Lloyd Newell

An Enduring Legacy:

Richard L. Evans and “The Spoken Word”


House of Learning


(Season 4, Episode 5)





Produced by the Harold B. Lee Library

At Brigham Young University

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Thank you. I appreciate that introduction and its my great pleasure to be with you this afternoon. I have been looking forward to this for sometime because I get an opportunity to speak about something near and dear to my heart. That is the broadcast of music and the spoken word and also the forerunner to the announcer, my position now, Richard L. Evans. He was a remarkable man. I've talked to several of you before this meeting began and you shared with me some memories of meeting Elder Evans and interacting with him. And that's gratifying to me. I notice also that there are people that are a little older. And I worry sometimes that these remarkable men and women are being lost to the young people of the church today. We cannot forget these remarkable men and women. We have to remember them, honor them, and Elder Richard L. Evans was one of the remarkable men in the history of the church.


So I hope today, we can shed some light on his life. For those of you who don't know much about him, you'll learn some things. For those of you who are a little older and you remember him and know of him, I hope that we will remind you of some things, and I'm sure we'll also share some things with you, that I'm confident that you did not know. I prepared a PowerPoint presentation so that you can see the photos and visuals of his life and also some of his quotes. Because it will help this lecture become real if you can see him as well as, as I read some of the words that he wrote, came up with so many decades ago, that it will be more meaningful to you as well.


So let's begin now. At the first session of the April 1972 General Conference, President Harold B. Lee first counselor in the first presidency conducted. In his opening remarks he extended cordial greetings and then spoke of one who was missing. "It is with subdued hearts that we remember our beloved Richard L. Evans. His voice, his spirit, and his admonitions and counsel were one of the highlights of his association as a general authority of the church. Richard L. Evans didn't just belong to the church, he belonged to the world. And they claimed him as such. We know that there are heavenly choirs and maybe they needed an announcer and one to give the spoken word. Maybe the need was so great that he is called to a higher service in that place where time is no more."


President Lee's words must have comforted those that had been morning the death of Richard L. Evans. He was beloved by members of the church and millions more throughout the world. One of the best known and most revered Mormons of the 20th century; Richard L. Evans devoted his life to building the kingdom and bringing the church out of obscurity. His life's work brought immeasurable recognition to the church his teaching and writing helped to build bridges of understanding around the world. For 40 of his 65 years, Richard L. Evans was a famous man, and yet few of his admirers knew of his humble, even inauspicious beginning.


A descendent of hard working, faithful pioneer ancestors, Richard Lewis Evans was born in Salt Lake City on March 23, 1906. He was the ninth child of goodly parents, John and Florence Evans. His father had worked up the ranks as an errand boy at the desert news to the position of general manager. 10 weeks after Richard was born his father returned from a late meeting, tried to get off a street car just before it reached a full stop, missed his footing and fell to the ground. The brain concussion and other injuries, he died several weeks later. Richard's widowed mother was left behind with nine children under 18 years of age. Although Richard never knew his father, his mother always taught the children that their father was still with them as the head of their eternal family.


Richard and his siblings learned to work hard in a variety of jobs to help support the family. From the early years of great school to the time he left on his mission he delivered newspapers, sold flowers, washed dishes, drove truck, and worked as a traveling salesman, to name but a few of his many jobs. At this early age he learned about thrift, frugality, and the value of hard work. He excelled in school, was the editor of his high school newspaper and yearbook, a champion debater, and a recipient of the Heber J. Grant scholarship award. Just after Richard turned 11 years old, he was wounded in a mock battle with neighborhood playmates. Unbeknownst to Richard, one of the boys was playing with a loaded bee bee gun. A pellet struck Richard in his left eye. With blood streaming down his face, he ran home pleading with his sister, "don't cry, pray for me." He lost the eye and was fitted with an artificial eye. Few knew he was blind in one eye for the remainder of his days. That disability seemed to give him an extra measure of spiritual sensitivity and empathy for those who struggled with challenges. And those burdened by adversity.


Throughout life, Richard was known for his loving devotion to his mother. The circumstances of his birth and his father's death established a special bond and deep, mutual affection between them. When just 11 years old, he wrote this poem to his dear mother, "Patient mother long ago, as patient now if not more so. All the years that she has faithfully served, whether tired or not she is like a sweet bird. She is the dearest thing in the world to me, if not for her a stranger I would be. To this wide world and everything and everybody. She says to me, you are still my baby. I owe her all I own, if not more. It matters not whether in the future whether I am rich or poor. I will go through everything kind of strife to keep her safe throughout my life." He was just 11 years old when he wrote that to his sweet mother.


Years later, as a grown man, he would speak of his mother on the tabernacle choir broadcast. He said "The Lord God had given her to me and me to her and she seemed to be as the extended arm of his influence. She had nourished and sheltered and me infancy, nursed me in illness, heeded my cries, and quieted my fears. Had taught, and counseled, and encouraged, and dulled the sharp edge of disappointments. We thank mothers for life given and for lessons learned, and for constancy of their sacrifice and service. And best we honor them, when we become the best of what they have taught us to be." At his mother's knee, Richard was taught the principles of the gospel and the importance of strong faith. When he was sixteen years old an inspired patriarch blessed him that he had a bright career ahead of him and that he would stand in holy places and mingle with many of the best men and women upon the earth. And that he would serve the lord in distant lands, travel much, and see many wonderful things. The patriarch would also bless him that his tongue would be loosened and become as the pen of a ready writer in dispensing the word of God and in preaching the Gospel to his fellow man. He was sixteen years old, when that inspired patriarch gave him that blessing.


At twenty years of age, Richard L. Evans was called to the British mission and served for nearly three years. As a missionary he worked hard and continued to have opportunities to learn and serve. While on his mission he was called to be the associate editor of the Millennial Star, first under Elder James E. Talmage and later Elder John A. Widtsoe, both of the counsel of the twelve apostles. Elder Widtsoe also appointed Elder Evans to be secretary of the European mission and persuaded to him to write the centennial history of the mission, which he did during and after his mission publishing it in 1937. He was rigorously taught, lovingly mentored, and warmly embraced by these two giants in church history.


In fact, I was in Boise, Idaho last weekend speaking to a group and a man came up to me and said "I met Elder Evans when I was a college student, and I was present when he gave his last talk, it was at a young adult conference in Idaho on October 15, 1971." Elder Evans died just two weeks later. He was at that talk and he got permission, this was 35 years ago almost now, to transcribe the talk and he faxed this me and sent me some photographs from that last meeting. I want to just share just one part of this, as I say I just this a few days ago, but in this last address he talks about his mission. Listen to this, "Many years ago, I had two of the greatest mission presidents of all time. I had a year with Dr. James E. Talmage, and two years with Dr. John A. Widtsoe. You may know what it did to my life to come under that kind of influence at that particular time. Both of them were born in other countries. Dr. Talmage was born in Great Britain, Dr. Widtsoe in Norway. I have been to both of their native lands with them. Dr. Widtsoe was born out on a rocky island about seven or eight miles off the coast of Norway. On a stormy winter night his hand attached to his head. They didn't think he could live, so his father a devout Lutheran rode in an open row boat across seven miles of open sea on a stormy January night to get a priest to come and baptize this new born infant, for fear he would die and would ever be consigned to hell fire as the teaching of many of the churches was at that time. Then his father died. Dr. Widtsoe's mother found the gospel because a shoemaker stuffed a tract in the toe of the boy's shoe, when she left it with him to be prepared. When the shoe was returned, he pulled it out and his mother saw it. Being a woman, she was curious so she read it. Being an honest woman, she couldn't forget, and being a stubborn woman, she resisted it as long as she could. But when she inquired about the meaning of this the shoe maker put her in touch with the missionaries.


Well, it is a great lesson to me the chain reaction in life. I owe a great debt to a shoe maker that I never knew who lived about a hundred years ago, because he took the trouble to share the gospel. He might have said that "it wouldn't be good for business." He might have said, "well, she wouldn't pay attention to it anyway." He might have said, "I just can't be bothered." But he had received something that was priceless in his life and he felt the obligation to pass it on. So all it can have, so we all have the obligation to do so: to learn the gospel, to live it, and to share it with others. Isn't that something?


He shares this experience in his last recorded address in mortality. Well, Richard L. Evans continued a close association with Elder and Sister Widtsoe until their deaths. He became as a son to them, the Widtsoes having lost their last surviving son only a few months before arriving in England. When he said goodbye to the Widtsoes at the conclusion of his mission, he wrote this in his journal. "This morning I part the company with the best man I have ever known. Before we parted he gave me the most wonderful blessing I have ever had, and promised long full service, health, and achievement, and told me in certain terms that the Lord was pleased with my labors. We put our arms around each other and parted as father and son." The Widtsoes gave Richard a key to their home which he carried in his pocket until the day he died, as a symbol of what they meant to him. In this same talk that I just quoted from a moment ago, if you'll allow me there's also a short paragraph about this. Again, meaningful because it's his last decorded, recorded address. Listen to what Elder Evans says, "I never knew my own father. He was killed when I was 10 weeks old. Dr. Widtsoe lost the last of his sons. He had seven children and 5 of them died. And came into the mission field just a few months after that. He needed a son and I needed a father and we pretty much adopted each other. I have the key to his home in my pocket at this moment on my key ring. He and his wife gave it to me I think more than 35 years ago. I used it as a member of their family. Dropping in or out anytime of the day or night which I did regularly as long as they were there. They have long since gone, but I keep the key because it means something to me. I hope the man who bought that home because I wouldn't want to be accused of having a key if anyone ever entered. But it means a great deal to me, that's why I keep it." Beautiful, sweet.


During the years after his mission and continuing through his thirties, opportunities and blessings poured into Richard's life as he worked hard and prepared for all that lay ahead. He married Anne Alice Thornly from Kaysville, Utah in 1933 and together they had 4 sons. He earned bachelors and masters degrees with honors from the University of Utah, he got a job as an announcer with radio station KSL, began announcing the tabernacle choir broadcast and became editor of the improvement era. At age 32, he was called by President Heber J. Grant to fill the vacancy, occasion by the death of J. Golden Kimball, and become a member of the first council of the seventy, the youngest man called as a general authority of the church in more than 30 years. The average age of the other six members at that time was 65, the youngest was 57. Richard L. Evans was 32. In his address given in general conference in October 1938, he immediately after being called as a general authority, he said this. "I spent a sleepless night, Thursday night, burning old bridges and building new ones. I think that perhaps that this call would have come easier to me a little later in life, after I had had a better opportunity to make substance of more of my dreams. But perhaps this is not so. Perhaps I must just exchange old dreams for new dreams. Furthermore it is all part of a great plan. The Lord still chasteneth whom he loveth and all those things which come into our lives in spite of our best laid plans, are part of the education and enriching experience of every child of God who walks the earth."


Richard's various assignments allowed him to develop a close relationship with President Heber J. Grant. On one occasion prior to his call as a general authority, Richard spoke with him about his desire to work on a doctorate, and possibly pursue job opportunities in broadcasting that had opened up to him in several large eastern cities. Richard reported that when he asked President Grant's advice, the prophet looked at him with a twinkle in his eye and said "I think I'd stick around if I were you." And so he did. Richard's brother commented that as his life unfolded, Richard recognized that the President's advice had changed his whole life and for the better. Indeed, many years later he would say on the spoken word, "No man ever lived his life exactly as he planned it. There are things that all of us want that we don't get. There are plans that all of us make that never move beyond the hopes of our hearts. There are reverses which upset our fondest dreams. There are many things in life beyond the present power of anyone to alter or to answer or to understand. And what we cannot understand we shall have to except on faith until we do understand. In any case, rebellion isn't the answer. But neither is hopeless resignation. Resignation may retreat too far, but somewhere between bitter rebellion and beaten resignation there is an effective fighting ground where a man can make the most of whatever is. Where he can still face each day and do with it whatever can be done.

His longest association began in the spring of 1930 when he was just 24 years old. While employed at KSL, he was assigned to announce the weekly nation-wide tabernacle choir program, which had become, begun broadcasting over the NBC network the year before. Two years later, the quorum would switch to a CBS radio network where it remains to this day. In addition to the weekly broadcast, Richard L. Evans accompanied the choir as it traveled to sing in concerts throughout the world. As the choir announcer, he would introduce the music and add well chosen words of commentary and humor. His love for the choir and music and the spoken word was deep. He rarely missed a broadcast.


            For many years as a member of the quorum of the twelve, he had the supervision of the tabernacle choir. And upon his passing, Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, another man who loves the choir and its broadcast, was assigned to take his place. President Hinckley has retained direct supervision of the choir to this day. We answer directly to President Hinckley. The choir has played a vital role in bringing the church out of obscurity. Known as "America's choir," the choir has sung at 5 presidential inaugural ceremonies and numerous world wide telecast and special events. Appeared at 13 world fairs and expositions and performed throughout the United States and Canada, South and Central America, Europe, Asia, Israel, the South Pacific and numerous other nations. Today the choir continues to tour the world spreading goodwill wherever they go. Usually concert halls are filled with people who've traveled great distances to see and hear of this beloved and impressive choir. Stories are legion about how people want to know more about the church after hearing the choir or listening to their more than 150 recording, films, and videotapes. In fact letters have been received at the choir offices with no more of an address than "Choir USA," and "Crossroads of the west."


            The choir is a powerful effective means of bringing the church out of obscurity and opening hearts to further light, using the universal language of music, the choir speaks to individuals and nations travels the world representing the church. Richard L. Evans understood the choir's magnitude. He was its advocate and spokesman from 1930 to 1974. For 41 years until his death, Richard L. Evans continued as announcer, writer, and producer of music and the spoken word. As a result, his name became and voice became familiar to millions around the world. The words that he wrote many decades ago continue on the broadcast today. I still say the words he wrote decades ago, "within the shadows of the everlasting hills," and "from the crossroads of the west," and "may peace be with you this day and always." Those are all Richard L. Evans.


Recordings of his spoken word messages are still carried by several radio stations across the country. For example, in 1997, 26 years after his death, the Wall street journal carried a front page article and picture about the enduring appeal of Richard L. Evans, who had been featured prominently on radio station KMOX in St. Louis, drive time programming. In response to a question for management, listeners called and wrote in by the hundreds telling the station to continue broadcasting Richard L. Evans taped inspirational messages as they have done for several decades. One writer expressed his regard for Richard L. Evans this way. "His deep soothing voice, and his genius for composing moving messages, have made him famous and well loved in countries throughout the world. His expressed thoughts have seemed to be exactly what people wanted and needed to hear. And the response of so many has been, 'He seemed to be talking only to me.'"

            This is what Richard L. Evans said on one occasion in regards to music and the spoken word. It has been a demanding, confining, challenging and gratifying effort to bring music and the spoken word to a nation-wide and international audience with great meaningful music and some simple statements regarding or concerning some great and timeless truth and the problems of people."


            Richard L. Evans spoke on a variety of subjects, but each message was filled with hope and truth. The good news of the gospel, he often spoke of such principles of work, gratitude, duty, industry, civility, happiness, and love. With simple eloquence and uncommon wisdom, he wrote and spoke about faith, mercy, and God's goodness. He stood for timeless values, constantly urging his vast audience to focus their lives on the everlasting things. He said on the broadcast, quote "Life is largely a reflection of what people believe, plus what they have the courage and conviction to stand for, to live for." End quote. His voice in the broadcast was a constant in good times and bad. Like trusted friends, Richard L. Evans and music and the spoken word have seen its audience through war and depression, peace and prosperity. They have steadied troubled hearts, assayed disappoints, added upon joys, lightened loads, and led one generation after another to God.


Of the millions who listened weekly, or read his many writings no one can count how many people were moved to change their lives for the better. No one knows how many wanted more information about the church of Richard L. Evans. Just before I began today a good man came up to me and said "Richard L. Evans was responsible for me joining the church." How many are known, do we know of each year and still today, that are touched because of Richard L. Evans mission and contribution. In fact, still today hundreds of letters are received, the tabernacle choir offices. A request for a message, a personal question, a note of appreciation. Since 1990 when I started with the broadcast, I have received countless letters, mostly from non-LDS individuals, expressing gratitude for the program. And frequently, nearly more than three decades after his death, the letter writer expresses love and admiration for Richard L. Evans, and remembers with fondness his voice and his messages. He was so closely connected with the broadcast for so many decades that even today, untold numbers cherish his memory and honor his name.


            In 1954 to commemorate its 25th year of weekly broadcast, LIFE magazine editorialized on the program's legacy with these words. "Those who know this program need no arguments for listening to it, or nor introduction to its producer and commentator, Richard L. Evans, or to the disciplined voices. Millions have heard them, and more millions we hope will hear them in years to come. It is a national institution to be proud of. But what matters more, is that Americans can be linked from ocean to ocean and year to year by the same brief respite from the world's weak, and by a great chord of common thoughts, on God and love and the everlasting things."


            From its beginning on July 15, 1929, music and the spoken word remains the longest continuously broadcast radio network program in the world. It is produced and distributed internationally to some 2000 television, radio, and cable stations by Bonneville communications. A division of Bonneville international which is the holding company for the Church's broadcast properties. The church has been involved in broadcasting since the early 1920's, when it assumed majority ownership of radio station, KSL. Beginning in 1923, radio was used to broadcast general conference to overflow crowds of some 4000 people who gathered on temple square. By April 1926 the conference report noted there were an estimated 50,000 people listening the proceedings. Today millions of people, members of the church and others not of our faith, hear and see general conference, tabernacle choir broadcasts, and many other church programs and satellite broadcast because of the miracle of mass communication. Not only do these efforts strengthen the saints, but they also assist in creating a positive public image for the church, dispelling misconceptions, opening doors, and softening hearts to receive further gospel light. The Lord has said "For verily the sound must go forth from this place into all the world. And into the uttermost parts of the earth, the gospel must be preached to every creature."


The church from its earliest periods has used communication vehicles of the day to promote and spread the gospel message and Richard L. Evans played a vital role in bringing the church mass communication and broadcasting outreach and technology together. Richard L. Evans understood the awesome power of broadcasting and other media to shape opinions and spread good will, and he worked tirelessly to share these gifts. In addition to the weekly choir broadcast, for five years he wrote a syndicated newspaper column for William Randolph Hurst King features syndicate that was circulated to millions of homes, and had one of the largest readerships in the nation. He wrote articles for readers digest, Encyclopedia Britannica, and asked to, was asked to write an article for Look magazine to define the church's beliefs. The article appeared in October of 1954 under the title "What is a Mormon?" And according to one writer, was one of the best statements about the Mormons and their beliefs to appear in the national press up until that time. And it further established Richard as an authoritative writer for the church as well as its best known voice through his tabernacle choir broadcasts. The Look article was later reprinted and wisely, widely used as a missionary tool.


            He wrote seventeen books, most of them compilations of his messages and quotes nationally published by Harper and Brothers. I brought just two of those books; I have about 10 of his books that I have accumulated over the years. Here is two of them, "May peace be with you," and anther on "Tonic for our times." I have had several people that that have given me, they've found them at old book stores and used book stores, and they've given me copies of these messages over the years and these are among my treasured possessions. The one has Elder Evans signature in it, and for me, very meaningful to have those books and reminders of this remarkable man. His books were read by millions and reviewed by the most prestigious media outlets of the time including this New York Times review. This is what the New York Times said, "they reveal an adansonian charm which lifts them into literature. Here is a classic, an example of how to put ancient realities to a modern world." Or this from the Los Angeles Times, "there is a classical simplicity here which makes meaning clear and an eloquence which drives home a point." Even the Baptist Sunday school board issued this review, "Many of the subjects would make excellent topics for sermons and devotions. Most public speakers could profit by studying these essays as models for great thoughts put into beautiful but simple language."


He was also busy with civic affairs, most notably with the rotary club. Here is one of his books the Richard L. Evans quote book, which is still in print you can buy it at the bookstore. But, rotary club, over three decades he rose from local offices to president of Rotary international in 1966. During that year, he and his wife addressed audiences in 60 countries on every continent and in 25 states in the United States. He traveled to a total of 90 countries in his years in service to rotary. As rotary leadership opportunities continued to come to him, he became concerned about the increased time commitment to rotary. He counseled to President David O. McKay who encouraged him to except leadership responsibilities within rotary as they came. It would be impossible to calculate the good will he generated for the church as he traveled, spoke, and met with dignitaries and officials from around the world. Not only was he familiar to many of them from his broadcasting and writing, but the people with whom he met understood that he was a high ranking official in the LDS church. And over many years of service and contribution they came to love him and trust him, and his church.


            His greatest honor came at the age of 47 after serving 15 years in the first council of seventy. President McKay announced his name at the October 1953 general conference of the church as the newest member of quorum of the twelve apostles with these words, "Elder Evans whom you know and have known because of his work on the radio and his service in the stakes, and whom the entire nation knows, Richard L. Evans will now speak to us. The new apostle came to the pulpit in the tabernacle and said, "I have frequented these beloved walls for a period now approaching a quarter century in many situations and assignments. But this is the most difficult thing that I have here had to do. It seems that this chapter was not in the script that I had written for myself. In the brief but in some respects, to long a time since first I became aware of this possibility, I have measured the full measure of my life many times over. There are those here who know much better than I, the weight of this work. There is none here who knows better than I, my own limitations, inadequacies, and imperfections, and the feeling of smallness which I have. But if you and my father in heaven will accept me as I am, with your help and his I shall earnestly endeavor to be better than I am or have ever been." Isn't that beautiful, humble, touching. As a special witness of the lord Jesus Christ to the world, Elder Evans would take on new and demanding activities and assignments. Wrote, Elder Marion D. Hanks, "To his calling as an apostle, Elder Evans gave his full measure of his strength and devotion and great faith. His already heavily scheduled life took on added dimensions, and his service broadened and his influence deepened in the spirit of his new calling. His trained mind and great capacity became even more widely known as did his delightful sense of humor, and his seasoned understanding of problems and difficulties and his love for people, won for him the love, trust, and loyalty of both old and young."


            People often wondered how he could do all that he did. They attributed his accomplishments to talent and genius. He had much God given ability to be sure, but those that knew him best recognized the working garments in which the genius was clothed. He was an extremely hard worker, seldom rested from his labors. Often rose between 3 and 5 am to work for a few hours before going to the office. There is a picture of the quorum of the twelve in 1953. You can see him standing there as the junior member of the quorum of the twelve. And those are names and faces that you'll recognize. From President Kimball, President Benson, Elder Mark E. Peterson, President Harold B. Lee, President Joseph Fielding Smith, and so forth, and there he is as the newest member of the quorum of the twelve and then here is a picture from 1970 just a year before his passing. Again you see faces that you recognize and remember.


Richard L. Evans death was unexpected. He was only 65 years old when he died, just after midnight on November 1, 1971. He worked vigorously as usual up to his final days when he became ill from a viral infection. Just before Elder Evans died, he lay in hospital bed and the Sunday morning broadcast by recording came on. His voice and words on nation wide broadcast pre-taped encouraged faith in the future. This is his last broadcast message, "There are times when we feel that we can't endure. That we can't face what is ahead of us, that we can't carry the heavy load. But these times come and go. And in the low times, we have to endure. We have to hold on, until the shadows brighten, until the load lifts. There is more built in strength in all of us, than we sometimes suppose. And what once we said we couldn't do, or couldn't live with, or couldn't carry, we find ourselves somehow doing and enduring."


Richard L. Evans endured well. Elder Marion D. Hanks, a close friend who had been mentored for many years by Elder Evans wrote at his passing, "To millions, he was the image of the church. To multitudes of persons who were not well acquainted with the theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he was the only church they knew and the only religion that they formally experienced. Countless others arraigned their worship around his broadcast. The impact of his personality was if anything even greater as he stood in person before numerous audiences across the earth and in his own imitable way taught men the meaning of life. He called them to repentance and to a greater sense of responsibility to themselves, to each other, and to God.


Upon his death, the council of the twelve issued a statement to commemorate his life and contributions. They said this, "Numerous people, the world over, have happily boasted that Richard Evans is my church. For 41 years under intense pressures Elder Evans has returned the microphone nearly every week with the message of depth and faith and freshness and inspiration. As limitless approaches are made with the people all over the world by missionaries and others of us, we are greeted with this statement. 'I listen every Sunday morning to Richard L. Evans.' This apostle touched the hearts of millions." That is a statement from the council of the twelve. The first presidency continued with this expression of love and admiration. They said, "Above all else however, we admired him for his firm testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for the way in which he bore his testimony to the world. He was a special witness of the divinity of the Savior. And it was in this role, that he rendered his greatest service and received his greatest personal satisfaction and sense of fulfillment. While others may be raised up to shoulder part of the heavy load he carried, there will never be one to take the place of Richard L. Evans. Apostle, philosopher, thoughtful friend, wise counselor, loving husband, and father.

Richard L. Evans was the face and voice of the church for four decades of the twentieth century, admired and beloved by millions. He was integral in helping the church become known, respected, and trusted. His untiring work to build the kingdom and bring gospel light to a darkening world will be appreciated by generations yet unborn. Today as members of the church, we are reaping the benefits of what he started, what he worked on all his life, what he wore his life out for. The Lord rose up this honored man for a crucial period in church history, to help bring it out of obscurity. The name and life and ministry of Richard L. Evans will not be forgotten. He is and will tenderly, gratefully be remembered.