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David O. McKay Diaries – “Wisdom”

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

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Wed., 7 Dec., 1949:

“10:45–Met at his request Dr. D. E. Smith who called to present the case of a young man by the name of Dean Chase  who has asked to be excommunicated from the Church.  It is felt that Bro. Chase is ‘mixed-up’ having just returned from the Nuremburg trials in Germany and has become embittered.  I called Bp. Douglas Smith of the South Edgehill Ward (the ward in which Bro. Chase lives) and asked him about this case.  Bishop Smith said they are preparing now to send out summons to Bro. Chse to appear at a Bishop’s Court next Wednesday night.  Said that he had written a letter to Pres. Smith, and that Bro. Robinson of the Edgehill Ward (who used to be Bro. Chase’s Bishop) referred the matter to him as the ward had since been divided.  Bishop Smith said he had talked with Bro. Chse three times, trying to get him to change his mind.  Said he thought Bro. Chase is not qualified to make the step.  He is only 21; that he is embittered over the trials that went on in Germany.  The Bishop said Bro. Chase had sent him postcards and very definitely asks for excommunication.

I told Bishop Smith that I thought he would be justified in postponing action.  The Bishop said he would be very happy to do that.  I said that it is probable that Bro. Chase is just floundering; that we have had some of these young fellows before; that a little learning is a dangerous thing, and these young men think because they have a little knowledge they know everything. The Bishop said he had talked to the parents and together they have done everything to get him to see differently.  I said, ‘Well, let’s wait awahile, and in a month or so you might call me.'”

Mon., 25 May, 1953:

“9 a.m.  Consulted Miss Shirley Nielsen who sought advice regarding her marriage to Sid Nebeker, a returned missionary, and a splendid young man.  I talked with Miss Nielsen regarding her past life, and the obligation she will have to be true to Brother Nebeker.  She then asked the question, ‘Should I marry him?’  I answered that only she and Brother Nebeker could decide that question.

Mon., 31 Aug., 1953:

“At 7:30 this morning, Mr. Gus Backman and Mr. A.N. Johnson (retired businessman) called at the office.  (Just before I left for Europe Brother Backman had recommended Brother Johnson as one who would make a good commissioner for the city).

Since then two or three people have approached Mr. Johnson about this matter but he has refused saying that he is now retired and is going to have a rest.  It was reported to me that he just would not accept the job, and I promised that I would talk to him.  Since returning home I have tried several times to reach him, but he was out of town.  Saturday night I finally reached him and asked him to come in at 7:30 this morning.

I was delighted with Brother Johnson’s attitude.  When I talked to him about the matter, he said:  ‘If it is church call, I will accept, but my wife and I have planned to do some travelling – we should like to go back to the old country, etc.’

I suggested that he go on his trip, and later, after the ‘travel bug’ was out of his system for him to come in and talk to me again.

Brother Johnson went away happy, saying that he was glad for my ‘consideration and discernment.’

Fri., 4 Mar., 1955:

“The folks called until 10 o’clock.  Just as I was turning out the lights before retiring, the door bell rang.  A man by the name of Thomas stood at the door and said he had come for advice relative to some insurance venture in which he is interested.  Said he had been to see Harold B. Lee who referred him to Brother Sill.  However, his mother felt that he should see the President of the Church and get his advice.  

I told him in answer to his questions that in this matter he would have to decide for himself; that he should pray about it and then follow the impressions he receives.”

Wed., 20 Feb., 1957:

Telephone Calls

2.  Gary Singleton, 396 West Third South, Provo, Utah (Tele. F R 3-1466) called by telephone.  He said that he is engaged to Bishop Walter Trauffer’s daughter.  She plans to accompany her parents to Switzerland where Bishop Trauffer will act as President of the Swiss Temple.  They will leave about the first of April.  Brother Singleton would like an appointment with President McKay to discuss what he should do about his marriage, etc.  Bro. Singleton would like to know if he should let his fiance go to Switzerland and then go over there next Fall, marry her, and bring her back to the United States.  (cm)

President McKay directed the secretary to call Brother Singleton and tell him that he should take this matter up with his fiance, her parents, and his own parents – that they should decide this important matter.

Wed., 20 Mar., 1957:

“12 noon to 12:50 p.m.  Conference with Clarence Wonnacott who came in to report that he has received an offer of a position at a Hospital near Chicago at a greatly increased salary to what the Church is paying him as Superintendent of the LDS Hospital.

I really think he came in for me to tell him not to take this position, but I did not.  I told him that this is a decision that Sister Wonnacott and he must decide for themselves.

I also said if he did accept the position, he should be active in the Church back there, and cited my own granddaughter and her husband as an example (Midean McKay and Howard Anderson), who moved from Texas to Chicago, and who immediately upon arrival in Chicago got in touch with Church members, became active, and as a result in a very short time made many friends and were happy.  This is also an example of the advantages of being a member of this Church.