Richard R. Lyman

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Richard R. Lyman
Richard R. Lyman 1939.JPG
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
April 7, 1918 (1918-04-07) – November 12, 1943 (1943-11-12)
Called by Joseph F. Smith
End reason Excommunicated for unlawful cohabitation
LDS Church Apostle
April 7, 1918 (1918-04-07) – November 12, 1943 (1943-11-12)
Called by Joseph F. Smith
Reason Death of Hyrum M. Smith
End reason Excommunicated for unlawful cohabitation
at end of term
Mark E. Petersen ordained
Personal details
Born Richard Roswell Lyman
(1870-11-23)November 23, 1870
Fillmore, Utah Territory, United States
Died December 31, 1963(1963-12-31) (aged 93)
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Spouse Amy Brown Lyman

Richard Roswell Lyman (November 23, 1870 – December 31, 1963) was an apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1918 to 1943. He was excommunicated in 1943 for adultery, a result of a polygamous relationship. In 1954 Lyman was rebaptized. His full priesthood blessings were restored posthumously in 1970.[1] Lyman is the most recent LDS Church apostle to have been excommunicated.

Lyman was born 1870 in Fillmore, Utah Territory, and was closely related to many early leaders of the LDS Church. His father, Francis M. Lyman, was the son of Amasa M. Lyman, both of whom served as LDS Church apostles. His mother was Clara Caroline Callister, whose grandfather was John Smith, Joseph Smith's uncle, and a church Presiding Patriarch. Clara's mother was Caroline Smith Callister, the only sister of apostle George A. Smith, who served with Brigham Young as a counselor in the church's First Presidency.

Lyman was ordained an elder on August 29, 1891 by Joseph F. Smith. He graduated from high school at Brigham Young Academy (BYA) in Provo, Utah in 1889 with a Normal Certificate, taught at Brigham Young College in Logan, Utah, and later studied at the University of Michigan. Lyman had planned to marry Amy Brown, whom he met as a student at BYA but delayed this while he attended Michigan. Lyman was a teacher and civil engineer and was known for his work on the Utah State Road Commission. He did graduate studies at Cornell University and the University of Chicago.

Lyman was married to Amy Brown on September 9, 1896 by Joseph F. Smith. From 1895 to 1896 Lyman taught at BYA.[2] Amy Brown Lyman later served as the eighth general president of the Relief Society from 1940 to 1945.

Lyman was ordained an Apostle April 7, 1918. In 1943, the First Presidency discovered that Lyman had long been cohabitating with a woman other than his legal wife. In 1925 Lyman began a relationship with Anna Jacobsen Hegsted,[3] which he defined as a polygamous marriage. Unable to trust anyone else to officiate due to the church's ban on the practice, Lyman and Hegsted exchanged vows secretly. By 1943, both were in their seventies. Lyman was excommunicated on November 12, 1943 at age 73. The Quorum of the Twelve provided the newspapers with a one-sentence announcement, stating that the grounds for excommunication was a violation of the Law of Chastity, which any new marriage post-Second Manifesto constituted. (Plural marriages performed between 1890 and 1906 were allowed to continue to practice polygamy until those polygamists died off.) For years after his excommunication, J. Reuben Clark worried that Lyman might join the Mormon fundamentalist movement.[4]:193

Lyman later returned to the LDS Church through rebaptism on October 27, 1954. He died at Salt Lake City, Utah.


  1. ^ Janet Peterson and LaRene Gaunt, "Faith, Hope, and Charity: Inspiration from the Lives of the General Relief Society Presidents," Covenant Communications, Inc., 2008, p. 155.
  2. ^ Ernest L. Wilkinson. Brigham Young University: The First 100 Years. (Provo: BYU Press, 1975) Vol. 1, p. 584
  3. ^ Anderson, Lavina Fielding (Fall 1998), "A Ministry of Blessing: Nicholas Groeback Smith" Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 33 (3): p. 76.
  4. ^ Bergera 2011


External links[edit]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
Stephen L Richards
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
April 7, 1918–November 12, 1943
Succeeded by
Melvin J. Ballard