LeGrand Richards

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (April 6, 1952 – January 11, 1983)

Presiding Bishop (April 6, 1938 – April 6, 1952)

General Conference Addresses

  • October 1948 General Conference
    • “No Man Can Serve Two Masters”
      • “I take it he understood that in the lives of most men the time would come when they might have to make a choice as to whether or not they should choose God or mammon, and it is my conviction and my testimony that when we make the choice, if we choose to serve the Lord, it is just like forming a partnership with him. He will be on our side, he will see us through; and I wonder sometimes if we really sacrifice when we choose to serve the Lord, rather than to serve mammon, and make the necessary effort and contributions required to show our faith in him.”
      • “You will recall that before the Lord needed any financial help to promote the interests of his kingdom in the earth he gave unto Cain and Abel the law of sacrifice. The Lord did not need the fruits of the field from Cain nor the first of the flocks from Abel, but they needed to give it; they needed to put their faith to the test. They needed to be able to show to God whether they served and chose God or mammon, for you cannot serve two masters.”
      • “I would like to see every friend of mine in this Church have his name recorded in that book of remembrance, and I am sure that when he comes to claim his jewels, he will realize that no sacrifice that has ever been required at his hands could compensate for the lack of that very thing, for they will be numbered among his jewels. That is what I think being partners with him means. What a promise! What a promise that he will bless the land! I wonder as we go about our daily duties from day to day if we are able to realize how much of the joy and the happiness and the success that is ours in life is really ours by virtue of our own doings and how much of it is the result of the blessings of the Lord.”
      • “I told the elders, where it has been my privilege to preside in the mission field, if they wanted to see what the Lord did in the way of fulfilling his promises just to keep their eyes open as they went around among the Saints—those who kept the commandments, paid their tithes and their offerings—and compare them with those who failed, and they would know that the Lord is true to his promises.”
  • October 1947 General Conference
    • Duties of Parents
      • “We have been told as we travel throughout the Church that the greatest deterrent to the success of the Aaronic Priesthood and Latter-day Saint girls program of the Church is the indifference of the parents. It seems almost incredible to believe that such a thing is true.”
      • “If the fathers and mothers in Israel understood the importance of this they would take their boys and girls with them to Church. No father would ever let a boy of his grow up dishonoring the Sabbath day, working on the Sabbath day when it is work that does not absolutely have to be done. Brigham Young’s statement to the Saints when they first entered this valley was that if they worked on the Sabbath day they would lose more during the week than they gained by so doing. And we can’t get away from the command of the Lord when he said that we should honor the Sabbath day and keep it holy and if you fathers think you can work on the Sabbath when you don’t have to, you must not be surprised if your boys are just dumb enough to do the same thing when they grow to manhood.”
      • “Now I want to admonish you to pray for your children, to work for your children, to do all within your power to help save them. God may not always send an angel from heaven, as he did in answer to Alma’s prayer, but I want to tell you there are men and women in this Church by the thousands and tens of thousands who are as angels of heaven in the hands of God in helping to show the youth of Zion the way to eternal life.”
  • April 1947 General Conference
    • Building Faith Among Youth
      • “The Saints had their enemies, and they had great persecutions to meet at their hands before they came into these valleys. The evil one is still alert. He is seeking to lead away the souls of men and women from following after God. And right in our own community, in this land that was established by our pioneer fathers who came here in search of God that they might worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences there are many things transpiring, seeking to lead away the hearts of our young people, particularly, from believing the things that were so precious and so dear to the hearts of our pioneer fathers.”
      • “I want to tell you that even though the elders of Israel are not paid for their services, there are no ministers of religion in all the world as well paid as the elders of this Church.”
  • October 1946 General Conference
    • The Book of Mormon an Aid to Testimony
      • “I would rather trust my boys and my girls in this world with a testimony of this work burning in their souls than all the information you can give them out of all the schoolbooks that have ever been written.”
      • “Now brothers and sisters, I must not take more time, but I want to tell you that when our boys and girls get to feel the truth of that book, there will be less worry about where their feet are leading them by day and by night. God bless the youth of Zion. God bless every man and every woman who bears responsibility in the home and in the organizations and in the priesthood quorums, and may our testimonies and our lives so affect theirs that they will become powers for good in this world, and may this book yet fulfill this great decree, as written in the preface, that it shall be a witness of the Lord Jesus Christ, unto all nations.”
  • April 1946 General Conference
    • The Way of Life
      • “It has been forty-one years this month since I left Salt Lake to fill my first mission in Holland, and I have been thinking while sitting here that from that time to this the gospel has meant everything in the world to me. I remember when I gave my report at the close of my first mission in the ward to which I then belonged. I made the statement that I hoped the Lord would send me on a mission often enough so that I could retain the spirit that I had enjoyed in the mission field. The gospel with all its teachings and its promises and its blessings has become a real thing in my life, and with all my heart I know it is true, and I hope to do all I can as long as I live to help to promote faith in the hearts of my fellow-men.”
      • “In our relationship to each other we are in very deed brothers and sisters, and Christ was the Firstborn, the Elder Brother, who offered himself as a ransom for sin of all the inhabitants of the earth. Then it tells us the purpose of our creation, that we are here to gain knowledge and intelligence and experience and prepare ourselves that we might go on and become as he is.”
  • October 1945 General Conference
    • Seek the Kingdom of God
      • “Is there any true Latter-day Saint who would not like to keep himself more unspotted from the world? Is there any father or mother in Israel who would not like his or her sons and daughters to keep themselves unspotted from the world?”
      • “We do not want to neglect our prayers; we do not want to neglect attendance at our sacrament meetings. We do not want a spirit of darkness to come over us. I want to bear testimony to you Latter-day Saints, as a result of my own experience and training, and that of my children, that I know of no better way that we can keep the spirit of God burning in our souls and in their souls than by attending sacrament meetings. When I walked out of our fast meeting one day with my son, who was a teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood, he turned to me and said, “Daddy, if the bishop had not announced the closing song just when he did, I could not have kept my seat another minute.” And I thanked the Lord that my boy was there to feel that spirit and that power.”
  • April 1945 General Conference
    • The Value of Missionary Experience
      • “Then I think we ought to make sure that we maintain our standards. No boy ought ever to enter one of our recreation hails and mingle with our young women with the smell of liquor on his breath, or a bottle of liquor on his person. The Lord expects us to guard and protect the lives and honor of our girls, and such men are in no fit condition to associate with them.”
  • October 1944 General Conference
    • The Firing Line
      • “I think of the temptations that they are subjected to. I am sure we were all impressed yesterday with what President Grant said about President Merrill seeing President Grant’s brother wearing a halo, as it were, about him, it being the influence of his father. I pray that wherever our boys go our influence may go with them, and may be as a light to their path, to guide and direct and to give them power and strength to resist evil with which they are surrounded at the present time.”
      • “I thought that if poverty were the only price of virtue, God grant that poverty might come, for virtue must return to the earth if we would be able to stand when He makes His appearance.”
      • “Brethren, wherever your boys and girls go those influences will go with them. If there is anything you can do at home to strengthen them to meet the temptations that come before them, please do not leave undone what can be done.”
  • April 1944 General Conference
    • Tithes and Offerings
      • “To me, one of the greatest accomplishments in the Church is the marvelous faith of the Saints as evidenced in the payment of their tithes and their offerings.”
      • “We should realize, brethren, that ours is the responsibility to carry on. I think of these words so often, for Zion must increase. It must extend its borders. It must strengthen its stakes. There is no backward trek in this Church, and every man called to responsibility of leadership ought to be sure that the work under his direction is being strengthened, that as the years come and go, each year finds us farther along the way, and that we are not slipping in the great responsibility that is ours. Then I try to visualize the accomplishments of the future made possible through the continued faithfulness of the Saints in the payment of their tithes and their offerings.”
      • “I want you to know that I believe the Lord has in mind to reward adequately every Latter-day Saint for his faithfulness.”
      • “We have many inquiries at our office, constantly, about the matter of deducting taxes, income taxes, etc., before paying tithing, and we are told that in some cases the Saints are advised to do this, by their bishops. I think the bishops are being pretty liberal with the Lord’s money. Taxes are no different from what they have always been except in amount and manner of payment. We have never expected to pay our taxes out of the Lord’s tenth.”
  • October 1943 General Conference
    • The Promise unto the Children
      • “Now, when we gather them in, it is very important that we have something for them. They want to be fed, and I think besides teaching them their duties in the Priesthood, one of the greatest things we ought to have in mind is to try to plant in their hearts a testimony of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
      • “My experience in the Church has taught me that the most powerful motivating thing I know of in this world is a testimony of the Gospel. Possessing it, men and women will do anything; they will make any sacrifice.”
      • “You and I know, as we have witnessed on every side, particularly in our ministry in this Church, how marvelously people sacrifice, and how willingly they do it when their souls are touched with a testimony of the Gospel.”
      • “A statement reached us at the Presiding Bishop’s office a few days ago from one of our educators who in teaching a Sunday School class made this statement: “I don’t know whether it would be proper for us to teach our young people to read Leaves from My Journal, by Wilford Woodruff, for fear they might expect similar spiritual experiences, and be disappointed.””
      • “I wonder if there are really very many Latter-day Saints who would be afraid to promise unto the youth of Zion the spiritual gifts and blessings that God, the Eternal Father Himself, has promised.”
      • “We cannot offer our young people the Bible as the word of God, or the standard Church works, and believe only a small portion of that which is written therein.”
      • “That made an impression upon my life. I would like my children impressed with that kind of inspiration, spiritual power, spiritual gifts. Now, as I look back over my life, I want to bear testimony to you, my brethren, here this night, that the Lord has been kind to me, and I have had evidences enough all through my ministry to know that the sweetest thing in this world that I know anything about is the companionship of the Spirit of God, and the gifts and blessings that come by virtue of the same.”
  • April 1943 General Conference
    • Shepherds of the Flock
      • “I want to bear testimony to you this day, brethren, of the truth of this statement. I feel that the Lord owes me nothing for what I have done in the Church. He is the best Paymaster I know anything about.”
      • “Brethren, I am pleading for every man whom the Lord has endowed with His gifts through the power of His Spirit, that we find a way whereby they can fit in and do something for the building up of the kingdom. We have the opportunity of ward teaching, missionary work, and of stake, ward, and auxiliary officers and teachers. We can go even further, for there is so much to be done in a temporal way, in beautification, in the Welfare program, in the building of storehouses, in the acquiring of land, and in the production of the things not yet being produced which are needed for the storehouses; and some of the finest leadership in the Church is available, but as yet inactive. I scarcely ever return from a conference without thinking of some of the outstanding men I have met, successful in a particular field, almost beyond words to describe; and I wonder how we can reach into the lives of those less fortunate and lift them to the same level.”
  • October 1942 General Conference
    • The Power of Example
      • “I hope we will realize that there will be more expected of us—that our arms will be just a little longer, and our love a little deeper, and our faith a little more sincere, and that our confidence and trust in God and the ultimate triumph of His work in the earth may never falter.”
      • “I wonder if we know each one of our children well enough to know that they are making their contribution to the building up of the kingdom of God in the earth. Are our children setting an example because of our power as leaders and priests in our own homes?”
  • April 1942 General Conference
    • Leadership in the Aaronic Priesthood
      • “If we expect to continue our positions of leadership it will be because we are faithful over the few things that the Lord has entrusted into our care.”
      • “I believe it is a fine thing to be in positions of responsibility in the Church, but the Lord expects more of us than to be good men. I think that comes first, but He wants us to be active men.”
      • “I believe that men in Israel owe their first allegiance to the Church and kingdom of God, and I want to admonish you brethren to put your arms around men and put them to work, and when they are released from positions, do not feel that there is no place for them.”
  • October 1941 General Conference
    • Prepare for the Second Coming
      • “Not only were our pioneer fathers and mothers required to sacrifice in order that they might prove themselves worthy to stand among the Saints of God who are to be gathered in these latter days, but we are required to make sacrifices also. We may not be required to forsake our homes and go into new lands; we may not be required to lay our loved ones away by the side of the road; we may not be driven out by friends and ridiculed and reviled, but the Lord nevertheless expects sacrifices at our hands. And I want to say to you that I think the Lord does not let such sacrifices go unrewarded.”
  • April 1941 General Conference
    • Testimonies
      • “Some years ago I had a discussion with an associate of mine in the Church, an educator, who said he believed the day had come when we would have to appeal to the young people of the Church through reason rather than through that which we customarily call a testimony of the Gospel. I answered that if we had reached that stage, then I feared for the future of the Church, as all that we had accomplished as a people had been because of the testimonies that the Lord had given unto us.”
      • “The Savior of the world indicated that if we would be His disciples we must be willing to forsake all that we have in this world, even to fathers and mothers, lands and herds, and I want to say to you that I do not believe men and women will forsake all they have because of any reasoning power they possess. They will do it when their souls are touched by the inspiration and power of the Spirit of the living God, which is the testimony of the truth, and then it is that men can love God more than they love anything else in this world, and hence forsake all because of their love of Him.”
      • “I think He meant that His children should live such lives that wherever they stand the ground upon which they stand should be holy and sanctified because of their presence.”
  • October 1940 General Conference
    • Peace, Politics
      • “In the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants we are told that the day will come when every man who is not willing to take up his sword and fight against his neighbor should flee to Zion for safety, but if we keep close to the spirit of this great Priesthood that we bear, this brotherhood, we should be able to live at peace with one another and not have to take up the sword against our neighbors.”
      • “It seems to me that it is a disturbing influence and probably the most disturbing of all influences in the midst of the Latter-day Saints, and that is this political discord. I know I am stepping in where angels fear to tread, but since I am not a politician I think I might be privileged to say a word or two on this subject. Notwithstanding the loyalty we bear to the Church, and all the service we render, somehow our minds become darkened when we talk of political things, and those who otherwise should be the best of friends and the best of neighbors become at variance with each other. I have heard President Grant tell in years gone by of some of the brethren who went Ward Teaching together and before they separated they were fist-fighting because they got into arguments over politics. I was with a group of brethren one day, when the discussion became so hot that one brother said, “If the Savior should come back to the earth and He was a member of the other party I would oppose Him.” I could understand this statement, but I did not believe the brother meant it. He saw me walk away in disgust so he hunted me up the next day and apologized for what he had said.”
      • “This extreme attitude has always annoyed me. My family has sometimes said, “How is it that you do not take a more active part in politics?” And I have said, “Because I love my friends too much, and I have seen too many men lose their friends because of their activity in politics.” I do not see, brethren, why we cannot stand for correct principles and not have to. “haul through the mire,” so to speak, each other just because we go out after a political position. I sometimes wonder if our brethren realize how much they do to destroy the faith of the youth of the Church and cause unfavorable criticism and comment by those who are not of the Church when they assail each other as has been the practice for all the years since I have been old enough to remember. We ought to feel that we owe our allegiance to the Church and to the Priesthood and to our brethren. We should love our brethren until the love that binds us together will be stronger than the cords of death, and this ought to cause us to sustain and uphold each other under all circumstances and not permit the evil one to get an inroad into our midst because of these disturbing influences.”
      • “I was particularly impressed with what Brother Evans said, that he believed in following the Prophet of the Lord even though he did not think he was right, because he found he always was right, and he said those of us who are not willing to follow him when we do not think he is right do not believe that he is a Prophet of God. This accords with my feelings along this line.”
      • “When we raise our hands to sustain them as prophets, seers, and revelators, we ought to think twice before we criticize their judgment and their recommendations.”
      • “It seems to me that it has almost come to the point in our Church where even if they express their thoughts on some of the very fundamentals for which the Church has ever stood, for which every prophet in this great Church has stood, they are criticized by some of the brethren on the grounds that they are meddling in politics.”
      • “I believe, my brothers and sisters, that our greatest danger as a people is from within, and I would like to believe that the Latter-day Saints believe in the leaders of this great Church to the point that they are willing to accept their counsel and advice. I think sometimes we almost bind them so that when they have the inspiration of Almighty God and would like to speak to us they hesitate for fear some of us will feel that they are interfering with political affairs. If I had my way I would weclome the day, come it as soon as God may grant, when these men with whom I am associated so intimately and whose very intimate thoughts I know and their desires for the welfare of this people and the welfare of the Kingdom of God, might not only be issuing instructions to this great Church but to this great nation, which we are told is a land choice above all other lands and over which Christ our Lord, as decreed, shall reign, as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, because in this land it is decreed that the new Jerusalem of the Lord our God shall be established.”
  • April 1940 General Conference
    • A Present Need
      • “I am sure if we appreciated the Word of Wisdom and its meaning to the Church as much as Satan appreciates what it means when we can be persuaded to disregard the same, we would appreciate it more than we do today. I am grateful to my parents who taught me to observe and keep the Word of Wisdom.”
      • “When we commence to do the things we should not do, and thus we quit praying, the Lord withdraws His Spirit and we are turned over to the buflfetings of Satan. It is first a cigaret; then it is a glass of beer; then it is a drinking party; and that leads to immorality ; and some of us know from our experience in the Church something of what this means.”
      • “I hope that the fathers and mothers in Israel are training their boys and girls today as my father and mother trained me when they told me that immorality was the greatest sin a man could commit next to the shedding of innocent blood, and that they would rather lay me away in the grave innocent and clean than to know I had lost my virtue or had robbed a woman of hers. I think, my brothers and sisters, that we need to do a little more of that kind of preaching today.”
  • October 1939 General Conference
    • An Increase of Faith
      • “I believe that if there is one thing that we need in the Church today more than any other, it is increased faith in the hearts of our boys and our girls in the restoration of the Gospel, in the divine mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and in the fact that God lives, that every boy and girl will answer to him for their lives.”
      • “I believe that unless this faith is planted in the hearts of our boys and girls they will not be able to meet the temptations of the day and come out gloriously victorious, true to the faith, and true to the standards of this Church.”
      • “During my travels I learned of a few instances where our young people had been taken out of our institutions because the parents felt that their faith was being destroyed, rather than strengthened; and I think that this is a reproach.”
      • “I was privileged to be raised in the home of a patriarch. Today, my father is the acting Presiding Patriarch of the Church, and it might be more appropriate that he should speak on this subject than that I should ; but I received my first blessing at his hands’when I was eight years old, and I want to say to you that all the philosophizing in this world could not make me believe that my father knew what he pronounced upon my head of his own knowledge and his own understanding. That blessing has been a guide to me all my life, and I thank God that I received it when I was a boy eight years of age.”
      • “My faith in God and his eternal purposes is such that I never doubt but that he has made adequate provision for the fulfilment of every promise, and to complete and perfect the work which he has here commenced.”
      • “I am telling you now something you already know, of course, but I presume there are many people here and in the Church who have not looked much into the Doctrine and Covenants. I do not think any of us spends any too much time in doing so. It is a big question. This great Gospel takes some thought and a good deal of prayer to comprehend it, and authority to exercise the Priesthood.”
  • April 1939 General Conference
    • The Principle of Giving
      • “I love the missionary work of the Church and the privilege it affords of bearing testimony of the restoration of the Gospel, and of the divine mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and the accomplishments of this great organization.”
      • “As I have often said in the mission field, if one is looking for an easy religion he had better not bother with Mormonism. Most of us know that we are at the call of the Church all the time. In fact, my wife has always said the children belong to her and I belong to the Church; and I presume there are many brethren here, and sisters too, who feel the same way about it.”
      • “And I want to say to you, my brethren and sisters, that we need the tithes of the Saints in order that the kingdom might go on, for it shall be builded just as rapidly as the faith of the Saints can build it, and it is retarded when there is a lack of faith.”
      • “I feel that the bishops and the presidents of stakes and those who preside with them in the wards and stakes of Zion should realize the great responsibility that is theirs and should not regard it lightly, but should do all they can do to care for their brethren.”
  • October 1938 General Conference
    • A Marvelous Work
      • “The evidence of divinity in this work is in the accomplishments of the Church, that which is being done by the organizations the Lord has set in the Church to bring about the things which he had in mind, and when we analyze this inspired organization it would not be consistent to attribute to mortal man that which has been brought forth for the achievement of these things.”
      • “When you are in an organization that has been fashioned by God the Eternal Father, there is life, there is power in it, just like there is life in the human body.”
  • April 1938 General Conference
    • Humbled by a New Call
      • “I am very happy to be associated with the Latter-day Saints. I am grateful for every opportunity of service that has come to me in the past. I feel that the Lord owes me nothing. All I have done for the Church I have done because I love the Church and because I love the Lord, and the Lord does not owe me a thing. I was grateful that I was able to successfully drop back into my business, so that the people would not think that I was dependent upon the Church.”
      • “I want to say to you that there is no achievement that can ever come in the lives of my own children that will be so pleasing to me as to know that their lives shall be lives of service to this great Church.”

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