"A FAMILY OF FAITH: An Intimate View of Church History through the Journals of Three Generations of Apostles — Willard Richards, Franklin D. Richards, and George F. Richards, 1837-1950," edited by Kent F. Richards, Deseret Book, $37.99, 448 pages (nf)
In June 1844, a mob stormed the stairs of a jail in Carthage, Ill., where four men were being held. When it was over, the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith were dead. John Taylor was wounded but alive. The fourth man in the jail that day was Willard Richards — an apostle and personal secretary of Joseph Smith who recorded the only contemporary account of the martyrdom (Taylor wrote an account just over a decade later).
Though he only lived to the age of 49, Richards not only preserved journal entries for future generations, he also set an example leading to a familial legacy of faith.
Kent F. Richards is a descendant of Willard Richards who currently serves as a member of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He received a medical degree from the University of Utah and is currently a member of the Europe Area Presidency.
"A Family of Faith" is the culmination of decades of his research that began with a quiet prompting to search out his family roots that never quite went away. The book provides readers with a selection of journal entries from three members of the Richards family who served as apostles. In fact, from 1837-1950, the Quorum of the Twelve was absent a Richards for only seven years.
The candid insights of President Willard Richards and Elders Franklin D. and George F. Richards documented in their journals in seven chronological chapters are a treasure. The book’s introduction serves as an inspiring mini-biography of all three men.
Most importantly, the editor’s tone and the selected entries make this a book relevant not only to Richards family members — but to all who seek to create eternal families of faith.
Kurt Manwaring has a passion for LDS Church history, doctrine and family. He works as a capital campaign manager for a nonprofit organization in Utah and maintains a personal blog at www.kurtsperspective.blogspot.com.