From the Life of President David O. McKay


Beloved Teacher

Adapted from David Lawrence McKay, My Father, David O. McKay (1989), 36, 41, 52–55.

As a young Apostle, Elder David O. McKay was also the busy principal of Weber Academy. He worked hard to raise money to build a larger school, taught literature classes, sponsored plays, oversaw the student government, and started the first track and baseball teams.

David: Go, Weber!

He even started a music program.

Man: Mr. McKay, I was walking on the street and heard music through the open window. You really need a new band leader.

David: And you’re just the man to do it. You’re hired!

Elder McKay had little free time. He traveled from Ogden to Salt Lake City for Church meetings after work at least weekly, often nearly missing the train. Sometimes he leaped onto the caboose just in time. He once called to one of the boys in the school who was riding by.

David: Can you give me a ride to the train station?

Boy: Sure, Mr. McKay!

When Elder McKay’s busy calling made it necessary for him to retire, he worried because all the money had not yet been raised for a larger building. Then, on his last day of school, he was suddenly called to a meeting in Salt Lake City.

Student: Mr. McKay, we bought you these books by Charles Dickens as a farewell present.

David: This means so much to me. I’m sorry I can’t be here for the last day.

That night when he returned home to attend a reception for school board members, he was surprised to find 300 students and other friends gathered in the study hall.

Student: Surprise! We’re happy to announce that the rest of the money for a larger school building has been donated. Here are checks and letters from some of your friends.

Student: To Elder David O. McKay, a man we love, admire, and respect!