Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nepotism or Family Legacy: LeGrand Richards' Missionary Legacy Lives On in Callister Grandsons

As a young missionary in the Canada Toronto Mission I remember reading my missionary library which consisted of A Marvelous Work and a Wonder (LeGrand Richards), Truth Restored/Gospel Principles (Gordon B. Hinckley),The Articles of Faith (James E. Talmage), and Jesus the Christ (James E. Talmage). LeGrand Richard's book was the basis of my early doctrinal foundation as were the two books by Talmage and to a lesser degree the one by President Hinckley.

LeGrand Richards was very missionary-minded. His talks often included personal experiences of his mission in the Netherlands from 1905 until 1908. He also served a short-term mission to Rhode Island in 1926. He was a mission president in the Southern States Mission in 1934-1937. He was famous for talking from his heart and would often have to be reminded to quit speaking. He would lay his cane up on the podium and many times I remember President Kimball pulling on his coat tail. He would laugh and sometimes go on. As a missionary I dearly enjoyed his talks as he would relate in detail his missionary experiences he had a warm rich and often humorous speaking style that endeared him to young missionaries. Most people don't remember him as well as those older than forty but his was the picture of the ideal grandfather.

LeGrand Richards had a rich tradition in LDS Church leadership. His father was George F. Richards, and his grandfather Franklin D. Richards served as President of the Council of the Twelve. In the last several years two of his grandsons Tad R. Callister and Douglas L. Callister have both been called as members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy. The Second Quorum of Seventy is a limited appointment group that can be released after six to eight years of service, many move up in leadership. Both men were sons of LeGrand's daughter Norinne Richards Callister and Reed who lived in the Glendale, California area.

Both grandsons were tax lawyers by profession. Tad has practiced law for twenty-eight years in a family law firm down in California that was started by his father Reed who was himself also a mission president in the British Mission from 1967 until 1969. He was called to the second quorum of Seventy in the April 2008 General Conference.

Tad published two books — The Infinite Atonement and The Inevitable Apostasy and the Promised Restoration. The second book was published while he was out as a mission president and I have included the previous link of an interview with KSL Radio talking about his time in the Canada Toronto mission and the book. His church service includes: President of Canada Toronto East Mission (2005-2008), Area Seventy, regional representative, counselor in the California Arcadia Mission, President and a counselor of the Glendale Stake, bishop, temple ordinance worker, mission president's counselor, stake mission president, elders quorum president, seminary teacher and missionary to the Eastern Atlantic States Mission (1965-1967).

Of missionary interest was a letter he sent the parents of Elder Britt Wells included below:

Letter from President Tad Callister

Date: January 17, 2008

Area: York, Ontario

Companion: Elder Deskins

Phone 416-490-6869

3 January 2008

Mr. & Mrs. Monty Wells
294 West 1360 North
American Fork, UT 84003 USA

Dear Brother & Sister Wells:

Elder Britt Monroe Wells arrived here in the Canada Toronto East Mission on 1 January 2008. Your son is anxious to begin the work and experience missionary life. His testimony and enthusiasm for the work are fully evident. Sister Callister and I look forward to working with Elder Wells as he serves our Father in Heaven here in the mission.

After prayerful consideration I have selected Elder Cody Deskins to be your son’s first companion and trainer. I will have a personal interview with your son every six weeks. This enables me to monitor your son’s growth and assess the conditions inherent in his labours. Sister Callister will monitor his health needs and encourage him to take good care of himself.

You are encouraged to write often. My father wrote me each week in the mission field. Sometimes was short (only 3 or 4 sentences), but he always had a message of inspiration. I loved those letters, as they were a great help to me. The mailing address is:

24 Ferrand Drive Suite 300
Don Mills, ON M3C 3V4

Your missionary committed to his bishop and stake president to serve a full term mission of 24 months. Your missionary has also committed to put his personal life on hold. Brigham Young said, “Let you: minds be centered on your mission.

”We expect accomplishments here to involve many growing experiences, which will be a source of pleasure for him and your entire family.

If you need to contact us for any reason, the mission home address is 5 Windom Road, Don Mills, ON M3C 3Z5; phone 416-467-7164

We are grateful for the support you are giving your son, and pray that the Lord’s blessings will attend you. We encourage your missionary to write you each week and share his positive missionary experiences with you. Sister Callister and I pledge to do all we can to make his entire mission successful and rewarding.

Sincerely yours,

Tad R. CallisterMission President

Enclosure P.S. Elder Wells is off to a good start – a fine young man.

In June 2008 Tad R. Callister was made the second counselor in the Pacific Area Presidency working with David S. Baxter, President and Keith K. Hilbig, as first counselor.

Douglas L. Callister was sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy April 1, 2000, at age 61. He was a former Area Authority Seventy, regional representative, president of Minnesota Minneapolis Mission, temple sealer, stake president, and bishop. In 2003 he served as the President of the Eastern Europe Area and lived in Moscow.

Both grandsons have served faithfully throughout their lives and are a credit to their grandfather. For information about other general authorities and their relatives you can check out Jeff Spector's post on Mormon Matters.

1 comment:

Janiece said...

I just had the honor or listening to Elder Douglas Callister in Stake Confernce. His talk was wonderful.