Monday, October 1, 2018

President David O. McKay on the sermons we preach by actions

President David O. McKay (1873-1970) was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1906.  He served as a counselor in the First Presidency to Heber J. Grant and George Albert Smith beginning in 1945, then then as the president of the Church from 1951 to his death in 1970 at age 96.
"Remember, fellow parents, that children are quick to detect insincerity, and they resent in their feelings false pretension. Parents, of all people on earth, should be honest with their children. Keep your promises to them and speak the truth always. Children are more influenced by sermons you act than by sermons you preach. It is the consistent parent who gains the trust of his child. When children feel that you reciprocate their trust, they will not violate your confidence nor bring dishonor to your name."
- David O. McKay, "Righteousness Key to World Peace," Conference Report, Apr. 1955, 26

I loved President McKay's approach to teaching and his focus on strengthening family relationships. In this excerpt, he counsels parents to live sincere and authentic lives; it's not possible to effectively teach principles to children unless our lives reflect those principles. I think the same concept applies to any interaction with others; it's impossible to understate how important "the sermons [we] act" are.

Consistency in our lives is the key President McKay emphasizes. I suppose that is part of the concept we call enduring to the end; it means that we are faithful and obedient, filled with honor and integrity, under any conditions.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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