News Release

Tribute to Elder Richard G. Scott

Nuclear Scientist, Artist, and above all an Apostle of the Lord

On the morning of the 23rd of September 2015, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Uganda woke up to the sad news of the passing of Elder Richard G. Scott, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

The 86 year old Apostle passed on peacefully, surrounded by members of his family on the afternoon of the 22nd of September 2015 in his home in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Elder Scott had served faithfully as an Apostle since his sustaining to this calling on the 1st of October 1988.

He has been described by the Deseret News, a local Utah newspaper, as a nuclear engineer, talented artist and an apostle known for his tender sermons and love for the family.

As a young man, Elder Scott served for 31 months as a missionary of the church in Uruguay. He later served as a mission president of the Argentina North Mission from 1965 to 1969. In the years after, he served as a regional representative of the Church in the areas of Uruguay, Paraguay, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington DC.

He served as a General Authority of the Church in the First Quorum of the Seventy beginning in April 1977 and in 1983 was called as a member of the Presdiency of the Seventy. 

Elder Scott was born on the 7th of November 1928 in Pocatello, Idaho and raised in Washington DC where his father worked. 

To earn money to pay for his college, he worked on an oyster boat in New York, cut trees in Utah for the forest service and repaired railroad cars. He also worked as a dishwasher and assistant cook for a logging company.

He graduated from George Washington University with a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering. He worked for the Navy, with one of his first tasks being the design of the nuclear reactor for the  first nuclear powered submarine of the United States Navy. He also worked on the development of the first nuclear powered land based nuclear power plant.

In 2007, Elder Scott wrote his first book "Finding Peace, Happiness and Joy" a book focusing on finding happiness through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Although he had many friends and did well at school, he often felt lonely and lacked confidence. He realised later "that those feelings need not have been part of my life if I had really understood the gospel."

Many times in his life, he made righteous decisions despite opposition and peer pressure. Such was the case when he received and accepted a call to serve a mission. He recalled "professors and friends tried to dissuade me from accepting a mission call, counseling that it would severely hamper my budding engineering career, but shortly after my mission, I was selected for the infant Naval nuclear program. At a meeting I was sent to direct, I found that one of the professors who had counseled me against going on a mission was in a significantly lesser program position than I was. This was a powerful testimony to me of how the Lord blessed me as I put my priorities straight."

Elder Scott loved his wife Jeanene who died in 1995. He also loved thier seven children, two of whom are deceased. He often spoke of family members in a gentle heartfelt and personalised manner. He looked forward to the day when his whole family would be renunited. "They (the deceased) provide a powerful motivation for each remaining member of our family to live so that together we can receive all of the eternal blessings promised."

He said in his biography on, "I know that as I continue to live worthily, I will have the priviledge of being with my beautiful wife whom I love with all my heart, and with those children who are with her on the other side of the veil."

Elder Scott taught on several subjects. On forgiveness he once taught, “You cannot erase what has been done, but you can forgive.  Forgiveness heals terrible, tragic wounds, for it allows the love of God to purge your heart and mind of the poison of hate. It cleanses your consciousness of the desire for revenge. It makes place for the purifying, healing, restoring love of the Lord.” 

This great leader will be truly missed, both by Latter-day Saints, and all who grew to know and love him.

Elder Scott was laid to rest on Monday 28 September in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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