Slide 1

Stephen Mack & Hannah Saunders Covey family

Slide 2

Irene, Stephen, Grandy, Helen Jean, John, Marilyn

Slide 3

Grandy, Marilyn, Helen Jean, Irene

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Papa & Grandy

Slide 5

Stephen Mack Covey, 4th from the right

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John, Helen Jean, Irene, Stephen

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Stephen L with his boys

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Family photo at Grandy & Papa's house

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Snake River cabin

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Stephen Longstroth Richards and Grandy in the dining room at the canyon cabin

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Christmas, approximately 1912

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Believed to be Mark & Susannah Ogden Bigler

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George Albert & Bathsheba Bigler Smith

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L to R, Stephen Glenn Covey, Irene Louise Richards Covey, Stephen Mack Covey

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Enoch & Janett Carruth Young Covey

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Stephen L & Irene Smith Merrill Richards

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Demas Ashdown & Hannah Barwell Saunders

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Stephen Glenn Covey (2nd from right, back row) with siblings

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Covey Family Photo at Grandy's and Papa's

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L to R, John, Marilyn, Helen Jean, Irene, Stephen

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Stephen Mack & Hannah Ashdown Covey

Example Frame

Stephen L Richards (1879-1959) 79 yrs

Special Collections Dept., J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah

  • No middle name--just an L without a period
  • Baptized as a youth
  • Attended Chicago Law School
  • Attorney
  • Extremely intelligent, well respected
  • Sunday School General Board Member 1906
  • Ordained an Apostle and sustained to the Copuncil of the Twelve Apostles in 1917, at age 37
  • First Counselor to David O. McKay, 1951-59, in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Purchased the large Christus statue, which is a replica of the original by the Danish sculptor, Bertel Thorvaldsen. It was presented to President McKay as a gift. In 1966, it was placed in the North Temple Square Visitors Center, and is still there today.
BIRTH...Mendon, Cache County, UT   June 18, 1879

PARENTS...Stephen Longstroth Richards and Emma Louise Stayner


Irene Smith Merrill     1900

  1. Lynn
  2. Irene Louise Richards
  3. Georgia
  4. Alice
  5. Lois
  6. Joseph-died at 14, run over by a street car
  7. Helen-died at 18 months, burned after putting her comb in the fire
  8. Richard
  9. Phillip
DEATH...Heart attack-age 79     May 19, 1959 

Stephen L Richards
Irene Louise Richards
Marilyn Richards Covey
Marilyn Louise Williams


Special Collections Dept., J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah

Special Collections Dept., J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah

Special Collections Dept., J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah

Alice and Irene taking the mail out to the boys in the hay field to Gill, Claude, and Steve in Malad, 
 Special Collections Dept., J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah

Front row, l to r, Irene Smith Merrill Richards, Stephen L Richards, Emma Stayner Richards, Stephen Longstroth Richards.  At Big Ben Ranch, Malad, Idaho. Owned by Dr. Stephen Stayner, Arthur Stayner, Horace Stayner, and David R. Allen, 1899-1902. Front - Irene, Stephen L, Emma, Stephen, Gill, Aunt Katie, Uncle Horace, Mrs. Allen, Aunt Lizzie, Claude, and Alice. Steve and Irene spent the first two years of their married life taking care of the Ranch in the summer and Steve teaching school in Malad in winter.
Special Collections Dept., J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah

Front row, l to r, Emma Louise Stayner Richards, Grace, Stephen Longstroth Richards, Lynn, Russel, Gill. Back row, r to l, Alice, Stephen L Richards, Irene Smith Merrill Richards, Stayner, Claude, Willard, Special Collections Dept., J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah

Stephen Longstroth and Emma Stayner Richards family. Stephen L (back row on the right end, Irene Smith Merrill Richards, 4th from the right, back row. Irene Louise Richards--2nd from left, back row, with doll.Special Collections Dept., J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
front row, l to r, Stayner Richards,  Stephen Longstroth Richards, Stephen L Richards, Gill Richards.  Back row, l to r, Russel Richards, Willard Richards, Claude Richards, Special Collections Dept., J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah

Stephen L Richards, from l to r, Phil, Dick, Joe
Special Collections Dept., J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah

Emma Louise Stayner Richards with children.  Stephen L and Irene Smith Merrill Richards, back row, r to l.  The last time they celebrated Emma Louise's birthday, May 15, 1936.
Special Collections Dept., J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah

Special Collections Dept., J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
Last camping trip on the Grandaddy Lakes, Stephen Longstroth, Claude, Lynn, Stephen L (Willard not shown)
Special Collections Dept., J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah

Special Collections Dept., J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
Special Collections Dept., J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
Special Collections Dept., J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
Special Collections Dept., J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah

Stephen L. Richards was born June 18, 1879 in Mendon, Cache County, Utah to Dr. Stephen Longstroth Richards and Emma Louisa Stayner Richards. He was a grandson of Willard Richards, who was with Joseph the Prophet at the martyrdom in Carthage, Ill., and who was one of the early pioneers of Utah. His mother was a daughter of Arthur Stayner, a man of business affairs in the early history of the West, and the man to whom the establishment of sugar works in Utah is largely indebted. He was blessed with an ideal mother and a father of sterling worth who had much to do with his careful training and principles of integrity, truthfulness, honesty, sincerity, kindness, respect for parental authority, devotion to home and the members thereof, and loyalty to God and His work.
Elder Richards was baptized when about fourteen years old and was ordained sucessively to the several offices in the Priesthood, except that of a Seventy. From his youth he took great interest in Church activities.

The scholastic training of Elder Richards was characterized by the unusually large number of schools which he attended. To begin with he came under the splendid tutorship of Camille Cobb, a woman of rare culture. After that he attended the Farmington public school, the Davis Stake Academy, Salt Lake county and city public schools, the L. D. S. University, the Salt Lake High School and the University of Utah, while his professional training was obtained in the University of Michigan and in the University of Chicago. From the latter institution he received his L. L. B. degree. After completing Law School, he passed the bar and served the Utah populace as an attorney. One year at the law school of the University at Michigan and two years at the law school at the University of Chicago gave him the foundation work for the success he subsequently attained in his chosen profession. While at the University of Utah he was one of the team of inter-collegiate debaters; he was the first Utah student to be graduated from the department of law at the University of Chicago and was one of the first class ever graduated in law from that institution receiving a cum laude degree.

One of the valiant sons of the Gospel, he held many positions in the Church, all of which he filled with honor and integrity. His first official position in the Sabbath school work was that of secretary of the Sugar House Ward Sunday School; later he became a teacher in the same Sunday School. He taught also in the Sunday Schools at Pleasant View and Malad, Idaho, and in the 17th Ward of Salt Lake City. In the Stake Sunday school work he became assistant superintendent of the Salt Lake Stake and later a member of the Granite Stake Sunday School Board. In 1906, at the age of 37, he was called to the Sunday School General Board. Following the death of George Reynolds he was appointed second assistant general superintendent of the Sunday School Union April 6, 1908. He was also chosen as a member of the Priesthood Study Committee and of the Board of Control of the Deseret Gymnasium.

In business he has served as officer and director in a number of corporations. In Tooele he engaged in farming and in Oneida county, Idaho, in ranching. For some time he also acted as principal of the Malad City public schools and for many years was a successful practising attorney in Salt Lake City, serving also as a member of the law faculty at the University of Utah. Also Religion class work has claimed a portion of his time, and at one time he served as superintendent of Religion Classes in Malad City, Idaho.

Whether at home or abroad he kept up a steady and consistent interest in Church work. At Ann Arbor, Michigan, his home was the place where religious meetings were held for the students and members of the Church. While in Chicago he did Sunday school and other Church work with students.

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Stephen L Richards, front row, third from the right
In his chosen profession of the law Elder Richards was exceptionally successful. The law firms of which he was a member were always among the foremost. In private practice his work was in the civil as distinguished from the criminal law procedure. He was one of the safest counselors at the Salt Lake bar and was very conscientious in his professional work. For two terms he served as secretary of the Utah State Bar Association.

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Stephen L Richards, 3rd from left, back row
In the midst of his ecclesiastical and secular activities, Stephen L. Richards was chosen as a member of the Council of Twelve Apostles, being nominated by President Joseph F. Smith and unanimously sustained by the First Presidency and Apostles in one of their general meetings. He was ordained an Apostle by President Joseph F. Smith on Thursday, Jan. 18, 1917. After his calling to the Apostleship, he was very active in Church affairs, visiting the different Stakes of Zion and attending to ecclesiastical duties generally. On April 9, 1951, President David O. McKay called Elder Richards to become his First Counselor. He held this position until his death May 19, 1959 at Salt Lake City, Utah.

First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, J. Reuben Clark, Stephen L Richards, David O. McKa
In 1900 (Feb. 21st) Elder Richards married Irene Merrill (daughter of Clarence Merrill and Bathsheba Smith), who was born June 4, 1874, in Fillmore, Utah. This marriage has been blessed with nine children, namely, Lynn Stephen, Irene Louise, Lois Bathsheba, Alice Lula, Helen Merle, Georgia Gill, Joseph Albert, Philip Longstroth and Richard Merrill. The home life of Elder Richards, both before and after marriage, was most fortunate and happy.

Elder Richards was a man of pronounced ability, clear judgment and wide experience, his training, education and natural endowments eminently fit him for the high office whereunto he was called. He possessed a pleasing personality and winning ways, had a strong, abiding, unimpeachable testimony of the divine mission of Jesus Christ, and of the restoration of the gospel of the Master to the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Anyone who has visited Temple Square is struck by the heroic sized statue of The Christus which stands in the North Visitors Center. The statue, of white carrara marble is a replica of the original by the Danish sculptor, Bertel Thorvaldsen. It was purchased by Elder Richards and presented to President McKay as a gift. In 1966, it was placed in the Visitors Center.

Largely adapted from the LDS Biographical Encyclopedia. 
Andrew Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p.773
Lawrence R. Flake, Prophets and Apostles of the Last Dispensation, p.209
2005 Church Almanac, p.58


Stephen L Richards
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Stephen L Richards

edit data
First Counselor in the First Presidency
April 9, 1951 – May 19, 1959
Called by    David O. McKay
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
January 18, 1917 – April 9, 1951
Called by    Joseph F. Smith
End reason    Called Called as First Counselor in the First Presidency
LDS Church Apostle
January 18, 1917 – May 19, 1959
Called by    Joseph F. Smith
Reason    Death of Francis M. Lyman
Reorganization at end of term    Henry D. Moyle added to First Presidency; Howard W. Hunter ordained
Personal details
Born    June 18, 1879
Mendon, Utah Territory, United States
Died    May 19, 1959 (aged 79)
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Resting place    Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park
40°41′52.08″N 111°50′30.12″W
Spouse    Irene Smith Merrill
Children    9
Parents    Stephen L. Richards
Emma Louise Stayner
Relatives    Willard Richards (grandfather)
Stayner Richards (brother)
Stephen L Richards (18 June 1879 – 19 May 1959) was a prominent leader in the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church and as First Counselor in the First Presidency.

Contents  [hide]
1 Early Life
2 Education and profession
3 Church leadership
4 Death
5 See also
6 References
7 External links
[edit]Early Life

Richards was born in Mendon, Utah Territory. He was the oldest of ten children born to Stephen Longstroth Richards and Emma Louise Stayner. He was raised in the Cache Valley. He was the grandson of Willard Richards, an early apostle of the church and colleague of Joseph Smith. Willard Richards witnessed Smith and his brother Hyrum murdered by a mob in Carthage, Illinois. Willard Richards served as Brigham Young's Second Counselor in the First Presidency. He died before Stephen was born.

Stephen L Richards married Irene Smith Merrill (a maternal granddaughter of George A. Smith) in 1900. The couple had nine children.

[edit]Education and profession

Richards did undergraduate studies at the University of Utah. He received his law degree from the University of Chicago in 1904.[1] He began his law school career at the University of Michigan before transferring to Chicago.[2]

After graduating from the University of Chicago Richards practiced law in Salt Lake City and was a professor of law at the University of Utah. Richards considered running for governor of Utah in the 1918 election, but when he was selected as an Apostle in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1917, he decided not to run for office.[3]

[edit]Church leadership

Joseph F. Smith called Richards to be an apostle at the age of 37. Richards became a member of the Superintendency of the Deseret Sunday School Union under David O. McKay in 1918. In April 1919 McKay was appointed Church Commissioner of Education and chose Richards as his first counselor.[4] Richards would remain a counselor in the Deseret Sunday School Union Superintendency until 1934 when apostles were released from these positions and men were called who could devote their full time to the Sunday School, also freeing up the apostles to focus more on their specific calling.

When McKay became LDS Church president, he selected Richards as his first counselor. Richards served in that position from April 9, 1951 until his death. Richards followed his grandfather, Willard by first serving as an Apostle and then in the First Presidency.

The Christus statue that is at the visitors center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City was purchased by Richards as a gift to David O. McKay.

Richards was a mentor to Gordon B. Hinckley as he was in charge of the Radio, Publicity and Missionary Literature Committee when Hinckley served as its executive secretary.[5]


Stephen L Richards' grave marker
Richards died in Salt Lake City at the age of 79, shortly before his 80th birthday.

[edit]See also

Stayner Richards

^ Dew. Go Forward With Faith. p. 86
^ Ernest L. Wilkinson, ed., Brigham Young University: The First 100 Years. (Provo: BYU Press, 1975) Vol. 2, p. 7
^ Wilkinson. BYU. Vol. 2, p. 7
^ Wilkinson. BYU. Vol. 2, p. 3
^ Dew, Sheri L., Go Forward With Faith: The Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1996) p. 86
[edit]External links

Grampa Bill's G.A. Pages: Stephen L. Richards
D. Michael Quinn. "They Served: The Richards Legacy in the Church". Ensign Jan. 1980, p. 25. Retrieved 2010-07-27.
Stephen L Richards at Find a Grave


The Christus Comes to Salt Lake City

In 1912, President Joseph F. Smith asked Stephen L. Richards, then a member of the Sunday School general superintendency, to investigate the possibility of the Church’s creating a cemetery in Salt Lake City. Richards visited several cemeteries to view their properties and meet with management. One of these cemeteries was Forest Lawn in Glendale, California, where Stephen L. Richards became friends with its owner, Hubert Eaton. The Church went forward with plans and created Wasatch Lawn Cemetery on Highland Drive in the eastern foothills of Salt Lake City. After President Smith’s death in 1918, President Heber J. Grant felt that owning the cemetery was not in the best interest for the Church, and asked Richards, now an apostle, to find a buyer for Wasatch Lawn. Elder Richards ended up buying the property himself, and now as a cemetery owner, his and Hubert Eaton’s friendship continued to grow.
Almost thirty years later, as part of his 1950 apostolic assignments, Stephen L. Richards visited the missions in Europe, Scandinavia, Britain, and the Middle East. On September 2, 1950, while visiting Copenhagen, Elder Richards and his wife Irene visited the Church of Our Lady. According to Philip Richards, Elder and Sister Richards’s son, while his parents were in the Danish cathedral, they had an “awe-inspiring experience” while gazing at the Christus and “the idea was planted in his father’s mind that a copy of this statue needed to be on Temple Square.”
It would be a few more years until that inspiration would unfold in reality. The opportunity came when in the 1950s the Temple Square Presidency was assigned to find ways to improve missionary work at the historic site. The plans to build a new center were approved by the First Presidency in 1955. Around this same time, plans were brainstormed to provide visitors with a guided tour of the grounds. According to George Cannon Young, it was in a planning meeting that Elder Richard L. Evans, President of the Temple Square Presidency and member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, commented, “You know, the world thinks we’re not Christians because they see no evidence of Christ on this square. They hear the words, but see no evidence.”
As the group discussed possible images that would meet their criteria of having a representation of Christ that would “make an impact upon the world—one that would be world-known and be received without creating controversy,” Marion D. Hanks suggested using a marble copy of Bertel Thorvaldsen’s Christus.
On June 7, 1957, the Church Building Committee met with the First Presidency to present their new proposal. Even though the Temple Square Presidency felt certain that a heroic-sized statue of Christ should be placed on the Square, they were nervous how the First Presidency might react to such a proposal. After all, statuary of Christ had never been a part of traditional LDS worship.
At the hesitancy of the rest of the committee to describe their proposal, Stephen L. Richards announced that the building plans included a spot for the Christus. Apparently Richards and President McKay had already discussed the plan, because President McKay then turned to him and asked, “Don’t you have access to acquire a statue through your association with Hubert Eaton and Forest Lawn?”
President Richards was asked to determine the feasibility of obtaining a copy of the Christus. He immediately contacted his friend, Hubert Eaton, to see if he might make a copy of one of the Christus statues on display at Forest Lawn. Richards decided to make the statue a personal and anonymous donation to the Church so he took care of all of the preliminary work himself. The statue was sent to Italy and a marble replica was made. The finished statue ordered by Richards was eleven feet one-quarter inch and weighs close to 12,000 pounds.
Shockingly, President Richards became gravely ill, and passed away just days before the finished statue arrived in Salt Lake City. Sadly, Stephen L. Richards never saw the statue that he hoped would become a legacy to the Church.

A Home for the Christus

The original plans at Temple Square included an outside viewing area for the Christus to stand. But members of the Building Committee expressed their concern of the figure being exposed to the harsh mountain climate in Salt Lake City. This sparked the idea of a home for the Christus.
The Christus was to be displayed in a glass rotunda in the Bureau of Information building, which later became the North Visitors’ Center. It was to be the focal point of the building, and of the entire site.
During construction, because of the enormity of the Christus, builders had to lower the statue into the structure and construct around it. The final presentation of the awe-inspiring statue took many years, and after a spiral ramp was finished, mural painted, and light fixtures added, the Christuswas open for public viewing in 1967.
Today there are fourteen statues used in displays by the Church at the Temple Visitors’ Centers in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, New Zealand, Hawaii, Arizona, Washington D.C., Mexico City, Nauvoo, Oakland, St. George, Utah; Palmyra, New York; Hill Cumorah; Independence, Missouri; and a traveling statue, plus one statue donated to the Icelandic Immigration Museum in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The Christus Legacy

For Latter-day Saints, the Christus has become a familiar representation of their faith—an icon, of sorts. President Howard W. Hunter called the statue a “memorial” which serves “to unite generation with generation, preserving in a long, unbroken chain the important events of our common heritage.”
All who have come a little closer to Christ through the Christus have partaken of the Christus legacy.

Matthew O. Richardson serves as associate dean of Religious Education at Brigham Young University and is an associate professor of Church History and Doctrine. He is the author of Personal Promises from the Lord to You, The Relationship Seasons, and The Christus Legacy, from which this article is excerpted.


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  2. Thanks for this history. I'm convinced someone good needs to write a biography of Stephen L Richards.

  3. Thank you so much for posting this information. I am doing family history and had never heard some of these stories before!


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