The legacy of David O. McKay: Reaching out to the 'other'

"If David O. McKay had two vices," Gregory Prince said with a chuckle, "they were that he drove too fast, and he was vain."

A noted Latter-day Saint historian, Prince spoke to a full house on Thursday, March 25, as a guest of Utah State University's Religious Studies Program. His lecture, "Confronting the Other: David O. McKay and Reaching Out," focused on the lessons current members of the faith -- and society at large -- can learn from one of the church's most beloved leaders.

At the time of President McKay's ascendancy to the LDS Church presidency in 1951, Prince explained, the church still bore trappings of its 19th-century legacy, still portraying a public image of a bearded polygamist leading a strange and sequestered people. Under McKay's watch, however, the church rose not only to the challenge of relating more openly to the outside world, but also to confronting diversity within its own ranks.

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