|Quorum of the Twelve Apostles|
|April 6, 1952– January 11, 1983|
|Called by||David O. McKay|
|LDS Church Apostle|
|April 10, 1952– January 11, 1983|
|Called by||David O. McKay|
|Reason||Death of Joseph F. Merrill|
at end of term
|Russell M. Nelson and Dallin H. Oaks were ordained after the deaths of Richards and Mark E. Petersen|
|April 6, 1938– April 6, 1952|
|Called by||Heber J. Grant|
|End reason||Called to Quorum of the Twelve Apostles|
February 6, 1886|
Farmington, Utah Territory, United States
|Died||January 11, 1983
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
|Resting place||Salt Lake City Cemetery
LeGrand Richards (February 6, 1886 – January 11, 1983) was a prominent missionary and leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He served as the seventh presiding bishop of the LDS Church from 1938 to 1952, and was then called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles by church president David O. McKay. Richards served in the Quorum of the Twelve until his death in Salt Lake City, Utah at the age of ninety-six.
Richards was born in Farmington, Utah Territory to George F. Richards and Alice Almira Robinson. His father also served in the Quorum of the Twelve. As a young boy, LeGrand had several accidents that could have taken his life, including as a small child, when he was struck in the head by an ax as he approached from behind while his father was chopping wood. A few years later, LeGrand was thrown from a wagon by an agitated horse and both the wagon wheels rolled over his head. As a child Richards attended the 1893 dedication of the Salt Lake Temple. Richards's church service began when he filled a proselyting mission to the Netherlands from 1905 to 1908.
Richards returned to the Netherlands as the presiding elder over the mission, accompanied by his wife, Ina Jane Ashton Richards, from 1914 to 1916. Richards was ordained a high priest and bishop on June 29, 1919, by Charles W. Penrose, and presided over a Salt Lake City ward from 1920 to 1925. In 1926, he filled a short term mission, primarily serving in Rhode Island. In about 1930 church president Heber J. Grant sent Richards to southern California with the plan to call him as stake president. However, the existing stake president called Richards as a bishop and convinced Grant to hold off on calling him as the stake president so local members would not feel Richards was an outsider being imposed on them. From 1931 to 1933, Richards presided over the church's Hollywood Stake.
In 1933 and 1934 Richards again lived in Salt Lake City, where he served on the stake high council of the Liberty Stake. He was called to this position by stake president Bryant S. Hinckley. Following this Richards served as president of the Southern States Mission from 1934 to 1937. He was called to this position to replace Charles A. Callis who had been called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Outside of his apostleship, Richards is probably best known for his widely distributed book, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, which was first published in 1950. The commonly referenced work contains a comprehensive teaching outline designed to assist missionaries in their study and presentation of Mormonism. Based on a document titled "The Message of Mormonism" which Richards developed in 1937 for missionaries during his tenure as president of the Southern States Mission, it contains explanations and interpretations of many doctrinal positions of the LDS Church.
In 1955 Richards published Israel! Do You Know?, an effort to demonstrate the links between Jewish traditions and beliefs and Mormonism; this document was produced in conjunction with an LDS Church program aimed at proselyting Jews living in Southern California.
Richards also played a role in LDS connections with Israel. He was head of the Orson Hyde Foundation, which coordinated most of the money sent to Jerusalem which was donated to that city in exchange for the land that became the Orson Hyde Memorial Garden.
In a memorial address read by his personal secretary after Richards's death, church president Spencer W. Kimball paid tribute to Richards as
|“||...one of the greatest missionaries of our time. He reminded me of a modern-day Apostle Paul. I can think of no one who has borne his testimony to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ with deeper conviction or with greater fervor. With it all, LeGrand Richards was a perennial optimist and his words were a rare combination of wit and humor, comfort, encouragement, and wisdom. He rarely, if ever, delivered a message from a written text. He just spoke from his heart, drawing upon a lifetime of experience, study, and inspiration.||”|
Place in history
Richards was the longest-lived LDS Apostle until David B. Haight; both his father, George F. Richards, and grandfather, Franklin D. Richards, served as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Franklin D. Richards was also the nephew of Willard Richards, another apostle and notable leader in LDS Church history.
- Marvelous Work and a Wonder: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Salt Lake City, Utah, first published in 1950, multiple editions. ISBN 0-87747-161-4.
- Israel! Do You Know?, 1954. "Israel! Do You Know? Book Review". Reviewed By: Tom Irvine.
- David B. Galbraith and Blair L. Van Dyke. "The BYU Jerusalem Center: Reflections of A Modern Pioneer" in The Religious Educator Vol 9 (2008), no 1, p. 29ff.
- Flake, Lawrence R. "LeGrand Richards" in Prophets and Apostles of the Last Dispensation (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2001), pp. 489–91.
- Quinn, D. Michael (January 1980). "They Served: The Richards Legacy in the Church". Ensign (Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Retrieved April 20, 2012..
- Tate, Lucile C. "LeGrand Richards: A Marvelous Work and a Wonder", Tambuli, February 1983.
- Tate, Lucile C. LeGrand Richards: Beloved Apostle. Bookcraft Inc, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1982. ISBN 0-88494-457-3.
|The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles|
Marion G. Romney
|Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
April 10, 1952 – January 11, 1983
Adam S. Bennion
Sylvester Q. Cannon
April 6, 1938 – April 6, 1952
Joseph L. Wirthlin