From the Life of President David O. McKay


The Faith of His Parents

Adapted from Susan Arrington Madsen, The Lord Needed a Prophet (1990), 140, 143; and Joy N. Hulme, The Illustrated Story of President David O. McKay (1982), 8–9, 12–16, 29.

When David O. McKay was a young boy, his two older sisters died of illnesses within a week of each other.

Mother: I don’t know why Margaret and Ellena died, but we can trust in the Lord’s will and remember that we will see them again.

Not long after this trial of their faith, David’s father was called on a mission to Scotland, the land where he was born.

Father: I can’t go on a mission now! The girls aren’t here to help you, and a new baby is coming. I’ll ask to have the call postponed.

Mother: It is the Lord’s will for you to go on a mission right now, and I trust Him. David and I will manage just fine.

While his father served a mission, seven-year-old David was “the man of the house.” He milked cows, fed livestock, and did household chores.

When David’s younger sister Annie was born, she brought joy to the whole family.

David: She’s so pretty, Mother! Father will be proud.

When David’s father returned home two years later, he was overjoyed to see his family and his new daughter. He was amazed to see that a new addition had also been built onto the house.

Father: Children, your mother is a miracle. Look at what she has accomplished while I’ve been gone.

Mother: The Lord has watched over us.

As a young man, David also received a mission call to the British Isles. Remembering the faith of his parents, he accepted the call. He walked some of the same paths as his father and met some of the same people his father had served years before.