Elder Franklin D. Richards, released at October general conference as a member of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy, has been appointed by the First Presidency as president of the Washington, D.C., Temple. His wife, Sister Helen Kearnes Richards, will serve as temple matron.
Elder Richards succeeds President Wendell G. Eames, who had served as temple president since 1978. President Eames and his wife Medra, who had served as matron, were released, along with his counselors, Byron F. Dixon and Clyde E. Black. Elder and Sister Richards are scheduled to assume their new duties in the latter part of October.
The Washington Temple serves more than 200,000 members in eighty-nine stakes spread throughout the eastern United States and two provinces of Canada. The temple district stretches from Maine to Puerto Rico, from New York to Ohio and to parts of Quebec.
Elder Richards has been a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy since October 1976. Prior to his call to that quorum, he had served as an Assistant to the Twelve since October 1960. When called as a General Authority, he was serving as president of the Northwestern States Mission, headquartered in Portland, Oregon.
Before accepting the call to full-time Church service, Elder Richards spent eighteen years as Utah director of the Federal Housing Administration and later as national commissioner of the FHA, headquartered in Washington, D. C.
He is a graduate of Weber Academy and the University of Utah, where he received a law degree in 1923. He practiced law in Utah until 1934, when he was appointed to the state FHA position.
He and his wife Helen, married since 1923, are the parents of two sons and two daughters.