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The Personal Correspondence of David Oman McKay to Emma Ray McKay
Edited by Mary Jane Woodger
"12 June 1906
Love feeds and grows on love, and while it grows, it increases the capacity of the soul for loving. So our love was perfect when I kissed you at the altar; it is perfect to-day; it will be perfect when the century strikes "half-past;" it will be perfect eternally."
—from the book
David O. McKay served as president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1951 until his death in 1970. A devout and devoted leader, he was no less devoted to his beloved wife, Emma Ray McKay. In this collection of letters from the David Oman McKay Papers at the J. Willard Marriott Library of the University of Utah, McKay’s courtship of Emma Ray Riggs and the early days of the couple’s marriage are revealed in his own words.
The McKays were married in the Salt Lake Latter-day Saints Temple on January 2, 1901, the first “sealing” of the twentieth century. They became known as the church’s happiest couple. One of the things that cultivated that happiness were the poems and expressions of endearment McKay presented his wife, offerings he referred to as "heart petals". The letters collected here are replete with touching examples of those gifts of love.
Throughout this correspondence, McKay reveals his innermost feelings, joys, heartaches, and determinations, imparting a wealth of insights into his personal, caring nature and documenting his growth from a young, inexperienced missionary to a mature leader within the LDS Church. But most striking of all in these letters is the blossoming of a true, devoted love that lasted over seventy years.
Mary Jane Woodger is associate professor of church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University.
Table of Contents:
David Oman McKay Chronology
Praise and Reviews:
"This work makes a significant contribution in that it allows readers to see the intimate side of a Mormon leader’s relationship with his wife—and it serves as a model for the reader."
—Richard D. Draper, associate dean of religious education at Brigham Young University