Mormon Pacific Historical Society



David O. McKay, Mormon leaders, world travel


When David O. McKay was called to be Church Commissioner of Education, President Heber J. Grant told him that part of his responsibility would include a worldwide tour of all the Church missions and schools, with the objective being "to obtain firsthand information regarding Church members throughout the world." On December 2, 1920, two days before David O. McKay left, he was set apart in the Salt Lake Temple. All the Quorum of the Twelve and First Presidency laid their hands upon his head and comforting promises were made. President Grant told him that this mission had been given "under the inspiration of the Spirit of the Lord." He was promised he would have "every gift and grace and every qualification necessary for [him] to possess in order to fully magnify this calling." He was blessed with "power over disease, not only in [his] own person, but with power so that when [he laid his] hands upon the sick and the afflicted ... where [he would be] requested to administer to the sick, the healing power of the Almighty God [would] follow [that] administration." In addition, he was blessed with great wisdom, a retentive memory, and the capacity and ability to comprehend and understand the needs of the various missions he would visit, so that from time to time as he met with his brethren, he would "be able to give them valuable information" that would "be of great benefit in shaping the affairs of the missions throughout the world." He was comforted that he would be "warned of danger ... and be given wisdom and inspiration from God to avoid all the snares and pitfalls" that would be laid at his feet by "wicked and designing men." More than a year later when David O. McKay would return from his world tour he realized every one of these promises had been fulfilled.