Restoration and Church History
Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources: Willard Richards

Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources: Willard Richards, Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources (2021)

Willard Richards, Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources (2021)

Willard Richards

(1804–54)

Willard Richards

Willard Richards, ca. 1845, photograph by Lucian R. Foster, Church History Library, PH 4819.

Willard Richards was born in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, in 1804. In December 1836, he was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kirtland, Ohio. He served a mission in England from 1837 to 1841, during which he married Jennetta Richards and was ordained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (Doctrine and Covenants 118:6). In December 1841, Richards moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, where he was the Nauvoo Temple recorder, Joseph Smith’s scribe and private secretary, and Church historian, among other responsibilities. Richards was present when Joseph and Hyrum Smith were martyred at Carthage Jail in June 1844 (Doctrine and Covenants 125:2). He migrated to the Salt Lake Valley in Utah Territory with other Saints in 1846–47 and then returned to Winter Quarters, in what later became Nebraska. He was appointed Second Counselor to Brigham Young in the First Presidency in 1847. In 1848 he led a company of Latter-day Saints back to the Salt Lake Valley, where he ultimately died in 1854.

References in the Doctrine and Covenants

Doctrine and Covenants 118, 124135