“Elder H. Bryan Richards Of the Seventy,” Ensign, May 1998, 106
When H. Bryan Richards was nine years old, he attended Sunday School one week and heard a lesson about the Prophet Joseph Smith. He came home and asked his father, “How do we really know if this church is true?”
“My father sat down with me and told me the story of Joseph Smith, and from then on I never doubted,” says Elder Richards, who was born on 18 March 1934 and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. During his school years, he developed a love for sports, especially basketball, and later, as an adult, spent many hours coaching youth sports teams.
Bryan attended Brigham Young University, and as he entered the Joseph Smith Building one day, he saw a girl standing on the steps outside and thought, I’d like to marry a girl like her someday. A few months later, in 1955, he was called to serve in the Great Lakes Mission. When he returned to BYU, he met the same girl again while walking to class and learned her name: LynnAnne Taylor. The two began dating and were married in the Salt Lake Temple on 23 August 1957.
The couple settled in Salt Lake City and raised a family of eight children. During those years Brother Richards worked as benefits administrator for E-Systems, which manufactures airplane parts and navigation equipment. His Church service includes 7 years in a bishopric and 14 years in a stake presidency—9 as president. After serving for 3 years as a regional representative, he was called to serve as mission president in the England Manchester Mission from 1994 to 1997. “One of the finest experiences my wife and I have enjoyed together, other than raising our family, has been presiding over the mission,” he says. “I learned there the worth of a single soul and grew in my understanding of the price paid by Jesus Christ for the redemption of each soul.”
Elder Richards, whose faith has grown deeper with the years, feels the Church is literally a marvelous work and a wonder. “This is the Church of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is a witness from another nation of Christ’s divinity, and Joseph Smith is the prophet of the Restoration,” says Elder Richards.