Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
The Red Peril, the Candy Maker, and the Apostle: David O. McKay's Confrontation with Communism [Articles and Essays] (p. 37)
The Red Peril, the Candy Maker, and the Apostle: David O. McKay s Confrontation with Communism Gregory A. Prince THROUGHOUT HIS LONG TENURE as a General Authority, David O. McKay was consistently opposed to Communism, as were his fellow General Authorities. Ironically, once he had become president of the Church, opposition to Communism became a seriously divisive issue among the Mormons. On the one hand, McKay gave his special blessing to Ezra Taft Benson as an opponent of Communism, enabling this strong-willed apostle to propagate his ultra-right-wing views among Church members—views that included an endorsement of the John Birch Society, founded by candy maker Robert Welch. On the other hand, McKay also responded to General Authorities who, despite their own opposition to Communism, took exception to the extremism of Benson and the John Birch Society. These included Apostles Joseph Fielding Smith and Harold B. Lee, as well as Hugh B. Brown and N. Eldon Tanner, McKay's counselors in the First Presidency. Neither the strong-willed Benson nor his protesting colleagues among the apostles ever achieved a clear upper hand with the aging prophet. As a result, Latter-day Saints who endorsed the extreme views of GREGORY A. PRINCE is CEO ofVirion Systems, Inc., a Maryland biotechnology company. He has published one book, Power from On High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1995), and has been researching the life of David O. McKay for the past decade. This article is a chapter in his forthcoming biography of President McKay from the University of Utah Press.