On 9 April 1951, at the age of 77, after having served for 45 years as an Apostle, David Oman McKay became the ninth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with Stephen L Richards and J. Reuben Clark Jr. as counselors.  During the nearly 20 years he served as President, he was revered by Church members and many others worldwide as a prophet of God. As he urged Church members to develop Christlike character and to share the gospel through both teaching and example, the Church experienced rapid growth throughout the world. In addition to his teachings, his physical appearance made a powerful impression. Upon meeting him, many people commented that he not only spoke and acted like a prophet, but that he looked like one. Even in his later years, he had a tall, impressive physique and thick, wavy white hair. His countenance radiated the righteous life that he led.

After serving as the Lord’s prophet for almost 20 years, President David O. McKay passed away on 18 January 1970 in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife, Emma Ray, and five of his children at his bedside. In a tribute to him, President Harold B. Lee stated that he had “left the world richer and heaven more glorious by the rich treasures he has brought to each.” Of David O. McKay’s legacy, his successor, President Joseph Fielding Smith, declared: “He was a man of great spiritual strength, a natural-born leader of men, and a man beloved by his people and honored by the world. For all time to come men shall rise up and call his name blessed.

In the testimony above where at times I hear President Hinckley’s voice, President McKay says, “No one can preside over this Church without first being in tune with the head of the Church, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is our head, this is His Church. Without His divine guidance and constant inspiration, we cannot succeed. With His guidance, with His inspiration, we cannot fail.”