George F. Richards

President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (May 21, 1945 – August 8, 1950)

Acting Presiding Patriarch (October 8, 1937 – October 3, 1942)

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (April 9, 1906 – August 8, 1950)

General Conference Addresses

  • April 1909 General Conference
    • The Kingdom of God
      • “This Church, then, and embryotic kingdom of God, is typical of the kingdom of our Father in heaven; and as no sinful thing can enter the kingdom of God in heaven, go where our Father is and enjoy celestial glory with Him and with our elder brother and Savior, so we cannot enter this preparatory kingdom in our sins, but every man and woman must of necessity repent of sin, with broken heart and contrite spirit, or they cannot obtain admission. If they have been admitted under any other conditions, they are still in their sins even though they may have yielded obedience to the ordinance of baptism, and though that ordinance may have been performed in the way the Lord has appointed, by immersion in water, and by one who has held the authority, their sins are not remitted; and though hands may be laid upon their heads to confer the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost has not come upon them, and the testimony has never been borne through the Holy Ghost to their souls concerning the truth of the work and the acceptance by the Lord of their course of life.”
      • “We are not yet perfect in this earthly kingdom, though it is our Father’s. Though we have repented of our sins, man is prone to do evil, even as the sparks fly upward. When we find ourselves overcome by that which is evil, the Lord requires that we will, with broken hearts and contrite spirits, undertake again to forsake those evils, return to them no more. With the Lord’s help we will finally succeed and triumph over evil.”
    • Tithing
      • “We are told, in the revelations, that we must have an assurance that our course of life is approved of the Lord, or we can not exercise that faith which is necessary to take hold upon the blessings of eternal life. If I neglect to comply with the law, or only partially comply with the law, do I know that my course is approved of the Lord? Nay, verily, but the reverse; I would know better than any other man in the world that my course of life is not approved of the Lord; and it would be impossible for me to exercise faith sufficient to take hold upon the blessings of eternal life.”
      • “If we put it off until the end of the year, the temptation is greater: when we come to figure out what we justly owe to the Lord —one-tenth of all our interest—it looms up big before us.”
      • “We pray, “Lead us not into temptation;” the Lord expects us to help ourselves and avoid temptation.”
  • October 1908 General Conference
    • Good Works Are the Sure Evidence of Faith
      • “If we were now living up to the light and knowledge that has come to us, our light would shine out in the nations, they would behold the power of God manifest among us, and see a people who would delight in works of righteousness, and who would eschew all evil. Had we lived fully up to this light the evils that have come to some of us through strong drink, and other evils, would have been averted.”
      • “The gospel of the Master is one of self-denial and self-sacrifice; it requires faith to enable men and women to make the sacrifices required, and to deny themselves the things which are forbidden by the gospel.”
      • “If I do not yield obedience to that law, I manifest that I do not believe the law.”
    • Love to Do God’s Will
      • “I do feel that we should put forth an effort, greater than we have ever done before, to make obedience to the Word of Wisdom universal among us. If there are some who will complain that too much time of this conference has been given to a consideration of the Word of Wisdom, I will answer that no faithful Latter-day Saint, who has himself been yielding obedience to this requirement of the Lord, will make such complaint. Any person who speaks thus you may justly suspicion as not having observed this important revelation of the Lord.”
      • “If we are consistent, anything that the Lord expresses to us as His will, whether it be by written revelation or through the mouths of His servants in whom we have confidence, and whom we sustain, when we know what the will of the Lord is, and we fail to do it, with all our mind, might, and strength, we are under condemnation before the Lord, and are not acting according to the light He has given us.”
  • April 1908 General Conference
    • The Plan of Salvation
      • “”Mormonism” comprises the great plan of the Creator, and there was no other plan instituted in Heaven for the accomplishment of this great work.If there were more than one plan we would find confusion in the work of the Lord, but there is not, consequently there is symmetry and beauty, and progress, as our brethern have testified during the meetings of this conference.”
      • “And so this Church has been built upon the rock of revelation; and it has met the storms; the rains have descended upon it; the floods have come and blown against it from every side; the blasts have not impaired it; it stands because it is founded upon a rock. Neither can these things disturb it,—all the falsehoods, the persecutions, the calumnies, anything or everything that the adversaries of righteousness may inaugurate or wage against this work, only have dashed against it; the winds have the effect of lifting it up and moving it forward.”
  • October 1907 General Conference
    • Glorious Destiny of the Church
      • “I fear when persecutions cease, when those who are not of us cease to raise their voices and to use their pens against this great work, that we may become indifferent and forget our responsibilities.”
      • “I believe this to be a reliable report, and we may congratulate ourselves, as Latter-day Saints, that we are identified with the most Christianized Church in America, a Church which is destined to be acknowledged as the most Americanized Church in America. Why not? We have the principles of eternal truth, we have the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we teach it as He and His Apostles taught it. We have the organization with- all the officers as they existed in the primitive Church. We have the authority to preach this Gospel, and minister in its ordinances, for the salvation of the human family. We are here upon the land of Zion—America. Why should not the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints be regarded as the most Americanized church in the land? Such is its destiny.”
  • April 1907 General Conference
    • Testimony Obtained by Obedience
      • “The Lord has borne record to every faithful son and daughter who has yielded obedience to the principles of the Gospel, that this work is true, that there is no other plan devised, no other way under heaven, by which mankind can obtain salvation and eternal life. There is no way to exaltation except by yielding obedience to the principles which are taught by the Latter-day Saints, revealed in this last dispensation through the prophet Joseph Smith, the same principles, in the same order, as they were taught by Jesus Himself, having the same saving power.”
      • “It is a rare thing to find a man in this Church, in full standing, who refuses to do anything that he is asked to do. Why? Because he has an intelligent understanding of the plan of life and salvation. He knows that it is God’s work, and that man does not elect himself to office, or assign to himself the part he is to perform in this kingdom, but every man who has heard the word and had the privileges of the Gospel is expected to give his time his talents, his means—all that he has, if need be—for the building up of the kingdom, the salvation of the human family, but he does not yield a blind obedience.”
      • “It is a mistaken idea, prevalent in the world, that the perpetuity of this work depends upon the authorities keeping the masses of the people in ignorance. The truth is the direct reverse, else why have we all these auxiliary organizations and quorums of priesthood in the church, for the education of the rising generation. Their being established in the faith depends upon their knowledge of the Gospel. Our greatest fear concerning our children in Zion is the possibility of their growing up in ignorance of the everlasting Gospel, for it is only that class—with few exceptions—who give up the faith. Possibly some who have had a little faith in the Gospel have been overcome by temptation and fallen from grace; they have not had enough faith to bring about repentance in their hearts, to humble themselves and regain their standing. It may be we have lost a few of our sons and daughters on this account, but we never see them uniting with other churches and denominations. They are sure we have the true Gospel and Church of Christ, with all its saving power. Respecting those who have received the testimony of the Gospel, our fear is that they may become indifferent, that they will not join the auxiliary organizations, and that they do not always receive at their firesides in their homes the instructions concerning this work that they should receive, and because they have not retained a knowledge of the Gospel their eyes may be blinded. But we do know that where our sons and daughters are virtuous and upright, and have a knowledge of the Gospel, that they love it; it appeals to their judgment and intelligence, and they will hardly lay down the truth for a falsehood.”
      • “There is no way to become members of this Church except through faith in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ, and repentance from sin. We must confess our sins ; we must come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and give evidence that our repentance is genuine, that we are sincere in what we are undertaking; when we have done this, and have yielded obedience to the principle of baptism, we receive as a result the forgiveness of sins. Then follows the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and we receive light and intelligence, and the fulfillment of the promise of the Lord that we shall know of the doctrine; thus we are made better for. having received the Gospel, if we have been true to our covenants.”
  • October 1906 General Conference
    • The Perfect Plan of Salvation
      • “The Gospel presents to us a most beautiful picture, and it seems to me that the picture was never quite so beautiful before, as it has presented itself to my mind during the meetings of this conference. The moral and religious code embraced in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, as taught by the Latter-day Saints, is of the highest character; it emanated from God Himself, from the heavens above, and Jesus Christ our Savior was the Great Exponent. The Gospel is without defect, it is a perfect plan; it is God’s own guide to a perfect life; and there is infinite power within it, the power to save those who will yield obedience to its precepts, ordinances, laws and doctrines.”
      • “It is offered for our salvation, but it is left with us to accept or reject it. The law is given; the plan is offered, but it will profit us nothing unless we accept it. The great mission work of our Savior, His atonement, will not profit us anything if we do not live the law, except that we are brought forth from the grave, as are all our Father’s children, for “as in Adam all die, so in Christ are all made alive.””
      • “We are not now so much in need of being taught the Gospel, and our duties as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as we are in need of being impressed with the necessity of living the law, according to the light and knowledge we have already received.”
      • “If all of us were living up to the high standard of the Gospel, even our enemies—those who fight against us—would have our love and prayers, for the Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to love our enemies, to pray for those who hate us and who despitefully use us.”
      • “There are foolish ones eagerly looking forward to ascertain what Babylon —”the mother of harlots, the whore of all the earth”—is going to introduce next among us, and they want to be the first to adopt it. The Latter-day Saints should remember they are to be the salt of the earth, the leaven with which the whole lump is to be leavened — the whole lump of humanity; that is the design and purpose of the Lord concerning us.”

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