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LeGrand Richards: Then and, Well, Before Then

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 28, 2014

This is how you remember apostle LeGrand Richards (1886-1983) — that is, if your memory goes back to the ’80s — with his unforgettable missionary zeal and rapid-fire Conference delivery:

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This is LeGrand Richards as no one living now remembers him, from about the time of his service in the Netherlands, just prior to World War I:

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21 Comments »

  1. Awesome. I still remember one conference session where Elder Richards was engaged in his normal high speed delivery, and he was signaled that his time had expired. He paused almost in mid-sentence, said “I have to stop now,” bore a quick testimony and sat down. I wondered at the time how much more he had to say, and wished he’d had more time to deliver it.

    Comment by kevinf — January 28, 2014 @ 10:09 am

  2. He preached to the missionaries in the Salt Lake Missionary Home–we received a typewritten copy of some notes, which if I remember correctly were headed “Remarks to the Missionaries at the SLC Missionary Home” with a date about 1953. So, by 1973 he knew what he was going to say. He said it with his usual vigor and enthusiasm, and he’s the only person I know who could speak for 45 minutes without ever pausing for breath.

    I also agree with kevinf–what a terrific picture of Elder Richards, with hair both facial and scalpal! (If that last isn’t a word, it should be, even if it would give the misspellers of the Internet one more word to get wrong–”Whattya mean–he had hair on his scalpel??)

    Comment by Mark B. — January 28, 2014 @ 10:43 am

  3. There’s also a photo that appeared in BYU Studies of Spencer W. Kimball with a missionary moustache. The things they could get away with when the president of the church was bearded!

    Comment by John Mansfield — January 28, 2014 @ 11:55 am

  4. By the way, my second mission president, Agricol Lozano, back in 1986 had a mustache. (He also wore creamy yellow shirts sometimes.) From 1993 to 1997 he was president of the Mexico City Temple, and I don’t know if his mustache was a casualty of that call or not. Apparently, he and his counselors in the temple presidency appeared on the cover of the April 22, 1995 Church News. If anyone who happens to be where such things are archived wants to take a look and tell us if he shaved, I would be curious.

    URL for the cover caption:
    http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/26293/Church-News-About-the-cover.html

    Comment by John Mansfield — January 28, 2014 @ 12:04 pm

  5. I’ll put that on my to-do list, john, and report back when I can.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — January 28, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

  6. Great photo!

    Elder Richards was the bishop of my grandfather’s ward when he was a young man, which would have been just a few years after that second photo was taken. As a result I had the privilege of meeting him and shaking his hand when I was probably six or seven (in the early 70s, when he looked like the first photo).

    (Reading his bio on Wikipedia, he may have also been my other grandfather’s mission president for a brief time…)

    As a result of that first-ever encounter with an apostle, I was always a fan of his. Like everyone, I loved to hear him speak. One of my missionary companions had a large collection of talks on tape that we’d listen to while fixing dinner etc., with several of Elder Richard’s talks among them. I loved how he would start out so humbly and hesitantly, almost timidly, but then slowly work himself up to where he was almost pounding the pulpit.

    They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

    Comment by lindberg — January 28, 2014 @ 12:52 pm

  7. Pulpit pounding? Traceable to his service in the Southern States Mission, perhaps?

    Comment by Amy T — January 28, 2014 @ 1:29 pm

  8. Holy cow! That one goes along with the BH Roberts in hat photo. We need a “candid General Authority” gallery.

    Comment by Ben Spackman — January 28, 2014 @ 2:46 pm

  9. Oo, I like that — dibs on starting one here at Keepa! We would include Joseph F. Smith in his fur coat at the Sacred Grove, and wearing his suit while fishing, and the young Spencer W. Kimball washing his feet, and …

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — January 28, 2014 @ 3:17 pm

  10. Love the bearded picture.

    Comment by Maurine — January 28, 2014 @ 4:09 pm

  11. Ardis, a regular “Rogues Gallery” of general authorities! Sounds great!

    Comment by kevinf — January 28, 2014 @ 5:28 pm

  12. He pretty much gave the same talk every time (always something from A Marvelous Work and a Wonder), but you sure had to love his passion and humor.

    Comment by Left Field — January 28, 2014 @ 5:37 pm

  13. I have a picture of Elder McConkie in an Hawaiian shirt we can add!

    Comment by cameron — January 28, 2014 @ 5:46 pm

  14. I had him autograph my original (1967ish) triple combination when he came to San Diego to speak at our stake conference (late 60s/early 70s). Always loved his talks.

    Comment by bfwebster — January 28, 2014 @ 5:52 pm

  15. In my mission, we loved reading the “Boom! Boom!” story from MW&AW out loud. I also remember hearing him tell the story about beer on the table at Saltair and how he refused even with the popular kids imbibing.

    Comment by Grant — January 28, 2014 @ 6:48 pm

  16. I’d gladly trade Elder Richards and his rapid fire delivery for all those boring teleprompter readings we get today.

    Comment by Aaron — January 28, 2014 @ 7:14 pm

  17. I guess we’d have to include the photo of Boyd K. Packer in a grass skirt.

    Comment by Left Field — January 28, 2014 @ 7:52 pm

  18. I daresay that Brother Richards is the only recent conference speaker to use the term “ignoramuses” in reference to Mormons.

    Comment by Left Field — January 28, 2014 @ 8:23 pm

  19. Ha! That photo reminded me of the composer, Claude Debussy.

    Comment by David Y. — January 28, 2014 @ 10:38 pm

  20. My husband is an Air Force officer and was scandalized to see a picture of Boyd K. Packer in uniform with his hands in his pockets. Apparently that’s a big deal.

    Comment by Carol — January 29, 2014 @ 7:56 am

  21. A “Candid GA Gallery” is such a great idea.

    Comment by reed russell — January 29, 2014 @ 5:00 pm

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