“Matthew O. Richardson,” Liahona, May 2009, 142
Matthew Ottesen Richardson never planned on becoming an educator. Naturally, he was a bit surprised when he realized the Lord seemed to be preparing him for a lifetime of teaching.
“I’ve learned to allow myself to be molded for my good,” he says. “Our Father in Heaven has a grander view of all things, including the intimate details of my life.”
When Brother Richardson returned in 1982 from the Denmark Copenhagen Mission, he started teaching Danish at the Missionary Training Center to support his studies at Brigham Young University. In July 1983 he married Lisa Jeanne Jackson in the Salt Lake Temple. Soon after, friends encouraged him to try teaching seminary.
“We thought I would teach for a year and get that out of my system. One year turned into seven, and teaching is still not out of my system,” he says. “It took me by surprise.”
He received a bachelor’s degree in communications and completed master’s and doctorate degrees in the field of educational leadership, all from BYU. Brother Richardson thought he had found his life’s calling teaching seminary full-time, but he feels the same enthusiasm as a professor of Church History and Doctrine at BYU, where he served four years as an Associate Dean of Religious Education. His years in the classroom bring the experience of both a student and a teacher to his new calling.
Born on December 12, 1960, in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, to Edward Milton and Andrea Lovina Ottesen Richardson, he has served as a Young Men president, in elders quorum presidencies, as a Sunday School instructor, bishop, and on the Young Men/Young Women curriculum writing committee. He and his family live in Orem, Utah.
At the time of this call, the youngest of his four children asked, “Will Dad still be able to play catch?” Brother Richardson, a devoted father, husband, and teacher, promised there will still be time for catch.