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David O. McKay Diaries – “Stephen L. Richards”

Below you will find diary entries on the topic of “Stephen L. Richards.” You can view other subjects here.

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Thur., 5 May, 1932:

“A very important and serious matter arose in Council meeting today, with Stephen L. [Richards] the principle actor.

Later in the day, commenting upon what had happened, President Grant said to me, in the presence of President Ivins:  ‘Well, he (Stephen L.) made a mistake when he delivered that address, but today, he made a fool of himself.'”

Wed., 31 May, 1950:

“At the office at 7 a.m.–Busy with office affairs until 9 a.m., at which time I met Brother Stephen L. Richards who has been appointed a member of a committee to study a plan for Priesthood insurance.  I told Brother Richards that I would call Brother Virgil Smith of the Beneficial Life Insurance Company who, I am sure, will be able to give some valuable advice regarding this matter.  I later reached Brother Smith by telephone and asked him if he would meet with Brother Stephen L. Richards.  I explained to him that for twenty or twenty-five years we have been trying to work out some plan for Priesthood insurance for the Quorums of the Church; that the Council of the First Presidency and the Twelve the other day approved of a committee’s working plan out, and approved of the comittee’s getting such help as will be necessary to get it on a sound basis.  I told him, also, that Brother Stephen L. Richards had met with me this morning on it, and said that he would appreciate very much receiving his advice regarding it.  Brother Smith said that he would be very happy to render whatever help he could, and that he would get in touch with Brother Stephen L. Richards immediately.”

Wed., 26 Jul., 1950:

“At 5:30 p.m. I called Elder Stephen L. Richards at West Yellowstone, Montana.  I said that we would continue where we had left off in a previous conversation.  I then stated that the Presidency had been in meeting today, and approved of the plan suggested, and said: ‘If your health will permit, you may proceed immediately to fill that mission.’  Brother Richards said he would be very happy to accept the assignment if the brethren feel that he could do it satisfactorily.  I said that they were all agreed that he would be just the man to fill this special mission if his health would permit.  I then suggested that he go by boat instaed of by air, and that if Bro. Richards wished, we would proceed at once to get the reservations and passports.  Brother Richards asked about taking his wife, and I said that he should take her with him. Bro. Richards then explained that he had some work up there, and asked if it would be all right if he returned the first of next week.  I said that would be agreeable.”

Fri., 4 Aug., 1950:

“Brother Stephen L. Richards of the Council of the Twelve came in to discuss matters pertaining to his official visit to Europe.  I instructed him to go directly to Berlin and meet with Presidents Stover and Wunderlich and decide what is best to be done with missionaries there in Berlin and in Finland.  I told him to make his own arrangements with Pres. Matis of the Finnish Mission, either have him meet Brother Richards at a place designated by him, or arrange to meet him at the mission headquarters.

I also instructed Brother Richards that if conditions warrant it, he get in touch with President Badwagon Piranian of the Palestine-Syrian Mission and if convenient that he go over to Syria and study the conditions first hand, because our mission there is not fulfilling its destiny.

Brother Richards asked me to give him a blessing for the special mission that has been assigned to him.  I responded and set him apart for his assigned duty.  He seemed very appreciative of the blessing given.”

Wed., 11 Oct., 1950:

“10:00–Elder Stephen L. Richards came in to report to President McKay on his return from his European trip.”

Tues., 17 Apr., 1951:

7:30 a.m.–Conference with President Stephen L. Richards.  Reported to him that I had a conference with Patriarch Eldred Smith regarding exchange of officers in order that the First Presidency might have more office space, and that Brother Smith had expressed a willingness to do whatever we wanted him to do.  Brother Smith will see President Richards and they will make their plans regarding the exchange of offices.”

Thurs., 28 May, 1953:

“8:30 a.m.—Called on Brother Stayner Richards, Assistant to the Twelve, at the L.D.S. Hospital.  Found him to be seriously ill.  I administered to him and fervently prayed that his life would be preserved.  Brother Richards had been attending a Conference in the San Fernando Stake and was stricken on the train with a severe pain in his abdomen.  Felt worried and heavy at heart when I saw Brother Richards.

Tues., 29 May, 1956:

Telephone Calls

“1.  President Stephen L. Richards called – Has just been released from the Hospital, and is now recuperating at his home.

He said: ‘I have called this morning to say how much joy and comfort your note and beautiful bouquet of roses which came to our apartment last evening.  Sister Richards sends her love and grateful appreciation to you.  When you gave me that lovely blessing on Friday, May 18, I felt that I could just get up and walk, but I suppose this ‘Flu” had to run its course, so when my temperature went up they took me to the hospital.  This morning, however, I feel very well but weak, and the doctors advise that I remain home to regain my strength.’

I told Brother Richards not to worry about a thing over here at the office; that his foremost duty right now is to take care of himself, not only for himself and family, but for the entire Church.

President Richards then inquired as to my health.  I told him that I had had a pretty strenuous ten days in speaking appointments, dedicatory services – that I had driven my car from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the fog, had held meetings at the Los Angeles Temple, spent a day at Laguna Beach, and had driven from Los Angeles to Salt Lake, staying at the wheel every moment, and that through it all I have felt pretty well, and also that Sister Mckay is quite well, and stood the trip very well.

President Richards admonished me not to overdo, and asked me to give his greetings, love and best wishes to Sister McKay, in which Sister Richards whole-heartedly joins.  She is feeling better and is also recuperating from her illness, which necessitated her hospitalization at the same time that President Richards was there.”

Thurs., 7 June, 1956:

“While in the meeting of the First Presidency, just a few moments before leaving for Council meeting in the Salt Lake Temple, I telephoned to President Stephen L. Richards who is still recuperating at his home from a very serious attack of bronchitis.

I told him that we were sitting in the Presidency’s room in meeting and were just preparing to leave for Council meeting in the Temple and wished to have a last-minute report of his health.  Brother Richards answered that he is feeling much better; that he is able to take an automobile ride each day, but has a little trouble obtaining his equilibrium when he stands on his feet.  I then said, ‘Now, Brother Richards, you stay right there and take care of yourself, carefully and prayerfully, and do not worry at all about what is going on here at the office.’

Brother Richards remarked that he is availing himself of my kind counsel, notwithstanding the fact that it seems hard to be so slow in regaining his strength, and I said, ‘Well, you have had a pretty severe attack.’  He then said that the doctor says it just takes time; that Irene (Sister Richards) is feeling better, and that she has been able to get up the last two days.

I asked if his daughter Allie is still with him, and he answered that she is leaving today; that she has rendered wonderful service.  Lynn’s daughter who just graduated from the University is coming to be with them.

I then assured President Richards that we would unite this morning in our meeting in prayers and love for his and Sister Richards’ speedy and complete recovery.’

Fri., 15 June, 1956:

Telephone Calls

“4.  While engaged in First Presidency’s meeting this morning, telephoned to President Stephen L. Richards who is still at home recuperating from an attack of bronchitis.

Upon inquiry about his health, he said that he is feeling much better, but that when he tries to walk or do anything a little bit strenuous he gets weak in the knees; said he tried to make it over to the Temple to attend Council meeting yesterday, but turned back because he felt so weak.

I said, ‘Now, President Richards, we feel impressed (President Clark is here with me and concurs in this) that you should not undertake any work until after you have taken a rest up at your summer home in Yellowstone, and, if necessary , take the whole summer vacation period.’

President Richards then said: ‘You have such a heavy load yourself, and I hope and pray that the Lord will bless you with the strength you need to carry on.’

I assured Brother Richards that our hearts are warm in prayers and faith for his complete restoration to health, and that he must not attempt to come back until he has fully recovered; that he is not to worry at all about affairs at the office.

President Richards said that he plans to leave with Sister Richards next Sunday evening for the Hepton in Yellowstone.”

June 26, 1956

Telephone Conversation with President Stephen L. Richards, West Yellowstone, Montana, Tuesday, June 26, 1956.

President Stephen L. Richards called from West Yellowstone, Montana.  He stated that he and Sister Richards were improving, but their progress is slower than they had hoped.  Any unusual exertion seems to give them a setback.  President Richards stated that he hoped he could come to Salt Lake to see me; however, he feels that it would be wise for him to remain at his summer cabin a little longer before traveling again.  He also asked if there were any prospects of me coming to see him.  I told him that it would be impossible for me to come in the immediate future.  Inasmuch as he requested Ray to spend a few days with them, I told him that she had been ill and would not be able to go there at the present time.  She had been unable to go to Idaho with me Sunday to dedicate the Oakley 1st and 2nd Wards and Cassia Stake building.  I reported to President Richards that Ray was better, but the doctors were not sure whether she had a persistent bronchitis or an asthmatic condition.

I told President Richards that we would keep in touch with him by telephone, and for him not to worry, but it is our desire that he remain in Montana until he gets his strength back again.

Tues., 19 May, 1959:

“At 7:30 o’clock, just after I had concluded a conference with Bishop Pickering of the 27th Ward (my home ward) Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, Assistant to the Twelve, came in and brought a message from Sister Stephen L. Richards who had phoned to him from their summer cottage at Wasatch Lawns, to the effect that President Richards had not been well during the night – that he had been seized with irregular heart pains and was feeling chilled.  They had called Dr. Harlow Richards, his nephew and physician who came out immediately and decided that President Richards should go to the hospital.  They secured a private ambulance this morning and had taken him to the LDS Hospital for one or two day’s tests.  However, Sister Richards reported that she was not worried; that everything would be all right.

7:45 a.m.

Soon thereafter I received a call from Dr. Harlow Richards from the hospital who notified me that President Richards had passed away on his way up to the operating room where they were going to give him some tests.  About this same time President Clark came in and said that he had learned of the passing of President Richards.

It seems that President Richards had recognized his son, Dick, who had come down from Spokane on business and happened to be in Salt Lake in the morning.  He had gone up to the hospital.  President Richards recognized him at the hospital door, and it was to Dick that he said: ‘I feel that I am going to faint.’

The news of his passing was a terrible shock to me.

8:00 a.m.

Sister McKay telephoned to learn if I had heard the sad news.

At about 8:25 o’clock, Brother Gordon B. Hinckley returned to the office and told me that he had received the news of President Richards’ death from a Deseret News reporter.  I told him that I had better go out to Wasatch Lawns to see Sister Richards.  Brother Hinckley called her to tell her that I was coming out to see her, and learned that Sister Richards had not yet been told of President Richards’ passing.  I then decided that I had better wait until members of the family had conveyed the news to her.

(Note by Secretary)

Elder Gordon B. Hinckley and Brother Wendell B. Mendenhall who came in to the office immediately after President McKay had received the news reported to Clare Middlemiss, secretary to President McKay, that President McKay broke down and wept when he heard of President Richards’ passing, and he said to them — ‘He as as dear to me as a brother — a true and loyal friend, a wise counselor, with one of the greatest minds in the Church – Oh! how I shall miss him!’

Out of personal sorrow, as much as formal respect, President McKay put aside engagements and meetings previously scheduled.  Personal sadness was exhibited in tears and dejected expression on his face.

8:45 a.m.

President Clark and I conferred regarding statement about President Richards’ death for the press.  Later, the statement was released to both local papers.

9 a.m.

My son, Dr. Edward R. McKay, came in to express his personal sorrow and extended condolences over the passing of President Richards.

9:30 a.m.

Reporters from both the Deseret News and Tribune called for statements regarding the passing of President Richards.  They were told that the one official statement from the First Presidency would suffice.

10:00 a.m.

President McKay went into the regular meeting of the Committee of Expenditures and informed the members who had gathered of President Richards’ death and that the meeting would not be held. (cm)

10:15 a.m.

President Joseph Fielding Smith, President of the Council of Twelve, came in to express his sympathy.

10:30 a.m.

Having received word from President Richards’ son, Lynn, that his mother had left her Wasatch Lawn Cemetery home, and was now at her Eagle Gate Apartment, President Clark and I called upon her to convey our love and deep sympathy.  She was holding up remarkably well, although I could see that she was more or less in a state of shock.  She intelligently and very calmly discussed with us her desires regarding funeral services.  It was decided that the services would be held Friday in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.  I said that I felt that it would be impossible for me to talk on this occasion.

11 a.m.

Back at the office, President Clark, President Joseph Fielding Smith, and I conferred regarding funeral arrangements.

12 noon.

After preparing the following statement for the Mutual Broadcasting Company of Washington, D.C. (at the request of Mr. James McCarthy of that company, who said the statement would be released to over 500 of their stations) I left the office for home.

In the sudden passing of President Stephen L. Richards, a loss has come to the Church and to the State that overwhelms all who knew him and his work, and leaves all wtih a sense of deprivation of his vision, wisdom, loyalty, devotion, friendship, and great ability that seems all but irreparable.

His great love and devotion to his country and its free institutions, made of him a great patriotic citizen; his influence for the preservation of the Constitution and the Government formed under it, placed him among the foremost citizens of his generation.

Personally, I sense the loss not only of a wise counselor but of a personal friend as dear as a brother.

1:30 p.m.

Sister McKay and I called on Sister Richards to convey personal sympathy to her.  After visiting with her a short time, returned home.

(see following newspaper clippings of Pres. Richards’ death)

President McKay expresses his feelings regarding his beloved counselor President Stephen L. Richards.

At the meeting of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve held May 21, 1959 (the first meeting since President Richards’ passing) I read to the Brethren some of the telegrams of sympathy that had been received from Church leaders far and near; from Elder Mark E. Petersen and his wife who are in Japan on a Church assignment; from George Champion, President of the Manhattan Chase Bank, New York; from Anthony I. Eyring, Vice President of the Manhattan Chase Bank, New York; Arthur V. Watkins, former United States Senator from Utah.  Many other telegrams have been received from stake presidencies, mission presidents, government officials and others.  I told the Brethren that there would not be time to read these messages at the funeral services but felt that they would be interested in hearing some of them, which are indicative of the feeelings of the Saints, members and non-members alike regarding the passing of President Richards.

I then stated to the Brethren that we had all sustained a great loss in the passing of our beloved brother, Stephen L. Richards.  One man said that ‘readiness is everything’ and if any man ever was ready to answer the Call, it was Stephen L.

I take great comfort in the fact that Stephen L. was taken without unnecessary, lingering pain.  He had suffered for many years, and really we have been greatly blessed in having had his company these many years, and I especially have been blessed to have had him as a counselor in the Presidency during the past eight years.  When the heart attack first came to him, he lost the use of his left arm.  The Lord has been kind to us in letting him remain as long as he has.

President Richards had a brilliant intellect, loving heart; he was true to the Church.  I do not suppose there was ever a man who could more sincerely lose himself in consideration of problems than could Stephen L.  He considered each problem on its merits, irrespective of personality, self-relationship to it, and his judgment was really clear and sound.  President Richards was just recenlty in England where his last great service to the Church was rendered in behalf of the difficulties we have over there now in the matter of taxing the temple and where he rendered a masterful service.  I was worried about his taking the trip, and I asked Sister Richards if she thought that that assignment hastened his end, and she gave me the assurance that she did not think so; that he stood the trip all right, and enjoyed it very much.  He rendered the service he was sent to do, came home, and wrote the brief for the lawyers in England, and it did not overtax his energies.  (see Friday, May 22, 1959 for letter from President Woodbury of the British Mission regarding President Richards’ service while in England.)

One week ago President Richards was here with us, and planned to leave tonight to take Sister Richards and one of his sons up to the Hebgen Lake, Montana where he enjoyed himself in the summer time so much, but the Lord willed otherwise.  The last two days I have been expecting him to come in and join us in our First Presidency’s meetings — it is hard to realize that he is gone, but we shall have to get used to his absence and know that he is on the Other Side meeting those whom he loved — his brothers who have gone before him and espeically his grandfather.  I think no man was ever truer to the prophet Joseph than Brother Willard Richards.  He was an amanuensis for the Prophet.  Willard Richards knew the Prophet as no other man in this life ever knew him, and yet no man was truer, more faithful than Willard Richards was to the Prophet Joseph.  His answer to the Prophet in Carthage Jail when the Prophet asked him if he wanted to save himself has always thrilled me — He said:  ‘Brother Joseph, you did not ask me to cross the river with you — you did not ask me to come to Carthage.  You did not ask me to come to jail with you, and do you think I would forsake you now, but I shall tell you what I will do.  If you are condemned to be hung for treason, I will be hung in your stead and you shall go free.’  That was not an idle saying because I have been informed (I have not checked on it, but I am going to do so) that that could be done legally at that time; that a man could die for somebody else who had been sentenced to death.  Stephen L. inherited that same loyalty.  He was one of the earth’s greatest men.  Great intellectual acumen, keen insight, clear vision, sound judgment, and it is satisfying to know that so many not only in the Church but out of the Church recognized his strength and his judgment and his ability as a leader.

There is an empty chair; we shall say goodbye to him for the present.  It will not be long before we shall join him.  May God help us to carry on and perform our duties and help each other to discharge the responsibility that is ours is my most earnest prayer.”

Tuesday, May 19, 1959.

Telephone conversation with Elder Ezra Taft Benson who called from Washington, D.C. as soon as he received word of the death of President Stephen L. Richards.

Brother Benson:  Hello, President McKay, this is Brother Benson.  I just got the flash over the wire here about Brother Richards.

President McKay:  Well, we are all broken up about it — it is sudden and a shock.

Brother Benson:  I just cannot believe it; he seemed so well when he was here a few days ago.

President McKay:  I know.  He was feeling fine.  We got word just before meeting time this morning that they had taken him to the hospital, but that there was no need to worry.  However, just about the time we usually meet at 8:30 in the morning, we received word from the doctor that he had passed away on his way to the operating room.  He had reached the hospital but before he got to the fifth floor his heart stopped.

Brother Benson:  They were taking him to surgery?

President McKay:  They were taking him up to give him a test.

Brother Benson:  I see.

President McKay:  The word that we had received was that ‘there was no need to worry, it is not serious.’  While we were sitting in the office word came that he had passed away – it was that sudden.

Brother Benson:  It is an awful shock, and I know what a shock it is to you!

President McKay:  He has been as close to me as a brother could be, a friend of the truest kind.  He has been wonderful, and of great value to me.  It is a great loss to the Church.  He was a great intellect, a great soul.  He was a loyal to me as his grandfather was to the Prophet and just as close.

Brother Benson:  I don’t suppose any plans have been made?

President McKay:  We are going to see Sister Richards in a few minutes.  They stayed last night at their summer home.  We didn’t know.  President Clark and I were going out an hour ago to see her as she did not know of his passing.  Her son and his doctor, a nephew, and members of the family went out and told her about it.  They will be in the apartment in about thirty minutes, and then we shall go over to see her.  Thank you for calling.

Brother Benson:  May the Lord bless you, and please convey my love and sympathy to Sister Richards.  I think so much of her also.  If Sister Middlemiss or someone could let me know about the arrangements for the funeral, I would like to come if at all possible.  Thank you so much President McKay, and the Lord bless you.

President McKay:  Thank you.  Good-bye.

(see Friday, May 22, 1959, for Funeral Services)”

Wed., 20 May, 1959:

“The regular meeting of the First Presidency — the first without my dear friend, companion, and advisor — President Stephen L.  I could not believe that he had gone, and kept looking for him to come in.”

Fri., 22 May, 1959:

“Funeral of President Stephen L. Richards

6:30 a.m.

Arrived at the office.  Gave attention to program of funeral services for President Stephen L. Richards.

7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Dictated notes to Clare to be used in conducting funeral services today.

9 a.m.

Elder Richard L. Evans of the Council of the Twelve called at the office.

10 a.m.

Left for home.

10:30 a.m.

Returned to the office.  Looked over telegrams, letters, telephone messages, expressing sympathy over the passing of President Richards.

11:15 a.m.

Sister McKay and I went to the Deseret Mortuary where we joined members of the Richards’ family and General Authorities in paying last respects to President Richards.  Bishop Wallace McBride of the 18th Ward (Ensign Stake) took charge of the services, and Elder Mark Garff offered the prayer.  It was difficult indeed to say goodbye to my close associate and friend of 53 years!

From the mortuary we proceeded to the Tabernacle.  The General Authorities acted as honorary pallbearers and preceded the funeral cortege into the temple grounds and walked ahead of the casket as it entered the Tabernacle.  Active pallbearers were grandsons of President Richards.

12:15 p.m.

The services commenced promptly at 12:15 p.m.  The Tabernacle was filled to near capacity, and the large rostrum of the Tabernacle was banked with beautiful floral tributes, giving evidence of the high esteem in which President Richards was held by his associates and friends.  Men and women from all walks of life were among the mourners.  Sitting in the audience were Bishop Hunt and Monsignor Martin of the Catholic Church.  They were accompanied by my friend Mr. John F. Fitzpatrick, Owner and Manager of the Salt Lake Tribune, and a member of the Catholic Church.  (I thought it was significant that the Bishop of the Catholic Church here should pay tribute to President Richards.  It pleased me very much.)  (See letter of appreciation sent by Pres. McKay to Bishop Hunt later).

In my preliminary remarks I announced that just before leaving for the services, I received word from the Richards’ family physician (Dr. Harlow Richards) that it would be unduly hazardous for Sister Richards to attend the services; that when President Clark and I called upon her day before yesterday she was bearing up very bravely under the bereavement, but the reaction came yesterday, and it is deemed unwise for her to be present at these services.

The following program was then carried out:

Musical Prelude—————————–Alexander Schreiner

Preliminary Remarks and

Tribute————————————–President David O. McKay

Prayer————————————–Orval W. Adams

‘An Angel From on High’——————–Brigham Young University Chorus

Tribute————————————–Elder Gordon B. Hinckley

Address————————————-Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith

‘How Beautiful Upon the

Mountains’ by Harker 

Vocal solo by——————————–Virginia Barker Clark

Concluding Speaker————————–Pres. J. Reuben Clark, Jr.

Closing Remarks—————————–President David O. McKay

‘The Morning Breaks;

the Shadows Flee’—————————-Brigham Young University Chorus

Prayer—————————————-Pres. Ernest L. Wilkinson

Musical Postlude—————————–Alexander Schreiner

Interment————————————-Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park

Dedication of the Grave———————–Elder LeGrand Richards

(Note by Secretary)

It was very evident to all present that it was extremely difficult for the grieving President to conduct the funeral services.  However, he brought his emotions under control, and handled the situation masterfully — the services proceeded smoothly and efficiently.  His emotions, however, were near the breaking point when he publicly said farewell to President Richards.  There was hardly a dry eye in the whole audience.  General Authorities on the stand were seen wiping their eyes with their handkerchiefs as the President said:

‘Goodbye for the present, Stephen L, my beloved friend.  We shall miss you — Oh! how we shall miss you!, but we will continue to carry on until we meet again.  God bless you, Irene, and your choice sons and daughters.  During this inevitable separation may there ever echo in your hearts, as if they had come from the voice of your beloved husband and devoted father, the words of the Savior to his disciples when he had to leave them:

‘Let not your hearts be troubled …In my Father’s house are many mansions:  I go to prepare a place for you that where I am, there ye may be also.’

At 2:30 p.m. the funeral cortege wended its way to the Wasatch Lawn Memorial Cemetery where interment took place.  It rained heavily all the way out there, but just as the cortege arrived at the entrance of the cemetery, the rain stopped and the services at the grave were carried out unhindered.  Elder LeGrand Richards of the Council of the Twelve  offered the dedicatory prayer.

All in all, I thought the services were a wonderful tribute to the life and labors of President Richards.  The speakers – Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, President Joseph Fielding Smith, and President Clark – gave excellent talks, and the members of the Richards’ family said that the remarks made by these Brethren were a great comfort to them.”

Thurs., 23 July 1959:

“Thursday, July 23, 1959.


Attorneys and Counselors At Law

    716 Newhouse Building

         Salt Lake City II, Utah


Elgin 5-6273

July 16, 1959 

Brother William F. Edwards

47 East South Temple

Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear Brother Edwards:

Enclosed herewith is the check of the Stephen L. Richards estate in the sum of $3,985.64, which together with the $2,500.00 heretofore delivered to you by Stephen L. Richards constitutes the total purchase price to the Church of a reproduction of Thorvaldsen’s ‘Christus.’  Enclosed also is the statement of Hubert Eaton from Forest Lawn Company and the supporting information.

I will be out of the city for ten days and hope to be able to get these matters in your hands so that in the event you find them in order Dr. Eaton might have payment for the ‘Christus’ which he so graciously arranged for us.

With kindest personal regards,

Lynn S. Richards

(Original letter is in file under Pres. Stephen L. Richards.)

Thursday, July 23, 1959.

Salt Lake City 1, Utah

      July 23, 1959

Mr. Lynn S. Richards

716 Newhouse Building

Salt Lake City 11, Utah

Dear Brother Richards:

It has been brought to my attention that the Christus statue has been delivered and that you on behalf of the family have contributed to the Church the additional funds to cover the cost of the statue.

Your Father often expressed his desire to see this beautiful statue on the Temple Block.  You possibly know that plans are being made for considerable changes that will make the Temple Block more attractive and more effective as a missionary center.  In the development of these plans the proper place will be identified for the statue.  Until then it will be stored and protected with care.  This will become a most appropriate reminder of the beauty of character, faith and devotion of your Father.

I desire that you extend to your family our appreciation for your bringing to fulfillment this noble objective of President Richards.  Praying that the Lord will continue to bless you and to bless his choice family, I am

Sincerely yours,

President David O. McKay”