While balancing the demands of home life, Church callings, career, and other responsibilities throughout her married life, Mary Richards Durham has noticed that when she and her husband put the Lord first, everything falls into place. “It’s a sweet thing. If you trust, the Lord blesses you,” she said.
It is a theme she has seen repeated many times. She was called to serve as the ward Young Women president while her husband served in the stake presidency. Later they served together as her husband presided over the Japan Tokyo Mission from 2000 to 2003. Now she will serve as the second counselor in the Primary general presidency as her husband begins his service as an Area Seventy.
“As we are yoked with each other and with the Lord, everything goes easier,” she said.
Mary Lucille Richards was born on March 15, 1954, in Portsmouth, Virginia, to L. Stephen Richards Jr. and Annette Richards. While her father pursued his medical degree, the family moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, before settling in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Nurtured by the faith and love of her parents and a large extended family, she came to know that the gospel is true. “It was a happy experience to live the gospel. It wasn’t hard. It was fun,” Sister Durham said.
As a young woman, she was impressed with the importance of finding a worthy young man to marry and made it a matter of daily prayer and weekly fasting. After high school she attended Brigham Young University on a dance scholarship and met Mark Durham, who was attending the University of Utah. “I immediately recognized his goodness,” she said.
The couple married in June 1974 in the Salt Lake Temple. They have seven children.
Sister Durham has served as a stake Relief Society president, counselor in a ward Relief Society presidency, Gospel Doctrine instructor, ward Young Women president, and, most recently, as a member of the Primary general board.