Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Book Review: Cherished Experiences from the writings of David O. McKay

This is a book of just general journal entries and stories told about President David O. McKay from people who were close to him. In many ways, it's similar to John Groberg's books because it 1) had several stories from ocean voyages and the South Pacific, and 2) it was extremely good.

David O. McKay was prophet for nearly 20 years; an unusually long time in the modern age. He had also been an apostle for over 30 years prior to becoming president, so he had a great many stories of interesting travels and inspiring experiences.

If there was ever any doubt that prophets and apostles are chosen and protected from on high, this book pretty well blows those doubts out of the water. Time and again, Elder/President McKay had distinct impressions to go here and avoid there.

But by far my favorite story from the entire book (and that's a tough call because there are several extremely good stories here) is the time when some dip went and saw Bro. McKay speak when he was visiting, I think, New Zealand. This guy goes up to him afterwards and very sarcastically says, basically, 'I'm here to shake the hand of a real life apostle,' as if such a thing were absurd. Elder McKay extended his hand and when it came into contact with this guy's hand, the guy shakes as if he's being severely electrocuted, starts being extremely ill, and collapses in a heap on the ground, sobbing.

Elder McKay helps the guy to his feet and then says one of the coolest comebacks I've ever heard: "Let me give you some advice: Never tear another man's house down. If you wish to use a hammer, use it in building a house of your own."

And in the rest of the book he has tons of stories of miraculous healings, amazing visions and dreams, and of voices from heaven plainly speaking to him. Very dramatic and spiritual experiences, with a good mixture of human interest thrown in. Every once in a while they throw in a talk that is all doctrine, and those are a little dry, but they, though worthy and interesting, are relatively infrequent.

I don't often recommend books that are worth buying, but this book is so obscure it's doubtful it's available at most libraries. It's only a few bucks on Amazon. If you're interested, it's a terrific read.

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