Cover for MCKAY, ED. NEILSON & TEUSCHER: Pacific Apostle: The 1920-21 Diary of David O. McKay in the Latter-day Saint Island Missions. Click for larger image

Pacific Apostle

The 1920-21 Diary of David O. McKay in the Latter-day Saint Island Missions

The day-by-day account of an epic spiritual quest

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.

"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


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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