The diaries of the ninth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are a collaboration between David O. McKay and his long-time secretary Clare Middlemiss. During the day Middlemiss would take dictation, attend meetings, handle correspondence, and listen to telephone conversations, making recordings and transcripts and taking detailed notes. In the evening, according to her nephew, she would summarize all of this, adding excerpts from meetings of the First Presidency or Quorum of the Twelve Apostles or details provided by one of McKay’s travel companions.
With his secretary’s coaxing over the course of nineteen years, McKay documented how he charted a steady course through institutional storms. He demonstrates how the LDS Church and its members emerged from one century and the insular nature of the Intermountain west into the greater world, forging an uneasy accommodation with modernity.
Join Dr. Harvard S. Heath as he talks about his new book, Confidence Amid Change: The Presidential Diaries of David O. McKay, 1951-1970
(Signature Books, 2019).
Daniel P. Stone holds a PhD in American religious history from Manchester Metropolitan University (United Kingdom) and is the author of
William Bickerton: Forgotten Latter Day Prophet (Signature Books, 2018). He has taught history courses at the University of Detroit Mercy and Florida Atlantic University, and currently, he works as a research archivist for a private library/archive in Detroit, Michigan.