- You are moving into the most competitive age the world has ever known. All around you is competition. You need all the education you can get. Sacrifice a car; sacrifice anything that is needed to be sacrificed to qualify yourselves to do the work of the world. That world will in large measure pay you what it thinks you are worth, and your worth will increase as you gain education and proficiency in your chosen field. You belong to a church that teaches the importance of education. You have a mandate from the Lord to educate your minds and your hearts and your hands (Gordon B. Hinckley, “A Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth,” New Era, Jan. 2001, 4).
In addition to stressing the great importance the Mormon Church places on education, the Church offers a number of educational opportunities, both religious and secular, through the Church Educational System.
LDS Business College
LDS Business College (or LDSBC) is a two-year junior college operated and owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, it has (as of 2004) an enrollment of 1,200 students. The College has four buildings: The Mansion, which is home to a few business classes, Institute (religion classes), and administrative offices; the West Wing, which is where most of the classes are taught; the East Wing, which is where the library is located as well as the cafeteria, and the Medical Career classrooms; and the final building is the Carriage House, this is where the interior design and a few business classes are taught. The College also offers two on campus residence halls for women.
LDS Business College has been distinguished as one of the best schools of its kind. It has a 95% job placement rate at graduation and the students can expect personal attention and good learning environments because the average class size is 19 students. Some of the school’s other credentials and awards include:
- Microsoft designated LDS Business College as a “Microsoft Academy” due to program excellence.
- The National Center for Competency named LDSBC’s medical secretary program as a national testing center for its excellence as “one of the best in the nation.”
- LDS Business College students swept the four-year division of the International Interior Design of America (IIDA) 2002 and 2003 portfolio competition. In 2001 they swept the two-year division of the same IIDA competition.
- LDSBC’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team was a regional winner in 2003, awarded second place in regional competition in 2002, regional winner in 2001, and runner up in 2000.
- LDS Business College is the only commercial school in America conducted by a religious body to be admitted to the National Association of Accredited Commercial Schools (Taken from a report given on LDS Business College by the Utah System of Higher Education).
LDS Business College has been in operation for 117 years and started out as a school for elementary grade levels with one room and one teacher. From those small beginnings it grew to include teaching grades 9-12. In 1896 another addition was made to the curriculum of what was then known as Latter-day Saints’ University, a business section was added and called LDS Business College. In 1931, during the Great Depression the high school, and junior high curriculum were closed (the elementary school had been closed some years before this point) because of financial reasons and the LDS Business College was all that remained.
The LDS Business College had a distinct identity as a junior college. From 1922 until present, the University of Utah has accepted credits earned at LDS Business College. In 1893 the college colors of blue and gold were selected and the school song was adopted. The song is titled “Blue and Gold,” and the text was written, as a poem, by James William Welch. E. P. Kimball wrote the music.
On October 13, 2009, J. Lawrence Richards was inaugurated as the 12th president of the 123-year-old college. President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints outlined specific guidelines for the new president in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square. 
Expressing admiration for the College, President Eyring said that to help the College fulfill its mission, President Richards must make three important distinctions: To identify the College’s unique values, which he insisted must be preserved; to identify what will change in the world around the College, outside the control of the College and the Church; and to identify what should be changed within the College to move it towards making the contributions for which it was created.
President Eyring explained that three values must be preserved to accomplish those distinctions: First, a determination to provide for students the best experience possible to lead them back to the presence of their Heavenly Father and the Savior; second, generate a spirit of optimism, which he noted is a mark of the College; and third, maintain a feeling of unity. President Eyring noted the faculty has been marked by its willingness to sacrifice objectives for the good of the College. “That remarkable spirit of unity must never change. It will require determination and prayer to preserve it,” he said. President Eyring also said, “Changes in technology will permit you to reach any student in the world—an unlimited number of students and teachers. I can’t see the full vision of that yet, but I know it is coming. This campus may be a key piece to create distance learning.”
The appointment was made in January, 2009, when Stephen K. Woodhouse, who filled that position for 17 years, was released. John L. (Larry) Richards had served as the Assistant to the President. President Richards began his service at the college in 2002 as a business department faculty member, bringing a depth of firsthand knowledge and experience from the banking industry. A native of Salt Lake City, he attended the University of Utah, earning a BS degree with an emphasis in organizational communication. He also played an active role in student government there. In 2007, he earned a master's degree in education from Capella University with an emphasis in educational leadership and curriculum.
In 1977, President Richards commenced a 24-year career in banking. During those years he was president/CEO and director of four banks, and interim CEO of a California-based life insurance company. In 2002, he joined the College in the business department, teaching courses in micro and macro economics, electronic commerce, sales and customer relations, business law, entrepreneurship, and business finance. He became director of the business skills program in 2004, which grants an Associates of Applied Science in Business degree.
President Richards' teaching abilities were recognized in 2003 and 2006 when students awarded him the college's Teacher of the Year Award. In 2002, students also awarded him the Everyday Excellence Award. In 2006, he accepted an appointment of assistant to the president, responsible for faculty, student life, institutional research, and planning.
President Richards has a long history of community service, and has served in numerous church positions. He currently serves as bishop in his ward. He and his wife, Julie Victor of Brigham City, are parents of two children.