From the Life of President David O. McKay


A Young Apostle

Adapted from David Lawrence McKay, My Father, David O. McKay (1989), 38–40.

During general conference in 1906, David took his wife and two young sons to visit cousins in Salt Lake City. Between sessions they sat down to lunch.

Cousin: David, there’s an urgent phone call for you.

David: I’ve been summoned to the Office of the First Presidency.

David met Elder George Albert Smith, an Apostle, on Temple Square. Elder Smith escorted him to the office of the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. As they walked David thought about how he had performed his stake calling in the Sunday School.

David: I wonder if I’ll be called to the Church Board of Education.

President Francis M. Lyman invited David to sit down. What he said next left David speechless.

President Lyman: So you’re David O. McKay. Well, the Lord wants you to be an Apostle … What’s the matter? Haven’t you anything to say?

David: I’m not worthy of such a call!

President Lyman: Not worthy? Not worthy?! What have you been doing?

David: Nothing of which I’m ashamed.

President Lyman:Then do you have faith that the Lord will make you able to fulfill this calling?

On the way back to his relatives’ apartment, David saw his father.

Father: So, Son, were you called to the Church Board of Education?

David: I’ve been asked not to say anything about my new calling yet.

David and his wife, Emma Ray, attended the afternoon session of conference together. Right before the session ended, a special announcement was made. Emma Ray burst into tears from surprise and joy when David’s name was read. At only 32 years old, David O. McKay was sustained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.