Pres. McKay: ‘A great spiritual leader’

As prophet and president of the Church, David O. McKay cuts an impressive figure. Many people were impressed by the prophet with the shock of white hair and a spirit of love extended to members and non-members around the world.

"A stately figure well over six feet tall and apparently muscular – at any rate enough to be ultra forceful; a well-blocked face, handsomely engraved . . . ; eyes fiercely tender, hardening and softening in rhythmic harmony to the beautiful thoughts that flow from a strong, expressive mouth; straight lips – the melting point of character – gave him an expression . . . that was wonderful," recorded Wayne Rogers during a New York Stake quarterly conference."Here is a man whose every feature, every line, and every expression mirror a life of kindness, a life of devotion, a life of understanding, of service, and of sympathy . . . ," Rogers continued.

"He is a man that, in full maturity, has retained the sweet, sincere simplicity of a child and has combined it with his superior intellect and mellowness of experience to stand forth as a great spiritual leader." (Emerson West, Profiles of the Presidents.)

Also in Profiles of the Presidents, Elder Richard L. Evans of the Council of the Twelve recorded his impression of the ninth president of the Church.

"May we retouch this portrait with a few points of personal impression – the point of his presence in his office in the very early morning hours, and on almost any day long after conventional closing time; his delightful laugh and his quick and keen and always kindly humor; his reading of a bit of "Bobby" Burns, or the telling of a Scotch story in the dialect of his father's father; his steady and appraising gaze, and the light in his eyes and the changes in his ever-expressive face; the broad shoulders and the long, firm stride as he purposefully walks from place to place; the wonderful head of silvered hair; his encouragement, his confidence, and his consideration; and his faith and his firmness. (West, Profiles of the Presidents.)


Articles on this page may be used in conjunction with the gospel doctrine course of study.

Information compiled by Kellene Ricks and Elayne Wells.

Sources: Profiles of the Presidents, by Emerson R. West; The Presidents of the Church, by Preston Nibley; Essentials in Church History, by Joseph Fielding Smith; and The Presidents of the Church, Biographical Essays.