From the Life of President David O. McKay


A Gift of Music

Adapted from David Lawrence McKay, My Father, David O. McKay (1989), 182–83.

The McKay family loved music and learned to play instruments. President McKay’s son Lawrence played the violin beautifully.

President McKay: What a beautiful song.

Years later, when Lawrence became a husband and a father, he sold the violin to help make ends meet.

Lawrence: Mildred and I need the money, Father, but how I hated to give up my violin! Playing it often comforted me when I was far from home.

President McKay didn’t hesitate to solve the problem.

President McKay: I understand my son recently sold you this violin. I’m here to buy it back—I prize it too greatly to let it leave our family.

President McKay composed a poem about how much he valued his son’s musical talent and the memories they had made playing music together. A few months later, he put the violin and poem in the mail.

Lawrence: Look, Mildred, a package from my father. What do you think it is?

When Lawrence recognized his beloved violin, tears streamed down his face. He played all of his favorite songs late into the night and vowed never to part with his father’s precious gift again.