Moments With The Prophets: The Mission Call


Relaxed in their shirtsleeves on a warm spring day in 1897, the McKay brothers, David O. and Thomas E., sat at a table in their rented cottage, reading their mail.

For David O., this was a time of triumphant climax in his college career and of great expectations for a new world to conquer. His hopes and spirits were high.

After three years in the university’s normal school, he felt ready to resume his chosen career as a teacher, a career he had interrupted to complete his own schooling. Before coming to the university, he had graduated from the Weber Stake Academy in Ogden, Utah, and had returned to his beloved Huntsville, as principal and teacher in the town’s little school.

A year of teaching whetted his appetite for more training, and he again became a student, enrolling at the university. In those three years of college, he displayed qualities that would help carry him to the pinnacle of leadership in the Church.

He was elected president of his class and played on the university’s football team.

A highly prized employment opportunity had been offered him in Salt Lake County, through the recommendation of the university’s teacher training director.

Most important of all, he had found the most wonderful girl in the world, Emma Ray Riggs, and she was willing to become Mrs. McKay. The future, indeed, seemed full of promise for David O. McKay.

Then he read the letter. In a moment, all his hopes seemed dashed. He was called to serve for two years in the British Mission. Swallowing disappointment, he accepted the call. It proved to be a marvelous time of spiritual growth.

He never regretted his decision. Teaching opportunities and Emma Ray awaited him on his return.