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David O McKay

"Ours is the responsibility ... to proclaim the truth that each individual is ... entitled to freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly; that he has the right to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience. ... organizations or churches which deprive the individual of these inherent rights are not in harmony with God's will nor with his revealed word."
--David O. McKay

Under President McKay, the Church approximately tripled the number of members and stakes (1.1 million to 2.8 million members, and 184 to 500 stakes)

President McKay spoke against communism due to its atheist underpinnings and the denial of freedom of choice inherent in such a system.

Here are a couple more important quotes from David O. McKay:

"If you will give your class a thought, even one new thought during your recitation period you will find that they will go away satisfied. But it is your obligation to be prepared to give that new thought" (1953)

"True education seeks ... to make men and women not only good mathematicians, proficient linguists, profound scientists, or brilliant literary lights, but also honest men, combined with virtue, temperance, and brotherly love ... men and women who prize truth, justice, wisdom, benevolence, and self-control as the choicest acquisitions of a successful life" (1953)

President McKay was also instrumental in making the Temple rituals available to people in foreign languages, and in expanding and clarifying some portions of the Temple endowment.

According to Daniel W. Bachman, "David O. McKay, we learn, first explained the symbolism associated with the temple clothing by faithful Latter-day Saints."

Being a Freemason myself, I am familiar with several explanations of this symbolism, and for the benefit of those reading, I'd like to share the typical Masonic wording similar to what President McKay adopted, this being available openly on many Masonic websites (i.e. not considered part of the secret work):

The Square reminds us symbolically to square our actions, and the Compasses teach us to circumscribe our desires and keep our passions within due bounds toward all mankind.

The moral lessons associated with these emblems are deep and important, and what a blessing and demonstration of Divine Providence that the Latter-day Saints after going so many years without the majority of their men knowing the definition finally received a suitable one and removed some of the obscurity of these historic items.

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