Richard G. Scott
Elder Scott was born on November 7, 1928, to Kenneth Leroy and Mary Whittle Scott in Pocatello, Idaho. When he was 5, his family moved to Washington, D.C., where his father served with the Department of Agriculture, later becoming an Assistant Secretary of Agriculture.
Elder Scott graduated from George Washington University as a mechanical engineer and thereafter completed postgraduate work in nuclear engineering at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He met and dated Jeanene Watkins, but marriage was delayed while they both served full-time missions for the Mormon Church, Richard to Uruguay and Jeanene to the Northwestern United States. They were married and sealed on July 16, 1953, in the Manti Utah Temple. They had been married for 42 years when Jeanene passed away on May 15, 1995. They had seven children, five of whom survived to adulthood.
From 1953 to 1965 Elder Scott served on the immediate staff of Admiral Hyman Rickover, directing the development of nuclear fuel for a wide variety of naval and land-based power plants. He simultaneously held positions in the Church, serving as a regional representative in the Uruguay, Paraguay, North and South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. areas until his call as a Seventy. Plans for a quiet life as a government servant came to an end in 1965, when he was called to preside over the Argentina North Mission. He served in that position until 1969. Among the missionaries who served under President Scott was D. Todd Christofferson Upon his return to the States, Scott continued to hold Church positions and worked as a private consultant to the nuclear industry (see his entry on Famous Mormon Scientists.)
He was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy in 1977 and was called to serve in the Presidency of that quorum in 1983. He would serve in that capacity until his call to the Quorum of the Twelve in October 1988.
Elder Scott was known for delivering compassionate talks at General Conference, looking directly into the camera, and pleading for repentance and improvements in the lives of members. He emphasizes the Savior's compassion and willingness to forgive past transgressions, and pleads for members to repent and move on with their lives.
Elder Scott served as Chairman of the Executive Committee and Member of the Church Board of Education which governs the Church Educational System. His health began to decline due to age. He was not able to speak at the April 2015 general conference, and on April 23, 2015, he was hospitalized with gastrointestinal bleeding. The bleeding was brought under control within the next 24 hours, and he was released from the hospital on April 28. The Church reported that "Elder Scott, known for his gentle manner and devoted service, has experienced a fading memory incident to age, and is not fully able to participate in meetings of the Quorum of the Twelve at this time." He passed away on September 22, 2015.
Quotes from Elder Richard G. Scott
- "[God] is your Father; pray to Him. If your life is in disarray and you feel uncomfortable and unworthy to pray because you are not clean, don’t worry. He already knows about all of that. He is waiting for you to kneel in humility and take the first few steps. Pray for strength. Pray for others to be led to support you and guide you and lift you. Pray that the love of the Savior will pour into your heart. Pray that the miracle of the Atonement will bring forgiveness because you are willing to change. I know that those prayers will be answered, for God loves you. His Son gave His life for you. I know they will help you."
- “True Friends That Lift,” Ensign, Nov. 1988
- "All around us we see a growing desire for spiritual direction the world over as a result of increasing natural and human-caused disasters. This yearning for spiritual guidance is a consequence of our being children of a divine Heavenly Father. It is understandable that when we face difficulty we turn to our Creator for help. Our loving Heavenly Father knew that deteriorating world conditions, severe personal challenges, and disasters would lead His children to seek His spiritual nourishment. The challenge is how to properly find it."
- "Truth Restored," Ensign, Nov. 2005