Pacific Apostle

The 1920-21 Diary of David O. McKay in the Latter-day Saint Island Missions
Author: David O. McKayEdited by Reid L. Neilson and Carson V. Teuscher
The day-by-day account of an epic spiritual quest
Cloth – $110
Paper – $27.95
eBook – $14.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 01/06/2020
Cloth: 01/06/2020
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About the Book

In 1920, David O. McKay embarked on a journey that forever changed the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His visits to the Latter-day Saint missions, schools, and branches in the Pacific solidified the Church leadership's commitment to global outreach. As importantly, the trip inspired McKay's own initiatives when he later became Church president.

McKay's account of his odyssey brings to life the story of the Church of Jesus Christ’s transformation into a global faith. Throughout his diary, McKay expressed his humanity, curiosity, and fascination with cultures and places--the Maori hongi, East Asian customs, Australian wildlife, and more. At the same time, he and his travel companion, Hugh J. Cannon, detailed the Latter-day Saint missionary life of the era, closely observing logistical challenges and cultural differences, guiding various church efforts, and listening to followers' impressions and concerns. Reid L. Neilson and Carson V. Teuscher's meticulous notes provide historical, religious, and general context for the reader.

Blending travelogue with history, Pacific Apostle illuminates the thought and work of an essential figure in the twentieth-century Church of Jesus Christ.

About the Author

David O. McKay (1873–1970) was the ninth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Reid L. Neilson is the Assistant Church Historian and Recorder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is an award-winning author and editor of dozens of books on the Latter-day Saints. Carson V. Teuscher is a past Andrew Jenson Fellow in the Church History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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"Pacific Apostle is an important window into the life, teachings, influence, and growth of the most significant LDS leader of the twentieth century. . . . You can now have access to those records for as low of a price as the cost of a couple of fast food value meals." --Association for Mormon Letters

"A valuable historical-documentary preservation . . . It provides unique period insight into an apostle and church president that many of today's readers recall as significant in their own lives. It is highly recommended." --Journal of Mormon History


"A very important work. This travel journal tells the story of a great man's baptism into other worlds of culture, language, nationhood, and appreciation for peoples outside of his purview. The more one knows about David O. McKay, the more one recognizes that this international experience changed the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."--R. Lanier Britsch, author of Moramona: The Mormons in Hawai'i

"A well-researched and well-written narrative that places McKay's journey in historical context and prepares the reader to plumb its forward-looking significance. It will take its place in the extensive documentary history of the most important figure in twentieth-century Mormonism."--Gregory A. Prince, coauthor of David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism