they are reclassified as 4D, and the government accepts that as a legitimate assignment to clerical duties.

President Arave explained that the reason he called is that seemingly the military officials in Idaho have missed that part of it.  They have one missionary in the mission home who is leaving for the Southwest Indian Mission, and the draft officials have listed him as one who has broken the faith.  Pres. Arave told the missionary that unless he had received his draft notice before he entered the home, it was all right for him to go into the mission field.  Pres. McKay said that was right, that he would be glad to see General Walsh about the matter and refer him to the instructions that have been received.  The missionary is leaving tonight and Pres. McKay said to let him go ahead.  (The missionary’s name is Gary Anson Higginson.)”

Fri., 20 Oct., 1950:  [1st Presidency Circular Letter]

“October 20, 1950


Dear Brethren,

This letter supersedes a letter dated September 27, 1950 concerning the calling of missionaries (Please note that the minimum age for young men has been changed from twenty to nineteen years.):

AGE:  Young men should be nineteen years of age before they depart for their missions unless they have had two years of college or militaryi service, in which event the age requirement is waived. Young women should be twenty-three before they are recommended for missionary service.  However, because of special requests from mission presidents for more experienced help, the age limit has temporarily been lowered to twenty-one.

SELECTIVE SERVICE:  After further consideration with officials of the Selective Service it is deemed advisable to make the following changes:

1st: That young men of draft age who have received their NOTICE OF PRE-INDUCTION PHYSICAL EXAMINATION should not be recommended for missionary service.  If young men who have been called by the Church to serve as missionaries receive their NOTICE OF PRE-INDUCTION PHYSICAL EXAMINATION before they enter the Mission Home, the Church will excuse these young men from ministerial service, but if they enter the Mission Home before the above notice is received they will be deferred from military service for the duration of their mission terms.

2nd: That young men who have reached their twenty-first birthday and are desirous of being recommended for missionary service should first discuss the matter of their being called for military service with their Selective Service Draft Boards and secure assurance in writing that they will not be called for military service before they are recommended for missionary service.

3rd: If a young man who has received his NOTICE OF PRE-INDUCTION PHYSICAL EXAMINATION be not inducted within a period of five months, he may be recommended for missionary service.  At the conclusion of a missionary’s mission he will be expected to report to his Selective Service Draft Board within five days after he returns home, and failure to do this makes him delinquent and subject to immediate induction.

4th: These changes become effective November 1, 1950.

MILITARY RESERVES:  Young men holding commissions in any of the military reserves should not be recommended for missionary service. Young men who are members of the enlisted reserves should first discuss with their commanding officers the possibility of their being released and secure permission to be released before they are recommended for missionary service.  Such young men now serving as ministers for the Church already in the mission field have been deferred from military service for the duration of their mission terms and will be expected to report to their reserve units within five days after their return home.

NATIONAL GUARDS:  Young men holding commissions in the National Guard and belonging to units that have been activated should not be recommended for missionary service.  Young men who are members of the National Guard, but on the inactive listing should first discuss with their commanding officers the possibility of their being discharged and permission assured before they are recommended for ministerial service.

We believe the foregoing will be helpful to you in the selection of young men and women to assist in carrying forward the program of the Church.

With best wishes, we are

Sincerely your brethren,

George Albert Smith

J. Reuben Clark, Jr.

David O. McKay”

Tues., 24 Oct., 1950:

“3:30 p.m.–Called Ernest Wilkinson at his Washington, D.C. office, he having called President Clark earlier regarding selective service matters, and Pres. Clark referred Pres. Wilkinson to me.

Pres. Wilkinson said that the national selective service headquarters got in touch with him at his office yesterday (they thinking he was the one to contact because of the part he played several years ago in working out an agreement with respect to our missionaries), and informed him that the Idaho State Director of Selective Service was in town and is registering a complaint that the Church has not kept its agreement with respect to the calling of missionaries.  Pres. Wilkinson said that when he ‘pinned’ the director down, there are only three cases of which they are complaining.  Said in these three cases the men were ordered to report for duty, and instead of reporting, a letter was sent by Franklin Murdock, Missionary Secretary for the Church, stating that these men had been called to go on missions for the church.  The director said that this is a clear violation of the civil service act.  The national headquarters asked that Pres. Wilkinson meet with the Idaho Director and see if the matter could be straightened out.

I told Pres. Wilkinson that if he would send us the names of these three men that I was sure that in no instance would we find a violation of the rules.  Pres. Wilkinson said he thought these three cases happened before our letter of September 27 to stakes and wards and missions had been received, the contents of which if followed would not offend the service in any way.

I told Pres. Wilkinson that that letter was drawn up after a conference with Colonel Gray of the Utah State Selective Service and Colonel Osborne of the Reservists.

Pres. Wilkinson said his purpose in calling me is to receive authority to handle the matter from that end.  I told him to go ahead, and said further that since the letter of Sept. 27 had been sent out, I had had another conference with Col. Gray and Col. Osborne, who had met with the General from San Francisco (couldn’t give him the name off-hand), and as a result of that conference changes were made and a letter dated October 20, 1950, superseding that of Sept. 27, has been sent out.  I then dictated to Pres. Wilkinson’s secretary the following paragraphs from that letter:

Selective Service:  After further consideration with officials of the Selective Service, it is deemed advisable to make the following changes:  (See attached)

I then told Pres. Wilkinson that the age for missionaries has now been lowered to 19 years of age, which will enagle them to get back by the age of 21 years and render military service.

A Mr. Barker in Pres. Wilkinson’s office then came to the telephone.  He said that he had taken this Idaho matter up and found that the 1948 agreement had been followed.  Said he had narrowed it down to 3 cases, and said that he was sure that after our letters of Sept. 27 and Oct. 20 were shown them they will be completely satisfied.  I told him that I would send the Oct. 20 letter to him.”  [The complete text of the 20 Oct. letter is included in an entry above, dated 20 Oct., 1950.]

Wed., 25 Oct., 1950:

“At 7:30 a.m. this morning came to the office and was busy with regular duties until 8:30 a.m. at which time Spencer Kimball of the Council of the Twelve came in.  He wanted to know if he should recommend a young man who is a spastic subject to go on a mission–his face is distorted, and he is paralized down one side.  I told Brother Kimball that I thought it would be better for the young man if he should remain at home and do local missionary work.”

Wed., 1 Nov., 1950:

“President Delbert Stapley, called from Phoenix–he asked regarding the interviewing of missionaries by him as a General Authority of the Church.  I told him that he should emphasize two things (which are included on the blanks to be used for the interview)–one, regarding the morality of the prospective missionary, and second, whether or not the missionary is leaving any debts.  I explained that we have missionaries who are leaving debts, and their creditors are extending their credits until the missionaries come home, and then some of the missionaries are failing in their obligations when they come home.  We therefore should like the missionaries to clear up their debts before they leave for the mission field.”

Thur., 2 Nov., 1950:

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

. . . .

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

Fri., 8 Dec., 1950:

“1 p.m. President William H. Bennett of the St. George Stake, and Rulon A. Snow, 1st counselor, came in and brought with them four 19-year-old boys to be interviewed for missions.  I advised them to take them back and let them be interviewed at the regular conference to be held in St. George early in January.  If they do not do this, it will give Mr. Cox, Chairman of the Draft Board in St. George, a reason for thinking they are trying to evade the draft by not following the regular procedure of calling missionaries, whereas if they are interviewed at Conference, it is right in line with the regular practice.

They presented a clipping from a local paper accusing them of not complying with the understanding we have with the government.  The word ‘shenanigan’ [sentence ends here]

I explained to them that the reason more missionaries have been called recently than have regularly been called during the previous 12 months is because the age for calling missionaries was lowered from 20 to 19, and naturally there would be a reserve of these 19-year-olds who otherwise would come in order, have come in all at once.  Further, that the lowering of the age to 19 years was with the approval of General J. Wallace West, director of Selective Service for the State of Utah, and Col. Oscar W. Gray of the Selective Service of Utah.”

Fri., 8 Dec., 1950:

“[Telephone call]  President Ernest Wilkinson.  Re: complaint of Chairman Mr. Cox of the Draft Board at St. George to the National Selective Headquarters in Washington, D.C.  (see letter attached which gives substance of conversation)  Told Pres. Wilkinson that there is nothing unusual about this St. George case–that it is entirely due to the lowered missionary age, which was done with the approval of General J. Wallace West, Director of Selective Service for the State of Utah, and Col. Oscar W. Gray of the Selective Service for the State of Utah.  This man down in St. George–Mr. Leroy H. Cox, Chairman of Draft Board #36, contacted the National Selective Service Headquarters in Washington, D.C. accusing the Mormons of draft evasion.  He was entirely out of line, and is certainly prejudiced.

December 11, 1950

Elder Ernest L. Wilkinson

744 Jackson Place

Washington, D.C.

Dear Brother:

Your air mail, special delivery letter of December 6, 1950, was received this morning.  We thank you for sending it, and wish especially to express appreciation of the consideration shown by the National Selective Service Headquarters in informing you and Brother Barker of the accusations made by one Leroy H. Cox, Chairman of Draft Board #36, Washington County, Utah, that there has been undue activity on the part of Stake and Ward authorities in the St. George District in calling 19 and 20 year old young men to serve as missionaries for the Church, the implication being that the Church is not acting in accordance with the mutual understanding between it and state and national selective service officials.

As stated to you over the telephone this morning, there has been no deviation on the part of the Church from the understanding between the General Authorities of the Church and the Selective Service officials, which, in substance, is as follows:

(1) That young men 19 years of age may be considered eligible for recommendation for missions.  Heretofore the age limit has been twenty years.

(2) That young men of draft age who have received their Notice of Pre-Induction Physical Examination should not be recommended for missionary service.  If young men who have been called by the Church to serve as missionaries receive their notice of Pre-Induction Physical Examination before they enter the Mission Home, the Church will excuse these young men from ministerial service, but if they enter the Mission Home before the above notice is received they will be deferred from military service for the duration of their mission terms.

(3) That young men who have reached their twenty-first birthday and are desirous of being recommended for missionary service should first discuss the matter of their being called for military service with their Selective Service Draft Boards and secure assurance in writing that they will not be called for military service before they are recommended for missionary service.

(4) If a young man who has received his Notice of Pre-Induction Physical Examination be not inducted within a period of five months, he may be recommended for missionary service. At the conclusion of a missionary’s mission he will be expected to report to his Selective Service Draft Board within five days after he returns home, and failure to do this makes him delinquent and subject to immediate induction.

(5) These changes become effective November 1, 1950.

Further, as stated to you over the telephone, instructions have been given to Mission Presidents that no extension of time shall be given to any missionary, which means two years in English-speaking Missions, and two and a half years in foreign-speaking Missions, and that when a missionary is released, he should report to his Draft Board within five days after his arrival home.  In this resepct, it should be noted that 1300 missionaries have returned to their homes within the last three months, and, so far as we know, have reported to their Draft Board for examination for military duty.

As an illustration of the compliance of the General Authorities with the understanding of the Selective Service as set forth in paragraph 3 mentioned above, last Tuesday morning when the First Presidency made its assignment of missionaries for this week, 60 young men were referred to their draft boards to obtain releases for missionary labor.

One reason why there have been more young men called in some areas during the last few months than were called regularly in a corresponding period is because of the recent announcement to Bishops of Wards that the missionary age has been lowered from 20 to 19 years of age.

Sincerely yours,

George Albert Smith

J. Reuben Clark, Jr.

David O. McKay

The First Presidency”

Thur., 11 Jan., 1951:

“4 p.m. to 6 p.m.–office duties–signed letters, and dictated answers to several letters that had accumulated on my desk.  Also tried to get a telephone message through to President Hilton A. Robertson of the Chinese [Mission] in Hong Kong–I have been trying for the last 48 hours to call him, but have been unsuccessful. According to press reports, Americans in Hong Kong have been advised on authorization of the U. S. State Department to send their families home as soon as possible because of Chinese aggression in the Far East, so I want to get first-hand information from Pres. Robertson regarding the situation.”

Thur., 11 Jan., 1951:

“3:30 p.m.–Meeting with military officials regarding missionaries and the draft–see notes attached.

. . . .

[Handwritten on top of page:  “Rough Draft–written by Franklin Murdock”]

Thursday, January 11th, 1951, General J. Wallace West, Colonel Oscar W. Gray and Captain Ray of the Selective Service met with President David O. McKay, of the First Presidency, and Franklin J. Murdock, mission secretary, at the church office building to discuss the problems pertaining to the calling of young men for missionary service as it effects the Selective Service.

Brother Murdock suggested that the purpose of the meeting was to extend cooperation and to further acquaint each one with the problems involved with the young men being called at this time for missionary service.  Brother Murdock explained that in many instances in the various cities of the state it had been called to his attention where the fullest cooperation between the bishops, stake authorities and the Selective Service Boards is not in existence.  The stake presidents, bishops and parents of the boys felt that the members of the Selective Service Draft Boards were prejudiced towards the Church and were not giving them fair consideration.  Brother Murdock further suggested that if a member of the stake presidency in each stake and county could be made a part of each board that they would understand the problems of the Church and would get the cooperation of the bishops and parents much better than those who were antagonistic and prejudiced towards the program of the Church.

Colonel Gray pointed out that he felt the real point that was causing so much trouble was the fact that the number of missionaries going into the field had increased so greatly in the last several months as compared to the condition just before the Korean war.  He was unable to satisfy the boards that there were as many missionaries returning from the fields as were going out. He pointed out that his figures showed 22% of the young men called [by the Draft Boards] were being used by the Church for missionary work in August of 1950.  In December of 1950 this figure had climbed to 36% or an increase of 14%.  Colonel Gray also pointed out that in 1940 when the Church had ceased calling missionaries the national average at that time was 2.5.  He pointed out that now this average has climbed to 4.1 and that the Selective Service Boards throughout the state of Utah and particularly in Salt Lake County were refusing to re-classify the young men who had been called for missionary service from I-A to IV-D.

General West joined in this suggestin that if some solution could be worked out it would relieve the tremendous feeling and tension which was growing hourly.  General West pointed out that as far as the Selective Service is concerned they could only suggest to the boards to re-classify and grant deferrments, but the boards themselves had the inherent power to refuse to classify.  They were somewhat of a law unto themselves.

The question of the St. George Selective Service Board was then called to our attention that Mr. Cox, who is the chairman, had refused to grant deferrments to any missionaries who were being called at this time.  He was also sending notices of induction to missionaries who had been in the field from three to six months trying to force them to report for induction.  This, of course, as General West pointed out was a violation of our agreement and Mr. Cox would be overrulled on this matter, and that all missionaries now in the field would be allowed to remain and fulfill their missions in accordance with the agreement.

Colonel Gray pointed out that he felt the solution would be for the Church to cease calling young men who were classified I-A, but call young men who had been classified IV-F, which means physically impaired, IV-A, veterans, and V-A, men older than 25 years of age, since there was a pool of approximately 26,000 men in the state which missionaries could be drawn from.

After careful consideration President McKay said that he would take up the matter with the First Presidency.  He felt that the possible solution to the problem would be that the Church would ask each young man to contact his Selective Service Draft Board before he was recommended for missionary service.  This woud simplify the matter and allow the Selective Service to decide if a young man could be cleared for missionary service.

The question of some 400 missionaries in the home was presented pointing out that many of the missionaries now in the home were being sent notices of I-A classification by Selective Service Boards here in Salt Lake County–Boards 24, 21 and 18.  General West pointed out that the members of these boards were very hostile and were very upset over the practice of the Church calling missionaries at this time.  But if the Church would not call young men with I-A classifications in the future and if it was stopped at this time, he felt that he could go to the three draft boards in Salt Lake City and other boards in the state which might be objecting to the missionary system and prevail on them to allow the missionaries now in the home to go on their missions in the regular way, but that no more missionaries of I-A status would be called in to the home.  President McKay said that he would take this matter up with President Clark and President Smith, and if the Church stopped calling young men with I-A classifications now that the Church would expect the draft boards to grant those missionaries now in the home and others already called the freedom to go and fulfill their missions.  He further emphasized that the missionaries now in the field, with particular reference to the St. George Board, would continue on and fulfill their missions without being molested by these draft board members.

President McKay also pointed out that clerks of draft boards had no right to assume jurisdiction in connection with the work of the board.  They were merely secretaries of the board and it was not right for them to usurp authority.  General West and Colonel Gray assured President McKay that they would look into the matter and correct any false impressions which the secretaries might have had of their respective duties.

General West and Colonel Gray said that they would consult immediately three boards in Salt Lake County–24, 21 and 18–and see if they were agreeable to the proposition of allowing the missionaries now in the home and others already called to go on their missions with the assurance that no more I-A’s will be called by the Church without first having secured clearance with their draft boards.  This seemed to be agreeable to all concerned, and the meeting was adjourned.”

I then called attention to the fact that on November 22, 1921, Elder Hugh J. Cannon and I stood in the city of Serusalem, and witnessed the fulfillment of that prophecy, as on that day General Allenby’s proclamation that Jerusalem was to become a state for the return of the Jews under the protection of the British government, was issued, and the Arabs were protesting the proclamation and there was fighting in the streets.

The meeting concluded at 2:30 p.m., and all who attended were of the opinion that it had been a very inspirational meeting.”

Sat., 13 Jan., 1951:

“9:30 a.m.–President Elmer A. Graff of the Zion Park Stake came in to complain of the bitter attitude of Mr. Cox, Chairman of the Selective Service Board of Washington County, and wanted to know what his attitude should be.

I explained to Pres. Graff our latest understanding with the military officials, and assured him that his boys who are now in the mission field would not be brought home for military service until after their missions are completed.

Spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon in conference with Franklin Murdock of the missionary department, and in dictation to Clare.

. . . .

As a result of a meeting held Jan. 11 and subsequent telephone conversations with General J. Wallace West, Colonel Oscar W. Gray, and Captain Pay (see notes) the following telegram was sent this day to Stake Presidents within this area:

Due to National Emergency and a recent understanding between state directors of selective service will you please instruct Bishops not to recommend young men for ministerial service who have not first secured clearance in writing from local draft boards.  This applies also to missionaries called but not in missionary home.  (Signed First Presidency)

And the following letter to be sent to missionaries who have already received their call:

Due to the national emergency, and the latest understanding between State Directors of Selective Service and the Church, it will be necessary for you, before entering the missionary home to get clearance in writing from your Draft Board. Sincerely yours, (signed First Presidency).

Attached is clipping from the Deseret News of Tuesday, Jan. 16, 1951 regarding this matter:


Clearance from draft boards must be obtained before the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will issue any calls to men between the ages of 19 to 25 to fill missions.

This explanation was given by the First Presidency Tuesday because of misunderstanding of instructions sent by telegrams to stake presidents last Saturday.

Young men of draft age who have received calls to fill missions but who have not reported to the missionary home now must obtain clearance from draft boards, President McKay explained.

Clarifying the situation further, Pres. David O. McKay, second counselor in the First Presidency, explained that before any call to fill a mission is issued to a man between 19 and 25, that young man must obtain from his selective service board a statement that the board has no objection to the young man accepting such a call.

He said this means that the Church will limit its calls for missionary work to young men cleared by their draft boards for various reasons, older men, women, persons married before July 1, 1950, and veterans.

Persons now in the mission field or in the missionary home are accepted by draft boards as ordained ministers and are not affected by the change and are not subject to military service, he said.

[remaining 3 paragraphs illegible]

. . . .

[The following notes, prepared by Franklin Murdock, were labeled “Rough Draft”]

Saturday, January 13th, Brother Murdock called General West and inquired as to what the result of the meeting with the draft boards had been.  General West said that he had had some success, but that he was still having trouble with Board 24.  Two of the members, Mr. Baegley and Mr. Hansen were sure that they could not change their previous opinions that these young men should be classified I-A. Mr. Wright and Mr. Hamilton were inclined to go along with the program that General West had outlined.  Mr. Critchlow and Mr. Irvine of Board 18 stated that they would let the matter stand as it had been decided that these young men should be I-A.  Brother Murdock said that he would present these facts to President McKay of the outcome of the meeting with General West and the draft boards and let him know what the position of the Church was.

Brother Murdock then had a talk with President McKay giving him the facts that Boards 24 and 18 would not go along with the program as outlined by General West.  President McKay had discussed the matter with President Clark and President Smith and they had agreed that the best thing to do was for the missionaries in the home now, in accordance with the agreement with General West, to have the privilege of going on their missions.  Telegrams would be sent to each stake president in Utah advising them not to recommend young men for missionary service until the young men had first secured clearance in writing from their draft boards.

Also it was decided by the First Presidency to send a letter to each missionary called but who had not reported to the mission home and ask them to please get in touch with their local selective service draft boards and secure clearance in writing before they reported to the missionary home on January 22, 1951.

Telegrams were sent out to each stake president in the state of Utah advising them of the decision of the first presidency as above outlined, and letters were prepared to send each missionary following the above suggestions.

It was decided to take up the matter separately with the state of Idaho at a later time.  Correspondence could be made with General Walsch who had been very helpful and ask if there were some phases of the program there that could be altered so that the tension could be relieved.  Also, Elder Delbert L. Stapley of the Council of Twelve, was going to look into the matter in Arizona when he returned home to see if some other modification was needed there. The question of California would be decided on each individual case.  This seems to be a fine solution to the entire problem.”

Sat., 13 Jan., 1951:

“Returned to the office at 4:30 p.m. at which time I telephoned to President Hilton A. Robertson at Kowloon, Hong Kong.

First, President Robinson reported that the political situation is bad,–both Army and Civil authorities are advising that all Americans leave Hong Kong.  The last boat upon which they can leave is February 15.  While President Robertson dislikes very much to leave, he agrees that it is the wise thing to do.

Second, They have not purchased the land which they were authorized to buy.  Strangely enough, one thing after another has blocked the purchase of it; consequently there is no land for the enemy to confiscate.

Third, Pres. Robertson said that he will have sufficient funds to cover their emergency needs.

Fourth, I then said that the Mission will not be disorganized, but the headquarters of the Chinese Mission will be changed from Kowloon, Hong Kong to Hawaii.

I instructed Pres. Robertson to take steps at once to bring out all eight people–President and Sister Robinson, Brother and Sister Aki, two American missionaries, and two Chinese missionaries.  I promised to have a letter waiting for them upon their arrival in Hawaii, giving instructions.  I am going to recommend to the First Presidency and the Twelve that we have headquarters at Hawaii, but that Brother and Sister Aki and the two Chinces missionaries come to California to labor among the Chinese people.”

Tues., 16 Jan., 1951:

“At 4 o’clock held a meeting with General J. Wallace West, State Director of Selective Service, and Colonel Oscar W. Gray.  Franklin J. Murdock also attended this meeting and took minutes, which are attached hereto.  The meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

[Murdock’s minutes:]  A meeting of President David O. McKay, of the First Presidency, General West and Colonel Gray of the Selective Service and Brother Murdock, mission secretary, was held Tuesday, January 16th, at 4:00 p.m. at the church office building.

President McKay pointed out that all stake presidents had been notified of the agreement reached at a previous meeting.  All young men must first secure clearance in writing from their local draft boards before they enter the mission home.  He stated that he had received a telephone call from one of the stake presidents in Sanpete County to the effect that several of the missionaries that had been called had gone to their draft boards and had received information to the effect that no more calls were being issued. He felt that this was not in accordance with the agreement reached at a previous meeting.

Colonel Gray stated that he understood from the previous meeting that the Church would only call IV-F, IV-A and V-A’s.  President McKay pointed out that there was no intention of completely stopping and damning [sic] off calling of missionaries 19 and 20 years of age.

Brother Murdock pointed out that General West and Colonel Gray had stated that the Selective Service Draft Boards were all powerful in their own right and that they were given the authority to make decisions concerning young men of each of their boards.  The telegram had gone out with the understanding that all young men should first clear with their Selective Service Darft Boards and that the real decision would be left up to the local draft board.

Now in accordance with the directive #2-51 (attached) which Colonel Gray had sent to the draft boards limiting the calling of missionaries to only IV-F, IV-A and V-A’s that it did not leave the draft board the right to decide whether a young man should be re-classified or deferred.  Colonel Gray presented the directive which he had sent out Monday night.  In reading over the directive Brother Murdock pointed out that the word ‘only’ was very restrictive and the Church had always been able to call IV-F, IV-A and V-A’s because they were free from military service.  Brother Murdock also pointed out that the Church has always called IV-F, IV-A and V-A’s, and this directive was limiting the Selective Service Boards to only these categories from which missionaries might be considered.

He also pointed out that President McKay had made a statement to the Tribune which was very inclusive, complete and accurate.  A copy of this article was secured and read to Colonel Gray and General West.  President McKay made the suggestion that if a fourth category could be included in the instructions to Selective Service Boards as follows:

The Salt Lake Tribune, Tuesday, January 16, 1951.

Get Clearance


Draft-age young men of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will have to obtain written clearance from their local draft boards before they may accept a call to serve on a mission, according to an explanation Monday by the church first presidency.

The explanation was given as a result of misinterpretations of a letter sent last week to stake presidents by church authorities.  Many persons got the erroneous idea that the church no longer would call young men 19 and 20 years of age to missionary work, when contents of the letter were announced in some ward meetings Sunday night.

Called Off Farewells

As a result, several missionary farewells scheduled for Sunday evening were postponed or cancelled.  Resehcduling of those farewells will depend upon written clearance from selective service boards concerned, according to David O. McKay, second counselor in the LDS first presidency.

‘The church assures full cooperation with military officials,’ Mr. McKay said Monday, ‘and suggests that every young man check with his local board before entering the mission home to get written clearance.’

To Limit Calls

This will mean the church will limit its call for missionary work to young women, persons married before July 1, 1950, veterans, young men ineligible for the draft for physical reasons and others cleared by their draft boards for various reasons.

The requirement of written clearance from selective service boards takes effect immediately, Mr. McKay said, but persons now in training in the LDS mission home are accepted by draft officials as in the ‘minister’ category and not affected.

‘There is a clear understanding between state selective service officials and the church in regard to calling young men who are eligible for the draft to missions,’ Mr. McKay said.

Best of Feelings

There has been the best of feelings between the church and selective service officials, he added, and the church clarified its position regarding young men to contribute to that cooperative spirit.

Mr. McKay took the occasion to refute a report that LDS missionaries have moved from border locations in Germany.

‘The elders have been withdrawn from the near east–Lebanon, Syria and Israel–due entirely to local conditions,’ the church official explained.  ‘There has been no change in the European mission fields.’

Some discussion was had by Colonel Gray concerning the necessity of putting all the selective service boards on a uniform basis.

During the discussion it was brought out that the lowering of the age by the Church to 10 years had caused the flood of young men to be considered for missionary work.  President McKay stated that it was the understanding that the military authorities were in favor of the lowering of the age.  He now realized that it had brought a flood of young men in to the missionary work, and with it had brought some problems where young men were immature and not ready for missionary service.

President McKay turned to Colonel Gray and he said, ‘Colonel Gray, I understand that you recommended the age be lowered.’  Colonel Gray answered that he did not recommend it.  President McKay turned to Brother Murdock and seemed surprised at this statement.  Brother Murdock made this statement, Colonel Gray, you will recall that in October, after one of your trips through the state of Utah visiting your draft boards, you came back with a long list of problems which were plaguing the draft boards because of the fact that the church was calling the 24, 23, 22 and 21 year old men.  In many cases these young men had had military service and now because of the Korean situation were being recommended for missionary service. After some discussion you felt that a solution could be found whereby the church would not call these experienced men (24, 23, 22 and 21 year olds) since they were the men well qualified by reason of age and experience to go into the service.  This problem was what was causing so much feeling in the small communities out in the state of Utah.  Brother Murdock, after thinking about this problem, stated to Colonel Gray that if the church would call young men 19 and send them on missions so that they could be back by the time they were 21, and that the church would refrain from calling young men between 21 and 25, that this would solve the problem. Colonel Gray said that this would be a great help to him and would relieve the pressure which was being brought on him by the Selective Service boards out in the smaller communities.  He said that is the most important problem we have at the time is to be able to secure these young men 21 thru 25 to meet the draft quotas.

Brother Murdock pointed out that it was here that his understanding that Colonel Gray was in favor of this lowering of the age because of the reasons stated above and that it would help solve the problem here in the state of Utah–that is the church would use the young men from 19 to 21.  They would have a chance to have their missions and then be back in time to go into the military service. A letter was drafted to bishops and stake presidents and a copy of this letter was handed to Colonel Gray.  He read it over carefully and said, ‘Yes, I feel that we can go along with you on that basis.’

In this same connection, that is the lowering of the age from 20 to 19, the same expressions were received from Colonel Osborn who some weeks before had discussed the military problem in two meetings–first in the missionary department and secondly with President McKay.  Colonel Osborn could see the advisability of the church training and what it would mean to the young men to have this training before they went into military service.  He commended the church for the splendid young men who were in the reserves and those with whom he had come in contact.  Colonel Osborn is not a member of the church but a man from the East, and a very fine friend and a great admirer of the church.

General Welsch, the state director of Idaho, had also commended the church for their splendid program and saw no reason why the lower age of 19 would work any hardship on the military authorities.

Brother Murdock in making a telephone conversation with Colonel Leec, state director of California, also raised the question with him.  He stated that he did not see how the church could make an ordained minister in ten days training in the home, but he was not criticizing that program.  He said taht he was just unable to see how ordained ministers could be made so quickly.  He said that such training as the Mormon church does give their young men when they go into the mission field makes them finer citizens and he thought was worthy of consideration by all who might be interested.  He thought the age was 18.

In another telephone conversation with the state director of Minnesota, who is also very friendly to the church program, he indicated the splendid job that the church is doing in training young men for good citizens.  He wondered why we didn’t take the boys younger.

I have added the additional comments as a background to the thinking which we had in October before the sudden turn of events in the Korean war which made the increase of the draft quota double and triple in some months.

It was finally agreed that Colonel Gray would restate his directive (#3-51 attached) to his selective service boards and that before he sent it out he would let the church see a copy of his instructions.  Brother Murdock pointed out that even the non-members of the church who are on some of the boards in Salt Lake had expressed a willingness to sit down and work out a plan by which the church could get the missionaries they needed and the draft could secure the young men they needed as well as industry and other phases of activity which require young men physically fit to carry on their work.

The question was brought up of young men in reserve units and also members of the national guards who had received permission to go into the mission field.  Should these young men still clear with their selective service draft boards?  General West and Colonel Gray both stated that it would be better to have every young man secure clearance in writing from their selective service draft boards, because even though they are members of reserves and have not been called for active duty now and are in an inactive status, as soon as they are placed on an inactive status they are under the jurisdiction of the selective service board in which they are registered.

. . . .





January 15, 1951




This bulletin rescinds and supersedes this Headquarters Bulletin No. 9-50, dated October 16, 1950.

Due to the National Emergency the authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have modified the missionary policy concerning men who have been recommended to fulfill a missionary call, but were not in the missionary home on January 8, 1951.

Before any registrant is recommended to the Church Presidency to fulfill a mission call, he must first obtain a release in writing from his local Selective Service Board.

Local Boards are hereby authorized to only [this word was crossed out by hand] consider registrants to fulfill missions in the following categories:

Class IV-A – registrants who qualify as veterans under the Selective Service Act.

Class IV-F – registrants who are disqualified for service in the Armed Forces.

Class V-A – registrants who are over the age of 25 years.

[handwritten:  “and others who will be cleared for their”]

Registrants who return from missions should report their return to their local boards within five days after their arrival home, otherwise, they are subject to classification as delinquents under the provisions of the Selective Service Act.  If a registrant is classified as a delinquent, he loses all the benefits provided by the regulations and is subject to immediate induction by his local board of jurisdiction.

For the State Director,


Lt. Col., CE

Assistant State Director”

Tues., 16 Jan., 1951:

“5:30 to 6:30 p.m.  Dictation to Clare and signing of correspondence.  While I was attending to these matters, Mr. W. L. Rollins of Draft board #21 Uintah County, Wyoming, called at the office.  Said in view of telegram that has been sent out that boys will have to get clearance from their draft boards before entering the missionary home, and inasmuch as he is a member of the church and there are several boys from his ward, some of whom are his relatives, he feels that he will be criticized if he gives letters of clearance.  I told him that he could do one of two things–either clear the boys to go on their mission (which according to Mr. Rollins would stir up a ‘hornet’s nest’), or have these boys return to their school and finish the school year at which time the draft board could use their judgment in giving them clearance.”

Wed., 17 Jan., 1951:

“Bp. Donald M. Field, Lyman Ward, Lyman Stake called and referred to Mr. W. L. Rollins’ visit to my office last evening with respect to Mr. Rollins’ position as chairman of the Draft Board up there, and the latest ruling of the government that boys between the ages of 19-25 inclusive should get clearance from their local draft boards before going on missions.  I stated that Mr. Rollins reported to me that he (Bishop Field) has called six young men, and that it is his responsibility to decide whether they should go or whethery they should remain at home and await their induction notice.  I also said that I had told Mr. Rollins there are two things to be done:  First, clear these boys for the missionary call, which, according to Mr. Rollins will make others feel they are discriminated against, and will probably stir up a ‘hornet’s nest,’ or, Second, have the boys finish their school year, at the end of which there will probably be no trouble with regard to their getting clearance.

I stated that the calling of six missionaries at once, and taking them out of school to go on missions, certainly looks as though they are avoiding the draft; that it would be better for them to finish their school year.  Bishop Field said these six boys were called from his ward because they were 19 years of age, and they quit their schools so they could accept the call.  I said I understand that the lowering of the missionary age from 20 to 19 opened up a whole reserve of 19-year-olds to go on missions.  But, these boys must appear before their draft boards to get written clearance before they can go on missions.

I said further that Bishop Fields should have an understanding with the draft board that these boys will finish their school year; that we shall be glad to postpone their missionary calls until then, at which time the Draft Board can approve them for missions.  I said that just yesterday we sent back 60 boys to their draft boards for clearance.”

Wed., 17 Jan., 1951:

“Pres. Delbert Stapley called from Arizona–said he had had a visit with the State Selective service there, and they feel they have not had anything by way of instructions concerning our recent agreement with military officials; however, they are willing to go along as they have done the past several months.  I instructed Pres. Stapley to tell the State Selective members that we have decided to make the new ruling general; namely that all boys between the ages 19 to 25 inclusive must clear with their draft boards before going on missions.  Pres. Stapley said taht so far as the draft boards in Arizona are concerned that is not necessary, but I answered that we have decided to make it uniform, and all Stake Presidents will receive instructions concerning it.

Pres. Stapley said that he would tell the Arizona Selective Service Director what the new plan is, although he felt that when the boards got the word they would be inclined to discourage the missionaries from going.  I said that it is up to them.  I also said that if he would tell the Boards that they may be guided by the former ruling and give clearance to young men who are not yet inducted before they get into the home, we will exercise the right to call the usual number.”

Wed., 17 Jan., 1951:

“6:30 p.m.–left for home feeling somewhat wearied with the numerous telephone calls and office visitors regarding boys who have been called on missions and are trying to get clearance from their respective draft boards in adherance to the new ruling that has gone out that all missionaries will have to get written clearance before entering the missionary home.”

Thur., 18 Jan., 1951:

“Returned to the office at 2 p.m. where I met Mr. Koldewine, Bishop Dell Stringham, and Bishop Garff regarding young men in Ogden who have received calls to go on missions, have received assignments to their fields of labor, have spent money in preparation for their missions, and who have been refused clearance by the local draft board in Ogden.  These young men have been assigned to come into the missionary home January 22.

According to instructions given by the First Presidency they should first have written clearance from the Board before they are called on missions.  Inasmuch as a directive has been sent out which is not in keeping with the conclusions arrived at jointly at the meeting of the Church officials and the State Selective Service Director, I told these brethren that they could tell these young men to come down, to report at the missionary home January 22 without the written permission from the local Board, that matters will be straightened out later with General West and Colonel Gray.”

Thur., 18 Jan., 1951:

[Telephone calls]:

“2. While I was at home talked to President Parley A. Arave of Blackfoot Idaho.  I called him regarding the case of an Elder laboring in the Western Canadian Mission whom the Draft Board is demanding be returned to report for military duty.  The appeal was going to Washington, but Pres. Arave assured me that he did not think it was necessary to go to Washington.  I called particularly because it was reported that I had advised him to make the appeal, but Brother Arave had not given me the facts in the case, which are that this young man was a reserve and therefore should not have been called on a mission without the consent of draft officials. (Brother Henry D. Moyle has also been investigating this case.)

3. President Thomas O. Smith of the North Weber Stake telephoned. Said they have three boys who have received their call to come into the home next Monday, but their draft boards will not give them clearance; in fact, they will not even talk to them because of a directive that has been received from State headquarters.

I said that that directive should not have been sent because it was not in accordance with our understanding in a meeting the night before, and that as soon as we heard of it at a meeting with General West and Colonel Gray, and as soon as colonel Gray showed it to me, I said ‘That makes it impossible for any young men between the ages of 19 to 25 inclusive to be considered by your local boards; you have excluded every boy; no board will give clearance, and it was not intended that way.’  I understand that these military men have now modified this directive, but it has not been sent out as yet, so all we can do is to let those boys come down and say nothing about it.  I said further that under the directive, the boards have no right to give permission, and asside from the directive, they have no legal right.

It was decided that if the boys in question had not yet received their induction notice, they could come to the mission home at the appointed time.

Pres. Smith then spoke of one boy who is in the naval reserve who has his clearance from the San Francisco Naval Reserve Office to go on a mission to the British Isles; has his passport, but the draft board here will not recognize the clearance.  Technically, he is not under them, and has his written clearance from the Navy to come.

4. Colonel Oscar W. Gray of Fort Douglas–Telephoned me from the house, at 3:45 p.m., saying that he had just come to town, and Brother Murdock had asked him to call me up.  Said he had been entertaining some General who was visiting here.  He first mentioned the case of Joseph Knowlton, saying, ‘You have given me a very knotty problem in that case.’  Said the records disclose the fact that he (Bro. Knowlton) has had three deferments–one for school, one for ROTC (which extends his time at the end of the school), and one by his own request to take examination for the air corps.

I said, ‘I am informed that he knew nothing about the deferments and entered the missionary home in good faith, and on the second day that he was in the home, he was told that he could not continue his school at the home.’

I further said that I would consult Joseph Knowlton on the matter and get his side and talk to him again about it.

I then said: ‘There is another matter: Inasmuch as you have sent a directive to these local Boards instructing them NOT to give clearance to any young men between the ages of 19 to 25 inclusive, that makes it impossible and unjust to those who have been called on missions, assigned to their fields of labor, who have gone to the expense of securing passports, clothing, etc. etc., to hold them to the instructions that they will not be called until they have first been CLEARED by their local Boards.  Since, too, that some of these local boards have refused to give such clearance, there is nothing else for us to do in justice to these young men who have been so called but to let them come into the Home January 22 without these written clearance papers,’ and, I added, ‘as a matter of fact these local Boards haven’t the LEGAL right to give them such a written clearance.’

Colonel Gray said, ‘Well I will have to see General West before we can change our understanding of the last meeting.'”

Thur., 18 Jan., 1951:

“Council Meeting

January 18, 1951

There was called to the attention of the Council a suggestion by Elder Henry D. Moyle that we set apart our missionaries as soon as they enter the Mission Home rather than when they are ready to leave, that by so doing we would be complying with the law and the draft board would have no jurisdiction over them thereafter, inasmuch as the Selective Service Act specifically defers ministers of the gospel.

On motion of Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, duly seconded, this matter was referred to the Missionary Committee and Brother Moyle, they to come back with their recommendation.”

[At the bottom of the page, in McKay’s handwriting: “Considered by Missionary Com. Jan. 23, 1951, and decided to continue present policy of setting apart missionaries–viz. having an understanding with the gov. that a missionary’s draft status changes to IV-D as soon as he is registered in the Home, even though he may not be set apart for his assigned field of labor until he has practically completed the course in the Home.”]

Fri., 19 Jan., 1951:





January 19, 1951




This bulletin rescinds and supersedes this Headquarters Bulletin No. 2-51, dated January 15, 1951.

Due to the National Emergency the authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have modified the missionary policy concerning men who have been recommended to fulfill a missionary call, but were not in the missionary home on January 8, 1951.

Before any registrant is recommended to the Church President to fulfill a mission call, he must first obtain a release in writing from his local Selective Service Board.

Local Boards are hereby authorized to consider registrants to fulfill missions in the following categories:

1. Class IV-A – registrants who qualify as veterans under the Selective Service Act.

2. Class IV-F – registrants who are disqualified for service in the Armed Forces.

3. Class V-A – registrants who are over the age of 25 years.

4. Other registrants cleared by their local boards for various reasons.

Bulletin No. 2-51, this Headquarters, is modified so as not to arbitrarily preclude from consideration by local boards cases of individual registrants whom they might desire to give further consideration.

Registrants who return from missions should report their return to their local boards within five days after their arrival home, otherwise, they are subject to classification as delinquents under the provisions of the Selective Service Act.  If a registrant is classified as a delinquent, he loses all the benefits provided by the regulations and is subject to immediate induction by his local board of jurisdiction.


Brig. Gen., UNG

State Director


Lt. Col., CE

Assistant State Director”

Fri., 19 Jan., 1951:

“Telephone Calls:

1. President Orval P. Mortensen of the North Rexburg State called at 8 a.m. at home stating that the local draft board had expressed willingness to clear three boys, I-As, and one GI, all four of whom are to enter the home next Monday morning, but the members of the draft board would like to have some confirmation from the First Presidency that such deferment would be approved by the First Presidency.  Pres. Mortensen suggested that sometime during the day he would have the Chairman or one other member of the Board call this office by telephone.  The assurance was given that the action taken was approved, that we should be glad to assign the boys on their missions, and as soon as they enter the home have their status changed from I-A to IV-D for two or two and one half years.

2. President John F. Baker called from Whittier, California (East Los Angeles Stake).  Said the Draft Boards down there want a letter from the First Presidency stating that the boys who come to them have been called on Missions.  Pres. McKay instructed his secretary to tell Pres. Baker to send in the usual missionary recommendations and when they are received, a letter will be sent to each missionary, which he can present to the draft board verifying his call on a mission.  Said the same instructions had been sent to the So. Los Angeles Stake.”

Mon., 22 Jan., 1951:

“2:30 p.m.–Mrs. McCoomb of the 12th Ward, this city, stopped me in the hall and talked to me about her daughter’s going on a mission.  If she goes the mother feels it will interfere with her plans to become a school teacher.

I told Mrs. McCoomb to have her daughter remain at home and finish her schooling, and then it could be decided about her going on a mission.”

Mon., 22 Jan., 1951:

“Called Colonel Oscar W. Gray at Fort Douglas, Utah, concerning the case of Joseph Smith Knowlton.  Presented to him the facts concerning the steps taken by him regarding the Air Corps, ROTC, and his entering the mission home.  (see notes attached):

November 21: A.C. Qualifying Exam.  Passed.

November 22: Physical Exam.  Disqualified.

November 26: Interviewed by Bishop.

Two days later interviewed by stake president.  Interviewed by Pres. Milton R. Hunter.

December 6: Called back by Air Corps for recheck of eyes. Accepted.

December 11: Received formal call.  Turned twenty years old January 6.

January 8: Entered the missionary home.

January 12: Received ‘memo’ for Mrs. Stanley.

On Dec. 6 Mr. Knowlton was called back by the Air Corps for a re-check of his eyes and he was accepted.  Knowing nothing about their acceptance he accepted and received a call to go into the Mission Field on December 11.  He was not quite 20 years of age at this time, so on January 8 he entered the Mission Home.

Col. Gray said that he has Form #44 covering Mr. Knowlton, which shows he received deferment on Jan. 12 so that he might be with the air corps, otherwise he would have been called for his physical examination on Dec. 13.

I explained to Col. Gray that Brother Knowlton accepted his mission call in good faith, has his passport, and everything in readiness to go on his mission to Argentina.

Col. Gray asked for a copy of the chronological data that we have and said he would have the case considered at the next board meeting.  Said this is a tough case, and is doubtful that anything can be done; that Mr. Knowlton was actually accepted by the Air Corps Dec. 6, although Form #44 was not received until Dec. 13. Said that so far as he knows his deferment in the Air Corps will be for only four months, which is a trial period, and at the end of that time he may be ‘washed up’ so far as the Air Corps is concerned.  Said because of this deferment, younger men had been called up for examination.

Col. Gray then said that a number of Bishops have called him, stating that there are a number of boys in the Mission Home who have not been cleared by their boards.  I answered that only those who have received their missionary calls and have made preparations for leaving.  I said the telegram we sent out stating that no more boys would be called on missions without first clearing with their draft boards was not intended to cover boys who have already been called and assigned to their missions, and the directive sent out by the State Selective Headquarters to their different draft boards stating that no more missionaries were to be cleared, stopped the whole thing.  Col. Gray said the new directive had been sent out, but they were delayed in sending it.

Col. Gray then said that General West has returned and thought they should have a conference, because he is receiving a lot of pressure from the boards.  I said that so far as we are concerned here I have cleared this whole matter with the Presidency and with some lawyers too, who say the draft boards haven’t any right to give any clearance anyway.  Asked if I had talked to Bro. Moyle who is well informed on the subject, and I answered that I had.  Col. Gray said there is nothing involved except an administrative matter and that there is no legal problem involved.

I said that the telegram that we sent to the Stake Presidents still stands; that there will be no I-As called between 19 and 25 years of age without their clearance with the boards, but those who have been called should be considered, which does not bring in a very large number.  Col. Gray said that they countermanded the first bulletin in accordance with what we had discussed.  I said that we are standing on that and thought it would work out all right.  Col. Gray said he hoped so that it is really ‘tough’ up there.  I said that it was a mistake that we had lowered the age, but that he knew the story of that; that he (Col. Gray) was as surprised as I was. I said also that we have stopped the Bishops from hurrying the 19-year-olds out.  Col. Gray said that a lot of boys 18 years of age who will be 19 in a very few months had been called.  I answered ‘Oh, no, they haven’t; they have not been called.  If you know of any, please give me their names, and I will investigate the matter.'”

Wed., 24 Jan., 1951:

“Telephone Calls:

1. Pres. George Christensen (Nebo Stake) called from Payson. Said there are six young men from their Stake called to go on missions to come into the home Monday morning.  However, after receiving our telegram, they sent the boys to their draft board who would not clear them, so the boys are still at home.  Now, Pres. Christensen has heard rumors while visiting in richfield that boys from Sevier and South Sevier Stakes have come into the home without their written clearances from the boards.  I said ‘Pres. Christensen, I will state briefly to you the facts in this matter: You received the instructions from the First Presidency that no missionaries would be called without first receiving clearance from the Draft Board.  Those instructions went out on January 13, and was understood by the Selective Service that the instructions covered boys who had already been called.  On January 16 we learned that Colonel Gray was sending out a directive.  I inquired as to the substance of the directive, and when Colonel Gray gave us that information, I said: ‘That will prohibit any local board from approving any of the men who have already been called on missions. Please tell Colonel Gray not to send that out.’  Tghat afternoon we had a meeting with General West and Colonel Gray and Captain Pay, and when they presented that directive to me I said again, ‘That directive precludes any local board from giving approval to any missionary who has received his legitimate call; that our agreement with them was that each missionary was to be considered by the board and given permission to enter unless they were in the reserves, a member of the national guard.’  They then agreed to send out a new directive, but that was not sent out in time for these young men who had been called to receive consideration by their draft boards as they had the directive telling them not to consider any missionary.  So, knowing that a new directive would be received by the Boards, which would give them permission to approve these boys who had already been called and assigned to the mission home, we told these missionaries to come into the home without their clearance papers.

Pres. Christensen then asked if he should let the six young men in question come into the home.  I said that it is a little late to do that now; that they had better wait until February; that in the meantime the draft board will have received the new directive and will probably give them clearance.  Pres. Christensen said that some of them have tried to enlist.

2. President Rulon Petersen of the Lakeview Stake called.  Said he had three young men who have been recommended for missions (recommended before the recent word regarding the clearance from draft boards was received) who are not yet 19 years of age–but will be that age within the next 30 to 60 days.  They have contacted their draft board and they are told they have no jurisdiction over young men of their age; that if the church wants to send them it is up to them.

I told Pres. Petersen to recommend no young man who is not 19 years of age, and make sure he receives his clearance from the Draft Board.  If they are 19 years of age, receive their clearance from the draft board, and are in the home before receiving induction notice, then they are free to go on their missions.

. . . .

4. Telephoned to Colonel Oscar W. Gray (4:50 p.m.) State Selective Service Headquarters, Ft. Douglas, Utah.  I told him that I had had conferences with a number of the members of their draft boards which have resulted in some good, that they are willing to cooperate and abide by the new corrected directive.

I then said that for our own clarification among the General Authorities, we should like to have every member of the General Authorities understand the relationship between the State Draft Board and the Church, and that Stephen L. Richards of the Council of the Twelve (who is also on the Appointment Committee for missionaries) has very graciously summarized our letters from September 27, 1950 sent from the First Presidency to Stake and Mission Presidents and Bishops of Wards and the subsequent letter of October 20, 1950, and the telegram to Stake Presidents dated January 13 due to the national emergency.  I then read to Colonel Gray extracts of the memorandum prepared by Stephen L. Richards. (Copy of what I read to him attached hereto.)

Colonel Gray said the ‘bone of contention’ right now is the fact that there are missionaries in the home who have not received their clearance from their Draft Boards.

I stated that I should be willing to meet any draft board on this question; that the telegram we sent out Jan. 13 was made inoperative by the directive sent out by Colonel Gray’s office which said in effect–‘you cannot recommend anybody.’  I said further–now you have sent out a corrected directive, which has not yet reached some of your draft boards and so far as considering the missionaries already recommended, called, and assigned to the missionary home, their hands were tied by your directive. Consequently, it was necessary for us to let these missionaries come into the home without the letter of permission from their draft boards.  However, after these have been cleared (which is only just and fair since they have gone to the expense of obtaining passports, clothes, have held farewells in many cases) there will be no more trouble.

Col. Gray then said that General West has been called to the Governor’s office for a meeting; that he did not know what his reaction would be but that he will present the matter to him and will let us know what the decision is.

Col. Gray asked that we send him a copy of the memorandum prepared by Stephen L. Richards.  This I attended to immediately after the conversation.


1. Outline of Instructions Following Understandings with Selective Service:

On September 27, 1950, a letter was sent from the First Presidency to Stake and Mission Presidents and Ward Bishops, providing:

That if young men of draft age receive their Notice of Acceptability before they enter the Mission Home they are to be excused from their missions.  If they enter the Mission Home before their Notice of Acceptability reaches them, they will be deferred from military service for the duration of their missions.

On October 20, 1950, a letter was sent superseding the above letter which provided:

1. That young men should be nineteen years of age instead of twenty before they depart for their missions.

2. That young men who have received their Notice of Pre-Induction Physical Examination before they enter the Mission Home will be excused from their mission calls.  If they enter the Mission Home before they receive their notice, they will be deferred from military service for the duration of their missions.  (Note that Notice of Acceptability has been superseded by Notice of Pre-Induction Physical Examination.) This was done at the request of Selective Service to make the policy uniform for all services drawing on their manpower pool.  The above plan was approved by Selective Service Director of the State of Utah and he forwarded a copy to National Headquarters and inference is that it is acceptable to them.

2. Telegram to Stake Presidents:

On January 13, 1951 the following telegram was sent to all Stake Presidents in the State of Utah and on Tuesday, January 16, 1951, to all other Stake Presidents in the Church:



‘Clearance in writing from Local Draft Board’ has been interpreted to mean that the Bishop or Stake President should notify the local draft board of intention to recommend man for mission, and solicit from the draft board a statement as to the present status of the individual and any observations which the board may have to make on the calling of the proposed missionary.

‘Missionaries called but not in home.’  It was discovered subsequent to the sending of the telegram that there were so many cases where, by reason of insufficient notice, those called to enter the Mission Home in the January 22 group would suffer undue hardship, that it was decided to permit that group to enter without compliance with the telegram.  The telegram, however, will have application to all companies entering the home at dates later than January 22, 1951.

3. Selective Service Directive No. 3-51–January 19, 1951.

‘. . . . Due to National Emergency the authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have modified the missionary policy concerning men who have been recommended to fulfill a missionary call, but were not in the missionary home on January 8, 1951.

Before any registrant is recommended to the Church Presidency to fulfill a mission call, he must first obtain a release in writing from his local Selective Service Board.

Local Boards are hereby authorized to consider registrants to fulfill mission in the following categories:

1. Class IV-A — registrants who qualify as veterans under the Selective Service Act.

2. Class IV-F — registrants who are disqualified for service in the Armed Forces.

3. Class V-A — registrants who are over the age of 25 years.

4. Other registrants cleared by their local boards for various reasons.

. . . .’

4. Deferments:

All young men of draft age (18-25) already deferred for such purposes as school, agriculture, reserve units, national guard and other purposes should not be recommended until assurance is given in writing by the proper officials that the deferment is waived for the purpose and duration of a mission.

5. Sisters:

The General Authorities should caution Stake Presidents and Bishops to observe carefully the regulations already issued in the recommending of sisters for missionary work.  Age twenty-three is still considered the desirable minimum age for sisters recommended. Those over twenty-one who have special qualifications for stenographic and office work, or supervision of auxiliary work are at present acceptable.  Special attention should be given to the marital prospects of the sister, to her health, and the desires of herself and her parents for missionary service.  In no case should the filling of ward or stake ‘quotas’ for missionaries influence the call of sisters.

6. Size of Groups in the Mission Home:

So many problems have arisen at the Mission Home with the abnormally large companies, who have overcrowded all facilities that it is deemed advisable to limit the companies hereafter to the number who can be adequately accommodated and supervised, about 125.”

Wed., 24 Jan., 1951:





January 24, 1951




For the benefit of local board members and clerks, this Headquarters desires to clarify its position in relation to the apparent differences of interpretation between statements made by the authorities of the L.D.S. Church in the daily papers and letters to the Stake Presidents of the Church and Bulletins Nos. 2-51 and 3-51 published by this Headquarters.

On January 11, 1951, representatives of this Headquarters met with certain L.D.S. Church authorities, at which time it was agreed by all concerned that in view of the fact that after January 8, 1951, no registrants would be admitted to the mission home unless they had a release in writing from their local board.  On the strength of this commitment this Headquarters advised te Church authorities, that while local boards were the only ones empowered to classify registrants (subject to an appeal if properly taken by either the individual registrant or this Headquarters) we would endeavor to secure from local boards the release of those registrants who were properly called into the missionary home on the 8th of January, 1951.

Our effort was successful in most cases and releases were obtained from the majority of the local boards on the basis that all future registrants placed in the mission home would be the categories set out in Bulletin No. 2-51.

We are informed that a number of registrants are now in the missionary home who have not secured releases from their local boards and some questions have arisen in the minds of local board members and clerks whether or not some other agreement has been made between the Church and this Headquarters which has not been publicized or covered by a bulletin from this Headquarters.

For your information and advice, this Headquarters has not made any further or different agreement than was set out in Bulletin No. 3-51 of this Headquarters, nor has this Headquarters concurred in any actions of the Latter Day Saints Church in admitting registrants into the mission home without first obtaining a written release from their local boards, as provided for in the letters and telegrams to Stake Presidents and the public statements made by authorities of the Church and in Bulletin No. 3-51 of this Headquarters.

It is further recommended to local boards that in all cases where registrants are in the mission home or mission field in violation of the agreement between the Church and this Headquarters, that they be processed in the same manner as all other registrants and if they fail to comply with the requirements of the Selective Service Act, that they be classified as delinquents and dealt with accordingly.

Under the present circumstances it is recommended that no registrants in classifications subject to induction under the Selective Service Regulations be given the classification of IV-D except in individual cases and under unusual circumstances.


Brig. Gen., UNG

State Director”

Thur., 25 Jan., 1951:

“8:30 a.m.–Dictation to Clare.  I had no sooner started to dictate than President Clark came in stating that Ralph Hardy of Washington, D.C. was on his line and asked me to come in to his office to talk to him.

Brother Hardy brought up the case of Bishop C. W. Nelson who is an active military reserve officer who now makes a plea for release, because of his position as Bishop.  The case has gone to Admiral Salisbury who understands our position and is willing to release him if we approve; however, if we release one who is an active reserve, we will have to release all in the same position, and we are inclined to think that we had better hold to the rule that those who join the Reserves, who take an oath to serve their country in case of emergency, should not be released because of ministerial duties.

NOTE:  In the future we should inquire before making a man a Bishop or Stake President whether he is in the military Reserves. President Clark, to whom Ralph Hardy had telephoned, approved of this decision.

. . . .

I then resumed dictating to Clare.  One of the first letters I opened was from Joseph L. Petersen of Ogden who reported that he had had a conference with Oscar W. Gray who seemed a ‘little peeved over the turn of events, especially about the group of missionaries that entered the Mission Home last Monday.  He claimed the church had not lived up to the agreement previously made.’

I immediately picked up the telephone and called Colonel Gray at Fort Douglas and told him that I had heard that he had made the statement that all the boys who are now in the home without a written clearance from their draft boards would be counted as delinquents.  Col. Gray answered ‘If they won’t release them.’

I said, ‘How could they release them when you told them in that directive not to release anybody?  These boys were called legitimately, some to come to the Home on Jan. 22, some on Feb. 1, some of whom are going to Great Britain, the Netherlands, to Argentina, and who have already gone to great expense in preparation to their leaving, and are the ones who should have been considered by your draft boards if you had not sent out that directive telling them not to consider anyone.  Because of this injustice to the boys, we had to let them come in to the Home, and we will stand on that and take it right back to Washington if necessary.’

Said he had asked Brother Murdock to come up this morning; that this is one of the problems they are developing.  I said Brother Murdock had told me that you asked him to come and he is now on his way there.

I said further that I have been in touch with the members of the different draft boards, and the new directive makes matters all right.  Colonel Gray said that that would not apply to the boys now in the home, and I answered again, ‘But the draft Boards had not received the new directive, and could not give clearance; however, now that they have received the new directive they will have time to give clearance for the Feb. 19 group, but for these boys who are now in the home, the draft boards could not give clearance.’ Colonel Gray said ‘That was the basis of our memorandum that went out to the Boards.’  I answered, ‘But you have corrected that, and now I believe the picture will unfold and will adjust itself.’  I said further, ‘Now we are calling none, and we all understand the situation, but these boys who are now in the home–it is like daming off a stream; there is a little water left to run down the stream.’  Col. Gray said the trouble they are running into is that the men were allowed to come into the home on the 8th with the understanding to the boards that all others would be cleared including those who were called.’  And I answered again, ‘Then you sent your first directive, and they could not clear them.  There was no other agreement.  Now this man reports to me you have stated that the church is not keeping faith, and the Church has kept faith absolutely.’  Colonel Gray said: ‘I do not know who you are talking about, excepting that we have had trouble with one of the boards.’ I said, ‘I am willing to go personally to these boards; I have spoken to the members of five local boards, and they are willing to cooperate; there should be no trouble as they are having all the 19 and 20 year olds from now on.

I further stated that these young men are not draft evaders; that they are in the home in good faith, and they are entitled to go on their missions.  Col. Gray said that he imagined it would ‘all be thrashed out; that whatever the General does, I shall be bound by that.’  I answered: ‘My point is that it is not fair to say that we have not kept faith because we have.’  He replied, ‘So many of the boards have called about the missionaries going into the home without their clearance, and they feel that we have been a party to it.’  I said, ‘You can tell them exactly what the facts are, and it will be all right.’

Colonel Gray then said ‘It will be a matter of discussion, and Brother Murdock will let you know when he returns.’

10 a.m. I then left for the Council meeting in the Salt Lake Temple.  When I returned to the office at 3 p.m. Brother Franklin J. Murdock came in to report his conference with General West and Colonel Gray at Ft. Douglas.  Said that upon his arrival at their office he could see that General West was perplexed and uneasy. He then said to Brother Murdock: ‘Well I have done my best; I have had to send out a directive to the draft boards.’  Brother Murdock answered: ‘Have you sent it yet?’  He answered, ‘It went last night.’  Brother Murdock asked him why he did not contact President McKay; that he knew the brethren would be glad to consult with him any time.  General West then emphasized the seriousness of the directive, and said that hehad to send this directive out.  Copies of the directive (No. 5-51) were handed to Brother Murdock to read and to present to President McKay.  Brother Murdock handed one to President McKay who immediately read it, and exclained after reading it through, ‘They’ll have to change that; they are not being fair with the church–they are not admitting that they made an error in sending out that first directive which prohibited the draft boards from clearing any of our boys!’  Pres. McKay then instructed Brother Murdock to call General West and make an appointment for a meeting in my office either tonight or early in the morning.  (Copy of Directive 5-51 attached to January 26)

Brother Stephen L. Richards and Brother Henry D. Moyle were called in to read the directive and were in agreement with President McKay that the directive was not fair to the church.”

Thur., 25 Jan., 1951:

“President Cornelius Zappey called regarding a Dutch family here in the city who came from Holland a year ago.  They have 2 sons–one was in the Netherlands Army and fought in India, and since comeing here has been in the Army.  The other boy is now in the mission home.  Just before he left for the Mission Home Monday morning, he received a notice to report for his pre-induction physical Feb. 5, and he wants to know if anything can be done in his case.  The parents have borrowed money to buy his clothes and take care of other preparations for his mission.

I told Pres. Zappey to see the members of his draft board (#18) and present the case to them; it will have to be up to them.  Pres. Zappey said he had been to see Colonel Gray at the Fort and he referred him back to the board.”

Fri., 26 Jan., 1951:

“From 8 to 9:45 a.m. this morning was in conference with General West and Colonel Oscar W. Gray of the State Selective Service, and Franklin J. Murdock of the Missionary Department.  There were present General J. Wallace West and Colonel Oscar W. Gray of the State Selective Service, and President David O. McKay and Elder Stephen L. Richards, representing the Missionary Appointment Committee, and Elder J. Franklin Murdock, Mission Secretary, in which exception was taken to Bulletin No. 5-51 sent out by the State Selective Service inasmuch as it cases aspersion upon the integrity of Church officials in having admitted registrants to the Missionary Home for the January 22, 1951 group.

As soon as I expressed resentment of the implication made by them, General West protested that there was no intention of casting any aspersion upon the integrity of the church officials, and it was agreed that a letter would be sent from the office of the Selective Service clearing the Church of any such implication.

It was then decided that all missionaries who are in the home should receive clearance from their respective draft boards before departing on their missions.

9:45 to 10:15–special meeting of General Authorities who were present in the building this morning on the missionary and draft question.  Instructed members of the Twelve to set apart no missionaries this morning who had not received clearance from his draft board.  It was decided that the setting apart of missionaries, therefore, would be postponed from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and that Elder Stephen L. Richards and Franklin J. Murdock be appointed as a committee to interview each missionary prior to his being set apart.

. . . .

1 p.m.–Went home for lunch.  While at home received a call from Brother Stephen L. Richards (see notes).

Returned to the office at 2:30 p.m. and called President Marden Pearson of Richfield.  Referred him to his letter of January 24, 1951, and stated that I had previously told him that the young man in question could hold his farewell Sunday, but that now in conference with military officials this morning, we find that any young man who has had a deferment for the ROTC, (which this young man has had) for which reason his draft number has been postponed, cannot go on his mission unless his local draft board gives him written clearance.  I then said that unless this boy gets his written clearance from the draft board, his farewell should not be held.  Pres. Pearson said he thought the board would not give him clearance.  I then said if the board is not granting the clearance because of the directive (#2-51) from headquarters, they should be informed that directive #3-51 (which has been sent out correctinb #2-51) will give the board the right to give a written clearance if they so desire.  I said if his number has come up in the meantime they will probably not excuse him.  Pres. Pearson said his number had not come up.  I told him to go to the board and inquire about the case, and he replied that he disliked to because the boy is his nephew.  I suggested that his parents go with him, and Pres. Pearson said the parents had taken him out of school.  I answered that all this should be taken into consideration by the draft board, and that they have the power to say whether or not he ahould be deferred to go on his mission.  And further stated that he would definitely have to be cleared with them; that that is our understanding now with the military officials.  I stated also that Pres. Pearson should go to them; that it should not make any difference about the boy being his nephew.  Pres. Pearson said the commanding ROTC officer is very willing to have the boy go on his mission, and I answered that the final decision is that they would have to get the approval of the draft board down there.

. . . . 

Telephone Calls

1. Mr. Dan Morrison of the Associated Press called me at 11:40 a.m. and said he wanted to check with me on a released he had that states that there is a conflict with local draft boards in connection with missionaries; that missionaries are being drafted, and there is a possibility that they will be sent into the field without the consent of local draft Boards.  I answered:  ‘There is no conflict whatever; just a little misunderstanding, but all that has been ironed out, and we are in perfect accord with the State Selective Service regarding the matter.’  Mr. Morrison then said that this information he has states that a number of the missionaries are in the home without the proper release of the draft boards.  I answered:  ‘That depends upon the interpretation of that release, and you may state that no missionaries will be sent out in the field without the approval of their local draft board, and I would not mention that there is any disagreement whatever between the two.’  I further said, ‘If there is any little misunderstanding it is regarding missionaries who entered the home January 22, but I can say definitely that none will be sent into the mission field without the consent of their draft boards, and furthermore that missionaries in class IA are not being called without first getting their clearance from local draft boards.

2. Mr. Mel Wright of Draft Board #24–referred to Brother Stephen L. Richards.

. . . .

6. Brother Stephen L. Richards (who as a member of the missionary committee was appointed to interview missionaries now in the home with respect to their military status) called me at home and reported that they were proceeding along the lines suggested: viz., that he and Brother Murdock and others of the general authorities interview personally every boy now in the home to find out exactly what his military status is–whether he has been to his draft board for clearance and denied a written clearance–this because of the board’s not having received the corrected directive from State headquarters (#3-51)–whether he has signed up with the R.O.T.C. or any other branch of the military service, etc.  That so far it was impossible to find out from the boys whether their boards had the corrected directive or not.  Said that he felt that even though we might make the point regarding the variance between directives #2-51 and #3-51, it is inadvisable for us to go to the boards and stand on that ground alone.  Said he had asked Brother Moyle in the meeting if he would see Colonel Gray and learn a little more definitely as to what our grounds for appeal would be, but he was reluctant to do this.  Said he had also spoken to President Clark about it and he felt we would not get anywhere.

Pres. McKay then stated that he had learned that the Associated Press got a story from somewhere that there is a disagreement between the church and the State Selective Service, and that he had reported that there was no such disagreement, and had told the Associated Press reporter to state that no missionary will be sent out who does not have the approval of his local board.  Pres. McKay said that this makes it imperative that we have a clarification of the matter this afternoon, and personal interviews of the missionaries should proceed at once.  Pres. McKay further said the responsibility should be thrown upon the draft boards as to whether clearance is to be given, and the parents of these missionaries should realize that it is the draft board’s responsibility to give this clearance; that if General West follows through on the telephone calls to the heads of the draft boards, and calls their attention to Directive #3-51 the boards will cooperate.  However, we must hold to the statement that young men classified as I-A, even though they are in the home now, must get clearance from their draft boards.

Brother Richards stated that he thought we should ask Colonel Gray to be frank enough to tell the draft boards the reason we let so many boys come into the home without their clearance–the directive #2-51 which the State Selective Headquarters sent out prohibited their clearance, and the corrected bulletin #3-51 did not reach the boards in time to give the boys clearance; that the boys entitled to go on their missions, having no other deferment, will be sent back to their draft boards for clearance, and that the directive #3-51 will give authority so to clear them.  Also tell him that as he claims he went to ‘bat’ for us on the January 8 group of missinoaries, we make another appeal for him to help us now, especially since they made an error in sending out directive #2-51.

I told Brother Richards that I thought he should see General West and Colonel Gray this afternoon.

Brother Richards then said that he has an appointment to attend the funeral of Judge Budge in Logan tomorrow, but he thinks this matter is of such importance he should remain at home to attend to it. Pres. McKay stated that the missionaries should be interviewed this afternoon and tomorrow morning, and that Brother Richards should go immediately up to the Fort to attend to this matter; that someone else can take his place in Logan.

7. Stephen L. Richards–telephoned him at his home and told him that it occurs to me that Colonel Gray will delay sending the directive spoken about at this morning’s meeting, and that if he does it will only aggravate conditions.  The statement that the church had not violated its agreement will help the case of these young people.

Brother Richards said he had just had the opportunity of explaining the matter to Mr. Mel Wright, Pres. of Board #24.  He was very favorable and grateful for the explanation, and has called a meeting for 5:30 tonight and has asked Col. Gray and Gen. West to be present.

Brother Richards said that he had not been able to get in touch with either Colonel Gray or General West so far, but that he is waiting by the telephone from a call from them, but upon second thought he thought he should get in his car and drive up there and be right there when they come in.  I answered that this must be done by them right away, and that it must be in writing.  Bro. Richards said they had promised to telephone the boards, so that as we send the young men back to them for clearance these boards will be fully apprised of the condition.  I answered ‘Don’t let them delay it, because these boards who are antagonistic will be aggravated by this latest decision; they put off sending the other directive out a whole week.’  Bro. Richards answered that Brother Wright called his attention to another directive to which iour notice has not been called.”

Sat., 27 Jan., 1951:

“Received a telephone message from Bishop Goates stating that one of the missionaries in his Ward though set apart as a missionary had been refused clearance by the Draft board by a vote of 2 to 1.

Pres. Christensen of Palmyra Stake–boy going to Hawaii–draft board will not give clearance–said telephone message should have been received from State headquarters–new directive etc.”

Sat., 27 Jan., 1951:

“MEMORANDUM Jan. 27 [Clare]

Pres. Madsen of the A.C. called and dictated this letter to me over the telephone:

President L. L. Madsen

Utah State Agricultural College

Logan, Utah

Dear President Madsen:

The Clerk of Draft Board #3, Logan, Utah, called on the telephone a few minutes ago and informed me that Church officials and the Selective Service officials in Salt Lake City had entered into an agreement whereby the L.D.S. Church would not admit any person to the L.D.S. Mission Home unless that person had first received clearance from the Local Draft Board and unless that person had been duly called on or before January 8, 1951.

I was further informed by the Clerk of our Local Draft Board that the Church had failed to live up to their agreement and had admitted some 400 missionaries to the Mission Home without said approval of the Local Boards.  She stated that missionaries accepted under these conditions would be processed and ordered into federal service without regarding their missionary status.  She stated that the five students listed below probably came within this category and requested that they be denied admission at this institution, should they attempt to resume their college studies:

Richard K. Schwartz

Richard Lynn Yeates

John Harold Allen

Robert Dean Skidmore

Ray William Carlson

If possible I should like clarification on the Church’s attitude inasmuch as I do not believe that our Church has failed to maintain their agreements.  I would appreciate any information you could obtain on this subject, as we are asked many questions concerning this every day.

Sincerely yours,

Glenn Blazer

Coordinator of Veterans Affairs

Utah State Agricultural College

He is over at the Hotel Utah attending a Board meeting and expects to call later for word or advice concerning this matter.  He thinks the matter is very serious since the Draft Board says if these boys are allowed to go on missions, they will be declared draft dodgers and will send the FBI to arrest them and put them in military service.

Pres. Madsen said that if he is unable to call back, he would appreciate it if we would call Bishop Isaacson on the telephone at the Hotel Utah, Room C-39, and give the information to Bishop Isaacson.

10:45–President McKay called Bishop Isaacson to inform him of the situation.  He said the facts are these:  Bulletin 5-51 dated January 24, 1951, was sent to local boards and clerks.  When we were informed of this bulletin, we immediately called for a conference with General West and Colonel Gray.  This conference was held yesterday morning at 8 a.m.  The result of that meeting was that Colonel Gray would contact by telephone this morning the local boards, who had been informed not to grant clearance to the missionaries who were in the home without that clearance. Furthermore that next Monday morning the State Selective Service Board, General West and Colonel Gray, would send out a directive explaining that the Church has kept faith and that the local boards should consider favorably those who have entered the home, having previously received calls.

Bishop Isaacson said he hoped that went out, that the directive sent out gives the impression that the Church has not lived up to its agreement, and that a number of registrants are now in the mission home who have not secured releases from their local draft boards.

President McKay said a meeting was held with the State Draft officials between Bulletins 2-51 and 3-51, and that is where the mistake was made.  Said the Draft officials have promised to correct it by telephone today and by directive next Monday morning.

Pres. McKay explained that all these missionaries have been interviewed and told to return to their draft boards for their clearance, not to the clerks, but to the chairman of the Board, to whom this telephone communication will be sent, and to whom the bulletin next Monday will be mailed.

Bishop Isaacson said he would give this information to Pres. Madsen.”

Sun., 28 Jan., 1951:

“Was in the office most of the day keeping my hand on the missionary and draft situation.  It was 7 or 7:30 p.m. before I left for home.

At 8 a.m. I received a long distance call from President Choules of the Southern states Mission that an Elder in Alabama had admitted having been unchaste with an investigator, and President Choules asked what to do.

I told Pres. Choules to excommunicate the Elder and send him home; that there is nothing else we can do in a case of this kind.

Later, I received a telephone message from a Draft Board member, which indicated that the telephone message sent yesterday from the State Selective Service did not carry the message promised by Colonel Gray.”

Mon., 29 Jan., 1951:

“10:45–Elder Stephen L. Richards came in to report further regarding the draft and missionary situation.

1:20 p.m.–Went home for lunch.

3:30 p.m.–Office duties and consultations until 4:30 p.m. at which time Brother Stephen L. Richards came in again to discuss the missionary and draft matter, and at 5 o’clock accompanied Brother Richards up to General West and Colonel Gray’s office at Fort Douglas.

From 5:30 to 7:15 p.m. we met in the office of Colonel Oscar W. Gray of the State Selective Service, Ft. Douglas, Utah.  General West and Captain Pay were also present.  Pres. McKay, Elder Stephen L. Richards, represented the General Authorities, Brother Murdock was also in attendance.  The result of this meeting was the issuing from State Selective Service Headquarters of a memorandum dated Jan. 30, 1951, and the presentation also of a letter to all Stake Presidents by the First Presidency.  (copies attached to January 30, 1951.)”

Tues., 30 Jan., 1951:

“At 9:30 a.m.–Met with the members of the Twelve in the General Board Room–minutes of that meeting attached hereto.  (Missionary and Draft question)

. . . .

3:15 p.m.–Brother Stephen L. Richards came in and presented Bulletin prepared by the Selective Service Headquarters, and asked for my approval.  After reading it, I gave my approval and Brother Richards immediately called Colonel Gray to go ahead with it, and also said that the letter from the First Presidency was in process of preparation and that 200 copies would be sent to him as soon as they were off the press so that a copy could be attached to the memorandum being sent out by the Headquarters to all Draft Board Directors in the State.

Telephone Calls

1. President Earl S. Paul of the Mt. Ogden Stake.  Said the draft boards up in Odgen have stated they will release all missionaries now in the home if there will be no missionaries of the ages 19 to 25 inclusive recommended for missions.  I told Pres. Paul that the proposition was just being presented to the Twelve that no more registrants in I-A will be called, and that those who are called who have not been cleared will have their calls rescinded.

2. Colonel Gray telephoned and asked if I had had a chance to look over the bulletin their office has prepared to be sent out to draft boards which corrects impressions which may have arisen in the minds of draft personnel from previous directives.  Told him that Brother Stephen L. Richards was just walking into the room with the directive, that I would read it, and would telephone to his office and let them know whether or not it is approved.  I then told Colonel Gray that the proposed letter to Stake Presidents has been approved and that 200 copies would be in his office by 4 p.m. today.

3. President Delbert L. Stapley called from Arizona inquiring regarding the status of the draft situation.  Said that the Arizona Boards are satisfied with the old arrangement–that of having the boys recommended in the regular way by the Bishops, and if they are in the Mission Home before they received their pre-induction physical, it will be all right with the draft boards for them to go on their missions.

I told Pres. Stapley that he will receive a letter tomorow which will explain the new arrangement which the brethren feel, in view of the adverse sentiment that has arisen because of the on-rush of 19-year-olds, will be the course to follow from now on.  The recommendation contained in that letter is that we shall call no more young men of draft age, unless he comes under certain classifications specified in the letter referred to above.  I stated that boys who have received their calls and have filed in the office their clearance paper from their draft board prior to January 31, may go on their missions.  Pres. Stapley said he thought they would be able to send a few–a very few missionaries under these circumstances.”

Tues., 30 Jan., 1951:

“Special meeting of the Council of the Twelve held in the Board Room of the Church Offices Tuesday, January 30, 1951 at 9:30 a.m.

There were present Presidents J. Reuben Clark, Jr., and David O. McKay of the First Presidency, Acting President of the Twelve Joseph Fielding Smith, and the following members of the Council: Stephen L. Richards, Joseph F. Merrill, Harold B. Lee, Spencer Kimball, Ezra T. Benson, Mark E. Petersen, Matthew Cowley.

President McKay said that he would make a few preliminary remarks by way of review before Elder Stephen L. Richards presented the special business for which this meeting was called.  President McKay then called attention to the following meetings held between the State Selective Service and representatives of the Church.

(1) Meeting held January 11, 1951, 3:30 p.m.  Those in attendance–General J. Wallace West, Colonel Oscar W. Gray, Captain Pay of the State Selective Service, President David O. McKay of the First Presidency, and Elder Franklin J. Murdock, Mission Secretary.

At this meeting Colonel Gray stated that there had been such a large number of young men nineteen years old recommended for missionary service that Selective Service Boards throughout the State of Utah, and particularly in the Salt Lake County, were rebelling against reclassifying these young men from I-A to IV-D.

The result of this meeting was the sending of a telegram on January 13, 1951 to all Stake Presidents in Utah advising them to instruct Bishops not to recommend young men for ministerial service who have not first secured clearance in writing from local Draft Boards.

(2) Meeting held January 16, 1951 of the same personnel in which it was decided to make a correction of Directive No. 2-51 sent by the State Selective Service January 15, 1951.  It was agreed to send this Directive at once.  This corrective bulletin bore the designation No. 3-51, and was dated January 19, 1951, only three days before missionaries were to enter the Missionary Home, January 22, 1951.

President McKay called attention to the fact that as Directive No. 2-51 advised Local Boards NOT to give clearance to any registrants classified as I-A, there was only one recourse left for registrants rightly called, and that was to give them permission to enter the missionary home January 22, 1951 without clearance from their respective local boards.

January 26, 1951, 8 a.m.  Another meeting was held with General West and Colonel Gray representing the State Selective Service, President McKay and Elder Stephen L. Richards, representing the Missionary Appointment Committee, and Elder Franklin J. Murdock, Secretary, in which exception was taken to Bulletin No. 5-51 sent out by the State Selective Service inasmuch as it casts aspersion upon the integrity of church officials in having admitted registrants to the Missionary Home for the January 22, 1951 group. General West promptly replied that there was no such intention upon the part of the State Selective Service, and suggested that a letter would be sent to local draft boards clarifying any such implication.

After this brief preview, prefacing the presentation of the special business, Elder Richard commented as follows:

At a meeting held in President McKay’s office with General West and Colonel Gray, Friday morning at 8 o’clock, two decisions were reached.  First, that the Selective Service officials would send out a bulletin correcting any erroneous impressions that may have gone out which might cast aspersions on the integrity of the Church in keeping all agreements it had made and calling special attention to the position of the Church with reference to allowing missionaries to enter the home on January 22 without draft clearance on the ground that the bulletin which had been issued by Selective Service officials had not adequately called attention to reasons which draft boards might consider in granting clearances and that the information sent to the draft boards was received by them at too late a date to be considered by draft boards in passing upon clearances.  And second, that before any missionaries of the January 22 company were set apart, investigation should be made to discover whether or not any of the young men of draft age were in other deferred classifications.

Brother Richards then reported that interviews had been held on the subject of other deferrments and that on Friday morning he had met with all of the missionaries and with the approval of Presidents McKay and Clark had told them that the Church felt obligated, in spite of some misunderstandings which had arisen and hardships which had been incurred, to insist upon compliance with his telegram to presidents of stakes that no missionaries would be set apart and sent on their missions who had not draft clearances; that he had advised those in the home who did not have such clearances that time would be accordingly delayed.

With the instruction and liberty given the brethren in the home to make further effort to secure clearances, he reported that the Selective Service officials had advised him on Saturday that many draft boards had reported to them that they were so besieged with requests for clearances that they despaired of being able to adequately adjust the matter, and some had threatened resignation. Continued reports of difficulties with draft boards came in, and on Monday evening at the offices of Colonel Gray at Fort Douglas a meeting was held with General West, Colonel Gray, Captain Pay, President McKay, Brother Murdock, and himself at this meeting.  The Selective Service officials were advised that the Church had concluded to send presidents of stakes and bishops of wards a letter asking that no more recommendations for missions be made for young men subject to the draft who were not in such deferred classifications as to make them eligible for call, and that such policy would be operative as of January 31, 1951.

The Selective Service officials also read a directive which they proposed to send correcting impressions which may have arisen in the minds of draft personnel from previous directives.

Brother Richards reported that the Selective Service have said that the sending out of the proposed letter by the Church in their judgment would serve to compose the present situation better than anything else.

After further discussion, a motion prevailed to approve the sending of the letter which had been drafted to presidents of stakes and bishops of wards within the State of Utah.  It was reported by Brother Richards that the Selective Service officials proposed to enclose a copy of this letter in the directive they were sending to the draft boards.

After further discussion, a motion prevailed that the letter be sent to the presidents of stakes and bishops of wards throughout the church.”





January 30, 1951


Until Bulletin No. 5-51, dated January 24, 1951, was released by this Headquarters, the last one published, or publicized, was Bulletin No. 3-51, dated January 19, 1951.

Bulletin No. 3-51 did not indicate that a further conference with Church authorities was held prior to the issuance of Bulletin No. 3-51 or that the Bulletin was released as a result of such a conference.

Church authorities state that they permitted registrants to enter the Missionary Home on January 22 because they felt that local boards had not had sufficient time prior to January 22 to consider the changes contained in Paragraph 4 of that Bulletin, or to consider whether or not the addition of Paragraph 4 of said Bulletin would have affected the classification of registrants who were called into the Home after January 8, 1951.

If the lack of this above information in our Bulletin No. 5-51, or the absence of any explanation from the Church of their action was construed by any local board personnel to cast any reflection upon the integrity of the Church or its authorities, we desire to correct that impression.

Enclosed herewith is a letter from the Church setting out their future missionary policy.


Brig. Gen. UNG

State Director”




January 30, 1951

To:  Presidents of Stakes and Bishops of Wards

Dear brethren:

We recently sent to Stake Presidents a telegram reading as follows:

Due to National Emergency and a recent understanding between State Directors of Selective Service will you please instruct Bishops not to recommend young men for ministerial service who have not first secured clearance in writing from local draft boards.  This applies also to missionaries called but not in the Missionary Home.

We now ask you not to make recommendations for the calling of young men for missions who are classified as I-A–physically fit, I-D–military student, I-A-P–college student deferred until June 1951, II-A–civilian deferrment, II-C–agricultural deferrment, III-A–dependents, or who have not received notice of classification and who are not otherwise expressly exempt from call under the draft. This instruction to be operative as of January 31, 1951.  In all instances where exemptions are claimed, the young man recommended must produce for the inspection of the member of the General Authorities conducting the interview a classification card showing his status under the Selective Service.

You are also requested to inform young men within the above mentioned designations who have heretofore received calls for missions to enter the missionary home subsequent to January 22, 1951, that the calls so issued to them are withdrawn and that they will not be expected to come to the missionary home with any companies called for a time later than January 22, above mentioned. This however shall not apply to those registrants who have received missionary calls and have filed with the mission secretary written clearance from their draft boards prior to January 31.

You will observe that under these instructions young men within the designations mentioned will not solicit clearance from their draft boards as mentioned in our previous telegram since no further missionary calls will be issued to them during the period for which these instructions shall be operative.

With respect to the young men subject to the draft who are in the missionary home with the company entered January 22, 1951, you are advised that the instructions in the telegram above quoted will be applicable and that they will be permitted to leave for their missions only upon clearance from their draft boards.  Some modifications of the usual procedure in the missionary home have been made to permit those who have not been cleared to make further effort to obtain clearances from their boards.

These instructions will govern for the present and until further notice from us.

Sincerely your brethren,

Geo. Albert Smith

J. Reuben Clark, Jr.

David O. McKay

The First Presidency

P.S.  The assignment of missionaries eligible under the foregoing instructions to enter the missionary home February 5 has been postponed until February 19, 1951.”

Wed., 31 Jan., 1951:

10:40–Clifton Treglown, missionary assigned to the Samoan Mission from the Kenwood Ward, East Millcreek Stake, came in to say that although he has been through the Mission Home with the January 8 group and has been set apart as a missionary his Draft Board will not give him clearance.  He was signed up with the Naval Reserve who gave him a release.  (Pres. McKay went over to Brother Murdock with this case.)”

Wed., 31 Jan., 1951:

“[From the Deseret News]


Effective at once, only young men exempt from military service, will be eligible for calls to missionary service for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the First Presidency announced Wednesday.

This policy, for the present will restrict missionary calls to young men who are veterans of World War II, those classified as 4-F, disqualified for service in the armed forces, and those over the age of 25.

Letters have been sent by the First Presidency to all bishops and stake presidents giving instructions relative to calling of new missionaries.  These instructions, it was announced ‘will govern for the present, until further word from the First Presidency.’

On Jan. 13 the First Presidency sent telegrams to stake presidents explaining that due to the present emergency no calls for missionary service would be issued to young men who had not obtained clearance in writing from local draft boards.

Under the new instructions, young men will not seek written clearance from draft boards and only those not subject to call to military service under the present emergency will be eligible for calls to missionary service.

Women 23 years of age or over still are eligible for calls to missionary service.”

Thur., 1 Feb., 1951:

“4:10 p.m.–Bishop Price of Nibley Park Ward came in regarding two of his missionaries who went through the Missionary Home January 8 and left for their missions on the 17th.  Now Draft Board #24, this city, has called the parents and stated these boys are to be inducted on Feb. 6, and unless they come home the matter will be turned over to the District Attorney.

I told Bishop Price to get in writing the alleged release of these boys from R.O.T.C. and bring it in to the office.

. . . . 

Telephone Calls

1. Bishop Swensen of Logan called (18th Ward Logan)–said he had a group of boys who have been recommended for missions.  One boy especially–Dow Woodward–has gone to a lot of expense to get ready for his mission to Argentina and now has lost his chance to get back into school.  Bishop Swensen said he thinks it unfair that the Draft Board will not give him a statement so that he can leave for his mission.

I asked Bishop Swensen if he knew whether or not Colonel Gray had been up there and he stated that Col. Gray was to the draft board meeting last evening.  I told the Bishop to have the young man wait awhile and see what Colonel Gray reports to me about the draft board meeting held last evening.  Bishop Swensen said there is another young man in the same condition–has been ordained a minister of religion and all ready to go, yet all of the boys have been turned down.

. . . .

3. Called Colonel Gray–secretary reported that he is enroute home from Logan.

5 p.m.  A. Hamer Reiser came in regarding his son who has been in the January 22 group–Draft Board #21 has refused to let him go on his mission.  Brother Reiser, who is a lawyer, says they have no legal right to refuse to give the boy a statement that he has not received his induction notice.

As Pres. McKay was at home, Brother Reiser called him and explained the situation to him.  Pres. McKay said that he would call Colonel Gray tomorrow morning and see what can be done about it.”

Sat., 3 Feb., 1951:

“Spent the morning hours at the office.  Prepared a letter to boys who have been called on missions but have not been able to get clearance from their draft boards to go, and also to all others who have received calls to come into the Missionary [Home] at a speciried time.”

Mon., 5 Feb., 1951:

“10:35 a.m.–Showed President Clark draft of proposed letter to missionaries who have been called on missions but whose draft boards have refused to give them a statement regarding their status.  After reading it and make[ing] one or two minor suggestions, President Clark gave his approval of the letter.

. . . . 

Telephone Calls

1. Leo F. Johnson of Logan called regarding his son Boyd Evans Johnson.  Reported that the draft board in Logan has finally and definitely refused to give the statement necessary for him to leave for his mission.  I told Brother Johnson that the matter is now out of our hands and that we will send a letter honorably releasing his son from the call that he has received.  Brothr Johnson said the same is true of Wallace Tolman, and I said that a letter will also be sent to him.

2. Bishop Barnett of Murray called regarding Stanley Smith, one of his missionaries to whom the draft board (Bd 24) will not give clearance.

3. Brother Murdock–said that Brother Putnam called at the office and is desirous of taking his son to the draft board where Brother Critchlow, with whom he is well acquainted, will recognize the minister’s certificate.  I said that it will be all right for Brother Putnam to do this; that it is only right that the Board should recognize the minister’s certificate and then classify the boy as 4-D so that he can go on his mission.

. . . . 

7. A. Hamer Reiser called about his son Dick, whose draft board refuses to give him a statement.  Bro. Reiser expressed himself as feeling that they are entirely out of order in not giving this statement.”

Tues., 6 Feb., 1951:




February 6, 1951

[To be sent to prospective missionaries.]

Emergency conditions that have directly affected young men eligible for draft into military service have made it necessary and advisable to postpone and, in some cases, to rescind calls recently sent to prospective missionaries.  To specify in this letter what these conditions are is unnecessary.

One result of negotiations between the Church and the Utah Selective Service is the cancellation of your preparation for a mission and of your subsequent departure for your assigned field of labor.  This means that instead of your going into the mission field before you enlist in military service, that you will first hold yourself responsive to the call of your country, with the hope of serving your Church later as a missionary.

We share your disappointment in this change in your plans and in the postponement of the realization of your desires to represent the Church in the immediate future as a missionary.  You may be assured, however, that the Lord, who knows the real intent of every heart, will accept your desires to serve Him, and bless you accordingly.  He has stated definitely that when He gives a commandment to any of his children to perform a specific work in His name, and those who are thus called accept that work and then are prevented by untoward influences to complete their assignment, the Lord will ‘require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, and will accept of their offerings.’

We admonish you as one already considered worthy to presch the Gospel, that if and when you enter into the military service of our country you ever keep in mind the fact that yours is the responsibility to maintain your high integrity by strict compliance with the standards of the Church.  Thus will your daily life be a practical sermon to your comrades, and your conduct, worthy of emulation.  Who knows but this change from the mission to military or other duty may prove to be the means of bringing some honest person to a knowledge of the Truth!  This has been the experience of servicemen in the past.

‘And if it so be that you should . . . bring save it be one soul unto me,’ says the Saviour, ‘how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father.’

With this honorable release from your recent call to a mission, we send you our blessings and prayerful wishes that you may ever have strength and firmness enough to keep yourself ‘unspotted from the sins of the world,’ to be true to your parents, loyal to duty, and ever faithful to our Father in heaven.

God bless you!


Geo. Albert Smith

J. Reuben Clark, Jr.

David O. McKay

The First Presidency”

Tues., 6 Feb., 1951:

“Telephone Calls

1. Henry D. Moyle–called him and discussed the matter of missionaries now in the home–137 of whom the draft boards have refused to clear.  Among these are 13 who have been set apart, and stated that it is my opinion they are in a different status than the others who have not been set apart–they now have the authority of the priesthood.  Said it was understood by us that the draft board would consider these boys in the home but they have not been considered.  I then said to Bro. Moyle ‘What do you think of sending these 13 boys on missions and then notifying their draft boards that they are 4-D?’

Brother Moyle answered that he thought that would be a little drastic–that it was one thing to submit to them first, and another thing to go without first advising them of your procedure; that so long as we have taken the policy we have, he would personally hate to see any appeal cases, and would certainly hate to see them sent out of the United States; that some domestic missions would not be so bad.  I answered that we have advised all, excepting these 13 cases now being considered, not to make appeals but to accept the decision of the draft boards.

Brother Moyle then said he thinks if these 13 boys should take their minister’s certificates to their local board, showing the date they were set apart, and they personally request a 4-D classification, so far as he reads the law, they are entitled to this classification, and if then it were seen fit for them to appeal to the State Board, and if the State Board upholds the local draft boards by a unanimous decision, then it could be taken to Washington.  Said 13 is quite a number of cases.

He then said that he had had calls from lawyers and some people who have wanted to know what the church’s attitude is regarding an appeal, and that he has encouraged them not to do it.  Said he had come to the conclusion that if we should like these 13 cases would lay the foundation for an appeal.

Bro. Moyle then said, ‘What do you think about this–get a report on each case and have somebody go to each draft board in this valley and ask them for a rehearing for these particular men?’ Said he thought that would be the right procedure rather than send them out without going first to the draft boards.

I then said that probably in ordxer to lay the proper foundation for an appeal we should let the 13 boys get their own attorneys and ask them to accompany them to their draft boards, and present their minister’s certificate and ask to be classified in 4-D in order that they might fulfill their missions.  Bro. Moyle said he thought there would be no harm in that; that it would be better to have 13 lawyers than for the church to select a counsel to represent them. Stated he thought the church should not be known in it; that it would be better to come through the individuals and their own attorneys.  Said if the missionaries do not have attorneys that he could probably suggest some to them.”

Wed., 7 Feb., 1951:

“9 a.m.–Bro. Murdock called with regard to the boys who have not yet been cleared to go on their missions.  I told him that I should like him to get in touch with each of the 13 boys who have been set apart, and have them engage an attorney who should accompany them to their respective draft boards and present their minister’s certificate which entitles them to be classified as 4-D.  If they refuse to thus classify them, then they may make an appeal.”

Thur., 8 Feb., 1951:

“At 7:45 this morning, met by appointment Henry D. Moyle and Franklin J. Murdock regarding the 13 Elders who have not been cleared by their draft boards and who hold their minister’s certificate.  It was decided that Brother Murdock should contact each Elder by telephone and tell him to come to a meeting at a specified time and the problems associated with their going into the mission field would be discussed.  As these boys are ordained ministers of the Church they have every right to enter the mission field as planned.”

Fri., 9 Feb., 1951:

“At 10:30 called on General J. Wallace West at his office at Fort Douglas.  I explained to him all the difficulties we have had recently regarding the calling of 19-year-olds for missions are now settled, excepting only thirteen who have already been set apart, and who were in the January 22nd group at the Mission Home.  These thirteen were set apart on the morning of January 26, 1951, prior to our final meeting with General West, Colonel Gray, Captain Pay, Stephen L. Richards, Franklin J. Murdock, and David O. McKay at Ft. Douglas.

I stated that since these men have been set apart, have gone to the expense of obtaining passports, clothing, etc., they should be reclassified as 4-D, but some of the Boards have refused so to classify them.

General West agreed that they should be reclassified and the he would be willing to call the Chairman of each Board affected and recommend that they so classify them.  I promised to have a list in his hands before noon, so that he could call the Boards as promised.  This list was furnished at 11:45 a.m. that same day by Brother Murdock.

. . . .

Telephone Calls

1. President Arave of Blackfoot–called–said they are at the crossroads in Blackfoot regarding their fight against the Draft Board.  Said John A. Carver, the U.S. attorney, has talked to only the woman of the board in question, and naturally has not given us the support we wanted.  Pres. Arave then said he would like an appointment to come to the office and talk it over.  I told him to come Monday although the office is to be closed because of Lincoln’s Birthday and I had planned on not being here.  We agreed that 9 o’clock a.m. would be satisfactory.”

Sat., 10 Feb., 1951:

“According to appointment made over the telephone, I met President Parley A. Arave of the Blackfoot Stake.

He wanted to know whether they should continue their efforts to have the clerk of the Draft Board up there dismissed.

The United States Attorney (John Carver) had come down from Boise to investigate the affair, but he had heard only her side, and had returned to Boise reporting that she is free from blame.

I suggested that they get their side of the story before the authorities, and after having done so, to take such steps as they feel necessary either to settle the affair or appeal the case to the Governor.”

Tues., 13 Feb., 1951:

“Met with the Missionary Appointment Committee at 7:30 this morning.  5 Elders and 6 lady missionaries were assigned to the missions at this meeting–a decided decrease in the number of missionaries being sent out due to the national emergency, and the drafting of all boys from 19 to 25 inclusive.

. . . .

4:30 p.m.–Brother Stephen L. Richards and Elder Franklin Murdock came in to the office to discuss further the missions of the 13 Elders who have been ordained as ministers and yet have been refused clearance by their draft boards.  I stated that we would let these missionaries go to the missions to which they were originally assigned, and would not be transferred to any other mission.  Brother Richards had previously suggested that perhaps the Elders who were assigned to South America could be transferred to a mission in the United States.”

Mon., 19 Feb., 1951:

“9 a.m.–President Clark came in to the office–discussed with him, among other things, the matter of establishing headquarters for the Chinese Mission.  President Hilton A. Robertson has officially reported by letter the closing of the mission in China and is now enroute for Hawaii where he will await further instruction from us.”

Fri., 23 Feb., 1951:

“At 8 a.m. met by appointment James L. Barker, former President of the French Mission.  We discussed the best means of opening up a Mission in Italy.  Pres. Barker thought it would be well to have Elder Cummings who has been in Italy and who is now in Spain return to Italy and work from that end, but that idea did not appeal to me very much.  I do not know Brother Cummings, and we should be taking a long shot to have him deal with officials over there, so I advised that we work first with our senators in Washington, and through them get in touch with the Italian Embassy.”

Sat., 24 Feb., 1951:

“[Clare note]  Bishop Earl J. Glade called from Boise, Idaho.  Said he was calling in behalf of Governor JOrdan of the State of Idaho.

Milton Horsley, Chairman of the Republican State Committee in Idaho, and representing Governor Jordan in the case in question, will be in Salt Lake City this coming week, and the Governor is anxious that a meeting be held in order to find a solution to the Blackfoot, Bingham County, Selective Service problem as it relates to the Church.

Commander Willoch, Acting Director of the State Selective Service, will make a special trip by air to Salt Lake City Wednesday at 3:30 or 4 p.m.  He will have with him all the matter, and would like to have a conference at this time.

Bishop Glade said it is the suggestion of Commander Willoch that President Arave of the Blackfoot Stake be invited to attend this conference.

Bishop Glade then said that you had referred him to Brother Moyle when he was down here a short time ago, and I asked him if he could have this meeting with Brother Moyle, and he answered: ‘No, because Brother Moyle says he has no authority to act.’  And then said: ‘President McKay has been informed of the facts in the case.’

Bishop Glade also said that President Clark is well acquainted with Mr. Horsley.

We are to let Bishop Glade know by telephone Monday whether or not this appointment can be arranged for Wednesday.”

Mon., 26 Feb., 1951:

“12:30–President Cornelius Zappey and Brother Bruin called at the office.  Brother Bruin’s son was in the missionary home with the January 22 group and is one of the boys who could not get clearance from his draft board.  I told Brother Bruin that there are 15 or 20 of the Elders in the same position, and I di dnot see how they can get permission to go; however, if he wishes to appeal to the draft board, that is his right and privilege.

. . . . 

Telephone Calls

1. Bishop Glade of Boise, Idaho–President McKay in meeting when he called.  (see notes attached to Feb. 24, 1951)

At 10:40 a.m. President Parley A. Arave of the Blackfoot Stake called at the office.  We presented to him the telephone message from Bishop Earl Glade of Boise as given to Miss Middlemiss on Saturday, February 24, and also read a copy of a letter which Bishop Glade had sent to Brother Henry D. Moyle.

President Clark sat in and we listened to President Arave’s report on the visit of the Church committee to the State Selective Board of Idaho, and the Governor regarding the controversy over the elimination of the Secretary from Local Board #9 (?) or Bingham County, Idaho Draft Board.

President Clark and I were unanimous in the opinion that this matter should be confined to the Bingham County officials with such consultations with the State Selective Board as might be deemed necessary.

Accordingly, instructed Miss Middlemiss to telephone to Bishop Glade, instructing him to get in touch with President Arave.  (See notes attached of telephone conversation with Bishop Glade.)

2. 11:10 a.m.–Secretary’s call to Bishop Earl Glade–see notes attached.

Upon receipt of telephone message from Bishop Earl Glade at Boise, Idaho, President McKay instructed his secretary to convey by telephone the following to Bishop Glade:

Upon President McKay’s return to the office this morning, I reported to him your telephone message of Saturday, February 24, in reply to which he instructed me to suggest to you that you get in touch with President Arave of the Blackfoot Stake and through him arrange to hold that suggested meeting with Mr. Milton Horsley, Chairman of the Republican State Committee in Idaho, and hold that meeting in Idaho instead of coming here to Salt Lake City; that the controversy is one that should be localized in Idaho and settled among the officials of the Church and Selective Service and others interested, and not bring it to Salt Lake City.

I am instructed, also, to tell you (Bishop Glade) to get in communication at once with President Arave in whose hands the matter rests.

Bishop Glade, in answer to the above message, said: President Arave is undoubtedly working on instructions from President McKay.  I answered that I did not know as to that.  Bishop Glade then said that Mr. Horsley does not feel that a quiet, friendly settlement could properly be taken care of without direction from Salt Lake City; that there is a possibility that this situation is going to get into an opening hearing and that counter suits will be instigated, and that is the reason these men in Boise are trying to avoid it.  They would rather settle the whole thing.  Said further, ‘President Arave has not been very cooperative.  It will be regrettable if this gets out to the public, and the way President Arave is acting, it will have to come out.  These men here are very friendly to the Church, but President Arave has been very determined, and I am afraid unless he retreats, the whole thing will come out into the open, but possibly he (Pres. Arave) has instructions from President McKay.  I repeated that I did not know about that.

Bishop Glade then said that he would do as President McKay suggests and get in touch with President Arave.

3. Henry D. Moyle–Told him that I had instructed President Arave when he came down here recently to go to Boise and present his side of the question to the Selective Service officials.  That Pres. Arave said that when that attorney general visited Blackfoot he heard only the secretary’s side of the question and returned to Boise, saying that there was no cause for action.  I then told Pres. Arave that it is his right to go to Boise and present your side of the question to the officials, and let them decide. Brother Moyle then reported that he doubted that Pres. Arave had presented his side to them; that in the meantime the two generals in charge of the Selective Service went to Blackfoot and met with the Board, and suggested to the secretary that the only way out would be for her to resign, and she advised them she might have considered that except for the publicity that the matter had received; that she was sick and tired of the condition.  An auditor was engaged to examine all the records and proceedings of the Board, and Bro. Moyle said he understands that Brother Glade said the auditors reported there was no evidence of the slightet irregularity on the secretary’s part.  The secretary says that she has retained legal counsel and has decided that she will not resign under fire, and that she is going to sue the church for defamation of character.  The two generals that were there tried to get some attorney that was representing the church–one that had been designated by Pres. Arave, and he (the attorney) advised at that time that he was busy in Idaho Falls and could not come.

Brother Moyle then said that he is still of the opinion that Pres. Arave should take his attorney to go to Boise and present his case to the leading officials, and abide by their decisions; that he thinks it is unwise for the authorities here to get into the fight; that it had better be hushed up.  Said that Pres. Arave had not given him any definite proof of irregularities, and I answered ‘Other than that she signed her name as a member of the Board when she had not right.'”

Thur., 1 Mar., 1951:

“Stephen L. Richards–Called to report his visit with Mr. Horsley of Idaho relative to the Selective Service controversy–Said he thought the whole thing is really a Republican issue, also that he had advised Mr. Horsley, who is a representative of the Governor, that the whole matter should be settled up there, that the brethren here would give no direction to the solution of their problems. Brother Richards suggested to Brother Horsley that probably they could get the secretary up there to resign; if not, they may be able to get her to make a retraction of some of the statements she has made.  Mr. Horsley said that so far as actual removal of the secretary from her position is concerned, he has investigated and received legal opinion from every source, and finds that this cannot be done.  He further said that there is a division of opinion among our people up there, and that a great many who have signed a petition to have this secretary removed from office, have asked to have their names stricken from the petition.  I said that Pres. Arave had reported to me that he could get 1500 more to sign if need be; that he is very sure of his position in the matter. Bro. Richards said that Mr. Horsley expressed appreciation for the opportunity to talk to him about the matter.  Bro. Richards said he thinks the conference did some good.

Brother Richards then referred to a letter from General Walsh, head of the Selective Service in Idaho, stating that at present General Walsh is in Washington to see General Hershey, National head of the Selective Service, and that he (Bro. Richards) thought it would be well to wait for his return before answering the letter.”

Thur., 8 Mar., 1951:

“Senator Arthur V. Watkins called from Washington, D.C. about the military manpower bill now before the Senate.  Said a number of years ago when the bill for universal military training was being considered, he received a letter from the First Presidency opposing universal military training, and was desirous of knowing if the Presidency were of the same opinion regarding this matter as they were when they wrote that letter.  I stated that we are still of the same opinion, and are not in favor of universal military training.

Senator Watkins said their opponents are proposing an amendment to this universal military training to commit the country to universal training and leave it to the President to go ahead and invoke the military on his own terms.  Said further–‘It is the same deal only in a much worse form–the President is going to make all the rules.’  The draft law, he said, expires in July, and they have got to get an extension to it, that they will make an effort to get ahead of it, but they do not have the votes.  At any rate, they will go on record as feeling that the entire congress should approve troop assignments overseas.

I told Senator Watkins that I thought the brethren–meaning Arthur Watkins and Harold Bennett–are on the right tract, and said: ‘Don’t let the power leave the congress and pass into the hands of a man who may be wholly incompetent to deal with it; we must not undermine our liberties.’  Senator Watkins answered:  ‘You do not realize the extent of the incompetency.’

He then said that they may not be able to get it our of the bill; that we cannot leave the country without a draft bill, but that they are hoping in the ’52 election to change things.  Said that Senator Wallace Bennett will go along with him.

The following is a clipping from the Deseret News, Sat. March 10:


Washington–Senator Watkins told the Senate Friday he voted for the draft law with great reservations.

He declared:

I am voting for this bill in the hope that at some time in the future we may get another look at the military manpower situation and may be able to write the provisions of a military training bill which will fit the defense needs of the country and at the same time preserve the liberties of the people.

The Utahn made it clear he approved the measure only because his choice was to ‘take this bill or nothing.’  He said he favored ‘a draft act of some kind’ and that ‘this will be the only opportunity of getting a selective service law extension which is a must in view of our present dangerous international situation.’

He added:

I do not like the 18-year-old provision.  I think it is a bad thing to draft the 18-year-olds of this country under the conditions in which they will likely be surrounded in training camps.”

Mon., 26 Mar., 1951:

“Advised Brother [Matthew] Cowley to send a cable to Brother Robertson, advising him that he may bring the missionaries of the Chinese Mission with him to San Francisco, and to call President McKay by telephone when they arrive, and it will then be determined whether Brother Robertson should come to conference.

President Gardner of the Northern California Mission has secured headquarters for the Chinese Mission in the Sunset Ward at $200 a month.”

Mon., 26 Mar., 1951:

“Pres. J. Orval Ellsworth of the Central States Mission telephoned from Independence.  Said that Bishop Thompson of the Malta Ward had called him at the request of the family of A. Ray Kempton, stating that Elder Kempton’s father had passed away and the family is desirous that Elder Kempton come home to attend the funeral.  They have wired money for his air-passage home.  I answered that inasmuch as the family has made the request, and have sent the money for his fare, there is no other recourse than to let the Elder go home; however, that the Church is not entirely in accord with missionaries leaving their field of labor for this purpose, because they cannot do any good, and it breaks into their mission.”

Mon., 26 Mar., 1951:

“President Mortimer of the New York Stake telephoned with respect to Ruth Rose who was interviewed for a mission by Levi Edgar Young when he was attending the stake conference.  The young woman is not yet 20 years of age.  Her fiance is now on a mission in South America.  As this young lady is under the required age for lady missionaries, she should not have been recommended for a mission, but Pres. Mortimer said that he sought the advice of Joseph F. Merrill of the Council of the Twelve and he also advised that the girl be recommended.  Brother Young had also assured Pres. Mortimer that the call would go forth to the young lady, and he had therefore gone ahead with the missionary farewell, and all other preparations had been made for her to go.

I explained to Pres. Mortimer that if we made an exception in her case, then we have fifty others who would like us to make an exception in their cases.

I told Pres. Mortimer that we would take this matter to the meeting tomorrow morning and let him know by wire what the decision of the committee is.

(Later-wire sent to Pres. Mortimer stating that this sister could go on her mission.)”

Wed., 28 Mar., 1951:

“Before returning home this evening, I met at the office Senator Wallace Bennett, and we considered the missionary difficulties as they relate to the Selective Service.

Brother Bennett reported that there is really a misunderstanding back in Washington, created principally by Colonel Oscar W. Gray of the Utah State Selective Service, and through statistics that have been sent back there which have given National Headquarters the wrong impression.  It looks as though we are trying to evade the draft.  Brother Bennett left some reports with me which I shall study and see what can be done to clarify the impression that has been given.

Senator Bennett commended (first) the work that has been done by Robert W. Barker who has really carried on the work that we have assigned to Ernest Wilkinson with regard to the Selective Service.

(Second) Senator Bennett said that he would be very glad to do anything he can to set matters right and to give the correct impression to Nat’l. Dir., General Hershey, and if we will send our communications to him, or any request, that he and Robert W. Barker will do anything they can to bring about a correct understanding.

(Third) Brother Bennett said that he had spoken to Brother Murdock about the futility of appealing to Washington regarding any German problem, or any problem that relates to the West German missionaries.  He stated that they now have a German Consul in New York, and our problems should go to New York, possibly through President Morris, rather than to send them to Washington, because Washington officials have to confer with those in New York.  Bro. Bennett said that he had spoken to Brother Murdock, but he does not pay any attention to it.

I promised to give Bro. Bennett a complete report of our relationship with the Selective Service in regard to the recent controversy and misunderstanding that arose over the Jan. 22nd group.”

Thur., 29 Mar., 1951:

“After answering a long distance call from my sister, Anne, (Mrs. Thomas B. Farr, Smithfield, Utah) who called regarding the case of Floyd Meyers, missionary who was called to the West Central States, and who was very desirous of joining his twin brother who is now serving a mission in the Swiss-Austrian Mission, and after dictating a few notes to my secretary, Miss Middlemiss, I left for home.

Had my secretary Clare contact the missionary office and have Elder Meyers’ missionary call changed from the West Central States to the Swiss-Austrian Mission.”

Fri., 30 Mar., 1951:

“I then spent the next hour and a half going over the entire Selective Service situation with Brother Stephen L. Richards. Concluded that we would wait for a report of the District Attorney’s interview with the State Selective Service.

Secondly, that we would prepare a brief, though comprehensive statement, of conferences held between church officials and the State Selective Service since December, 1950 up to the present time.”

Sat., 31 Mar., 1951:

“At 8 o’clock this morning I met a delegation of men from St. George–Brother Leo Snow of the St. George Draft Board, and Bro. Woodbury.  They came in to have cleared up a misunderstanding that exists in St. George regarding the relationship between the Church and the State Selective Service in calling missionaries.  The conversation disclosed the fact that they had not received Bulletin #3-51 from the State Selective Service; at any rate, Brother Snow, who is a member of the Draft Board, had not seen it.

There [sic] greatest difficulty resulted in the fact that the Draft Board refused to recognize the agreement that was in effect in December 1950; viz., that young men of draft age who have received their notice of pre-induction physical examination should not be recommended for missionary service.  If young men who have been called by the Church to serve as missionaries receive their notice of pre-induction physical examination before they enter the Mission Home, the Church will excuse these young men from ministerial service, but if they enter the Mission Home before the above notice is received they will be deferred from military service for the duration of their mission terms.

Brother Stephen L. Richards who was present during the entire consultation, agreed to accompany the two brethren up to the State Selective Service and clarify the situation with Colonel Gray.”

Wed., 4 Apr., 1951:

“Returned to the office at 2:15 p.m., and at 2:30 p.m. went over to the Hotel Utah where I met by previous appointment members of Draft Board #21–Mr. Hampton, Attorney Irvine, and Mayor Glade are members of this Board.

I explained to these men the whole situation concerning the missionaries of the Church and the selective service.  I discovered that the members of this board had not received the directive of the State Selective Service which corrected the misunderstandings of a previous bulletin, although it was supposed to be in their hands.  I told the members that I was sorry to detain them, but they stated that they thanked me for explaining the matter to them. I made no recommendations to them, and to a man they assured me that they would not bring the missionaries in question home from their missions.  I appreciated their spirit of cooperation.”

Tues., 10 Apr., 1951:

“At 7:30 a.m. this morning attended the Missionary Appointment Committee meeting.  Three Elders and fourteen lady missionaries were assigned to the different missions of the Church.

Tues., 17 Apr., 1951:

“8:15 a.m.–President and Sister Badwagon Piranian, recently home from presiding over the Near East Mission which has been closed for the time being, called at the office.  After a discussion regarding Mission matters as they affect the Near East Mission, I told President Piranian that we will hold him responsible for the two Branches over in the Near East, and inasmuch as he will be responsible for them by correspondence and otherwise, we will transfer him to the Coast, not as President of the Near East Mission as that mission is now closed, but as President of a Mission that we shall set up on the Coast.  I instructed him to go to Fresno and secure a house–a modest place–and begin work from that center, and we will send him definite word later as to what extent he will organize the Mission.

I promised him no missionaries, but suggested that we will furnish him an automobile, and I will report to him at 4 p.m. this afternoon as to whether we have a car here for him.  So to all extents and appearances he is still President of the Near East Mission.”

Fri., 20 Apr., 1951:

“Senator Wallace Bennett called from Washington–Extending congratulations, he said: ‘We are all very happy with your choice–I am sure you are going to have a wonderful experience, and the Church is going to grow under your presidency.’  Senator Bennett then said that he had received a wire from President Stephen L. Richards stating that he will be in Washington Sunday night and asking that he (Senator Bennett) arrange an appointment with General Hershey of the National Selective Headquarters.  As General Hershey is out of town and is not expected to return until Wednesday, Senator Bennett wanted to know where he could reach Pres. Richards so that he could advise him of the fact.  I promised Senator Bennett that I would secure President Richards address, communicate with him, and tell him to get in touch with Senator Bennett.  Later, I learned that President Richards is calling his wife at 2 p.m. from Toledo, Ohio where he is visiting his daughter. Instructed Clare to get in touch with Sister Richards and convey the information to her so that she could tell President Richards to get into telephone communication with Senator Bennett.”

Wed., 25 Apr., 1951:

“Mr. Jester of the Associated Press called and asked for a sttement regarding the Church’s views on Communism, missionary work, etc. (see notes attached):

Mr. Jester:  Would like a story on the L.D.S. Church for use in papers in England.

Is the Church expanding?

Pres. McKay:  By leaps and bounds.

Mr. Jester:  Is it expanding in interest?

Pres. McKay:  That is illustrated by the number of prominent men from the different parts of the United States and America in expressing their interest in the reorganization of the First Presidency.  Have had a great many comments from leading business men, leading statesmen, ministers of other religions; the interest seems to be general.

Mr. Jester:  Have you had comment from England and countries in Europe?

Pres. McKay:  Only from members and officers there; there has scarcely been time to receive comments from others.

Mr. Jester:  Regarding expansion of the church–are you continuing to expand?

Pres. McKay:  We have already organized a Branch in China, but due to the present emergency we have transferred headquarters back to San Francisco.  We have in mind entering India and establishing an Indian Mission–that is under consideration.  We have no missionaries there at present, but have had requests for them.

Mr. Jester:  How about Europe?

Pres. McKay:  There will be no more expansion under present conditions.  However, we have missions in three South American Countries, West Germany, East Germany, Holland, France, Great Britain–Czechoslovakian Mission has recently been closed.  Our missionaries are carrying on as usual, but we cannot increase the number at present because of the Draft Ssituation–we are not calling our young men at present.  There are about 5,000 missionaries returning within the next 18 months, and they will enter the draft immediately upon their return.  We shall replace them, but of course not in equal numbers.

Mr. Jester:  What effect do you think your missionaries will have in establishing peace and in counteracting Communism?

Pres. McKay:  Our missionaries are the real peacemakers.  They are abroad proclaiming peace, founded on the firm foundation of peace as established by our Lord and Savior.  We do not in any way affiliate with Communism.  Communism pretends to foster democratic principles, while in practice it is the most cruel of modern dictatorships.  Our missionaries are preaching individual freedom; Communism robs a person of his free agency, and makes the individual a mere puppet of the State.  In a true democracy the State exists for the protection and welfare of the individual.  In a Communistic State, the individual exists for the welfare of the State.

Mr. Jester:  Do you feel that your missionary program slows down the effects of Communism?

Pres. McKay:  Our missionaries are told not to enter into any politics, and to take no part whatever in national politics.  They are sent out to teach the principles of true Christianity, and to teach the people that these principles are fundamental in the establishing of peace.  As a matter of fact no [person can be a] member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and be a Communist at the same time,–the two are diametrically opposed.

Mr. Jester:  What do the missionaries emphasize in their work?

Pres. McKay:  They preach adherence to the first principles of the Gospel as preached by the Savior when he was on earth two thousand years ago.  You may say it this way:  We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost; We believe in the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ; in baptism, and in the living of a clean, righteous life.  They preach the universl brotherhood of man in the truest sense of the word.  Furthermore, each missionary pays his own expenses, or his parents.

Mr. Jester:  ‘Why do they do it?’

Pres. McKay:  They do it out of love for Truth, and that is one of the great secrets of their success, and they do it of their own free will.

Mr. Jester:  I believe you have given me just what I will need. Is the Church panning anything special for the Festival which is to be held in Great Britain in the near future?

Pres. McKay:  The President of the British Mission–President Stayner Richards–is planning a program, and will participate with the government in this celebration.

Mr. Jester:  Are any persons from this country attending the celebration?  How about you?

Pres. McKay:  I think I shall not attend.  I cannot say for sure about any one else.  A visit of a General Authority will be after the celebration, probably sometime the latter part of June.

Mr. Jester:  What is the present attitude toward polygamy?

Pres. McKay:  You know the attitude of the Church concerning this question; that it has not been practiced since 1890.  The less you say about this question the better.

Mr. Jester:  Does the church enforce the law regarding a violation with respect to polygamy?

Pres. McKay:  Any man who enters into it is excommunicated from the Church.”

Thur., 26 Apr., 1951:

“Pres. Arave [Blackfoot, Idaho] then referred to the Solemn Assembly held April 9, and said, ‘That was a divinely inspired meeting; we had confidence that the Lord is guiding His people. We were thrilled, and want you to know that we are behind you every inch.’  I answered that I was never so conscious of the fact that there is mighty strength in the support of the members of the Church.

Pres. Arave informed me that they now have a new clerk on the Draft Board up there; that they have won a real victory; and everything is moving along as they want it to.”

Wed., 2 May, 1951:

“President Albert Choules of the Southern States Mission called to ask permission for Sister Choules to come home to the funeral of her brother–Elder T. Ross Wilson, 2nd Counselor in the Teton Stake Presidency.  I told President Choules that I thought he should accompany Sister Choules and be by her side during this time; to arrange for his counselors to take charge of the Mission during his absence.  Also told him to express to the bereaved family the sincere sympathy of Sister McKay and me.”

Mon., 15 Oct., 1951

“[Clare note]  Senator Arthur V. Watkins called from Washington, D.C. and said that in answer to the wire received regarding an appointment with the Argentina Ambassador, he had been successful in arranging for an interview for Tuesday, October 23 at 11:30 a.m. Senator Watkins said that he would be very pleased to accompany Pres. McKay to the Embassy; that he would have a car at his disposal; in fact, his whole office would be at Pres. McKay’s service.  Said to get in touch with him at the Senate Building (Room 442) as soon as he (President McKay) arrives.”

Sun., 21 Oct., 1951:

“[Washington, D.C.]  Through the kindness of Senator Arthur V. Watkins, an appointment with the Argentine Ambassador (Dr. Hipolito J. Paz) was put forward from Tuesday, Oct. 23, 11:30 a.m. to Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Our conversation with Dr. Paz was satisfactory in every respect. Brother Brady did excellent work in translating, although the Ambassador speaks veryi good English, so the important part of the interview was in English.  Later, at his request, we submitted our application in writing which was to secure three-year visas for each of our missionaries to Argentina.  Our written application was delivered in person by Brother Bardy on Monday, the following day. Senator Watkins also wrote a letter of endorsement and recommendation.”

Mon., 26 Nov., 1951:

“Talked over the telephone with President Stephen L. Richards regarding David S. Haymore as a prospective president for the Quatemala Mission.  President Richards mentioned that Brother Haymore had been recommended by one of the brethren as president but was not considered as a likely prospect.  I recalled that that was when he was considered as president of the Argentine Mission, but that I now refer to him as president of the Quatemala Mission. It is true that he is a little slow, not energetic enough, but the following desirable qualities are to be considered:  He has had a daughter who filled a mission in Quatemala, he knows the Spanish language, is well enough off that he will not be a hindrance to the Church.  Further, that President Clark and I feel that he is a man who is well worthy to become president of the Quatemala Mission, and I feel that his practical experience, his businesslike demeanor and judgment would justify us in letting him open the Quatemala Mission.

President Richards said he didn’t know Brother Haymore well enough to judge him, but that he was of the opinion that he had been regarded as not too progressive.  I answered that that is true, but that his judgment is sound, he is practical, and those qualities are needed in that position.

I then said that I learned that his daughter graduates from the University of Arizona this next June.  If she does not marry she will live up here with her sister.  He has two sons, one of whom next year will be in the draft; the other son, who is about fifteen years of age, could accompany his father and mother to Quatemala. If President Haymore’s mission is put off until June, his family conditions would be very satisfactory.  He does not want to take his wife away from the children at the present time, which is another sign of good judgment on his part.

It was agreed that we should let Brother Haymore return to Tucson and not go on his mission to Argentina at this time–that he can render a greater service by waiting until June at which time he can take his wife and preside over the Quatemala Mission.

I said further with reference to Brother Haymore’s ability as a mission president–that he had managed the affairs of the Spanish American Mission very satisfactorily; that we didn’t have any trouble with the missionaries, and that he left the Mission in good shape.It was also decided that missionaries for Quatemala could be obtained from the Mexican Mission, and they could train the younger missionaries in Quatemala.”

Fri., 7 Dec., 1951:

“9 to 10:30–First Presidency’s meeting–Among important items considered were:  (1) Upon the invitation of the First Presidency, the bretureh of the First Council of Seventy–with the exception of Oscar A. Kirkham, who was out of the city–called, and President Richards, at my request, explained to them the First Presidency’s decision, which had been approved by the Council of the Twelve, to reorganize the missionary set-up in the Church.  The brethren of the Seventy individually and collectively approved the plan as presented.”

Wed., 12 Dec., 1951:

“9 to 10:30–First Presidency’s meeting, at which the following are a few of the most important items considered:

. . . .

3.  Discussed at some length duties of Gordon Hinckley and Franklin Murdock.  Brother Hinckley is to be made an assistant to President Richards, Brother Murdock to be transportation agent, to do mission auditing and try the experiment of revising our mission accounting system, whereby we could dispense with the services of one or two missionaries in each mission office.  The experiment to be made with a number of missions nearby, establishing a central disbursing system.”

Mon., 17 Dec., 1951:

“8 a.m.–Elder Delbert Stapley came in–he brought up three questions–

1. Relating to the allowances given the General Authorites–if they are only living allowances, why should they pay income tax on them?  I answered that they should not any more than the Mission Presidents whom we have instructed not to pay income tax.  The government objected to their not paying but finally after an appeal to Washington it was decided that Presidencies of Missions need not pay taxes since they are not paid salaries, but that they should pay income tax on what they spend from their allowance for food and clothing. However, this was such a small amount that they have said nothing about it, so our Mission Presidents do not pay an income tax.

I said further that the same thing should prevail with members of the Twelve who receive only a living allowance, but rather than bring the question up again, we have suggested that they add that to their yearly report when they make out their income tax statement.

2. The second point:  The missionaries in some missions are not using Sunday for missionary work.  I stated that that condition must be corrected at once.  [No third point mentioned.]”

Tues., 18 Dec., 1951:

“President Thomas W. Gardner of the Northern States Mission telephoned for permission for one of his missionaries to come home to the funeral services of his brother.

I told him that we look with disfavor upon missionaries coming home for funerals, but if the family has requested it, and it is understood that they will have to pay the transportation to his home and return, we shall give our permission.  Instructed President Gardner to see that his companion is placed with some other missionary, and not left alone.”

Tues., 8 Jan., 1952:

“9 to 10 a.m.–Engaged with my counselors in a meeting of the First Presidency.

Among other things, we agreed that part-time, as well as full-time missionaries in Missions, (local missionaries) should be called by the mission presidents, they assuming responsibility therefor; that, however, we should prepare a suggestive form of interview for use by the mission president when interviewing prospective local missionaries.”

Wed., 9 Jan., 1952:

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

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

Tues., 29 Jan., 1952:

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

. . . .

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

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

Wed., 20 Feb., 1952:

“President Benjamin L. Bowring of the Texas-Louisiana Mission [phoned] regarding Elder Beckett, son of Ray L. Beckett of Los Angeles, who spoke to me when I was last in Los Angeles about his concern over his son’s health.  Elder Beckett was transferred from the Norwegian Mission so that he could be nearer to his home, and receive physical examinations.  He was sent to the Dee hospital where he spent six weeks under specialists who could find nothing wrong with him.  When Elder Beckett returned to his mission field he still complained, so President Bowring sent him to at least six specialists who have not been able to find anything wrong with him. President Bowring stated that ‘Elder Beckett does not seem to get the spirit of his work; hyet he is willing and tries hard for awhile, and then starts to complain of this pain in his back.’

I suggested that we should try once more to find out what is wrong with him.  Pres. Bowring agreed, and it was decided to send him to the L.D.S. Hospital for a thorough going over.  Pres. Bowring said further that it would be much better for the Elder and for the Mission for him to go home; that his condition ‘ties up’ every other missionary.  I replied that I felt impressed to give him another chance.”

Fri., 4 Apr., 1952:

“We then left for the Tabernacle to attend the Missionary Meeting at which General Authorities, Presidents of Stakes and their counselors, and Bishops of Wards and their counselors were in attendance.

At this meeting a standard missionary plan of the Church for teaching the gospel in the missions and stakes of the Church, was presented.

I was one of the speakers on this occasion–I stressed the great potential reservoir available in the Church for missionary work, and gave experiences of my own missionary service.”

Thur., 12 Jun., 1952:

“[Visit to Queen Juliana of the Netherlands]  I took occasion to express pleasure at her recent visit to America, and commended her for her excellent address before the United States Senate on ‘Peace.’  ‘Oh! she modestly replied, ‘Those were just old-fashioned thoughts.’  To which I answered, ‘So also was the statement of the Savior, when He said, “Love the Lord thy God with all thy might, mind, and strength, and thy neighbor as thyself.”  These, too, are old-fashioned, but they are eternally applicable.’  She responded to this comment with a smile, and a nod of her head in affirmation.

. . . .

During this conversation, of which this is merely a synopsis, Her Majesty had poured out three cups of tea and passed wafers.  We accepted the wafers and as we left the cups of tea untouched, we had occasion to explain the ‘Word of Wisdom’ which advises that it is best not to drink tea, coffee, use tobacco, or drink intoxicating liquors.  Her brow and eyes showed a little surprise, and then she asked, ‘Is that because of the stimulants?’  Receiving our affirmative answer, she said, ‘Do you think there is any stimulant in tea?’

As we were talking then about the Church and its mission and preaching the Gospel, I asked if she would accept an inscribed copy of ‘The Book of Mormon.’  I stated that I would have brought it with me, but I could find none suitably bound.  ‘Oh!’ she replied, ‘That would be all right.  You shouldn’t go to any extra expense.’ She said, ‘I should be pleased to receive one if you’re kind enough to send it.’

At the expiration of fully half an hour, I arose stating that I felt that we should not intrude upon her time, to which she replied, ‘Oh!  Are you going so soon?  I have all the afternoon free.’

We again thanked her for the interview and her gracious entertainment; bade her good-bye; she extended her hands again and expressed pleasure at our having called on her.

As Sister McKay and I re-entered the hallway, His Excellency, Baron von Heeckeren returned and spoke to Her Majesty, and then he joined us, accompanied us down the stairway to the open door, and instead of saying good-bye there at the entrance to the palace, he accompanied us down the steps in front of the palace and greeted each member of our party–a very gracious thing to do and we believe that that was at the suggestion of Her Majesty.

Thus ended a very memorable visit which will not be entirely completed until we shall have sent to her a Morocco bound volume, inscribed, of ‘The Book of Mormon.'”

“Baron van Heeckeren van Molecaten, private secretary to Her Majesty, the Queen of the Netherlands, wrote President McKay:

‘Her Majesty, the Queen of the Netherlands, wants me to convey to you her sincerest thanks for the beautifully bound, inscribed copy of the Book of Mormon, which you were so kind to present to her.

‘It is Her Majesty’s wish to express once more how much the discussions during your visit have interested her.’

The letter from Soestdijk was dated July 28, 1952.”

Thur., 18 Jul., 1952:

“[Extract from letter by DOM to maternal relatives in Wales]  Mrs. McKay and I, as well as David L. and Mildred were sorry that we had to make our visit at Merthyr so brief; but we had been informed that an invitation would probably be extended to us to attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, July 17, which would make it necessary for us to return from Wales to London on the train leaving Cardiff on the morning of July 17.

It is fortunate that we carried out our plans accordingly, for we found awaiting us the invitation from Buckingham Palace to attend a Garden Party of Queen Elizabeth II.

Accordingly, even as it was, we did not have too much time to dress and get to the palace on time.  We were surprized to find several thousand all ready assembled.

There was no formal reception as we had anticipated, but Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Princess Margaret, Prince Consort Phillip, and other members of the Royal Household were in attendance during the entire two hours.

Light refreshments were served and two Royal bands furnished music.

Intermittent showers compelled many of us who went without umbrellas to seek shelter in the palace, which was in itself an intensely interesting experience.

As an afternoon party in the Garden of Buckingham Palace, it proved to be both interesting and to us an extra-ordinary event, but as a visit to Royalty, it could not compare with our personal conference with Her Majesty, Juliana, Queen of the Netherlands, who, at the request of the Consul of the Netherlands of San Francisco, invited us to Her Majesty’s summer home at Soestdijk, near the Hague.  Our thirty minute conference with her Majesty was one of our most precious experiences of our entire trip through nine European countries.”

[From McKay’s handwritten diary of the trip:

“Elder Brown drove us to Buckingham Palace where we presented our special invitation and tickets and were soon in the Palace and Grounds with 5,000 other guests!  Drenching rain!  No formal reception by her Majesty, although she was on the grounds, but she was surrounded by such a dense crowd that it was difficult even to see her.  How different from our personal audience with her Majesty Juliana, Queen of the Netherlands!”

Sat., 26 Jul., 1952:

[Synopsis of McKay’s comments upon his return, in Improvement Era, Sep., 1952]

“MISSIONARIES:  In all missions the missionaries are doing work of which we can be proud; in all lands they are winning the respect and admiration of the people through their lives and their teachings.  Their conduct and devotion, their faith and integrity strengthened President McKay’s faith in the youth of the Church. There is a great need for more missionaries.  Every mission is calling for more missionaries to fill vacancies occurring now that releases are frequent among the first postwar missionaries.

SOCIALISM:  Compared with the England of twenty-nine years ago, this great country is suffering from the blight of Socialism.  He is more convinced that ever that ‘we want no socialism in the United States.’

THE IRON CURTAIN:  The Church has eight thousand five hundred members in the Russian zone of Germany, behind the Iron Curtain. American missionaries cannot enter this zone, so all missionary work is carried on by local full-time and part-time missionaries. Th Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants are permitted behind the Iron Curtain, as is the Bible, but no other Church literature is made available to missionaries or members of the Church in the Russian zone of Germany.  Copies of Der Stern, the Church publication in German, have been admitted to the Russian zone in Austria.  A single copy of the Book of Mormon costs the equivalent of three and one-half days of labor behind the Iron Curtain. Arrangements were made for furnishing eight hundred copies of the Book of Mormon for use by missionaries behind the Iron Curtain, a gift from the Church.

TEMPLES:  One of the steps which will contribute to the stability and growth of the Church in Europe is the decision to build temples to provide ordinances and blessings which have never before been made available in Europe.  The new temple in Berne will not be an expensive one.  It will, in reality, be the first of a new style of temple buildings.  It will, however, adequately serve the needs of the people in providing all the temple ordinances.

The announcement that a temple site has been obtained in Europe was not wholly unexpected.  For some time it has been felt that many of the recent emigrants from Europe, especially among the older age groups, would have been happier had they had a temple in Europe whereby they could perform the sacred ordinances for themselves and for their kindred dead, rather than to have to come to America for this privilege.  There has been some concern, too, to give these good people the endowment in their native tongue.”

Thur., 31 Jul., 1952:

“[Extract of letter sent to all European Mission Presidents visited by President McKay on his tour.]  In the first meeting of the First Presidency, following my return, I reported, among other urgent matters, the great need of missionaries to replace the all-too-rapidly dwindling corps now laboring in each mission.  Truly, ‘the harvest is great, but the labourers are few.’  Be assured we shall do what we can to replenish your dwindling numbers.”

Fri., 4 Apr., 1952:

“We then left for the Tabernacle to attend the Missionary Meeting at which General Authorities, Presidents of Stakes and their counselors, and Bishops of Wards and their counselors were in attendance.

At this meeting a standard missionary plan of the Church for teaching the gospel in the missions and stakes of the Church, was presented.

I was one of the speakers on this occasion–I stressed the great potential reservoir available in the Church for missionary work, and gave experiences of my own missionary service.”

Thur., 12 Jun., 1952:

“[Visit to Queen Juliana of the Netherlands]  I took occasion to express pleasure at her recent visit to America, and commended her for her excellent address before the United States Senate on ‘Peace.’  ‘Oh! she modestly replied, ‘Those were just old-fashioned thoughts.’  To which I answered, ‘So also was the statement of the Savior, when He said, “Love the Lord thy God with all thy might, mind, and strength, and thy neighbor as thyself.”  These, too, are old-fashioned, but they are eternally applicable.’  She responded to this comment with a smile, and a nod of her head in affirmation.

. . . .

During this conversation, of which this is merely a synopsis, Her Majesty had poured out three cups of tea and passed wafers.  We accepted the wafers and as we left the cups of tea untouched, we had occasion to explain the ‘Word of Wisdom’ which advises that it is best not to drink tea, coffee, use tobacco, or drink intoxicating liquors.  Her brow and eyes showed a little surprise, and then she asked, ‘Is that because of the stimulants?’  Receiving our affirmative answer, she said, ‘Do you think there is any stimulant in tea?’

As we were talking then about the Church and its mission and preaching the Gospel, I asked if she would accept an inscribed copy of ‘The Book of Mormon.’  I stated that I would have brought it with me, but I could find none suitably bound.  ‘Oh!’ she replied, ‘That would be all right.  You shouldn’t go to any extra expense.’ She said, ‘I should be pleased to receive one if you’re kind enough to send it.’

At the expiration of fully half an hour, I arose stating that I felt that we should not intrude upon her time, to which she replied, ‘Oh!  Are you going so soon?  I have all the afternoon free.’

We again thanked her for the interview and her gracious entertainment; bade her good-bye; she extended her hands again and expressed pleasure at our having called on her.

As Sister McKay and I re-entered the hallway, His Excellency, Baron von Heeckeren returned and spoke to Her Majesty, and then he joined us, accompanied us down the stairway to the open door, and instead of saying good-bye there at the entrance to the palace, he accompanied us down the steps in front of the palace and greeted each member of our party–a very gracious thing to do and we believe that that was at the suggestion of Her Majesty.

Thus ended a very memorable visit which will not be entirely completed until we shall have sent to her a Morocco bound volume, inscribed, of ‘The Book of Mormon.'”

“Baron van Heeckeren van Molecaten, private secretary to Her Majesty, the Queen of the Netherlands, wrote President McKay:

‘Her Majesty, the Queen of the Netherlands, wants me to convey to you her sincerest thanks for the beautifully bound, inscribed copy of the Book of Mormon, which you were so kind to present to her.

‘It is Her Majesty’s wish to express once more how much the discussions during your visit have interested her.’

The letter from Soestdijk was dated July 28, 1952.”

Thur., 18 Jul., 1952:

“[Extract from letter by DOM to maternal relatives in Wales]  Mrs. McKay and I, as well as David L. and Mildred were sorry that we had to make our visit at Merthyr so brief; but we had been informed that an invitation would probably be extended to us to attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, July 17, which would make it necessary for us to return from Wales to London on the train leaving Cardiff on the morning of July 17.

It is fortunate that we carried out our plans accordingly, for we found awaiting us the invitation from Buckingham Palace to attend a Garden Party of Queen Elizabeth II.

Accordingly, even as it was, we did not have too much time to dress and get to the palace on time.  We were surprized to find several thousand all ready assembled.

There was no formal reception as we had anticipated, but Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Princess Margaret, Prince Consort Phillip, and other members of the Royal Household were in attendance during the entire two hours.

Light refreshments were served and two Royal bands furnished music.

Intermittent showers compelled many of us who went without umbrellas to seek shelter in the palace, which was in itself an intensely interesting experience.

As an afternoon party in the Garden of Buckingham Palace, it proved to be both interesting and to us an extra-ordinary event, but as a visit to Royalty, it could not compare with our personal conference with Her Majesty, Juliana, Queen of the Netherlands, who, at the request of the Consul of the Netherlands of San Francisco, invited us to Her Majesty’s summer home at Soestdijk, near the Hague.  Our thirty minute conference with her Majesty was one of our most precious experiences of our entire trip through nine European countries.”

[From McKay’s handwritten diary of the trip:

“Elder Brown drove us to Buckingham Palace where we presented our special invitation and tickets and were soon in the Palace and Grounds with 5,000 other guests!  Drenching rain!  No formal reception by her Majesty, although she was on the grounds, but she was surrounded by such a dense crowd that it was difficult even to see her.  How different from our personal audience with her Majesty Juliana, Queen of the Netherlands!”

(Birth Control)

Following that meeting, I had a meeting with the Presidency of the Farr West Stake in which the three men made a plea that Elder _____ who was recommended to go on a Mission and who was advised not to go may have his Call reconsidered.  He has been married five years and they have no children.  They are now building a home.  I told the young man that it would be better to complete his home and start to have a family, because it looks as though they are practicing birth control, and it will be another two years before they have children, and he might lose his wife.  The Presidency said they had not thought of that angle of the question, and that they will have a confidential talk with the couple.”

Wed., 6 Aug., 1952:

“9 to 10:30 a.m.–Attended First Presidency’s meeting at which I reported my conferences this morning with the Presiding Bishopric and also with Mark Petersen.  During the meeting Dr. Franklin S. Harris called and reported his service in Iran for the U.S. Government, and also his presidency of the branch or district there for the Church.  Said that the members of the Church from America who are working for the Government in Iran are very fine church workers.  A branch was organized in Iran (about 50 people attend our meetings there), and there is a Sunday School for the children. In Chiraz we have a nice group.  There is a branch on the Caspian, with six adults and the children.  In Tabriz, on the northern border, we have only two very good Latter-day Saints, and there is another man who it is thought will go there.  There are four branches, all a part of Teheran, in a sense.  The leaders of these branches come together once a month.  Our people cling together, and they love the Church work.  They pay their tithing in the wards at home.  There have been no baptisms.

Brother Harris said they had had some contact with the Bahai people; that they have attended our services and were very much impressed.  They say we have the great truth.  The Mohammedan students who have been to Utah are very much interested in us, and we are in very good repute among the people generally.  They say that Dr. Harris is the best-loved foreigner who has been in Persia in this generation.  They look upon him as their third father. Their own father is first, the wife’s father second, and Dr. Harris third, and this all comes because of maintaining the ideals of the Church.

Dr. Harris will give a written report regarding the Church work in Iran.

We expressed appreciation to Dr. Harris for the services he has rendered both to the Church and to the Government.”

Mon., 11 Aug., 1952:

President Richards and Sister Colton had called as to what she was expected to do and President Richards said he presumed it would be all right for her to stay on until a successor is appointed.  [Her husband, Don, who had been director of the Mission Home, died.]

President McKay recommended President Francis A. Child, former President of the Western States Mission, as being a man who would likely fit in well as director of the Mission Home.

President Richards said Pres. Wilkinson had submitted a plan for missionary training but President Richards did not think it would be feasible, except with respect to language training.  President McKay said he son Llewelyn had some ideas with respect to language instruction that might be helpful, but didn’t think it would be possible to send missionaries to school when they are paying their own expenses.”

Mon., 18 Aug., 1952:

“[First Presidency meeting]  I concurred in the decision previously made by Presidents Richards and Clark that returned servicemen might be called on missions for a shorter period than two years, so that they may return in time to go to school under the G.I. Bill.”

Thur., 28 Aug., 1952:

“[Meeting of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve] President McKay made the following report of his trip to Europe:

He said that the principal purpose of the trip was to choose a temple site, or possible two. . . .

On June 4 dedicated the Edinburgh chapel, and on the morning of June 5 arrived in London.  Spent June 5, 6 and 7 inspecting sites already chosen by President Stayner Richards on which to erect a temple.  Illustrative of the sites examined, said that the one which had been recommended by President Stayner Richards and which this Council had practically approved but which the owner refused to sell to the Mormons, had beautiful grounds but was not wholly suitable.  Another was the site of the palace occupied by the last wife of Henry the Eighth.  It had beautiful grounds, typical of royalty and within easy access of London and good transportation. There were two objections, however.  One was there was a church nearby which was really on a higher place than the temple would be, and, second, it was not thought that the connotation of Henry VIII and his wife would be desirable.

They examined the Stevenson Gardens, internationally famed for the rhododentrons.  The woman who is raising these flowers and shipping them off to other countries was very gracious and said she would be pleased to give them such part of the grounds as was needed. She insisted on knowing what the ground was wanted for and they told her for Church purposes.  She would wish to retain part of the grounds.  There were objections to that.  It is near Windsor palace.

Spent Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and the following Monday examining these properties and finally decided on one that is about twenty-five miles out from London on the way to Brighton.  The deal was not consummated and nothing will be said about it.  The plans that were drawn up have been cancelled until February 1, 1953.  He said he thought the Brethren would be delighted with the site.  The surroundings, the means of transportation, the old house dating back centuries is well preserved and can be used for the accomodation of those who attend the temple.

President McKay said that their experience during that week-end proved that unless they changed their plans they woulid be found helpless regarding possible sites in Switzerland if they postponed the visit to Switzerland until after their tour of the European countries had been completed.  Therefore they decided to make a special trip to Switzerland instead of going to the Netherlands at that time.  Tuesday morning left by plane for Switzerland and in 2 1/2 hours were in Basel where they held a special meeting with President Bringhurst, President Stayner Richards, David L. McKay and Brother William Zimmer, a brother to Max Zimmer.  President Stayner Richards had communicated with President Bringhurst, requesting him to select, through Brother Zimmer and a real estate man, some possible sites in Switzerland.  They held prayer and then decided that their first duty was to determine in which city the temple site should be located.  After due deliberation it was unanimously decided that it should be at Berne the capitol city of Switzerland.  The following morning they went to Berne and spent the entire day looking at available sites.  That was June 10.  They chose one within the city limits, but outside the residences in a new area that was just being plotted for building.  It is at the end of the street car line and within five minutes ride by street car to the place where the branch now meets.  They chose a knoll just a few rods from the street car line and thought that would be an ideal site.  They were all united that they couldn’t choose a better site and authorized Brother Zimmer and Mr. Schultess, the real estate man, to see if it could be procured.

. . . .

The party completed their itinerary at Finland and received word from President Bringhurst that the site they had chosen for a temple at Berne had been already selected before we chose it, by the City Council of Berne for a hospital and school, and was not purchaseable.  President Bringhurst was therefore told to continue his search for other sites to be suggested when they returned to Switzerland.

When the party arrived at Basel from Germany they began examining other sites, every one of which they rejected because of surroundings, or perhaps because of possible manufacturing establishments, etc.  They finally came back to the same area where there were five acres of land just opposite the knoll on which they had hoped to secure a site, just across a swale, not quite so high and facing the opposite direction from what the temple would be there.

President McKay said President Bringhurst had almost by what they felt was inspiration secured the possibility of purchasing this area.  A rich widow owns much of that property there and her home is just a short distance from it.  President Bringhurst felt impressed to call on her.  When she saw him and the Elder accompanying him walking around her estate she concluded that they were two Americans that had come to take pictures, and when they introduced themselves to her and told her the purpose of their visit she became very much interested, and among other things said, ‘How did you happen to come to me?  Did you have a dream or something?’  They said no, they just felt impressed to do so, that they had been told by a real estate man that there was no use approaching her, but that they had decided to speak to her with a view of securing some of her property if possible.  She said that unfortunately she could not sell her property, that her husband was dead and the law compelled her to let it go to her heirs, but she said she would be glad to help them.  She said, ‘You say your President is coming within a day or two to select this site, and you haven’t it yet and are still looking and not discouraged?’ They said to her that they would like to get a site just opposite from the one that they had already chosen but had been told that they could not purchase it.  She told them she thought they could if they would see the right person.  She gave them the name of a man who was handling her property and told them to go and see him. They accosted him and he made it possible to buy five acres just opposite the site they had previously selected.  This gentleman said that they could have all of this five acres, or any part of it.  They finally concluded that they would take 3 1/2 acres.  He said that if they would take 3 1/2 acres he would take the rest, that he would buy all of it and sell it to them.  They parted with that understanding and negotiations were carried on.  No announcement was made until just an hour or two before they took the plane from Glasgow to return home.  President McKay said that President Bringhurst in answer to President McKay’s telephone call, stated that one of the heirs had passed away and that her children, two of whom were of age, would have to sign the agreement.  One of them had been already contacted, but the other one had not, but he felt that the deal would be all right because Mr. Jardi was buying it in his own name.

It was then that announcement was made that it had been decided that a temple would be built in Switzerland in the city of Berne. President McKay said he did not know whether there were forces at work attempting to influence the one heir not to sign, but he has felt uneasy about it.  Yesterday a cable was sent to President Bringhurst saying: ‘If consummation of deal will be fostered you aree authorized to take the full five acres.  Hoping and praying.’ President McKay said definitely that there will be a temple built in Switzerland and one in Great Britain, in accordance with the action of this Council.

President McKay said that from June 1st when they were in New York, until they left Glasgow to return on July 22, he held 45 meetings, not counting consultation meetings with the Mission Presidents, nor the interviews with the reporters.  He said that he had never before experienced such a spiritual missionary experience as they had during those fifty days.

. . . .

President McKay mentioned the presence of 35 missionaries from behind the Iron Curtain, local brethren who were in attendance at the missionary meeting in the Dahlem chapel.  When President McKay’s party arrived in Berlin on June 27 he said it was evident from their features and their dress that they were not very successful.  The Elders had had a testimony meeting, indeed, were having a testimony meeting when President McKay’s party entered. The men’s eyes were red from weeping and much of that emotion had been aroused by what these missionaries from the Russian Zone had said.  No American missionaries can get into that area.  Their literature is scant and limited and they cannot afford to buy copies of the Book of Mormon.  It would cost three days wages to pay for one book, but they are carrying on the work and when the two years or 2 1/2 years’ period is ended they say they will continue missionary work.  They do their proselyting work after the day’s labors have ended.  They are holding meetings but they have to report to the Russian authorities what is going to be said at the meetings and who will be the speakers.  In answer to President McKay’s question as to how they arranged to be present at this meeting, they said they obtained permission from the Russian authorities to come, the condition being that they would all promise to return, and incidentally, one of them quoted a Russian officer as saying, ‘Now do not try to hide anything from us.  We know why you are going and whom you are going to meet, but we will have people there to know just what is being said.’  And they did, not in the missionary meeting, but in the meeting that was held that night, the dedicatory services.  As President McKay and his party were shaking hands with the poeple after the meeting they saw two or three skulking by to avoid shaking hands and the had been recognized as spies from the Russian zone.

Arrangements were made to give them six hundred Books of Mormon, which would be about two to each one who would be carrying on these meetings behind the Iron Curtain, and the Missionary Committee at home made arrangements to send them 500 more.  They can use the Book of Mormon behind the Iron Curtain, as they can use the Bible, and sometimes other literature is admitted.  The Improvement Era that carried a Christmas scene on the cover was confiscated and not permitted to be distributed.

The cities of Berlin, Hannover, Hamburg and Frankfurt on Main are being rebuilt.  The bridges that were destroyed are rebuilt, flower gardens are being replanted and those four cities as others in the American Zone, British Zone and French Zone show a life and vigor most commendable.  The Russian sector in Berlin is depressed.  It is being exploited rather than being built.  The British sector and the American sector show signs of improvement, but the Russian sector is greatly depressed.  President McKay said he could not see any possibility of a final settlement without a terrible conflict; that he did not like to see it, but those were his honest feelings. There is a possibility of avoiding it by an internal uprising but that seems to be an impossibility unless the soldiers themselves rebel.  For example, the Russians are going ahead to accomplish their scheme, which is world dominion and the supression of capitalism.  Our Brethren, the Presidency of the East German Mission, who had to drive from Berlin over to Hannover, had to drive for miles through the Russian Zone and only by permission of the Russian officials.  To make it more difficult, the Russian people now are creating a no-man’s land three miles wide, extending from the Baltic sea to the border of Czechoslovakia.  If a town is in that area it is razed.  The people themselves are given an opportunity to move into the Russian zone or move out before the town itself is demolished.  If forests are in that town they are dug up and destroyed.  They propose to have an area from the Baltic Sea down to the Czechoslovakian border that is absolutely no-man’s land, and they can put their guns there and control it as they wish, and that is not imagination; that they mean just what they say, President McKay said, may be inferred from what they do now up in the Baltic Sea.  They own part of that and they permit no vessels to come within their assigned part of that sea.  The Finnish people knowing what it means and how fatal it would be to any foreign vessel to come in there, put their own vessels up there to keep people who were going to attend the Olympics from trespassing upon it.  President McKay said we are facing Satan himself.  They are anti-Christ.  They want to destroy Christianity. They have to do so in order to establish their philosophy. President McKay said it looked to him as though there is only one way to meet them and that is by force, the only thing they understand.

When they passed through the British Zone one day the President saw soldiers wearing the Scottish kilts; he thought he saw the McKai plaid, so he became interested.  Brother Schreyer, who was driving the car, said, ‘There is one of them over there lying on the lawn. Let us go over and talk to him.’  So they approached this Scotch highlander, as they thought.  President McKay asked him in Scottish dialect, ‘How are you?’  To which he said, ‘I am all right,’ but with no Scotch accent.  President McKay then told him that he was interested in his uniform, explaining that his father came from the north of Scotland, and he asked him what part he came from.  He said that he came from Canada.  He was a member of the Canadian Black Watch, which came over years and years ago.  They got to talking and finally Brother Schreyer told him that they were members of the Mormon Church and asked if he had ever heard of Mormons.  He said, ‘My mother is one of them.’  In answer to questions, they found that he came from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and that while he was not a member himself, his mother was. Brother Schreyer said, ‘Do you know to whom you are speaking?’  He answered, ‘No.’

‘When you go home you tell your mother that you shook hands with the President of the Mormon Church.’  He answered, ‘Your damned right I will, boy.’

. . . .

Elder Widtsoe asked a question as to why announcement of the British temple site is being delayed.

President McKay said he purposely refrained from giving the reason because it is a financial and legal question affecting the owner. He did say, however, if the deal had been consummated when the agreement was drawn up the owner would have had to pay a large sum of money to the Government.  If the property is not sold and she holds it in her own name until February 1, 1953, the property can be transferred without paying this large sum of money.  We do not want to be a party to that in either way, so we have no written agreement.  The deal will be consummated as of the date she sets. No announcement should be made as we do not want the Government or any lawyer to know that any agreement was drawn up or any understanding had until February 1, 1953.  She has given her word of honor and Brother Stayner Richards has given his word of honor.”

Sat., 15 Nov., 1952:

“In the evening at home, I received a telephone call from Elder Spencer W. Kimball from Nicaragua, Central America where he, under instructions from the First Presidency, is assisting in the establishing headquarters of the Central American Mission.  Elder Kimball recommended that (1) Nicaragua has been chosen as the headquarters of the Mission, (2) that the brother who has been acting as President of the Branch, be set apart as first counselor to Gordan M. Romney, President of the Mission.  (3) That seven countries be included in the Mission.  That work could go forward in all of the countries with the exception of two–where the ‘colored’ situation would be inhibitive of missionary work.  (4) That two lady missionaries be sent down immediately, one of whom should be able to do stenographic work.  Also that other missionaries be sent as soon as possible as those who are there now will soon be given releases.”

Wed., 24 Dec., 1952:

“[First Presidency meeting]  A list of appointments of brethren to visit the missions during the year 1953 was read.  Approved the list with the exception of Stayner Richards who the list indicates is appointed to visit the Spanish-American Mission in February. In discussing the appointments I expressed the thought that we should not lose sight of the instruction by the Lord on the subject; he questioned the advisability of excusing the Twelve entirely from these assignments.  He felt that the 70s should be out presiding over the missions.”

Wed., 14 Jan., 1953:

“Elder Christensen, second counselor to Pres. Lorin F. Jones of the Spanish American Mission, called at about 8:15 a.m.  He stated that Pres. Jones asked him to call to see if it would be advisable for him (Bro. Christensen) to come home for a week or two because his wife’s father died and her mother has been in an automobile accident.  He and his wife are laboring together, so it would not leave a missionary alone.  They are from Delta, Utah.

I told Bro. Christensen that he and his wife had better go home and take care of things there.  Elder Christensen said they would stay just long enough to take care of matters and give some comfort to Sister Christensen’s mother.  I said that would be agreeable.”

Thur., 11 Feb., 1953:

“During the morning had the following consultations:

(1) With Gordan Hinckley of the Missionary Department.  I asked him to come in to the office and then explained to him the relation that Wilford Wood has to the Church as pertains to the Church historical sites.

Brother Wood, in the first place, several years ago suggested that the missionaries ought to have charge of these historical sites—to be sent as representatives of Priesthood Quorums, the latter aiding in the expense.  So Brother Wood was asked to choose one or two who are set apart and taken back to their assignments.

Brother Wood has continued that work since that time, but he understands now that these representatives of Quorums must be called  by the Presidency and set apart as other missionaries back to their fields of labor in his own automobile, install them in their respective centers, following which they are then under the direction of the respective Mission Presidents.

I then asked Brother Hinckley to give some thought to a suitable card or letter which each of these missionaries might present to investigators.

Brother Wood submitted one which I rejected.

(2) President Joseph Fielding Smith.   Called him to my office and explained to him, as a member of the Missionary Committee, Wilford Wood’s assignment with relation to the Mission Historical sites, and also Brother Wood’s relation to the Mission Presidents.”

Mon., 16 Feb., 1953:

“8:40 a.m.—At my request, Brother Marion G. Romney called at the office and I asked him what is being done in the matter of sending help to Holland on account of the flood disaster there.  Brother Romney said that nothing had been done, that cables were sent by the First Presidency to the mission presidents asking as to their needs, and the report has come that our people in Holland had suffered no serious loss.

I asked Brother Romney to get in touch with Brother Cornelius Zappey, former Mission President to Holland, who has been in communication with President Van Dam of the Netherlands Mission.  I said that it might be wise to send another message to President Van Dam after Brother Romney has consulted with Brother Zappey.  I said I thought we should make an official offer to the Queen that we stand ready to render any assistance possible, and let it go through the Church there, from us.  Brother Romney said he would talk with Brother Zappey and then call me.”

Wed., 18 Feb., 1953

“8:45 a.m.—Telephoned to President Stephen L. Richards at his apartment where he is still confined with a heart ailment.  He reported that he is feeling much better; however, said the doctors advise that he not put forth any strenuous effort as yet.  I warned Pres. Richards to make no effort to attend meetings, or to climb any stairs.

I then talked to him regarding the sending of a letter to Queen Juliana of Holland, expressing our sympathy for her subjects of the Netherlands who have been subjected to the terrible ravages of the North Sea.  With this letter it is proposed that we send a check for $10,560 (40,000 guilders) to aid in their rehabilitation with the statement to her also that we have placed at the disposal of the Queen’s Relief Committee who may appeal to our Mission President in Holland—Brother Van Dam—a supply of quilts and blankets, and he will be glad to cooperate with the committee in the distribution of these quilts and blankets for the immediate comfort of those who have suffered from this disaster.”

“10:15 a.m.—Elder Marion Romney of the Council of the Twelve called at the office in response to a request I made of him on the 16th; viz., that Brother Romney and Cornelius Zappey, former President of the Holland Mission, look over the correspondence sent by President Van Dam of the Netherlands Mission concerning relief for the disaster victims in Holland, and make their recommendations concerning the assistance we may extend to the flood victims.

Brother Romney reported that through President Van Dam the saints in Holland are making contributions to assist the destitute, though not many of our people are suffering or are in need.

He further reported that there are available from Church Welfare supplies here in Salt Lake 800 quilts valued at $6 each and 200 blankets valued at $6 each which could be sent to the Netherlands Mission.  Bro. Romney thinks these would be the most helpful assistance we can give at the present time.”

Fri., 20 Feb., 1953:

I also dictated the following letter to Her Majesty, Juliana, Queen of the Netherlands:

February 30, 1953

Her Majesty, Juliana, Queen of the Netherlands:

The enclosed draft for $10,560 (40,000 guilders) is very little compared with the tremendous damage caused recently by the disastrous storm which destroyed ancient dykes and inundated rich areas of farm land and villages in the Netherlands.  It is however, a slight expression of the sympathy and love of the many thousands of Hollanders in Western America, of the 3,500 Hollanders in the Netherlands, and other members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

‘Please accept it with other funds contributed for the alleviation of your majesty’s subjects who are victims of the holocaust caused by the ravages of the North Sea.

The Welfare organization of the church has several hundred quilts and blankets that may be distributed by our Mr. Donovan H. Van Dam, President of the Netherlands Mission (Laan van Poot 292, The Hague, Holland) whom your Welfare Committee may contact if we can be of even further slight assistance.

Sincerely and sympathetically,

The First Presidency

By David O. McKay

(President, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

10 March, 1953:

“Letter received from the secretary to Queen Julianna of the Netherlands.

Particulier Secretaris Van

  H.M. De Koningin Soestdijk, 10th of March,1953

C 284/53/V

To Mr. David O. McKay

President of the Church of Jesus Christ

of Latter-day Saints



Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands has asked me to convey to you her sincerest thanks for the message of sympathy, expressed in your letter of February 20, 1953, and the enclosed contribution towards the needs of the victims of the flood in the form of a draft for $10,560.-.

Her Majesty was greatly moved by this act of Christian charity by the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and wishes to express her profound gratitude.

The Private Secretary to

H.M. the Queen of the Netherlands,

/s/Baron van Heeckeren van Molecaten

(Baron van Heecheren van Molecaten)

Sun., 22 Feb., 1953:

“2:00 p.m.—Dedicatory Service of the San Mateo Ward Edifice.

In commenting on the growth and progress of the Church, I told the congregation that 40 years ago when I toured the California Mission there were only two chapels owned by the Church—one in the St. David, Arizona Branch where the tour started, and the other in the Gridley Branch near Sacramento, where the tour ended.  In between those places many branch meetings were held in rented halls.  At the time the membership of the Mission would not exceed the ten or eleven thousand members today in the California Mission and the Northern California Mission.  Today, in the same area there are 214 wards and branches in 24 organized stakes.  These have a membership of 116,000.  Add to this the 10,000 in the two missions makes a total membership in this area of 126,000.  There are now scores of chapels, most of them new and attractive, where there were none during the tour I made 40 years ago.”

Wed., 11 Mar., 1953:

9 to 10:15 a.m.—First Presidency’s meeting.

“We discussed Hilton A. Robertson and the Chinese Mission.  Were agreed that the group of Chinese in the San Francisco area should not be neglected.  I favor sending Brother and Sister Robertson to Japan to preside over the Japanese Mission, and to take care of the little Chinese Branch in Hong Kong, China.  Pres. Clark expressed willingness to go along with me in this decision.

At this point we discussed the matter of the illness of President Richards.  It was agreed that it would be perhaps sex months or longer before President Richards should assume the responsibility of the chairmanship of the Missionary work.  It was agreed that President Richards should be entirely relieved of that responsibility during this period.”

Fri., 10 Apr., 1943:  (1953?)

9:00 a.m.

“President Maughan of the New England Mission called at the office.  Said he is introducing the Great Lakes Missionary program in the New England Mission, and would like one of the missionaries from the Great Lakes Mission to introduce the plan.

Upon discussing this later at the meeting of the First Presidency, the brethren felt this would not be necessary.”

Wed., 22 Apr., 1953:

The matter of Stayner Richards assisting in the missionary word was discussed.  Pres. Richards said he felt that Stayner could help with some things if he were so appointed, although he feared that if he were used to investigate prospective mission presidents, etc. some of the other members of the committee might feel that they were passed over.  He felt, however that it would also bring some relief to Gordon Hinckley if Stayner were given this appointment.”

Wed., 6 May, 1953:

“9 a.m.—Met with the Presiding Bishopric regarding certain plans they have:  (d) I explained to the bishopric Wilford Wood’s relationship to the Historic places, which is this, that years ago he suggested that the missionary work at these places be made a Priesthood project and that was approved, and as an experiment we started out in Davis County, with the approval of the stake presidency, and from that has grown the appointment of a man and woman at each of the historical places, and Wilford has taken great pride in supervising these representatives, particularly in taking them back and bringing them home, and for the time being we shall let him go on with that.

Tues., 12 May, 1953:

Telephone Calls

“1.  Mrs. Edna Thayer called from New York regarding her son Bill whom she wishes to go on a mission.  Said he has had an operation for a tumor which was malignant, but the doctors claim that he is all right now, and they can see no reason why he cannot fulfill a mission here in the United States.

Mrs. Thayer said they have not given this information out to anyone, and that they do not which the relatives in Salt Lake to know anything about it.  Said she has not told the local authorities about it.

I stated that inasmuch as her husband is a doctor he should know best what to do; that should like the boy to go on a mission if it would not aggravate his affliction in any way.  Mrs. Thayer answered that the doctor who performed the operation says there is no reason why he cannot go on a mission in the United States, and claims that his trouble is completely cured.

I then said:  ‘What do you think about it Edna?’  She answered ‘He has been to the ‘Y’, and we are hopeful and have faith that everything will be O.K.’

I then told her to let his missionary papers come through, and that I would ask the committee to turn the papers over to me.  Told her that her son would have to have an examination and a certificate of his physical condition; that we would go over the papers and consider them, and if we found everything to be in order we should assign him to one of the missions in the United States.

Mrs. Thayer stressed again that she wished this matter to be confidential.

Fri., 28 Aug., 1953:

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

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

Mon., 31 Aug., 1953:

11:45 a.m. – Elder Richard L. Evans came in.  He reported the increasing demand for more adequate provisions to take care of the tourists who visit Temple Square.  Those working as guides, missionaries, etc. are on the Square from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. at night.  It is imperative that additional room be provided to preach the gospel.

Brother Evans said that he had made an application for appropriation of funds for the needed improvements sometime ago, and the application had been turned down.  I suggested that he repeat the request for funds.

Sun., 6 Sept., 1953:

“At 7 p.m. – Was speaker at the farewell testimonial for President and Mrs. Cornelius Zappey, held in the Monte Vista Ward, Hillcrest Stake.  Brother and Sister Zappey are soon to leave for the East Central States Mission.

President Joseph Fielding Smith, President Parker of the Hillcrest Stake, Brother Zappey, and I were the speakers.

About 1500 people were crowded into the chapel.

Pres. McKay Talks At Farewell for Mission President

A call for every member of the Church to be a missionary was made Sunday evening by President David O. McKay.  [Note that this speech came shortly after the Korean armistice.]

President McKay made this appeal while addressing a large congregation in the Monte Vista Ward attending a farewell testimonial for President and Mrs. Cornelius Zappey who are leaving soon to preside in the East Central States Mission.

President McKay explained that the best way to carry the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world is to have every member of the Church a missionary.

‘Brother Zappey, as all mission presidents, will have missionaries under him who are paying their own expenses and will give their time and ability and wealth to spread the Gospel,’ President McKay said.  ‘We often think it is their responsibility.  But the responsibility to preach the Gospel and carry happiness to the world should rest upon every member of the Church.’

Should such a program be carried out, President McKay pointed to the fact that there would be 1,275,000 or more missionaries, all members of the Church.  Continuing this thought he said:

‘Supposing that during 1954, each one were to bring one person into the fold, each one would carry the message of happiness to another person.  Suppose we say that 500,000 members do that.  In 1954 we would have 1,750,000 members of the church.  And then continue with that idea.  If every member were a missionary, what a system!’

In discussing missionary work President McKay also issued an invitation to the people of the world to come and see for themselves of the fruits of Mormonism.

‘Men and women in the world do not know of the fruits of Mormonism.  Those who do not should take the opportunity to visit some of our missions of some of our stakes and see the value and worth of the men who lead out.  They give themselves for others, and that is the truest test of a missionary.  ‘He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it,’ is an eternal truth, and we cannot help but thrill when we meet these leaders throughout the world, giving themselves for others.  The people of the world fail to understand that.  Only the uninformed and the jealous now condemn.’

President McKay paid tribute to President and Mrs. Zappey and of their accomplishments in the field of missionary work.  ‘The Lord bless them,’ he said.  ‘Now they are devoting their time, energies and abilities, life itself if necessary, to carry happiness to others.  What a choice philosophy.’

In closing President McKay made an appeal for exemplary living on the part of members of the Church.  He asked God to guide the people of the Church in the noble purpose of carrying the restored Gospel to all the world that they might then have happiness.”

Thurs., 25 Feb., 1954:

“First Presidency’s Meeting

1.  I reported to my counselors that I had been to the doctors for a check-up this morning, and they had reported that I am in good condition, that I was, as a matter of fact, better than when I left on my trip.

2.  Chapels through the missions:  I recommended to my counselors and will also recommend at Council meeting this morning, that  (a) We consider the building of reasonable chapels throughout the missions.  I feel they have proved to be the best means of proselyting and are investments rather than expenses.  (b) That we send a German couple to work in Brazil.  I feel we have lost a lot of Germans because we have been laboring under the impression that German should not be spoken.  That was the condition during the war, but is not now.  Our people are drifting into the other churches where German meetings are held.  (c)  That we send someone to Lima, Peru, to preside in the branch there.”

17 Mar., 1954:

“Telephone Call from President Stephen L. Richards to President McKay who is at Laguna Beach.

While at Laguna Beach, President Stephen L. Richards called me from Salt Lake City.  He called attention to two matters:

(1)  Joseph Smith Farm at Palmyra:  Said the First Presidency has a letter indicating that the farm can be rented at once if a tenant can be secured.  The Singleys are leaving, and they would like to have an answer as to whether or not they should rent the farm.  Said that Bishop Isaacson brought the matter to the attention of the First Presidency yesterday.  Since the Season is getting late, the brethren think a reply should be sent to President Taylor as to whether or not to rent the place.

I told President Richards that I think Brother Isaacson should handle those matters.  President Richards answered that Bishop Isaacson is favorable to the action.  President Richards also reported that Brother Singley would like us to purchase from him some of the furniture and equipment he desires to leave at the Farm.  The Singleys are in a bad financial condition and need the money.  I answered that Bishop Isaacson could handle those matters.  President Richards said that Bishop Isaacson favors the purchase if the prices are reasonable.

President Richards stated that he knew that I had been interested in the farm matters, and felt they should have my authorization for leasing the farm and the purchase of the furniture and equipment.  Said he understands that Brother Taylor of the Eastern States Mission has a suitable couple-or that two of the missionaries could be placed at the farm immediately.

I stated that I think we should have a voice as to who is going there.  That it would be all right to put two missionaries there until we could find a suitable couple to go there.

President Richards said that we often find couples who would be glad to go there.

Fri., 2 Apr., 1954:

“First Presidency’s Meeting

1.  Discussed the Missionary meeting to be held Monday evening in the Tabernacle.  President Richards will have charge.  President McKay expressed the feeling that we should plan for cottage meetings when the husband is home, avoid having the elders going into a home and sitting down with a woman alone.  He thought it would be well for members to invite neighbors to their homes or arrange for meetings in the neighbor’s homes and invite the missionaries, in other words, make universal the phrase ‘Every member a missionary.’

3.  The brethren were agreed that we should not pay the full expense of missionaries, that the missionary himself or the family should always pay part of the expense, making some sacrifice for the Zion’s Savings Directors missionary cause, that this should be the case whether the Church, quorums, or individuals contribute toward the support of the missionary.  It was felt that a circular letter should be sent to mission presidents on that point.  I stated that in some of the missions that I have visited the full expense of some local people was being paid, that they are doing a good job frequently, but they should pay part of their own expense.”

2 Apr., 1954:

Telephone Conversations

“2.  Dr. Orson White

Told him that missionaries who are called are expected to be physically fit and financially able to take care of themselves, and they have no right to ask for financial consideration from doctors to make them physically able.  When they are in the field, it is a different matter, but when they are called, each individual is expected to be physically fit, and if he is not, his own doctor takes care of him.”

Sun., 4 Apr., 1954:

“10 a.m. – Presided and conducted at this Sunday Morning Session.  These services were televized over 10 stations in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and Colorado with an estimated audience of 12,000,000 – over 4,000,000 TV receivers.  In addition 14 Radio Stations in Utah-Idaho-Arizona-Nevada-Colorado-California-Oregon, and Wyoming carried the proceedings of the Session.

I delivered the opening address, and Joseph Fielding Smith, Stephen L. Richards, and Hugh B. Brown also spoke.

I chose as the subject of my address – Present Responsibility of the Church in Missionary work.

April 4, 1954

Sunday Morning Session

of the 124th Annual Conference



An appeal to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to demonstrate their knowledge of the reality of God’s existence and love for the gospel ‘by renewed service to His church, greater kindness and forebearance toward our associates and more charity for the honest in heart the world over,’  was made Sunday by David O. McKay, church president.

He was the first speaker at the morning session of the 124th annual session in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, attended by thousands of faithful members from many parts of the United States and foreign countries.

President McKay cited the growth of the church since its founding in 1830, and pointed to the great opportunities for future accomplishments with ‘a million and a half loyal members, with comparative prosperity attending our efforts, and with a better understanding in the minds of the intelligent, well-informed people as to the purposes and aims of the church of Jesus Christ.’

3 Others Speak

Other speakers were Joseph Fielding Smith, president of the Council of Twelve Apostles; Stephen L. Richards, first counselor in the First Presidency, and Hugh B. Brown, assistant to the Council of Twelve.

President McKay told his listeners that church members have the responsibility which is now greater than ever before to proclaim:

‘1.  That the church is divinely established by the appearance of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ to the Prophet Joseph Smith.  And that divine authority through the priesthood is given to represent deity in establishing Christ’s church upon the earth.’

Assigned Responsibility

‘2.  That its assigned responsibility is to fulfill the admonition of Jesus to His apostles to ‘go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’

‘3.  To proclaim peace and good will unto all mankind.’

‘4.  To exert every effort, and all means within our reach, to make evil-thinking men good, good men better and all people happier.’

‘5.  To proclaim the truth that each individual is a child of God, and important in His sight; that he is entitled to freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly; that he has the right to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience.  In this declaration we imply that organizations or churches which deprive the individual of these inherent rights are not in harmony with God’s will and His revealed word.’

President McKay said a final responsibility of the church is to make it possible for thousands of members abroad to participate in the ‘eternal nature of covenants and ceremonies’ available only in temples.’

In addition to the temple at Kirtland, O., and the one at Nauvoo, Ill., which was destroyed, the church has completed eight temples which are now in use.  Two others are now under construction – at Los Angeles, Cal., and Bern, Switzerland – at a cost of $13,758,750, said President McKay.

As evidence of the growth of the church, the speaker cited the following statistics:

Missionaries set apart since 1830, 67,615; approximate cost of this missionary service, $54.5 million; in last 50 years missions have increased from 21 to 42 and branches from 430 to 1,754; in addition to amounts spent by individuals on missionary service the church spent from 1910 to 1953 a total of $52,646,668; today the church has 616 chapels in missions completed at a cost of $6,058,450, and has purchased 33 mission homes at a cost of $1,133,424.

In the past 50 years, the number of stakes has increased from 45 to 212 and wards from 550 to 1,683; 112 seminary and institute buildings have been completed at a cost of $2,788,798; for buildings at Brigham Young University the church has spent $9,470,000; in the wards and stakes are nearly 1,300 chapels completed at an original cost of $76.196,505; 351 chapels now under construction at a cost of $34,916,707; total cost for ward and stake buildings, $111,113,205; grand total for aforementioned church buildings, $143,577,643.

Mr. Richards took as his text a quotation from St. Paul, ‘I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,’ and asked why it is that today some men seem to be ashamed of the Gospel.

He said that apparently some of the factors are a false pride and a feeling that confession of religious faith will bring ridicule or a stigma of weakness; the belief that religion circumscribes one’s liberties! a weakness that makes a person unable to stand up for right and truth, and inability to make confessions of faith because othe individual realizes he doesn’t have the strength to live up to them.

Mr. Richards said the foundation of the gospel is revelation, and asked: ‘If a man be a Christian how can he be ashamed of revelation?’

The Priesthood, he added, is a specific delegation of authority by the Lord to administer in His name.  In spite of this, the speaker said, he has known some men who have ‘flippantly joked about the priesthood most of their lives.’

He said some of these men are now getting old, and he asked them ‘to repent before it is too late.’

Among other contributions of the gospel, for which no one should be ashamed, are rules for the care of the body that have been supported by the findings of science; a principle of life and salvation through marriage and the home and individual good living, and an aspiration to bring peace to mankind, the speaker declared.

Mr. Brown said there are times when the only appropriate means of communication is prayer, and he asked that the audience join him in expressing gratitude for the great influences in his life.

Invocation was offered by Golden L. Woolf, former president of the French Mission, and benediction was pronounced by Lucian M. Mecham Jr. former president of the Mexican Mission.

Musical numbers were furnished by the Tabernacle Choir under direction of  J. Spencer Cornwall.  Dr. Frank W. Asper was at the organ.

The Salt Lake Tribune, Monday, April 5, 1954

Mon., 5 Apr., 1954:



By Jack M. Reed

Tribune Church Writer

When the Lord said, ‘Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel’ it must have seemed impossible to his disciples.  But look at the possibilities today because of modern inventions of transportation and communication.

That was the way President David O. McKay of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encouraged missionaries of the church to redouble their efforts.  He spoke Monday evening in the Tabernacle at a special meeting concerned with the church’s missionary program.

‘The Lord has given us the means of whispering through space; of annihilating distance,’ President McKay commented.

Then he told his audience that missionaries should have these qualities: sincerity, coupled with prayer; studiousness; self control (‘not only in speech, but in appetite and passion’): standard of conduct (‘be an example in your everyday life’), and a sense of service to others.

President McKay’s remarks were preceded by a motion picture in tribute to him, depicting his life-time of missionary service, from the time he first served on a mission in the British Isles through his 1921 around-the-world tour, his recent trips to Europe and the tour of the Southern Hemisphere in January and February of this year.

The Narrator referred to the church president as a ‘modern Apostle Paul.’

It was pointed out during the meeting by Stephen L. Richards, first counselor in the LDS First Presidency, that there were 15,676 convert baptisms to the church in foreign and stake missions during 1953.  He explained that there are about 4,000 members in the average LDS stake.

Because of a decrease in the number of foreign missionaries for the church, foreign mission baptisms declined, Mr. Richards said.

However, the ‘splendid work’ of stake missionaries in 1953 ‘more than offset’ the fewer foreign mission baptisms.

Another speaker was J. Reuben Clark Jr., second counselor in the First Presidency, who referred to the church’s missionaries as ‘ambassadors of the Lord’ who carry with them certain rights, power and immunities because God will be with them and protect them.

Mr. Clark reminded his audience that ‘we are all missionaries – to our associates, our acquaintances and in our own homes.’

Two recent converts to the church related how they were converted and a home missionary told a few personal experiences.

An outline of the church’s missionary plan was presented in a motion picture.

The combined Delta Phi choruses from Brigham Young University, University of Utah, Utah State Agricultural College and other Intermountain Area schools provided music for the meeting.  They were directed by Crawford Gates.  Delta Phi is a fraternity for returned LDS missionaries.

Invocation was offered by Raymond H. Linford, East Long Beach, Cal., Stake mission president.  Samuel E. Bringhurst, former president of the Swiss-Austrian mission, pronounced the benediction.

The Salt Lake Tribune, Tuesday, April 6, 1954

April 5, 1954

Missionary Meeting Held Monday evening in the Salt Lake Tabernacle

(From Church Section  – April 10, 1954)

The new uniform program was declared to be one of the prime contributing factors to the satisfactory results of the great world-wide missionary program of the Church at a great missionary conference held last Monday evening in the Tabernacle.

The meeting was a special session of the 124th Annual Conference.  It was presided over by the First Presidency, with President Stephen L. Richards conducting.

A highlight of the evening was the introduction of President David O. McKay as the Church’s outstanding missionary to the nations of the earth.  This was done by a film presentation showing his worldwide travels in a half century of missionary endeavor.

President McKay responded appreciatively to the salute, and assured the huge congregation that he would treasure this meeting in his heart, for he, with all present, had been touched.

The Church leader said he sensed tonight as never before, the possibilities as well as the responsibilities of following the teachings of the Master and carrying the Gospel to all the world.

‘Today it is a simple matter for us to teach all nations,’ President McKay asserted.  ‘The Lord has given us the means of whispering through space, of annihilating distance.  We have the means in our hands of reaching the millions in the world.’

President McKay urged members of the Church, everyone, to accept the responsibility of missionary service.  ‘Every member a missionary,’ he offered as a slogan, asking the members to bring the message of the Gospel to their neighbors.

As missionaries President McKay urged the members to study the qualifications of success which he listed as: treasuring sincerity with which would come prayer; studiousness, self-control in speech, in appetite and in passion; to have high standards of conduct and a sense of service.”

Thurs., 8 Apr., 1954:

“10 to 2 p.m.  Council meeting.  At this meeting I gave the charge to George Q. Morris, and also ordained him an Apostle of the Church, and set him apart as a member of the Council of the Twelve.

At the meeting I asked President Richards to give a report to the Council on the recent annual Conference of the Church.  President Richards said that he was never filled with more pride, which he hoped was a perfectly legitimate pride, for his membership in this great Church, and also his association with the Brethren, and in addition, the clarity, excellence, sincerity and effectiveness of the addresses which the Brethren gave at Conference.  Said it was a source of the deepest satisfaction to him, and he thought what a wise provision the Lord has made in choosing as he does men of more or less different backgrounds to be the preceptors of his people, teaching all aspects of life and living, and applying the principles of truth to their lives.  He thought that from the beginning, commencing with the wonderful address by President McKay, which gave an enlarged concept and vision of our great work, the obligation we have to carry it to the entire world, — from then until the closing remarks, it was a spiritual feast.  He felt that the Missionary program Monday evening was very effective in promoting additional emphasis upon the missionary work.  He felt that it was a great Conference and that the blessings of the Lord were poured out upon the people.

I then commented upon the responsiveness of the audience, and stated that I think the order was good and that the moving around was reduced to a minimum.”

Fri., 11 June, 1954:

“First Presidency’s meeting

Critical War Situation

President Clark mentioned the critical situation so far as the possibility of war is concerned.  Thought we should have this in mind.  He raised the question as to what would be done in protecting our mission presidents and missionaries.  I said that so far as the Temples in Europe are concerned the work there would be suspended in case of war and we should have to evacuate the missionaries.  It was mentioned that we could have instructions given as to what should be done in case of an emergency, but they felt that if we just hinted that we were concerned it would go through the Church like a prairie fire.

Thurs., 1 July, 1954:

“From 10 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. was in Council Meeting — the last meeting prior to the summer vacation.

Note:  At this meeting, among other things, President McKay made the following statement:

‘Never before, I think, has the Church been in a more suitable attitude before the world to render effectively the message of the restoration of the Gospel.  The Christian sects sense their inadequacy to represent our Lord and Savior.  In fact they are not recognizing him as the Savior of the world.  The General Authorities of this Church have the responsibility of declaring to the world the divine Sonship of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  No other body in the world has the testimony, has the responsibility that we possess.  It is mighty, but the Lord is with us, and as long as he is with us, he will guide us.'”

Wed., 6 Oct., 1954:

“Printing Church Literature and Book of Mormon in Russian

President Gregory of the East German Mission reports that the only literature we have for distribution among the Russians is “Joseph Smith tells His Own Story.’  He thinks they need additional literature.  Wants to know if he should print something over there.  Thinks that the name of an American publishing house should not appear on literature for the Russians.  Decided to tell President Gregory to go right ahead.  In the meantime it was thought we might consider printing the Book of Mormon in Russian.

March 3, 1955

Telephone Call from Senator Wallace Bennett from Washington, D.C., March 3, 1955.

Reported that Mr. John H. Stambaugh of President Eisenhower’s personal staff, who recently visited me at my office, had reported how much he enjoyed his visit, and expressed deep appreciation for the courteous treatment he received.  Senator Bennett said that he is sure that he has delivered my personal message to President Eisenhower.

Senator Bennett then said that they have the final report of the arrangement with the Department of State and Department of Army to the effect that they will transport the Choir at the expense of the government in and out of Berlin–from Hamberg to Berlin and to Frankfurt.  A special train will be furnished.  They have approval to transport 500 persons, and it is suggested we ‘lay low’ for a few weeks, and then tell the persons in charge that there will be 700, and they are sure no objections will be offered to transport the extra number.

I expressed appreciation to Senator Bennett and said that this news has come at the right time, because we had some rather discouraging news today.

Brother Bennett then asked if they should make a public announcement in Washington about this matter, or if it is preferred that nothing be said.  We agreed that it would do a lot of good to make the announcement back there.  Brother Bennett said the State Department is going to make maximum use of the Choir to propagandize American culture, etc., and then will give newspaper publicity and make arrangements for appearances of the choir during their visit to West Berlin.

I asked Brother Bennett to extend our appreciation to the committee, and he suggested that we write a letter of appreciation to the lady who had handled the matter for him.  Brother Bennett will send her name and address to us.

Brother Bennett further reported that President Richards had come to Washington, D.C. to talk about the missionary draft problem, and that he now wishes to report to me that they have a letter from the Assistant Secretary of Defense, saying that the Department of Defense would interpose no objection to the amendment it offered, which means that we have the approval of the Selective Service and that of the Department of Defense.  If we get both the Selective Service and the Department of Defense to amend the law there will be no question as to the status of our missionaries, and as soon as they are called, they will be recognized as minister of religion.

I congratulated Brother Bennett on the excellent service that had been rendered in this regard.  

Brother Bennett then said that Brother Richards has a copy of the language that will be offered in proposing the amendment.” 

Thurs., 17 Mar., 1955:


Referring to the matter that we submitted to the Twelve recently by President McKay regarding the advisability of resuming the earlier policy whereby all returning missionaries were interviewed by members of the General Authorities, the Twelve now recommend that in place of such interviews, all the missions of the Church be visited annually, at which time the missionaries could be interviewed by the visiting Authority.  They state that it is their experience the returning missionaries do not disclose to the interviewer unfavorable conditions in the missions.

On motion, Council approved this recommendation.  President McKay expressed the thought, however, that assignments to far-off missions should be confined at first, at least, to the members of  this Council, and that the President of the Twelve should make the appointments.”

Thurs., 7 Apr., 1955:

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Was convened in Council meeting.  At this meeting I reported that the First Presidency had given consideration to the recommendation of the Twelve that the Australian Mission be divided;  that Queensland and New South Wales remain as the Australian Mission, and that a new mission be organized embracing West Australia, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania; that the headquarters of the Australian Mission be at Sydney, New South Wales; and that the headquarters of the new mission be at Melbourne, Victoria.

After considering the matter, the First Presidency felt to approve the recommendation, and on motion, duly seconded, it became the unanimous sentiment of the Council.

Later, Elder Marion G. Romney of the Council of the Twelve, and a former missionary to Australia, was appointed to go to Australia and direct the division of this mission.

Creation of Two Missions in the Far East

I also reported that the First Presidency had also given consideration to the recommendation of the Twelve that two missions be created in the Far East, the Northern Far East Mission to consist of Japan, Korea, and Okinawa; and the Southern Far East Mission to include Hong Kong and the surrounding cities of Kowloon and Macao, the Philippines, Formosa and Guam, with Kowloon as headquarters for the proposed new Southern Far East Mission; and recommended that the division be made as indicated.

On motion, Council signified its approval of a division along the lines indicated.”

Tuesday, May 10, 1955:

Met by appointment Senator Arthur V. Watkins, and consulted him about getting some missionaries down to Tahiti.  He looked up the correspondence but was unable to find out very much.  He then got in touch with an official in the French Embassy who said he would look the matter up and call me later.

In the afternoon, we were the guests of Brother and Sister Ezra Taft Benson at their home.  We had a very pleasant visit with them.  Photographers were there and took pictures.  (see newspaper clippings following).

Following our visit with the Bensons, we went back to the hotel and received a telephone message from the secretary at the French Embassy concerning the conversation Senator Watkins had had with the French Embassy on the possibility of increasing the number of missionaries in Tahiti, and that they were unable to make an appointment with the French Ambassador, but this secretary,* whose name I do not recall, said he would look into the matter.  I suggested that if anything comes up, he could telephone me and reverse the charges in Salt Lake City.  Thus far, we have not accomplished very much on this matter.

Thursday, May 12, 1955:

*Under date of June 8, 1955 received a letter from this secretary — C. Burke Elbrick, Deputy Asst. Secretary for European Affairs, in which he refers to the desire of the Church to increase their missionary personnel from 12 to 16 persons.  Said that the Department of State have discussed this matter on several occasions withe the French Embassy.  Senator Bennett has also discussed the matter with the Embassy.  The Embassy has written directly to the Governor and to the consul in Noumea who represents them in Tahiti.  They have also been in touch with Senator Watkins’ office.  The Department has sent instructions to their Consul who, however, is currently on a trip through his district and will be returning to his post probably late in June.

He said further:  ‘We understand that the new head of the Mission is enroute to Tahiti.  It is our view that we should now wait for reports from the new head of the Mission and our Consul.  We are hopeful that the Governor of Tahiti and the new head of the Mission may come to a mutually satisfactory agreement.  It would now seem to be largely up to the head of the Mission to obtain agreement to his requests through presenting a persuasive case.

‘If there appears to be some way in which we can appropriately provide assistance in these matters in the future, we of course would be pleased to hear about it and do all that we can.’  signed C. Burke Elbrick, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs.

Friday, August 26, 1955.

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

17 Sept., 1955:

September 17, 1955

Church may Now Send out More Missionaries

Selection Service Action


Effective immediately, bishops of wards are authorized to recommend for missions, without limitations as to numbers, young men of 20 years and over whom they consider worthy to represent the Church as missionaries.

This is the substance of a letter sent last week to presidents of stakes and bishops of wards over the signatures of the First Presidency of the Church.

The letter is printed in full herewith:


Dear Brethren:

With appreciation for the difficult problems with which Selective Service officials must deal, we have endeavored to work co-operatively with them on matters affecting our missionary program.  In this spirit we refrained from issuing missionary calls to any of our draft-liable young men during the period from February, 1951, until July, 1953, when draft boards were required to supply large numbers of men incident to the Korean conflict.  In July, 1953, we established a self-imposed quota system for the sending of missionaries which was designed to implement our seriously depleted missionary forces without cutting heavily into the draft pool of any particular board.

More recently the military services have reduced their draft requirements to a point where we have felt the calling of missionaries might be liberalized.  We have consulted with various national and state Selective Service officials who have expressed appreciation for our past co-operation and who have indicated a willingness to coperate in a liberalization of the program.  We have assured them that in the event an emergency situation should arise reversing the present trend, then we shall give consideration to the matter of returning to a quota system.

Effective immediately, bishops of wards and presidents of stakes are authorized to recommend for missions, without limitation as to numbers, such young men 20 years of age and over as they consider to be worthy to represent the Church as missionaries.  In making such recommendations it will not be necessary that the bishop or his representative get in touch with the local draft board to determine the status of the young man.  However, each young man recommended for a mission should be prepared to give to the interviewing General Authority his Selective Service number, his present draft classification, and the number and address of his local draft board.  In the event he shall have received notice of induction, he will be advised by the interviewing General authority that he is not eligible for a mission at the time.

When and if the young man is issued a call to a mission this office will advise the draft board that the young man has been called, and in a subsequent letter we shall advise the board of the date on which he was set apart for his mission and ordained a minister of religion, at which time we shall request for him and on his behalf a IV-D classification.

We hope that this program will afford some of our young men, who might otherwise have been denied, the opportunity of serving as missionaries before they undertake their military service.





Clarification of the legal draft status of missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came early this month in an official directive from Major General Lewis B. Hershey, National Director of the Selective Service System.

Senator Wallace F. Bennett (R-Utah), who paved the way for the decision, said it meant that LDS missionaries during their terms of service would be considered ministers and would be entitled to IV-D classification.  In the past, it has often been necessary for some missionaries in the field to appeal to presidential boards in order to delay their induction until completion of their missions.

General Hershey’s instructions were contained in his official newsletter to state directors based upon the legislative record of the Houses of Congress.  The part affecting LDS missionaries reads:

‘In addition to these amendments, the act clarified certain other matters in committee reports and in debate on the floor of both the House and Senate.

‘One such matter was the status of ordained ministers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), who are assigned to serve in missions of the Church.

‘Senator Bennett of Utah appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee and proposed an amendment to the Selective Service extension act to dispel any question as to ministers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), while assigned to serve in missions of the Church.

‘The director of Selective Service advised the committee that the Selective Service System had always considered that such persons, while so assigned, came within the definition of the provisions of the Universal Military Training and Service Act defining ministers of religion.

‘After giving the matter full consideration, the Senate committee, in its report on the extension of the Selective Service Act, Report No. 549, page 12, stated that under existing law ordained ministers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), and assigned to serve in the missions of the church, fall within the definition of ministers of religion, and that the amendment proposed by Senator Bennett was therefore not considered necessary.  The matter was pursued further on the floor of  both the Senate and the House during debate on the bill, and in both cases the managers of the bill on the floor of the respective houses took a position with respect to these persons identical to that taken by the Senate Armed Services Committee.’

Deseret News – Church Section, Saturday, September 17, 1955

Wed., 28 Sept., 1955:

4.  Missionary Work in Peru and Chile.

President Richards said that Bro. and Sister Fotheringham in Santiago, Chile, strongly recommend that two or four missionaries be sent there at once, stating that a suitable location can be found for them, they to begin missionary work there under the Uruguayan or Argentine Mission.

I said that I felt that one of the General Authorities should go to Peru, meet with the leaders of the nation there and then organize a branch in Chile and perhaps a mission in Peru.  I stated that I was impressed that Chile is not prepared for a mission, but did think we should organize a mission in Peru, and that mission could direct the branch in Santiago.  It was agreed that nothing should be done regarding organizing a branch in Santiago until a mission is established in Peru.

Thurs., 6 Oct., 1955:

At Council meeting today, I reported that the Los Angeles Temple cannot be dedicated in December of this year; that the presidencies of stakes in Southern California had thought probably it might be done in the middle of January; that, however, after consultation and taking into consideration all the unfinished matters and the tens of thousands of people who would like to go through the Temple before the dedication, the Presidency feel that it would be advisable to postpone the dedication until after January.  It looks as though the Temple will be completed some time in November, and that consideration is being given to the recommendation of the brethren in Southern California that we extend to those who are sincere in their desire to go through the Temple — not only in Southern California, but throughout the Church — the opportunity of doing so before the dedication.  It is intended that ample time shall be given for a thorough organization of these pre-visits in groups of not to exceed 30 in each group; and the presidents of stakes in Southern California will arrange to have those groups go through, probably 5 or 10 minutes apart.  It is thought that this will be a great missionary work.

Fri., 13 Jan., 1956:

4 p.m. – Consultation with Bishop George R. Hill, Jr.  The following problems were presented by him:

1.  Does the present ‘award system’ of motivation develop the desired testimonies and attitudes in our young people?

2.  Would it be possible to keep newly ordained Elders active by a formal missionary training experience while they become of age for regular missions?

3.  Has the Welfare Program considered carefully the problem of providing a continuing supply of gasoline and diesel fuel in the event of an emergency?  Our economy has passed the point of no return to horse-drawn equipment for farm production or transportation.

4.  The problem of scientific theory, authority, and academic freedom is still unresolved; the intensity and extent of the discussions are much less than six months ago.

Will give consideration of these matters later.”

Tues., 14 Feb., 1956:

Meeting of the First Presidency

Question of Opening Up Missionary Work in Chile

Consideration was given to a letter from President Valentine of the Argentine Mission regarding opening up missionary work in Chile.  President Valentine wrote suggesting that we send four missionaries to that country, and The First Presidency in answer, suggested that President Valentine and Brother Fotheringham should first contact the government officials there.  A telegram has been received from President Valentine stating that he has contacted Brother Fotheringham and he feels that it is unnecessary to make this contact now and recommends that missionaries be sent there at once.  Brother Fotheringham thinks we have made sufficient progress among the authorities in that land that the missionaries can now commence work.

President McKay felt that we should wait until a member of the Twelve can visit the Mission and contact the local authorities.  A letter will be sent to President Valentine to this effect.

April 7, 1956:

(President McKay speaks at Missionary Meeting)


Friday evening, April 6, 1956

4,875 in Foreign Fields


By Jack M. Reed

Tribune Church Editor

More missionaries serving for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than ever before.

This was disclosed Friday night at a missionary conference in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.  Gordon B. Hinckley, secretary of the church’s missionary committee, said 4,875 missionaries were in the ‘foreign fields’ on March 1, exceeding the previous mark established in 1951.

At the end of the year, 4,687 missionaries were in the ‘foreign fields’ and another 6,565 were on ‘stake missions,’ for a total of 11,252 missionaries.  Mr. Hinckley said the total was an ‘all-time high.’

These missionaries made 21,669 converts last year, he added.

‘Integration’ of the converts into wards and branches of the church was stressed at the meeting in panel discussions.

Stephen L. Richards, first counselor of the First Presidency and in charge of the Church’s missionary work, conducted the meeting.  He pointed out that efforts must not cease when a convert is baptized.

He must be made to feel at home in the ‘fellowship, warmth and society of the church.’

Qualities a missionary should possess were outlined by Mark E. Petersen, member of the Council of Twelve Apostles.  He included faith, virtue, temperance, patience, godliness, charity, friendliness, humility and diligence.

J. Reuben Clark Jr., second counselor in the First Presidency, emphasized that all members of the church are judged by non-members according to what they do and say.

A Latter-Day Saint who goes astray not only brings discredit upon the church,’ he said, ‘but to a great extent loses some of the credit he has gained for himself.’

In what he described as a brief summary of the meeting, President David O. McKay pointed out the advantages of character, personal contact and church activity.

‘Be what you profess to be,’ the church leader said in explaining ‘character.’  He quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson:

What you are, thunders so loudly in my ears I can’t hear what you say.’

Personal contact he described as the most effective means of missionary work and encouraged the holding of cottage meetings in the homes of investigators.

And after a person is converted, he should be given activity in the church to keep his interest high, President McKay said.  Such activity should be something he likes to do and not just any job, he noted.

Invocation was offered by Bryan L. Bunker, former California Mission president and now Las Vegas Stake Mission president.  Alvin R. Dyer, Central States Mission president, pronounced the benediction.  Special music was provided by a Bonneville Stake priesthood chorus and string ensemble directed by Dr. David A. Shand.

The Salt Lake Tribune, Saturday Morning, April 7, 1956″

April 7, 1956


Friday evening, April 6, 1956


A missionary program casting a spotlight upon the problems of integrating converts into full fellowship in the society of the Church was presented Friday evening in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.

The session was under the auspices of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the missionary committee.  It was attended by mission presidents, stake mission presidents, missionaries and stake and ward officers, concerned with the responsibility of helping the new convert find his way into the full Church program.

President Stephen L. Richards of the First Presidency conducted the meeting.  Speakers also included President David O. McKay, President J. Reuben Clark Jr., and Elder Mark E. Petersen of the Council of the Twelve.

Featured also was a series of three panel discussions designed to focus attention on problems of integration of new converts to the Church as they affect missionaries, bishoprics, stake and ward officers and auxiliary leaders and the new converts themselves.

The panels were conducted by Elder A. Hamer Reiser, recently president of the British Mission and newly appointed assistant secretary to the First Presidency.

Statistics showing achievements in the great Church missionary program during the past five-year period, were presented graphically by Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, executive secretary of the Church Missionary Committee.

‘Great Missionary

President McKay was introduced to the vast throng in the Tabernacle as ‘Our Great Missionary – one who has shown us the example of the effort we should all put forth as missionaries.’  The Church leader responded by declaring there were three great impressions he had received as very important in the missionary program of the Church.

He mentioned first the character of the missionary, urging all to be what they professed to be ‘so those who are interested in the gospel will see its fruits through you.’

Second he mentioned the importance of personal contact as attained through cottage meetings – the most effective means of missionary work – getting into the homes and talking with the people.

‘Third Factor

The third factor of importance in missionary endeavor he said was giving of something to do to the convert.  He explained that they couldn’t all preach and often didn’t want to, but there was something they could do.  ‘We can find out what they can do and can hold them in the Church and make them feel well,’ he said.

President Clark related some of his early missionary experiences, though not ever serving actually as a missionary, and then urged his listeners never to lose sight of the fact that they were always missionaries.

‘Everyone of us is a missionary and whether we will or not we live under a law which is as strict as the law of Moses which punished the group for the sins of the individual.  We can never get away from it.  It will follow us wherever we are,’ he said as he urged good conduct and exemplary lives of all Latter-day Saints.

‘Still Must Convert

As he introduced Elder Petersen, President Richards, explained ‘We still have to convert.  The missionary himself is the figure around whom we center the great proselyting effort of the Church.’

Elder Petersen’s talk was directed to the qualifications of the missionary.  He said, ‘When the Lord instituted the great missionary program he expected the missionaries would be producers.  The work we have done bears out the fact there is a close relationship between the devotion and preparation of missionaries and baptisms.’

Elder Petersen emphasized the first visit of the missionary as the important one, it being ‘the key to success.’  He explained that the ‘better the teaching the greater the interest, and the greater the interest the greater the conversions.’  He advised the missionaries to prepare through study, earnest sincere prayer, sincere effort, and earnest devotion to the cause.

Qualifications Listed

As a list of qualifications for missionaries, Elder Petersen gave those given by the Lord in revelation to Joseph Smith as contained in the Fourth Section of the Doctrine and Covenants.  These are ‘faith, virtue (including personal purity, strength, valor) knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.’

Before introducing the panels President Richards told of the commendable work of the missionaries in making converts of those who would listen to the truth.  He also described the transformation of life wrought by the Gospel.  He explained also that the missionary in his work is not able to accomplish the full task of bringing the Gospel to his investigators.  ‘There still remains work to be done of a very important nature – the giving to those who will accept of our message the whole program of the Church.’

He referred to the important factor of bringing the convert into the full Church program as ‘integration.’  He explained that loss after conversion was a serious one, and the panel program was designed to emphasize the responsibility of all concerned with the integration problem.

Music for the session was furnished by the Bonneville Stake priesthood chorus and orchestra under the direction of David A. Shand.  Roy M. Darley was at the organ.  The invocation was by President Bryan L. Bunker of the Las Vegas Stake Mission, formerly president of the California Mission and the benediction by President Alvin R. Dyer of the Central States Mission.’

Deseret News – Saturday, April 7, 1956″

Mon., 4 June, 1956:

“Following the departure of these brethren, I autographed two copies of the Book of Mormon for a Mr. Everett Jerome Murphy business counselor – 4902 Franklin Ave. Los Angeles, California, who became acquainted on the train with two young LDS missionaries who were returning home from France.  He treated them to dinner, and during the course of conversation, he evidenced quite an interest in the Church, and expressed a desire to have two copies of the Book of Mormon — one for his personal library, and one for the public library of his home town – Sparta, Illinois – The missionaries are Elder Loren Crane, son of Bishop Danford B. Crane, and Elder Marion Stewart, both of Las Vegas, Nevada.

These books were sent to Mr. Murphy, and on June 23, 1956 I received a letter of appreciation from Mr. Murphy.  (see copy following, and also a copy of my reply)  (see also newspaper clipping)

This is another example of the great missionary work our young men are accomplishing!  (Mr. Murphy’s letter is preserved in my scrap book).

June 4, 1956


June 25, 1956

Mr. Everett Jerome Murphy

4902 Franklin Avenue

Los Angeles 27, California

Dear Brother Murphy:

Thank you for your letter of June 23, 1956.  I am pleased to learn that the autographed copy of the Book of Mormon has been sent to the Sparta, Illinois, public library.

If it is read, as it deserves to be, the people of Sparta will have some interesting experiences in the realm of ideas.




Wednesday, June 13, 1956

Telephone Conversation with Senator Arthur V. Watkins at Washington, D.C.

I called Senator Arthur V. Watkins, and told him that on July 9, 1956 Elder Henry D. Moyle of the Council of the Twelve will be at Lima, Peru, and that we are thinking of organizing a Branch at Lima with a view of eventually opening up a Mission there.

I further said that we think it would be well for Brother Moyle to meet the American Ambassador, and that I had called him to consult him (Brother Watkins) to see if it would be proper and advantageous to the Cause if the U.S. Secretary of State could ask that the American Ambassador receive Brother Moyle, and probably have him introduce Brother Moyle to the Foreign Minister while he is in Peru.

Brother Watkins said he could see no reason why that could not be done.  I said that I had found it very advantageous while on my travels in the different countries to meet the various ambassadors, and that the State Department had rendered a valuable service to us.  Now that we are going into a new country in South America, we thought it would be well to start right at the head.

Senator Watkins answered that he thinks there is no better way to start.  Said that Secretary Dulles and his department had been very gracious and willing to help us in the past, but that right now with President Eisenhower being ill he is a very busy man.  However, he will call the office of the State Department and then get in touch with their man in Peru who will push the matter on that end.

I told him that we would leave the matter in his hands, and that I would call Brother Moyle at Lima, Peru and ask him to be prepared to meet the Ambassador.

Wednesday, June 13, 1956.

Telephone Conversation with Elder Henry D. Moyle, Salto, Uruguay, (Brother Moyle touring Uruguayan Mission), Wednesday, June 13, 1956.

I first inquired from Brother Moyle how Brother Frank Parry is, and he said that Brother Parry will be home in Seattle, Wasington, today.  I asked him when we could expect Brother Parry in Salt Lake City.  Brother Moyle stated that he did not know, but that Brother Parry’s wife’s funeral will be held in Seattle next Saturday.  I asked him if the girls had come with Brother Parry, and he said that they had remained in Uruguay, and Brother Parry had come home alone.

I asked Brother Moyle when he would be in Peru, and he said around the 6th of July.  I told him that we had contacted Senator Watkins and asked him to have the United States Secretary of State send word to the American Ambassador in Lima, Peru to arrange to introduce Brother Moyle and Brother Frederick S. Williams, (now with the South American Research and Develpment Corporation, Plaza San Martin 986 Oficina 30, Lima, Peru), to the Foreign Minister in Lima, at which time Brother Moyle could present an official application for permission to carry out our missionary program.  I told Brother Moyle that we would leave this matter in his and Brother Williams’ hands.  I said that we are not to send missionaries to Peru until he (Brother Moyle) obtains permission from the Foreign Minister to organize the Branch.  I again said that we would leave this matter entirely in his hands and await his judgment.

I told Brother Moyle that the same holds true in Santiago, Chile and that he is to look over the situation and make such organizations and recommendations that he feels by inspiration should be made.  We shall await his judgment and recommendations.

I gave the love of the Brethren to Brother Moyle.  I also mentioned the fact that Brother Richards is better.  He and Sister Richards will go up to their lake at the end of this week to completely recuperate.

Tues., 19 June, 1956:

“9 a.m.  Elder Frank Parry, President of the Uruguayan Mission met with the First Presidency in our meeting this morning.  He is passing through Salt Lake City returning to Uruguay from Seattle where he had taken the body of his wife who passed away in Montevideo, Uruguay.

I reported that only incomplete information had been available to the Presidency.  The telephone conversation with Elder Henry D. Moyle had been unsatisfactory because of interference.  A letter and telegram had been received from Brother Moyle saying that Brother Parry had gone to Seattle where the funeral services were held.  I prepared a cable expressing the love, sympathy and blessing of the First Presidency to President Parry and his daughters.

President Parry reported, in answer to my question, that his three daughters, ages 9, 16, and 19, had remained in Uruguay.  He explained that Sister Parry had a chronic kidney ailment, from which she seemed to recover from time to time.  She had about fifty per cent function.  The nephritis culminated in uremia, and, though efforts were made to prolong her life by artificial treatment, permanent correction had failed.  He explained that he had encountered much difficulty getting clearance for returning the body to the United States; that he had arranged for a doctor to embalm the body at a medical school and that the casket had to be sealed and was not opened thereafter.

President Parry said that the two younger girls are attending school and are making a satisfactory adjustment.  They are getting the language.  The eldest girl, 19 years of age, has been set apart as a local missionary and has been doing missionary work in Los Piedras.  She will now come into the mission home and take the place of her mother in the care of the two sisters.  This daughter is quite mature for her age and the younger girls accept her direction well.  Pres. Parry said that the first thing the family did after Sister Parry’s death was to have a family meeting and decide what they could do, and they decided that they would accept the situation and that they would like to continue in the mission field.

Elder Beattie, a counselor in the mission presidency, who was to have been released, has been given an extension of four weeks.  President Parry will leave New York Wednesday and take a plane which will reach Montevideo in 28 hours.  He said that plans for dedicatory services of chapels have gone ahead in his absence.

In answer to my questions, President Parry said that the nine-year-old daughter and the sixteen-year-old daughter attend the same school; that they travel by public transport which they take from their home to the school.  They have a two-hour lunch period, for which they return home.  To help with the housework, a native girl is employed, and in addition there is a cook.  President Parry said: ‘I am sure they will measure up in this respect.’

Elders stay at the mission home.  There is always someone there.  There are two lady missionaries working at the mission headquarters.  There are three elders in the office, two in the mission presidency and the mission secretary.  When President Parry is away, some of the lady missionaries will be there to be with the daughters.

I asked President Parry to keep us informed as to the readjustment.  He said: ‘Whatever you think should be done, we shall cooperate.’

The proposal to organize a branch in Santiago, Chile, was discussed.  This branch will be in the Argentine mission.  President Parry said that Argentina is democratic and, if the missionaries can get into Santiago and get started, it will be good.  He explained that Santiago is nearer Montevideo by air than is Peru.

President Parry said Brother Moyle left Asuncion, Paraguay, and went to Brazil.  On the 6th, he will be in Lima, Peru, and on the 13th he will be in Guatemala.  ‘I am to meet him on the 6th in Lima.’

I said that the plan is that the Uruguayan mission will be responsible for the branch in Lima, Peru.  President Parry is to meet Brother Moyle and Brother Williams in Lima, and I said: ‘We hope you will then be able to call on the state officials; at any rate, that you will meet the United States Ambassador, and we hope he will have arranged a conference with the local officials, so we may have official recognition of the branch with a view finally to opening a mission there.  In the meantime, until we do organize a mission, the branch will be part of your mission.’  This was President Parry’s understanding.

President Parry then took up Mission Building matters.  I suggested that he take up these building matters with the Building Committee this morning before the meeting with the Expenditures Committee, and, by telephone, I arranged for President Parry to meet with Brother Wendell B. Mendenhall.

President Parry said he is encouraged about Paraguay.  He said the missionaries went into Paraguay representing the Federation of Uruguay in the Basketball tournament.  In Uruguay, athletics play a big part in the makeup of the community at the high school and the college level.  Athletics are under the big clubs, which have twenty to thirty thousand members, and very large budgets.  He said: ‘We have a team and we won in our league last year.  We can get a lot of  recognition.  I have found that the elders who have played basketball are the top elders in proselyting time.  They can still do their athletic playing and do their missionary work.  At the end of the season, we put on an invitational tournament and we packed the stadium for three nights.  We put out a folder showing the elders and where they are from.  And there was not a seat left in the stadium.  We had our chorus and orchestra play during the intermission.  We received tremendous newspaper publicity over it.  It does not make converts, but it opens doors and increases the number of cottage meetings.  We opened this little town of Los Piedras where we get twenty-nine people out.  Lady missionaries have been working there.  When Brother Moyle was there they gave us a theatre for just the cost of the lights.  We put on a musical program and a cantata, a double mixed quartette, and Brother Moyle had a chance to speak to the people.  As soon as we move in, the Catholics get active.  We also put on a exhibition soft-ball game and had 4,000 people out.  Immediately after that, the Catholics opened a dance on the same block where we have our sacrament meeting.’

President Parry said we need two or three more local missionaries and asked if finances are available if they are called.  I advised that the people furnish part of their expenses and the Church will help with the balance.

Pres. Parry asked if missionaries might be sent down by plane.  He said when they go by boat they are a month in arriving and they lose enthusiasm and spirit for the work.  The mission had ten lady missionaries a year ago; only two have come since President Parry has been there.  He said he did not like to put them out into the small towns.  I asked him to report these matters to Brother Hinckley in President Richards’ absence.

After further discussion about building matters, Brother Parry was taken to Brother Mendenhall’s office.”

Thurs., 11 Oct., 1956:

Intra-Chinese strife Between Nationalists and Communists

Having received word that four of our missionaries in Hong Kong, China were in danger because of the anti-foreigner rioting that had taken place in that city, I telephoned to our Mission President, Harold Heaton, of the Southern Far East Mission at Kowloon, Hong Kong, China, who assured me that all were safe in that Mission and that the four missionaries living in a house that had been surrounded by the rioters were rescued by the Police and taken to the Mission Home for safety.”

Thurs., 18 Oct., 1956:

“10 to 1:30 p.m.  The meeting of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve was held in the Salt Lake Temple.

At the meeting in the Temple today, I explained the advisability of having missionaries in Lima, Peru, this matter having recently been considered by the First Presidency.  The matter of the purchase of a house in Lima has been recommended and approved.

I stated that an industrial enterprise is being considered by a Mr. Curran of Bakersfield, Calif. for engaging in logging operations in the forests on the east slopes of the Andes.  Mr. Curran is seeking Latter-day Saint men to be associated with him in the enterprise because of his confidence in them as a safeguard against Communism.  The presence of other groups of Mormons already in Peru with the Utah Construction Company, and with mining interests, was mentioned, and the coincidence of this development with the consideration of doing missionary work in Peru was commented upon.”

Tues., 23 Oct., 1956:

“10 a.m.  Attended the Expenditures Committee meeting.

Came out of the meeting to meet His Excellency Manlio Brosio, Italian Ambassador to the United States who is a guest of the US Department of Commerce.  He was accompanied by the Honorable Fortunato Anselmo, Italian Consul in Salt Lake City, and William A. Lang, local man and President of the World Trade Association.  Also Mr. Jos. Jerry Jeremy, District Manager, US Department of Commerce, Salt Lake City, Utah.

At the conclusion of a very pleasant visit, Mr. Anselmo suggested that I autograph a Book of Mormon for Ambassador Brosio.  I told them that we do not have an Italian copy of the Book of Mormon, but that I should be very pleased to inscribe an English copy.

His Excellency, Ambassador Brosio, asked if the Church had any organizations in Italy, and I answered that we did not.  He then said, ‘While we are Catholic, there are other Protestants over there and we would be pleased to help you organize.’

I told him that we would be glad to take advantage of that suggestion.

The Ambassador extended to me an invitation to call on him whenever I am in Washington.

I think we should take steps to get the legal right to go into Italy before the Catholics know we are there.

I felt that my interview with the Ambassador resulted in much good.  (see newspaper clippings)

Thurs., 25 Oct., 1956:

“8:30 a.m.  Set apart Rowland Parry Corry as presiding elder of the Saudi Arabia area, with instructions to take charge of the Church activities among members of the Church living within a radius of 40 miles of the base at which he is employed and resides at Dhahran, Saudi, Arabia, and was given authority to administer the necessary ordinances of the Gospel among the members of the Church and to report to the First Presidency.  Elder Corry’s wife accompanied him to the office this morning.

Approximately forty civilian members of the Church are in this area, and in addition some military personnel.  There is an average attendance of ten to fifteen members at regular church services in the city where Elder Corry resides.  His address is ARAMCO (R.P.) Dhahran, Saudi, Arabia.

Brother Corry is in the employ of a large oil company; he seems to be a very fine young man, and has a good spirit.  It was not considered advisable to organize a branch at this place because it would be against the law, as the Mohammedans are opposed to other churches coming in there, and the Oil Company is very strict in their attitude that their employees should not antagonize the Mohammedans.  However, meetings will be held in Elder Corry’s home.  Elder Corry was authorized to attend to the blessing of babies and baptizing any children or new converts that might be made, although they cannot do any proselyting.

President Richards, who assisted in setting about Elder Corry, was very favorably impressed with Brother and Sister Corry.”

Sun., 4 Nov., 1956:

“At 7:30 o’clock this morning I attended the Stake Missionary meeting in the 27th Ward, Emigration Stake.

The Presidency of the Stake were present.

I had been invited to be the speaker on this occasion.  I spoke for 45 minutes on missionary work — the message they should give – the distinguishing features of the Church, etc.

I was delighted with the spirit of the meeting.  There were 25 missionaries present besides the Presidency of the Stake Mission and guests, and their accomplishments are most commendable.

They meet in a special Fast Day meeting once a month as missionaries before they go into the regular meetings of the day.  They are also invited to go to the Temple as a united group once a month.

They have baptized thus far in 1956 12 people.

The number of investigators with whom regular meetings are being held is now 60, and complete surveys of the non-membership in the stake have been made, and every non-member listed in a card file.  There are 900 non-member families in the stake, and 30 Jewish families.

I was delighted with the occasion, and the spirit of it was most commendable!”

Wed., 14 Nov., 1956:

1:30 p.m.  Just before getting in my car to go home Dr. James L. Barker stopped me and asked for a few moments of my time.  I went back to the office where we discussed matters pertaining to missionary work in Italy.  Dr. Barker has several ideas and suggestions for this work.

Fri., 21 Dec., 1956:

“Jurisdiction for Missionary Work in Chile

A cable received from President Pace of the Argentine Mission requesting instructions about the proposed change of administration of missionary work in Chile was presented.  Letters from President Parry of the Uruguayan Mission, setting forth the status of proselyting in Peru and Chile, were also read.  President Parry reported visiting in Santiago and in Lima and stated that the purchase of property in Lima has been completed.  Four missionaries in Santiago have baptized nine people and have prospects of a like number within the next two months.  Missionaries are favorably received in most places in Santiago.

In Peru the missionaries have been getting into fifty per cent of the homes.  Prospects are better now that a building is available in Lima.

It was agreed that Presidents Pace and Parry be informed by cable that, for the present, jurisdiction of Santiago be retained by the Argentine Mission and that letters would follow.  The matter was referred to President Richards for drafting the replies.  (Taken from First Presidency’s Minutes).”

Wed., 12 June, 1957:

Argentine Mission Proselyting Progress

President Pace’s letter reporting proselyting progress of the Argentine Mission was read.  He reported that the first 1,000 members were baptized in 25 years, the second 1,000 in 8 years, and prospects are that the third 1,000 will be baptized in 1 and 1/2 years.  The foundation laid by missionaries and members in the past and the marked favorable change in attitude of the Argentine people toward the Church he suggested as the main factors producing these results.  He expressed appreciation for the help given by the First Presidency and the General Authorities and Building Committee in improving the building facilities of the mission.”

Telephone conversation with President Wilford J. Reichmann, St. George Stake, Tuesday, October 15, 1957.

President Reichmann:  Good morning, President McKay.  This is President Reichmann of the St. George Stake.  How are you this morning?

President McKay:  Pretty well thank you.

President Reichmann:  President, I have a problem.  I should like your help on it.  I have a young lady who has been called on a mission, and when I interviewed her, she had no boy friend of any description.  She has two sisters who have married, but she has had no opportunity to marry.  She was to have entered the mission home on October 23rd.

In the meantime this sister went to the L.D.S. Temple a number of times, and while she was there, her brother-in-law introduced her to a fine young man who had returned in July from the Southwest Indian Mission.  They are in love now.  She wants to know what she should do — go the mission home or get married?

President McKay:  Has he proposed?

President Reichmann:  Yes.

President McKay:  We shall extend to her an honorable release, and she can consummate her union.

President Reichmann:  Would that release have to come from your office?

President McKay:  Yes, since she has been called and assigned to the mission home.

President Reichmann:  Her name is Mary Delilah Gillespie.  She was to enter the mission home on October 23rd, and was assigned to the Gulf States Mission.  She said to be sure and tell President McKay that she will go if he wants her to, but she would like to get married.

President McKay:  We should like her to get married first.  She cannot fulfill a better mission in the world than that.

President Reichmann:  I shall tell her that.  Then an honorable release will be sent her?  She is upset.  She wants to do what is right.  I appreciate your advice, and thank you for your many kindnesses.

President McKay:  Yes, she will get an honorable release.  It is a pleasure to hear from you.

President Reichmann:  Thank you President.

Sat., 14 Dec., 1957:



Salt Lake City, Jan. 11. –

(INS) – David O. McKay, 84, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, says he is afraid an apparent religious revival in recent years may be ‘only on the surface.’

However, the silver-haired, twinkling-eyed McKay, beloved religious leader of nearly 1 1/2 million Mormons, said he hoped his fears were groundless and that the resurge of religious interest is a true indication of greater faith.

In an interview with International News Service, the church leader said that man’s heart must be changed unless he destroy himself.

The tall, alert, spiritual leader has traveled some 500,000 miles visiting church stakes and missions throughout the world since he was ‘sustained’ as president in 1951.  In the following interview, he gives his impressions of what he has seen and heard in his extensive travels, and clarifies some facts about the Mormons.


Q.  President McKay, do you think people are becoming more religious at the present time or are they drifting away from religion?

A.  ‘Recently there has been the general opinion there has been a great increase in interest in religion and there has been a reported increase in membership in the various churches.  I am of the opinion this may be more or less on the surface, and that the increase in church attendance is more social than religious.  Religion must come from within.

‘Outward acts do not indicate a true conversion within the soul.  Enmity still exists among nations and indications are that we are not making the advance among nations that we should.’

Q.  What has been the response to the Mormon Church mission program?

A.  ‘This is one of the things that gives me the greatest hope.  Never before has there been such progress in the missions as there has been in the past 10 years.  Growth of the church has been remarkable and at the present time 500 chapels are under construction or being remodeled.’

Q.  Is present day materialism affecting tithes and offerings?

A.  ‘There never has been a greater response in the payment of tithes and offerings to the church, and again, this is another indication of the growth of faith.  These payments are in addition to the payments church members make toward chapel construction.’

Q.  Do you think people work hard enough at the present time or is there too much leisure time?

A.  ‘I believe it is a God-given privilege to work and am a great believer in giving an honest day’s work for a day’s pay.  It is true that inventions have made possible shorter working days and man should use his increased leisure time for spiritual, educational and cultural purposes.’

Q.  Are people reading as much religious material at the present time or do they expect to be ‘spoon-fed?’

A.  ‘I’m afraid people are not studying the religious works as they did 50 years ago, including the Bible, and they are not reading enough good literature.  People devote a lot of time to television and radio and while these are truly great means of useful learning there still is a lot of trash carried on the programs.

Q.  What do you consider are the principal doctrines that distinguish the Mormon religion from others?

A.  ‘The first distinctive feature is divine authority by direct revelations.  For example – two leading Christian churches trace their authority to original apostles – the Roman Catholic to Peter, for example.  The Mormon religion believes that authority was lost during the dark ages and that it could be restored only by Jesus Christ himself.

‘The Mormon Church received its authority by direct revelation to the prophet Joseph Smith, who founded the church in 1830.  Its organization is distinguished in that it is set up as it was in the days of the Saviour.

‘Another distinguishing feature is the eternal nature of the covenants and ceremonies.  For example, temple marriages are not ‘until death do you part,’ but are ‘for time and all eternity.’

‘The Book of Mormon is another principal distinguishing feature as the history of God’s dealings with man on the American continent, just as the Bible is concerned wtih God’s dealings with man in the old world.  We accept the Book of Mormon as we do the Bible, as the Word of God.  Another feature is that the church is a lay church, there are no paid members of the clergy.’

Q.  What is the church doing about the problems of youth?

A.  ‘The church has a primary interest in the welfare of youth as shown in its many organizations, such as the primary organization, which has a program for children from the ages of 4 to 12; the Mutual Improvement Assn. whose special duties are to enroll and assist in education and training of young people from 12 to 25.

‘In addition to these there is the Sunday School organization whose primary duty is to educate in religious matters, the Women’s Relief Society which teachers and aids young wives and mothers, and the various priesthood quorums which includes all male members of the church.  We have social activities, cultural activities, sports activities and other group interest projects.’

Q.  Ezra Taft Benson, secretary of agriculture, is a member of the church’s Council of Twelve Apostles and is very much in the news these days.  Would you comment on his political activities and his political future?

A.  ‘We in the church council believe Elder Benson is doing a good job in the post of secretary of agriculture and apparently the president thinks so too.  As far as church officials are concerned, Elder Benson will serve as long as the president wants him.’

The Denver Post, Sunday, January 12, 1958″

Wednesday, July 30, 1958.

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

President McKay:  President Woodbury.

Brother Woodbury:  President McKay, how are you?

President McKay:  I am very well.

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

President McKay:  Thank you.  Where are you now?

Brother Woodbury:  In Wichita, Kansas at work.

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

Brother Woodbury:  Oh!

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

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

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

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

President McKay:  I knew that would be your answer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

President McKay:  We anticipated that.

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

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

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

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

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

President McKay:  Thank you.

Brother Woodbury:  Thank you very much President McKay.”

Thurs., 31 July, 1958:

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

. . . .

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

Do you know T. Bowring Woodbury?

President Richards:  Yes, the one from Kansas?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tues., 5 Aug., 1958:

“British Mission President

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

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

2:30 p.m.  Returned to the office at which time I received a courtesy call from General Lewis B. Hershey, Washington, D.C. – National Director of the Selective Service System.  He was accompanied by the following:  Colonel Barber – San Francisco, California – Regional Director, Western States, Alaska, Hawaii and Guam; Colonel Evan P. Clay – Utah State Selective Service Dir.; Major Richard V. Peay – Utah State Selective Service Deputy Dir.

I expressed appreciation to General Hershey for the excellent cooperation he and his office have given the Church when we have had problems affecting our mission program.

General Hershey has been very helpful – in 1955, when the present selective service law was under consideration, General Hershey testified before the Senate and House Armed Services Committee to the effect that our missionaries are eligible for ministerial classification under the law.  This testimony has helped us immeasurably with draft boards in areas where our missionary program is not understood.  Colonel Barber has also been helpful, as have the Utah Director and Deputy Director.”


Present:  President David O. McKay, President Joseph Fielding Smith, Elders Henry D. Moyle, Richard L. Evans, Hugh B. Brown; Assistants to the Twelve ElRay L. Christiansen and Gordon B. Hinckley; Bishop Thorpe B. Isaacson.

Elder Edward O. Anderson, Architect, was asked by President McKay to be present to participate in the consideration of the condition of the Swiss Temple.  Elder A. Hamer Reiser was present as Secretary.


President McKay:

‘The third point is regarding the most unfortunate condition in France.  Brother Moyle, will you please make a statement regarding it.’

Brother Moyle:

‘I think Brother Brown, who has been in Paris, and I have not, should speak.  I held some meetings last Saturday, and Sunday, in Brussels.’

Brother Hugh B. Brown:

‘Well, while in Basel, President Milton L. Christensen of the French Mission called me on the phone and said that there was very serious trouble, and asked me if I could come over.  I was just leaving for Rome, but I flew to Paris and he told me the nature of the trouble when I arrived.  He said that there was a group of missionaries who were preaching polygamy and a lot of other things, donouncing the Manifesto and circulating literature sent to them by the Fundamentalists.’

Question by President McKay:

‘Why did he permit it?’

Brother Brown:

‘It seemed to have been going on for some time.  They had been meeting secretly.  They had been holding protected meetings–a group of the leaders–Elders.  They would admit only those whom they thought worthy of ‘higher things.’  A man who went home just before Brother Lee was released had apparently been doing some of this, but he left, and upon arrival home he sent a whole package of this Fundamentalist literature back to his companion, including a 100-page letter setting out the troubles the church is in, and the solution of them all.  It was sent to the counselor of the Mission President, a missionary by the name of Tucker.  Tucker, with this material, called in a few of his close associates and companions and began to teach it to them.  That went on before the President discovered it.  Tucker was the counselor in the Mission Presidency.  He traveled over the Mission.  He was leaving some of this literature.  When I arrived in Paris, he, (President Christensen) told me the situation, and I asked where Tucker was; and he said he was down in Geneva on an assignment, and I asked him to phone at once and bring him into the office, which he did.

‘I sat down and talked to Tucker for three hours.  I talked with him and used every method that I could think of, persuasion and prayer.  I wept with him.  He sat there looking me in the eye.  He did not take his eye off me while I talked with him.  I said, ‘Do you accept the Manifesto?’  He said, ‘I do not.’  ‘Do you believe that polygamy should be practiced now?’  He said, ‘I know that there are righteous men who are practicing it with the knowledge of the General Authorities.’

‘Do you believe that President McKay is two-faced and is talking out of both sides of his mouth and not telling the truth?’

‘I believe just that.  But I do not and I would not know until the Lord reveals it to me.’

‘I said, ‘I am here representing the General Authorities looking into this matter, and I am telling you that you are wrong.’

‘He said, ‘I do not accept you as an Apostle.  I take my direction from the Lord and only from Him.’

‘I won’t take too much of your time.  I made no impression whatever on Tucker.  I was impressed that I should instruct the President to send him home at once, but with this meeting coming up, and inasmuch as there was another of the Brethren on assignment, I did not want to overstep my bounds.

‘I told him to stop his operation, and that we shall not allow him to meet with any missionaries again until we can have the meeting here.

‘Two other young men had been affected, and they had already made arrangements to go home.  Apparently they were of the same opinion.  Brother Hinckley had talked with the President about them and they had gone home.  Still two others with whom I had talked had the same attitude.’

Brother Hinckley said:

‘The first indication was about ten days ago.’

Brother Brown:

‘There were two other men who had talked the same way.  One was stony-faced.  I asked when they got their first impressions and they refused to answer.  They said they would not implicate anybody.  One young woman nearly 30, a fine woman, had also become so imbued with it.  This young woman was ready to go into polygamy.  She was waiting for an opportunity.  I talked with her for some time, but I think she has completely changed her mind.  Tucker–the counselor to the President–has almost put them under covenant not to tell, but she broke down and told me the whole thing.  She said she had lost confidence in the General Authorities of the Church and thought that they were two-faced, and she said, ‘After hearing you, I ask forgiveness.  I thank God you came and I want to tell you I will never have anything to do with this again.  I will personally accept your statement.’

‘There were two other ladies in the French Mission–American missionaries–who I think will have to go home.  I think someone must see them individually and decide each individual case on its merits.  They are saying there are two Priesthoods, and John the Revelator is the man who presides over you and he has given them instructions through this man Tucker that he does not need to ask for instructions from you or me or anyone else.  I have never in my life run into anything quite like it.  I had all those cases in Granite Stake under Dr. Talmage.  We handled cases of those polygamists, including John Burt.  Tucker is a missionary from home.  He is a brilliant young man, too brilliant for his own good.  He is the most defiant, self-opinionated person I have ever met.’

Brother Moyle:

‘President Christensen and his wife, if they said it to me once, they said it a half a dozen times:  ‘They hated to do anything with Tucker because they had learned to love him?

‘President Christensen came into the mess and he did not know what he ought to do with it.  He evidently did not know it existed until ten days ago.’

Brother Hinckley:

‘About ten days ago, President Christensen phoned the Bishop of these two boys.  The boys’ parents had received requests for money for the boys to come home, so the boys’ Bishop called, and he sent a cable to President Christensen asking for a report on the situation.  President Christensen cabled, and then telephoned and said these boys had no faith and no testimony.  They were determined to come home.  I told him I would talk with a member of the Presidency, if they were insistent on coming home; he could hold them there.  Brother Brown would be there in Paris in a few days.  The parents sent money to one of the boys, but the other boy’s parents sent no money.  Then President Christensen called to make a plea for the London meeting, and I talked with President Clark and he said we shall approve the London meeting, and we sent a cable to that effect.

‘President Christensen did not say that polygamy was in it at all.  These two yung men had lost their faith.  He said they were getting wonderful results in the French Mission, and the devil was really at work.  Not only these two young men, but about ten others.  I suggested that he talk with Brother Brown and gave him the word of the London meeting, and you (President McKay) would be here and the matter could be resolved at that time.  That was about ten days ago.’

Henry D. Moyle:

‘This last Sunday, they held a public meeting down in Brussels.  They had a wonderful conference.  I spent all Saturday with the Elders and President Christensen, but did not know how far this group of Elders had been affected.  They had some 37 Elders from the Brussels and Liege Districts, which goes as far as Lille in France.  After a whole day’s work interviewing them and talking to them, they held a testimony meeting.

‘I did not attend the testimony meeting.  That was held Sunday night after three big meetings Sunday called by President Christensen.  It was a regular District Conference.  Testimony meeting was a continuation of the Saturday meeting.  The upshot of the matter is that the Elders of these two districts are all right.  At 10 o’clock President Christensen came to my room in the hotel and said he had a report from Nancy, France, District Headquarters, that they had a big meeting at which the District Supervising Elder had publicly, from the pulpit, preached these Fundamentalist doctrines.  All the Elders from Nancy seemed to be affected.  So far as he knew, it was the first time it had broken out in public.

‘Another thing–I met with all the Elders in West Germany in the meeting that we held in Dusseldorf where there were 57 Elders present.  The spirit was pretty good, but I think there is something there that needs pretty careful attention.

‘When I got to Stuttgart, I felt the very devil himself was there.  There was not anything I could pinpoint, but I think a feeling that there might be some relationship between the feeling I had at Stuttgart and in the French Mission.

‘I am sure that is the French situation.  The first thing after I talked with the Elders, instantly they started to ask me about the Manifesto and Brother Taylor and Brother Cowley.  I cut them off pretty short.  I told them that they were not in their missions to discuss that question.  I am afraid it has affected some others.  It is pretty hard to keep it confined.  They correspond with one another.’

Brother Isaacson:

‘I was in Paris and I met Brother Brown.  I was not staying at the Mission Home.  The next morning, President Christensen and his wife went to Brussels and they volunteered to have the missionaries take me to the plane.  We were staying at the hotel and one of the missionaries whom I had interviewed for his mission came.  The other man is a son of a very fine stake president, Elder Hart from Idaho Falls.  I had been to their home twice, and I knew this boy, when he was about 14 and again about 19 or 20.  So I took another walk in Paris.  I was astounded at how reluctant they are to tell anything.  I said to Hart:  ‘You are all right, Brother Hart; knowing your father like I do, they could not mix you up, could they?’

‘He is a fine chap.  I do not think they have hurt him, but I did not get a positive answer.  He said, ‘No, they could not hurt me, but there is a lot of teaching going on that you do not know what to think.’

‘While I think that they have not touched him, I think they have him disturbed.  This man Tucker was with him.  This boy Hart is a fine boy, but someone will have to reinforce him.  I think every missionary over there will have to be reinforced and put straight.’

Brother Moyle:

‘All those 37 missionaries need something to support and sustain them.  President Christensen is absolutely lost.’

President McKay:

‘Where is Tucker from?’

Answer:  ‘From California.’

Hugh B. Brown:

‘He is from President Hunter’s Stake–Pasadena.  He was a companion of Elder Shore.  Elder Shore is the one who started this, yes, beginning the last few months.  He is a student going to school.’

Question:  ‘Is Tucker an unmarried man so far as you know?’

Answer by Brother Brown(?):  He says he is unmarried.  And Shore is an unmarried man, so far as I know.’

‘They have all kinds of mysteries–the Adam-God idea.  They are talking about many things that I have not heard of.  He said, ‘You are not up-to-date.’  President Hunter will be here Sunday.  Tucker is from his Stake.  (Insert by Brother Reiser–By the way, I think Brother Brown said all these things although my notes do not indicate it definitely.  But I am quite sure it was Brother Brown.)

‘He (Tucker) pledges them to say nothing about it.’

President McKay:

‘Now, Brethren, we had better call a meeting of the Mission Presidents tomorrow, Saturday, at 10 o’clock.

‘Our Elders in Europe, as indicated here in France, are preaching the eternity of the marriage covenant as being plural marriage itself.  They are misled.  They should get clearly in mind the thought that the principle of that great revelation is the eternity of the marriage covenant, and what that principle is, the Prophet Joseph explains clearly.  The marriage bonds of man and wife will last through the eternity–just as plain as the English language can express it.  When the Prophet Joseph received the great revelation on the eternity of the marriage covenant, he asked the Lord about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and David and Solomon, each of whom had more than one wife; and then the Lord explained that ‘If I give to him a virgin by this same covenant, he has not sinned because I have given her to him.’  That is marriage under the covenant.  ‘If he has ten virgins, and he is married under the covenant, it is right because I have blessed it, and if he does not have them given under the covenant, he is committing adultery.’  Marriage with more than one wife is just as legal as with one wife because it comes under the eternity of the marriage covenant.

‘But the Church did away with the practice of plural marriage because of the law.  President Woodruff said he was going to do away with that practice, but he did not deny the principle of the eternity of the marriage covenant.  It is in force today as it has always been in force, but the practice of plural marriage is not permitted, and anybody who indulges in it or permits marriage into it, has violated the law of the Church and merits excommuncation.

‘In the Book of Mormon times, they had the same experience.  The Lord called the plurality of wives an abomination, but that did not do away with the eternity of the marriage covenant, for it is an eternal principle.  The ‘Cultists’ think with polygamy they will receive greater blessings in the Hereafter, and that the Authorities of the Church are deluded.  They do not understand the difference between the eternity of the marriage covenant, and a practice of plural marriage.’

Brother Brown:

‘They are reading into it that you must be in polygamy to get to the highest degree of glory.’

Brother Hinckley:

‘A meeting of the French missionaries is scheduled for Wednesday.  President Christensen would like some of the Brethren present Wednesday at 10 o’clock.  He would like some of the Brethren to meet on that occasion.  They have Ravenslea Hall lined up for the meeting on September 10th.  All the French missionaries are coming, and he hopes this thing will be nipped at that time.’

Brother Hugh B. Brown:

‘I wonder whether we ought to see these brethren separately rather than to open up with all the missionaries.

Brother Moyle:

‘When Brother Christensen said that he had authority to bring all his missionaries, I felt sorry that that authority had been given.  I would like to see that cancelled.  I do not believe it would be good to have them come.  I think it is a matter which has got to be handled on an individual basis.  They are coming tomorrow.  I would not have them come to the Temple.’

Brother Hugh B. Brown (I believe this statement was made by him, although I am not sure):

‘I think Brother Moyle is exactly right.  I think there are too many polluted.  They are not worthy to go through the Temple.’

President McKay said:

‘It is 10 o’clock.  We will adjourn this meeting, and if you will just wait here in the hotel, we will reassemble after we get through with this appointment.  We will decide on the action pertaining to these missionaries.  They should not come.  You meet the Mission Presidents and present this matter to them.

‘If they are coming, we should interview everyone of them singly.’

Wed., 10 Sept., 1958:

“Pres. McKay in Europe–see notes following.

(See letter following from Elder Milton L. Christensen, President of the French Mission regarding the excommunication of nine French missionaries for apostasy.)  (also see September 17 and 18, 1958.)

Wednesday, September 10, 1958.

The following is a copy of a letter sent by Elder Milton L. Christensen, President of the French Mission to all stake presidents, bishops, and parents involved in the excommunication of nine French missionaries guilty of apostasy for their association with groups known as ‘Fundamentalists’ who practice polygamy.

Wednesday, September 10, 1958.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

French Mission

    3 Rue de Lota, Paris 16,


September 13, 1958



Dear Brethren:

I am writing this letter following in explanation of the telegram sent to you by my office on September 11.

On September 10, an Elder’s Court was held in London at 50 Princes Gate, under instructions by President David O. McKay and under the direction of Elder Henry D. Moyle.  This Court consisted of the following Elders:

Henry D. Moyle

Hugh B. Brown

Thorpe B. Isaacson

Milton L. Christensen

Douglas W. Owens

Vernon B. Bangerter

Don C. Jensen

H. Ray Hart

The following missionaries were found guilty of apostasy and were accordingly excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

William P. Tucker

Bruce Wakeham

Stephen Silver

Daniel Jordan

Loftin Harvey, Jr.

Niel Poulsen

Juna Abbott

Marilyn Lamborn

Eunice Fulk

These nine missionaries, together with another sister missionary who has since asked to return home with them, will sail from LeHavre, France on the Greek Line ‘NEW YORK’ on September 16, 1958 and arrive in New York City on September 26.

Briefly here is an outline of what happened preceeding the above action:  Recently some of our missionaries have been studying and delving into teachings not in accordance with the accepted doctrine of the Church, and widespread and painstaking labor has been done to stamp this out.  These teachings, however, were of a very secret nature, and because of this, it was not until towards the end of the month of August that we were able to pinpint where the trouble was stemming from and to extract from some of the above named missionaries the confession that they believed these teachings, basically those of the widespread groups known broadly as ‘fundamentalists’.

On August 23, Elder Hugh B. Brown of the Council of the Twelve Apostles arrived in Paris, and interviewed four of our missionaries.  We found them to be in an apostate condition, and two of them, after requesting permission, were allowed to return to the United States.  Upon arriving the following week in London, and after reporting to President McKay and President Smith, Elder Brown called to say that it had been decided that all missionaries would be interviewed by one of the General Authorities Tuesday morning, September 9 before being allowed to attend the morning session of the dedication of the Temple.

This was accomplished early that morning, with interviewing being done by the following members of the General Authorities:  Joseph Fielding Smith, Henry D. Moyle, Richard L. Evans, Hugh B. Brown, Thorpe B. Isaacson, ElRay L. Christiansen, and Gordon B. Hinckley.  It was found at that time that ten of the French Missionaries were in an apostate condition, and should not be admitted to the Temple.  Nine of them requested that they be excommunicated, and requested also that it be done together.

Hours were spent that day and the following morning by the above named authorities and by Sister Christensen and myself in laboring and pleading with these young men and women, asking that they repent and come back to finish the fine work that they had started in the mission field.  This work, however, was in vain, and although exceeding love was shown by all those who plead and reasoned with them, they stood firm.  Again they requested excommunication, and that this action be taken with them as a group.

The above named Elder’s Court was then called, and these nine missionaries were excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, for apostasy.  This action was based on their negative answers, given independently to the question of whether or not they sustained David O. McKay as a Prophet, Seer and Revelator.

Our hearts go out to these young men and women, to their parents and families, for we know that they have taken a step which will adversely affect their eternal progress.  They were among our finest missionaries, until they came under the influence of these teachings.  We pray that some day in the near future they may be loosened from this diabolical power, and that they might again seek baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Sincerely your brother,

/s/ Milton L. Christensen

President of the French Mission


Wed., 17 Sept., 1958:

“The following matters were discussed during the First Presidency’s Meeting this morning:

Excommunication of Nine French Missionaries

President McKay reviewed the apostasy of nine missionaries in the French Mission, and their excommunication in London on Wednesday, September 10, 1958.  It had been reported that a David Shore of Rosemary Ward, Calgary Stake, Canada, who had been a missionary in that mission, but released earlier in the year, had sent back to his companion, Elder Tucker, the literature of the Fundamentalists and that Tucker, counsellor to the mission president, had circulated it among the missionaries.  (also see September 10, 1958.)”

Fri., 19 Sept., 1958:

Telephone Call

President Stephen L. Richards called regarding Elder Harvey William Harper, one of the French missionaries who came home before the excommunication of nine of his fellow-missionaries who have become associated with the Fundamentalist Group.  (see following notes of conversation–see also Sept. 10 and Sept. 23 for further notes regarding this matter.)

Telephone conversation with President Stephen L. Richards.

President Richards:  Brother McKay, Brother LeGrand Richards and Brother Richard L. Evans have interviewed one of those French missionaries* by the name of Harvey William Harper who lives in California who came home before the excommunication took place in London.  Brother Richards and Brother Evans feel that he is fully repentant.  He served fifteen months of his mission and came home on his own accord.  The Mission President reports that he was a good missionary.  He got mixed up with these people.  He has been with LeGrand this morning in his office.  A few minutes ago I told LeGrand that we should have to be extremely careful because if we let one missionary return to the mission field even though he hasn’t been excommunicated, the parents of the other missionaries may object.

President McKay:  This boy has not been excommunicated?

President Richards:  No, he has not, but he got mixed up with these Fundamentalists, and he confesses that he was persuaded in part.  However, he found himself in time, but I do not think it would be well for him to go back into the mission field without a little probation, would you?  They think perhaps he has repented.  I am not in favor of sending him back to the French mission.  He should complete his mission elsewhere.  But I think if the people heard of that they wouldn’t understand all the circumstances.  They might think we were discriminate.  Would it not be better to put him on probation for a few months before he goes out in any mission field, or do you think one of us ought to interview him before we give approval?

Brother Richards and Brother Evans think his former Bishop who lives in Salt Lake now and heard of it has done a good job in straightening the boy out.  If we want, we can take the recommendation of two of the Twelve that he be permitted to go forward and complete his mission.  He served fifteen months.

President McKay:  He is from California?  Are his folks here with him?

President Richards:  No, I think they are not here with him.  I asked whether or not they are both good members of the Church.  Bro. Richards did not know whether he came from a good strong family or not.  His bishop thinks well of him.

President McKay:  I am inclined to be charitable to these boys when they do come and confess and see the light.  I do not know whether much would be gained by sending him back.  I would rather notify the mission President of the condition.  I believe I would let him go to some other mission.  I would not send him back to France.  Hasn’t he been home?

President Richards:  He would like to get out of the embarrassment of going home.  He just left the mission of his own accord and the President did not give him a release.

President McKay:  His Bishop does not know about it?

President Richards:  Yes, he does now.

President McKay:  Does his parents know about it?

President Richards:  They may know about it, but this Elder has not gone back to his own ward.  He just came here from France.  He left before the trouble developed there.  He acknowledges that he was influenced by them.  He said that if he hadn’t left, he would have been called in with the rest of them, and he would have been excommunicated.  He would have stood with them.  He got out of it before that time came, and says that he has come to his senses.  He realized how wrong he was.  He would like to get out of the embarrassment of going home.

President McKay:  I think I would like to talk to that boy.

President Richards:  I see, he will be in Brother LeGrand Richards’ office when Bro. Richards comes back from the University appointment to which you assigned him.  He is going to meet with him again.

President McKay:  I should like to see him about 4:30 this afternoon.**

President Richards:  All right, I shall tell LeGrand to have him come.  I am sure he can get him and have him there.

President McKay:  Have the boy and Brother LeGrand Richards come together.

President Richards:  All right, I shall tell him.

President McKay:  All right, thank you.

*This refers to nine French missionaries who were excommunicated while Pres. McKay was attending dedicatory services of the London Temple.  These missionaries had been contaminated by one of their number who is a ‘cultist’ or ‘Church of the first born’ as they call themselves.  It is a polygamist group.  Four girls and five young men were included in this group.

**(Later, this appointment was changed to Tuesday morning, September 23, 1958 at 8:30 o’clock)”

Tues., 23 Sept., 1958:

“8:30 a.m.  Elder LeGrand Richards and I had a conference with Elder Harvey William Harper this morning at 8:30 o’clock.  Brother Harper gave up his mission in France and came home because he had become confused over his association with a group of missionaries who had been secretly teaching polygamy and had joined with the ‘Fundamentalists’ under the leadership of Elder William P. Tucker* a member of the French Mission Presidency who had come from California as a fully authorized missionary of the Church.

I asked Elder Harper when he was first approached with the idea that it is right to practice polygamy now and that those who oppose it have apostatized from the Church.  He answered that he got that information while serving as a missionary in the French mission.

I then asked him when he changed in his thinking and when he came to the conclusion that the General Authorities of the Church are the authorized representatives of the Church.  He answered:  ‘I knew it in the Mission Field, but I did not know that I knew it.’

Elder Harper bore his testimony to me that he knows that he has made a grave mistake; that he does have a testimony of the truth of the Gospel, and would like to make restitution for what he has done and also to finish his mission.

At 4 p.m. I had a consultation with Gordon Hinckley, Assistant to the Twelve, who had been appointed by me while in London to go to France and investigate conditions at Mission Headquarters.  He said that he had spent hours going through mission files and correspondence, and that he could find nothing that would lead to a suspicion of what was going on — that Elder Tucker and his followers were sworn to secrecy.

Brother Hinckley said that he had gone to the dock to see the nine missionaries who had been excommunicated while in London who were living on a Greek liner for New York.  He told them he did not come to preach to them; that they had had better men than he talk to them (Elders Joseph Fielding Smith, Henry D. Moyle, Richard L. Evans, Hugh B. Brown, Bishop Thorpe B. Isaacson) but that he had come in the interest of their parents to see that they had enough money to get home safely; that he also wished to bear his testimony to them and to say to them that they would live to regret what they were doing on that day — leaving the mission field, probably for Mexico to practice their mistaken ideas.

Brother Hinckley said all the missionaries, excepting Elder Tucker and one of the girls, seemed morose and down-cast.

I told Brother Hinckley that after talking today to Elder Harper, I am inclined to let him return to the mission field – not to the French Mission – but to receive a transfer to the Eastern States.  I told him that I had talked to President Stephen L. Richards about it, and that he was in agreement with this plan.  Brother Hinckley will now effect the transfer to the Eastern States Mission.  I also instructed him to get in touch with President Jacobsen, President of that Mission, and let him know the whole story about Brother Harper so that he may watch the situation.

*(See diary Sept. 10 and also report of meeting with General Authorities in London about this matter)

Wed., 5 Nov., 1958:

“Missionary Travel by Air

President Richards then stated that President Clark and he are just meeting with Dr. William F. Edwards on the missionary travel matter.  They have come to the conclusion that it will be just a little more expensive to send the missionaries by air rather than by ship, and there are many more advantages by air.”

Fri., 16 Jan., 1959:

“Friday, January 16, 1959.

Telephone conversation with Congressman H. Aldous Dixon, Washington, D.C.

Congressman Dixon:  President McKay, this is Aldous Dixon.

President McKay:  Good, I am glad your conscience is still active.

Congressman Dixon:  It was in December when I was going to call you, but then you went to Hawaii before I got on the ball again.  I have been called to go to New Delhi, India, and I shall come back by way of Japan and Hong Kong.  If there is anything I can do for the Church there, I would be glad to do it.

President McKay:  When you are there at Hong Kong, please call on President H. Grant Heaton.  Without telling him that I asked you to do so, would you keep your ears open on the new projects he has.

Congressman Dixon:  What is his name?

President McKay:  President Heaton.

Congressman Dixon:  Oh yes — on the new projects he has.

President McKay:  Yes, but don’t tell him that I have mentioned them.

Congressman Dixon:  I understand.

President McKay:  He is so thoroughly inspired and so enthusiastic over the people who are coming in and his desire to bless them that I am afraid he is losing his sense of proportion.

Congressman Dixon:  Well, then I shall report back my opinion when I get home.

President McKay:  Will you please?

Congressman Dixon:  I will be home in two weeks.

President McKay:  Oh, that is just fine.  I am so glad you are going there.

Congressman Dixon:  Well, I shall sure be glad to do it President.  I am going there an an agent of the Agricultural Committee to see if we can help further on this exchange of foods and sale of foods — our surplus foods.

President McKay:  Well, I know Brother Heaton will be very pleased to meet you.

Congressman Dixon:  I have been in conference all morning with Mr. Franklin G. Floete of the General Services with whom you made that contract for the Federal Building in Salt Lake City.

President McKay:  Oh, yes.

Congressman Dixon:  I have been working for a Federal Building for Ogden.  Mr. Floete sends his love, and he says there is something divine about you.  He is not a very religious man, but he said he could feel this about you.

President McKay:  That is very kind.  I wish you would extend to him my kindest personal regards and thank him for what he has done for us regarding the site for the Federal Building here in Salt Lake City.

Congressman Dixon:  I will sure do it.

President McKay:  Tell him I was delighted to meet him personally.  He impressed me deeply.

Congressman Dixon:  And I will thank him for coming out personally.  Well, I will do that.  Is there anything else you can think of?

President McKay:  Well, you have my best wishes and prayers for a successful trip.

Congressman Dixon:  I will stop at Frankfurt.  I will give them your greetings there if that is all right?

President McKay:  In each case, I wish you would call on our presidents of missions and extend to them our greetings.

Congressman Dixon:  Now, President if there is anything I can do to help the Church, you know that I will always do it.  Give me a ring or have someone do it.

President McKay:  Thank you, will you please dictate a memorandum tomorrow to your secretary and just give some idea on your itinerary, then we shall know about where you are on certain dates.

Congressman Dixon:  All right I will do that.

President McKay:  Thank you very much for calling.

Congressman Dixon:  Well, it thrills me to hear you.

President McKay:  Love to Sister Dixon.

Congressman Dixon:  The same to Sister McKay and all your lovely family.

President McKay:  Thank you very much.  You have made us very happy.

Congressman Dixon:  All right, good-bye.

President McKay:  Good-bye.”

Thurs., 19 Mar., 1959:

The Use of the Name of the Church in Advertising

A letter was read from Joseph T. Davies of El Monte, California, referring to billboard advertising in which the name ‘Mormon Church’ is used.  It was the sentiment of the Brethren that inasmuch as our people are generally referred to as Mormons we have no objection to the use of that term; that, however, we should not refer to the Church as the Mormon Church inasmuch as its correct name is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It was felt that the correct name of the Church should be indicated on our billboard advertising and that the name ‘Mormon’ might be placed in parenthesis.  This ruling will be brought to the attention of Brother Mark E. Petersen as Chairman of the Church Publicity Committee.”

Mon., 6 Apr., 1959:

“Note by cm – Before adjourning the conference for another six months, President McKay urged that every one of the million and a half church members must become a missionary in spreading the message of the restored gospel.   Tears came to his eyes as he admonished church members everywhere to learn their duties and to walk in the performance of them in all diligence – ‘that is the responsibility of every man and woman and child who has listened to this great and wonderful conference,’ he said.  As he closed his remarks he said:  ‘O Father, bless those who hold the priesthood, who have been married in accordance with thy instruction, and help all to take advantage of this eternal blessing that we may be united together and be with thee forever.'”

Thurs., 18 June, 1959:

(3) Creation of New Mission

Authorization was given for the division of the West German Mission, creating a new mission which is to be called the South German Mission, mission headquarters to be established in Stuttgart for the South German Mission, which will take in practically all of Bavaria and going to the Luxembourg line, leaving the West German Mission to include the balance of what now is the West German Mission, leaving Frankfurt/Main as the headquarters for the present time.  Brother John Buehner is recommended as President of the new South German Mission, Brother Buehner’s family having come from Stuttgart, and there are relatives living in that area at the present time.

Wed., 15 July 1959:

“Telephone conversation with Mr. J.K. Orton of Phoenix, Arizona, who is vacationing at Newport Beach, California.

Brother Orton:  Hell, Brother Orton.

President McKay:  Yes.

Brother Orton:  How are you President?

President McKay:  I am glad to hear you.  We called you particularly on a matter concerning our Tahitian Mission which has come from Washington.  I have here the following note:  The Church is accused of having had ‘converted and baptized and taken into the confidence of the Church a man who is a top member of the dope ring between the islands, a Mr. de Seife, an attorney, in Washington reports that there were many other items of that kind.’  Do you know whether our Church has been associated in any way with a opium ring?

Brother Orton:  Well, not to my knowledge.  Now many years ago — or not too many years ago — five or six years ago, in fact, when we were down there, there was a man by the name of Abrango DuBray (did not get spelling) who had been reputed in his earlier days to have had done some trafficing in dope, but he had long since stopped as far as my knowledge goes, and he has been dead for a number of years.  Now, that is the only case that I know anything about.

President McKay:  Did that man ever ask you to keep some dope in the refrigerator at the mission home?

Brother Orton:  Certainly not while I was there.  Not to my knowledge.  If it ever was, it would have to be on one of those occasions when I was on one of the other Islands, which case I don’t think is very likely.  Do they specify the year it happened?

President McKay:  No, the year isn’t given, but there is a record down there that the police found in the refrigerator at Mission headquarters some dope which this man had put in there.

Brother Orton:  I don’t know about that.  I have never heard that one before.  Now, there is one other thing President McKay.  This Doctor Wurfel, I understood, at one time was on the Island of Macapa (?).  You know he has been quite a great friend of the Church, Dr. Wurfel.

President McKay:  I know.  Yes.

Brother Orton:  And at one time it was reported that he uncovered some dope in Macapa, some trafficing in dope up there, and he tried to turn it over to the authorities for prosecution.  Now, this is, of course, his story to us, and they in turn turned it around to make it appear as if he was a party involved.  But that also happened many, many years ago.

President McKay:  I see.

Brother Orton:  And it does not involve anything of the last ten years.

President McKay:  Well, that is good.

Brother Orton:  That is just a story I heard when I was done there.  Now those are the only two leaks that I know anything about unless this is something that happened at a more recent date.

President McKay:  No, I think they go back several years.

Brother Orton:  Those are the only two incidents I know anything about, and I am certain that as far as my knowledge goes there never ever was anything of that nature left in the mission house.

President McKay:  Well —

Brother Orton:  Now, I tell you President McKay, it might be well if you want to check further to call Larson Cladwell at Vernal, Utah.  If you will recall, he was down there about a year alone after I left there, after I came out for my operation.  And his name is Larson Caldwell at Vernal, Utah.

President McKay:  Yes, we can call him.

Brother Orton:  I have never heard anything about that, but he might know something that I don’t know because he was there for more than a year after I left.

President McKay:  Well, I thought I would call you directly and get it from you because we are going to send down Brother Rossiter, our former French-speaking President.

Brother Orton:  Oh, I see.

President McKay:  We shall send down Brother Rossiter to clear up some of these things.

Brother Orton:  Oh yes.

President McKay:  And I thought I would have your word directly from you to tell him so he could tell the French governor down there.

Brother Orton:  Well, now I think a lot of this, just to give you a little background, is coming from the Protestants and the Catholics there.  I know we started to get a lot of antogonism when I was down there when we put that new missionary plan into effect.

President McKay:  Yes.

Brother Orton:  We made quite a number of conversions, and of course, when they lose a conversion down there, it is a major catastrophe to them.  In fact, while I was there, they even went so far as to try to get the government to issue an order that we could only tract in the houses of our own people.

President McKay:  I see.

Brother Orton:  We couldn’t proselyte anywhere else, and they tried to get me at that time to agree to such a regulation if they put it into effect in the islands.  Of course, I told them that I couldn’t agree to such a statement even if I wanted to, and I certainly did not want to.  We had quite a discussion over that, but I think that most of this stuff is originating from those sources, and I think they will go to any length to get their point.  In my own mind, I would rather believe, and I think it is accurate, that most of this stuff is just fabricated and put out to make the Church look bad down there.

President McKay:  Well, they are certainly doing their best to make it look bad.

Brother Orton:  They really are.  We had a lot of trouble when I was there with the French Governoment.  They did everything they could do to hurt us, and I know that I stressed with all my missionaries, every time I talked with them, every time we had a priesthood meeting, and I am sure subsequent presidents have done the same, that they should do nothing to involve the government in any way, and that whenever we had anything to do with the government we should always stress the importance of going directly through the French Government and giving them every honor and prestige.

President McKay:  Well, you know nothing about a bag of dope being found in the Church headquarters while you were there.

Brother Orton:  Not a thing that I know of, President McKay.

President McKay:  And the police did not come there and find it?

Brother Orton:  They certainly did not!  If they had been there and found it, I would have known about it.

President McKay:  You would have known about it?

Brother Orton:  Yes, I am sure that wasn’t the case, and this is the first time I have heard even a suggestion about it.

President McKay:  It is the first time we have ever heard it, and we are shocked.

Brother Orton:  Yes —

President McKay:  So we are going to trace it down to its source, and then let the government know that there is nothing to it.

Brother Orton:  Well, I am sure it must be run down, and I am sure it is just one of those things, but as far as I know those are the only two cases, and they are so remote because after this one man DuBray (spelling ?) came into the Church, I am sure he had nothing to do with dope after that and certainly he didn’t ever ask us to do anything with it.

President McKay:  All right.

How are you?

Brother Orton:  I am fine, how are you President McKay?

President McKay:  Feeling very well, thank you.  And thank you for this information.

Brother Orton:  We are spending the summer down here at Newport Beach.  I understand you get down here once in awhile.

President McKay:  Yes.

Brother Orton:  It is very lovely down here.  It is nice and cool.

President McKay:  Well, that is good.  I am glad you are enjoying it.

Brother Orton:  Well, thank you very kindly.

President McKay:  All right.  Good-bye.

Brother Orton:  Good-bye.”

Sat., 31 Oct. 1959:

“1:30 p.m.

President Moyle and I met with the Los Angeles Temple Committee on Buildings and Grounds.

Consideration was given to the question as to what might be done to increase the interest of visitors who come there to the temple grounds.

It was suggested that there be erected on the grounds an heroic size statue of the Prophet Joseph, and that on the base of the statue there be quotations from revelations — the First Vision, etc., — that would form an interesting nucleus around which the message of the gospel could be given.

I think there is virtue in the suggestion, and that it would prove of much more value than to take to the Los Angeles Temple grounds duplicates of the statues of the Prophet Joseph and his brother, Hyrum, from the Salt Lake Temple Square.

The following Thursday, at the meeting of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve, I presented this matter to the Brethren to ascertain their feelings in regard to it.  I mentioned that perhaps Brother Avard Fairbanks might be chosen to do the sculpture work.  The Brethren indicated their unanimous approval of the project.

Thurs., 19 Nov. 1959:

10:00 – 3:45 p.m.

Was engaged in the meeting of the Council of the Twelve and The First Presidency in the Salt Lake Temple.

Decision to re-open European Mission

Today at Council Meeting I reported that during the past few days the First Presidency had been considering the problems in the European Missions, and that I now present to the Council, for the First Presidency, the advisability of reopening the European Mission, and instead of sending the Brethren of the General Authorities to visit the various missions over there, that we appoint one of the General Authorities to preside as President of the European Mission, to work with the various missions just as the European Mission President formerly did.  I continued that it is now felt that the headquarters of the European Mission should be on the continent rather than in London as formerly.

I then proposed that Elder Alvin R. Dyer, Assistant to the Twelve, be called to become the President of the European Mission with headquarters in Frankfort a/Main in Germany.  I stated here that I felt that we should first establish European Mission Headquarters and the other matters pertaining to getting publications and lesson helps to the German-speaking missions, etc., could be developed later in connection therewith.

The Brethren unanimously approved of the reopening of the European Mission and also of the appointment of Alvin R. Dyer as the President.  (see newspaper clipping regarding the reopening of the European Mission on November 25, 1959)”

Wed., 3 Feb. 1960:

“8:35 to 11 a.m.

The First Presidency held their regular meeting.

(2) Sub Committees of Missionary Committee

President Moyle proposed the organization of sub committees of the Missionary Committee as follows: 1. Sub committee on Foreign Affairs; 2. Sub committee on Stake Missions; 3. Sub committee on Literature and Proselyting aids.  The membership for these committees was suggested.  President Moyle as a member of the First Presidency will be Chairman of the Missionary Committee, and an additional member or two will be appointed.

Fri., 19 Feb. 1960:

“8:30 to 12:45 a.m.

The First Presidency met in their regular meeting with the Presiding Bishopric, and then continued with their own meeting.

We first had a long conference with Dr. Louis Moench relating to psychiatric problems of our missionaries.  Dr. Moench has given excellent service to the missionaries in this respect and we expressed our appreciation to him.

Dr. Moench said some problems are arising in the mission field which can possibly be avoided if some changes can be made.  In response to a question as to whether or not the physician who examines the missionaries should discover the mental illness that may exist, Dr. Moench said that it is sometimes difficult to detect this kind of illness from a physical examination, and that such an examination would not disclose it.  Unless the person was extremely disturbed it would not show up in the usual physical examination.  However, there are tests that will show most of these things if the tests can be given before the missionary is called.  It is extremely embarrassing to have a boy come into the mission home, and then to discover that he is not mentally well enough to go on a mission.  Dr. Moench said: ‘I think we should do some testing before young men are considered for a call.  There should be a physical examination and some kind of psychiatric test.  We have a test which the Bishop could use and send the results in here and then some screening could be done here before the missionary call is issued.’

Dr. Moench explained that the test materials could be delivered to the Bishop who would have the prospective missionary fill out the test.  It could then be returned to the office of the First Presidency to be studied by a psychiatrist or a psychologist.  He said that the test is very simple to administer, but the bishop could not screen or score it; it requires a mechanical scoring device and someone familiar with the test.  The bishop could give the test and send the examination in.  The data could be transferred to an IBM punch card system and then become available in a form which the specialist could study.  And if the prospective candidate passed, it would be easier to issue the call after that.

A long discussion was held regarding ways and means to handle this problem.  (see minutes of First Presidency)”

Tues., 15 Mar. 1960:

“8:30 to 10 a.m.

Was engaged in the meeting of the First Presidency.  We had an interesting discussion regarding the interest of the Missionary Committee in providing supervision for the United States, Spanish-Speaking, and Pacific Island Missions, similar to the supervision now being given to the European Mission by President Alvin R. Dyer.  President Moyle reviewed evidences of the need for closer supervision in the Northern Far East Mission, the Southern Far East Mission and in Spanish-Speaking Missions, which will bring the missionaries into greater proselyting activity by stimulating their systematic teaching programs and eliminating missionary problems resulting from idleness and inactivity.  He recommended men for consideration to serve in these supervisory capacities and said that can be given Mission Presidents and missionaries when General Authorities of the Church tour the mission.

The need for additional Assistants to the Twelve to relieve the brethren of other calls upon their time and to assist in this work also considered.

Sunday, March 20, 1960

March 15, 1960

President David O. McKay

47 East South Temple St.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear and Beloved President McKay:

We have just learned of the illness of Sister McKay and of your vigil at the hospital.

As a former missionary of Great Britain and as former President of this Mission, we the members and missionaries of the British Mission have set aside Monday, March 20th as a day of fasting in behalf of your sweetheart of many years.

You have both been such an inspiration to all of us in your love for each other, your concern for each other’s happiness and comfort, that in faith we want to call on our Father for special blessings at this time.

The members and missionaries want me to tell you both that they love you and feel the Lord has so blessed us and is blessing us with your leadership and the example of perfect love and continuing courtship.

We all have great faith in fasting and prayer and fell privileged to join this day in expressing our faith and love for your loved one.

Affectionately your brother,

On behalf of the British Mission

Members and Missionaries

T. Bowring Woodbury

Mission President


Sunday, March 20, 1960

March 21, 1960

Dear President Woodbury:

Yesterday morning I sent you the following cable:  ‘Quickmere, London, England, President Woodbury:  Appreciate lovely letter.  Family uniting with British Mission the Twentieth.  Love.  Gratefully, David O. McKay.’

This morning, in keeping with Sister McKay’s request, I express to you, Sister Woodbury, your associates, and all the missionaries in Great Britain, our sincere appreciation of your thoughtfulness in setting apart a special fast day for Sister McKay’s recovery.

You will be pleased to know that the program was carried out with a great spiritual blessing to all who participated in this significant fast day, and it especially brought comfort and blessing to Sister McKay.

This morning she awoke with a smile on her face, and deep gratitude in her heart for the blessing she experienced yesterday, the 20th.

Sister McKay joins me this morning in sending greetings and special appreciation to all missionaries and members in Great Britain, and in acknowledging the blessings of our Heavenly Father through their faith and gracious prayers.

With kind personal regards to you, Sister Woodbury, Elder Harold B. Lee, Elder Alvin R. Dyer, and all who will participate in the organization of the first stake in Great Britain next Sunday, March 27, 1960.

Gratefully yours,


President T. Bowring Woodbury

The British Mission

50 Princess Gate, Exhibition Road

London, S.W. 7, England”

Wed., 8 June 1960:

“12:25 p.m.

Conference with Elder Henry D. Moyle of the First Presidency regarding changing the age limit of lady missionaries.  The age limit will not be changed excepting where a lady missionary is called to go into the mission office.”

Fri., 10 June 1960:

“8:30 a.m.

The First Presidency’s meeting was held.  One matter of importance was the reading of a letter of instructions prepared by the First Presidency for the General Authorities of the Church, setting forth the action of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve on the subject of interviewing prospective missionaries.  The letter was approved as prepared.  A letter was also read and approved (a copy of which is being sent to Stake Presidents and Bishoprics) setting forth new qualifications and standards for young men and women being selected to serve as missionaries for the Church.  (see copies following)

I reviewed instructions relating to the interviewing of prospective missionaries and explained that young men who are found morally unclean will not be called on missions.  I stated that Bishops have the responsibility of interviewing boys before they are ordained deacons, teachers, and priests, and that these interviews give opportunity to create an atmosphere in which the boys will live and grow up to manhood.  It is hoped that they can be influenced to keep their lives clean and to accept the responsibility of protecting the moral cleanliness of themselves and of the girls of the Church.

Aaronic Priesthood

At our meeting with the Presiding Bishopric this morning I told them that yesterday at the meeting of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve, a decision was made pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood as follows:  That a boy should be a deacon for three years, commencing at age 12 until his 15th birthday; that he is to be a teacher during the years 15 and 16; and that he is to be a priest from 17 until his 20th birthday, unless these boys are found worthy to be ordained Elders prior to the age of 20, for such reasons as being married in the temple or to serve a mission for the Church.  These ordinations can take place any time after their 19th birthday if they are otherwise qualified and worthy.  I said the young men are under the direction of the Bishopric and when the Bishop recommends a young man, he should know him well.”

Friday, June 10, 1960


Dear Brethren:

It is very important that bishops and stake presidents, as well as General Authorities follow the same basic principles in passing upon the moral worthiness of a young man or woman to receive a call from the First Presidency to go on a full term mission away from home.

Prospective missionaries must be asked specifically if they are virtuous, morally clean, and free from any form of moral or sex transgression, or other impure practice, law breaking, or other irregularities.

Local and General Authorities must satisfy themselves thoroughly before recommending men or women for mission calls, that they are morally clean, that is to say, that they have not been guilty at any time of fornication or comparable offenses.  It they are not thus clean, they must not be recommended for full time missions.

Strict adherence to this rule is imperative.  There must be no departure from the stipulations made herein, and no discrimination nor partiality shown.

Conferences between General Authorities, stake presidents and bishops are in order when deemed necessary in instances where there is serious question about an individual under consideration.  Such collaboration should be had before recommending or rejecting the applicant.

In all cases the seriousness of transgression in the mission field, with its inevitable punishment of excommunication, should be brought to the attention of all candidates interviewed.

Neither the bishop, nor stake president, the missionary nor his family, should announce the consideration of a mission until after the call from the First Presidency has actually been received.  This will save embarrassment to the missionary, his family, and all concerned.

Any individuals who do not qualify for full term missions in the above respect, but who have demonstrated through a reasonable period of time their total repentance and who are otherwise worthy, may be called into stake missionary service.

There is, of course, generally speaking, less temptation within the stake, and in addition there is the benefit of home environment which will further strengthen the individual.  This is a means of giving those who desire to do missionary work, but who cannot be called on full time missions, an opportunity to serve.

Any bishop or stake president who feels that a given case justifies special consideration because of his belief that true repentance has been shown over an adequate period of time, may confer with a member of the Council of the Twelve who, alone, have the sole right to consider and determine any deviation from or exception to this rule.

Sincerely your brethren,

David O. McKay

J. Reuben Clark, Jr.

Henry D. Moyle

The First Presidency

    Friday, June 10, 1960

June 13, 1960  

President Joseph Fielding Smith


Dear President Smith:

We suggest that the following statement of a recent action taken by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve be given to each of the General Authorities for use in instructing the bishops and stake presidents at all quarterly conferences they attend during the balance of the year.  We request that the General Authority read this letter verbatim to the stake presidency and bishops.

Instructions to General Authorities

It is very important that General Authorities as well as stake presidents and bishops, follow the same basic principle in passing upon the moral worthiness of a young man or woman to receive a call from the First Presidency to go on a full term mission away from home.  There must be no departure from stipulations made herein, and no discrimination nor partiality shown.

Our records clearly demonstrate that generally missionaries who are guilty of sex transgressions in the mission field were guilty of such transgressions before being interviewed for their calls.

Missionaries who enter upon their labors with a clean record througout their lives in this respect have the power to resist whatever temptation confronts them while they are away from home in the fulfillment of their duties as representatives of our Heavenly Father in preaching His gospel and officiating in the ordinances thereof.  Missionaries with clean hands and pure hearts advance the work of the Lord in the mission fields.  When morally unclean, their presence abroad among our missionaries and saints generally retards the work and often leads to real tragedies.

Before recommending men or women for mission calls, local and General Authorities must satisfy themselves thoroughly that they are morally clean, that is to say, that they have not been guilty at any time of fornication or comparable offenses.  If they are not thus clean, they must not be recommended for a mission.  Strict adherence to this rule is imperative.

As soon as the people realize the seriousness of violating the law of chastity, some may try to conceal and not disclose their past transgressions.  Interviews should be conducted with this possibility in mind.  In those cases where there are any doubts, efforts should be redoubled to arrive at the whole truth.

Conferences between General Authorities, stake presidents and bishops are in order when deemed necessary.  By comparing notes, it is probable the truth can be found before action is taken either in recommending or rejecting any applicant.  In all cases, the seriousness of transgression in the mission field, with its inevitable punishment of excommuncation, should be brought to the attention of those interviewed. 

Neither the bishop nor stake president, the missionary nor his family should announce the consideration of a mission until after the call from the First Presidency has actually been received.  This may save embarrassment to the missionary, his family and all concerned.

Such individuals who do not qualify for a full time mission in the above respect, but who have demonstrated through a reasonable period of time their total repentance, and who are otherwise worthy, may be called into stake missionary service.

There is, of course, generally speaking, less temptation within the stake, and in addition there is the benefit of home environment which will further strengthen the individual.  This is a means of giving such individuals who desire to do missionary work an opportunity to serve.

Any bishop or stake president who desires to present any case for special consideration because of his belief that true repentance has been shown over an adequate period of time, may confer with a member of the Council of the Twelve, who alone have the sole right to consider and determine any deviation from or exception to the above rule.

Faithfully your brethren,

David O. McKay

J. Reuben Clark, Jr.

Henry D. Moyle

The First Presidency”

Tues., 21 June 1960:

“8:30 a.m.

First Presidency’s meeting was held.  We met first with President and Sister Richard C. Stratford of the Northern States Mission who have just returned from that Mission.  They gave us a detailed report of their missions.  President Stratford said that it had been a glorious experience for them, and I answered that it is a glorious experience to go out and to serve and to influence people not only during the mission but for time and all eternity.  President Stratford said:  ‘We have been so blessed and magnified by the Lord in the work.  We have had the greatest experience of our lives to be working with the wonderful missionaries and the members of the Church who are so devoted and faithful.  We are very appreciative.’

President Stratford explained that three months ago his partners in the national accounting firm of which he is a member asked him when he was released from his Mission, if he would go to Los Angeles and manage the Los Angeles office of the firm.  He said that after consulting with the Brethren he decided that they would go down and make their home in Los Angeles.  They are accordingly selling their home in Portland.  He explained that the firm of accountants of which he is a partner has about 60 partners throughout the United States, and they have been most generous with him while he was away.  ‘Although I agreed to be away from the firm without compensation, they have given me a very liberal compensation while we have been in the mission field.  Now they need someone to manage the Los Angeles office and we thought we would go.’  President Stratford stated that when President Stephen L. Richards asked him to serve in the mission, he mentioned that it would bring a great realization to the people in the partnership as to what it means to the members of the Church.  President Stratford went to the annual meeting of the firm, and there were countless numbers of the partners and their wives who came to him and to Sister Stratford to tell them how much they appreciated what they were doing.  Some of these were Jews, some were Catholics, and some Protestants.

‘They have been most kind and generous while we have been gone.’

Sister Stratford said that when Brother Stratford went to Detroit to confer with the firm, and to see what arrangement could be made for him to leave the company to serve in the mission field, he was informed by the officers that ‘if the Church’s need is strong enough to take you away from the business, the business’ need will be strong enough to wait for you and to hold your place until you come back.’

President Henry D. Moyle said that this comes as a big promotion to be given the responsibility of managing the firm’s office in the third largest city in the country.  President Stratford expressed appreciation for the opportunity which it will give him to make many important business contacts with people of great influence in business.  He also stated that he requested leave to go to the mission just nine months after the Portland firm had merged with the national firm of partners.

Sister Stratford recited her unwillingness at first to have her husband join the merger because she thought it would mean that the family would be without his companionship but that in the course of arriving at a decision she came to feel well about it.

Tues., 19 July 1960:

Reduced age for Foreign Missionaries of the Church

We considered a recommendation from the Missionary Committee by President Moyle recommending that the age limit of elders called into the foreign mission field be reduced to 19 years without any other conditions.  That is to say, inasmuch as the age limit was reduced for those 19 who had 2 years of college, the Presidency now considered it to go all the way, and to reduce the age limit to 19 years without further qualifications.

Tues., 23 Aug. 1960:

“8:30 to 10 a.m.

Presided at the regular meeting of the First Presidency.  President Clark excused.  Matters pertaining to 1) Legal Department’s need for assistance; 2) Tax deduction for contribution to missionaries – with the decision made that we shall have lawyers in Washington present the matter to the technical staff in Washington at the expense of the Church to see if a favorable ruling can be obtained.  At the present parents are denied a tax deduction for money sent to missionary sons and daughters; 3) Mission Presidents’ terms of Service; 4) Mission Presidents Request Authorization for counselors to sign recommends; 5) Division of French Mission; 6) Contribution to Molokai Hospital, etc. etc. (See First Presidency’s minutes for details)”

Wed., 24 Aug. 1960:

“India Should be Opened for Missionary Work

At the meeting we read a letter from a Mr. M. Dipty of Dehradun, India who recited his interest in the Book of Mormon, the Articles of Faith, and the Joseph Smith story, and briefly reviewed his career, experience, and qualifications, and asked for appointment to preach and to proselyte in India.

I stated that at some time in the future, India should be opened for missionary work, as should also Iran and Pakistan.

Elder Ezra Taft Benson reported after his visit to Israel and Egypt that he found relationships between these countries improving and recommended opening missionary work in both Israel and Egypt.

Thurs., 1 Sept. 1960:

“8:30 to 9:50 a.m.

After a two-day absence from the meetings of the First Presidency, I met with President Moyle this morning in our regular meeting.  President Clark was absent, this being his birthday.

Many official church matters, which had been held for my approval and decision, were presented by President Moyle.  Among these was the proposal that three missions be divided immediately: the Eastern States Mission, the Southern States Mission, and the French Mission.  The French Mission has 50,000,000 people, with 192 missionaries working there.  President Brossard has written saying the mission could use 300 to 400 missionaries.  Many cities of 150,000 population have not had missionaries.  Baptisms are increasing rapidly.

President Woodbury has suggested that the British Mission be divided again.

I expressed approval of the proposal to divide the Eastern States Mission and the Southern States Mission.  However, said that the matter of dividing the French Mission await President Alvin R. Dyer’s (President of the European Mission) coming to the October general conference, and that the organization of another stake in England await the visit of the General Authorities there in February when the London Chapel is to be dedicated.

It is also suggested that missionaries be assigned to proselyte in Iceland.  After reviewing

details regarding this, I said: ‘I believe Iceland is a good field.'”

Thurs., 8 Sept. 1960:

“8:30 to 9:15 a.m.

Attended the meeting of the First Presidency.  Prior to taking up the regular matters of the day, President Henry D. Moyle, in behalf of President T. Bowring Woodbury of the British Mission, and President Bernard P. Brockbank of the North British Mission, presented to me a beautifully-framed scroll, signed by each of the missionaries of the two British Missions in which they referred to the pledge they had made to me two months ago that by the time of my birthday they would have 1000 new members in these two missions.  The message on the scroll said: ‘We wish to now tell you, in all humility and gratitude, the Lord has blessed our efforts.  He has heard the prayers of our parents, wards, stakes, and quorum members who joined with us in fasting and praying; and that we, at the close of the Missionary Month on August 28th, have baptized 594 souls in that two-month period, exceeding our pledge and Birthday Tribute.  The North British Mission also made such a pledge and their 500 together with ours was to total 1000 new members of the Church as a Birthday Tribute to you.  ***Volumes could be written on the way the Lord prepared the people, led us to them, and made this great Feat of Faith possible.’

Thursday, September 8, 1960



The undersigned missionaries of the British Mission recently wrote that the months of July and August 1960 were to be Tribute Months to you, in which we pledged as a Mission, to baptize 500 souls into the Kingdom.  The North British Mission also made such a pledge and their 500 together with ours was to total 1000 new members of the Church as a Birthday Tribute to you.

We wish to now tell you, in all humility and gratitude, the Lord has blessed our efforts.  He has heard the prayers of our parents, wards, stakes and quorum members who joined with us in fasting and praying; and that we, at the close of the Missionary Month on August 28th, have baptized 594 souls in that two-month period, exceeding our pledge and Birthday Tribute.

Of this total, the district missionaries contributed 46 baptisms.  The balance were baptized by the full-time missionaries, which averages 2.05 baptisms per missionary per month, just twice the number of baptisms per missionary the First Presidency asked for at the beginning of this year.

Volumes could be written on the way the Lord prepared the people, led us to them, and made this great Feat of Faith possible.  Books could also be written on the joy, the peace and the complete happiness we have found in our missionary labors.  We have set new highs in the British Mission for pure proselyting hours worked, cottage meetings held, copies of the Book of Mormon distributed; in fact, new records have been set in all phases of missionary work; all of which has contributed to our joy, and a satisfaction in the work we have never before experienced.

In this Birthday Tribute to you, the greatest missionary of this present dispensation, we announce it, not boastfully, but humbly, and with great love and respect for you.  We have studied your life as we have read Gospel Ideals, The Presidents of the Church, and other books whereby we might have a truer and more familiar concept of your life as you have lived it.  And, to a missionary, it is our inward desire, to become more like you, to emulate your contagious example of service all the days of our lives, and to never lose the faith.

Now, our beloved prophet and friend, we wish you your happiest birthday.  If you share joy on this day because of what we have tried to do, know that we have been repaid a thousand times and share with you a joy to an intensity we have never before found in the work.

We pray your life will be extended to yet do many great things in the building of the Kingdom.  And, as one body of priesthood and sisters, we pray unitedly with full faith for the restoration of your wife’s health, that she may continue to stand by your side, with her hand in yours, as it has always been.  And, particularly do we pray that she will have the strength and health, as will you, to come to this country and this people we love in February 1961 to dedicate the new Hyde Park Chapel, and spread your spirit among this people, and to us, who love you.

In the warmth of this moment, culminating nine weeks of living close to our Father, we feel particularly close to you.  Through trying to give to you, we have received generously ourselves and our prayers have been answered almost the very moment they were said.  With you, we praise our Father and give glory unto Him for His great blessings to us in this Birthday Tribute period.

In the bonds of the Gospel, in the glory of service and in the tenderness of love, we say, God Bless You, our Prophet Dear, and Happy Birthday.

Most affectionately your fellow laborers in the work.

Missionaries of the British Mission.

Tues., 18 Oct. 1960:

“9 a.m.

Meeting of the First Presidency held.  President Clark excused.  President Alvin R. Dyer came in and reported on 1) Missionary Courses and Theology at the Brigham Young University.  Brother Dyer visited the B.Y.U. and met with the teachers of the missionary classes and also the teachers of the theology classes.  It is recommended that the course in the missionary class be revised.  It is suggested, also, that the Brigham Young Univesity do something to develop a basic course in learning foreign languages which would be applicable to the training of missionaries.  2) We went over with Brother Dyer President Moyle’s itinerary for a proposed tour of the European missions.  I approved of the itinerary with the exception that I do not think it is necessary for Brother Wendell B. Mendenhall to go; that this is something separate from his work entirely.

Many other matters pertaining to Europe and our missionary work were discussed.”

Tues., 1 Nov. 1960:

“8:30 to 10 a.m.

Regular meeting of the First Presidency was held.  (President Clark still at home)  Among many matters taken up at this meeting was one pertaining to the republishing of Missionary Tracts.  Elder Gordon B. Hinckley of the Missionary Committee came into the meeting and presented the proposal to republish missionary tracts in large quantities in uniform style and foremat and made attractive by additional, suitable illustrations.  Brother Hinckley reviewed espeically the tracts which are distributed in largest quantities and described uniform size and style proposed.  After consideration, I expressed approval and encouraged Brother Hinckley and the Missionary Committee to continue with their plans, saying that I think they are going in the right direction.”

Tues., 8 Nov. 1960:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brother Evans said that the boy confessed and was repentant.

I said ‘Go thy way and sin no more.’

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

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

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

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

Wed., 9 Nov. 1960:

“Following the departure of these brethren and sisters, we held our meeting of the First Presidency.  President Clark excused, he being confined to his home.

President Moyle submitted the cost for marking the passages in the Book of Mormon in red, by underlining, or by printing a new edition in bold type in lieu of hand-marking of passages selected by the general priesthood committee which are now marked by senior aaronic priesthood members by hand in the books sold and distributed by High Priests quorums in furtherance of the Book of Mormon project assigned to High Priest quorums.

I expressed disfavor for this practice, and did not approve of the making of books by printing or by hand.

Thurs., 22 Dec. 1960:

“Thursday, December 22, 1960

Special meeting of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve

At 8 o’clock this morning, upon my call, President Moyle and I (President Clark being indisposed at home) met with the members of the Council of the Twelve in the First Presidency’s Room of the Church Administration Building.

I expressed pleasure that the First Presidency had received a letter from the Council of the Twelve dated December 19, 1960, signed by the Brethren of the Twelve who are in the city, and endorsed by those who are absent.  I said that inasmuch as the items presented in the letter, which refer to the Regionalization of the Church for facilitating Stake and Mission work, would affect the future policy of the Church, I deemed it advisable that the First Presidency and the Twelve consult together relative thereto before further steps be taken in the matter.

The letter was read, and then followed a long discussion by the Brethren on this matter.

After listening to their comments, I made the following statement to the Brethren:

I shall preface my remarks with a statement with reference to a condition in our country.  About 20 years ago we shifted in this country from the established program of the Forefathers founding the Constitution and the Senate and House of Representatives and the Judiciary and the President of the United States to a Rule by Committees.  You who have had anything to do with farm matters or stock raising know that we have been ruled by Committees, and we are largely shifting that way now in the Government.

In this Church we are so organized that the Priesthood will control.  It does not matter how large we grow, how many hundreds of thousands or millions, we have certain established rules.  There is a little ward here presided over by three high priests, and the bishopric have representatives holding the Priesthood.  There are quorums in that Priesthood and there are Auxiliaries, each one assuming certain responsibilities.  We have so many wards in a stake, and that stake is presided over by three high priests, assisted by twelve councilors.  Those stakes constitute the Church.  It does not matter how far you go or how wide.

Now a bishop may not be very effective in his administration, but that is his responsibility, and the Lord has said that man must be chosen by the First Presidency and the Twelve, and we are responsible.  No matter how large the Church grows the 15 men sitting here are responsible for the appointment of those men, and that must never be taken away from you.  That is the stakes.

Now the same with the missions.  We have to choose men to preside over those missions.  Some are effective, and some are ineffective, but you are responsible for those mission presidents.  You can divide those missions as you wish, but be careful that you do not take away from the constituted authority of the church the divine right by ordination and by setting apart, and leave that to some Committee.  You always have to have your hand on that.  And as I see this this morning, the recommendation that we change our policy is merely a means of educating these men who are appointed by you men.  It is an education more than an assignment of dictation.

I have looked with a little question upon assigning a man to preside over a certain district and giving him responsibility.  He must never get out from under your influence and your guidance.  If we do that we will be running this Church by Committees, just as the Government has been running the country by Committees, and as it is being run now by Committees.  You are the constituted Authority.  Some men who may be chosen to preside over missions may not be so effective as others.  That is inevitable, and when you have such men you are going to have trouble with missionaries.  Give a man so many missionaries that he cannot do his work, the work is going to lag and it is going to be injured probably by inefficient missionaries.

Now, in our changing of our policy here, let us keep as near as we can to the revelations of the Lord, and we will never be wrong if we do that.  In this regionalizing, or in this move to regionalize, you cannot shirk the responsibility of presidency and guiding.  The suggestion that you all together constitute the Missionary Committee, I think is a good one.  It is your assigned duty to watch over this Church and set things in order in all parts of the world, just as much in Europe and China as here in the United States, and you must never get away from it.  You cannot get away from it.

I think it would be a good thing if you Brethren would sit with the Missionary Committee each week, in addition to your weekly meeting, and assign these missionaries, get the reports, and know exactly what is going on.  I am not sure about these three men.  You would have a Committee.  Perhaps there would be more efficiency by assigning them that way.  That is the tendency that is prompting this division now — to make more effective and more efficient this missionary work.  You will have to do the same thing to make more efficient stake work.

And now the stakes are growing.  You Brethren of the Twelve will be sent to Europe to visit the London, the Manchester, the Birmingham Stakes.  You will also have to visit the missions over there.  We are multiplying missions for efficiency.  You men will have to do that.  Your Assistants — the Assistants to the Twelve — will have to do it.  Some will come home having made a superficial investigation, a superficial visit, and some will come home having made an efficient supervision and visit.  That is the personality and efficiency of each one, but you will never get away from the organization of the Church.  You members of the Twelve with the Assistants now given to you have to set in order the Church throughout the world.  Now it is just a question of how best to do that.

The Brethren then discussed the matter further, after which I said that nothing would be done until we are all united one hundred percent, and then we shall know we are right.  I said that there should be an understanding that the Quorum of the Twelve will constitute the Missionary Committee.  However, this matter will be postponed along with the other until the Twelve have studied the matter further and bring in their report.  I said the whole subject should be further considered, and that the Brethren who are now absent should have the privilege of being as thoroughly advised as the Brethren who are here in regard to what is contemplated, as it involves a change in the policy of the Church; that no principles are involved, but we do want to know where we are going when we adopt such a policy as proposed.”

Tues., 3 Jan. 1961:

“11:30 to 12 noon

Elders Mark E. Petersen and Richard L. Evans called at the office.  They presented a letter addressed to the First Presidency which they signed, commenting on a letter which had been referred to them from President T. Bowring Woodbury of the British Mission, dated Dec. 20, 1960, and a copy of a proposal to President Woodbury from Dennis Scott of J. Walter Thompson Company, with reference to handling publicity for the church in connection with the London chapel dedicatory service next February.

Elders Petersen and Evans stated that they have been working on an arrangement with the J. Walter Thompson Agency, which agency they have proposed to work through from the first, and which arrangement is approved by President Alvin R. Dyer of the European Mission, which would include all the missions of Europe and which would benefit the Church on a much wider front, and also serve the urgent need in Great Britain at the present time.  They said they feel that the separate arrangement would jeopardize a much more favorable arrangement with them that they have in mind, and which they have been assured they can make.

They then discussed the proposed consulting fee and extra expenses and costs of the J. Walter Thompson Company.  Said that much of the writing work is already being done here and being sent to the British Mission through the Church Information Service, and will continue to be sent.

They said their last consultation with Brother Dyer when he was here was to the effect that he would prefer an arrangement which would embrace all the missions, and if J. Walter Thompson succeeds in setting up a separate fee and a separate arrangement for each country, it will set a pattern that will cost too much and impede the over-all purpose.

Said they have been assured that we can have the services of J. Walter Thompson Company, and others, both in Great Britain and on the continent, including all the services contemplated in Brother Woodbury’s letter, at a much more reasonable cost per ‘job’ on a wider front, without in any way diluting the work that needs to be done in Great Britain, which they understand to be Brother Dyer’s recommendation, and that it is their recommendation, also.

I approved of the recommendation of Elders Peterson and Evans, and told them to go ahead with their plans as proposed; that I hold them responsible for this.

Later, a cable as follows was prepared and sent to President Woodbury:

‘Quickmere, London, England.  We are requesting Thompson Agency to take British Mission project for three months.  We are negotiating from here and will advise son.’  /s/ David O. McKay.”

Fri., 6 Jan. 1961:

“Friday, January 6, 1961


To: Clare Middlemiss January 20, 1961

From: Gordon B. Hinckley

On January 6, Elder Hugh B. Brown talked with President McKay about two missionaries in the Mission Home at that time.  President McKay asked me to come in and meet with them.

Both of these young men had come over and voluntarily confessed to morals problems.  Brother Brown indicated that the Council of Twelve were divided in their judgment as to whether they should be returned to their homes or be permitted to go forward with their missions.

One young man had been involved with a girl last May.  She had told him that this was not the first time she had been so involved.  She has since married and the information received by the bishop from the grandmother indicated that she had been married last June but had made no disclosure of it until December.

The young man’s father was also his bishop.  He did not have the courage to tell his father at the time of the first interview, and then found himself in a situation where he did not have strength to confess to the stake president or the interviewing authority.

President McKay expressed the view that the boy should be permitted to go forward with his mission.

The other concerned a young man who had been extremely intimate with a girl.  He voluntarily confessed this.  However, he denied that they had acually committed fornication.  Brother Hinckley stated that he had talked with the young man and the young woman, and satisfied that although they had been too intimate, they were honest in their confessions and extremely repentant for what they had done.

President McKay stated that we must never lose sight of the principle of repentance, and said that the young man should be permitted to go.

Thurs., 2 Feb. 1961:

“10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Was engaged in the meeting of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve in the Salt Lake Temple.  At this meeting we unanimously approved the recommendation that members of the Twelve become members of the Missionary Committee, with President Henry D. Moyle as Chairman.  The consensus of opinion favored and recommended the continuance of the present practice in having the Missionary Department Staff go over the recommendations of missionaries and making the assignments to missions and bringing the results to the Missionary Committee Tuesday morning.

I then told the Brethren that I should like to have them take under advisement, the matter of making members of the First Council of Seventy High Priests.  The Prophet changed that and made them all Seventies.  Some of them were High Priests at one time, and a discussion arose as to which would be higher in authority, and the Council of Seventy have not been High Priests since.  Now they are sent out under the direction of the Twelve, and cannot set apart Stake Presidents.  They have to stand aside while the Brethren of the Twelve do the ordaining of High Priests.  It would make them more effective as visitors under the direction of the Twelve if they had the authority to ordain High Priests.  This question will be discussed at a later date.

Plan of Supervision for Missions

The recommendation of the Missionary Committee relating to the supervision of missions, which are increasing in such number, and the work in such complexity as to make a plan for supervision necessary.

The plan of supervision is as follows:  That the missions in the world be grouped into divisions, each under the supervision of one of the General Authorities, similar to the organization now functioning in the European Mission; that the member of the General authorities visit the missions in the Regions, counsel with the Mission Presidents, meet the missionaries, and stimulate proselyting.  This member of the General Authorities would interview missionaries, inspect Church property, look after details of the work.  He would become intimately conversant with the problems of the missions, and be readily available to the Presidents of the Missions.  These General Authorities would be directly responsible to the First Presidency.  Under the assignment of the First Presidency, they would tour the missions, accompanied by the Supervisor of the Missions.  The member of the Twelve would speak in the conferences held in key locations.  He would be spared the burdensome responsibility of interviewing each missionary personally and of inspecting buildings, as well as of developing and promoting proselyting techniques and other time-consuming details, but would not be limited or restricted in anything he might wish to do.  In this way he could cover a mission in five days to a week, and could cover other missions in a period of a month.  This would afford the Twelve opportunity to oversee their assignment to this work.  They would be better able to see the strength and weaknesses of a Mission because they could visit several and would be in better position to make comparisons.  Strength and time would be conserved.  The missions of the world would be under the immediate supervision of the General Authorities of the Church, and the Twelve would be able to see the missions with greater frequency.

On motion of Elder Mark E. Petersen, seconded by Elder LeGrand Richards, we unanimously approved this recommendation.”

Thurs., 9 Feb. 1961:

“8:43 a.m.

Attended meeting of the First Presidency.  Before starting our regular business, met with President and Sister Melvin Ross Richards.  I set Brother Richards apart as President of the Gulf States Mission, and President Moyle set apart his wife, Sister Adahlia Marie Curtis Richards, as a missionary.

Following the departure of the Richards, we conducted the regular order of business — reading of letters addressed to the First Presidency, and discussing matters of general Church interest, etc.

President Moyle exhibited and reviewed a booklet containing areas of the missions mapped out to show the divisions into regions by which the supervision of missions is proposed to be carried out.  The plan includes nominations of the General Authorities of the Church to supervise the Regions.  President Moyle recommends that the European Missions be divided into two regions – one to include the German and Scandinavian Missions, which President Alvin R. Dyer will supervise, and the other the British, French and Netherlands Missions which Brother Nathan Tanner would supervise.  I told President Moyle that I shall take the plan with me for further study before giving my approval.

Assignment of the Twelve to Visit Missions

We then reviewed the plan for members of the Council of the Twelve to visit the missions under assignment of the First Presidency.  The proposal that Elder Harold B. Lee assist President Joseph Fielding Smith was considered, and I delayed action upon this proposal until I can talk to President Smith about it.

Supervision of Stakes by the Twelve

At this time I said that provision for members of the Council of the Twelve to supervise stakes by regions, added to the assignment to visit missions in regions will be in harmony with the Doctrine and Covenants as to the responsibility of the Twelve.  Announcement of these plans was deferred until I can talk to President Smith.”

Thurs., 16 Feb. 1961:

“Telephone Calls

My secretary, Clare, reported having received two overseas telephone calls from a Mr. Mack Williams of the Scottish Daily Express, Glasgow, Scotland, and also from a Mr. Dixon of the same newspaper.  They were very insistent that they speak to me directly, so my secretary came into the meeting of the First Presidency to report the matter.  She said that Mr. Williams had said to her that there is a ‘lot of criticism in Scotland regarding the methods used by our Elders in getting new converts; that they are persuading teen-age boys and girls to join the Church and taking them out of the control of their parents.’  They were given the answer by my secretary that there was a misunderstanding, because one of the teachings of the church is that parents are to be held responsible for the training and teaching of their children.  I instructed Clare to tell Mr. Williams who was waiting on the phone that he should get in touch with President Bernard Brockbank, the Mission President in Scotland, who would be pleased to give him the true facts in the matter.  Mr. Williams later called back and said that he could not reach President Brockbank, so he was told to get in touch with President Woodbury in London.” 

“Trip to London, Scotland, and Wales Wednesday, February 22, 1961, to Saturday, March 4, 1961.

At 11:00 in the Relief Society Room of the new Hyde Park Chapel on Exhibition Road Friday, February 24, 1961, President McKay held a satisfactory news conference, attended by approximately 20 newspapermen and 8 to 10 photographers.  President Woodbury addressed the press conference and explained the reason for the delay in the late arrival of the President’s party and introduced to the newspapermen the following:  President David O. McKay, Elder Hugh B. Brown, Elder Alvin R. Dyer of the European Mission, Elder Nathan Eldon Tanner ‘from Canada and one of the assistants of the Quorum of Twelve,’ Dr. Edward McKay, ‘a surgeon and son of President McKay,’ Sir Thomas Bennett, ‘of T.P. Bennett and Sons, Architects, who have designed this beautiful building in which we sit.’ 

President Woodbury then said, ‘I introduce to you our wonderful 87-year-old President David Oman McKay, who has made the trip from Salt Lake City to be here for the dedicatory service of this building and the forming of the London Stake, President McKay.’

President McKay addressed the assembled newspaper people as follows:  ‘It is a distinct privilege to meet you here this morning after travelling all night across the Atlantic.  We were held up in New York for hours before they would let us start over the ‘pond’ between London and New York.  We arrived here at 4:00 o’clock, your time, this morning, happy once again to be on English soil.  This is my eighth or ninth visit here since 62 years ago, when I came here first as a young man, a missionary, to the land of my forefathers.  That was in 1897, 98, and 99.  My Father was here in 1881, but he came back to his town, Glasgow and Aberdeen, in the North.

It is a pleasure to meet the people of the press and we will be glad to answer some of your questions.  I hope they will not be too many.  We will be pleased to let you know what the Church is doing here and the success attending its efforts.  I have heard that a printed statement will be here in a few minutes.

Gentlemen and Ladies:  On the ship that left north of Australia in 1921, I looked at the register.  There were the names of two people from America.  Our names were also there.  Hugh J. Cannon, and David O. McKay, also from America.  They sought us out on the ship.  They were from America and thought ‘Here are two Americans.’  We were pleased to meet them, as they were to meet us.  After a few words of introduction, the lady said, ‘Will you pardon me if I ask you a question?’  Certainly, and I’ll answer it before you ask–I have only one wife.’  When she learned that plural marriage was a mere incident of our past history, she asked ‘What are your beliefs?’

I answered, ‘We are Christians.’

She said, ‘So are we.’  And then she said ‘What is the difference between your belief and ours?  My husband is a Methodist and I am a Presbyterian.’  And then we had a delightful opportunity to explain differences, the fundamental differences between Mormonism and other Christian religions.  Briefly, we named four.

Our principle fundamental difference:  first, we believe in divine authority by direct revelation.  That phrase is necessary, because other churches believe in divine authority; and if you say divine authority by direct revelation, you make a distinct difference.  Catholics, for example, have divine authority by descent from Peter, the chief apostle, and they quote the saying, ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’

The Greek Catholic Church believe in divine authority, not from Peter, but from the five apostles who survived Peter.  And so a distinctive feature between this church and other Christian churches, as I indicated, is ‘divine authority by direct revelation.’

The second distinguishing feature is the organization of the Church.  That is what I was looking for here.  We will pass out that paper which will be here, so you can see for yourselves.

The third distinguishing feature is the principle of tithes and offerings, which carry on the financial phases of the Church.

Another distinguishing feature is the eternity of covenants and ceremonies.  I believe that the essential principles of the Gospel are for every man, woman, and child in the world, and that when Christ said to Nicodemus, ‘Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of Heaven,’ Nicodemus wondered how a man could be born again.  He could not understand it.  And then the statement was made, ‘Except a man be born of the water and of the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.’  Where it is necessary for one man, it is necessary for every man as an eternal principle; whether he lived in the days of Noah or at the present time.  Peter gives an account of Christ’s having preached to the spirits in prison.  This is a distinguishing feature of this Church, and associated with it the eternal nature of covenants and ceremonies.  Well, this we gave to our friends on that ship leaving the north part of Australia in 1921.

Some of you probably are wondering why the Church sends out 8,000 missionaries at the present time to all parts of the world, each one paying his or her own expenses or by accepting help from ther parents.  Eight thousand of them, and the young men save their own money.  Some of them, when they were in the war, for example, saved the mere pittance given them by the Government for the time when they would get out of the service of the Government and go out in the field to preach the Gospel.  Thus using their little savings for that purpose.  One incident comes to my mind now.  A widow’s son, and he said ‘Mother, I am sending my money to you.  Please put it aside for the time when I go out to preach the Gospel as a missionary.’  And then he added, ‘If I do not come back, use the money to send some other young man out.’  He did not come back.  He paid the supreme sacrifice.  But his Mother, true to his request, used that money to pay the expense of another missionary out in the field.  There is something impelling in an organization that will prompt young men to take their means and pay their expenses and preach what they believe to be the principles, the fundamental principles of peace on earth, good will to men.

All the male members of the Church — and this is the second distringuishing feature — belong to some particular group.  Men in the world believe in and belong to sacred orders, the Masons or some other social clubs or some civic club, like Rotary or Lions, or so forth.  In the Church every male man from twelve years up belongs to a certain group.  At twelve years of age, thirteen, and fourteen, they are deacons or teachers or priests, and after twenty-one years of age they are Elders.  Of deacons, teachers, and priests, there are 207,470.  Over 21 there are Elders, Seventies, and High Priests, 213,925.  And there is this difference, when that man on board that ship said, ‘If you believe in a divine organization, we can expect to find in your Church every need of the human soul.’  And that is right.  You name the need.  If fellowship and fraternity is that need, then he should find that in the Church.  I said, ‘If I want to join your order and somebody in it had a personal grudge against me, he could blackball me, and I would know nothing about it.  I could not join.  No one may blackball a member from joining one of these quorums we have named.’

I did not mean to take this up with you this morning.  Any question you would like to ask, I will be pleased to answer.  If I cannot answer, we shall pass it up.

Question:  Mr. President McKay, in one of the notices it says that the number of young men and women has been increased 600 in Great Britain, a four-fold increase.  Is the Church of the Latter-day Saints renewing its expansion?  We have heard more of your Church recently than we have in the past.  Is this a five-year plan?  Is there some special reason behind it?

President McKay:  No, the present missionary system has been carried on for over a hundred years.  My father came back here as a missionary in 1881.  I remember he left home on the 19th of April, 1881.  My sister, Annie, was born on the 29th of April, the days after he left.  He spent two years in Scotland as a missionary.  I came here in 1897 to 1899.  I came over again in 1921, 22, and 23.  Hundreds of thousands of men have so devoted their lives during the one hundred years and more, but there is more effective missionary work done today than ever before in the history of the Church.  In the first place, there are more young men and young women who answer the call.  In the second place, the mission presidents are more effective in their teaching of the Gospel.  They believe that only by obedience to the Gospel will peace be established on the earth, and the effective way they carry on this Gospel opens the doors of hundreds and thousands of people more effectively than ever before in the history of the Church.  How many last year?  (to President Woodbury.)

President Woodbury:  Five thousand converts.

President McKay:  Due to effective missionary work — and this is the same in Germany.  And in all countries in Europe there are increases.

Newspaperman:  We are constantly hearing about you people now.  Twenty to thirty years ago we did not hear much.

President McKay:  I was here 62 years ago.  We had to meet in halls, cleaned up on Saturday night for meeting on Sunday.  We had to meet in hired halls.  The Church is now building chapels and spending money.  Each branch is given its chapel.  This is one contributing factor to the growth of the Church in New Zealand, Australia, and Great Britain, Japan, and China.  The Church has sufficient funds to build its own chapels.  The people feel more at home in their own churches rather than hiring halls.  This is a contributing factor.

Newspaperman:  Mr. McKay, this is the point I want to make.  Yours is a small church, by comparison with other churches it is small; but this church cost a third of a million.  You are talking about spending ten million on churches in Great Britain.  There are only 20,000 members in Great Britain.  Where is all this money coming from? 

President McKay:  The money is coming from two sources.  I mentioned as a distinguishing feature of the Church tithes and offerings.  These funds are given by the entire membership of the Church on Fast Day each month.  They go without meals from Saturday evening meal until the evening meal on Sunday.  Each one gives the value of these meals to the Fast Offering Fund to take care of the poor.  The second is tithing.  Every faithful member of the Church pays one tenth of his income annually and this is used for building Temples, chapels, paying missionary fares home.  In the wards, the people pay one-half of the cost of the building themselves.  In the branches of the mission field they pay 30 per cent, and the Church pays 70 per cent.  Of that, 50 per cent is given by labor largely by men working in their own various vocations during the day and at night at carpentry or plastering or pouring cement until 11:00 or 12:00 at night on the chapel.

Newspaperman:  Do the people in Great Britain, was the money for their chapels mainly contributed by the Church in Britain?  The 20,000 people in Britain did not raise a third of a million to build this chapel.  That must have come from America.

President Woodbury:  We are on an 80-20 basis in Great Britain.

President McKay:  We have a Temple here, you know.  Nearly all of that came from the tithing funds.  The same with the Temple in Switzerland and the Temple in New Zealand and the Temple in Los Angeles.

Newspaperman:  President McKay, it says in one of the documents that members of the public are welcome to attend services in the chapels as against the Temple.  Are members of the public welcome to attend chapels, or are there any distinctions regarding races?

President McKay:  All people are welcome to attend services in the chapels.  Members of the Church are welcome to attend Temple service, but the Temple service requires observance of special ideals.  All members of the Church may attend the Temple, if they maintain these ideals.  But all people in the Church and out of the Church may attend the chapel service.

Newspaperwoman:  It has been said that you do not admit colored people to membership in the Church.  Is that right?

President McKay:  It is not.  Colored people join the Church.

Newspaperwoman:  Oh, they do.

President McKay:  But colored people do not receive the Priesthood.  They join the Church and worship in the chapel and have the privilege of participating in the auxiliary organizations and the Sacrament Service, but they are not given the Priesthood.

Newspaperman:  Is there any particular reason for that?

President McKay:  It is found in the Pearl of Great Price.  In the Church we accept the Bible as being the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.  We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.  We have the Pearl of Great Price, a translation by Joseph Smith of an early account of the creation of the world.  In that is a passage which refers to a son of Egyptus, who claimed the right of Priesthood by descent.  But descendants could not have it because they were descendants of colored people.  That Pharaoh was a righteous man but was not given the priesthood because of his descent from Egyptus, who had colored blood in her veins.  That is the only reason.  It is founded upon that.

President McKay:  Any other questions?

Newspaperman:  Could we have some word from the architect on the kind of thoughts he had in mind when he designed this new chapel?

Sir Thomas:  Well, Sir, I had, of course, been associated with your American architect in designing the Temple and had, therefore, some substantial sense of the religion as preached by the Church of the Latter-day Saints, and I attempted to design this church, which I thought was intended to represent Mormonism, the Church of the Latter-day Saints, in London.  Therefore, it should be particularly distinctive as a mixture between the Church and a symbol in accord with the temporal side.  It stood for religion as well as to be the home of the religion.  It also had to embody the principal features which the Church of the Latter-day Saints embodies, and this, in the first case, worship — a religion associated with the cultural hall.  The development of the most secular side of the membership in such a way, as I understand the religion, it is not reserved for Sunday.  It is a universal part seven days of the week, and that is incorporated in the classrooms for instruction and for Priesthood members, Elders, and the people who join the Church.  Externally, I had to express a thing as modern in concept.  It had to be something which would not be regarded as a Church of England or a Roman Catholic Church, or any other kind of church, merely because everyone wants to have an individuality of their own.  I thought it should have a symbol, and that should rest on the tower, such as would show visibly from a distance and that we would take as a symbol on the top of the tower of this church, the staff by which the Church helps the people, a guiding staff by which it directs them to religion; and if you follow that, there are a number of principles in such a position.  Finally, it had to represent something which had the richness which is attended upon these people who regard religion as embodying the great efforts of man.  It had to have the symbolism which runs through the church’s action.  Externally, the building is an attempt to join these two things together.

I might add a word about the organ.  While the services are mainly congreagational services, the small organ here, this church which symbolizes the church in London, and the Church should have music of the finest kind the organ can produce.  The organ associated with religious service.  This organ, which we believe is the finest organ of its kind in London — it is not the largest because the Festival organ is largest.  It would be ridiculous to aim at the largest, but in tone and variety of pipes and possibility of affecting great music of the music masters, it should be able to be obtained in this organ.  This organ is the greatest effort of leading organ builders.  It is really perhaps the greatest effort of this size of organ.  It is hoped it will provide music of the highest kind for the enjoyment of those who are not members of the Church who come to listen.  These are the general principles.  President Woodbury accused me of being an organist.  It has been many years since I have played, and it is exaggerating my abilities.  I have not played on it.  The organ is just being tuned in the last two months, and no one has played on it until a few days ago.

President McKay:  Are there any other questions?  We shall have a few words from Elder Brown, who used to preside over the mission at Great Britain and served in your army.  He did not know he was to be called on.

Elder Hugh B. Brown:  This is one of the distinguishing features of the Church.  We do not know when we will be called upon to say something.

We have with us today a Canadian, Mr. Nathan Eldon Tanner, who has been introduced as one of the Assistants of the Twelve, but because of his being a Canadian, having been in the Government as Minister of Mines in Alberta, and because of the fact that he has been asked to come to the Church and to make his headquarters in Salt Lake City, and to give up his business connections, I think it is unique that Mr. Tanner here, a British subject, is now associated with the leadership of the Church.

As far as my own activities were, I lived in Canada for thirty years.  I had the honor of coming with the Canadian Forces in the First World War.  It is a joy and a pleasure to be here to see this fine chapel and to meet with you men of the press.  I certainly appreciate the attitude of the press.  More especially of later years when we have come to be better known than we were in the earlier times.  In answer to your question, as we become better known and more people find out what we are teaching, more of them are anxious to become members of the Church and to be part of this forward movement.  Mr. Alvin R. Dyer is one of the Assistants of the Twelve.  We are organized in such a way that every man has a responsibility.  Every man who is willing to dedicate his means to the Church.

I am wondering if a tour through the building is anticipated or have they been through?

President Woodbury:  We will conduct a tour immediately afterward as they wish.

President McKay:  President Tanner.

Elder Nathan Eldon Tanner:  All I can say is, I am very happy to be here accompanying our President and Elder Brown on this occasion.  We are very happy to have a Temple in your midst and that the work is moving forward.  I am very happy to be a part of it.  I am the newest member of the Assistants to the Twelve.  There were three called in October.  I might say President McKay called me into his office Saturday morning at 8:00 o’clock and said, ‘Could you come with us?’  At 10:00 o’clock that same morning my name was presented to the General Conference for the sustaining vote, and that was the notice I was given at the time the call came to me.  I consider it a high honor to be called to this position and a privilege to leave my regular work and dedicate my life to the service of our Church and fellowmen.

President McKay:  President Dyer, he is in charge of the work in Europe, Germany, and the other missions of Europe.  He is President of the European Mission.

President Alvin R. Dyer:  It is a great honor to be here with our President.  I have been here on the European Continent for some fourteen months and in England very frequently to associate with the mission presidents and the missionaries here.  I think it will be of interest to the press to know that we have 2,500 young men and women engaged in this missionary work which President McKay has spoken of in the Continent of Europe and the British Isles.  There are thirteen organized missions in Germany, France, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Austria, and all over is similar growth in these countries in the immediate past years.  Another thing that might be submitted is that in the past year, through the graciousness of the press, we have had more than 2500 feature articles in various newspapers of Europe telling the story of the Chruch and the manner in which our work is brought to the attention of the people.  We are finding everywhere that the press is responding and giving us this space in their newspapers and in some fifteen of the areas where we have not been able to get any information in the newspapers, now we are getting full pages, recently in some issues in Vienna and in Nice, France, and in Paris.  This has been most remarkable, indicating the acceptance of the Church among the people.  It is wonderful to be here, and I appreciate your presence here.

President Woodbury:  I want to apologize for missing some of the President’s party when I first introduced the brethren.  I would like to take the opportunity of introducing two of the brethren, one is a former British Mission President, Hamer Reiser, who served here from 1952 to 1955.  Following President Resier’s term of office came Clifton G.M. Kerr, who was here in 1956 to 1958.  Also, we have with us today Church Editor of the Church News of the Deseret News published in Salt Lake City, Henry Smith.

The President has dictated a news release, which will be given to Mr. Minderman.  We have laid on a buffet if you care to participate.  We want to thank you for coming, but more than that, we want to thank you for your honest and kind representation of all we stand for; it has been wonderful to read what you have written.

President McKay:  Thank you, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Newspaperman:  On behalf of the photographers here, we would like very much to have a photograph outside.  Would that be possible?

The news conference and a tour of the building took approximately two hours. 

Here also were many newspapermen and photographers who had waited for an interview with President McKay.   They were invited to attend the meeting, which was waiting to be convened.  After the opening song and prayer, President Brockbank conducted the meeting; and he proceeded with the program of the meeting.  The newspapermen politely broke in and asked if they might have their interview of President McKay first, since so many of them have newspaper schedules to meet for the evening newspapers.  President McKay accordingly obliged and offered to answer the questions of the reporters.  While the photographers took their pictures, President McKay answered the questions aksed by the reporters.  President McKay informed them that he was in Great Britain for the dedication of the Hyde Park Chapel in London and reported the organization of the London Stake.  He reviewed briefly the growth of the Church in Great Britain and the history of missionary work there.  He recalled his own missionary service, as he had at Prestwick, and stated the purpose of the Church to be to give everyone who is willing and interested an opportunity to hear the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  A question about the subject of current concern among the ministers of other churches in Scotland; namely, the increased activities of the Mormon missionaries in Scotland and the proselyting of young people through their interest in youth activities of the Church, was asked, and the matter of baptizing young people without the consent of parents was answered by President McKay in the same way he had met the problem in Prestwick.  President McKay continued the press interviews as long as the reporters had questions.  When the newspapermen and the photographers withdrew to be about preparing their stories for the newspapers, the program of the meeting was carried forward.

President McKay suggested to President Brockbank that Dr. Edward McKay, Elder Henry Smith, and Brother Reiser, address the missionaries, whereupon President McKay spoke for the remainder of the time.

He asked the missionaries if any had baptized young people without the consent of parents.  Four indicated they had.  President McKay asked each one to give the facts.  The first said he had had to be content with the consent of the foster father.  President McKay dismissed this case as having been handled properly.  The second said the young woman in question was twenty years of age, approaching 21.  President McKay dismissed this as a rather close case, but advised the missionary, nevertheless, to seek the concurrence of parents.  The other two cases were rather obscure, but President Brockbank assured President McKay that he knew the facts of each case, and that he considered that the missionaries had not gone contrary to instructions.  President McKay encouraged the missionaries to continue their work and to make special effort to teach families, particularly the parents, in an effort to keep the families together and to bring them into the Church as families.  He reviewed his interest in missionary work, the missionary labors which brought his father’s family into the Church in the north of Scotland, and his father’s missionary service in Scotland and his own in the years 1897 to 1899.  He talked to the missionaries about what it means to be a missionary and stressed the principle that missionaries are representatives of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and should be exemplars of His teachings.  He developed the principle that a missionary is a representative and amplified it with emphasis upon being exemplary and nobel representatives of parents, family, ward, stake, church, and ‘the greatest of all, you are representatives of the Lord, Jesus Christ.’

President McKay’s Address to the Missionaries of the North British Mission

President McKay then made the following remarks:

I am very happy for this moment.  I was happy to meet the elders and sisters up in Glasgow yesterday.  There are two groups of missionaries who were not down to the dedication.  Some of you were, probably, President, elders.  But I shall go home next Friday feeling satisfied now that I have looked into the faces of nearly all the missionaries in Great Britain.  And I thank you for this opportunity this morning.  I am glad that you had the opportunity to hear the Singing Mothers last night, and we are here without much expense or effort in attendance at this inspirational meeting.

I have been very happy indeed in the companionship of my fellow travelers.  We had quite an effort to get to Glasgow, went to the wrong airport, were somewhat delayed, were pounced upon by half a dozen or more reporters and photographers and they delayed us.  We drove for an hour up to Glasgow from Prestwick Airport.  There we met with a group of reporters who were there to ask questions and asked, ‘Why are you sending so many missionaries up to Scotland?’  I said, ‘Well, we know that they have in mind the prayer of the old Scotchman who said, ‘Oh, Lord, keep us richt for yae ken how hard it is for me to change when I’m wrang.’

But we had an inspirational meeting with the missionaries of the Scottish-Irish Mission yesterday.  This has worked out perfectly for us to come here to Manchester, and I am happy to meet with you this morning.  It will be only for a few minutes, but minutes that are worthwhile.  We can go home, meet your parents.  We cannot say individually that we met you, but partook of your spirit, the spirit of your president, the spirit of the missions.  And I am very thankful for this opportunity.

(What time do we have to be out of here?  Well, that will give us time to catch the plane?  That is the last time that I shall look at my watch.)

I am reminded of an instance that I had early in my call to the Council of the Twelve.  At that time I used to take one of my boys with me on the trip.  Robert was five years old — six years old.  I did not have to pay his fare …(laughter)  I believe it was Llewellyn, second boy, who was accompanying me down to Richfield.  I intended that he stay home, play with the children of the president of the stake.  In that day we had two-day conferences.  So he went with his daddy Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning to a special Sunday School meeting, Sunday morning to the Sunday School session of conference, Sunday afternoon to the regular conference, and we were going to the old tabernacle to the Sunday night meeting.  By that time I had become so thoroughly interested in the work of the conference that I paid little attention to him.  As we neared the old tabernacle, he touched my hand and said, ‘Daddy, are you going to speak tonight?’  I expected him to say, ‘Will you tell us a story as you did this morning?’  I said, ‘Yes, I think so.’

‘Oh, please don’t.’

‘Please don’t — Why?’

‘Because you talk too long.’

But I should like to say a word in confidence to you missionaries.  I shall not go into details about your work.  President Thorn will guide you in that, other than to say, I think this plan of referrals is one of the best plans ever instituted in missionary work.  It brings into activity every member of the Church, and every member should realize that he or she is a missionary.  Let your branch members understand that — every member is a missionary.  He or she has the responsibility of bringing somebody, a mother, a father, a neighbor, a fellow workman, an associate — somebody in touch with the messages of the Gospel.  If every member will carry that responsibility and make the arrangements to have that mother or that father or somebody meet the authorized representatives of the Church, no power on earth can stop this Church from growing.

And personal contact is what will influence those investigators.  That personal contact, the nature of it, its effect, depends upon you.  That is one thing I wish to emphasize.  There is one responsibility which no man can evade.  That is the responsibility of personal influence.  ‘What you are,’ says reputedly the wisest American — ‘What you are thunders so loud in my ears I cannot hear what you say.’  And what you are is the result of a silent subtle radiation of your personality.  The effect of your words and acts is tremendous in this world.  Every moment of life you are changing to a degree the life of the whole world.  Every man has an atmosphere or a radiation which is affecting every person in the world.  You cannot escape it.  Into the hands of every individual is given a marvelous power for good or for evil.  That power is the silent, unconscious, unseen influence of the life.  It is simply the constant radiation of what a man really is, not what he pretends to be.  Every man by his mere living is radiating sympathy or sorrow, or morbidness or cynicism or happiness, hope, or any of a hundred other qualities.  Life is a state of radiation.  It is also a life of absorption.  To exist is to radiate; to exist is to be the radiation of our feelings, natures, doubts, schemes, or to be the recipient of those things from somebody else.  You cannot escape it.

Man cannot escape for one moment, not for one moment, from this radiation, the radiation of his character, the constantly weakening or strengthening of character, as relates to others.  We try to evade the responsibility by saying it is unconscious influence.  You will select the qualities that you will permit to be radiated.  You can cultivate sweetness, calmness, trust, generosity, truth, loyalty, nobility; or you can radiate moroseness, cynicism, criticism, doubt, make anything vitally active in your character, and by radiating that quality or those qualities you may affect the whole world.  Now that is your responsibility — what you are.

In 1922, 24, there were five hundred missionaries in the European Mission.  During those two years, five went home in disgrace — one per cent.  Those five I mention because they did not enter into the spirit of the missionary work.  Even at that time we had every member a missionary, 1923 especially.  The books will show the result here in Great Britain.  But those five were tragedies.  One, I remember, blamed the circumstances of having met a young girl after the close of the book-shop; circumstances caused him to transgress the laws of purity.  He blamed the girl for having schemed the plan.  I blamed him wholly.  He had thought about it.  He had been flattered by the occasion of the young girl.  In his heart he desired to meet her.  What he was shown by that act, that appointment.  Circumstances were just consistent with his anticipated ideas.  He was wholly responsible.  Just because the girl happened to show him an attention, show an interest, that was her life; she could easily.  He had forgotten what he was, a man representing his people, his parents, his ward, his Church, a man holding the Priesthood, representing Christ, yielding to the infatuation which is natural for every man instead of standing up and defying the conditions, temptation, as a man, as a man of character should, not only a man of God.

(We can talk from the heart.  That is what we are going to do.)

That poor man did not amount to very much.  He radiated while he was here the thoughts which prompted his actions.  One other had achieved quite a leadership in the branch in Scotland, not in the branch but in the mission.  Women showed an interest in him, yes, just as they do in every missionary.  He became flattered, arranged the opportunity; actually that can be done very easily, to get away from his companion, to be in her presence alone.  That does not take much scheming.  Circumstances will permit themselves.  He fell from the high standards of morality.   He, too, was excommunicated, his life blighted.

I am talking to men and women this morning who have the responsibility of radiating faith, of radiating self-mastery, self-control under any condition, men and women who are radiating love, not pretended love, for the people among whom you are laboring, but an appreciation of their characters, true admiration.  And I will tell you you will find it among the ‘lowest’–so-called–among the humblest people in the world.

I think one of the greatest exhibitions of entertainment, of dignity, was experienced by Sister McKay and me in the near East among the refugees of the war that put the Armenians out of home, out of the land, out of the country.  When we met them in Aleppo they were living in caves, some of them.  We were invited one day to a humble home and partook of refreshments spread on a box — covered with rich carpets to us — but we sat on benches.  Our host and hostess had to sit at the head of the table and the foot of it on improvised seats.  But I said to Sister McKay after that, after we crept out of our crowded places, I said, ‘I think that was one of the most dignified dinners I think we have ever attended.’  Because it came from their hearts.  They radiated that love and loyalty and appreciation, that just transformed that cave — that is really all it was — that cave into a palace.  What they were came into our hearts.  They radiated a loyalty, an admiration, they gave of themselves in entertainment in a manner which just seemed to transform them into royal personages.  We have sat before with those who had surroundings of wealth, of culture, position, but I think I have never seen entertainment more royally given than by that humble couple of Armenians in the near East, in Aleppo.

So it is not the surroundings, it is not the positions.  The thing that will influence men, human people, human people in the world, are personalities.  No matter what you are, people will feel, recognize that.  You radiate it.  You cannot hide it.  You would pretend something else, but that will not affect people.  It is what you are, not what you pretend to be that will bring people in to investigate in the Gospel.  You young men now have desire, as Brother Smith has said, to accomplish anything in this world, you can accomplish it.  If you have in your heart a desire or an intent to meet a young woman who will show interest in you, you will do it.  The way will open up, but it depends on your attitude when that meeting comes, and what your success will be in this mission and in the world.  You may hide it from your mission president, or you may sneak away from your companion.  The opportunity will offer itself for you to do it.  That is nothing, nothing to be proud of; that is just scheming.  What you are in your heart, how you act in the presence of that young lady, will be known by you and by God.  There are two people in this world who will know it, and it will be marked for your credit in the future for the stabilization of your character or the tarnishing of your character.  A silent, unseen influence is working constantly.

I once read of a man, the conditions under which a prayer should be offered.  He was not a member of the Church, but he had a glimpse of what character means and how it should be expressed by the individual.  In this case he is telling how the individual should approach his God.  He said, Go into your room alone.  Close the doors, pull down the blinds.  Kneel in the center of the room, and do not say anything, but just study your heart, for God can study it just as you are.  Then ask Him sincerely, not what you need yourself, but first look and see what He has done for you, what you are, what intelligence he has given you, what your parents have given you, what they are giving you, what the people in your town mean to you.  And I thought as I read that, what the Church has done for you.  Just think a few moments, what are your blessings from somebody else, if you are in need of something great.  Pour out your heart to God.  It was quite an experience for me to read that from a non-member.

There came to me while I was reading it the picture of the old king in Hamlet.  Do you remember?  After he had murdered Hamlet’s father, married the queen, he, too, he knelt down.  But, said the words of Hamlet, ‘My words fly up, my thoughts remain below:  Words without thoughts never to heaven go.’  (Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, Scene 2)  He was still thinking of the crimes, the scheme, the things which he had accomplished.  He had the throne, he had his brother’s wife and all; but Hamlet was right.  He knew what was in his heart is all that God would judge.  So it is with every man living, every woman living.  What you are within, that God counts.  And what you are this morning, what you are thinking about will contribute to your success or your failure as missionaries.

God grant that every one will go home sincerely like a true missionary, radiating a purity, virtue, radiating a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the greatest blessing that can come to one.  And do not worry about whether you have it or not.  If you keep your heart true and pure, it will come to you as surely as the sun rises in the morning after a dark night.  I do not know whether you have ever read it or heard it, but I have quoted my experience as a young man before I came to Scotland, my first mission 62 years ago.  I knew that there was something that was more precious than life itself, and that was a feeling, a knowledge, that our Father in Heaven does live, that this Gospel is the restored plan.  God would not have given it if he did not have something which the whole world required.  I remember I was riding on the hills east of Huntsville, hunting cattle.  I can even now see the very hillside.  I stopped my horse, threw the reins over his head, and I thought I would just like to talk to the Lord there.  I knelt down by a service berry bush.  I asked the Lord to give me a testimony.  I was looking for some transformation or the hearing of a voice or something that would make a testimony real.  I am sure I prayed earnestly.  I got up, threw the reins over the horse’s head, mounted him, started out on the foothill, and I remember saying — (I am giving you heart-petals this morning)  — I remember saying to myself, ‘Well, I am honest with myself; I am just the same old boy I was before I knelt down, no transformation.’  I had not heard a voice.  I am just the same boy as I was before, and I spent that day getting the cattle.

I remember another time kneeling down in prayer at Spring Creek, just about a block from the old home, praying the same– offering the same prayer — feeling that I want to know for sure that this is the Gospel, that God is alive, still living.  I went to college, graduated from the university.  While still in university, received the call to go on a mission.  I did not like it, because I had my hope after graduation of a teaching position.  William M. Stewart, head of the normal department, had offered me a school there in Salt Lake County, at what I thought was a good salary, and I could pay back my parents for what they had done, the sacrifices they had made to send me and my brother and sisters to college.  Now here I am to go on a mission and have to be supported again by my father.  I think he anticipated my feelings about that time, and wrote the letter accompanying the call from Box B at that time, because he said, ‘You decide what to do.  Do not be influenced by your surroundings.  We leave it to you to decide whether you will accept the call or not.’

Well, I did what was perhaps presumptuous on my part at that time.  I thought I would go to the president of the Church, tell him that I have a position to teach, about William Stewart, and if I accept this position I cannot do it for two years or more, and I shall not graudate until June, and that was January, 1897.  Brother George Reynolds made an opportunity to meet the president.  He listened.  ‘Well, you finish your school — (January) — and graduate in June, and when you are ready to accept the call, you let us know.  Goodbye.’

By the time graduation was over I said to him and to my father and all — my father was the bishop — I am ready to go, answer my call.  And in August, the 7th of August, 1897, I said goodbye to my folks, companions and all.

I had not heard a voice.  I had not — I still had that same desire that made me kneel on the hillside and out in the meadow across Spring Creek, same thing.  I still knew that we would have to live in such a way as to merit a call or guidance.  There came into my mind during that period, ‘Do my duty,’ and I learned this couplet, ‘Do your duty.  That is best.  Leave unto the Lord the rest.’

One day in Glasgow when the weight of the responsibilities of the presidency of the conference was upon my young shoulders, there was trouble in the branch.  Two of the brethren began to fight — not physically, but call each other names.  It began in the Sunday School class in the morning.  One brilliant man — I can give you his name, Brother Leggatt, I learned to love him.  He had been excommunicated then three times but he was still in the Church at that time.  The other was a converted minister, Brother Clark.

Brother Leggatt gave a wonderul explanation of a passage in the Old Testament.  I thought it was excellent.  ‘I AM THAT I AM’ and he analyzed it:  I am that Being — associated with the word be — am is be — Being that always existed.  ‘I AM THAT I AM’ that I am that always existed.

Brother Clark said, ‘Oh, yes, I knew that.’  Brother Leggatt with his Scotch, ‘No ya dinna.’  ‘Yes I did.’  ‘No ya did not — you didn’t.’  and they quarrelled right there in the class, upset the whole Sunday School.  Brother Clark picked up his hat and said, ‘I’ll leave the room, I’ll never come back here as long as that man is in the presidency of the branch.’  Dissension in the branch, that is a condition that is very easy to meet.

That was a test.  I heard the voice that I had prayed for on the hillside.  It was not so loud as I had anticipated.  The inspiration came what to do to settle those, to bring about those men, to bring about unity in the branch, and further the work of the Lord without such antagonisms.  There was a great deal more associated with it which I need not mention.  I heard the touch, got in touch with the spirit, as never before, the prayer on the hillside was answered, not the way I had anticipated, but the way the Lord intended it to be answered.  That was the beginning of the revelation of the spirit to my soul.  Part of that instance came the next day when I called to see Brother Leggatt down across the Clyde.  And it was completed when he said, ‘I’ll gae you a Scots convoy.’  He walked with me up to the bridge across the railroad track and there was going to say goodbye, but some of it I can give in these words.  I said, ‘Brother Leggatt, you were not to blame for that incident.  Brother Clark should ask your forgiveness, at least he should come half way.  I am going to ask you to go all the way and ask Brother Clark’s forgiveness and settle that dispute between you.  You are two leaders in this branch.’

I shall never forget that moment that followed.  I can even remember now his running his hand up through his hair, dropping his head.  ‘It’s gae hard but i’ll de it.’  (It’s gae hard — it’s very hard but I’ll de it) — and he did.  He went up to Springburn; he entered Brother Clark’s shop — he was a shoemaker.  Brother Clark opened the door.  (I heard this afterwards.)  He said, ‘Oh, it’s you, is it?’ turned his back on Brother Leggatt and sat down, hammering at his shoe.  Brother Leggatt was true to his promise.  He said, ‘I have come up to shake your hand, to ask your forgiveness for my part in that untoward incident before the entire Church.’

Brother Clark merely said, ‘Well, if you mean it.’  Brother Leggatt walked out.  Brother Clark had a change of heart.  He came down and asked Brother Leggatt’s forgiveness, and next Sunday they came arm in arm to their Sunday School meeting.  Rupture of an entire branch averted through the inspiration of the Lord on that Monday morning.  That is just one incident, and from that time on, by doing my duty, listening to the promptings of the spirit, the answer of the prayer on the hillside was answered.

And now I stand before you today bearing a testimony that the channel of communication is open, and the Lord is ready to guide and does guide His people.  Is that not worth resisting temptation, to seek an opportunity to gratify your appetite or your vanity as some elders do, and when they do, merit excommunication from the Church, just for the gratification of a whim or a passion?

So two ways are open, one leading to the spirit, testimony of the spirit that is in harmony with the spirit of creation, the Holy Ghost.  The spirit of the Lord animates and enlivens every spirit in the Church or out of it.  By Him we live and move and have our being, but the testimony of the Holy Ghost is a special privilege.  It is like tuning in the radio and hearing a voice on the other side of the world.  Men who are not within that radiation cannot hear it, but you hear it, you hear that voice, and you are entitled to that voice and the guidance of it.  It will come to you if you do your part; but if you yield to your own instincts, your own desires, your own passions, and you pride yourself that you are thinking and planning and scheming, you think you are getting away with it, things will become dark.  You will accomplish the gratification of your passion or your appetite, but you deny the spirit, cut off the communication between your spirit and the spirit of the Holy Ghost.

I have here a line:  ‘Young man, life is before you.  Two voices are calling, one coming out from the swamps of selfishness and force where success means death, and the other from the hill tops of justice, progress, where even failure brings glory.  Two lights are seeing your horizon, one the fast-fading light of power, (Think of Communism), and the other the slowly rising sun of human brotherhood.  Two ways lie open for you, one leading to an even lower and lower plane, where are heard the cries of despair and curses of the poor, where manhood shrivels and a possession rots down the possessor, and the other leading to the highlands of the morning where are heard the glad shouts of humanity and where honest effort is rewarded with immortality.’

You have chosen the road that leads to spirituality.  Do not turn aside, and do not pride yourself that you were clever by thinking you can turn into the byway and the pathway and not be detected.  Two people from whom you never can escape — one is yourself, the other is God.  You may turn aside and get your honorable release and go home, face the people in the ward, proud that you have received an honorable release, but if you have not merited it, your own heart will accuse you of it, and you know that God knows it.  Only one way to live, to gain that spirituality, and that is by obedience to your call as a missionary, your loyalty to the priesthood and your home, living each day as God would have you live; and being worthy, as worthy when you go to the temple if you have not been there, with your bride by your side, as she is when she puts here hand in yours.  You will know if you have been true, if you love her and she is worthy of your love, that she is just as pure as a snowflake, as spotless as a sunbeam, as worthy to become mother as the purest virgin, and she has a right to know that you, to whom she gives herself, are just as worthy as she.  I want to tell you that that is life; that is real.  Then you may stand and plight your love in honor and glory, and the life before you, why testimony after testimony will come from various different ways, and you can say as Peter, that rough, hard-headed fisherman who did not join the Church for quite a while, did not join any Church, but later said, gloriously, ‘Ye might be partakers of the divine nature.’  (2 Pet. 1:4)  Have you read that in his epistle.  ‘Ye might be partakers of the divine nature.’  (I do not know why I got on this line, but I know it is of value to you.)

I am going to close with an illustration.  In 1923, as I have named, there were five hundred missionaries in the European Mission.  I said to them, ‘You cannot control your heart.  You will fall in love with girls here who will show you preference, but you can control your speech, and you can control your acts.  You can control your writing.  Your duty now is to do what you are appointed to do by your president.  Let me suggest to you that if you do fall in love with any of these girls, and some of you will, that you control your voice, your words, and your acts, and receive an honorable release and go home and report your missionary labors in honesty.  If your heart still tells you that this young girl with whom you have fallen in love is the one for you, then you may be privileged to write to her, and to propose to her if you wish.  Then you will know that you are right, and that you are in love.  You have met your other girls at home and you still may love this girl.’

Well, I did not pay any attention to it until I was at home myself after the mission presidency, and was visiting the Pioneer Stake officially, and after the morning meeting people came up and shook hands, and among them a short, stubby man who I thought was going to shake hands and say he enjoyed the service, but he said, Brother McKay, why did you make it necessary for my boy to go to the expense of coming home all the way and then going back after his girl?’  I said, ‘Did your boy do that?’  and then I remembered that his son was on a mission to Holland.  “Ya, ya, he did.’  ‘He came home and then went back after his girl?’  ‘Ya, ya, he did.’  ‘And he got his girl?’  ‘Ya, ya.’  ‘And brought her here?’  ‘Ya, ya; he married her and he could have married her over there and brought her and saved all that expense.’  I said, ‘Is she not worth it?’  ‘Oh, ya, ya.’

That man became president of that stake.  Their children have been missionaries since that time.  He is a leading, active, faithful messenger and member laboring in one of the stakes there in the West today.  God bless you, men of the Priesthood.  May you hold it in dignity, to bear poise with it that comes from within, not from without.  ‘Nae pleasures nor treasures can make us happy lang; the heart-e is the part-e that makes us right or wrang.’

God bless you sisters.  The experience that you have will prepare you for the responsibilities ahead of you, and may you be worthy of some righteous man who has been equally true to his Priesthood, and see to it that the man is worthy of it, and then you many go on in happiness and joy, fulfilling the full measure of your creation.

Whether you believe it or not, whether the world believes it or not, the power of transforming this world and establishing peace rests with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They may attack you as they are attacking them up in Glasgow now.  They may sneer at you and look upon you as horrors or wisps of hopes unrealized.  But the fact remains that God’s authority is placed upon earth, the power is given directly from the Savior to those who now are presiding and He is guiding them by the Holy Spirit, and His voice is sweet.  The Spirit is uplifting, inspiring and ennobling.  You may know it and I want you to know it this morning, as you leave this room and go forth as representatives, as ambassadors of the Most High, to establish the kingdom of God on earth, which is not a mystical, but a real kingdom.  I leave my testimony with you in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

President McKay addressed the congregation as follows:

Sir Thomas, Alderman Webb, President and Sister Boyer, fellow travellers, members of the quorum, my fellow countrymen:  You know, I have a regret in my heart more pronounced today than I have had in years past, that as a child I did not learn Welsh from Mother.  I have heard it every time Uncle Morgan Powell came into the kitchen, and that was often because Mother cooked his bread.  Uncle Morgan never married — Morgan-Powell.  Uncle Morgan lived only half a block from where I lived in Huntsville.  Whenever he did enter, I would hear Mother say, ‘–(Welsh)–,’ and then she and Uncle Morgan would talk Welsh, and I paid no attention to it.  How foolish!  I might have learned Welsh as a child, and could speak to you now in your native language.  About all I remember is what Uncle Morgan called me, a ‘–(Welsh)–.’

My heart is full of gratitude.  The previous speakers have been speaking about the time they first came here.  I first came to Great Britain sixty-two years ago as a missionary, came to Wales in 1899–that was the last of the other century–and had difficulty in finding the spot on which a plaque was placed today.  I was permitted to come from Scotland down to England, Liverpool –42 Islington in Liverpool — and then made a trip over to Wales and first saw my Mother’s birthplace.  There is no difficulty today in finding it — (Then she knew) — thanks to Brother Reiser who first suggested several years ago when he was president of the European Mission that a plaque should be placed on Mother’s birthplace.  I feel indebted today to Sir Thomas for having been influential in having engraved such a beautiful plaque as I have had the honor and pleasure of unveiling today, and I am thankful for your presence.  I am thankful for the presence of the mayor, for his gracious welcome this morning, for the attendance of you men and women who have traveled this distance, for your presence there this morning.

It is a little difficult for me to control my feelings.  I am a cry-baby anyhow, but I do appreciate your presence here today, preceding this eventful occasion, the breaking of ground of the new chapel of South Wales, and I am glad to be here and share that with you.  I know the people of Merthyr Tydfil will appreciate the efforts of the Church in putting up such a temple, such a chapel for worshiping the true God and His Son, Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, Who founded the Church in the meridian of times, Who was persecuted, misunderstood, finally crucified on the cross by those who did not understand, finally crucified on the cross by those who did not understand, but who heard Him say, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,’ (Luke 23:34), and whose last thought was of His Mother, of whom He said, ‘Woman, behold thy son.’  Pointing to John, the disciples who stood by His side, ‘Behold thy mother.’  (John 19:26, 27)

I appreciate your gathering here this morning, your singing ‘Love at Home.’  It was significant because it is the love at home that has brought us here today, our son, my wife and daughter, who are in London, unable to make the trip, but my son is here.  We have had the privilege of meeting relatives, the Powells, the Evanses, Davises, and others who are many in this part, and I am glad that they will have the privilege of working, contributing, to a house of the Lord.

I am grateful for what Sir Thomas has done so ably and so willingly, for he denied himself other opportunities when he assumed the responsibiity of erecting a temple, the London Temple, which stands as a credit to him, and as I walked through the London Chapel, not the London Temple, but the London Chapel, yesterday, the Hyde Park Chapel, I admired even more than ever his workmanship, skill, his vision, and his willingness to deny himself for the good of the Church.  The Hyde Park Chapel is a monument to him.

And it is a monument to the progress of the Church in this country, for there are many of those who have spoken to you today, including the one who now stands before you, who have had to meet in halls, rented halls, as we do now, and my father who was here over eighty years ago as a missionary was up to Scotland, and they would not rent him a hall.  In the ‘Millennial Star,’ — I cannot give you just the date — but you will find there a letter which my father wrote on August 7 to the president of the European Mission, in which he said, they found it impossible even to rent a hall to bear message, my father used the words, to bear the ‘humble’ message of the restoration.  And he uses the word, ‘It was ‘Hobson’s choice’ — to preach out-of-doors or not preach in public.’  He chose ‘Hobson’s choice’ and held the open air meeting up in Scotland.

So I say that the Hyde Park Chapel is a monument to progress.  It stands there in the heart of London, an honor to the city, a credit to the city, an honor to the Church, a credit to Sir Thomas, the architect, and his staff of builders.  I am glad we have here today members of the building committee who will have charge of building this chapel and others throughout Great Britain.  And there will be opportunity for mission-workers, work-missionaries, to build these chapels so economically that many who have never had an opportunity to attend their own chapel will in the future, very soon in the future, have an opportunity to be worshipping in their own chapels.

I say I am grateful for all this; and thank you this afternoon, one and all, for your presence at the unveiling which I thought to be a simple affair, and so told President Reiser years ago, when — well, a few years ago — when he suggested that we have some organization.  I said, ‘No, we will get the plaque, and only two or three of us will go out and put it on Mother’s birthplace.’  There was a large appreciative crowd, which brought tears to my eyes, and it is difficult for me even to speak on this occasion, so impressed was I with that then.

President Woodbury, his wife, Sister Woodbury, and particularly the president of this branch, Brother Ralph Pulman — Brother Pulman, I think, is a relative of Dan Jones, first missionary to Wales.  You who are acquainted with Church history know that Dan Jones was in Carthage jail with the Prophet, when they were unjustly accused, and he was under sentence as was the Prophet.  The Prophet Joseph said to him, ‘They will not take your life.  You will yet go back to Wales and preach the Gospel to your people.’  And Dan Jones came here, the first missionary among the Welsh people.  And we have here a relative in this branch of that heroic, loyal man.

Now that I am referring to these, the spirit of opposition, the misunderstanding, not only of the Savior and His work, but of the local missionaries in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Great Britain, there comes to my mind a story that happened when the English demanded that the Japanese open up their doors to the world.  Before that time there was the story of a Japanese philosopher, the substance of which I think I shall repeat.  The Japanese are great people for choosing beautiful sites, just as we have been thrilled today by the site that was chosen by our representatives today; but in Japan, even now, if you follow the trail through a woods, you can be pretty sure that it will end at a beautiful view.  It may be a view of Fujiyama, the snow-capped peak, in a distance.  It may be a beautiful forest or a village.  Before the English demanded the opening of the Japanese gates, an old philosopher went outside of the gates at Tokyo, and studied the beauties of nature.  Then he would come in at night and meet the people who surrounded him to give them lessons.

One morning, as he was about to go on his daily studies, one of the townspeople met him and said, ‘When you come in tonight, will you please bring me a rose that I may study the lesson you gave us?’  He said, ‘I shall bring you a rose.’

A second met him.  He said, ‘Will you bring me a hawthorne twig, that I may continue the lesson you gave?’

‘I shall bring you a hawthorne twig.’

Just as he was leaving the gate, a third accosted him saying, ‘Will you bring me a a a lily that I may study the lesson you gave me?’  He promised the third.

When he returned in the evening, the three were at the gate to meet him.  To the first he gave the rose, to the second the hawthorne twig, and to the third, the lily.  Suddenly the man with the rose said, ‘Why, here is a thorn, clinging to the stem of my rose!’  And the second, prompted by the spirit of complaint, said, ‘And here is a dead leaf, clinging to my hawthorne twig!’  and the third said, ‘There is dirt clinging to the roots of my lily!’

‘Let me see,’ said the old philosopher, and he took the rose from the first, the hawthorne twig from the second, and the lily from the third, and he plucked the thorn from the stem of the rose and gave it to the first.  He plucked the leaf from the hawthorne twig, and handed it to the second.  He took the dirt from the lily and put it in the hands of the third; and then said, ‘I have given to each of you what attracted him first.  You looked for the thorn and it was there; you saw the dead leaf; I left it on purposely; and so I left the dirt which you saw first.  Each of you may keep what attracted him first.  I will keep the rose, the hawthorne twig, and the lily for the beauty I see in them.’

So it is in life.  Each of us may have a thorn.  Paul himself referred to the ‘thorn in the flesh.’  (2 Cor. 12:7)  Some may even have a dead leaf, reputation that might be a little soiled.  Some of our fellow people might even have a little dirt clinging to their path, but everyone also has the rose in his character, everyone also has the hawthorne twig, and there are many who have the lily.  And more than ever today it is well for us to look for that which is good and shut our eyes to that which is blind.

The Savior gave that lesson many years ago when He said, ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.’  (Matt. 7:1-2)

There is a fairly old song in one of our hymn books, and it cannot be sung too often in our branch meetings, in our ward meetings.  Part of it says, ‘Nay, speak no ill, but lenient be to others’ failings as your own.  If you are the first a fault to see, be not the first to make it known.  For life is but a passing day.  No lip can tell how brief its span.  And, oh, the little time we stay, let’s speak of all the best we can.  Give me the heart that fain would hide, would fain another’s faults efface.  How can it please the human mind to prove humanity but base?  No, let us reach a higher plane, a nobler estimate of man.  Be earnest in the search for good.  Speak of all the best we can.  Then speak no ill, but lenient be to others’ failings as your own.’  I give that song to you because as these branches grow, wards are organized, you will be annoyed, perhaps have difficulty because of what people say, and the fault-finding maybe occurs.  It often wounds the heart, and our hearts are very tender things — human hearts are tender.  It is always best to look for the best, in others, and look for the evil in our own selves.

God bless you, my brethren and sisters in Merthyr, in Wales, in Britain, England, in Scotland, in Ireland, in Germany, in the Scandinavian countries, in Holland; yes, in Japan, in China, the other countries, for only by obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ will come peace to the world.  The enemy of peace declaring falsehood for the ideal and saying that he is working for peace — the Communists — says there is no God, there is no Christ, only matter which we should break up, the _________ take care of that.  Nothing could be more false.  As already repeated today, Peter was the one who said to those who arrested him, demanding that he testify no more about that ‘drunk’ man who cured a lame man and by whose power he had been cured.  But they said, ‘You tell us by what power this man stands healed.  One of the greatest pictures in all the world is Peter who faced the very men who had crucified the Christ.  He said, ‘If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole.’  Then he said, ‘For there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.’  (Acts 4:9, 10, 12)  That is the mission, not only of you elders, members of branches, but all who are commissioned of the Lord to preach the Gospel to every creature.  ‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.’  (Mark 16:16)

Be kind to one another.  Let us establish brotherhood, the universal brotherhood for whom all Christians ____________.  Let us pray in the words of poor unfortuante Burns, ‘Let us pray that come it may, but come it will for all that, that man to man shall brothers be, for all that.  It is coming yet for all that.  Man to man the world over shall brothers be for all that.’

I shall never forget this day.  I shall never cease to appreciate what we have done.  I leave my blessing with you and all who have been associated with you, all who have participated, thank you with all my heart, and pray for God’s blessing to be with you as you complete the edifice, the ground of which is broken this day in the presence of such dignified people, in the presence of the Lord, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.”

Fri., 17 Mar. 1961:

“Anonymous donor Sent Check for Missionary Work

Received an anonymous letter containing a check for $16,034.00 made out to the Corporation of the President.  The donor, who wishes to remain unidentified, in his letter postmarked ‘Salt Lake City’, said:  ‘Please accept the same as a contribution for such purposes as you see fit – however, if a better use for the money is not known, it would be pleasing to us if the same was used in helping to bring the Gospel to the Jews.”

Tues., 21 Mar. 1961:

“8:45 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Meeting of the First Presidency was held.  Among many matters discussed was the meeting held last Saturday morning in San Francisco with eighteen presidents of the Northern California area at which time plans for coordinating full-time and stake mission efforts and utilizing the fellowship plan in missionary work were considered.

The fellowship plan is described as a way missionaries teach the Gospel in family cottage meetings to which families referred to the missionaries are invited as a group to the home of a member or an investigator family.  Here the missionaries use six lessons to present the fundamental proselyting subjects.  Members of the families are encouraged to take part.  President Henry D. Moyle reported that 362 converts were baptized last month from the Northwestern States Mission through this plan.  The plan includes singing, prayer, and a lesson.

I inquired as to the place in this plan for lady missionaries, and President Moyle said that they could participate in all other forms of regular missionary work and that they would have no difficulty learning and using this plan of proselyting.  He explained that the fellowship plan brings many people together during the period of their investigation and that when they are baptized, they are already fellowshipped into the Church.  I said: ‘This is a wonderful thing; it is the proper way to do it.’  President Moyle said:  ‘I would like for you to approve the plan and to have President Pugh work this out with his mission in Northern California and bring the work to the stake mission and to the full-time mission under this Committee.’  I answered:  ‘It applies only to the stakes.’  President Moyle said:  ‘Only to the stakes.  That could only apply to the stakes that desire it.  It is not something that would be forced on them.  I feel the genius of it would be to let it be a suggestion coming from President Stone of the Oakland-Berkeley Stake and he, being a very intelligent man, President Pugh, one of our best mission presidents, just let them work this out.  It has come up entirely on their initiative and there are four or five stake presidents around President Stone’s stake who would like to follow it.  They should be permitted to do so.  They said they have already discussed the matter with President Stone.  It is a natural way to see what we can work out with it.’

I said:  ‘It is a natural way to have it spread,’ and President Moyle said:  ‘And not have it come as a mandate from us.  I have never been more thrilled than with this trip.  I said:  ‘I think it is the proper way to do it.”

Thurs., 30 Mar. 1961:

“7:25 a.m.

Consultation with President Joseph Fielding Smith.  I explained that under the arrangements being made to divide mission fields into areas and placing them under the direction of one of the General Authorities of the Church, that the stakes within the areas can be taken care of by the General Authority assigned to the area.  I also informed President Smith that the Presidency will probably have a recommendation to make that the Seventies be given authority to set in order everything pertaining to the stakes.  I felt impressed to say to him, ‘We shall give them that authority.’  President Smith patted me on the back, and said, ‘I am with you.’

I said the President of the Seventy will be ordained High Priests and sent out to set the stake in order and everything pertaining thereto.  He has the same authority as a Seventy, and by virtue of the appointment of the First Presidency, he has authority to attend to every duty in the stake.  I am sure that is right!  I said nothing to President Smith about the seventh president of seventy presiding over the other six.  We shall take this matter up a little later.

Seventies – Ordination to High Priests

Presented to the Brethren in Council Meeting today the matter of ordination of Brethren of the First Council of Seventy to High Priests in order that they may attend to ordinations when they are assigned to go out into the Stakes.  

Thursday, March 30, 1961


President McKay, speaking to the Brethren, said that the Church is growing, stakes are increasing in number, and work of the General Authorities is becoming heavier and heavier all the time, and their presence is needed in the stake conferences.  He mentioned that the Twelve now have eleven associates called Assistants; also the First Council of Seventy who go out regularly, and the Presiding Bishopric.  He said that the Seventy, who labor under the direction of the Twelve in accordance with the revelations, are not authorized to complete all the work for which they are sent out; that at one time in the Church high priests and seventies both were called into the First Council of Seventy.  The question arose regarding the authority, etc., of these brethren, and the high priests were released, and since that time only those who were ordained to the office of seventy have occupied a position in the First Council.

President McKay said that the First Presidency now recommend that those members of the First Council of Seventy who are appointed to represent the Twelve at the quarterly conferences be ordained high priests so that they can attend to all the regular duties to which they are assigned.  They will not join the high priests’ quorum, he said, because they will hold to their present appointment, but as they go out they will be given authority, which they already have as holders of the Melchizedek Priesthood, to set in order everything necessary.

The President said that this authority would not be given to all of them, and it will not change the order and calling of the seventies into the First Council of Seventy.  They shall be chosen as heretofore, but when the First Council of Seventy are used to go out to represent the Twelve and to do that work just as the Assistants do, they should have the power and authority to do everything that will help in the work.

President McKay asked if the Brethren had any questions.

Elder Ezra Taft Benson said he assumed that this would not include the ordaining of patriarchs.

President McKay answered no, that even the Assistants cannot do that.  In answer to a further question by Brother Benson, President McKay said that, however, they will be able to ordain bishops and set apart presidents of stakes and high councilmen.  They cannot, however, choose patriarchs.  That responsibility rests with the Twelve.  Nor can they attend to the restoration of blessings.  They can merely attend to the local work.

President Joseph Fielding Smith moved approval of the decision of the First Presidency.  Motion seconded by Elder Ezra Taft Benson and unanimously approved.”

Tues., 4 Apr. 1961:

“Arab Development

Received a letter of appreciation from Mr. W. Hugh Walker, Representative, Ford Foundation, Beirut, Lebanon, telling of the successful Dairy project in Jericho, Jordan to which the church contributed cattle from Holland.  (See copy of letter following, and a copy of President McKay’s reply thereto)

(On June 27th, 1960 President McKay received a visit from Mr. Musa Bey Alami, an Arab of Jericho Jordan who was accompanied by his adopted son, Amer Salti Alami, who told of his efforts to assist the Arabs in developing the land, etc.  On January 12, 1961, President McKay gave his permission for Brother and Sister Seymour Mikkelsen of the B.Y.U. to act as missionaries in Jericho and Jerusalem where they will be stationed for two years to set up a dairy.)”

Sun., 9 Apr. 1961:


At this morning’s meeting, I announced that Elder Nathan Eldon Tanner had been appointed President of the newly created West European Mission which will include the British, Central British, Northern British Missions, the Scottish-Irish, Netherlands, French, and French East Missions.  Brother Alvin Dyer will now head the South, East, and West German Missions, and the Swiss and Austrian Missions.”

Fri., 14 Apr. 1961:

“7:45 to 9:10 a.m.

Spent this time in recording on film my remarks on ‘Every Member a Missionary,’  the film to be used throughout the Church to assist in missionary work.  The B.Y.U. handled the recording of this film.  (see copy of President McKay’s remarks following)

Friday, April 14, 1961

The following remarks were recorded this day (April 14, 1961) on film and sound by President McKay.  The film will be used throughout the Church to assist in the missionary work, with the special theme:  ‘Every member a missionary.’

In 1923 it was proposed that in the British Mission all members would work that year with the thought in mind that every member should be a missionary.  The idea being that every member in the Church probably has a relative, a friend, or a fellow workman from whose heart prejudice is already removed because of daily contact with members.  And so it was decided before the end of December of that year, each one would put forth special effort to bring at least one friend or a relative into the Church.  As a result of the efforts that were put forth, the record stands there today as one of the best that had been achieved for many years.

And now, today, it is generally understood that every member of the Church should be a missionary.  Every member — over a million and a half  — a missionary!  In part the Lord included this when he gave that great revelation on Church government, as recorded in the 107th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants:  ‘Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence.

‘He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand.  Even so.  Amen.’  (D & C 107:99-100)

I think that includes the father of a little girl who sent a letter to me some time ago.  She first gave her age.  She loves her father and mother, and adds, ‘But Father doesn’t take Mother to the Temple.  I wish he would, because I love them both, and I want to be sealed to them.’

A member may not be authorized to go from house to house, but he is authorized, by virtue of his membership, to set a proper example as a good neighbor.  Neighbors are watching him.  Neighbors are watching his children.  He is a Light, and it is his duty not to have that light hidden under a bushel, but it should be set up on a hill that all men may be guided thereby. 

‘Wherefore, let every man learn his duty, and walk in the performance of it in all diligence.’  That is the responsiblity of every man and woman and child in the Church.

To be just a lay member of the Church means that every man is a Christian gentleman; that every husband is true to the ideals of chastity; that every young boy and every young girl refrains from indulgence in tobacco, in strong drink, and keeps himself or herself free from the sins of the world.  That is what Mormonism means in daily life.

God help us to be true to our responsibility, to our callings, and especially to the responsibility we have of bringing the glad tidings of the Gospel to our friends and neighbors.  It will change men’s lives and make women and children better than they have every been before — that is the mission of the Gospel of Jesus Christ — to make evil-minded men good, and to make good men better.  In other words, to change men’s lives; to change human nature.

May every member of the Church experience this transformation in this life, and so live that others seeing his good deeds may be led to glorify our Father in Heaven, I humbly pray, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

Wed., 19 Apr. 1961:

“8:30 to 9:10 a.m.

Was in the meeting of the First Presidency.  Among important matters considered were 1) I reported that Brother Nathan Eldon Tanner, who has been appointed President of the West European Mission, which mission includes Great Britain, France, and Holland, is to be made Editor of the Millennial Star, and that Brother T. Bowring Woodbury, now President of the British Mission, will be the assistant Editor.  2)  I said that heretofore the First Presidency has made appointments of members of the Twelve to visit foreign countries, and that now I feel that the responsibility of making these Stake appointments at home and abroad should be with the Twelve.  I further said that we need to appoint a Committee of the Twelve to assist President Joseph Fielding Smith in assigning Brethren to Stake conferences.  I shall talk with him, suggesting the need of such a Committee to study the conditions and needs of the Stakes, and to make assignments of General Authorities in accordance therewith.  I said that I would present the matter to the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve at their meeting in the Temple tomorrow.  3)  I expressed my feeling that special appointments to visit missions should be made by the First Presidency and approved by the Twelve.  4)  First Council of Seventy.  We agreed that members of the First Council of Seventy who are sent to Stakes and Missions to set in order the affairs of the Church be ordained high priests, and have authority to serve as such.  They will not, however, be members of the high priests’ quorums, but are given special authority to set in order the Stakes and Missions to which they are assigned.

Tues., 13 June 1961:

“8:30 to 10 a.m.

Went in to the meeting of the First Presidency.  We had a long discussion about the coming Mission Presidents’ Seminar.  Elders Marion G. Romney, Gordon B. Hinckley, Franklin D. Richards, and Bruce R. McConkie were present during the discussion.

The Mission Presidents and their wives will go into session Monday morning, June 26.  It is proposed to hold the seminar on the third floor of the Relief Society Building with four two-hour sessions a day, — two in the morning starting at 8 a.m. and two in the afternoon.  These sessions will continue for eight days.

After listening to the details, I commented that the main purpose of the entire meeting is to arrange for groups to whom the Gospel may be preached; and the second point, is how the missionaries may be trained to teach and what they are to teach.

Elder Harold B. Lee could talk about governing and developing the membership of the Church, the responsibility of the first counselor, district branch leadership, and the training of local leadership.  The First Presidency to summarize and give the concluding talks of the Seminar.

Thurs., 15 June 1961:

“Leadership in Missions of the Church

Elders Spencer W. Kimball and Mark E. Petersen called and discussed at length their recommendation, which was concurred in by the Twelve, regarding confining the activities of the mission presidents to a supervision of proselyting, and setting up in the districts of the missions ’embryo’ stake organizations.  President Moyle joined these brethren in urging that such a program be instituted for the reason that the membership in the missions, it is felt, are not receiving proper opportunities for development in the priesthood and other organizations, and as a result many are losing their interest in the Church.

I stated that I am opposed to the setting up of an administration of this kind.  I said that I feel that such a program would mean a dual leadership in the same area, which I think would be inadvisable.  I feel that the President of the Mission could carry the responsibility if he had the right kind of counselors, and suggested that consideration might appropriately be given to the advisability of calling from headquarters counselors to assist the Mission Presidents.  The Brethren were agreed that some conclusion should be reached in regard to this matter before the holding of the Mission Presidents’ Seminar in order that such program as may be decided upon could be explained to the Mission Presidents when they are in the city.  The question is to be given further consideration.

Sat., 24 June 1961:

Mission Presidents’ Seminar

President Moyle mentioned that Elders Marion G. Romney and Gordon B. Hinckley had discussed with him yesterday afternoon the program for the first session of the mission presidents seminar to be held Monday morning, that they said they had not in any way intended to usurp the prerogative of the First Presidency in this opening session, that it was to be conducted in every way as the First Presidency desire.  President Moyle mentioned that the committee had expressed a desire for him to speak on the question of the relationship to the mission of the Building Committee and the labor missionary program.  President Moyle read a statement that had been prepared which he had considered reading in his remarks at the first session.

I said that I felt that some changes should be made in the statement as submitted.  I said that it was my feeling that instead of taking out of the hands of the mission president the matter of selecting sites for buildings in the missions, the mission president should go with the Building Committee representative to select such sites.

I stated that it had been reported to me recently that members of the Building Committee have chosen these sites entirely, whereas it was my feeling that the Building Committee should work under the ecclesiastical department of the Church.  I said that I feel that we do not emphasize sufficiently the need of cooperation of the mission president with representatives of the Building Committee, and that the Building Committee occasionally assume an attitude which is not within their rights.

President Moyle called attention to a letter issued by the First Presidency under date of November 16, 1960 addressed to President Dyer of the European Mission explaining in some detail the duties of the Building Committee in connection with the securing of real estate, and the planning of construction of chapels in the British Isles and in Europe, and indicated that it was his understanding and belief that the Building Committee was operating in full accord with the instructions therein given.  He suggested that perhaps he should read that letter to the mission presidents.

I suggested that President Moyle make it clear to the Building Committee that we are sending them out to assist the Mission President in selecting these sites.  I said that I would read carefully the First Presidency’s letter of November 16, 1960 and indicate just what changes I felt should be made.

Wed., 5 July 1961:

“7:15 a.m.

Went to the Temple where I attended a Solemn Assembly of the General Authorities with the Mission Presidents and their Wives, as the concluding Session of the World-wide Mission Presidents’ Seminar.

I greeted counselors in the First Presidency, the President and members of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, other General Authorities of the Church, Presidents of Missions in all the world and their wives.  I said that there have been other Solemn Assemblies held in the recent past, and in the history of the Church, but that as I contemplate the significance of this gathering, I believe that this is one of the most solemn assembly ever held in the House of the Lord.

I said that I felt that we had had a wonderful ten-days’ association and instruction, and that that wonderful gathering is climaxed by the opportunity which is now theirs to go through the House of the Lord to renew their solemn covenants.  I said that they would long remember this day, and would long cherish the privilege that has been theirs to meet three times a day all during the Seminar.

I then said that I was impressed to say a word about the significance of the temple ceremony.  I stated that too many of our young men and young women look at the mechanics of the ordinance, and fail to glimpse the spiritual significance.  They fail to even glimpse that the ceremony is the story of man’s progress in the world, right from the animal kingdom up to the sacred entrance into the presence of our Heavenly Father, and that that is what it really is.  I talked further about the ceremony and what it means.

In conclusion I said that I was very happy to be associated with them in this Solemn Assembly – the first of its kind ever held in the Church!  I asked God’s blessings upon the Mission Presidents and their loyal and true wives; that as they return now to their fields of labor, more enthusiastic, more thrilled, better prepared than ever before to preach the word of the Lord, they may have with them the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit, and quoted ‘Go, ye messengers of Glory; Run, ye legates of the skies; Go and tell the pleasing story that a glorious angel flies!’

Tues., 25 July 1961:

“8:30 a.m.

Met with Presidents Henry D. Moyle and Hugh B. Brown, President Clark still confined to his home.

Missionary Work

Elders Richard L. Evans and Franklin D. Richards came into our meeting and discussed proselyting matters.  Elder Richards said that in a weekly report that he had received from each of the eight missions under his jurisdiction the Eastern Atlantic States Mission had had 10 baptisms in January – 75 in June, and in the first two weeks of this month, 73.  Quoting statistics for the eight missions in June, Elder Richards said that in June, 1960 these eight missions had 378 baptisms whereas last month they had 1005; further that in the six months period in 1960 they had 1,930 baptisms, whereas this year during the first six months they had 4,093.  Elder Richards then read a paragraph from the blessing given to him by me when he was set apart to preside over the Northwestern States Mission in which, among other things, it stated that his work in that mission would be only a commencement of future work in the Church.

Proselyting by Correspondence

Elder Richards referred to the millions of people who live in the United States and various other countries who cannot possibly be reached by the missionaries, and presented a plan which he proposed be adopted for reaching many of these people by correspondence or by a proposed study plan.  This he suggested as one more way of reaching millions of people.  The plan he proposed is exactly the same as is being used in the mssions by the missionaries but would be put on paper.  He mentioned the hundreds of thousands of people who visit Temple Squre each year; that many of them, no doubt, would like to know more about the Church, but many are fearful for one reason or another to have the missionaries call on them.

He said we could develop lists; we could get names and addresses of these people; we could do the same regarding people who attend the pageant in Palmyra, and in other ways.  It would be the thought to start out by sending them a brief note asking them what they know about the Church, and if they would like to know more.  With the letter would be a card on whch they could indicate that they would like to have more information about the Church, or they may say, ‘Please do not send personal representatives.’ If they ask for personal representatives we would send the missionaries; if they say, ‘please send information,’ we would then send a letter with the study program.  In the letter it would be suggested that in order to get the most out of these discussions two things are necessary:  First, complete and return the discussion for checking; second, pray about the material presented in each discussion.  The lesson would be sent in duplicate so that the recipient could keep a copy.  The same discussions would be sent by mail as are given by the missionary.  Sufficient space is provided after each question for written answers.  Elder Richards said that in order to start this program, he would make a gift of $5,000.00 to the Church which he felt sure would start it off.  Elder Richards said it was thrilling to him to realize the possibilities that he thinks could be worked out in this plan.

In this connection, Elder Evans said that before Presdient Stephen L. Richards passed away, Brother Petersen and Brother Evans proposed a series of invitations for release in the public press along these lines; that they had selected the media and indicated what it would cost; that they still have this in the files.                                   (that we shall adopt it.  I said that this is just another step forward, and that it is wonderful.)   I then mentioned the use of the radio; that we could have a program here in Salt Lake with the Tabernacle Choir participating, and a statement by one of the General Authorities, the program lasting thirty or forty minutes; that this could be sent out to all the world if the dates were announced when it would be given.  The Brethren then mentioned that this might be placed on tape recording, and that it could be used anywhere at such time as might be convenient to have an audience, and that it might be publicized in missions and districts so that everyone who cared to do so could listen.

President Moyle mentioned that Brother Evans is going to the Palmyra Pageant celebration; that Brother Richards wants to start out with his mailing list, and have the names and addresses of everyone attending the pageant, and everyone who visits the Temple Square those who will give their names and addresses, and it will be interesting to see what the response is from these people; that statistics can be obtained to show what percentage of the people who go the pageant, for instance, are affected sufficiently to want to know more about the Church.  The same can be done with Temple Square, and it was felt that when this information is obtained we should as soon thereafter as possible communicate with these people.

I stated that I think we should go right ahead with this program.

New Quarters for Missionary Home During Building Program

The necessity for finding a place where we could carry on our missionary home until the new quarters are erected, it being necessary to remove the present buildings, was discussed.  The matter of using the Ute Hotel on Main Street, which has facilities to accommodate the mission home at a minimum cost for remodeling, perhaps twenty or thirty thousand dollars was considered.  I said it would be all right to use the Ute Hotel, for this purpose.  The lease with the tenant there is such that as soon as the summer season is over the tenant would be ready to move, and the building could then be utilized by the missionaries the first of the year.

Logan Temple Bureau of Information

I mentioned that I had discussed with Brother Mendenhall the matter of erecting a Bureau of Information at the Logan Temple, that the Building Committee had prepared a sketch for an area of about 1530 square feet at an estimated cost of $27,500, the building and furnishings to cost $33,000.  I said that I had never felt that a Bureau of Information was necessary at Logan; that I think the priesthood quorums in that area by alternating could very well take care of the tourists who visit the temple grounds.  Presidents Moyle and Brown agreed with this suggestion.

Wed., 16 Aug. 1961:

“Young Married Couples Not To Be Sent on Missions

It was reported that several young married couples, particularly in the Richfield area, who have one or two children, could go on missions, their families to sustain them.  The wife would not do any more work than was consistent with their family duties.  The purpose of sending them would be to have the husband appointed as a branch president in one of the branches in the mission field to solidify the work of the branch and to train local people for leadership.  I was opposed to calling young couples to this service.  I said that more mature or older couples might properly be called but not young people, who should be at home rearing their families.  In this connection President Moyle said that a number of older couples had been recommended for such missionary work but many of them had been turned down because of the health condition of either the wife or husband.  I said that I felt the Mission President should carry the responsibility of developing leadership among the young men of the mission.  The other brethren fully agreed in this attitude.

Tues., 22 Aug. 1961:

“6:30 a.m.

Visited the Temple Grounds and went on a tour for the first time with a group of tourists.  There were 12 people in the group — 9 adults and 3 children — at the early hour of the morning.  It was a very interesting experience!  My son, Dr. Edward R. McKay, who was the guide did not know I was coming and was very surprised to see me included in the group.  No one there knew my identity.  What a wonderful missionary work these devoted guides are doing on Temple Square!  Nearly half a million tourists visited Temple Square during the first six months of the year.”

Thurs., 24 Aug. 1961:

Berlin Crisis

President Moyle mentioned that a cable from President Percy Getzer of the Berlin Mission to Elder Ezra Taft Benson, stated that the Berlin crisis is making people receptive to the Gospel, that 48 missionaries expect 88 baptisms in September.  President Fetzer asked in the letter for a ten-minute personal voice tape directed to Berlin missionaries for a conference meeting to be held August 28th.  It was our sentiment that it would be unwise to have such a tape prepared and sent by Brother Benson, that it might have a political connotation.

Communism — the Church

I called attention to the discussion in the Council Meeting last Thursday regarding the various discussions that are going on particularly in California in the Sacrament meetings and elsewhere regarding Communism.  I read to the Brethren of the First Presidency an editorial issued by the First Presidency, consisting of Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, Jr. and David O. McKay, under date of July 3, 1936, setting forth the attitude of the Church regarding Communism.  It was the sentiment of the Brethren that this editorial should be copied and placed in the folders of the General Authorities as they go out to visit the stakes.  It was felt that there should be no hesitation in giving circulation to this article.  It was decided to take it to the Council this morning to be read to the Brethren.  It was the sentiment of the Brethren that we should not open our meetings to national organizations and individuals to discuss the communistic trend, but that any instruction on the matter should go through proper channels and there would be no objection to the Brethren of the General Authorities reading this in quarterly conferences.  I said we do not want the Brethren to go out with the idea that we, as a Church, are not publicly and emphatically against Communism.

Other matters were discussed until 9:50 at which time we left for the Salt Lake Temple.

Wed., 30 Aug. 1961:

“12:20 p.m.

President Henry D. Moyle and Brother Gordon Hinckley came in for consultation regarding our missionaries and their military status.  It was decided to hold a meeting with Major General Maxwell E. Rich tomorrow morning.”

Thurs., 31 Aug. 1961:

“8:30 a.m.

Major General Maxwell E. Rich and Colonel Higham of the Utah National Guard, together with Brother Gordon Hinckley met with the First Presidency and discussed the situation that had developed by reason of the recent alert of the National Guard.  General Rich stated that there are about 1200 men in the units that have been alerted and he did not know of course what the future might be.  He said that their idea as far as the missionaries are concerned on these alerted units is that if they had their call prior to the alert they should go on their mission and there would be no question about it.  This means those who have received their formal call from the President of the Church prior to the alert, which was last Friday.  He explained that they knew nothing about the alert until last Friday and he felt that they should cooperate with the young man if he had received his call; that, however, if he receives his call after the alert this consideration cannot be extended.  I expressed the feeling that this was very fair.  He said that we have two or three missionaries in the home who were set apart yesterday but they were asked to remain until after this conference before they go.  It would therefore seem that it would be all right to set them apart and let them go.

General Rich stated that they have an opening for a chaplain and wondered if there were LDS chaplains who might be used.  We explained that the Church Servicemen’s Committee has a list of applications and that perhaps a review could be made of that list and a recommendation made as to some one for this position.  (see First Presidency’s Minutes of the day for futher details.)”

Fri., 1 Sept. 1961:

“8 to 10:45 a.m.

Was engaged in the meeting of the First Presidency.

My counselors and I met with Delbert L. Stapley, Senator Wallace F. Bennett, Glendon Johnson, Albert E. Bowen, Vernon Snyder, and Robert M. Dyer for the purpose of discussing the matter of tax exemption of funds contributed for the support of missionaries.  Elder Stapley explained that much time and effort has been devoted to find a way under government regulations for our people and others who maintain missionaries in the mission field to take a tax deduction for so doing.

Following a long discussion and after considering the pros and cons of this matter, I stated that it seems that we shall have to leave things as they are now.  (see First Presidency’s Minutes of this day for further details.)

After the departure of the above mentioned men we met with the Presiding Bishopric in their regular meeting.  Following their departure we continued with the regular meeting of the First Presidency.

Brazil – Conditions in

While we were in meeting Brother Gordon Hinckley called and reported that he had received a message from President Paulsen of the Brazilian South Mission in which he reports that a civil war is threatening.  He says that the missionaries are all safe and suggests that no more missionaries be sent to either the Brazilian or Brazilian South Missions until we are advised to send them.  Brother Hinckley said that four missionaries are in the home scheduled to go to the Brazilian Mission and eleven scheduled to go to the Brazilian South Mission.  We decided that these missionaries should be diverted to the United States and kept here until conditions change.”

Wed., 6 Sept. 1961:

“8:35 a.m.

Attended the regular meeting of the First Presidency.

Berlin – conditions in

President Moyle reported that he had received a letter from President Alvin R. Dyer of the European Mission, regarding conditions in Berlin, stating that we have 48 missionaries in the city where we are permitted to labor, not including those working in the office.  Troubled times seem to be opening the hearts of the people to the Gospel.  During the month of August there will be about as many baptisms in the Berlin Mission as there were before the mission was divided.  He recommends we send an additional ten or twelve missionaries in the next month or two.  We did not favor this.

I mentioned the decision to organize a stake there, and it was agreed that East Berlin should be brought into that organization.  It was also decided to send a cable to President Tanner asking that he attend the conference in Berlin when the stake is organized.”

Thurs., 7 Sept. 1961:

“Following the departure of this group, President Moyle reported that President T. Bowring Woodbury of the British Mission is sending to me a book for my birthday which will contain all the names of the missionaries in the British Mission.  It will be covered with a cloth which is the McKay tartan with the silver McKay chiefton badge on the cover, and each page headed by the coat of arms of the districts involved, and including also the McKay coat of arms, announcing that they had paid a tribute to me in the last week of August.  President Woodbury reports that they attempted to produce one baptism per team of 88 teams for my birthday and that they had actually produced 107 baptisms.”

Wed., 13 Sept. 1961:

“8:30 to 10 a.m.

Was engaged in the meeting of the First Presidency.

Czechoslovakian Mission

In a letter from Wallace F. Toronto, President of the Czechoslovakian Mission, he reports that his application for visa in order that he and Sister Toronto might visit Czechoslovakia has been denied, this being the fifth denial that he has received.  President Toronto recommends that Brother William T. Smith and his wife, Jane Brodel Smith, make a visit to Czechoslovakia in the interest of the Church for the purpose of looking the situation over pertaining to the Saints there.  It is reported that Brother Smith was on a mission there when President Toronto was there and that his wife is a native born Czechoslovakian.  We favored this recommendation as presented by President Toronto.

Scottish-Irish Mission

Latest reports from the Scottish-Irish Mission indicat that they are baptizing one hundred converts per week in that mission and are leading the Church in convert baptisms.”

Tues., 19 Sept. 1961:

“There was read a letter from Gary H. Richardson of Brookfield, Illinois, mentioning a story that he had heard to the effect that a seven year-old boy in an interview with me had expressed a desire to go on a mission when he became old enough, and that I had stated in effect that when he became 19 years of age there would be no more missionaries called.  I stated that this statement had no foundation in fact, and that Brother Richardson was to be so notified.

Thurs., 21 Sept. 1961:

“Assignment of Missionaries to German Speaking Missions

President Moyle stated that in assigning missionaries yesterday they assigned fourteen to the German-speaking missions in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.  He asked for my direction as to whether or not under the circumstances existing in Germany today we should go ahead and assign these missionaries as is normally done.  I said no.  However, we agreed that we should send enough missionaries within the next few months, to these missions for replacements of missionaries who will be coming home, but not any others.  In other words, not to increase the number of missionaries in these countries at the present time.

10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Was convened in the meeting of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve held in the Salt Lake Temple.

During the meeting today Elder Delbert L. Stapley gave a report on his recent trip to Germany.  He said in speaking of the Berlin crisis that the present action of the East German Communists in Russia itself indicates that all of Berlin is going to be taken within the Communist camp; that we have only 6,500 soldiers.  The British and French are represented, but we are not in force sufficient to resist any offensive action on the part of the Communists.  They have built up this wall that separates East from West Berlin.  The Communists have put up two lines of barbed wire fence about eight feet high, separated ten or twelve feet with heavy barbed wire entanglements laced in between.  They have uprooted the trees with bulldozers from this line of fencing about 150 feet, so that it is clear and open.  This is patrolled by the East German or Russian soldiers.  They are getting so entrenched, and moving their people back, and it seemed to be just a maneuver to take over West Berlin.  Elder Stapley said it would be very difficult to defend Berlin as he sees it.  He mentioned a rumor — he did not know whether or not it was true — that sometime after the 20th of this month Russia would enter into a treaty with the East German government.  At that time all traffic flow will cease into East Berlin.  They will close the corridors leading into Berlin.  We are faced with that situation, and it is a time of decision in Berlin so far as the country is concerned, and everything indicates that that is the intention of the Communists.

Elder Stapley said he asked our new stake presidency what would happen if the Communists took over, and they did not seem to have too much concern.  In other words, we have more concern here than the West Germans have.  Elder Stapley felt it was because they have lived under domination so many years they do not know anything else, but if they had the privilege of getting into East Berlin and seeing the conditions under which the people live it might change their minds.  He said that if the Communists were to close the corridors they could starve Berlin and it would not take too long, and he did not see how Berlin could be maintained without being completely destroyed.  He felt that the situation requires rather careful watching from our standpoint.  He was very apprehensive about it.  He thought it would only take a few hours to bring the entire city of Berlin into the Communist camp.  Elder Stapley said he was thankful for the privilege of filling this assignment.”

Sat., 28 Oct. 1961:

“Missionary Work

The missionary work in Great Britain is breaking a record.  California Mission is setting a new record.”

Thurs., 2 Nov. 1961:

10:10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Was engaged in meeting of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve in the Salt Lake Temple.

One of the matters, among many others, we considered at our Council meeting today was the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii.

Another matter we discussed was return fare of missionary who desires to study in Israel.  We considered a letter from President H. Clay Cunnings addressed to Franklin J. Murdock presenting the case of Walter David West, who is being released from the New Zealand Mission, and who is desirous of spending six months in Israel for the purpose of making a study of conditions in a communal settlement in Israel.  He is asking if the Church would advance him the money normally required to return him to his home, he to assume full responsibility for his travel expenses.

Elder Gordon B. Hinckley explained that somewhat similar requests are received from time to time; that this would be a way of financing the young man during the period that he is visiting other areas before returning home; and that in some cases it has become necessary for the Church to advance the individual the money to return home after he has used up the travel expense money.  I said that I think our missionaries should come home and report, and then if they want to go elsewhere to study, or for such other purposes as they may desire, it would be on their own responsibility.  I feel that the missionary owes something to his ward, to the bishop, and the people who helped sustain him, and that he should come home and make his report.

On motion, this became the sentiment of the Council.

In connection with this, Elder Marion G. Romney raised a question regarding a situation where the parents go into the mission field to meet their missionary son or daughter who is being released to return home, and who will travel with the parents.  He asked if, in such a case, the mission would be justified in giving to the missionary the expense money normally allotted for him for his return fare.  I said that this was a different situation, and that I could not see any objection to that being done.”

Thurs., 16 Nov. 1961:

Missionaries – Age for Sending Young Women on Missions

At this same meeting Elder Mark E. Petersen raised the question as to the official age for sending girls on missions.  He mentioned, as did others of the Brethren, that quite a number are being called at 21.

I said that the official age for young women for missions is 23, and that so far as I know there has been no change.  An exception had been granted for young women who were stenographers to be sent at a young age;  that, however, many had been sent who normally should not come under this category.

I stated that I do not feel that the rule should be changed; that the ages at which young women get married are normally 19 to 22, inclusive, and that too many of our girls are unmarried.  I agreed that it would be well for the Missionary Committee to send out a letter to Bishops and Stake Presidents reconfirming the policy regarding this question.

Fri., 1 Dec. 1961:

Missionaries in Central British Mission

President Moyle mentioned that President James A. Cullimore of the Central British Mission reports having some missionaries who do not seem to have the mental capacity to do the work, that they not only waste their own time, but the time of their companions, and he says that in each case these missionaries would be willing to be transferred to the labor missionary program.

I said No; they should not be transferred to the labor missionary program; that President Cullimore should be told to do the best he can; that he is not the only one who has missionaries of this type.”

Tues., 5 Dec. 1961:

“9 a.m.

Went in to the regular meeting of the First Presidency.  We considered many matters, among which were:

2) Convert Baptisms in Mission and Stakes.

President Moyle reported that up until November 30, 1961, the French Mission has exceeded 1000 baptisms, that is, the divided Mission, that includes baptisms in all of France up to the time of the division, and that they anticipate 257 baptisms in December.

It was further reported that up until the end of October our full-time foreign mission conversions totalled 61,000 as against a total of 46,000 for all convert baptisms last year, and in addition to that total we shall have over 10,000 baptisms in the stakes, which makes up until the end of October some 72,000 covert baptisms, and it looks as though before the end of the year it will reach 90,000 this year as against 46,000 last.

Progress in British Mission

A letter from President T. Bowring Woodbury was read in which he reports progress in the British Mission.  Said that articles are being prepared for Life Magazine and Time Magazine regarding the missionary work in Great Britain, and that pictures are being taken of our missionaries to appear in connection with the articles; that Queen magazine in Great Britain is doing an article on the doctrinal aspect of the Church; that Associated Television is doing a series on the four freedoms as represented by Roosevelt, and under the hour-long spectacular on religious freedom they chose our Church; that they are doing 15 minutes for the NBC Church of the Air on December 31st, using the International Singing Mothers tape; that the Duke of Edinburgh has invited representatives of our Church to go to St. James Palace in recognition of the work we have done on the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

I asked that I be furnished a copy of the report regarding the presentation of the Duke of Edinburgh Award of the Church through President Milan D. Smith of the Washington Stake.

Thurs., 14 Dec. 1961:

“8:30 – 10 a.m.

Met with my counselors in our regular meeting of the First Presidency.

Missionary Service – Inquiry from Calvin B. Arneson, Age 14

I presented a letter which I had received from Calvin B. Arneson of Millbrae, California.  This young man, though only 14 years old, expressed his desire to serve as a missionary, and also to continue his pursuit of a career in music.  He reviewed his need to plan ‘things out in time’ including four or more years of college, two years of a mission, and then marriage.

I directed that the letter be referred to the Missionary Committee.  I told the Brethren that at the time of my graduation from the University of Utah Normal School, I called on the President of the Church and told him that I had been offered a teaching position while finishing my education, and that I had also received a missionary call.  The President of the Church advised me to finish my schooling, and said, ‘When you are ready, let us know, and we shall see about it.’  So I said, ‘When this young man is ready for a mission, we shall take care of it.'”

Fri., 23 Feb., 1962:

8:15 – 8:45 a. m.

President Henry D. Moyle and I represented the First Presidency

(President Brown being en route to Pittsburgh) in a courtesy call from

Senator Kenneth B. Keating of New York. Accompanying Senator Keating

were Senator Wallace F. Bennett, Mr Vernon Romney, Mr. Fred

Finlayson, Mr. Mitchell Melich, Mr. Sherman B. Lowe, and Mrs. Helen

H. Brown.

The following conversation ensued:

Keating: “This fellow (indicating Senator Bennett) is the best representative of your Church. That would be solid for every member of the Senate regardless of his political affiliation. They all feel the same way about Wallace. “

McKay: (to Senator Bennett)  “You have a new competitor. ” 

Bennett: “You mean George?”

McKay: “George Romney is way off.”

Moyle: “He is talking about Calvin Rampton.”

Bennett: “We must quote the Book of Mormon: ‘There must needs be opposition in all things.'”

Keating: “I want to tell you, Mr. President, how he saved me.

During the debate on the civil rights bill, they had the junior senators in the chair to preside. The Vice President does not sit there all the time to preside over the Senate, so I was sitting up there and a real crisis in the debate that was unexpected due to a parliamentary maneuver, made it necessary to have a new parliamentary day start, so now the Vice President and the Majority leader Johnson said, ‘I move the Senate do now adjourn for three minutes and we start a new day.’ In about two and a half minute I was still in the chair, and I leaned down to the sergeant at arms and said, ‘Is there not a statute that we start each session with prayer?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘Go get the chaplain.’ He said, ‘He has left for the day.’ I said, ‘Don’t leave this to a heathen like me to give a prayer.’ He said, ‘You can recite the Lord’s Prayer.’ I said, ‘I know the Lord’s Prayer, but if I have to do it in front of the Senate of the United States, I might stumble. Go get Wallace Bennett.’ So he went into the cloakroom and got Wallace. I banged the gavel and he gave a beautiful prayer, just like that. So he certainly got me out of the box.”

McKay: “That is the returned missionary. He has got to be equal to every occasion.”

Bennett: “Now I have the title of Assistant Chaplain.”

Keating: “The Hotel looks out on the Temple. It is beautiful. I arrived here at four o’clock your time, took a little snooze, and just before dusk I got up and looked out of the window. It is as beautiful a view as I have ever seen — it is an inspiring sight.”

McKay: “Do you have a good room?”

Keating: “Yes, it is a very nice hotel.”

McKay: ”One of the best in the United States.”

Keating: “Mr. President, when I was in the House before I went to the Senate, my congressional delegation was from Palmyra.

McKay: “Then you are our representative. “

Keating: “I believe you are building a chapel. “

McKay: “We have just organized a stake and dedicated a chapel. The Church is growing in spite of those who don’t like us. “

Keating: “I have never heard anybody say they don’t like the Mormons, but I suppose you encounter that. “

Moyle: “You haven’t been on a mission. “

Keating: “It has always interested me. Your history is so very interesting.”

Romney: “I wonder if the Senator is acquainted with our missionary service. We have something in the neighborhood of 10,000 young men.”

Keating: “And they serve a couple of years?”

Romney: “They pay their own way and all their expenses “

Moyle: “In foreign countries they serve 30 months.”

Romney: “My own son came back from the British Mission a few weeks ago. He was in the presidency. Brother Moyle in the Bonneville Stake said there had been more baptisms in the Northwestern States Mission than our membership of that big stake, something around 4000; in one year in the Northwestern States, they baptized more than the membership of that entire stake.”

Moyle: “Finally it was over 5,000. They promised to double it this year in baptisms.”

McKay: “One of the most interesting phases of the missionary work is the fact that young men and young women look forward and save their money for the purpose.”

Keating: ”Isn’t that wonderful . “

McKay: ”Individually it develops character. They have high ideals. Even during the war [a] young man saved his pittance received from the government, and it is a mere pittance. Instead of spending his money as soldiers usually do, he sent it to his mother who was a widow, and he said, ‘Mother, save this for me, and when I get out of the army I would like to go on a mission,’ and she did that. He also made the stipulation that if he didn’t come back, ‘use the money to send some other young man to represent me’, and he didn’t come back.”

Keating: “He didn’t? He was killed?”

McKay: “He gave his life for his country, and she was true to his request and used the money for another young man to go on a mission. That’s a phase of missionary work that is seldom appreciated by others. I received a letter only this morning from a young woman who is 19 and she was writing about another question about ideals of married life. She said ‘I want to go on a mission; I am not worried about marriage yet’ — so they look forward to it during their teens and save money to help pay their expenses. Of course, most of the expenses are paid by their parents and friends who contribute, but this phase of missionary work is very contributive to character building. “

Keating: “That’s right.”

Moyle: ”There was a sad but wonderful experience yesterday. A missionary’s father was killed in Bancroft, Idaho, helping others to clean up after the flood and he got tangled up in a machine and his neck was broken instantly. The missionary was notified, and he said he would do what his mother wanted him to do with reference to coming home to the funeral. She said, ‘My boy, you stay where you are. That is what your father would have wanted; ‘ so he stays in the mission field. “

Keating: “That’s real dedication.”

Romney: “I remember an occurrence in this building when President George Albert Smith was president. He related it to Guy Gabrielson. We visited President Smith and he was telling him about Ted Peterson who became president of the Standard Oil. Guy was one of his closest friends. President Smith told this story: He said that he went to Albany to visit and he was met there by two young elders. He asked them to direct him to the capitol and they did. I don’t remember which one of the governors was in the chair, but one of the New York governors, and President Smith went to visit him as a courtesy call. It was during the World War, and in the conversation the governor inquired of President Smith, ‘What do you think is the future and the outcome of this war and of the country’ and so on. President Smith said, ‘You get your Book of Mormon and open to such and such and read it and that’s your answer. That’s the outcome.’ The governor turned around to his swivel bookcase by the side of his desk and took a Book of Mormon and read that this country will never be ruled by a king, and so on. President Smith smiled and said to Guy, ‘You know, I took an awful chance, but I knew he had one because I had presented him one a few years ago. ‘ One of the young elders was Peterson who became president of Standard Oil. “

McKay: “When my call came, I was a student at the University of Utah and my call went to my home in Huntsville. My father was the bishop, and he was a little worried about his rambunctious son. He didn’t know just whether he would accept that call, so he sent a letter with it and said how the decision in accepting this or rejecting this is yours. You pray about it and let us know.’ I received it in the morning before I went to school, and I said to my brother, ‘Isn’t that awful.’ My father was about right. Well, I thought it would interfere with my future. William Stewart was head of the normal department, you remember him.”

Moyle: “Very well. “

McKay: “He offered me a position here in Salt Lake when I graduated at $1800.00 a year, and that was a good salary. I didn’t know what to do. William Stewart said we want you to take the school in Salt Lake County, so I thought I would go to President Joseph F. Smith who was president of the Church. This was in

January. I said, ‘I graduate in June, and my folks have gone to considerable expense to have their three children in the University, so I would like to accept the position as teacher in the schools and pay them back.’  President Smith listened. ‘Well, you continue your school until June and graduate, and when you are ready to go just let us know.’ (Laughter) I went on my mission on the 1st of August of that year. “

Keating: “Where did you go? “

McKay: “I went to Scotland and received an appointment to teach in the Weber Stake Academy before I was released from my mission.”

Bennett: “At more than $1800.00 a year? “

McKay: “Yes, and that was the beginning of my teaching career and the beginning of my Church work. “

Romney: “They can make decisions for us always. “

Keating: “This call was entirely voluntary?”

McKay: “Yes, they are all volunteers. I was hopeful that

the President of the Church would say ‘accept the position in the schools. When you graduate let us know.”‘

Moyle: “We asked one young man not long ago if he had been coerced to go on a mission. He smiled and he said, ‘I haven’t been discouraged.'”

Romney: “Would you tell the Senator about the increase in baptisms from year to year. “

Moyle: “Well in 1959 our conversions, baptisms resulting from conversion, were around 35,000 in all the world; in 1960 they were 48,000; and in 1961 there were 88,807.”

Keating: “You are going to take us over. That’s terrific. “

Moyle: “And added to that would be our natural growth as our children become eight years of age. We look upon that as the year of accountability. When they are eight they know what they want to do, and for the most part they are baptized at eight, and when we add that we will have close to 150,000 increase last year.”

Keating: “That’s marvelous. “

Moyle: “The way it has started out this year it looks like it might make 200,000.”

Bennett: “150,000 is not quite 10%. “

Romney: “Is there any church that is exceeding that? “

Moyle: “Unfortunately I do not have any statistics on the other churches.”

Keating: “I wouldn’t think so off hand. “

McKay: “I think the percentage of increase is higher. “

Moyle: “The remarkable thing about it is in the European countries that are predominantly Catholic like France, we have as much as 600% increase in a year. I think there is no doubt but this year they will have 2500 conversions in Frances whereas in 1959 they had about 200.”

Melich: “At what do you estimate your total membership now? “

Moyle: “It will run close to 1,800,000, maybe between that and 900,000.”

Melich: “You have had your most rapid growth in the last ten years.”

Moyle: “In arriving at that figure I have not taken into

consideration the deaths. I am on the receiving end. So we would have to reduce that a little on account of the mortality. “

Romney: “That is divided up between 1100 and 1200 wards. “

Moyle: “There are over 3,000 wards, going on 4,000. “

Romney: “And all of these have their chapels in which they worship. “

Moyle: “We are building 47 meetinghouses under construction in the British Isles alone. We will have 96 under the program this year, either completed or under construction, just in the British Isles. Where we had last year 11,000 and some odd conversions in Britain alone, we have 47 buildings under construction or ready to begin in Europe outside of Great Britain. “

Romney: “I was not exaggerating when I said they are finishing one a day.”

Moyle: “That’s right. “

Keating: “Do you have missionaries in the undeveloped countries?”

Moyle: “No, we have so many missionaries needed that we are having a hard time covering other parts of the world. “

McKay: “We have a mission in South Africa. “

Bennett: “It is not a mission to the blacks. “

Keating: “Do you have missionaries in the Arab countries?”

Moyle: “We have no missionaries now in the Arab countries. “

McKay: “In Syria we had a mission years ago, and it is now carried on by the Swiss Mission. “

Moyle: “We have some members of the Church in Arab countries, and as President McKay says they are taken care of by our Swiss Mission, but we have no missionaries in the Arab countries. “

Bennett: “We are having a tremendous growth in the South Seas. That is one of the richest missions among the Polynesians. “

Moyle: “We had over 4,000 converts in Samoa. We are organizing a stake in Samoa next month. Our baptisms in the South Sea Islands have more than doubled over the year before. That includes New Zealand and Australia. “

Keating: “What about South America?”

Moyle: “We have missions in Chile, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and two missions in Brazil. And then we have missions in all 

the countries of Central America, three missions in Mexico. We have a mission in Japan and in China, at Hong Kong, Formosa and the Philippines. “

Romney: “I imagine these folks have other things to do, don’t you.”

Keating: “We have to get some breakfast and catch a plane. It is very nice of you, and I appreciate the honor of being received.”

McKay: “We are very happy to make your acquaintance. I hope you will have a pleasant association. “

Keating: “I hope we will be back again, and very best wishes to you. You have honored me, and I thank you.”

At 8:45 a.m. the delegation withdrew from the meeting.”

Tues., 17 Apr. 1962:

“8:30 a.m.

Went into the meeting of the First Presidency.  Many official Church matters were discussed, among them:

1) Foreign Language Missionaries Study at B.Y.U.

President Moyle explained that since missionaries awaiting visas to Mexico and the Argentine Mission are assigned to training in Spanish at the B.Y.U., others are interested in going to the B.Y.U. also for language training.

I said, ‘I am in favor of all missionaries to foreign speaking missions, not only Spanish, go to the B.Y.U. for training.  I think it is a very fine thing to do.’

President Moyle said that there are some drawbacks and some advantages, but that if I were in favor of it, it should be done.  President Brown said that by having them go, those having no aptitude for the learning of the language would be weeded out.  President Moyle agreed that that is no doubt one of the advantages.  He said, ‘I am sure of one thing, if it is good for the Spanish speaking missionaries, it would be good for any of them.’

I stated that ‘That is the way I feel, that I have no doubt about it at all, that it means, of course, that we should give courses in Finnish, German, Japanese, Chinese, French, etc.’

2) Translations for Foreign Language Missions

President Moyle said that he had asked Elder Gordon B. Hinckley to be prepared to give a report on the needs for translation in the missions to the Council of the Twelve next Thursday.  He said, ‘We have reached the point where we could expand our translations.  Elder Petersen reports that translations in Tongan are needed, and that there is very little in Fiji except ‘Joseph Smith Tells His Own Story.’

I recalled that missionaries in Fiji fell down because of inexperience in the language.  President Moyle explained that the Presiding Bishopric send out instructions and the ‘Messenger’ to bishops in English, and that since many of the bishops in Europe, especially Germany, do not understand English, the stake president must translate for them.  He said that sending the instructions in a foreign language from Salt Lake City would greatly simplify this problem.

In response to my inquiry as to the reason for discharging the translators who formerly worked from headquarters of the Church, President Moyle said that these translators were not using the language forms current in the countries, that they had been away too long.  The change occurred when President Dyer took Brother Mebius with him to set up the translations work in Frankfurt, Germany.  This change did not affect the Spanish translation, which remained as it was.

President Moyle said that Brother Marion G. Romney, Brother Gordon B. Hinckley, and Brother Theodore A. Tuttle are preparing a report to bring to the First Presidency and to the Twelve about the needs for translations, and I gave direction that the subject be presented to the Council of the Twelve on Thursday.”

Thurs., 14 June 1962:

“Note: 300 Shares of valuable stock donated for missionary work.

Today I received an anonymous letter in which was enclosed 300 shares of valuable stock with the following notation, ‘Please accept the above as a contribution for such purposes as you see fit.  However, if a better use for the money is not known it would be pleasing to us if the same was used in helping to bring the Gospel to the Jews.  It is difficult to make such a contribution without being possible to trace the giver.  Nevertheless, we wish to make this donation without disclosing our identity, and will therefore greatly appreciate your courtesy if you will make no attempt to discover the source.  Wishing you well in your efforts to promulgate the Gospel, we remain 

Sincerely yours.’  (no signature)”

Fri., 15 June 1962:

“Friday, June 15, 1962

Report of the Visit of the Board of Directors of the Kennecott Copper Corporation to President David O. McKay and Counselors – by Mervin Fairbanks, Business Reporter for the Deseret News, who was present.

Members of the Board of Directors, Kennecott Copper Corporation were present at a meeting with President McKay, President Brown, and President Moyle.  Also present were Paul B. Jessup, Corporation Secretary; John C. Kinnear, Jr., Western Mining Divisions Manager; J.P. O’Keefe, Utah Copper Corporation Manager; and William Adamson and Edwin E. Dowell, Public Relations at Kennecott.

President Milliken (Frank R. Milliken) and President McKay exchanged views on the missionary system of the Church.  Mr. Milliken said he had called the attention of the State Department to our missionary system, hoping it could be used for the good it does among foreign countries.  ‘But, we haven’t heard that anything has been done with it,’ he added.

President McKay thanked him for his interest, and said he was familiar with Kennecott operations in Chile and the fine influence it has on that country.

Mr. Milliken then indicated he was familiar with missionaries who had worked in Chile, and thought they were wonderful young men who set a fine example of young Americans.

Mr. Whelpley told President McKay he was an Episcopal Church member, and President McKay said: ‘I hope your Episcopal Church membership hasn’t hurt you any.’  (Everyone laughed at the keen sense of humor which was apparent during the entire meeting).  Mr. Whelpley then asked questions about tithing, fast offerings and other Church contributions.

President McKay asked President Moyle to explain the missionary system and tell how many missionaries were in the field at the present time.  The number he gave was over 11,000.  (This figure was more exact than I can remember, and I didn’t write it down.)

Fast Day was explained to Mr. Whelpley by President McKay, also the giving of fast offerings.  He also explained the auxiliary organizations and their functions, upon the suggestion of Leland B. Flint, Salt Lake member of the Board who was host to the Board members at the meeting.

Mr. Flint thought the members of the Board should know that in addition to the week or ten days training missionaries received in the mission home, they are taught principles of the Gospel all their lives if they are active in Primary, Sunday School and M.I.A.

The Board posed for a picture with President McKay taken by Ray G. Jones, photographer of the Deseret News.  All members of the Board will receive copies of the photograph.

President McKay presented to each one present a leather-bound copy of the brochure, ‘The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,’ with the name imprinted in gold on the cover.

8:10 a.m.

Arrived at the office and went immediately into the office of the First Presidency where I met, in accordance with appointment previously arranged, the Directors of the Kennecott Copper Corporation Board, who are gathered in Salt Lake City for their annual meeting.  Presidents Moyle and Brown were present, and had already greeted these distinguished visitors.  As I came in, they all arose, and after greeting and shaking hands with each one, we sat around the long table and had a very enjoyable conversation.

In addition to the following directors — Charles D. Dickey, Albert Green, Clifton W. Phalen, M.M. Hardin, Robert G. Stone, R. Stuart Keefer, Albert E. Thiele, Leland B. Flint, Carl K. Lenz, W. Thayer Tutt, Walter H. Page, and Medley G.B. Whelpley — there were present: Frank R. Milliken, Corporation President; Paul N. Jessup, Corporation Secretary; John C. Kinnear, Jr., Western Mining Divisions Manager; J.P. O’Keefe, Utah Copper Manager; and William Adamson and Edwin E. Dowell, Utah Division Public Relations.

In the course of discussion about the Church, Mr. Milliken stated that he had taken the opportunity to call to the attention of the United States State Department to the Missionary System of the Mormon Church, hoping that it could be used for the good it does among foreign countries.  He said that instead of paying for men to represent the United States in foreign countries, men should be sent out as the Mormon missionaries are sent out.  (For a report of the visit of these Directors, see following account by Mervin Fairbanks, Business Reporter for the Deseret News, who was present at the interview.  See also newspaper clippings following)

On June 19, 1962, I received a letter from Mr. J.C. Kinnear, expressing on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Kennecott Corporation, appreciation for their visit.

Fri., 22 June 1962:

“Book of Pictures of Church Activities for Missionary Use

Brother Evans presented ‘A Look at Mormonism’ and ‘The Mormon Story,’ books of pictures featuring the extensive activities of the Church which he explained President Brockbank of the Scottish Mission is using to very good effect by presenting them to investigators and new converts to help them give their relatives and friends an idea of the church.  President Brockbank says these are most useful tools to sustain missionaries and new members in presenting information about the Church.  It is used to help open doors.  In a recent letter he said that these books have accounted for at least a thousand people who have joined the Church in Scotland and Ireland.  The retail cost of the books is $3.95 (‘The Mormon Story); $3.50 (‘A Look at Mormonism”).  They are in black and white.

Brother Evans exhibited a dummy of a smaller book for which a plastic cover is proposed, and which the same materials can be presented but in color at a cost of $1.00.  He said that this can be developed by the Church Information Service, and that already the plates are available and the cost would thus be saved.

Brother Evans said the question is whether or not the First Presidency want to authorize the Church Information Committee to do this for missionary purposes.  The Church Information Service Committee has no budget for it.  Many other mission presidents will find it useful.  It could mean a budget of (X) dollars, depending upon how many were printed.  President Brockbank has given these to new converts, and he has been reimbursed.

I asked: ‘You would charge for it to anyone who wants to buy it?’  Brother Evans explained that if a mission president wants to give it to them, that’s where the cost would come.  In response to President Brown’s inquiry as to whether or not a person would appreciate it more if he paid for it, Brother Evans said those who buy it would.  President Brockbank’s thought is that many would not, but that it is a kind of momento of the baptism.  When someone asks about the Church they have this lovely pictorial portrayal of the activities to show.

I said that people how have been baptized who do not receive it will feel that they have not been favored.  I said, ‘I question the advisability of undertaking that.  I think it is moving into a realm of danger.  Why should every convert receive one of them.  I would not associate it with baptism.  This is the first time I have heard it is given to every covert.  I think it is not a good idea.’

Brother Evans asked, ‘If we print a limited number, and put a price on it, and let the mission work out its price, it would cost less than these (other books) cost.’

I said that the greatest gift that can come to the convert with baptism is the gift of the Holy Ghost, and that I would not associate this with the gift of this book.  There will be many who will not receive it, and they will feel that they are being discriminated against.  I said that I do not think it is a wise thing to do.”

Thurs., 19 July 1962:

Missionary work – Elder Asks if Missionary Lessons Must be Memorized.

A letter addressed to me from Elder Terry Skaggs, recently returned missionary from the Southern Far East Mission, and now serving as a stake missionary, asked if the discussions in the missionary lesson program must be memorized before they may be given, or if they are thoroughly supported by an outline whether the presentation in the missionary’s words would be in order.  He explained that the impression is given the missionaries that if they fail to give the lessons word-for-word from memory they are in disobedience of my instructions, and ‘going against your words, and in a sense apostatizing.’  The Elder wanted to know if they must be memorized word-for-word and if an outline can be used for the discussion with the contacts.  I directed that the answer be that the missionary may use the outline and should follow the spirit and his own intelligence.  These excellent lessons must be used as a guide and not as a prop, and never at the expense of the spirit.

Fri., 27 July 1962:

Friday, July 27, 1962


TO: Clare Middlemiss DATE: August 29, 1962

FROM: Ted Cannon

On July 24, 1962, Foster Hailey, a staff writer of the New York Times, arrived by plane from Rochester, New York, where he had been in touch with our people in connection with the Hill Cumorah Pageant.  The times had decided to have Mr. Hailey write a rather lengthy story on the Church as a whole, based on the news event of this year’s pageant.  During the next three days, we showed him around the city and the Church, visiting Temple Square, Welfare Square, meeting various Church leaders, including President McKay, and provided him with what material he wanted on the Church.  He returned to Rochester July 27 and planned to attend the pageant before writing his story.

In his visit with President McKay the morning of Friday, the 27th, he asked what the President considered the prime factor in the Church’s remarkable growth in recent years.  President McKay replied that he thought it was the feeling of individual responsibility on the part of all Church members to contribute freely of their time and means and abilities in advancing the cause of the Church.  President McKay cited several examples on individuals who had given up lucrative positions to serve as mission presidents and missionaries.  He also emphasized that this was a Church of individuality rather than groups and that each member felt a personal obligation to serve the Church in whatever position he might be called.  He also outlined the Church’s organization, and discussed the composition and function of the various quorums of the Priesthood and of the auxiliary organizations, and pointed out that each member had his specific assignment and certain regular duties to perform.

Mr. Hailey asked about the Church’s various commercial holdings, and President McKay pointed out that these are all incidental to the Church’s main purpose of teaching the Gospel and that these commercial activities are engaged in as a means of financing the primary objectives of the Church.

Mr. Hailey spent considerable time with Bishop Rudd at the Welfare Headquarters and asked President McKay several questions relating to the Welfare Program which he considered one of the unique features of the Church.

Mr. Hailey is considered one of the New York Times’ top writers.  He has been with the Times for 35 years, and has covered two wars and eight revolutions, has been chief of the Times bureaus in Paris, London, Tokyo, Changhai and Calcutta, and has served on the Times editorial board.”

Thur., 9 Aug., 1962:

“9:30 – 10:15 a . m .

Went into the Office of the First Presidency where I greeted my counselor, President Henry D. Moyle, and welcomed him home from his tour of the missions of Europe. Among other items, President Moyle reported on the following:

Missionary Work Under the Twelve

President Moyle said he felt that the meetings he and Brother Gordon B. Hinckley held with the missionaries in Europe were of great value; that they had met all the missionaries in Europe with perhaps a half dozen exceptions. He said that he and Brother Hinckley have now presented this program to between five and six thousand of our missionaries, and that they have made appointments to meet with the missionaries in the Northwestern States Mission and the West Central States Mission, and that they had in mind planning for Brother Hinckley to meet with all the other missions.

I stated that we should not continue this program in the manner suggested, that I am very much concerned at the tendency which is growing to have the work of the General Authorities of the Church done by special committees. 

President Moyle said he did not think there was anyone in the Church who could do this work among the missionaries like Brother Hinckley is doing it, that he felt that Brother Hinckley should give his message to all the missionaries in the Church, and that he should be permitted to make his own timetable, that it would present tremendous results to the missionaries. He said it is a tremendous presentation, and mission presidents are very grateful for it. President Moyle mentioned that they had met only with the missionaries and not with the saints.

I indicated that the Brethren of the Twelve are subject to the President of the Twelve and shlould go out under the direction of the Twelve, and not under the direction of the First Presidency. I commended President Moyle on the success of the work they have done, and said that he and Brother Hinckley had done the right thing so far as their work in Europe is concerned, that they had accomplished a great work, but we should not lose sight of the fact that the Brethren of the Twelve are under the jurisdiction of that Quorum. I mentioned the fact that we now have 360 stakes and under present conditions, there are only about 25 of the General Authorities of the Church who can visit these stakes, and that the Twelve have now proposed that the General Authorities should visit the stakes only twice a year. I suggested that we call the Twelve together and tell them that the responsibility rests upon them to take the message to the people, and that includes visits to missions and that each one of the General Authorities must go prepared to give the message that Brother Moyle and Brother Hinckley have been giving. If the Twelve want to send Brother Hinckley out as a representative of the Twelve to do this work, it would be up to the Twelve to send him.

President Moyle reported that the new missionary program is not going over in any of the missions that he visited, that the mission presidents are fumbling with it, and that the conditions in some instances could be described as chaotic, but that when Brother Hinckley got through with this presentation, they all said that they could now go to work. Apparently, President Moyle added, they do not know how to do it until they have been told, and it takes a teacher like Brother Hinckley to tell them.

I said that I am going to ask for a report from the Twelve as to what their program now is, that I have been preparing a plan which I should like to present to the First Presidency some time next week, relative to the

responsibility and the work of the Twelve and the General Authorities, and let them know exactly what they will have to do.”

Wed., 15 Aug., 1962:

8:10 a.m.

Elder Harold B. Lee of the Council of the Twelve called at my private office. We talked about general Church procedure as it pertains to assignment of the Twelve and missionary work.

Wed., 15 Aug., 1962:

(4) Missionary Interviews by General Authorities of the Church or by Stake Presidents — President Moyle reviewed the increase in the interviewing of prospective missionaries by the General Authorities of the Church, and mentioned the delays in calling missionaries which result from waiting for a General Authority to do the interviewing. He suggested that the responsibility for the final interviews before recommending a missionary to the First Presidency be placed upon the stake presidents. I said that Brother Kimball, after interviewing many missionaries, learned of a number who had had sexual experience and that the stake presidents had not made this discovery. This resulted in the First Presidency and the Twelve deciding that every missionary will have to pass under the jurisdiction of the General Authorities.

President Moyle said that there is enough pressure and enough urgency for us to bring this up tomorrow and ask if we can eliminate that requirement and have the Twlelve place the responsibility squarely on the president of the stake and the bishops of the wards, and that the stake president’s personal recommendation go to the First Presidency. I said the local brethren will have to take the responsibility.

A question was raised as to whether or not this interviewing would apply to labor missionaries.  President Brown expressed the opinion that these interviews should come to the General Authorities of the Church because members of bishoprics and stake presidents are frequently recommended as labor missionaries, and the General Authorities of the Church should have some control over this.”

Thur., 16 Aug., 1962:

Missionaries – Responsibility for Selecting and Interviewing

I called attention to the fact that the tendency is growing to leave the responsibility of approving or disapproving the calling of missionaries upon the General Authority who makes the interview, and that the Stake authorities are neglecting their duty in this and other respects. I mentioned, first, that in the matter of signing recommends to temples, particularly for young men and young women going on missions, it is surprising how many missionaries come here with recommends unsigned by a member of the stake presidency. I said that the Brethren of the General Authorities should take this matter up with the Presidencies of Stakes in their visits from time to time.

I said that the same laxity would seem to prevail in the matter of choosing missionaries, because the Presidents of Stakes seem to think that inasmuch as the General Authority will interview the prospective missionary, they do not need to make a thorough investigation.

After a discussion on this matter, I said that it is the responsibility of a Stake President to know that the boy who represents his Stake is worthy to go on a mission, and that I think we should now decide how we can impress upon the Stake President his responsibility in interviewing these individuals without shirking any of our responsibility.

On motion, duly seconded, it became the sentiment of the Council that 

Stake Presidents be asked to carry this responsibility as indicated.

(see Aug. 22, 1962 for letter to Stake and Mission Presidents regarding interviewing missionaries)

Wed., 22 Aug., 1962:

Letter to Stake and Mission Presidents about Interviewing Prospective Missionaries

We read a letter prepared for the signatures of the First Presidency to go to Stake and Mission Presidents relating to the assignment to them of the final interviewing of prospective missionaries, and with instructions to refer to the General Authorities of the Church only special cases where missionaries are found to have been in moral transgression or having special health, physical, emotional, and mental problems. The letter gives instructions and the preparation of the application and report of the interview, and emphasizes that every missionary is an ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ, and must be worthy in every respect. It emphasized other necessary qualifications and placed upon the Stake and Mission Presidents their responsibility to exercise greatest wisdom in carrying out the interviews.

President Brown suggested that the letter include a statement of the importance of a testimony of the Gospel as a qualification for missionary service. The letter was signed and instructions were given for its preparation to include the additions suggested, and for mailing.  (See Aug. 16 for motion of Council on this — also see letter following)

“August 22, 1962

All Stake Presidents and

Mission Presidents

Dear Brethren:

We are gratified by the large number of faithful men and women who are going into the mission field. We desire to expedite, insofar as possible, the processing of missionary calls to conserve the time and means of all who desire to go on missions. With these two considerations in mind, we announce a new procedure governing the recommendation of prospective missionaries.

Commencing immediately we shall place upon stake presidents and

mission presidents responsibility for the final interviews of all candidates except those with moral, health, or other problems. Most candidates, therefore, will not be interviewed by one of the General Authorities. Following the interview by the stake or mission president, the recommendation form, together with the report of medical examination, will be mailed to the First Presidency, “Attention Missionary Department.”

We are placing upon your shoulders responsibility for the worthiness of every candidate recommended. It is imperative that you interview each candidate most searchingly to determine that his life is and has been clean, that his health is such to give assurance that he can stand the rigors of missionary work, that physically, mentally, and spiritually, he is qualified to represent the Church before the world.

We ask that you constantly keep in mind that each missionary is a personal ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ, that cleanliness in thought, speech, and manner are essential and that dedication to the work and a desire to serve are indispensable.

The demands of the work are such as to require mental alertness and emotional balance, the ability to read, physical capacity, pleasing appearance, neatness in dress, and propriety in deportment, and also faith in the Gospel and a testimony of its truth.

After carefully interviewing those who are found to be so qualified, you may complete page 3 of the Missionary Recommendation Form, sign your name in the space provided for the signature of the General Authority, and mail it as directed above.

All questionable cases should be discussed with one of the General Authorities, and those who have been found guilty of fornication or any sexual perversion should be taken up with one of the Council of the Twelve if you and the bishop or branch president are fully satified that repentance has been such as to justify consideration for a mission.

Brethren, we cannot emphasize too strongly the need for careful and thorough interviews. We place the responsibility in your hands and pray that you may be blessed with wisdom and discernment.

Faithfully your brethren,

David O. McKay

Henry D. Moyle

Hugh B. Brown

The First Presidency”

Tues., 4 Sep., 1962:

“9:00 a. m. 

First Presidency’s meeting was held.

Mission Presidents – Attendance at October Conference

I told my counselors that I had been reading from the minutes of an earlier meeting a reference to tentative plans for mission presidents attending a summer seminar rather than General Conference.

President Moyle explained that the attendance of mission presidents at General Conference has usually been limited to presidents of the missions in the United States and Canada, whereas the seminar includes presidents of all missions, and that during the General Conference, because the General Authorities are under a heavy schedule, opportunity to instruct mission presidents is very limited, and that the seminar provides an opportunity to go thoroughly into details and proves to be very helpful to the mission presidents.

I read a letter I had just received from Sister Spafford, General President of the Relief Society, relating to inviting Mission Relief Society Presidents to Conference. I said the Mission Relief Society Presidents should attend when the Mission Presidents attend, and not independently. I said that I think it is not advisable to bring the Mission Presidents to Conference, and also to a Seminar, and that it would be better to hold the Seminar in connection with one of the Conferences rather than to brings them in especially for the Seminar. I said that we had better think about it.

Missionary Work — Advertisement in Newspaper Led to Conversion: 

I read a short letter with which was enclosed a newspaper clipping as follows: “An ad similar to the enclosed in a little county newspaper led to my conversion.” The ad read: 

“If you want to be contacted by a Mormon Missionary, Phone ZE 6-4815.”

I commented that a slip of paper led to the conversion of a counselor in the First Presidency many years ago — Elder Charles W. Penrose.

Wed., 5 Sep., 1962:

At 10:30 a. m., by appointment, we received a courtesy call from Lady Reading of London, England. She was accompanied by Sister Belle S. Spafford, General President of the Relief Society.

Lady Reading said that she has met many outstanding people and many of them are her friends who are interested in her having been in Utah and

in her interest in the Mormons. She commented upon the strength which comes out into the world from the Church.

I commented that I had heard that she chose to come from New York to Salt Lake City at her own expense. She explained that she did this because her husband, who she said was a very great man, would rather she did anything she did on “my own steam.”

Lady Reading said, “I do not think you are putting other people under obligation; if you want to do anything, do it under your own steam. “

(The following converlsation ensued:)

McKay: I want Lady Reading to know that she is a truly great woman. I want her to know that.

Reading: That sounds like the blarney stone. My steeple is not illuminated. Now we have it down so far it is not nearly so lovely. That is a joke.

Sister Spafford explained that Lady Reading is referring to the lighting

of the spire of the temple at Newchapel, upon which the light has been changed. At first the light was directed upward, now it is directed downward.

Reading: May I talk to you very freely?

McKay: Yes, you may.

Reading: I am a descendent of Huguenots. I believe my religion very much, but I believe everybody should choose his own religion. I have tried to do all I could to help your people in England. I am worried because there are certain things that should be watched. It is silly of me to “push my neck out.” I am doing it with very real sincerity. I asked Mrs. Spafford if I should talk about it.

In England we are very queer people. We do not understand ourselves, so why should other people understand. There are certain things about the British. Take the name that you have changed to “Latter-day Saints. ” From a certain British point of view, they find difficulty to accept that. I am not talking about the people your missionaries teach, but I am talking about the intelligentsia. Unless this is done very delicately, there will be rebuffs and retards through ten to fifteen or twenty years, which could by obviated. I do not know whether Mr. Brown will know something about this, but I believe you do, you were there.

Spafford: Tell him the term you like.

Reading: I would like the term Mormon if the term polygamy could be explained. If one says “Saint” one arrogates to oneself more than one has. That is what the British would say.

McKay: The correct name is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Reading: There are only two things I am very worried about — the house to house visiting. Where these visits are made among people in the area where the intelligentsia live, sooner or later something will erupt. I have friends who are writers and actors, one in charge of programming for BBC, who complain that they are constantly being called to the door by very nice young men who insist on talking to them, and this they resent. Until you are sufficiently strong, I think it is a mistake to do this with the intelligentsia. You will get them feeling like this, it will translate itself into writings and other things.

McKay: You will be pleased to know that we are emphasizing now in the missionary work cottage meetings. Each member will invite his neighbor or two or three and the elders come in and teach. We are emphasizing that.

Reading: That is much, much better from my point of view. I am talking primarily about London. If you meet university professors, journalists, writers and broadcasters, these people are the ones who form opinions. If they are exasperated when they are being talked to, that is the damage.

I do not want to change my religion. I believe that you have a call for a great many people whom you benefit tremendously by being instilled with the faith you have. I believe every person has a right to practice his own religion. You remember I told you about the mistake of buying space. These are things which must be respected among people whose respect you want, or it does damage .

I have done what my husband would say is a very foolish thing. I do it out of love for Belle Spafford.

Let me emphasize: A very earnest and very inexperienced lad goes and calls on a man. He does not know that he is a member of Parliament, by mistake maybe, he does not know he has a profound belief already, although he didn’t say anything about it. That man can put a question in the House of Colnmons, “Is it right for Mormon missionaries to insist upon people listening when they want to do something else?” It would not be good.

McKay: Do missionaries insist upon speaking at the door?

Reading: They do it, and rightly. If I were a young boy or young girl, I would still keep on until I got what I wanted. There is a small block of houses which have been converted into flats. In it live two members of the House of Lords, two ministers of the Crown, one for colonies and one other; two people who write well, and other people who do not matter. These people have complained to me personally because they know I like Utah and Mormons. These are people who have the responsibility of directing the Nation. I think it would be better to leave these to the end.

Moyle: Some missions have eliminated entirely house to house tracting and have more work to do than they can do in accepting referral invitations. Out of these referral invitations they get groups together and teach the group in a meeting to which they have come voluntarily.

Reading: I am so glad because I know when I go back people will talk to me about where I have been, and I shall be cross-examined by all sorts of people. Our country works a little differently to yours. I suppose it is because we have many, many years of difficulties of some sort or other, and we have grown an extra sensitivity of skin. I thought yesterday when they showed me how the city has crept up to the mountains, how different that may be from olur condition. I do apologize for being so bold.

McKay: You need have no apology. We thank you for it. You have anticipated what we have been trying to accomplish.

Reading: I am not a snob as Mrs. Spafford will tell you. I live with the people the whole time; but nevertheless, I have had experiences with others, and these experiences have endowed me with an appreciation of the best way to do things.

Brown: You are very correct in your statement of the classes of people in England. I have been there and know. I appreciate personally very much the reasons you have for bringing it to us–to warn us of possible danger. You are obviously interested in our welfare .

Reading: I am very much interested. I am not a rich woman, but I have one of the most distinguished names in Great Britain, and I have a very special place, and the people know I won’t say anything unless it is right. It is because I see these people of yours with a great discipline that I want to come. I am quite convincecl that unless we work for what is good, we will not be able to smash evil.

Brown: You personify the very best in that.

Reading: I do not know that I do that. I have undertaken to provide one million women on the job; in order to do that you have to understand women.

Sister Spafford suggested that Lady Reading tell about the time she hung up the telephone on Sir Winston Churchill. Lady Reading asked that no record be made of this story.

McKay: We compliment you that you come so willingly and so eagerly to Utah.

Sister Spafford said that Lady Reading had as a visitor to her home a very distinguished woman. Sister Spafford was away and did not return while the visitor was there. Lady Reading said, “I am cross with you, Belle, that you did not come back, because I wanted you to tell this woman – she is a very distinguished woman – and I wanted you to tell her about the Mormons.” Then she added, “I told her about the Mormons, and I did a jolly good job. “

At this time, Lady Reading and Sister Spafford withdrew from the meeting.

McKay: We have just been entertained by two of the greatest women in the world.

Moyle: I am sure of it.

McKay: These two women are truly great.

Brown: It is wonderful how they combine.

Moyle: She is converted, and does not know it.

Thur., 6 Sep., 1962:

Church Acquisition of Short-wave Broadcasting Station – WRUL in Boston

Prior to our regular meeting, at my invitation, Brother Arch L. Madsen, President of KSL, came in and made a presentation regarding the Church’s acquiring a short-wave broadcasting station in Boston.

After the presentation and Brother Madsen’s departure from the meeting, I asked the Brethren if they had any suggestion to make as to the acquiring of a short-wave station; that I had asked for the presentation to the Brethren to ascertain whether or not they would feel to approve of entering that field in the interest of our missionary cause.

Elder Benson said that he thought our chances of obtaining approval from the Commission in Washington would be much greater if we were to purchase a growing concern. He said the complexion of the Commission in Washington is changing, and he thought that we should act quickly on the matter. He said he was thrilled with the proposition.

Elder Evans said he thought the purchase of WRUL in Boston, if it is possible, is a much better proposal than building new stations. He thought we could sink unnumbered millions into the creation, promotion and development of new stations. He said he was acquainted with the WRUL operation, he knew their personnel and their officers, and that they have a very effective and efficient organization. He thought that if we are going into this area, the purchase of a going concern would be far superior to trying to follow through the long process of establishing our own station.

Elder Romney expressed his feeling that it was imperative that we enter this field. He thought this was a good way to spread the Gospel.

Elder Petersen said he surely felt that way; that he would like to see us go into that field, and it was his feeling that it would be much better to buy a going station than to pioneer a new one.

Elder Stapley agreed with the other Brethren, that it would be much better to purchase a going station rather than to try to establish a new one.

Elder Hinckley said he thought that not only would this greatly assist our missionary work directly, but that it would have a tremendous influence

upon our membership, tying the Church closer together all over the world;

that many of our people in the missions feel they are out in the wilderness

walking by themselves, and if they could sit home and listen to what goes on over here, it would have a tremendous effect upon the people as well as assisting our missionary work.

I said the First Presidency would keep the Brethren informed of our procedure in this matter.”

Wed., 12 Sep., 1962:

“8:30 a. m.

Attended First Presidency’s meeting. We first met with Brother and Sister Truman Grant Aadsen. I set apart Brother Madsen as President of the New England Mission, and President Moyle set apart Ann Nicholls Madsen to accompany and assist her husband.

Following the departure of Brother and Sister Madsen, we met with

Elders Mark E. Petersen and Richard L. Evans and discussed matters

pertaining to the Churlh’s exhibit in the New York World’s Fair in 1964-65.

Brother Petersen explained that the subject had been considered with the Twelve, and that he and Brother Evans had been appointed as a committee to obtain information .

President Stanley McAlllister of the New York Stake has made inquiry and reports that five sites been taken. He is making inquiry and will report today whether the fifth site is still available. The Christian Science Church, the Catholic Church, the Jewish synagogues, and Protestant churches have taken the four sites reserved for Churches.  No charge is made for the land assigned to a church. The cost of erecting the buildings and such exhibits as may be placed in them are at the cost of the exhibitors. The possibility of obtaining space by rental in one of the buildings is also available, but the brethren in New York strongly recommend the erection of a building on one of the available sites.  President McAllister expressed the belief that half the cost of erecting a building could be recovered by constructing a building in such a way that it could be dismantled after the Fair is closed and used for one of the new chapels to be built from the use of the materials.  The value of the space which will be rented is dependent upon location and the neighboring exhibits in the building, as well as the space available for the exhibit.  The need for action is urgent because the space available is being taken up now.

Brother Petersen said that the use of the building would be to house proper exhibits, provide for lectures and presentation of films, and services of a missionary nature, including the distribution of literature. He said a Bureau of Information could be provided. The suggestion had been made that a nursery can be provided, for which a charge could be made for the care of children, and that this could be operated by the Relief Society sisters on assignments of the stakes in New York.  Rental space is at the rate of $5.00 per foot per year.  Though no figures have been compiled, a rough estimate of the cost of erecting a suitable building was given of $750,000 to $1,000,000, plus the films and equipment for operation of the exhibits. The number of people who can be reached was estimated as seventy million.

I said, “Let us find out if the available location is favorable, and suitable, and if it is, let us get it. If it is off to one side, I would rather rent.”

Brother Petersen said President Stanley McAllister will call today and that if the space is still open we had better take it. Brother Evans explained that it involves no money, but it does involve a commitment to follow through and to use the space allotted. I said a suitable place in an independent building is preferable, so we had better decide that this morning. Brother Evans said he supposed the absolute question is if Stanley McAllister calls and says the site by the United Kingdom, Japan and Czechoslovakia is available, we should sign for it.  I said to tell him to sign.

Brother Evans estimated that the construction cost beside the equipment

will be $30.00 a foot. I said that this is high. President Moyle suggested

that we send Harold Burton back after the site is obtained, and ask him to

bring back his ideas.

Brother Petersen said if President McAllister and his people talk it over and  make their plans together with Harold Burton, and they have in mind constructing this Long Island chapel, they can do it as a joint venture. President Mcyle said that they might be able to get the $30.00 a square foot down to $20.00.  When the opinion was expressed that labor missionaries could be used upon the construction, Brother Petersen said this would be dependent upon whay the unions will permit.

The Brethren withdrew from the meeting at this time.”

Fri., 14 Dec., 1962:

“8:30 a. m.

Went into the meeting of the First Presidency. We first met with Elders Mark E. Petersen and Richard L. Evans, who came in to report developments in the acquiring of a site for the Church building in the 1964-65 World’s Fair to be held in New York City.

Elder Petersen exhibited a sketch map of the area and indicated the location of the site obtained by President Stanley McAllister of New York Stake near the main subway entrance to the Fair adjacent to the IBM Building; a total area of 49, 000 square feet. Estimate was given that about half of the attendance at the Fair is expected to use the subway entrance. The site is within the industry section which will include a magnificent fountain. The brethren explained that 60 per cent of the area may be in buildings; forty percent must be landscaped. The area to be landscaped should be planted September of next year to give promise of growth and development in time for the opening of the Fair in 1964. They reported that the more it is landscaped the more the Fair Officials would like it. President McAllister was told to go ahead unless he received word otherwise. I said that we would have to leave it to his judgment. President Moyle and President Brown agreed.

I said that Brother Harold Burton, Church architect, can go back to confer with President McAllister right away. Brother Petersen said if Brother Burton can go back and confer with Brother McAllister we can plan on the kind of building we are going to have and get the landscaping in.

Brother Evans said the Fair Officials stipulate that a New York architect must be engaged and that an advising architect can be associated, but they demand a New York architect.

President Moyle suggested that the Brethren have in mind the kind of exhibits they desire so the building can be well planned for that purpose. Brother Evans said that a good deal of thought had already been given and that a building with two auditoriums is considered, each auditorium can be filling while the other is showing. I mentioned that they should have a display of pioneers crossing the plains in diorama form.”

“The Presiding Bishopric then came in for their regular meeting.  Among matters we discussed were:

(1)  Insurance Plan to Make Ricks College and Missionary Fund Beneficiaries.

Bishop Simpson explained the plan submitted by a Blackfoot, Idaho insurance agent for selling life insurance and making Ricks College and the Church missionary fund beneficiaries of a trust, the stake presidents to succeed them.  I pointed out that if the plan goes forward eventually the trust would pay missionary costs and individual missionaries would be relieved of the present personal obligation toward their missionary service; that this is contrary to the policy of the Church.  It was agreed that Bishop Simpson inform the agent that the plan is not approved and that the stake presidents be advised also.”

Tues., 18 Sep., 1962:

Scotland – new mission recommended by President Bernard P. Brockbank 

I mentioned to my counselors, as we were talking about President

Brockbank’s visit recently to Salt Lake City for dental care, that

President Brockbank is ready to organize another mission in Scotland and that he wishes to have 300 more missionaries. I said I had never been so surprised in my life. President Moyle said that it is his considered judgment, and that he has been working on it for a year. I said that I hated to see him released, and President Moyle said that he was going to suggest tlhat we keep him over there another year; that he does not want to come home.

I said that when I was in Scotland recently, I took note of him — he is unpretentious; no flare, and he accomplishes so much, and that the Elders respect him very much. President Moyle said we have few men in the Church that are his equal.

I said that it has been sixty-five years since I was in Scotland; that I know the country, and it is the surprise of my life to see what is being done by way of missionary work — the Nation has certainly changed.

President Moyle said he thinks if we organize another mission in

Edinburgh it would have the same success. I said that I am willing to take President Brockbank’s judgment; that he knows the country; that he impressed me as being just one jump ahead of us. For example, when I was there I said I should like to make certain appointments, and President Brockbank said he had already made them; I said I wanted to send a cable to Sister McKay after the meeting at Prestwick, and President Brockbank said, “I have already done it.” I said again, I am willing to take his judgment on this Mission, although it is the last place I would ever say we should have another mission. This mission would include Aberdeen, Dundee and Fifeshire.

I asked my counselors if they wanted to decide about this organization this morning, and both Presidents Moyle and Brown agreed that we should go ahead. I said that we would take it up at the Council Meeting today. I said that I have never seen such a transformation in people in all my Church experience, and that the Scots are genuine, they are solid, and that I am willing to accept President Brockbank’s recommendation.

Wed., 19 Sep., 1962:

October Conference, Announcement of Meetings

President Moyle commented upon the draft of an announcement of the Conference meetings and suggested that the missionary program on Friday evening be added. He outlined a proposed program, and suggested that the three subjects be treated by one speaker, Elder Gordon B. Hinckley.

I agreed that this would be desirable, and suggested that emphasis be placed upon cottage meetings and encouragement given that the cottage

meetings be the objective of all missionary work; that this is the effective

way to do it.

General Correlation Committee’s Work, Purpose of

In the course of making the decision that the Relief Society mission presidents should not attend the October Conference meetings of the Relief Society Conference, the discussion included the following subjects.

I said the coming of the mission presidents to October Conference hinges around the question of holding a seminar. The statement was made that we would withhold decision until after approving the recommendation of the committee on Conferences and unification of courses of study. We have that to decide. This correlation work is applicable to courses of study of priesthood and auxiliaries to avoid duplication. That is the purpose of the correlation work. That is the heart of it, and further than that as it affects the organization of the Church, we will have to decide and tell them so. That is where we stand on that.

I said that I am not thoroughly committed to the Seminar, and President Moyle said, “We do not want to hold one until you are; I do not want to press it.” I said, “I am in favor of bringing them into Conference and doing our work during the Conference, and let the stake conferences be carried as we are planning. I think that is an excellent plan.”

President Moyle said that the Seminar is for the full-time mission presidents, and does not involve the quarterly conferences at all.

President Brown said that it is a question as to whether or not these sisters, the wives of the mission presidents, should come to the Relief Society Conference. I said that it would not do to have them travel alone; that we can decide right now that the Relief Society sisters should come when their husbands come.

President Brown said the question is whether the mission presidents and their wives are going to come to Conference, and whether we are going to hold a Seminar.

I said that it is a question of holding of the Seminar, that is all there is to it; and President Moyle said that the basic idea of the Seminar separate from the General Conference is that at General Conference time we have so many other things we cannot concentrate on the Seminar. We hold it in the summer time just at the edge of the vacation so the Brethren would not be unduly interfered with.

I said, “It is like holding another Conference. We have our Semi-Annual

Conference; we have our Annual Conference; we have our June Conference;

anld you have your Seminar. I would rather do away with one of the

Conferences rather than add to it. I am ready to do away with the Semi-Annual Conference, and have that meeting once a year.”

President Moyle exclaimed, “Amen, amen; I am too. “

President Brown said, “I would support you in that. I think there would be some opposition, however.”

I replied: “You will get opposition of course. For several years now,

I have been convinced that the Annual Conference and the June Conference_

with the Mutual would be all we need; especially if we put in a Seminar for

missionary work.”

President Moyle said that with this short-wave, there would be few of the mission presidents who would not be able to get the proceedings of the Conference; and I said that it would make a big difference to our propagandizing.

President Moyle said, “I am convinced of this. If we have our zone instructors covering the missions, we would have little excuse for holding a Seminar. There is a copy of a letter around the building that President Pugh wrote to stake presidents in California that is entirely out of line. I did not see it until it was circulating the building. It had not emanated from our office. We didn’t have anything to do with it. Since Brother Burton went to California, we have not had a zone instructor over there, and President Pugh has got together with President Stone, and this is the way President Stone wanted it, and the meeting of the other stakes presidents was held, and they worked this out as I found out on investigation. It was worked out with their approval, but it’s wrong, basically wrong. If we had these zone instructors for all the missions and could keep in touch with the zone instructors, we would really have no need for a Seminar. But, where we have so many of them that are not in a zone, we ought to have some way to keep contact with them to keep them somewhere in line. Otherwise, within a period of two years, they develop diversified practices and ideas, some good and some bad.

I remarked, “It is easy to understand how the Apostasy took place in the early days.”

President Brown added, “Take the heads away, and you are done.”

President Moyle said, “Leave this alone, and you get something contrary to the Church. That is the way the Roman branch of the Church took precedence. As big as we are now, the amount of assistance and instruction and supervision that we can give is essential to maintain the integrity of the Church and the efficiency of our work.

I said that we are holding that whole proposition up; that it is going farther than the correlating of studies. It is going to the point of suggesting a change in the organization of the Church. That is the vital point now.

President Moyle said, “This program was suggested in 1948; it is in the files.” I said that I did not remember it.

President Moyle said that it was presented at great length to the Presidency and the Twelve; and I said, “Yes, but we didn’t accept it.” President Moyle replied, “No, we did not.”

I said, “This latest suggestion is striking at the very heart of it. They wanted to see me, but I told them we shall have to take it under further consideration, and that is where it is standing.”

But, they are in a transition now. If the correlation committee comes in with a new plan, it will be well if this is not emphasized.

Thur., 20 Sep., 1962:

“10:00 – 12:00 Noon

The regular meeting of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve was held in the office of the First Presidency.  (Salt Lake Temple is still undergoing renovation and construction of Annex.)

Scottish Mission — Division of 

Today at Council Meeting, I told the Brethren that one of the great surprises that I met when I visited Glasgow, Scotland recently for the purpose of organizing a stake, was the large number of missionaries now active in what formerly was called the Scottish Conference. When I labored there as a young Elder sixty-five years ago, there were thirty-three traeling Elders whereas they now have three hundred and thirty-three, and a new stake organization there.

President Bernard P. Brockbank, President of the Scottish Mission, is now recommending a division of that Mission, and would like to have three hundred more missionaries in Scotland. President Brockbank said that there are a number of cities with tens of thousands of people residing in them who have not had the opportunity of hearing the Gospel yet. The proposed new mission would have headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland, and would include such cities as Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, and others.

President Moyle said that he had been to Scotland twice within the year, and that he recommends the division of the Mission. He said he understood that there is a movement in Scotland now by the Catholic Church to attempt to absorb the Scottish Church, and there is much unrest religiously in that land. Said he felt that this was an opportune time for us to do our utmost to bring the Gospel to the people.

Elder Gordon B. Hinckley commented that the Spirit of the Lord is 

I resting on that land, and that we should take advantage of it. President

Moyle moved approval of the recommendation, and motion was seconded by Elder Hinckley, and unanimously approved by all the Brethren present.

12:00 Noon

Following Council Meeting, Elders Mark E. Petersen and Richard L. Evans took up with the First Presidency the matter of the Church’s securing of an appropriate location at the New York World’s Fair to be held in 1964.

They reported that they had not been able to secure the lot they had presiously mentioned and had hoped to obtain. However, they said we have been offered a lot which is across from the World’s Fair Auditorium which is on the main mall at the stairway entrance.

President McAllister of the New York Stake is disappointed in not being able to get the other site, but feels very fortunate in getting this lot. They reported that Harold Burton is now in New York for the purpose of making a study of the type of building we should have there. The World’s Fair officials are happy to have the Church participate in the Fair and are desirous of making a big announcement of it.

Brother James Conkling and Brother Arch Madsen of KSL have expressed the feeling that if this building were properly designed, we could permit people visiting the Fair to short-wave a message to their own country, and they suggest that in designing the building this matter be considered.

Elder Evans asked if permission might be given for our publicity people and the Fair people to go forward with the announcement, and I stated that that would be all right. Authorization was given also for photographs of the Brethren of the First Presidency to appear in connection with the announcement. We decided that this announcement should go from the First Presidency, and I asked them to submit such announcement as they thought we should give. (See Friday, October 19, 1962, for announcement and signing of contract, etc.)”

Wed., 31 Oct., 1962:

(3) Poland – Missionary work in Communist-dominated countries.

We read a letter from President Theodore M. Burton who reported a visit made by President William S. Erekson after his release as President of the Swiss Mission to members living in Poland. President Erekson reported that he was received kindly and found the people to be very friendly. President Burton reported that he had talked with President Fetzer and President Erekson, who feel that missionary work can be done in East Germany and in Poland if missionaries are not from NATO countries since such missionaries would be regarded as spies. Missionaries from Scandanavian countries, Finland or Switzerland, however, would not be under that disadvantage. I decided with President Moyle concurring that missionary work in a Communist-dominated country, at present, is inadvisable. I stated that we should be dealing with governments which have no honor and who would use us as tools to further their own purposes at the very first opporltunity they could get.”

(5) Missionaries – Plans for Evacuation of

President Moyle reported that Edward Burgoyne of the Murdock Travel Agency has just returned from Europe, that President Hugh B. Brown called him from Holland to London and told him to see Pan American people about plans for evacuating elders in case of need, and also advises that he go to the American Embassy in London and plan for evacuation of the missionaries in case of trouble. The Embassy reported that the missionaries are not registered with them as American citizens. President Brown sent back word that they should be registered. Pan American sent a man from Denver and one from New York who said some inquiry had been made in London. They explained that they had the understanding that I would give direction on this subject. President Moyle said he informed them that they can be assured of this; that they can depend upon my giving instructions when I feel the need to do so. They said that that would be all right, and they will stand ready for any instructions I want to give them.

President Moyle asked if the First Presidency is prepared to send out any instructions, and I said no. I mentioned that I do not like this stirring up of the people about fall-out and war. I stated, however, that the missionaries should register. President Moyle suggested that this subject be considered seriously in view of the fact that there are 1400 missionaries in Great Britain.”

Thurs., 10 Jan. 1963:

“New York World’s Fair

Following Brother and Sister Player’s departure, we met Elders Mark E. Petersen and Richard L. Evans, who called in regards to the Church’s participation in the New York World’s Fair.  They suggested that we should have a motion picture regarding the Church that would stir and move the people, and that we should have the finest professional help we can get to prepare the picture.  Elder Evans said that they have reached a point where they feel that we need to go to the west coast and explore the possibilities of having an absolutely professional picture made.  He said this will be very costly.  Elders Petersen and Evans felt that the Brigham Young University motion picture department is not equipped to do this job the way it should be done.  They explained that they have in mind two things: one is producing a Tabernacle Choir film to fill in, and then a picture regarding the lives of the people of the Church.  Elders Petersen and Evans said it was their hope that the music for the World’s Fair might be used extensively in the Bureaus of Information and in the missions, that it would not be limited to the Fair.  They explained regarding the film that the audience at the Fair is generally a restless one, and if we are to reach all the people, the film should be only about twenty minutes.  They asked for permission to do some more exploring and get the advice of Michel Grilikhes.  They felt they should have the reaction of professional script writers.  They also suggested that they might talk to Lowell Thomas and perhaps other people in Hollywood.  They explained that the BYU do excellent work but usually work on 16 mm films, that the usual motion picture screen is 35 mm and that we need to use cinemascope, the wide screen.  They felt that Brother Grilikhes has the outsider’s point of view, and it would be very helpful to discuss the matter with him.

I told them that they were at liberty to consult Brother Grilikhes and such others as they might consider advisable.

Elder Evans mentioned that we shall have to have a man on the ground in preparing our exhibit at the World’s Fair who will give his full time to taking charge of affairs there.  He mentioned that a number of names have been suggested, one of which suggestions was President Maycock of the Northern States Mission.  President McAllister was mentioned, but it was stated that he was too busy to take care of this work, that it must be a full-time job for the duration of the Fair and the preparatory period.  Elder Evans said that they would bring in a recommendation later.

Missionary Committee’s Desire to Use Christmas Talk given by President McKay for Tract.

President Moyle mentioned that the Brethren of the Missionary Committee were all greatly impressed by my Christmas talk given in the Eighteenth Ward on December 23, 1962, and that several requests had been received to have the talk printed in pamphlet form.  Some of the brethren of the General Authorities have expressed the thought that it would make an excellent tract.  President Moyle said that at a meeting of the Missionary Committee yesterday the brethren unanimously indicated their approval of this talk as a tract, subject to the President’s permission.  I said that I should like to look the talk over before it is printed in pamphlet form.  In this connection, President Moyle mentioned that he had read an article in TIME magazine regarding the Pope of Rome, that TIME makes him the man of the year and in this article they emphasized the fact that the purpose of the church is to bring God to man wherever they find him, and the writer goes so far as to say they are reconciling themselves to the communists and want to take God to the communist in his present state, that if a man sinks into the mire they should take God to him in the mire.  On the other hand President McKay’s sermon emphasizes the fact that if we want any blessings from the Lord we have to seek them, which is diametrically opposed to the other idea.  He said it gives a perfect illustration of the difference between us and Catholicism. 

We considered and discussed several other items of general importance until 10:00 a.m., at which time we met the Brethren of the Twelve for our weekly Council meeting, the first meeting to be held since the Christmas holidays.

Sat., 12 Jan. 1963:

“At 6:30 this morning talked to President Marion D. Hanks of the British Mission and told him that Brother T. Bowring Woodbury is coming to London for the sole purpose of meeting a Mr. Forbes, whom he knows personally, and with Mr. Gardner, who are handling our London Temple litigation.  I explained that President Moyle feels that if President Woodbury could meet with these men socially and explain our Temple situation, it would be helpful.

I assured President Hanks of my love and confidence in his presidency of the British Mission.”

Wed., 16 Jan. 1963:

“Bureau of Information and Paintings for new building

Elders Richard L. Evans and Robert R. McKay of the Temple Square Mission came in by appointment previously made by me.

Time Magazine Story

Elder Evans reported that Hayes Gorey, representing the Time Magazine, had asked for a statement on the progress of the Church.  He said they were running an article directed to the thesis that the boom in religion had passed, that the great increase in Church membership attendance they felt had now flattened out, that there were, however, some exceptions, that he wanted a statement from the First Presidency to the contrary if the facts so justify.  Elder Evans had prepared a suggestive statement which he read to the brethren and which they approved.  The statement reads as follows:

‘While the annual 1962 reports of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are not yet compiled, there is assurance that this past year has seen its greatest increase in membership, with a significant increase in over-all activity, including attendance, financial support, and many indications of faithfulness and devotion.

The Church building program in the coming year contemplates the adding of a new building on an average of almost one a day.

The Church believes that people generally are searching for answers to the purposes and problems of life, and that the Restored Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, offers those answers.’

Friday, January 18, 1963


January 18, 1963

TO: Clare Middlemiss

Concerning meeting with President McKay January 18, 1963:

Showed the President letters from radio listeners recently received, two of whom had joined the Church through the Tabernacle broadcast, and one, a Catholic boy from Connecticut, who has been listening to the broadcast and says:  ‘I must become a Mormon.’  Many such have come from time to time, with which we don’t usually bother the President.

Reported to him the conversation with Brother Ike Stewart concerning making some film footage of the Tabernacle Choir for the New York Fair, following which

Brother Stewart called back and seemed much concerned that we should get the proper representation of the General Authorities and the First Presidency and the President, and the proper message on the film.  I assured him that a committee was working on it, and would have these things in mind, but as to how much ‘direct preachment’ there should be we did not know; that if, for example, the Catholic exhibit were to present a direct proselyting approach from the Pope, Protestants might not want to go to their exhibit.  We assured Brother Stewart, however, the committee would take his thoughts into consideration.

. . . .

Richard L. Evans


Wed., 23 Jan. 1963:

9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Attended the meeting of the First Presidency.  President Brown was absent, he being in South America.  Among other matters discussed was the Missionary Committee.  I stated that there seemed to be some sentiment among the Brethren of the Twelve that they are not consulted regarding missionary matters; that decisions are made by President Moyle and Brother Hinckley.  President Moyle said that there is no truth in such an attitude; that he did not know of any decision that they had made on their own.  He said the only thing they do is take care of missionary assignments; that every other item of business goes before the Committee.  He said that Brother Hinckley and he make no decisions of any kind that they do not bring to me.  Recommendations are sent to President Moyle for Mission Presidents and they are brought to the First Presidency.  He said Brother Hinckley had been given a rather free hand, and that he was in favor of continuing it because he does his work well, and that Brother Packer is doing a fine job and that he has implicit confidence in him.

I asked what President Smith’s position with the committee is, and President Moyle said he presides, that as far as he is concerned he would be happy if the President of the Twelve could carry on; that he would like to see it left in their hands.  I said that that is a question that is being held up now.  President Moyle said he had honestly felt ever since he had been told to take charge of the Missionary Committee that it would be very desirable to have that Committee under the Twelve, and let them report to the First Presidency.

We discussed at some length what would happen under such an arrangement.  (see Diary of Thursday, January 31, 1963 for re-organization of Missionary Committee.)

Thurs., 31 Jan. 1963:

8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

The usual meeting of the First Presidency was held.  President Brown absent, he still being in South America.

Missionary Committee Reorganization

I said that I think we should name a Missionary Committee independent of the First Presidency; that, however, President Moyle should keep his hand on the situation.  We decided to name Joseph Fielding Smith, Chairman, and Harold B. Lee vice-chairman, with Gordon B. Hinckley, Marion G. Romney, and Boyd K. Packer the other members of the committee.

President Moyle asked if this Missionary Committee should take care of the assignment of missionaries, and I said that they should.

In regard to the selection of Mission Presidents, it was decided to ask the Missionary Committee to make their recommendations to the First Presidency, that the Committee should initiate the matter, and the First Presidency would make the decisions.

10:00 – 12:45 p.m.

Was convened in the meeting of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve in the office of the First Presidency.  The Salt Lake Temple is still not ready for occupancy.

Missionary Committee – Reorganization of

I reported to the Council that the First Presidency had given consideration to the advisability of reorganizing the Missionary Committee, and now felt to recommend that the following serve as that Committee:  President Joseph Fielding Smith — Chairman,  Harold B. Lee– Vice-Chairman, Marion G. Romney, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Boyd K. Packer as members of the Committee.  The motion was unanimously approved.

I announced that it is the responsibility of the Missionary Committee to make recommendations to the First Presidency of brethren to serve as mission presidents, as has heretofore been the case.  I said further that there is one other committee* to be appointed, and the members of that committee will be named later.

Later, following the meeting, I telephoned to Joseph Fielding Smith, and told him that he may feel free to use any of the Twelve whom he may choose to serve on the Missionary Committee.”

Fri., 1 Feb. 1963:

11:00 a.m.

Brother Boyd K. Packer came in regarding a case of an Elder — a Brother Byron Vance — who, eight years ago, was on a mission in the South Seas.  He became emotionally disturbed in the mission field, but had a history of this trouble before he entered the field.  He has continued to have trouble ever since.  The mother is now asking for financial assistance to have her boy go through a special clinic in Colorado.  It will take about $1500 a month.  The boy is now confined in a mental institution in the State, and the doctor attending him is skeptical as to whether the treatment in Colorado will do any good.

It was a question in our minds as to whether this is a missionary responsibility since the boy was not particularly stable when he went into the mission field.  I suggested that this matter be referred to the bishop and other local authorities.”

Thurs., 7 Feb. 1963:

“10:00 – 1:30 p.m.

“Was engaged in Council Meeting.  We had a very good meeting!  Among matters discussed were:

5)  Mission Presidents – Proposal for Training

Elder Harold B. Lee reported that the newly-constituted Missionary Committee met for the first time yesterday.  He explained that the committee is desirous of carrying out the spirit of the instructions I have given to them; namely, that they should consider themselves somewhat as an Executive Committee of the Twelve; that especially is this the case with the Missionary Committee.  Accordingly, it is their plan to bring to the Twelve from time to time the decisions on policy that the Committee recommends for their consideration.

In keeping with this policy, Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, in behalf of the Missionary Committee, then presented to the Council a plan for training Mission Presidents.  (see Council minutes of this day for details of plan proposed.)

Tues., 26 Feb. 1963:

8:30 a.m.

Went into the Office of the First Presidency where we held our regular meeting.

Mission Supervision from Salt Lake City

President Moyle commented upon a minutes of a meeting with Brother Lee who recommends that the Brethren work out of Salt Lake City and expressed the opinion that it will be extremely difficult for President Petersen, President Burton, and President Tuttle to live in Salt Lake City and take care of the work in Europe, Western Europe, and South America, that the rapidly-increasing populations of the missions and the stakes in this area and the stake conferences and business affairs of the missions require a great deal of time of the Brethren.

He mentioned the advantage to the General Authorities of the Church in the European Missions having opportunity to consult with each other.  I said they could do that, and that it would be all right for these Brethren in Europe to attend quarterly conferences in stakes on an exchange basis.  President Moyle said that the mission presidents in the European Missions say that they are very materially assisted in carrying out their work by having the translations of materials available in the foreign languages of Europe.

World’s Fair, New York – Architect’s Plan

President Moyle reported that Stanley McAllister took a group of men to the offices of the architects in New York who are planning the Church’s building in the New York World’s Fair.  The architects are proposing to provide in the building accommodations for the studios of Station WRUL, which visitors may see, and which on arranged occasions some visitors will be asked to broadcast in their native language to the countries overseas.  One of the architects said that David Evans of Salt Lake City had said they could not do that and that Brother Evans comes to them and tells them what they can and what they cannot do.  Brother McAllister did not know anything about it.  President McKay said ‘we do not know anything about it.’  President Moyle asked the architects to go forward with their plans and to submit them to the First Presidency for approval.  President McKay said David Evans also influences KSL but by what authority is obscure.

President Moyle said he is very much impressed by what the architects are doing.  They have a fine spirit.  Brother McAllister is very much concerned about the instructions David Evans gives the architects.

President Moyle said that Brother McAllister has suggested that the World’s Fair Building be made a mission and that a mission president preside over it and that missionaries for six months in the summer time be called to serve there.  Some of them could be older missionary couples.

I said, first let us appoint someone in Brother Mark E. Petersen’s place, so we can have a committee to whom we can refer these things.  Elder Harold B. Lee, who is frequently in New York on other assignments, was nominated, and I said that Brother Lee and Brother Evans could take the responsibility and that they will be notified tomorrow.

I said we shall await their recommendation of a manager.  We will let that come from them.

Wed., 6 Mar. 1963:

World’s Fair, New York – General Committee for

I reviewed members proposed for the general committee for the New York World’s Fair as follows:

Elder Harold B. Lee

Elder Delbert L. Stapley

Richard L. Evans

President G. Stanley McAllister – New York Stake

President George H. Mortimer – New Jersey Stake

President Wilburn West – Eastern States Mission

Robert N. Sears – former president of Tulsa Stake, now in New York as head of Phillips Petroleum

James O. Conkling – president of International Educational Broadcasting Company

I said the names of these brethren would be presented to the Council of the Twelve tomorrow.

President Brown said that President Anderson of the California Mission and Michel Grilikhes said that only the very best professional motion pictures should be included in the program of the World’s Fair.  I mentioned that I talked with President McAllister and asked him to see the ‘Windows of Heaven’ film.  President McAllister pronounced it of high professional excellence.  President Moyle said he saw the picture with President McAllister and quoted President McAllister as saying that the art work on the title frames of the picture were as professional as anyone could hope.

Thurs., 7 Mar. 1963:

“10:00 a.m.

Council Meeting

For the first time for several months, we met in the Salt Lake Temple for our regular weekly meeting of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve.

We then took up the regular order of business.  Among items take up were:

World’s Fair Committee

At my request, President Moyle announced that the First Presidency had discussed the matter of the reorganization of the World’s Fair Committee, and that they now recommend that the Committee consist of Elders Harold B. Lee, Chairman; Delbert L. Stapley, Richard L. Evans, G. Stanley McAllister, George H. Mortimer, Robert N. Sears, Wilburn C. West, and James L. Conklin.  On motion, the recommendation regarding the appointment of this committee was approved.  (see following newspaper clipping which is included in the Welfare Chairman announcement)

Missionary Work – Administrative Personnel for

The Twelve mentioned a discussion they had had in their meeting this morning relative to the many areas in the missions of the Church where stronger leadership is needed, or where someone is needed to train good leadership.  They stated that if the leadership were available at the present time, stakes could be organized in Guatemala, Samoa and perhaps other places.  It was the opinion of the Brethren of the Twelve that there are many mature married brethren who have had valuable stake experience, who with their wives would be glad to accept mission calls for two or three years if they do not have to do proselyting.  The Twelve suggest that if such brethren could be called to act in administrative capacities, stakes could be organized in areas where there is sufficient membership and these brethren could act as presidents of stakes, devoting their full time to directing the stake and training local leaders, their wives to assist with the auxiliaries.  This would leave the missionaries free to spend their time proselyting, and the members would develop much more rapidly under a stake organization than in a mission.  It was the recommendation of the Twelve that couples be called for such assignments.  It was explained that these couples would serve as missionaries without salary or allowance from the Church.

I said that I felt that this was a very good suggestion and would result in a great amount of good, but I suggested that care be exercised to see that couples who are called for this service are not given an allowance or salary for their services.  On motion, the Council approved the recommendation presented.

Thurs., 21 Mar. 1963:

“10:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Was convened in Council Meeting.  A very important meeting!  Some of the items considered were:

World Fair Matters – Brethren to Supervise the Exhibit

Elders Lee, Stapley, and Evans of the World Fair Committee recommended that Bernard P. Brockbank be asked to begin working with the Committee to expedite the handling of the many details of our exhibit prior to and during the Fair.  They indicated that he is admirably suited for the position because of his practical experience, his dedication to missionary work, and his ability to handle business affairs and to meet problems that might arise; and to work with Brother Brockbank, they recommended that President Wilburn C. West of the Eastern States Mission be named.  He is also a businessman of great ability, as well as being engaged in missionary service.  We felt that these two brethren would make an excellent team to direct the work in connection with the Fair.  Brother Brockbank will have to spend considerable time in New York during the time of the Fair, and yet it will not keep him from taking some other assignments.

Films for World Fair Exhibit (Mechanics only to be left to Whitaker of BYU)

Elder Evans then mentioned an approach that had been made to the First Presidency some time ago in regard to the preparation of two films, one by the Tabernacle Choir, to be used for the Fair and many other purposes, and the other film on general Church principles and the position of the Church as a way of life, etc.  Elder Evans said the committee felt that this latter film should be as good a film as can be made, that Elders Lee, Stapley and Evans are to meet with the BYU film people Saturday morning, and it is their proposal that the coordinating responsibility of producing this second film be turned over to Brother Whitaker and the BYU film production group, with instructions to call in all the professional help they need from Hollywood, the west coast, or elsewhere to make it as good as it can be made.  

In answer to my inquiry as to whether they were leaving the BYU people to make the script, Elder Evans said that the committee had presented to them several scripts, including an outline of a general theme entitled, ‘Man’s Search for Happiness’, that, however, it is proposed that any script that is prepared will be gone over in detail by the committee.  He said it is the thought of the committee that Brother Whitaker and his associates would put the various ideas together that have been and will be submitted to them, and that the script would be subject to the approval of the committee and of the First Presidency.

Elder Lee commented that it is proposed to take some of this work back to the other members of the committee in New York.

I said that I do not think we should leave the script to Brother Whitaker and his associates, but should leave the mechanics to them, that they can do the professional work; that I feel the committee should not let the script get out of their hands.

On motion, it became the sentiment of the Council that Brother Whitaker and his associates should take charge of the mechanical work, with the understanding that they will need to go beyond their own group for further professional help, and that there would be left to them the doing of the coordinating.

We then considered at length a proposal for use of the Seventies in Missionary Work and the commission that has been given the Seventy to ‘preach the Gospel, and to be special witnesses unto the Gentiles and in all the world’, thus differing from other officers in the Church in the duties of their calling (Doctrine and Covenants 107:25).  A plan as to how the Seventy may meet this missionary obligation was presented by Brother Hinckley.  He also presented a plan for the Youth Program of Stake Missionary Work, and Cooperation of Full-Time Missionaries, and the advantages of this program.”

Fri., 29 Mar. 1963:

“9:00 a.m.

Went into the regular meeting of the First Presidency.  President Moyle was absent in London.

We first met with Elder Marion G. Romney, who reported a case of a missionary’s transgression and confession after he had listened to the Brethren instructing the missionaries before they go to the Temple.  After a discussion of the matter, I said that the Lord has said that if you sin and repent you should be forgiven, but if the sin is repeated you should be cut off.  This missionary has made confession, and that repentance should be accepted, but he should be made to realize his responsibility to be honorable in the performance of his mission, and that he goes with our trust.  I advised that the young man tell the young woman to come to Brother Romney, also, because she is a part of the responsibility.

Fri., 19 Apr. 1963:

“8:30 a.m.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry J. Kaiser made a courtesy call in the office of the First Presidency.  Mr. Kaiser, who is eighty-one years of age, is Chairman of the Board, and founder of Kaiser Industries, Inc., Oakland, California.  Mr. Henry Aloia, Manager of the Hotel Utah, and Mr. Lindberg accompanied them.

I welcomed the visitors and said that it was indeed a pleasure to meet them, and that it was very kind of them to call.  Mr. and Mrs. Kaiser recalled earlier visits to Salt Lake City and mentioned the mutual acquaintances in Salt Lake City and Utah: Robert Elliott, Albert Heiner, and Chandler Young, now associated with Mr. Kaiser in his business.

Mrs. Kaiser said she frequently observes Mormon missionaries in Hawaii as they visit from house to house.  She commented that they must walk great distances because there are many houses along the highways.  I explained that they use a new method of presenting the gospel to people by meeting them by appointments in cottage meetings arranged by members of the Church.  I referred to the advice of Lady Reading, of the House of Lords in Great Britain, that the missionaries make appointments rather than go from door to door and risk interrupting people and making them resentful.  I explained that the missionary system of the Church encourages young men and young women to devote two and two-and-one-half years of their lives, at their own expense, to this service, and that it proves to be good development for the inculcating of high ideals.

Mrs. Kaiser commented that the missionaries are good citizens.

I turned to Mr. Aloia and said:  ‘You may get a call from the missionaries’, and Mr. Aloia answered, ‘All right, I am ready.’  Mrs. Kaiser said Mr. Aloia is so friendly that they all miss him in Hawaii.  I said that I had known him for twenty years, and that it has been a very pleasant association.  Mr. Kaiser said that they all think a great deal of him, and that he did not know of anyone who did so much for them in Honolulu.  I answered that we are all glad that Mr. Aloia’s wife thought more of Salt Lake City than Honolulu.

I commented upon the heavy rains which had fallen upon Honolulu in recent days, and Mrs. Kaiser described conditions of driving, and Mr. Kaiser commented upon the importance of adequate drainage to cope with the conditions which resulted from the heavy rains.  He also mentioned how welcome the rain was to the big ranches which need extra moisture on certain of the Islands.

Thurs., 2 May 1963:

“8:30 a.m.

First Presidency’s meeting was held.  President Brown was absent — he is still convalescing at home.

West European Mission – Letter from Elder Mark E. Petersen about Distortion of Statistics and Reports of the Stakes and Missions

A letter received from Elder Mark E. Petersen was read.  It gave details of distortion of statistics of the reports of the Stakes and Missions of the West European Mission including details of specific distortions arising from misleading statistics of the conditions in the Sunderland Stake.  The letter also commented upon these as being indicative of the conditions in such other stakes as Leicester, Manchester, and to some degree, the Holland Stake.

The officers of the stake want to make a good showing and asked direction as to what to do with the large numbers of names of ‘unattached youth’ who are the only members of their families who are members of the Church, access to whose homes is refused by the parents who resent the way the children became members of the Church; many of the children have been re-baptized in the churches of their parents.

I said they cannot simply remove the names unless they act in accordance with established Church procedure.  They will have to deal with them as they would with any other member, each case on its merits.  President Moyle said that what you say is right.  A certain percentage, as they grow older, will become more active.  I said it is the duty of the missionaries; they have to deal with each one on its merits.”

Tues., 21 May 1963:

“11:15 to 12:00 Noon

Meeting with President Joseph Fielding Smith, Elders Harold B. Lee, Marion G. Romney, and Richard L. Evans, regarding the organization of the Priesthood Missionary Committee.”

Mon., 27 May 1963:

“9:00 a.m.

First Meeting of the newly-appointed Priesthood Missionary Committee

Went to the Assembly Room on the Third Floor of the Church Administration Building, where I met twenty-nine members of the newly-appointed Priesthood Missionary Committee, who are gathered for an all-day session, held under the direction of President Joseph Fielding Smith, Chairman of the Missionary Committee, assisted by Elder Harold B. Lee, Vice-Chairman, Elders Marion G. Romney, and Boyd K. Packer, committee members.

I spoke to the group, giving them the fundamental requirements of Missionary Work; viz.,

1.  Authoritative Assignment or Call

2.  Preparation of Gospel Plan

3.  Harmony with Mission Authorities

4.  Daily Activity

5.  Living Above Temptation.

It was a joy to meet these choice men!  (see following copy of letter of appointment sent to these men; newspaper clippings of their appointment and giving account of meeting and President McKay’s talk in full.)

Monday, May 27, 1963

May 9, 1963

Mr. A. Walter Stevenson

2720 Christensen Ave.

Ogden, Utah

Dear Brother Stevenson:

We are pleased to advise you that upon the recommendation of the Council of the Twelve, we ask that you accept the assignment to assist the General Authorities of the Church in conducting stake quarterly conferences as a representative of the Missionary Program of the Church.  You will receive assignments from the President of the Council of the Twelve to specific conferences.  This letter will constitute your appointment to this responsibility.

We feel that your wide experience in various Church capacities will enable you to render a service that will be very helpful to the Church.

It would be expected and hoped that you would be able to attend a day long instruction session Monday, May 27, 1963, in Salt Lake City to be held in the third floor assembly room at 47 East South Temple Street, beginning at 10:00 a.m.  Expenses will be paid for those who come from outside of Salt Lake City.

May we hear from you regarding your acceptance of this appointment.

Sincerely your brethren,

The First Presidency

By:  David O. McKay

      Henry D. Moyle

Monday, May 27, 1963


Appointment of 29 members to a new Priesthood Missionary Committee of the Church was announced this week with approval of the First Presidency.

The new appointees will serve under the direction of President Joseph Fielding Smith of the Council of the Twelve who is chairman of the Priesthood Missionary Committee.

They will constitute the stake conference staff of the committee and will begin attending conferences June 1 and 2.  They will assist the General Authorities in conducting stake quarterly conferences as representatives of the Missionary Program of the Church.

Naming of the personnel of the Priesthood Missionary Committee followed the announcement a week ago of the membership of the new Priesthood Home Teaching Committee.  A representative of each of the two committees will attend conferences during the next six months attended by the General Authorities.  At these conferences the Home Teaching and Missionary Programs will be emphasized.

Alternating stake Conferences during the third and fourth quarters will be attended by representatives of the Sunday School and Mutual Improvement Association General Boards.

The 29 members of the Priesthood Missionary Committee have been prominently active in stake and missionary work.  Several of them have been serving as area supervisors of stake missions.

The new program of missionary work to be introduced in the quarterly conferences made advisable the release of those presently serving as area supervisors in the 25 areas, according to the First Presidency.  Each of the area supervisors this week received a letter of honorable release from the First Presidency.  They were extended appreciation and commendation for their faithful and dedicated service.

All members of the new missionary committee will be released from their present positions to give their full volunteer Church service time to their new assignments.

They will attend a special day-long instruction session in the Church Offices in Salt Lake City, beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, May 27.

Monday, May 27, 1963


Address given by President David O. McKay at a meeting of all members of the Priesthood Missionary Committee held in the Assembly Room, Church Administration Building, May 27, 1963.

About two weeks ago we had a group of men here in this room on Home Teaching in the Church.  I am glad to meet with you missionaries on missionary work in the Church.  I look forward with happy anticipation to the results of your teaching those who will attend the Quarterly Conferences, and present the missionary work of the Church.  I am asked to say a few words by way of introduction.

I should like to read you this story which was considered of importance by Luke, the Historian.  ‘And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.’  That means that Philip had been in Jerusalem attending ceremonies pertaining to missionary work and he is now told to go down toward Caesarea, his home; however, he is not to go around on the regular route, but to take a side road in that country.

‘And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.  Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.  And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, ‘Understandest thou what thous readest?’  And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me?  And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.  The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.

‘And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this?  of himself, or of some other man?  Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.  And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said ‘See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?  And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.  And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.  And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.  But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all cities, till he came to Caesarea.’  (Acts 8:27-40.)

I have read that somewhat unusual reference because Philip was, as you know, one of the seven set apart for special work to help the early Apostles, and he was very zealous in his preaching of the gospel, particularly to the people of Samaria.  He caught the inspiration on the way to his home, for he lived in Caesarea where he and his three daughters entertained the early Apostles.

Call Necessary

Now, I have read this scripture to you missionaries with certain things in mind.  First, it is necessary for you to have a Call, an official appointment to do the work of a missionary.  Philip is the second name chosen among the seven.  Steven’s name was first, and Philip’s was second.  Philip was set apart, and a great deal of missionary work was carried on there in Jerusalem and in that area while Saul of Tarsus was persecuting them.  During Philip’s preaching in Samaria and in and around Jerusalem, Saul was arresting the missionaries ‘playing havoc,’ so Luke tells us, ‘with the Church.’  Nevertheless, Philip continued preaching the gospel of baptism.

We do not know much about the man whom Philip baptized on the occasion referred to in the scripture I have just read to you, only that he was a very prominent man under the Queen of Ethiopia.  He had charge of ‘all her treasure.’  Undoubtedly, he had been to Jerusalem as a convicted Jew and attended the feast of Pentecost.  He was very much impressed with what he had heard, and was still reading the scriptures while on his way home in the chariot.  He was reading them aloud, not as it was customary in that day just to read aloud to himself, but out loud so that Philip heard him.  Evidently he was reading from Esaias to his charioteer as he was sitting in his chariot.

Philip took advantage of that occasion, not only to explain the scripture, but also to bear testimony of Jesus of Nazareth of whom the man had never heard, or perhaps had heard of Him only incidentally while he was visiting at the feast of Pentecost.  But Philip, the missionary, soon took advantage of the text and bore witness of Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified, resurrected, and who ascended into Heaven.  He was representing the authority of the Twelve when he preached that sermon to the interested Ethiopian.

It is interesting to note that Philip was not fully prepared to represent the leaders of God’s Church.  Undoubtedly, he was one of the leaders who preached the gospel of baptism to the men and women of Samaria who were baptized in large numbers, but ‘when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he has fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)  Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.’  (Acts 8:14-17.)  Philip continued preaching after he had baptized the Ethiopian and he went on, we are told, to the other cities, ’till he came to Caesarea.’

Later we have the following incident: After Paul’s conversion when he had come to Ephesus, ‘finding certain disciples, He said unto them, ‘Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed’?  And they said unto him, ‘We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.  And he said unto them,’ Unto what then were ye baptized?  And they said, Unto John’s baptism.  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.  When the heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.’  (Acts 19:1-6.)

Prepare to Preach

The second point is that it is necessary to be prepared to preach what the Authorities of the Church authorize the missionary to preach.  In this day, a missionary is required to know what he is going to preach.  It requires a testimony, not only of Jesus, but also a testimony of the restoration of the Gospel, and a knowledge of the plan as given by the General Authorities of the Church to the Mission President and his associates.  The preparation of the missionary is a very important part of this work.

I am going to tell you a story.  About sixty-four years ago, there was a young missionary named David O. McKay who had his call, accepted it, and left for his mission in August, 1897.  On the boat taking the thirty young Elders to Liverpool was a Protestant minister, and the Elders soon got into debate with him.  It seems that I was spokesman for a while, and the question came up as to where Jesus was when his body was in the tomb.  Now, I had learned, as boys and girls learn in Sunday School, Priesthood Meeting and Mutual, that Jesus went to preach to the spirits in prison, so I spoke up, using about those words.  The minister took a Bible and said, ‘Where do you find that?’  I didn’t know, for the life of me, where the scriptural reference was to be found, but I knew that I was right.  In our group was a man from Holland who was on his way to fill a mission.  He was standing by and whispered to me:  ‘Peter, Peter.’  I then took the Bible, and I suppose I turned the wrong way to find the Epistles of Peter.  For the life of me, I did not know where to find the text.  The minister took the Bible and said:  ‘My eight-year-old child knows more about the Bible than you do.’  There was so much truth in what he said that I spent the rest of the voyage becoming better acquainted with the scriptures. 

Preparation is a very important part of a missionary call; and yet, preparation includes not only a knowledge of the Bible, Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price, but also a knowledge of the plan instituted for the use of the missionary in daily work.  And, thank Heaven, we are better organized today than they were in the days of Philip when he worked largely as an individual and did not fully understand baptism by the spirit, as well as by water.  But the missionaries who go out today should become well acquainted with the plan of reaching earnest members of the Church.

Work in Harmony

A third point is that a missionary is in harmony with the mission authorities, that he is not to use individual plans, but to work in harmony with the president of the mission and those associated with him.  One important part of that plan is illustrated in the statement I read to you, the value of personal contact.   It was through the personal contact that the Ethiopian had with Philip that convinced him that Jesus was the Christ.  ‘If you believe,’ said Philip, ‘that Jesus is the Christ, you may be baptized,’ and he answered: ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’

Now, the present plan given to the Church encourages this special contact.  You have referrals of certain people whom the missionaries should meet; and you sit down and talk to them, not just deliver a tract and leave the person as we used to do sixty-four years ago, but you meet them by appointment – and the best way in the world.  An appointment is made to meet the family and their neighbors who might be interested and teach the lessons one, two, three, four, as given by the mission plan.  Giving the message personally is more effective in conversion than by any other plan that we have ever used in the Church.  I do not know of anything so effective.  It is so effective that people cannot gainsay it.  The Gospel is so reasonable, well, it is so divine, that if an Elder, properly instructed, by study and prayer, and testimony, can sit in the house with a family or with a group and teach that lesson and say, ‘Do you understand it? – tomorrow night we shall meet and take the second lesson,’ they cannot help but be converted.  They get the spirit of it, and the spirit converts.

And so under that harmony with the mission authorities, you see that the missions carry out the plans given, and emphasize it so that when the missionaries go they will know where the Gospel of Peter is and not start to turn the wrong way as I did.

The fourth point in that text is activity.  Philip was very diligent.  After performing the baptism of the Ethiopian, he preached in the various towns that lay between the desert, where he was then, and Caesarea, his home town.

To Know Plan of Salvation

Finally, I wish to present to you this morning the responsibility of a missionary not only to be true to his Call, but to know the plan of salvation, to live in harmony with the mission authorities, to be daily active in the performance of his duties, but most of all, to live above temptation.  I have no patience with an Elder who transgresses the moral law because he was thrown into temptation, or because he had an opportunity to associate with the opposite sex.  A missionary, a man who holds the Priesthood should be able to resist temptation.  Though a girl or woman might throw her arms around his neck, and as Robert Burns said, be in the presence of a ‘bonnie lass, convenience snug, a treacherous inclination,’ a man should not have a treacherous inclination,’ and if so, he should rise above it, control it.  The Priesthood give a man power to live above temptation.  When he falls, even though he confesses, he will have to suffer the consequences and come home, as two Elders did in 1924, disgraced and excommunicated from the Church.  They were at a conference in Holland, and during that conference found themselves in areas of temptation.  They confessed. 

As mission president, I wrote home to President Heber J. Grant and asked if they should not be forgiven, and taken back.  I received word that they must pay the penalty for their fault.  I was sympathetic because I had taken the parents’ love to one of them, an only child.  Now, I had to excommunicate him from the Church because he was too weak to resist temptation, and he had to go home to a mother who had sent her love to him.  He never did come back to the Church.  I think that act hastened her death.  The other man came home, repented, and was restored.  There is no excuse for a missionary who holds the Priesthood, who has divine appointment, who prepares himself to declare the word of salvation to those who are honest in heart and who trust him – there is no excuse for such a man to yield to temptation.

I congratulate you, brethren, particularly you who are to represent the missionary system and the Missionary Committee in the various conferences to be held throughout the Church.  Please give this message and others you will receive today to those who are on the ‘firing line’ in the wards and stakes; and, above all, let them feel that when they are chosen as missionaries, they must not only live in harmony with the teachings of the Gospel, the plan given by the missionary authorities, but also through the power of the Holy Priesthood, live above temptation.

God bless you as you carry this word and other instructions given you this day, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Deseret News – Church Section, Saturday, June 15, 1963″

Tues., 28 May 1963:

11:00 a.m.

Had a meeting with Elders Marion G. Romney, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Boyd K. Packer regarding the duties of the Missionary Committee.  Told them that they are to select Mission Presidents, and then present their names to the First Presidency for approval.  later, the names will be submitted to the Twelve for their approval.

Fri., 7 June 1963:

Mission Presidents – Setting Apart of New

President Moyle mentioned setting apart 15 new Mission Presidents, and asked if a schedule should be prepared and dates set.  He explained that they are to be called in on July 8 for a seminar before they go to their missions.  I said that the first thing we want to do is to see whom we are sending.  President Moyle explained that letters of call were sent to the presidents who had been approved by the Council and the First Presidency.  I directed that a list be prepared for the First Presidency of those who have been approved for interview, and the schedule for interview and setting apart will be made.  The list is to be checked with the Missionary Committee.

I also asked that a list of returned mission presidents who are to report be prepared for the First Presidency.

Missionary Work – Better Utilization of Short Waves

I commented upon the need for missionaries to received instructions and Mission Presidents to be fully informed about utilization of shortwave, and referred to the proposal of Brother James Conkling of IEBC that missionaries and Mission Presidents be informed and trained in the use of short wave.  President Moyle said the Missionary Committee has approved this.  I stated that the Mission Presidents need instruction about the advantages of a new system and the possibilities of the use of short wave.  President Brown said that verbal instructions should be supplemented by instructions in writing.

I said also that I had asked Brother Arch Madsen to confer with Brother Lorin Richards of the Mission Home and to tell him that I had asked him (Brother Richards) to arrange for a fifty-minute presentation on short-wave to missionaries, and also to arrange for instructing Mission Presidents about this important facility.  President Moyle commented upon the advisability of each Mission President being personally informed directly of the use of short-wave opportunities in his Mission rather than to learn of it from missionaries coming into the Mission who have had this short instruction to be given in the mission home, and I said we shall notify Brother Kimball also.

Missionaries – Returned to Maintain High Standards

Bishop Vandenberg referred to a letter he had received from a mother who complained that a returned missionary who had become a salesman had sold her young daughter some expensive cookware and obligated her to pay for it over a period of two years.  Bishop Vandenberg said he did not know what could be done about it except to counsel bishops to give returned missionaries some guidance about entering into such activities when they return home.  We agreed that there is little that can be done except to counsel missionaries in the field before release, and later when they arrive home by Bishops since ‘once a missionary always a missionary’.  They should maintain the highest standards of the Church upon their return and that this should not only apply to their honorable dealings in their careers upon their returning home, but also in their conduct toward young women they meet at home.  I said I had been informed by the Young Women’s Association that girls report that returned missionaries are the most difficult with whom they have to cope when they come home.  They are the most insistent in taking liberties with the young girls.

I also commented that the brethren at the Brigham Young University can be urged to reach the missionaries who return to school to impress upon them that they are still missionaries, and that they should set a proper example of conduct in their association with young women of the Church.  All concurred in the importance of the Bishops interviewing returned missionaries when they report home, and specifically instructing them on these matters, and counseling them upon standards they are expected to maintain.

President Moyle said there are many instances coming to his attention which he had obtained from missionaries he had met when they return.  They have never had a talk with the Mission President when they are released.  Frequently the release is left with the secretary of the mission to deliver to the departing missionary.  The Mission President may be away from the office at the time.  If the Mission President will spend an hour with the missionary before he leaves, and drop a note to the Bishop to counsel the missionaries, these conditions can be corrected.  President Moyle said we are going to have to be more strict about Mission Presidents sending the release home to the Bishop.  The missionary is still on his mission until he receives his release from the Bishop when he arrives home.  It is a very great improvement for him to get his release from the bishop at home rather than in the field.  When he gets the release from the mission field he has felt free to revert to the casual standards he had before he was a missionary.  (see following copy of letter to all Stake Presidents, Bishops, and Independent Branch Presidents.)

Friday, June 7, 1963

June 28, 1963


Dear Brethren:

Bishops are requested to have a thorough interview with returning missionaries.  As missionaries return home, they need guidance in making the necessary social adjustments.  It should be emphasized to them that they are still missionaries, and their conduct should continue to set a noble example for the Church in the community.

It is noted that some young men are neglecting to discipline themselves properly and are succumbing to the evils of necking and petting.  Young men need to be cautioned to make a better personal adjustment, particularly in their relationship to girls.  They should avoid being too free and aggressive in their deportment with the opposite sex.

Such an interview can help individuals gain insight into their own responsibilities to be discreet and to continue to be missionaries in their new endeavors.

Sincerely your brethren,


Bishop John H. Vandenberg

Bishop Robert L. Simpson

Bishop Victor L. Brown


Thurs., 13 June 1963:

8:30 a.m.

Went into the First Presidency’s room where I set apart Brother Ernest J. Wilkins as President of the Language Training Mission of the Church at the Brigham Young University.  President Hugh B. Brown set apart Sister Maurine Lee Wilkins, to serve as a missionary in that Mission.  Brother Wilkins will devote all his time to training our missionaries in foreign languages prior to their leaving for the Mission Field.

9:00 to 9:50 a.m.

Following the departure of Brother and Sister Wilkins we held the regular meeting of the First Presidency.  The following matters were taken up:

Mission Presidents

Nineteen new Mission Presidents will attend the July Mission Presidents’ Seminar to be conducted by the Missionary Committee.  I asked that a list of the new Mission Presidents be given to me and that I would prepare a schedule for them to come in to be set apart.

Wed., 26 June 1963:

“Commissioner Cannon then withdrew from the meeting, and President Ernest L. Wilkinson came into the meeting.  We talked about Dr. Hugh Nibley’s research opportunities and asked if some of his time could be released from class work to devote to research and for report to the First Presidency.  I asked President Wilkinson to find out what Dr. Nibley can do while he is kept in the ancient language department.

President Wilkinson was informed that Ernest J. Wilkins will receive allowance of a Mission President and will not be on the Brigham Young Univeristy payroll.  This new Language Training Mission is unique and will need cooperation of the University for housing of missionary students, for food service, and for association with the Department of Languages.

Among other matters taken up by President Wilkinson was the fact that summer school attendance at the BYU has increased 15 per cent, this number in spite of the threat of some teachers organizations to boycott the summer school on account of President Wilkinson’s statement criticizing the position of the Utah Education Association in the teachers contracts matter.”

Fri., 28 June 1963:

“Missionary Work

President Moyle commented upon reports he is receiving from Mission Presidents that missionary proselyting is lagging.  I said that the Missionary Committee will be relied upon to react to the condition.”

Fri., 19 July 1963:

11:00 a.m.

Elder Gordon B. Hinckley came in regarding his relationship with President Joseph Fielding Smith in the Missionary Department.  He said that during the time he served under President Stephen L. Richards and President Henry D. Moyle he had taken care of the correspondence that had come to the Missionary Department, but now, since President Joseph Fielding Smith has been made Chairman of the Missionary Committee, he is doubtful about what course he should pursue in this matter.  I instructed him to take all the letters to President Smith and let him tell him what he would like done; that he will, no doubt, instruct him to go ahead with what he has been doing.”

Thurs., 25 July 1963:

“8:30 to 10:00 a.m.

Was engaged in the regular meeting of the First Presidency.

Manchester Stake – Proposal for Working with Youth Members of Record

The first item we considered was a letter from President Mark E. Petersen of the West European Mission who presented the suggestion of President William Bates of Manchester Stake for working with a thousand youth who are members of record of the Stake — one-third of whom are classified as knowing that they were being baptized when they became members and their parents are indifferent; another third are regarded as not knowing that they were being baptized and having no interest in the Church now; and a third group are children whose parents resent their having been baptized into the Church under the circumstances and in a manner in which they were.  President Bates proposes that the Stake keep the first category and labor with them and try to activate them, and that the other categories be transferred back to the missions permitting the missionaries to labor with them and to remove their names from the statistics and records of the Stakes.  After discussion it was agreed that the Stakes call special missionaries to work with all of these children and to make of this a special stake missionary project.  President Petersen’s letter of April 5 was also read.  It gives additional information relating to the special aspect of these baptisms as to the records of Sunderland and Leicester Stakes and comments upon the distortion of statistics of the Stakes which they create.

I said the problem now is how to handle them.  The idea of saying:  ‘Take them off the record’ is not worthy of consideration.  They are members and we must keep them and deal with them as members.  Where parents refuse to let them be active, the responsibility must be upon the parents.  Where we have permission to deal with these children we must do it in the best ways.  It is a matter of saving souls rather than statistics.  We must work with these young boys and girls.  We shall follow the revelation of the Lord, and place the responsibility upon the parents and let the statistics be as they are.  Let us do that in the Stakes.  Wherever there is a boy or girl unattached, whose parents are willing, the name should be kept in the Stake.  Let us answer it that way.”

Thurs., 1 Aug. 1963:

“Thursday, August 1, 1963

August 1, 1963


Dear Brethren:

For several years Church Information Service has been performing many functions for the Church in disseminating information through the various means of communication.

Many of you may have been called to your present positions without having been advised that such service is available, and we should like all of you to know that your inquiries or requests would be welcome at any time concerning any opportunities or needs you have in the following and other fields:  newspapers, magazines, radio, television, motion pictures, billboards, libraries, photographic displays, special events, special literature, conference coverage, publicity, or for general information.

If you have not done so, would you immediately appoint to serve under your direction and control a Church Information representative in your stake or mission, and send his name to Church Information Service.  This should be an active and faithful member of the Church who is knowledgeable in the field of public communication, and one whose judgment and ability and willingness can be relied upon to perform such service.

The Church Information Service will welcome your suggestions, inquiries and requests for assistance and counsel in meeting your problems and opportunities in this important field.  Correspondence should be directed to:

Church Information Service

19 West South Temple

Salt Lake City, Utah  84101

Faithfully yours,

David O. McKay

Henry D. Moyle

Hugh B. Brown

The First Presidency”

Mon., 26 Aug. 1963:

“Monday, August 26, 1963

This morning held a meeting with Presidents Mark E. Petersen and Theodore M. Burton on matters pertaining to carrying on the Auxiliary programs of the Church in the Stakes and Missions in Europe.  Brother Burton reports good success in the German Missions and Stakes, but President Petersen has been having some difficulties pertaining to the large number of children who have been baptized into the Church without the consent or knowledge of their parents.  Brother Marion D. Hanks of the British Mission was also present and participated in the services.  The Presidents of the other missions were also present.”

Wed., 9 Oct. 1963:

“11:50 a.m.

West European Mission – Baptism of Children

Elder Mark E. Petersen came into the meeting, and asked for instructions from the First Presidency on the matter of baptizing children.  He said there is some difference of opinion; that he has proceeded on the basis which he understood was the view of the First Presidency; namely, that a child 8 or 10 or 12 years old who becomes interested is to be taught the Gospel if the parents are willing and understand; that if the child was coming to primary with a member child everything was in proper order, and that the child should be baptized with the consent of the parents.

I said that that would be right; that if the parents refuse, the responsibility is upon them.  President Petersen said, ‘This idea of indiscriminantly going out and rounding up children, we do not want that do we?’

I said that I have never heard of such a thing, except in the Brighton area of England.

President Petersen said, ‘Our idea is bringing in families if possible.  We are emphasizing family proselyting.  Last month more than half of President Curtis’ mission baptisms were complete families.  In that way we get Priesthood and can get whole families to the Temple.  We shall proceed on that basis.’

President Petersen then took up other matters with regard to equipping Mission Homes, stating that he could see no reason for making ‘palaces’ out of these Mission Homes, and I said we have never done it before, and that we do not want to do it now.”

Wed., 23 Oct. 1963:

“9:15 a.m.

The First Presidency listened to a report from President and Sister Clifford O. Gledhill of the Great Lakes Mission.  Brother Gledhill explained the cadet missionary plan employed in his mission whereby worthy priests were assigned to labor with full-time missionaries, to call on investigators and teach them the Gospel, and also to assist in holding cottage meetings.  I think this is a a very good use of local stake missionaries and of the lesser priesthood, and that such a plan has great possibilities.”

Thurs., 24 Oct. 1963:

“10:00 to 2:15 p.m.

Was engaged in Council Meeting, held in the Salt Lake Temple.

Missionary Work, Miscellaneous

In making my report to the Brethren at Council Meeting, I said that heretofore, when setting apart the wives of Mission Presidents they have usually been set apart to have charge of the Relief Society in the missions; that in the future, however, when they are set apart, the wives of Mission Presidents will be instructed to supervise the women’s work in the Missions, including the Relief Society, the Young Women’s organization and the Primary.  They will direct the efforts of the local sisters in taking charge of these Auxiliaries.”

Fri., 25 Oct. 1963:

“October 25, 1963

President Delmont H. White

Central Atlantic States Mission

P.O. Box 841 (102 – 23rd St., S.E.)

Roanoke, Virginia

Dear President White:

I hold in my hand a long list of reported baptisms from your mission of children who never should have been baptized and evidently without the consent of their parents.  Written on these certificates rejections by their parents.

The Prophet Joseph Smith declared that children should not be baptized without the consent of their parents nor a wife without the consent of her husband.  It appears to me that what we are working for is a record and making such sacred ordinances of the church a farce.

Missionaries are not sent into the field to compete in baptisms and no person should be baptized without conforming with the covenant of baptism and no child without the full consent of parents.

This action is causing a condition that could bring serious trouble and someone might eventually lose his life.

Sincerely your brother,

Joseph Fielding Smith

Chairman of the Missionary Committee


Tues., 5 Nov. 1963:

“Missionary Committee – Three Members Responsible to First Presidency

I proposed that a Missionary Committee of three – Elders Spencer W. Kimball, Chairman, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Boyd K. Packer — be organized, and that these members be responsible to the First Presidency, and that President Joseph Fielding Smith each week join with the First Presidency in receiving the reports of this committee, which can then be taken to the Thursday meeting of the Twelve, and the Twelve thus be kept informed and participating.  This committee could meet with the First Presidency at eight o’clock each Thursday or earlier.  The committee will report first to the First Presidency and then to the Twelve.  Presidents Brown and Tanner agreed that this would be a satisfactory arrangement.  (See Diary of November 18, 1963, for further discussion on Committee.)

Mon., 18 Nov. 1963:

“Monday, November 18, 1963

Minutes of the meeting held by the First Presidency at the LDS Hospital, Monday, November 18, 1963, President David O. McKay, President Hugh B. Brown, and President Nathan Eldon Tanner being present.

The reorganization of the Missionary Committee was discussed, and it was decided to recommend to the Twelve that while all members of the Twelve will continue to act as members, an Executive Committee will be appointed to take care of the day-to-day requirements and report to the First Presidency.  President Joseph Fielding Smith will be invited to sit with the First Presidency to hear said reports.

Tentative decision was reached that Elder Spencer W. Kimball should be Chairman of the Committee, with Elders Gordon B. Hinckley and Boyd K. Packer as members.

President McKay said he would see President Joseph Fielding Smith and explain to him the reasons for the appointment of such Executive Committee.

Sat., 25 Jan. 1964:

“8:30 a.m.

Had a conference with O. Preston Robinson in my office in the apartment.  I told him that we would like him to preside over the British Mission to succeed Marion D. Hanks.  He seemed surprised and said that he would do whatever the Church wanted him to do.  However, he was concerned about his position, whether this is a leave of absence or not.  He will talk the matter over with his wife and see me Monday morning, the 27th.

Thurs., 13 Feb. 1964:

10:00 to 12:00 Noon

Was engaged in the meeting of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve in the Salt Lake Temple.  Some of the matters discussed were:

World’s Fair, New York – Services for the Placing of the Angel Moroni on Spire of Temple Replica — President Tanner to attend 

Elder Evans mentioned that the Angel Moroni replica for the World’s Fair building is finished, gold-leafed and ready to be placed on the top of the Temple spire at the World’s Fair building.  It is the thought of the committee that it would be well to place this statue and have the dedication of the exhibit some time in advance of the opening of the Fair, which will be April 22.  He said that the closer we come to the time of the opening of the Fair, the more we are in competition with all the other exhibits with their publicity.  He therefore, presented the suggestion of the committee that this be taken care of Wednesday, February 26, or Friday, the 28th, or in that period.

Elder Evans said that the committee are wondering about two things:  1) If I would care to authorize getting it placed and the arranging for maximum publicity regarding it, and 2) If I could be present and participate on that occasion.  He said that the exhibit is near to the airport in New York City, and they would arrange to move in and out with the least difficulty.  Elder Evans further said that it is proposed to use a helicopter to take this statue up into the air and place in on the spire.

Elder Lee said that our exhibit is unique, and that there is hardly a story written about the Fair that does not mention the Mormon exhibit, that it is one of the attractive things in the Fair; also that it would be big news to have the President of the Church there to attend the ceremony.  He said that if I feel equal to it, this would be mentioned in the publicity.  It is hoped that arrangements could be made to have the moving picture people there to take pictures of the statue of the angel being placed on the spire, and if the President of the Church could be there at that time, it would be very helpful.

It was decided to hold the services on Wednesday, February 26, and I asked the committee to go ahead with their plans, and suggested that President Tanner stand ready to attend the services.  (These services later were postponed until the first part of March.)

Wed., 19 Feb. 1964:

“8:45 to 9:55 a.m.

Went into the office of the First Presidency where we held the regular meeting of the First Presidency.  President Brown was absent, being indisposed.

Among the many items we considered were the following:

Mission Presidents – Letter Regarding Children Baptized Without Parental Approval Sent

I approved a letter to mission presidents prepared by President Tanner for signatures of the First Presidency giving instructions regarding the handling of cases where children had been baptized without parents’ approval or consent, or without the parents or the child understanding that he was actually becoming a member of the Church.  The letter recommends that the parents and children be worked with in an endeavor to convert them to the Gospel and to activity in the Church; that, however, if they insist upon having their names removed, action should be taken after a reasonable effort by regular ecclesiastical court procedure.

Wed., 26 Feb. 1964:

Baptism – Woman Desires, but Husband Will Not Consent

President Tanner referred to a letter from a woman who desires to join the Church, but whose husband will not consent and his parents are strongly opposed.  She asks if she should break away and be baptized without his permission and whether she will do wrong by teaching her children what she knows is true.  I advised that the family be not broken up, but that she is responsible for teaching her children the truth.  President Tanner summarized saying that she could teach her children correct principles but should not be baptized without her husband’s consent.  I concurred.

Wed., 4 Mar., 1964:

Missionary Work, Miscellaneous – Missionary Language School Conducted at BYU

Thirteen percent of the missionaries who are assigned to the language training at the Language School for missionaries at the BYU have been transferred out of foreign language speaking missions to other missions.  This is too high, and some arrangements should be made to improve the environment under which these missionaries endeavor to study.  President Tanner commented upon the difference in the dress of the missionaries and the dress of the students on the campus and the restrictions of the missionaries from liberties they may not take while other students do not observe these restrictions.

I said that it is the responsibility of the First Presidency to decide who shall do the screening of missionaries to take the language courses.  The subject was reserved for further consideration.

Wednesday, March 4, 1964



Present:  Presidents David O. McKay and N. Eldon Tanner.  President Hugh B. Brown absent, being indisposed.

Area Supervisor for West Coast Missions

President Tanner presented the recommendation of the executive committee of the missionary committee that the west coast missions which have been without a supervisor since President Burton went to Europe, be assigned to an area supervisor, Elder Thomas Monson.  President McKay concurred in the proposal that recommendation be presented to the presidency and the Council of the Twelve tomorrow.

Reassignment of Missionaries from Missionary Language School Conducted at BYU

President Tanner submitted report that since December 1961 of 1,069 missionaries assigned to take language training at the Language School for missionaries at the BYU 13% or 140 have been transferred out of foreign language speaking missions to other missions.  He regards this percentage as too high and said that some arrangement should be made to improve the environment under which these missionaries endeavor to study.  He commented upon the difference in the dress of the missionaries and the dress of the students on the campus and the restrictions of the missionaries from liberties they may not take while other students do not observe these restrictions.  President McKay said it is the responsibility of the First Presidency to decide who shall do the screening of missionaries to take the language courses.  The subject was reserved for further consideration.

Tues., 10 Mar. 1964:

Missionary Committee – Work of

Elder Spencer W. Kimball first reported the work of the Executive Committee of the Missionary Committee.  He said that the Executive Committee, consisting of Spencer W. Kimball, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Boyd K. Packer, had been meeting every Tuesday morning, at which time they made the missionary assignments and gave attention to matters pertaining to the missionary program.  In addition, the committee has met with the counselors in the First Presidency and President Joseph Fielding Smith each Thursday morning at 7:30 o’clock and made report of the major missionary items.

Seminar Pertaining to Missionary Work Held

Among other things Elder Kimball said that the Executive Committee of the Missionary Committee is working on Mission Presidents in all phases of the program.

Elder Kimball also reported that last Friday and Saturday a Seminar was held pertaining to the missionary work, home teaching, genealogical and welfare programs, which seminar he thinks was very successful and satisfactory.

Thurs., 19 Mar. 1964:

“7:40 a.m.

Went into the meeting of the Executive Committee on Missionary Work.  My counselors, President Joseph Fielding Smith, and Elders Spencer W. Kimball, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Boyd K. Packer were present.

Many mission matters were presented and considered.  The following matters were brought up for my decision:

Missionaries Who Have Transgressed

The question was again raised as to the action that should be taken regarding missionaries who have transgressed in the mission field, whether or not those guilty of committing fornication or adultery should be excommunicated, or if where there are extenuating circumstances they might be merely disfellowshipped.

I stated that the rule heretofore followed should be maintained, that those guilty of committing transgressions of this kind while serving as missionaries should be excommunicated.

The question was then considered as to what should be done with missionaries who have been guilty of moral transgressions while in the mission field, but have not confessed their transgressions and have received an honorable release, and after they have been home for sometime they have confessed their sins to the bishop or others.  Mention was made of cases where young men had been home for months and sometimes years before they have made such confessions.

I said that such cases should be handled by the Presidents of Stakes where they reside, and that there is no justification for young missionaries set apart to serve in the missionary cause to succumb to temptations of this kind.  Referring to missionaries who confess after returning home, I said that disfellowshipment was the least penalty that should be given in such cases.

It was agreed that a letter should be sent to the Mission Presidents emphasizing the action that should be taken in regard to transgressing missionaries.”

Wed., 22 Apr. 1964:

“World’s Fair, New York – Opening of Reported

The New York World’ Fair opened today.  Was interested in the newspaper reports regarding our exhibits.  (See newspaper clippings following.)

The following report was made by Elders Harold B. Lee and Richard L. Evans who attended the opening of the World’s Fair at the Council Meeting held in the Salt Lake Temple, Thursday, April 23, 1964:

Elder Evans said that he thought it was very important that Brother Lee was at the Fair for the past week or ten days, that many unanticipated situations arose and decisions had to be made from time to time, even within the last few hours; that during the two days preceding the opening conditions were chaotic not only with our exhibit but others; and some of the missionaries at our exhibit worked with our professional people until far past midnight; that, however, when the Fair opened we had a smoothly functioning exhibit and a very gratifying patronage.  He said the weather was cold and rainy, but there was a large attendance at the Fair.  The radio reported, he said, that we had 19,000 people visit our exhibit the first day.  This number seems exaggerated, but we have had a constant, gratifying flow of respectful people.

Referring to the racial demonstrations at the Fair, he said we had no untoward incident at our exhibit.

At the opening ceremonies, President Lyndon B. Johnson spoke, as did Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Robert Moses, Mayor Wagner, and former President Harry S. Truman.  He said that members of our staff were invited; that the invitation was by special ticket, but was miserable weather and Brothers Lee and Evans left before the completion of the ceremonies and went back to our exhibit area and watched the ceremonies on closed circuit television.

Elder Evans said that they made a tour of the Protestant exhibit, the Christian Science exhibit, and the Catholic exhibit.  He thought perhaps that more people would see the ‘Pieta’ by Michaelangelo at the Catholic exhibit than any other one object at the Fair, but he said they felt very good about our own exhibit; that two of the outstanding features of our exhibit, which are magnificent, are Thorvaldsen’s Christus, which dominates the whole area, and a painting by Harry Anderson, a Connecticut artist, of Jesus and his apostles, eleven standing by and Jesus ordaining one of them.  Elder Evans said that the picture is magnificent and moving, and will live among the great religious paintings, that it is on a canvas and can later be moved to the Bureau of Information here on Temple Square.

Elder Evans said that there is a large space in our Bureau of Information in Salt Lake City, and that they had been counting on the World’s Fair exhibit being moved here after it has finished its purpose at the Fair.  He moved that this be the action of the Council.  He said if this is not done, it will be necessary to develop other exhibits which would be very costly.  He said that virtually all of the building and all of the exhibits, except for piling and foundation, can be salvaged, and the expenditure we are making at the Fair will not be a one-purpose expenditure.  He mentioned that the reason for having two statues of the Christus, which are from Italy and made by an Italian artist, one being at the Bureau of Information here, is that it was perhaps less costly and certainly less hazardous to have the second made in Italy and shipped to the Fair than to take the one here out of the Bureau building and ship it to the Fair and then back home; that there will not be room in the Bureau of Information for both.  He thought there would be a place, however, for the films and most if not all the other exhibits.  He said that Architect Cannon Young will measure all the exhibits and measure the building here and inform us what we can use.

Elder Lee commented that he thought this might be a custodial responsibility vested in the Temple Square Mission, which would hold the exhibit together, the responsibility of the determination to be left with the First Presidency and the World’s Fair Committee with the Temple Square Mission presidency.

Motion was seconded and unanimously approved that the exhibit be moved to the Bureau of Information here after it has served its purpose at the Fair.

Referring to the dedication of our exhibit, Elder Evans said that the weather is bad at the Fair, that many exhibits are not yet finished, and that the civil rights agitation is not settled.  Having all of these factors in mind, it is now proposed that the dedication be set for sometime during the week of May 17.  He said the committee also felt that attendance at the dedication should be by invitation, and no advance publicity given, and that it should be a somewhat private dedication.

Elder Lee mentioned that matter of the park adjoining our exhibit.  He said that his particular area, which would have been the first exhibit after leaving the station on the left hand side going into the fairgrounds, was to have been the House of Foods, and they had the steel framework up, but apparently were unable to go through with the project, that the management through the courts required them to remove these unsightly things, that in a few days it was all removed, and new top soil hauled in and within a short time they had changed it into a lovely park with shade trees and lawn, and this is next to our exhibit, and gives the appearance of a part of the Temple grounds.

Elder Lee said that the missionaries have been in training an hour or two a day for the past month or so to prepare for the kind of situations they will have to meet; that, however, they learned in the first hour after the Fair opened what they could not have learned in the six weeks preceding the opening.  He also said that every time a group came out of the theatre after witnessing the film, many were wiping their eyes.  The missionaries found that they were impressed, and they picked up many referrals.

Elder Lee said he was sure that when the brethren see the exhibit they will agree that it is a creditable presentation of our message, and he thought it was providential that we have there men of mature judgment who have been able to meet situations of various kinds that have arisen, with the unions, and otherwise.

Elder Lee said it is estimated that if the architects will make provision for the use of these materials at the Fair in buildings for which they draw plans, we can save as much as one-third of the cost of the exhibit, or one half million dollars.”

Tues., 12 May 1964:

“Missionary Work

President Tanner mentioned that our missionary work is not holding up as it should, and he thought one reason is that no member of the First Presidency has been directly responsible for the missionary work.

I asked about the weekly meeting of the counselors in the First Presidency who now meet with the Missionary Executive Committee, and President Tanner said that while this meeting does help in a way, there is need for direct supervision; that there are not so many missionaries going out into the field, and that there are fewer baptisms than there formerly were.

I said that the matter should be discussed with Brother Spencer W. Kimball who is Chairman of the Missionary Committee.

Thurs., 14 May 1964:

“9:00 to 9:50 a.m.

Was engaged in the regular meeting of the First Presidency.  Some of the items discussed were:

Missionary Work – Release of General Authorities as Area Presidents

Before taking action in the matter of releasing area Mission Presidents who have served two years and longer, it was decided to obtain a list of the Brethren of the General Authorities who are serving in such positions, indicating the length of time that they have served and their areas.”

Wed., 15 July 1964:

“Minutes of the Meeting of the First Presidency

Held Wednesday, July 15, 1964, at President McKay’s Home in Huntsville, Utah at 8 a.m.

Present:  Presidents David O. McKay and N. Eldon Tanner.  President Hugh B. Brown in Europe.

Mission Supervisors

President Tanner read to President McKay a letter from Elder Spencer W. Kimball asking for a clarification of titles and responsibilities of brethren called to supervise missions.  In his letter Elder Kimball mentioned that Elder Ezra Taft Benson is president over what is known as the European Mission, Elder Mark E. Petersen is president of the West European Mission and Elder A. Theodore Tuttle is president of the South American Mission, whereas the brethren who supervise the missions in the Orient, the Pacific, and the western and eastern area missions are called supervisors.  Elder Kimball also mentions that there are stakes in most of the areas presided over by these brethren.

President McKay suggested that we make no change for the present at least in these designations.

Wed., 16 Sept. 1964:

“8:30 to 10:00 a.m.

Held a meeting of the First Presidency in my apartment at the Hotel.  Some of the items discussed were:

World’s Fair, New York – Recommendation and Report

President Tanner read to me a letter from Brother Bernard P. Brockbank reporting on the success of the work at the Church’s New York World’s Fair pavilion.  Among other things, he reports that over one thousand pictures were taken by visitors inside and out of the pavilion each day, that we will distribute over 200 tons of literature plus 35 tons of the Book of Mormon during 1964-65, that we are now obtaining over 3,000 names from visitors each day to send to missions and stakes, that we will have over 750,000 referrals for the missions, stakes, etc. during the two years.  Brother Brockbank recommends that the illustrated copy of the Book of Mormon be prepared with a gold cover instead of blue, with black or blue letters, that 200,000 copies be printed for distribution to be sold for $2.00 per copy.  Brother Brockbank thinks that thousands of these books would be bought by members and given away, and that additional thousands would be bought by investigators and used.  I said I think the suggestion has merit, and asked that a copy of the book be sent to me.”

Thurs., 22 Oct. 1964:

“8:30 to 9:00 a.m.

Held a meeting with my counselors in the office at the Hotel.  Among the matters discussed were:

Missions – Counselors to Mission Presidents

President Tanner called attention to the action of the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve in their meeting last Thursday to the effect that local people be used for counselors in mission presidencies rather than missionaries if they are available, and that missionaries be appointed assistants to the Mission President without being set apart.  I approved of this action.

Missions – Correspondence with Mission Presidents

President Tanner reported to me that when he met with the area supervisors seminar last week he had told these brethren that all correspondence from the mission presidents, as also the area supervisors, should come to the First Presidency, that these letters could be addressed to the First Presidency, to the First Presidency ‘personal’ or ‘confidential’, or to the First Presidency ‘for the attention of the Missionary Committee’, but that all should be addressed to the First Presidency.  I approved this and said that is a standing rule.

Tues., 1 Dec. 1964:

Missionaries – Income Tax Deduction for Support of

The inquiry was presented of President Glenn Nielson of Big Horn Stake as to whether or not there would be any objection to his personally undertaking to gain a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service favorable to parents’ of missionaries taking an income tax deduction for the support of a missionary son or daughter.  President Nielson explained that Waddy Bullyon, a tax expert, has become a member of the Big Horn Stake High Council, and President Nielson is hopeful that with his help a favorable ruling can be obtained from IRS.  I indicated that there would be no objection to President Nielsons’ seeing what can be done.

Tues., 2 Mar. 1965:

“Missionary Committee — Executive Committee Changes

Presidents Brown and Tanner reported to me the suggestion of the Missionary Executive Committee that certain changes be effected in their organization.  Elder Kimball would continue as chairman of the committee, Brother Hinckley would be directly in charge of the full-time missionary work, and Boyd K. Packer directly responsible for the stake and local missionary work.  The committee recommends that Brother Tuttle, when he returns from South America, be assigned to work with Brother Hinckley, and that Brother McConkie be assigned to work with Brother Packer, so that when Brother Hinckley or Brother Packer is away there would always be a member of the committee present.  I indicated my approval of these changes.

Missionary Work – Changes in Area Supervisors

We considered the need for making some changes in area supervisors, Brother Tuttle having been in South America nearly three years, Brother Mark E. Petersen having presided over the West European Mission for over two years, and Franklin D. Richards having served for a lengthy period of time in the eastern part of the Untied States.  It was mentioned also that Brother Kimball has suggested that the Northeastern area be divided so that there would be three supervisors instead of two as at present.  We decided that the entire situation needs reviewing.  The Missionary Committee will be asked to bring in a recommendation on these matters, which recommendation is to be brought before the First Presidency before being taken to the Quorum of the Twelve.”

Thurs., 4 Mar. 1965:

“8:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Held a meeting with my Counselors this morning in the office in the apartment.  Among matters considered were:

Missionary Work, Miscellaneous — Reassignment of Area Mission Presidents

We gave consideration to the matter of reassigning area supervisors or presidents.  When this matter was previously discussed, I had asked that these proposed assignments and reassignments be considered by the First Presidency before being taken to the Twelve.  President Tanner said that he had discussed this matter with Elder Kimball, Chairman of the Missionary Committee, and later with President Brown, and they felt to suggest that the full-time missions be divided into eleven areas.  He mentioned that in Europe we now have 23 missions and the suggestion is that these missions be divided into three areas, one to be known as the Germanic Missions, one the British Missions, and the other the West European Missions.  He mentioned that Franklin D. Richards has served as Supervisor in the Eastern section of the United States for three or four years, A. Theodore Tuttle about three and one-half years in South America, and Mark E. Petersen two years in the West European Mission.

President Tanner mentioned the suggestions that have heretofore been made that a member of the Twelve be assigned as area supervisor in the West European Mission, with one of the Assistants to help him, with the understanding that when considered advisable the Assistant could visit that area with the same authority that the member of the Twelve had.  The same set-up was suggested for other European areas.  President Tanner raised a question which he said he had discussed with President Brown, Spencer W. Kimball and Howard W. Hunter, who all seemed to feel that the suggestion is worthy of careful consideration, that each of the members of the Twelve have one of the Assistants to assist him in all of the various divisions of the work assigned to him.  He mentioned for instance that Theodore M. Burton is assisting Howard W. Hunter in the Genealogical Work, and indicated that if Brother Hunter had Brother Burton as his assistant in any field in which he is working, he could assign Brother Burton to do this work for him, or they might work together where it was considered advisable.  Brother Burton could go to the missions in Brother Hunter’s area when Brother Hunter is unable to go or thought it wise to send Brother Burton, thus making it possible for each of the members of the Twelve to assign to an Assistant much of the ground work, and even the administration when they were personally not able to do it.

In further illustration of the suggestion, President Tanner mentioned the case of Brother Kimball and Brother Romney, both of whom are on the Expenditures Committee.  He said that sometimes these Brethren could not attend the Expenditures Committee Meeting, but if each of them had an Assistant to the Twelve to assist him, it would be advisable for that Assistant to sit in on the Expenditures Committee meeting also that he would know what is going on and keep his chief fully advised.

I said that this is a matter that must be considered very carefully before we go further with it.  I agreed that it might be taken to the Twelve for their consideration and recommendation.

President Tanner said that the suggestion had been made that the following groups of missions be included in the areas indicated:

1)  The Eastern American Missions would include the Canadian, Central Atlantic, Cumorah, Florida, East Central States, Eastern Atlantic States, Eastern States, and New England Missions.  He said this would be flexible and that perhaps Brother Lee, who is in the East a great deal anyway, might take care of that area.  According to the arrangement suggested, Brother Lee would have an Assistant to help him with this work.

2)  Central United States Missions would include Central States, Great Lakes, Gulf States, Northern States, and Texas.  It was suggested that perhaps Richard L. Evans could take care of this work.

3)  He mentioned that Brother Kimball has been assigned the Southwest Indian and Northern Indian Missions.  To this area could be added the Western Canadian, the West Central States, and the Western States, thus giving him five missions.

4)  The West Coast Missions would include Alaskan-Canadian, North-western States, Northern California and California.  It was felt that perhaps LeGrand Richards could handle this area inasmuch as there are only four missions involved.

5)  Hawaiian, Korean, Northern Far East, Southern Far East, and Philippine area, to be left with Brother Hinckley.

6)  South Pacific to include the Australian, Southern Australian, French Polynesian, New Zealand, and New Zealand South Missions, Rarotonga, Samoa, and Tonga.  It was suggested that probably Brother Monson would be a good man for this area.

7)  South American would include Brazilian, Brazilian South, Chilean, Uruguayan, Argentine, North Argentine.  Brother Hunter or someone else could take care of this territory.

8)  Mexican and Central American Missions would continue under the direction of Brother Romney.

9)  The British Missions could be under the direction of Howard Hunter or someone else who might be decided upon.

10) The Germanic missions would be reduced from eight to six.  It was suggested that perhaps the Berlin Mission might include part of the North German Mission, Brother Benson to be left to take charge of this area.

11) The West European Mission would include the French, Franco-Belgian, French East, Netherlands, Danish, Norwegian, and the Swedish.  This would include all of the members of the Twelve excepting the President of the Twelve, who it is thought should not be assigned to one of these areas.

President Tanner mentioned also the recommendation heretofore made by the Twelve that Elders Benson, Petersen, and Tuttle be brought home and that those appointed to direct the work in these areas would have their headquarters here and visit the areas from time to time as needed.

I said that I think it would be all right to have these areas administered in the manner suggested, namely, with headquarters in Salt Lake City and with one of the Assistants to assist a member of the Twelve in this supervision.  We agreed also that if for some reason it were considered preferable to have one of the Seventies as an assistant in the mission area work, this would be agreeable also.

Temple Square Mission – Reorganization of

President Brown mentioned that the situation at Temple Square is being neglected owing to the fact that Elder Evans is busy with so many things and that his responsibilities are increasing all the time.  He felt that perhaps this would be an appropriate time to make a change when we are considering setting up these area supervisors.  I agreed that a change should be made.  President Tanner commented that his reaction was that much more missionary work could be done on Temple Square than we are doing, and that he did not think we are getting the referrals and getting people to respond nearly as much as we could do, that the visitors to Temple Square could perhaps be much better informed when they left.

I suggested that this be made an order of business for consideration within the next few days.

In considering a successor to Elder Evans, Marion D. Hanks was mentioned as a very good man for the position, as was also A. Theodore Tuttle.

Fri., 23 Apr., 1965:

Recommendations for Mission Presidents – to be Referred to Twelve

I said that recommendations of individuals or couples for service as Mission Presidents or on special assignments should in proper order be presented by the Missionary Executive Committee to the Twelve, and that the Twelve should report to the First Presidency.  President Brown explained to the Presidency that at the meeting yesterday of the Executive Committee of the Missionary Committee with the First Presidency, he and President Tanner told the Executive Committee that in the future instead of the Committee presenting their recommendations of brethren for Mission Presidents to the First Presidency direct, they should take the matter to the Quorum of the Twelve and that the Quorum of the Twelve should present the recommendation to the First Presidency.

I said that that was correct and as it should be, and that I am glad that Presidents Brown and Tanner had made this change according to previous instructions.  

In this connection, President Tanner stated that another matter that should have consideration is that it would seem out of order for the Missionary Executive Committee to have as one of their members an Assistant to the Twelve, who at present is Boyd Packer, inasmuch as the committee represents the Twelve.  President Tanner stated that this is a matter that he felt should be corrected when final action is taken upon the recommendation of the Twelve pertaining to supervisors of missions and other missionary matters.

Thurs., 6 May 1965:

“8:30 a.m.

Met with President Tanner in a First Presidency’s Meeting.  President Brown was absent, being enroute to Washington, D.C.   Among matters discussed were:

Mission Area Supervisors

We discussed the matter of the recommendation of the Twelve which was approved by the Council subject to my approval, pertaining to the assignment of mission supervisors whereby each of the Brethren of the Twelve, with the exception of President Smith, would be given supervision over a mission area, to be assisted by one of the Assistants to the Twelve or one of the First Council of Seventy, these supervisors to be domiciled in Salt Lake City.  Reference was made to the recommendations and discussions of this matter in the Council as set forth in the minutes of April 8, 1965.  President Tanner mentioned that when this question was first considered I was not clear as to whether or not we should continue to have the Brethren who are presiding over the South American, European and West European missions domiciled here.  He also mentioned that in the early discussions of this matter Brother Mark E. Petersen was not thoroughly converted to this arrangement, but that when he was here at Conference time, he indicated that those in charge of these areas could take care of the work just as well if located here as if they were domiciled in the missions.  In connection with this over-all program, it was the recommendation of the Council that there be three areas in Europe, namely, the British Isles Missions, the European Missions and the West European Missions.  The original proposal was that  Brother Petersen supervise the European Missions consisting of the Germanic Missions, that Brother Benson supervise the British Isles, and that Howard W. Hunter give supervision to the West European Missions.  However, in discussing the matter, it was subsequently decided that it would be preferable to have Brother Benson preside over the West European Missions and Brother Hunter preside over the British Isles.

I gave my approval of the mission supervision program as recommended by the Council and authorized President Tanner to so notify the Council today in the event that I could not attend.

Wed., 12 May 1965:

8:30 a.m.

After Brother Taylor’s departure, Presidents Brown, Tanner, and I met in a First Presidency’s Meeting.  Among the matters discussed were the following:

California Mission Presidency – Reorganization of

In answer to my inquiry regarding releasing of Howard B. Anderson as President of the California Missions, a letter of release having been prepared for the signatures of the First Presidency, the explanation was made that the present policy is that mission presidents should be released after serving a period of three years, that Brother Anderson has presided in the California Mission this length of time, and accordingly the Twelve have recommended a reorganization of the California Mission Presidency at this time.

Thurs., 13 May 1965:

“8:30 a.m.

Held a First Presidency’s meeting with my counselors in my apartment in the Hotel.  Some of the matters we discussed were the following:

Mission Area Supervisors

President Brown made reference to an action taken in the meeting of the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve last Thursday to the effect that Mark E. Petersen would have supervision over the Germanic missions, that Brother Benson would have charge of the missions in the proposed West European Mission — consisting of the Scandinavian Countries, the Netherlands, and the French Missions, and that Howard W. Hunter would have supervision of the missions in the British Isles.  President Brown said that President Tanner and he had discussed this latter proposition with Elder Lee yesterday and that Brother Lee feels, in which feeing President Tanner agreed, that under all the circumstances it would be well to follow the original suggestion; namely, that Brother Benson supervise the missions in the British Isles, Brother Hunter in the West European Missions in Scandinavia, the Netherlands and France, and that Brother Mark E. Petersen supervise the Germanic Missions.  It was therefore felt that the minutes of last Thursday’s meeting should be amended accordingly.  President Tanner explained that when Brother Benson was here at Conference time, he had expressed real satisfaction in the arrangement that was then proposed that he go to England and preside over the British Isles Missions, and Brother Lee felt that if a change were made now it might be unwise and be offensive to Brother Benson.

Accordingly, I agreed that the minutes should be amended as suggested.  (See Diary of May 26, for decision of Council and amendment made.)

Fri., 14 May 1965:

8:30 a.m.

Meeting of the First Presidency.  Among matters discussed were:

California Mission – Release of President Howard B. Anderson

Referring to the letter of release that is being sent to Howard B. Anderson, President of the California Mission, he having served the normal period of three years, I asked the Brethren if they could use Brother Anderson somewhere in a Church capacity.  President Tanner mentioned that we have not had a better Mission President than Brother Anderson, that he has done a tremendous work.  Presidents Brown and Tanner both indicated that they would support me in any assignment I should make to Brother Anderson.

Wed., 26 May 1965:

NOTE – Mission Area Supervisors – Appointment of General Authorities

Today I signed letters to the various General Authorities assigning them as Supervisors of the mission area divisions.  This is in accordance with the recommendation that was discussed and approved of in the Council Meeting of May 6, 1965, as follows:

‘President Tanner referred to the recent recommendation by the Council regarding mission area divisions and area supervisors, and also a proposed change in the mission areas in Europe whereby there would be three areas; namely, the British Isles, which would include the missions in the British Isles; the European Mission, which would consist of the Germanic speaking missions; and the West European Mission, to consist of the Scandinavian, the Netherlands and the French missions.

In discussing the leadership of these three areas, Elder Lee said that in considering the brethren to serve as presidents of these areas, it was the sentiment of the Twelve that Mark E. Petersen should preside over the Germanic Missions, Howard W. Hunter over the British Isles Missions, and Ezra Taft Benson over the West European Mission area.  Elder Lee stated that the Brethren had in mind that Brother Benson would fit well into the West European Mission area; and it was thought with Brother Petersen’s experience in organization matters to assign him to the Frankfurt area would seem to be an excellent move.  Elder Lee said that in talking this matter over with Brother Petersen he had indicated that he would be pleased to handle this assignment.*

President Tanner reported that the First Presidency had discussed the mission area program this morning, and that President McKay had indicated that all the recommendations as approved in the Council Meeting of April 8, 1965, were acceptable to him, and had suggested that this be reported to the Council today.  President Tanner said that President McKay had also approved the recommendation that the area supervisors be domiciled here.

Elder Lee said that the date for the inauguration of this program is August 1, and that this will provide time for the present mission area supervisors to line up any unfinished affairs.

On motion, duly seconded, the Council indicated their approval of the mission supervisory program as proposed.’  (See following list of General Authorities and their assignments, and copy of letter sent.)


The minutes of this meeting of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve were later amended on May 13, 1965, by the First Presidency — that Elder Ezra Taft Benson would preside over the British Isles Mission, Elder Howard W. Hunter would preside over the West European Mission, and Elder Mark E. Petersen would preside over the European Mission.

Wednesday, May 26, 1965

May 18, 1965

Elder Ezra Taft Benson

Council of the Twelve

Similar letter sent to each of the Supervisors

and Assistant Supervisors

Dear Elder Benson:

This is to advise you that the plan of supervision of missions recommended by the Twelve, as set forth in detail in the enclosed excerpt of the Council minutes of April 8, 1965, has been approved.  We accordingly request that as of August 1, 1965, and until further advised, you assume responsibility of the British Isles Missions.  Elder Sterling W. Sill, Assistant to the Twelve, is asked to serve as a supervisor of these missions under your direction.

The missions in this group include the following:  British, Central British, North British, South British, Southwest British, Irish, Scottish, and South African.

The other missions of the world will be similarly grouped, each area to be under one of the Twelve, with one or more of the Assistants or the Seventies serving as supervisors.

It is contemplated that in each area the supervisors will always be directly responsibility to an individual member of the Twelve who himself will visit the missions periodically and who will suggest a plan of visitation and a program of responsibility for the supervisor.  It is anticipated that both the members of the Twelve and the supervisors will be domiciled here in Salt Lake City.  They will make such visits to the missions as are adjudged necessary by the members of the Twelve responsible for the respective areas, to observe the work and to give encouragement, counsel, and direction.  As President McKay has stated, this is an assignment of ‘education more than an assignment of dictation.’

It will become the responsibility of those serving to train and assist mission presidents, missionaries, and the local Church leadership, without taking from them those prerogatives which are inherent in their respective callings and assignments.

We earnestly hope that you will feel to accept this responsibility, and we do not hesitate to promise that you will derive joy and satisfaction in filling it.  It is anticipated that these assignments will be rotated from time to time.

With appreciation for your devoted service, we are

Faithfully your brethren,

David O. McKay

Hugh B. Brown

N. Eldon Tanner

The First Presidency

Wednesday, May 26, 1965

May 18, 1965

Elder Sterling W. Sill


Dear Brother Sill:

On recommendation of the Council of the Twelve, we are asking that the Assistants to the Twelve and the First Council of Seventy accept further responsibilities in strengthening the program of the Church throughout the world.  We accordingly request that effective as of August 1, 1965, and until further advised, you serve as a supervisor of the British Isles Missions under the direction of Elder Ezra Taft Benson of the Council of the Twelve, who is given responsibility for the work in this area.

The missions in this group include the following:  British, Central British, North British, British South, Southwest British, Scottish, Irish, and South African.

The other missions of the world will be similarly grouped, each area to be under the direction of one of the Twelve, with one or more of the Assistants and the Seventy, serving as supervisors.

It is contemplated that each of these supervisors will always be directly responsible to an individual member of the Twelve who himself will visit the missions periodically and who will suggest a plan of visitation and a program of responsibility for the supervisor.  It is anticipated that both the members of the Twelve and the supervisors will be domiciled here in Salt Lake City and will make such visits to the missions as are adjudged necessary to observe the work and to give encouragement, counsel and direction.  As President McKay has stated, this is an assignment  of ‘education more than an assignment of dictation.’

It will become the responsibility of those so serving to train and assist mission presidents, missionaries, and the local Church membership, without taking from them those prerogatives which are inherent in their respective callings and assignments.’

We earnestly hope that you will feel to accept this responsibility, and we do not hesitate to promise that you will derive joy and satisfaction in filling it.  It is anticipated that these assignments will be rotated from time to time.

With appreciation for your devoted service, we are,

Faithfully your brethren,

David O. McKay

Hugh B. Brown

N. Eldon Tanner

The First Presidency”

Wed., 2 June 1965:

“8:30 a.m.

Held a regular meeting of the First Presidency.  Among the matters discussed were:

Japanese-American Mission President – Not to be Appointed

President Brown reviewed for me the proposal that Brother Adney Komatsu of Honolulu replace President Dwayne Anderson of the Northern Far East Mission.  Brother Komatsu is Japanese-American.  Doubt had been raised as to his presiding over American missionaries in Japan.  I said ‘I think we should not appoint him.’

Thurs., 3 June 1965:

“8:30 a.m.

Held the regular meeting of the First Presidency in the apartment.  Among the many items considered were:

Mission Supervisors

We discussed the action of the Council regarding the appointment of supervisors of missions with the Assistants to the Twelve assisting them.  In the final set-up of the Building Committee, Brother Franklin D. Richards is left without any responsibility so far as a special assignment is concerned, and Brother Theodore M. Burton has a very heavy assignment in Genealogical work and needs assistance.  It was decided to relieve Brother Burton of any responsibility in the mission field, and have Brother Richards assist Elder Howard W. Hunter in his mission supervisory in the West European Missions.

Thurs., 1 July 1965:

“8:30 a.m.

Held a meeting with my counselors – the following were among the items we discussed:

Missionary Committee – Appointment of Thomas S. Monson to Executive Committee

We considered the appointment of Elder Boyd K. Packer to preside over the New England Mission and the necessity of appointing someone to succeed Elder Packer as a member of the Executive Committee.

President Tanner said that in discussing the matter, he and President Brown think that Brother Thomas S. Monson would be the best man for this appointment, and that Brother Spencer W. Kimball and Gordon B. Hinckley of the committee had suggested Brother Monson to fill this vacancy.

Since this recommendation had been made by these Brethren, I authorized that steps be taken to effect this change.

Wed., 7 July 1965:

“8:30 to 10:45 a.m.

Held a meeting with my Counselors.  Among matters discussed during this time were:

Missionary Work, Miscellaneous

After giving some thought for several weeks now to the appointments of General Authorities to supervise missions, and not feeling clear in my mind about the appointments, although they were approved by the Brethren in Council Meeting and brought to me for my approval on May 26, 1965, I decided to hold everything up until I feel better about the matter.

I, therefore, dictated the following letter to the General Authorities most immediately concerned.  Later, Clare brought the letter to me for my approval and signature.”

Tues., 13 July 1965:

“8:30 to 10:00 a.m.

Met with Presidents Hugh B. Brown and N. Eldon Tanner and discussed general Church matters, among which were:

Mexico – Visit of President Hugh B. Brown to President of

Reference was made to Elder Marion G. Romney’s suggestion as to the desirability of one of the First Presidency accompanying him to Mexico City for the purpose of meeting the President of Mexico on some matters Brother Romney wanted to present to him.  It was explained that the principal reason for the visit was to change, if possible, our status with regard to missionaries in Mexico and permit them to enter under their true colors rather than under an assumed status.  Brother Romney states that Mr. Martinez, who is making the appointment, has said that the President of Mexico would be inaccessible until the sixth of September following his report to the nation.  Assurance has been given that an interview could be obtained with the President any time thereafter, including the dates of September 6, 7, and 8.  An explanation was made that our Elders under the present arrangement cannot baptize converts unless they are Mexican citizens.

It was also mentioned that the Mexico Stake Conference will be held on the 4th of September and that the visit to the President of Mexico could be made while the visitors are there.

I suggested that President Brown make arrangements to make the trip.  President Brown and Brother Romney will meet with me before going to Mexico for the purpose of discussing this matter.

Wed., 14 July 1965:

“8:30 a.m.

New England Mission

In accordance with an appointment made by President Tanner and Brown, Elder and Sister Boyd K. Packer called during the meeting of the First Presidency in the office in the apartment.

Elder Packer has recently been assigned to preside over the New England Mission, and his wife will accompany him.  They had a nice visit with the First Presidency.

Elder Packer reported that President Truman Madsen of the New England Mission had introduced an Institute class at Harvard University, which eventually included students from about eight or ten schools in the Boston-Cambridge area, and through that class and that contact over two-hundred converts have been made among graduate students.  President Madsen has requested Brother Packer to continue to hold this class which meets every Wednesday morning at 6:30.  Elder Packer said it was a little out of order for Mission Presidents to hold such classes, and inquired if it were the wish of the Presidency that he do this.  Brother Packer explained that these young people are in the graduate school and want someone with a doctorate to teach them.

I gave my approval for Brother Packer to continue this program.

Missionary Work – Supervisory Plan

We discussed at some length the Mission Supervision Plan and the letter I sent to all the Counselors, the Twelve, and Assistants to the Twelve, holding all foreign mission appointments in suspension.

Following the departure of the Brethren, I still did not feel right about the plan.  I feel that the President of the Church should know when visits by the Twelve are made to our foreign missions.  The Brethren asked that I countermand the letter that I sent out on July 7, and sent a letter over with Joseph Anderson which they had prepared to that effect.  However, as I was in conference with Mark Garff when Brother Anderson arrived, I told him to leave the letter with me and that I would give the matter more thought.

Wed., 21 July 1965:

Mission Area Supervision

President Brown brought up again the letter which I sent to the Counselors and General Authorities under date of July 7, 1965, giving instructions that appointments of visits of General Authorities to foreign missions be suspended.  President Brown wanted to know if this ‘suspension’ might be removed as some of the Brethren were ‘in somewhat of a quandary to know what is expected of them.’  President Brown urged that I send a letter lifting the suspension.

I asked a number of questions regarding the program and inquired particularly regarding the Far East Missions, which missions Elder Hinckley has been supervising for a considerable time, and said I think it is advisable to permit others the privilege of visiting the various missions in order that they might be acquainted with the mission areas of the whole Church, rather than just certain areas.

After a lengthy discussion of the program that had been outlined by a committee of the Twelve and approved by the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve regarding the supervision of mission areas by members of the Twelve, the Assistants and members of the First Council of Seventy, I said that the very best way to determine the effectiveness of the plan is to put it into practice.

Note:  Following the meeting I gave this matter further consideration and when my secretary, Clare Middlemiss, came over I dictated a letter to the Brethren, approving of the Mission Supervisory Plan, under certain conditions.  (See Diary of July 22, 1965, for copy of letter sent.)

Thurs., 22 July 1965:

“11:00 a.m.

Mission Supervisory Plan – Letter to General Authorities

President Hugh B. Brown called and said that he would like to come over, so just before he arrived I went over the letter I had dictated to Clare yesterday addressed to the counselors and other General Authorities approving of the Mission Supervisory Plan under three conditions.  I approved of the letters as written and instructed Clare to send them out this afternoon.  

Thursday, July 22, 1965

July 22, 1965

To: President Hugh B. Brown

President Nathan Eldon Tanner

President Joseph Fielding Smith

Members of the Council of the Twelve

Assistants to the Twelve

Dear Brethren:

Please refer to my letter of July 7, 1965, in which you were informed that appointments of visits of General Authorities to all foreign missions were suspended.

After giving the matter prayerful consideration, I am impressed that we may proceed with the Mission Supervisory Plan as outlined under the following conditions:

1)  That the necessity for visiting a foreign mission has been carefully considered by the Missionary Committee and the member of the Twelve who has supervision over the mission area.

2)  That a recommendation for a tour of a foreign mission has been submitted to the First Presidency for consideration and approval.  The President of the Church will then notify the General Authority when he is to visit a foreign mission.

      It is not advisable to have too many of the members of the Twelve away from headquarters at the same time.  The General Authority visiting a mission should make his tour as effective and brief as possible.

3)  After a General Authority completes his tour of a mission, he should make a written

report thereof to the Missionary Committee, a copy of which should be sent to the first Presidency.

May the Lord bless each of you in your responsibility in this great missionary work of the Church that we may move forward unitedly,

Sincerely yours,

David O. McKay


Thurs., 2 Sept. 1965:

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Was engaged in a four-hour meeting of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve in the Sale Lake Temple.

Mission Supervisory Plan

We spent a long time listening to a presentation of a ‘Detail of the Proposed Plan of Mission Supervision’, which had been prepared under the direction of Elder Harold B. Lee and approved by the Twelve.  Elder Lee said that in preparing this statement, they had taken into consideration my instructions on this subject, my recent letters as well as what I had said in the past when the matter of the area supervision was first mentioned.

After the report was given and approved, I told the Brethren of the Twelve, ‘You men must not let it get out of your hands.  You are responsible for the missionary work.’

Wed., 22 Sept. 1965:

“9:00 a.m.

Board of Education – Cameron Report on Education

Elders Harold B. Lee, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Elliott Cameron, Dean of Students at the Brigham Young University, and Lawrence McKay came in.

Missionary Program and the Draft

Elder Gordon B. Hinckley then referred to the discussion in the Council Meeting last Thursday regarding the restrictions that have been imposed upon the missionary program by the draft.  He stated that in order to implement the decisions made that he had prepared a letter to be sent to Presidents of Stakes, Bishops of Wards, Mission and Branch Presidents in the United States over the signatures of the First Presidency, which letter Elder Hinckley read, and was approved by us.  (See copy of letter and newspaper clippings following regarding restriction on number of missionaries to be sent out by the Church.)

Wednesday, September 22, 1965

September 22, 1965


Dear Brethren:

As you have been advised by press reports, draft quotas given Selective Service Boards have been substantially increased during the past few months.

While Selective Service officials recognize the right of the Church to call, ordain, and send out missionaries, and the eligibility of these missionaries for IV-D (ministerial) classifications, they have requested the Church to place restrictions on the number sent.

In harmony with this request, and realizing that this may mean in some instances the denial of an opportunity for missionary service at this time, we are making the following program operative immediately and until further advised, it being understood that when Selective Service requirements ease, the quota for missionary will be lifted.

1.  Effective as of October 1, 1965, each ward and independent branch will be permitted to send one missionary each six months, except for men with certain classifications as noted below.

2.  Ward and branch quotas will be transferrable within the area of the stake.  That is, if a ward or branch does not have a missionary to send within a six months period, it may give its quota, under direction of the stake president, to another ward or branch in the same stake.

3.  No young man who has actually received notice of induction should be recommended for missionary service. 

4.  Men with the following classifications, who are worthy and qualified, may be sent without restriction as to numbers and will not be counted against the quotas: I-D and I-Y (until further advised), IV-A, IV-F, and V-A.

5.  Young men sent from student wards will be counted against the quotas of their home wards.  In each such case the student ward bishop must first determine from the young man’s home ward bishop the availability of a quota before recommending a young man for a mission.

6.  No young man should be recommended for a mission more than 30 days in advance of his 19th birthday.

7.  In those stakes where there may be an unusually large number of young men who normally would be given the opportunity of a mission, but who may be denied under the above program, the matter should be brought to the attention of the Missionary Executive Committee.

8.  In recommending young men, bishops will please furnish all Selective Service data requested on the missionary recommendation form and will also indicate the ward or branch under whose quota the missionary is being sent.

We ask that bishops immediately advise young men of this restricted program so that any who normally would be attending school if unable to go on missions may feel free to register for school.

Sincerely yours brethren,

David O. McKay

Hugh B. Brown

N. Eldon Tanner

The First Presidency”

Tues., 5 Oct. 1965:

“8:30 a.m.

Met with Presidents Brown and Tanner in a First Presidency’s meeting.  Some of the matters discussed were:

Montreal World’s Fair – Limitations to be Set Upon Church Exhibit

A letter was read from the World’s Fair Committee – Harold B. Lee, Delbert L. Stapley, and Richard L. Evans — enclosing correspondence pertaining to the question of the Church’s having an exhibit in the Montreal Fair in 1967.  The correspondence indicated that thus far those in charge of the proposed religious exhibits at the Fair have decided that these religious exhibits would be limited to seven church organizations who would unite in the project to be housed in one auditorium.  The Church’s World Fair Committee indicate in their letter that from information they have received, it would appear that our Church will not be welcomed at the Fair with the kind of exhibit we had in New York; in other words, it would be necessary to meet certain specifications set out by the committee of church representatives which is controlled by Roman Catholics.  President Tanner felt that we should continue to pursue the matter of attempting to have an exhibit separate and apart from the others and in our own building.  He did not think it would be necessary to expend the amount of money that was spent in New York, that we could eliminate the facade, and that we already are more or less prepared to present our story to the world in the manner that it was presented in New York.  He thought that if we were permitted to have an exhibit in the Montreal Fair the cost would not be more than one-third or one-fourth of the New York World’s Fair pavilion.  Mention was made of the fact that Brother Tanner has some influential friends in Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto, and if it were thought desirable he would be pleased to work with the Fair committee and see what can be done in the matter of securing permission for the Church to have its own pavilion at the Fair.

I agreed to this procedure, and said that we would not think of going there unless we could have our own pavilion.

Thurs., 14 Oct. 1965:

“8:15 a.m.

Met with President Nathan Eldon Tanner.  President Brown is en route to visit Missions and Stakes in the South Pacific.  We considered the following:

Temple Square Mission Presidency to be Released

Brother Lee said it was assumed that approval of this recommendation would contemplate the release of Brother Evans and his counselors as the Presidency of the Temple Square Mission, and that in the place of that Presidency these three brethren, Elders Petersen, Evans, and Hinckley, would be the Presidency of the Temple Square Missions, and also have direction of the other Temple missions.  Elder Alvin R. Dyer and Bernard P. Brockbank would do the spade work, and bring to them such plans as might be formulated into a tactical missionary project that would result, it is believed, in thousands of referrals that we have not been getting under our present program.  This, Elder Lee stated, would give the Temple Square Mission and all the missions a fixed relationship to the Twelve.  He stated that under this arrangement when the art pieces are brought from the Church’s exhibit at the New York World’s Fair, we can begin to place them in the new Bureau in such ways that we can have the tourists brought to these specific stations and given the kind of program that is foreseen would be desirable.  Elder Lee suggested that in the absence of Brother Evans, Elder Petersen, who should carry forward with Elders Dyer and Brockbank looking after the missionary work.

I said that the first thing under this arrangement would be to release the Temple Square committee, and Elder Lee moved that if this be in order the present Temple Square committee be released.  Motion seconded and unanimously approved.

In answer to my inquiry as to the members of the Church Information Committee, Elder Hinckley stated that the Committee is comprised of Brother Evans and Brother Hinckley of the Twelve, and that they have working with them Brother Dyer, Arch Madsen, Ted Cannon, Isaac M. Stewart, and James B. Conkling.  He said he did not know that these other Brethren, namely, Arch Madsen, Ted Cannon, Isaac M. Stewart, and James Conkling, had been officially named members of the committee, but that they had been invited to attend the meetings and they represent the various Church Information media.  Elder Hinckley said that it would be his feeling that the Church Information Service ought to include these three members of the Twelve — Elders Petersen, Evans, and Hinckley, as the Executive committee, and that these other Brethren should be brought in as consultants and advisors, with Elders Dyer and Brockbank as supervisors.

On motion, duly seconded, the propositions as submitted were approved.” 

Tues., 11 Jan. 1966:

“Temple Square Mission – Releasing of Mission Presidency

President Tanner reminded me that about a year ago he had suggested that consideration be given to his son, Robert, being appointed President of one of the missions in South America, that I had not then thought the time was right for such an appointment.  President Tanner raised the question again, thinking that perhaps now might be a good time to consider such an appointment.  He said that he felt that Robert and his wife would make a splendid couple to preside over a mission.

I raised a question about the Presidency of the Temple Square Mission.  This matter was considered at some length, and I said that letter had been prepared releasing the members of the Presidency of the Temple Square Mission, but that I have held them on my desk since November, and had not signed them.

President Isaacson stated that Elder Hanks would appreciate being continued in the Presidency of that mission; that he feels that Elder Hanks is especially qualified for that particular work.  President Isaacson felt we should reconsider the decision to reorganize this Presidency.  He suggested that it would seem proper to release Richard L. Evans inasmuch as he will be away so much, and thought that perhaps Bernard P. Brockbank, who has been recommended by the Twelve to serve with Alvin R. Dyer under the supervision of the Church Information Service as Supervisor of the Salt Lake Temple Square Mission and also the other Temple Bureaus of Information, might properly head the Temple Square Presidency with Brother Hanks and Robert R. McKay as his Counselors.

It was decided to confer with Elder Lee and his committee in regard to this matter Friday morning at eight o’clock before taking the matter to the Twelve.

Thurs., 20 Jan. 1966:

“8:30 a.m.

At my request, my secretary Clare came over to the apartment and went over a number of letters and items on my desk.

Dictated the following note to her regarding the Temple Square Mission which I shall present at the meeting of the Council in the Temple today:

‘After considerable thought, have concluded that the Temple Square Mission is of sufficient importance to have a permanent mission, and have concluded to appoint the following:

Marion D. Hanks, President

Robert R. McKay, First Counselor

Second Counselor to be named.   

The supervisors, Richard L. Evans, Alvin R. Dyer, and Bernard P. Brockbank will be maintained as supervisors of all Temple missions throughout the Church.

Temple Square Mission – Supervision of Bureaus of Information

Elder Mark E. Petersen referred to the assignment given sometime ago to the Church Information Service of taking over the responsibility of work with the Bureau of Information in Salt Lake City, and also the Bureaus of Information at the other Temples.  He mentioned that at the time this action was taken, it was suggested that the Temple Square Bureau presidency be dissolved, and the Church Information Service take over the work.

Appointment of Elders Marion D. Hanks and Robert R. McKay

Elder Petersen said that the Committee felt to recommend the appointment as members of the Church Information Service to work on this Bureau of Information problem in all the Bureaus, Elders Marion D. Hanks and Robert R. McKay.  Elder Richard L. Evans who was President of the Temple Square Mission has already been appointed to membership on the Church Information Service.

I raised a question as to whether the Brethren did not consider it of sufficient importance to have three men in charge of the Temple Square Mission, working under the Church Information Service.

Elder Petersen explained that it is proposed to have a director in each of these Bureaus, working under the direction of the Church Information Service.  Elder Petersen said that the thought was that these brethren of the Church Information Service would work in an over-all capacity, and that they would appoint some director with the approval of the First Presidency to service on a limited basis, not for a long time, to take care of immediate problems.

Elder Petersen said that if these two brethren — Elders Marion D. Hanks and Robert R. McKay — could be added to the committee, they could give great help because of the experience they have had.  He mentioned that as members of the committee, Elders Brockbank and Dyer, Assistants to the Twelve, are being used on an over-all basis to supervise all the bureaus and give assistance in many of the phases of the Church Information Service; that it would be the intention to have Brother Hanks and Brother McKay work closely with Elders Dyer and Brockbank, so that between them they would take care of the foot work that needs to be done.  He mentioned that Elders Brockbank and Dyer are given many other assignments as Assistants to the Twelve – touring missions, etc. — and that Elders Hanks and McKay could be of great assistance under the circumstances.  A great deal of their work, he said, would be with the Temple Square in Salt Lake City, but the committee would like to have their advice on the other Bureaus as well.

We then discussed matters pertaining to the Bureau of Information here in Salt Lake City and the exhibits to be used from the World’s Fair.

I asked how the committee would direct these various bureaus of information, and Elder Petersen stated that it would be done by correspondence, and by the brethren as they visit these areas; that the committee would be in close touch with them; that in each bureau there would be a local director, and that the Mission President in the area would be contacting him and working closely with him.

I asked all who were in favor of adding Elders Marion D. Hanks and Robert R. McKay to the Church Information Service Committee to so indicate, and the vote of the Brethren was unanimous in favor of the proposition.”

Wed., 27 Apr. 1966:

“8:00 a.m.

Letters of Call to Mission Presidents, Seminar, Visit to Oriental Missions by Elders Gordon B. Hinckley and Marion D. Hanks

By appointment, Elder Gordon B. Hinckley came in and discussed with me the matter of letters of call to various men who have been asked to preside over missions.  Letters are now sent without indicating the particular field of assignment, and I asked Brother Hinckley to review the history of the decision to do this, and also inquired regarding other matters pertaining to mission supervision.  (See minutes following by Elder Hinckley regarding this.)

Brother Hinckley then asked whether or not he and Elder Marion D. Hanks should plan to visit the Oriental missions at this time.  I told Brother Hinckley that I should like him to talk with me later about the trip to the missions in the Orient, and that I also feel that the First Presidency should take a look at the entire matter of mission supervision.

Tues., 14 June 1966:

Missionary Work – President McKay to be Advised of Serious Troubles of Missionaries

President Tanner reported that one of our young men missionaries laboring in South America it is believed has lost his life in an avalanche.  The report is that he wandered up to the base of a snow deposit, an avalanche occurred about that time, and it is feared he was covered up by it.  It is now eight days since he disappeared and they have not found him.  President Tanner explained that the only way we can keep in communication with that country is by airlines, that there is no telegraphic or telephone communications.

President Tanner mentioned another young man who had left his mission field.  He was found in Sweden in a logging camp trying to get enough money to come home.

In response to President Tanner’s inquiry, I said that I want to be kept advised regarding all our missionaries who leave the mission or have serious troubles.

Fri., 2 Sept. 1966:

“Missionary Farewells, Discontinuance of

President Tanner reported that at the meeting of the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve yesterday in the Temple at which meeting both President Brown and I were absent, the Missionary Executive Committee presented a proposal that we discontinue the holding of missionary farewells and the publicizing of missionary testimonials and appointments, especially for the period of the Vietnam War.  In presenting this matter attention was called to the fact that it is offensive to parents of sons who are going into the military service to read these announcements about missionaries going into the mission field when their sons are going into the war.  It was felt that instead of having missionary farewells the young missionary might speak in one of the Sacrament Meetings and that similar opportunity could be given to young men going into the military service.  This would also mean that there would be no collections of missionary funds at the door, although the Bishop would encourage the people to contribute to the Ward Missionary Fund to help pay the transportation of outgoing missionaries.  It was thought that when boys going into the military participate in our Sacrament meetings the bishop might mention that fact that these young men have a good opportunity while in the service to do missionary work among their associates.  President Tanner said that Elder Hinckley is preparing a letter on this subject for the First Presidency to sign.  (See following copy of letter sent to Stake Presidents, Bishops, etc.)

September 23, 1966

To:  Presidents of Stakes

       Bishops of Wards

       Presidents of Missions

Re:  Discontinuance of Missionary Farewells

Dear Brethren:

Effective immediately we ask that you discontinue any further scheduling of missionary farewells.  Those farewells which already have been scheduled and for which programs have been arranged may be held, but any further scheduling of farewells should be avoided.

We also ask that you discontinue the printing and distribution of programs dealing with missionary departures together with newspaper notices of departing missionaries.

We request that you counsel families against holding receptions for departing missionaries.

The bishop or branch president should invite the departing missionary to speak in one of the sacrament meetings, not as part of a farewell program, but as a sacrament meeting speaker concerning whom no special notice or publicity is given.

The bishop or branch president should accord the same privilege of speaking in sacrament meeting to young men who are going into military service, at which time the bishop or branch president might appropriately call the attention of the departing servicemen and those attending the sacrament meeting to opportunities to teach the gospel by example and precept while in the service.

We recognize that this policy will result in discontinuance of the practice of taking up collections at the door for departing missionaries.  In place of this we encourage the bishop or branch president to urge members to contribute to the ward or branch missionary fund from which missionaries may be assisted with travel and other expenses.  Of course, individuals should be left free to make personal contributions directly to departing missionaries.

It will be appreciated if mission presidents will convey the information concerning this change in procedure to the presidents of branches in their missions.

Sincerely yours,

The First Presidency

David O. McKay

Hugh B. Brown

N. Eldon Tanner

Joseph Fielding Smith”

Tues., 20 Sept. 1966:

Missionary Work – Greetings to Missionaries

President Tanner reported that he had talked to the missionary group in the mission home today, that while doing so he conveyed to the missionaries my greetings; also that in accordance with my suggestion he had reminded them to remember who they are, and he further reminded them that I would be on my knees praying for them every day.  He said that when they realized that when a Prophet of God is on his knees praying for them while they are in the mission field, they should really dedicate themselves to the work and know that the Lord will bless them.  I said that I was glad that President Tanner had done this.  President Tanner said that there were in the group this week 275 missionaries and that during the past four weeks 1,184 have gone out.

Wed., 1 Feb. 1967:

“Did not hold a meeting of the First Presidency.  I have a sore shoulder, having bruised it in a fall.  I have considerable pain when I try to move my arm.

10:00 a.m.

Procedure in Calling Mission Presidents

At my request, Elder Spencer W. Kimball of the Council of the Twelve came in and I discussed with him the procedure I should like followed in calling Mission Presidents.  (see following copy of minutes for details of this meeting.)

Wednesday, February 1, 1967

Minutes of meeting with Elder Spencer W. Kimball, held in the office of President McKay’s apartment in the Hotel Utah, Wednesday, February 1, 1967, at 10:00 a.m.

At my request, Elder Spencer W. Kimball of the Council of the Twelve submitted by letter the names of three brethren who are being considered to preside over missions, giving background information regarding them.  This was done with a view of my interviewing the brethren as to whether or not they would be in a position to preside over a mission.

This morning at 10:00 a.m., I met by appointment Elder Spencer W. Kimball, and discussed with him the matter of my having the preliminary interviews with these brethren, in order to ascertain whether or not they are in a position to accept a mission call.  Brother Kimball explained that the procedure has been for the members of the Twelve to make a survey of prospective mission presidents, and obtain background information concerning them without contacting the individual.  Then upon the recommendation of the Missionary Committee and the Twelve, these prospective mission presidents are called in by the Counselors in the First Presidency, who interview them with respect to their financial condition, their family situation, their willingness to preside over a mission, etc.  Following this, an official letter is written to them calling them to preside over a mission, the name of which is given to them at a later date.

Elder Kimball then explained the reasons for not giving to the prospective mission president the name of the mission for which he is being considered, and the reasons for the advance notice of about six months.

After considering the matter with Elder Kimball, I decided that the following steps are to be used in calling Mission Presidents:

1.  The Council of the Twelve are to make a survey of prospective mission

     presidents and make their recommendations to the First Presidency.

2.  The Counselors in the First Presidency are to interview the prospective mission

     president as to his qualifications, financial condition, family situation, etc.

3.  Before the official call is sent to the Mission President, I should like to meet him, and 

     ‘look him in the eye’.  I should like also to know the name of the mission to which 

     he probably will be called before I talk to him.

4.  Following the above procedure, the official Call, signed by the First Presidency, may 

     be sent.

President David O. McKay

Tues., 7 Feb. 1967:

“Mission Presidents – Proposed Calling of

President Hugh B. Brown called attention to a letter that had been handed to him and Brother Tanner by Spencer W. Kimball, which it was understood was an unsigned letter from me addressed to Brother Kimball setting forth the minutes of a meeting between Brother Kimball and me, in which I outlined the way I should like the calling of Mission Presidents to be handled.  (This was not a letter, but minutes of the meeting held with Brother Kimball.)  In this minute, it states that the procedure that has been adopted in the part regarding the calling of Mission Presidents was explained to me by Elder Kimball.  After considering the matter with me, the following procedure was decided upon; namely, the Council of the Twelve are to make a survey of prospective Mission Presidents and submit their recommendations to the First Presidency; the Counselors in the First Presidency will interview the individual as to qualifications, family conditions, financial conditions, etc.; before the call is sent I should like to meet the prospective Mission President and would also like to know the name of the Mission to which he will be called.  Following this procedure the official call by the First Presidency will be sent.

President Brown explained that this information had come to them from Brother Kimball, but he wanted to obtain personal confirmation thereof from me.  I confirmed the procedure outlined.  (See diary of February 1, 1967, for meeting with Brother Kimball.)

President Brown then stated that there are three men who have been recommended for Mission Presidents, who are now waiting to be interviewed.  He asked if the Counselors should go ahead and take care of these interviews, and I asked that they do so.

Tues., 11 Jul., 1967:

“In Huntsville.

3:00 p.m.

Telephone call from President Hugh B. Brown, who presented the matter of taking missionaries out of Hong Kong because of the conflict that is going on with the Red Chinese moving in and fighting in the streets, making it unsafe for our missionaries.

I told President Brown to get the missionaries out, and have them transferred to other Missions in the Far East where it is safe for them to work.”

Tues., 18 Jun., 1968:

“Held a meeting with my Counselors this morning at 8:45. Present were Presidents Tanner, Smith and Dyer. President Brown is at home indisposed, and President Isaacson still is confined to his home because of a stroke.

The following matters were given attention this morning:

Mission Presidents – Reports To Be Heard Immediately Upon Return: 

President Tanner referred to the large number of mission presidents who should make their reports when they return from presiding over the missions; that sometimes a rather long period of time passes before the report is given which makes the report somewhat obsolete. He suggested than an arrangement be made whereby these mission presidents would make their report very soon after returning home, and thought that if one of the brethren of the First Presidency could meet with one or more members of the Missionary Executive Committee to hear a mission president’s report this would suffice, and that in the event there were as many as three mission presidents making their reports at the same time, this could be arranged if a system of the kind he mentioned were instituted. In cases where mission presidents do not live in this area, it is hoped that they could give their reports when they are going through Salt Lake City on their return home.

We agreed that the reports should be made and heard as soon as possible after the mission presidents return, and that arrangements of the kind suggested would be desirable.

Tues., 20 Aug., 1968:

“9:00 a.m.

Held a First Presidency’s meeting with Presidents Brown, Tanner, Smith and Dyer.

Missionaries – Litigation Regarding Draft Status

It was reported that the parents of a young man who was called into the service by the draft had taken the matter to the courts claiming that there was discrimination because some of our boys get out of the draft by being called as missionaries while others cannot be exempt from the draft. The case is to be tried before Judge Ritter who is antagonistic to the Church. President Tanner said the boy is now classified as IV-D, as he understood it, so that he doesn’t have to go, but that Judge Ritter is determined to act on the case. Certain of the General Authorities will be subpoenaed, one of whom is President Tanner; another is Thomas S. Monson, and there will be others perhaps Gordon B. Hinckley or Spencer W. Kimball. It seems that the Judge wants to embarrass the Church if he can and is basing his action on the ground that there is an agreement between the Selective Service Board and the Church. President Tanner reported this for my information.

Thur., 17 Oct., 1968:

“8:45 a. m. Meeting of the First Presidency in the Hotel Apartment.

President Joseph Fielding Smith absent to attend a meeting of the Twelve in the Temple.

The following were among the items discussed:

Missionary Work – Youth Baptisms in Great Britain

Reference was made to a letter from Elder Spencer W. Kimball, who has just returned from visiting the missions in Great Britain, making suggestions regarding action that should be taken relative to the large number of children in Great Britain who were baptized in 1961-1963 without the proper consent of their parents, and sufficient understanding on the children’s part.

Attention was called to a letter that the First Presidency had written to stake and mission presidents in Great Britain in February 1964 on this same subject, stating that where the parents of the child request that the name be removed from the records, in such cases the bishop, branch president or mission president should see that every reasonable endeavor is made first to convert the parents; second, to fellowship the child; third, to satisfy the child that his membership in the Church will be a blessing to him if he will participate in the activities; that every reasonable effort should be made to try to fellowship these young people and convert their parents. Elder Kimball has prepared a draft letter for the signature of the First Presidency addressed to the stake and mission presidents in the British Isles suggesting a course to be followed; namely, that each district president personally contact 25 or more of these young people, and that each member of the high council and district council do the same, thus distributing the burden on many leaders.

President Dyer questioned the advisability of adopting this course, stating that it would be a very difficult assignment, if not almost impossible, for a high councilman or a district councilman to make investigation regarding 25 persons and give each case the attention that it should have. He thought the assignment should be made on an individual basis. President Brown suggested that we assign this project to Elder Kimball to follow through on it and not involve the First Presidency in another directive letter. It was thought that in his letter Brother Kimball could say that the First Presidency has authorized him to follow the matter through. President Dyer suggested that a note be given to Brother Kimball advising against the wholesale processing of these young people.

Tues., 5 Nov., 1968:

“8:45 a.m.  Held a meeting of the First Presidency.  Those present were:  Presidents Hugh B. Brown, N. Eldon Tanner, Joseph Fielding Smith and Alvin R. Dyer.

Some of the items discussed were:

“(Minutes of Meeting of the First Presidency)

VISITORS CENTERS — Cost and Effectiveness of Discussed

President Dyer said that he had been thinking regarding the vast expansion of our visitors centers programs, He thought that someone should make a sulvey as to the effectiveness of our programs upon the non-members who come to these visitors centers to whom we present our messages. He mentioned that our convert baptisms have sort of leveled down and yet we are having millions of people coming to these visitors centers. Referral cards are sent to the mission presidents and the missionaries call on the people. He said we have had conflicting reports as to the effectiveness of this. He mentioned the large investments that are being made in these centers and felt that some investigation should be made as to how effective these centers really are and how we can improve the service at the centers. He said that one mission president had reported that his missionaries had followed through on 500 referrals and it took so much time to do this that he thought perhaps if they spent the same time in street missionary work they would have obtained more converts.

President Tanner said that some time he would like to present to the Church Information Service some ideas that he has on communication.  He felt that the whole problem of communication in our Church should be considered and the thought that the matters referred to President Dyer should be correlated with the Missionary Committee.  He said to put it in a sentence or two, he thought the whole Church program of communication, giving out information, publicity, radio and television, news press, etc., everything, should be channeled in such a way as to do the best job possible and so that everyone would be supporting one another.

Visual Presentations

President Dyer mentioned that there is some talk about a Church controlled agency to develop visual presentations. He said that Elder Brockbank had told him that the material that was exhibited at the HemisFair at San Antonio cost us $50,000 and that that same material could have been placed there for about half that amount. President Dyer rnentioned that we are paying the advertising people a lot of money for these materials. He mentioned also that he has been asked to attend a meeting tomorrow morning to discuss an expansion of the visitors center at Independence, Missouri. He said the Evans Advertising Agency want to expand the basement to double or triple the originally proposed size and that they continue to make changes, thus adding additional expense. He said at the present time they are talking about spending an additional $75,000 on this proposed expansion which he did not think we need. They wish to make this expansion in order to enlarge the showing of visual aids. He said that Brother Garff had told him yesterday that they had changed the building three tirnes. President Dyer said that he would like to tell them to leave the building as it is and not change it but go forward with the work. He thought it would be a desirable thing to ascertain just the amount of money we are spending for visual aids, and he wondered if they were accomplishing as much good as we had hoped. President Dyer suggested that a chart might be prepared to show the number of non-members who have attended the visitors centers in the last few years, the number of converts, and the costs. He did not have any thought of discontinuing these visitors centers but he did think the Missionary Committee and those in charge of the visitors centers should be a little more conscious of this angle so that adjustments can be made to accomplish greater good. Mention was made of the fact that we cannot, of course, actually evaluate what the centers are doing over a long period of time, that we can only determine what the immediate results are.

The brethren agreed that President Dyer should do as he indicated in regard to the Independence center, that is, tell them to go forward with the plans that had been approved. President Dyer was asked to make a study of these matters and bring back a report to the Presidency. It was also thought that we should look into the question of what we are paying the advertising agency and what we are getting from them. President Dyer said that he could bring back a simple report to begin with but he thought that eventually it should go into the hands of Correlation and if we could provide them with some vital statistics as to the cost, the number of referrals and the effect of these referrals, this would be helpful. He did not think it would be difficult to get that, that we could then determine where to go from there. President Dyer will make this preliminary investigation and then discuss the matter with President Tanner and make such further study as may be determined upon and bring back their joint report.

Minutes by Joseph Anderson.”

Sat., 23 Nov., 1968:

“No special appointment.

World’s Fair To Be Held In Japan — Church To Have Exposition For This 1970 Event

Announcement made in the Church Section of the Deseret News this evening that the Church will construct an exposition building for the 1970 Japanese World Exposition.

Contract for the Exposition space was signed in Japan recently by Exposition officials and Elder Walter R. Bills, President of the Japan Mission.

Plans for the building and exhibits will be under the direction of the Church Information Committee of which Elders Mark E. Petersen, Richard L. Evans, and Gordon B. Hinckley of the Council of the Twelve are the Executive Committee, aided by Elder Ezra Taft Benson who is Supervisor of the Missions in the Orient.

Emil B. Fetzer, Church Building Department, is the architect.

(See newspaper clippings following)

Letter from Elder Ezra Taft Benson — Re: Tabernacle Choirts Singing at the Japanese World’s Fair

Received a letter under date of December 16, 1968 from Elder Ezra Taft Benson reporting his latest trip to Tokyo, Japan, and that while there he was a guest at luncheon of the World’s Fair officials of Exposition 1970. Later, he received a telephone call from the western representative of the Japanese Airlines stating that he had been informed that a formal invitation will be forthcoming for the Tabernacle Choir to visit Expo 70 in Osaka, Japan where we now have an exhibit under construction.

Elder Benson expressed the hope that the Choir would be able to give concerts also in Tokyo, Taipei, Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok, and other appropriate cities in Asia.

This matter will be decided later.

(See copy of letter and newspaper clippings which follow. )”

Wed., 5 Mar, 1969:

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

Among the matters discussed were the following:

Philadelphia – 1976 Bi-Centennial Celebration

Attention was called to a letter from Elder Mark E. Petersen enclosing one from the presidency of the Philadelphia Stake relative to the Philadelphia 1976 Bi-Centennial celebration. The stake presidency’s letter suggests that we may wish to secure a suitable location for a Church exhibit in Philadelphia on that occasion. They report that visitors to the area of Independence Hall in the 1970’s will probably number from eighty to one hundred twenty

million, and mention the need of getting busy right away to obtain a proper location if we desire to participate. It was decided to ask the Church Information Committee, of which Elder Petersen is chairman, carefully to look into the situation and bring back their report and recommendation. The brethren questioned the need of making a decision this early.

Thur., 19 Jun, 1969:

“9:30 a. m. Meeting of the First Presidency in the President’s Hotel Apartment. Present were Presidents Hugh B. Brown and Alvin R. Dyer.

Among other missionary matters the following matter was discussed:

Missionary Training Lessons

President Brown mentioned the mission presidents seminar that is to be held next week at which instructions will be given to the new mission presidents. He referred to the fact that the missionary training program is uniform throughout the Church and consists of a number of lessons. He said that in some cases these may be applicable but in others not so effective. He thought it would be desirable to meet with the Missionary Committee and go over this series of lessons with them and try to get them to bring them up to date and make them current. He said that each missionary is supposed to memorize these lessons. He wondered what I would think if President Tanner, President Smith, President Dyer and he were to sit down with the Missionary Executive Committee and discuss this matter frankly with them before the seminar, and decide what is the best

method of presenting the gospel. President Brown mentioned that while on his recent trip to Canada and elsewhere he met with a number of missionaries and learned that they are somewhat confused in regard to this question and answer method that we are now using. President Brown said that his own feeling is that the missionary should be guided by the spirit and not keep his eyes fixed upon some document. He mentioned that when Henry Moyle was in the Presidency he had charge of the missionary work, and that previous to that time one of the First Presidency had directed this work.

President Dyer said he thought it was right that the Presidency should be closer to the missionary work. He said that when he was set apart the President had said that he was to continue his interest in missionary work, but that he had had nothing to do with it.

I agreed with the suggestion that the counselors confer with the Missionary Committee about these matters.”

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.

July 30, 1969

Sister Chair Middlemiss

47 East South Temple

Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear Sister Middlemiss:

Just a short note from the land of England where Sister Johnson and I have the privilege of serving in the Central British Mission.  

I recall the beautiful scrapbooks of the many years of service of President McKay and knowing that you are so well acquainted with the things that have transpired I am writing asking if you could let me know when President McKay issued the challenge to the Missionaries of the Church in setting of a quota or goal for each missionary. I have heard that he set a quota of one convert baptism per missionury per month. If this were so I surely would appreciate if if you could let me know the time and place that the statement was made.

The work is certainly wonderful here in Great Britain and my family are very thrilled to be here.

Thanking you again for the many kindnesses and courtesies that you have shown us.


Clifton I. Johnson

Mission President”

“August 12, 1994 [? – Check date]

President Clifton I. Johnson

Central British Mission


185, Penns Lane

Walmley, Sutton Coldfield

Warwickshire, England

Dear President Johnson:

As I am recuperating from open-heart surgery, I have not been able until now to look up the information you asked for in your letter of July 30, 1969. Even now, I am unable to find any record where President McKay ever set a quota “or goal” for missionaries in gaining convert baptisms. However, he very definitely issued the challenge “every member a missionary” when he was president of the European Mission during the years 1922-24, and has constantly stressed this for many years. He has re-issued the challenge on a number of occasions in various talks since becoming President of the Church.

It could be that the idea regarding a missionary quota sprang from some former mission presidents, especially in Great Britain, who have asked their missionaries to baptize a certain number of converts by the time of President McKay’s birthday. Then a letter would be sent giving President McKay the number of new members the missionaries had brought into the Church in honor of his birthday. However, confidentially, the President did not favor this method of gaining converts to the Church.

Thinking it would be of interest to you, I am enclosing an excerpt from a talk I gave concerning President McKay’s life, which includes the incident when President McKay first challenged every member to be a missionary. These incidents are recorded in the following issues of the Millennial Star: August 1961 (pages 361, 374), October 1961 (page 469), November 1953 (page 241).

My best wishes to you and Sister Johnson:

Sincerely yours,

Clare Middlemiss

Secretary to President David O. McKay”

Tues., Sept. 2, 1969:

“Minutes of the Meeting of the First Presidency

Held Tuesday, September 2, 1969, at 9:00 A.M., in the First Presidency’s Office

Present:  Presidents Hugh B. Brown, N. Eldon Tanner, Joseph Fielding Smith and Alvin R. Dyer

Expenditures for Visitors Centers

President Tanner suggested that expenditures for visitors centers should be kept under control, that while they have a budget they should not spend money for any capital expenditures without making requisition from the Expenditures Committee in advance, and obtain their approval.  This would include any remodeling, purchase of equipment, etc.  The brethren agreed with this suggestion and a letter will be sent to Elder Petersen so informing him.

Report of Visitors Centers

President Dyer referred to an assignment that had been given him to obtain an accumulative report of visitors centers for a nine month period and to get a report from Brother Spencer W. Kimball of the effectivenes of the referral responses from the visitors centers.  He said he had not been able to get this as yet but that Brother Winder of the Missionary Department had reported that they would get this to us as soon as they could.  He said from the information available it appears that we get a higher percentage of referrals from the small visitors centers than we do from the large ones, that the referrals from Temple Square are only about 14% whereas in the smaller centers like Liberty, Carthage, Oakland Temple, etc., the referrals are 27%.

Fri., Sept. 5, 1969:

“Minutes of the Meeting of the First Presidency

Held Friday, September 5, 1969, at 9:20 A.M., in the First Presidency’s Office

Present:  Presidents N. Eldon Tanner, Joseph Fielding Smith and Alvin R. Dyer

New Mission in the Far East

President Tanner reported that Carlos Smith and his wife will be ready to leave somewhere around October 20th to take over the presidency of the new mission in the Far East.  President Tanner said that Brother Smith had concurred in the proposed announcement of the change in the superintendency of the YMMIA next week.