Special Guest Svither David O. McKay on the confluence of testimony and duty


Since President McKay was on the butt-end of a little good-natured ribbing last week, we here at Thutopia thought it might be nice to let him share a story with us today.


One day in my youth I was hunting cattle. While climbing a steep hill, I stopped to let my horse rest, and there, once again, an intense desire came over me to receive a manifestation of the truth of the restored gospel. I dismounted, threw my reins over my horse’s head, and there under a serviceberry bush I prayed that God would declare to me the truth of his revelation to Joseph Smith. I am sure that I prayed fervently and sincerely and with as much faith as a young boy could muster.

At the conclusion of the prayer, I arose from my knees, threw the reins over my faithful pony’s head, and got into the saddle. As I started along the trail again, I remember saying to myself, ‘No spiritual manifestation has come to me. If I am true to myself, I must say I am just the same “old boy” that I was before I prayed.’

The Lord did not see fit to give me an answer on that occasion, but in 1899, after I had been appointed president of the Scottish Conference, the spiritual manifestation for which I had prayed as a boy in my teens came as a natural sequence to the performance of duty.

last week's svithe


  1. It impresses me that he kept doing his duty without having received the spiritual manifestation he sought for, what, ten years if he was 26 in 1899? He must have had some baseline testimony, like the Lamanites in 3 Ne 9:20.

    I am a big fan of portmanteaux, and "svithe" is one of the best ever.

  2. .

    I agree with paragraph one. There must have been something going on. I suspect many people have not had their own testimonies revealed to them.

    And I too love a good portmanteau, so thanks for the compliment!