This week in Church history

50 years ago

People inside and outside the Church paid tribute to President David O. McKay on his 80th birthday, Sept. 8, 1953, according to the Sept. 12, 1953, Church News.

A birthday luncheon hosted at Hotel Utah by the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce and the Salt Lake Rotary Club "became a community affair as the proceedings were televised," the article stated.

During the luncheon, the article reported, community leader John M. Wallace paid tribute saying: "President McKay's life has been a great power and influence in directing thousands of men and women into lives of active leadership in the realm of religion."

Responding, President McKay recalled all the groups he had associated with over the years in education, community and the Church. The article quoted him: "What is it that links the soul at fourscore to the past? It is not the accumulation of wealth. It is not the beauties of nature. It is the spirit of friendship, of brotherhood and good will that permeated these groups. This is truly one of the soul's eternal possessions."

President McKay also received greetings in a family gathering and from employees in the Church offices. Young Men and Young Women leaders presented him with a leather-bound book of excerpts from his discourses published by the Improvement Era, the article stated.

The article noted that President McKay's birthday cake "was decorated with a replica, in frosting, of his father's birthplace in Thurso, Scotland.

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