Thomas E. McKay

Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (April 6, 1941 – January 15, 1958)

General Conference Addresses

  • October 1945 General Conference
    • Peace and War
      • “May our servicemen and our members in these war-torn countries, and all of us, live lives of Latter-day Saints. May we cultivate tolerance and love for one another and for all mankind. This war is but an awful chapter written in the eternal-long struggle between right and wrong, between love and hate, chastity and unchastity, greed and unselfishness. As long as hate and lust for power control the hearts of men, real peace can find no resting place in the world. Only love can bring peace. Anyone who permits himself to hate any person, or any people, makes his own small but vital contribution towards the discord and trouble, while he who seeks to love others, even his enemies, makes his own priceless contribution to peace. True, lasting peace, when it comes to the world, will be made up of the many tricklets of love flowing from the hearts of the people to a common understanding and a common goal. The gift of peace on earth and good will to men was offered to the world in the gospel of living taught by our Savior in his earthly ministry. He made love of God and love of mankind fundamental and declared, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” The power of love alone can permanently disarm the world.”
  • April 1945 General Conference
    • Returning Soldiers
      • “The breaking of the Word of Wisdom, or the Sabbath day, applies to a comparatively few, but nearly all fathers could plan a pleasant surprise for their boys by being a little kinder, more thoughtful and considerate in and around the home, and express appreciation for services rendered.”
      • “I like the words “continuous courtship” with reference to home life. When we were courting and in the early days of our married life, we would always express our appreciation for the well-cooked meal, the extra dessert; we occasionally brought home a bouquet of flowers or a box of candy. If some husbands did that now, the wife would probably ask, “Is there anything wrong?””
      • “In conclusion, may I plead that we as a people—as a nation—be less wasteful. If we are served more than we can comfortably eat, have a “portion” of it returned so it will not be wasted. In the United States enough food is wasted, it is said, to feed all the people in the war-torn countries of Europe.”
  • October 1944 General Conference
    • Reports from Europe
      • “May our Father in heaven continue to bless Brother Condie, and the 80,000 others of our young men who are now serving their country. They, too, are missionaries; we are missionaries. This is a great missionary Church. May we so live that the inspiration of the Lord may always be with us, so that it can never be said of any one of us, “He was called and found wanting”; but rather may we each be able to say truthfully when our earthly mission is finished, as Paul said: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.””
  • April 1944 General Conference
    • Preaching the Gospel
      • “We also suggested to our members this motto, or slogan, as we called it: “Every member a missionary.” From the reports and letters, I am sure that most of our members are living up to that motto. I would suggest, if I may, that slogan to you fine mission presidents who are here representing the seventeen missions in the North American group. You are losing most of your missionaries; they are being “evacuated” or transferred to the service of our country, and I am sure that the members, if they would follow this motto, could carry on the work. “Every member a missionary.””
      • “I know every service man is a missionary. God bless them. I was delighted with President Grant’s message to our service men. They are preaching the Gospel, and in the most effective way, as President Grant stated, by their example. People generally, and especially young people, would rather at any time see a sermon than hear one.”
      • “May I suggest, too, brethren, that we have an opportunity here at home, by our example, to preach the Gospel. There are thousands of strangers in our midst, and if we would keep in mind always the first part of the thirteenth Article of Faith: “We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men” and to so live that it could be said of all of us who are here this morning, and the Latter-day Saints generally, not that we believe only, but that we are honest, we are true, we are chaste, we are benevolent, we are virtuous and we are doing good to all men, it would not matter so much then if we did not have so many missionaries in the field, such an example would be much more effective than all our preaching.”
  • October 1943 General Conference
    • War in Europe
      • “That letter, brethren, is typical of thousands of others that are received by parents whose sons are in all parts of the world serving their country, fighting for the perpetuation of “man’s free agency”—the same principle for which we fought in our pre-existent state. The leader of that rebellion and his followers were defeated and cast out of heaven and they are here on earth still fighting truth, determined to deprive us of our free agency. We here at home must not let our boys down—forty thousand of them in all parts of the world. Let us wholeheartedly get behind every movement that would hasten the victory in this “war against wickedness.””
  • April 1943 General Conference
    • Report from Europe and Syria
      • “I hope to see the day, and that soon, when we can use the bombers to carry wheat over there, and other foods and clothing, instead of bombs. That time will come, and when it does it is not the donations of money that will feed the needy, brethren ; they cannot eat the money nor can they buy food, because it will not be there, even if they had the money. So remember it is food that they will need.”
  • October 1942 General Conference
    • Letters from War Torn Europe
      • “All our members in these war-torn countries are doing their best to carry on—God bless them. They appreciate the gospel and know that by living its principles they can have joy and happiness even in these trying times. They appreciate the prayers of you brethren and other members here at home, and we hope that you will continue to remember them. I appreciate very much the opportunity that I have of contacting them even in a remote way.”
  • April 1942 General Conference
    • Report on the European Missions
      • “It is a very great privilege for me to be associated with such fine, outstanding men as are here present, and I express my thanks humbly and before you brethren, to my Father in heaven for this privilege. I am very thankful also to be able to report the conditions in the missions included in the European group as very favorable. All those missions are functioning, and most of them are making progress. Some of them are handicapped in the holding of their meetings; especially has that been the case during this past winter because of the lack of fuel and light. They are continuing, however, to hold all meetings, including their district conferences, but they must all be held during the daytime. Generally the sacrament meetings convene immediately following the Sunday school, and the Priesthood, Relief Society, and M. I. A. gatherings are held at the same time.”
  • October 1941 General Conference
    • Report on the European Missions
      • “In reporting for these European Missions I am happy to state that headquarters continue to be maintained in ten of the twelve Missions. The headquarters of the French Mission at Paris has been closed, but we have district headquarters in Belgium and the French part of Switzerland, where more than ninety percent of our French members reside. The Palestine-Syrian Mission is also in charge of two district presidents, one at Aleppo, Syria, and the other at Beirut, Lebanon. These district presidents and acting Mission Presidents are all local brethren. They, with their counselors or committees assisting them, are doing an exceptionally fine work. With the exception of a few of the smaller Branches, all meetings are being held as usual. District conferences are held twice a year in addition to an annual gathering. These yearly conferences or conventions generally last two or three days.”
      • “Oh, Latter-day Saints, where much is given, it is said, much is required. Tliese principles have been given to us, and if we could only live them ; you cannot estimate the good that it would do throughout the world if truthfully it could be said we are living these principles. They are given to us for our happiness here upon this earth.”
  • April 1941 General Conference
    • Come Home Clean
      • “A little over forty years ago I was at the station in Ogden with my parents and a few friends just before I boarded the train leaving for my first mission. My mother kissed the goodbye, and as she did so said, “My boy, come home clean.” I have never forgotten that injunction and I hope when I am released from this earthly mission and return to that heavenly home where my angel mother now is I can say, as I can say today, “Mother, I have come home clean.””
      • “At that same parting my father placed his hand upon my shoulder and said, “Remember, my son, it doesn’t matter so much where you work, it is how you work. You go where the Lord wants you and try to say what the Lord wants you to say.” I am thinking of those parents today, and I wish to express my appreciation for them and for my brothers and sisters and my friends. I wish to express my appreciation for the association of President Grant and his Counselors and the other General Authorities of the Church. I love these men and I am grateful for this position that will give me the opportunity of more intimate association with them.”

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