Stephen L Richards
|Stephen L Richards|
|First Counselor in the First Presidency|
|April 9, 1951– May 19, 1959|
|Called by||David O. McKay|
|Quorum of the Twelve Apostles|
|January 18, 1917– April 9, 1951|
|Called by||Joseph F. Smith|
|End reason||Called as First Counselor in the First Presidency|
|LDS Church Apostle|
|January 18, 1917– May 19, 1959|
|Called by||Joseph F. Smith|
|Reason||Death of Francis M. Lyman|
|Reorganization at end of term||Henry D. Moyle added to First Presidency; Howard W. Hunter ordained|
June 18, 1879|
Mendon, Utah Territory, United States
|Died||May 19, 1959
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
|Resting place||Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park
|Spouse||Irene Smith Merrill|
|Parents||Stephen L. Richards
Emma Louise Stayner
|Relatives||Willard Richards (grandfather)
Stayner Richards (brother)
Stephen L Richards (June 18, 1879 – May 19, 1959) was a prominent leader in the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church and as First Counselor in the First Presidency.
Richards was born in Mendon, Utah Territory. He was the oldest of ten children born to Stephen Longstroth Richards and Emma Louise Stayner. He was raised in the Cache Valley. He was the grandson of Willard Richards, an early apostle of the church and colleague of Joseph Smith. Willard Richards witnessed Smith and his brother Hyrum murdered by a mob in Carthage, Illinois. Willard Richards served as Brigham Young's Second Counselor in the First Presidency. He died before Stephen was born.
Stephen L Richards married Irene Smith Merrill (a maternal granddaughter of George A. Smith) in 1900. The couple had nine children.
Education and profession
Richards did undergraduate studies at the University of Utah. He received his law degree from the University of Chicago in 1904. He began his law school career at the University of Michigan before transferring to Chicago.
After graduating from the University of Chicago Richards practiced law in Salt Lake City and was a professor of law at the University of Utah. Richards considered running for governor of Utah in the 1918 election, but when he was selected as an Apostle in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1917, he decided not to run for office.
Joseph F. Smith called Richards to be an apostle at the age of 37. Richards became a member of the Superintendency of the Deseret Sunday School Union under David O. McKay in 1918. In April 1919 McKay was appointed Church Commissioner of Education and chose Richards as his first counselor. Richards would remain a counselor in the Deseret Sunday School Union Superintendency until 1934 when apostles were released from these positions and men were called who could devote their full time to the Sunday School, also freeing up the apostles to focus more on their specific calling.
When McKay became LDS Church president, he selected Richards as his first counselor. Richards served in that position from April 9, 1951 until his death. Richards followed his grandfather, Willard by first serving as an Apostle and then in the First Presidency.
Richards died in Salt Lake City at the age of 79, shortly before his 80th birthday.
- Dew. Go Forward With Faith. p. 86
- Ernest L. Wilkinson, ed., Brigham Young University: The First 100 Years. (Provo: BYU Press, 1975) Vol. 2, p. 7
- Wilkinson. BYU. Vol. 2, p. 7
- Wilkinson. BYU. Vol. 2, p. 3
- Dew, Sheri L., Go Forward With Faith: The Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1996) p. 86
- Grampa Bill's G.A. Pages: Stephen L. Richards
- 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.
- Stephen L Richards at Find a Grave
|The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles|
James E. Talmage
|Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
January 18, 1917 – April 9, 1951
Richard R. Lyman