This lesson is a great introduction to the remarkable prophet, David O. McKay. His motto “What E'er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part” is explored with opportunities for each family member to consider ways that their actions can bring them closer to the Savior . Play a puzzle game where everyone shares their ideas of how to "Act Well Thy Part" as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ and decorate cookie bars to resemble the motto carved stone that David O. McKay lived up to for the rest of his life.
If you wish to print sheet music or have an online music file to accompany you click on the song link to visit: http://www.lds.org/cm
11. Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it
16. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
Watch chapter 2 from the Modern Prophets, David O. McKay DVD or CLICK FOR CLIP
For younger children, it may be helpful to summarize the following ideas:
“When President David O. McKay was a young missionary in Scotland, he was homesick,
discouraged, and low in spirit. As he walked down the street with his companion, he noticed an
inscription chiseled in a stone lintel of an unfinished building which read, ‘What E’er Thou Art,
Act Well Thy Part.’ From that moment, he began to act the part of a good missionary and became
a great one. This was a learning experience that helped him in numerous important callings he
received later in life.” (Cherished Experiences from the Writings of President David O. McKay,
comp. Clare Middlemiss Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1955, p. 174.)
How can we apply the inscription, “What E’er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part” into our lives?
What are some of the things David O. McKay did throughout his life to act well his part in order to be more like the Savior? (Discuss ideas.)
“David O. McKay acted well his part as the hard working oldest son of humble parents. As a diligent student and faithful missionary and clearly in manhood he continued to act his part as a concerned teacher and principle, as a model husband and father and as an inspirational church leader and orator, but most important of all, David O. McKay throughout his mortal life acted well his part as a
representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Excerpt from “The Modern Prophets, David O. McKay.”
How do our actions affect those with whom we associate? (Discuss ideas.)
“You are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. More than that, you are here as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.” David O. McKay
“May we learn what we should learn, do what we should do, and be what we should be.” Thomas S. Monson
"Who E'er Thou Art"
Mother curled up on the couch after putting the movie into the DVD player.
Bobby peeked into the family room. “What ya watching, Mom,” he asked.
Mother paused the movie, “It’s our new movie about the prophet, David O. McKay,” she answered.
Bobby counted on his fingers as he sang the song, “Latter-day Prophets,” to himself. “David O. McKay was the ninth president of the Church,” he proudly stated.
“And,” Mother added, “he was the Prophet when I was growing up.”
“Wow, you’re old,” Bobby teased. “Can I watch it with you?”
Mother patted the seat next to her on the couch. “I’ve got a seat saved for you right here,” she beckoned. “If you don’t mind sitting next to an old lady,” Mother said with an exagerated shaky voice.
Bobby giggled and sat next to Mother on the couch. “I love you, Mom,” he whispered.
“I love you, too,” Mother cooed. “Did you know that my grandfather was from Scotland? Just like David O. McKay’s.”
“Really? Did he wear one of those skirts?” Bobby queried.
“The skirt is called a kilt and I really don’t know if Grandpa ever wore one. But, I do know he loved the sound of the bagpipes, just like President McKay did,” Mother answered. “Did I ever tell you about the time Grandpa took us to see the Scotish play ‘Brigadoon’ at the Valley Music Hall. After the play ended they announced that President McKay was in the audience and when he stood up and I saw him in person I had an overwelming feeling right her in my heart,” Mother said patting her chest, “and I knew without a doubt that he was a prophet of God. Then,” Mother continued, “they played a special song on the bagpipes for him. President McKay stood through the entire song and when they were done he thanked them and told us that ever since he was a small boy the sound of the bagpipes had stirred his emotions and had done so again that day.”
Bobby snuggled next to Mother and whispered, “I hope I get to see the Prophet in person, someday.”
Mother hit the play button on the DVD player.
When he heard the story about how David O. McKay said that he wasn’t going to go on a mission when he received his call, Bobby felt his heart tweak.
“Where do you think the Lord will call you to serve?” Mother whispered to Bobby.
Although Bobby was only a boy, he had thought often about the prospect of going on a mission and he didn’t want to go either. “I just can’t leave my family for two whole years,” he would tell himself, but he would feel guilty for not wanting to serve.
“I’ve never thought about where,” Bobby answered truthfully.
Maybe you’ll be called to the Scotland where my grandfather was from,” Mother said, “Just like David O. McKay was called to the home of his ancestors.”
Bobby shrugged his shoulders. “Maybe.”
The words, “Well, David, this is your choice...you pray about it,” echoed through Bobby’s head, “Pray about it, pray about it.” Bobby had never thought about praying about it.
Bobby closed his eyes, “Heavenly Father, please help me to not be afraid to leave my family and serve a mission when I’m old enough,” he silently prayed.
Bobby opened his eyes and read the inscription on the T.V. screen, “What e’er thou art act well thy part.”
The impact of these words on Bobby was extraordinary, just like it had been on Elder McKay.
“I’ll do it. I’ll go on a mission just like President McKay did.”
When the movie was over Bobby promised the Lord that he wouldn’t wait for his mission call to “Act well his part.” He would start today!
After dinner, Bobby cleared the table without being asked and then offered to read a bedtime story to
his little sister. At the grocery store he helped a stranger by putting away her empty cart. At school he befriended the kid nobody liked. At church he listened reverently and he always looked for opportunities to share the gospel with others.
Now, when doubts about going on a mission try to push their way into Bobby’s mind he pushes them away by saying these words; “I am a child of God and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints and I will always do my best to ‘Act Well My Part.’”
Cookie Bar: Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla. Combine flour, oats, baking powder and salt. Gradually add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Fold in the toffee bits. Spread into a greased 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Cool completely.
Frosting: Cream butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and food coloring until smooth and creamy.
Spread frosting over cooled bars. Follow
guide for cutting.
Use tooth picks and pattern as guide (or make up your
own pattern) to “chisel” designs in your individual pieces of Cookie Stone. Before eating put pieces back together and recite the motto together. (A parent or older sibling will need to take the top and bottom pieces to “chisel.” Replace “Lee” with your family’s last name and the date with the correct year.)
Activity: Younger children will need help from an older sibling or parent.
1. Lay puzzle motto side up on a table.
2. Read motto: “What E’er Thou Art Act Well Thy Part.”
3. Ask: What does “What E’er Thou Art” mean? (Discuss ideas. Emphasize that it means ‘What ever you are.’)
4. Ask: What are some of the different roles we each have? (Discuss ideas. See artwork.)
5. Ask: What does “Act Well Thy Part” mean? (Discuss ideas. Example: Thou Art A Stranger; Offer to put away a stranger’s grocery cart.)
6. Take turns drawing a puzzle piece, reading the role on the back, giving an example of something you can do to “Act Well Thy Part” in that role.
7. After all pieces are drawn put puzzle
together with role side up.
What you need:
A copy of the “What E’er Thou Art” activity (artwork included with this lesson) scissors and glue. Optional: Laminating sheets for added durability.
1. Print out the artwork.
2. Cut out artwork.
3. Glue front of artwork to back of artwork. Optional: Cover with laminating sheets.
4. Cut along dotted lines.
1. Sing: Children’s Songbook #170 “The Things I Do.”
2. Read: “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” (Luke 18:22)
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit,
and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (John 15:16)
3. Watch: Chapter 2 from the from The Modern Prophets David O. McKay DVD. (Video clip is also provided for
4. “When President David O. McKay was a young missionary in Scotland, he was homesick, discouraged, and low in spirit. As he walked down the street with his companion, he noticed an inscription chiseled in a stone lintel of an unfinished building which read, ‘What E’er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part.’ From that moment, he began to act the part of a good missionary and became a great one. This was a learning experience that helped him in numerous important callings he received later in life.” (Cherished Experiences from the Writings of President David O. McKay, comp. Clare Middlemiss Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1955, p. 174.)
5. What does “What E’er Thou Art” mean? (Discuss ideas. Emphasize that it means ‘What ever you are.’)
6. What are some of the different roles we each have? (Discuss ideas. See activity above for ideas.)
7. How can we apply the inscription, “What E’er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part” into our lives? (Discuss ideas.)