From the Life of President David O. McKay


A Well-Educated Man

Adapted from Susan Arrington Madsen, The Lord Needed a Prophet (1990), 140–41, 143; and Joy N. Hulme, The Illustrated Story of President David O. McKay (1982), 17, 24.

As a young man, David O. McKay took a summer job delivering newspapers to a mining town. He made friends with the miners, and they were always glad to see him.

Miner: Here comes David with our newspapers!

David: Good afternoon, gentlemen.

The trip took five hours each way. This gave David plenty of time to read books, memorize quotations, and learn from the scriptures. He loved learning! Sometimes he stopped to pray about gaining a testimony.

Years later, he and his brother and two sisters packed a wagon full of vegetables, bottled fruit, flour, pots and pans, and clothing and moved to Salt Lake City to attend the University of Utah.

Mother: Good luck! We’re so proud of you all.

David: Thank you, Mother. We’ll write often.

David made time for both studying and having fun. He joined the university’s first football team.

Coach: Nice play, McKay!

He ran for class president.

Student: Congratulations, David! You won the election.

And when he graduated, he was the valedictorian—an award given to the person with the highest grades.

School president: Congratulations, David. You’ve worked hard.

David: Thank you.

David never stopped learning. When he was President of the Church, some of his sermons included quotes he had memorized long before while riding his horse.