David and Emma Ray
March 2005

“David and Emma Ray,” Liahona, Mar. 2005, F8–F9

David and Emma Ray

Adapted from Susan Arrington Madsen, The Lord Needed a Prophet (1990), 139–40; David Lawrence McKay, My Father, David O. McKay (1989), 1–2; and Boyd K. Packer, Eternal Love (1973), 21.

David and Emma Ray, left page
David and Emma Ray, right page

Illustrated by Mike Eagle

When David O. McKay was attending the university, he and his brother and sisters rented a house from the Riggs family.

Friend: Emma Ray, look. The McKays have just arrived with their mother. See how kindly the sons treat her? They’ll make good husbands someday.

Emma Ray: I like that one.

David and Emma Ray became friends. During his mission, they wrote each other letters.

Emma Ray wasn’t sure when David would return. She and her cousin Belle were at a family reunion on an island in the Great Salt Lake when news arrived.

Belle: Emma Ray, have you heard? David McKay arrives home tonight.

Emma Ray: I should meet him at the train station!

Belle: The boat won’t come back for us in time.

Emma Ray and her cousin Belle rigged a sail on an old rowboat and took turns rowing.

When David stepped off the train, Emma Ray was there.

Emma Ray: Welcome home, Elder McKay.

David: It’s so good to see you!

A little more than a year later, David and Emma Ray were the first couple sealed in the Salt Lake Temple in the 20th century.

During their 69 years of marriage, they were examples of love and kindness to all who knew them. They always tried to be thoughtful and sometimes wrote each other poetry.


Companion, counselor, adviser alway

My wife for eternity, my own Emma Ray.