Elder H. Bryan Richards, who served as a General Authority Seventy from 1998 to 2006, died Saturday, Oct. 10, at his daughter’s home in Farmington, Utah. He was 86.
As a General Authority Seventy, Elder Richards testified that those who gain a divine witness of the Book of Mormon “will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is His revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah.”
H. Bryan Richards, the second of Horace B. and Carol Bryan Richards’ three children, grew up in the Stratford Ward on Salt Lake City’s east bench.
As a young man, he was greatly influenced by the example of his father, who served as bishop during his youth. “Much of what I do, much of what I understand about the gospel, I learned from my father on the mountain top: deer hunting or fishing,” Elder Richards recalled. “I think after I got old enough, the reason I went hunting was for my father to teach me the gospel.”
Growing up, Elder Richards developed a love for sports that would last throughout his life. As a young man preparing to serve as a missionary in the Great Lakes Mission, he showed up to his bishop’s interview with a ball glove and his cleats on. On their first five dates when he was courting his future wife, LynnAnne Taylor, she watched him play basketball.
He married LynnAnne on Aug. 23, 1957, in the Salt Lake Temple. Together, they raised eight children — six daughters and two sons.
After serving as a regional representative, he and his wife were called as president and companion over the England Manchester Mission in 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 said. “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.”
Following his service as a General Authority Seventy, Elder Richards served as president and Sister Richards served as matron of the Bountiful Utah Temple from 2006 to 2009.
The quest for a personal testimony “is a journey each of must take,” he said. “The Book of Mormon can and does change lives.”
He is survived by his wife, LynnAnne; their six daughters — CarolLynn, Shari, Robyn, Heidi, Rebecca, and Jennylynn — two sons, Taylor and John; 31 grandchildren; and 26 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services are pending.