Historical Summary

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay, (2011), x–xii


This book is not a history, but rather a compilation of gospel principles as taught by President David O. McKay. However, in order to put his teachings in a historical framework, the following chronology is provided. This summary omits some important events in his personal life, such as the births of his children and grandchildren.

1873, September 8:

Born in Huntsville, Utah, to David McKay and Jennette Evans McKay.

1881:

David McKay leaves on a mission to the British Isles. David O. and his mother assume responsibility for the farm and family (7; numbers in parentheses show David O. McKay’s age).

1887:

Receives patriarchal blessing from John Smith (13).

1889:

Sustained as secretary of the Huntsville Ward Sunday School (15).

1893–94:

Serves as a teacher and principal at the Huntsville grade school; sustained as a Sunday School teacher in the Huntsville Ward (19–20).

1894–97:

Attends the University of Utah and graduates as valedictorian (20–23).

1897–99:

Fulfills a two-year mission to Great Britain. In addition to his proselyting duties, serves as a leader of all the missionaries in Scotland (23–25).

1899–1900:

Teaches at Weber Stake Academy in Ogden, Utah (25–26).

1900:

Appointed to Weber Stake Sunday School Board (27).

1901, January 2:

Marries Emma Ray Riggs in the Salt Lake Temple (27).

1902:

Appointed as principal of the Weber Stake Academy (28).

1906:

Ordained an Apostle by President Joseph F. Smith (32).

1914–18:

World War I is fought (40–44).

1918:

Appointed general superintendent of the Deseret Sunday School Union. Publishes Ancient Apostles (45).

1919–21:

Serves as Church commissioner of education (45–47).

1920, December:

On an assignment from the First Presidency, leaves on a one-year tour with Elder Hugh J. Cannon to visit Church missions around the world (47).

1922–24:

Serves as president of the European Mission (49–51).

1934:

Sustained and set apart as second counselor to President Heber J. Grant (61).

1939–45:

World War II is fought (65–71).

1945:

Sustained and set apart as second counselor to President George Albert Smith (71).

1950:

Sustained and set apart as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (77).

1951, April 9:

Sustained and set apart as the ninth President of the Church, with Stephen L Richards as first counselor and J. Reuben Clark Jr. as second counselor. At this time, the Church had approximately one million members (77).

1952, June:

Leaves on nine-week tour of Europe, during which time he visits Church members in nine countries (78).

1953:

Receives the Boy Scouts’ highest honor, the Silver Buffalo (79).

1954:

Begins 32,000-mile mission tour; first Church President to visit Central American and South American missions; first General Authority to visit the South African mission (80).

1955, August:

Visits Europe with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (81).

1955, September:

Dedicates the Bern Switzerland Temple (82).

1956, March:

Dedicates the Los Angeles California Temple (82).

1956, October:

Dedicates the Relief Society Building (83).

1958, April:

Dedicates the Hamilton New Zealand Temple (84).

1958, September:

Dedicates the London England Temple (85).

1964, November:

Dedicates the Oakland California Temple (91).

1970, January 18:

At age 96, dies in Salt Lake City, Utah. By the end of his administration, Church membership had reached approximately three million.