If the Lord had desired to call as a General Authority someone who had excelled in
athletics, he would have had many to choose from. If He had desired someone whose mission and subsequent
Church service was exemplary, again the candiates would have been numerous. If the ideal candidate was
one who had shown great acumen and achieved great success in the business world, many would have
qualified. But the Lord got all three in one package when he called Elder Richard J. Maynes as a General
Richard J. Maynes was born on October 29, 1950 in Berkeley, California to Stan
Maynes and his wife Betty. Even in early childhood, Richard evidenced a love for athletics and a growing
prowess therein. He became an intense competitor and devoted many hours to his developing skills. "I was
a sports fanatic growing up," he said to a Church News reporter (June 14, 1997) "My dream as a
high school freshman was to excel in football." However a career-ending injury suffered on the last day
of practice before the season began ended that dream. His left shoulder was broken in the socket and was
allowed to set improperly before doctors discovered the true nature of the injury and had to rebreak it
and set it anew, this time securing it in place with steel pins which Richard would carry the remainder
of his life." This trauma affected the growth plates in the shoulder of the still growing young man and
he ended up with one arm an inch and a half shorter than the other.
But even while his arm remained in a cast, Richard's love for sports remained
undimmed. He began practicing for basketball. "I can vividly remember shooting one-handed baskets in our
driveway while my left arm was immobilized and still healing," he said. His intensity prevailed and he
was named Most Valuable Player on his Hollister, California team for his sophomore, junior, and senior
years. During his senior year he was one of the top scorers in the entire state.
Richard's scintillating high school career secured an athletic scholarship to
Brigham Young University in 1968. But the intense drive that had directed him thus far was about to be
redirected. "When basketball at BYU didn't work out as I had planned, I had to make what was my hardest,
yet best, decision I've ever made. I decided to go on a mission rather than transfer to play at another
school." He was called to serve in the Uruguay-Paraguay Mission and ended up serving roughly half his
mission in each country. It was time for quiet reflection on things that really mattered, studying the
Gospel, developing his testimony and honing skills of leadership, organization, and planing. Of his
mission experiences, Elder Maynes reported, "The Church was very young in Paraguay at the time. Several
of the brances we organized are stakes now."
Elder Maynes recalls vividly one special experiece.“My companion and I had the
opportunity to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the mayor of Montevideo and his wife. Their
son had just died in an accident, and they were looking for answers,” The was an opportunity to teach
meaningful doctrine to people in need and weighed heavily on Elder Maynes. He sought the Lord in
prayer. “I received answers to my prayers and was able to help this great family,” he reported. “Since
that moment of spiritual confirmation, the Lord has blessed me with many testimony-building experiences
After his mission, Richard returned to BYU. During the summer before his senior
year, while working with friends at a resort in Idaho, he met Nancy Purrington, then a legal assistant
working in Salt Lake City, and although born and reared in Idaho Falls, Idaho, not a member of the Church.
He gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon. Six weeks later, he baptized her. A courtship ensued
and they were married in the Manti Temple on August 15, 1974. The couple would have four children.
Richard graduated from BYU in 1974 with a bachelor's degree in business management,
boasting a double minor in economics and accounting. He then entered the American Graduate School of
International Management, earning a master's degree in international management in 1976.
His business career began with Wiebe Manufacturing and he began to climb the
corporate ladder until 1984 when the company was purchased and renamed Raymond Production Systems, Inc.,
he was retained to become President. He remained in that position for five years until the Lord called
him once again into full-time missionary service, this time as President of the Mexico Monterrey Mission,
serving from 1989 to 1992. On his return to the business world, he established himself as an
international consultant, which services he provided for two years before being named Chief Executive
Officer and Chairman of the Board of Fountain Fresh International, Inc., a beverage company with
markets in Asia and Europe. He also became co-owner of CS Wood, Inc., a Salt Lake City firm specializing
in architectural building supplies.
After returning home from his misssion as a young man, Richard was called into
active Church service as president of his elder's quorum. He brought his usual intensity and drive into
that calling and subsequently was called as counselor in two bishoprics prior to his call as Mission
President. He might have expected that his tenure as Mission President would be his last in full-time
service to the Lord, but such was not to be.
During the Spring Conference of 1997, Elder Richard J. Maynes was again called into
full-time service to the Lord, this time as a General Authority. He was ordained a Seventy and given a
five-year call to serve in te Second Quorum of the Seventy. When asked to compare his business experieces
with his new call. he replied, “The Lord’s work is vastly more important. The eventual results are
eternal in nature, not temporal.” Elder Maynes served but two years of his five-year call when the Lord
gently let him know that he was never to return to the world of corporate management as on March 31,
2001, he was called into the First Quorum of the Seventy, and then in April of 2012, he was called into the
Presidency of the Seventy where he continues to serve at this writing.