Cecil B. DeMille and David O. McKay—an Unexpected Friendship

Volume 57:4 (2018)
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Cecil B. DeMille and David O. McKay—an Unexpected Friendship

Author Fred E. Woods

World-renowned filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille and David O. McKay, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, developed an unexpected friendship when they were introduced by Latter-day Saint painter Arnold Friberg, who had been commissioned by DeMille as the set painter for his epic The Ten Commandments. The two men developed a mutual respect and admiration for each other, as evidenced in their correspondence with each other and McKay’s invitation to DeMille to be the commencement speaker at Brigham Young University’s April 1957 graduation exercises. McKay also visited the set of The Ten Commandments in Hollywood and gave DeMille and some of his production team a personal tour of the newly completed Los Angeles Temple. The two men found common ground in respect for God’s law and their efforts to spread God’s law to benefit mankind.