A Marvelous Work and a Wonder
At the conclusion of Richards’ service as president over the Church’s Southern States Mission (1937), he provided missionaries with a document entitled “The Message of Mormonism” to assist them in studying and presenting teachings of the Church. Later while serving as Presiding Bishop of the Church, he expanded his document into a full-length book and named it A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, a phrase taken from Isaiah 29:13–14 (King James Version); Richards identified the teachings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as a marvelous wonder.
Deseret Book, a publisher owned by the Church, published the book in 1950. It was intended for missionaries to study, but the book appealed to all members of the Church and became one of the bestselling Latter-day Saints books of all time. As of 2001, the book had sold over three million copies. Richards donated all proceeds to the missionary funds of the Church.
The book is still in print although no longer part of the Missionary Reference Library, having been replaced in large part by Preach My Gospel.