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Richard G. Scott
Full name Richard Gordon Scott
Born November 7, 1928 (1928-11-07) (age 81)
Place of birth Pocatello, Idaho
LDS Church Apostle
Called by Ezra Taft Benson
Ordained October 6, 1988 (aged 59)
Ordination reason Death of Marion G. Romney
LDS Church General Authority
First Quorum of the Seventy
Called by Spencer W. Kimball
Start of term April 2, 1977 (aged 48)
End of term October 1, 1988 (aged 59)
End reason Called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy
Called by Spencer W. Kimball
Start of term October 1, 1983 (aged 54)
End of term October 1, 1988 (aged 59)
End reason Called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Called by Ezra Taft Benson
Start of term October 1, 1988 (aged 59)

Richard Gordon Scott (born November 7, 1928) is an American nuclear engineer and a current member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Currently, he is the seventh most senior apostle among the ranks of the church.


Personal life


Early years

Richard G. Scott was born on November 7, 1928, in Pocatello, Idaho, to Kenneth Leroy Scott and Mary Eliza Whittle. At age five, the family moved to Washington DC, where his father worked in the Department of Agriculture.[1] His father was not a member of the LDS Church at the time, and his mother was marginally active until the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture of the time, church apostle Ezra Taft Benson, named Kenneth Scott as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture in the administration of Dwight D Eisenhower. Benson's influence led to his father's conversion and the reactivation of his mother. In 1988, as church president, Benson would later call Richard Scott to become an apostle of the church.

Encouraged by his bishop and home teachers, Richard Scott had attended church sporadically at times during his youth but he felt out of place, as on the sidelines looking in. He also lacked some confidence socially and athletically at school, although he excelled academically, and was a class president, as well as played the clarinet and bass drum in the marching band.[2]

During the summers he worked various jobs to earn money for college. Working on an oyster boat off the coast of Long Island New York during one summer he found that, at times, the hardened fishermen mocked him for not drinking alcohol until a man went overboard and 17-year-old "“Scotty," as the only sober man on board, was told to put on his fins and mask and sent over to look for him.[3] Another summer, he cut down trees in Utah for the forest service and repaired railroad cars. Yet another summer, he started working as a dishwasher for a logging company in Utah and later moved on to assistant cook.[2]

College, mission, and marriage

Scott graduated from George Washington University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. At the time, he was dating Jeanene Watkins, the daughter of a senator from Utah. When she categorically stated that she would only marry a returned missionary in an LDS Church temple, Scott's career plans changed and he applied for missionary service. He was assigned to serve in the Montevideo Uruguay Mission of the church. Jeanene graduated in sociology and left the day after graduation for a mission to the northwestern United States. After they both completed their missionary service, they married in the Manti Utah Temple. It was during his missionary service that Scott was able to fill "all the voids of loneliness” he had felt since his youth.

The Scotts had seven children with five reaching adulthood. Their first son died after an operation to correct a congenital heart condition. Their second daughter lived only minutes and died just 6 weeks before the death of their first son.[4] Jeanene Watkins Scott died on May 15, 1995 after a short battle with cancer.


A few weeks after returning from Uruguay, Scott was interviewed by the then-Captain (later Admiral) Hyman G. Rickover for a job on a top-secret project involving nuclear energy. The interview seemed to go bad since, when Scott mentioned his recent missionary service, the volatile Captain stated, "and what do I care about your mission?" When asked what was the last book he read Scott had to answer truthfully "the Book of Mormon". When all seemed lost Scott stood to leave but Rickover told him to wait, saying that he had only been testing his confidence, and whether he would be true to what he believed, since this would be a difficult project. He was then offered the job in the immediate staff of Captain Rickover working on the design of the nuclear reactor for the Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine of the U.S. Navy. He later completed, what was an equivalent to a doctorate in nuclear engineering at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, but due to the classified nature of the work, a formal university degree could not be awarded. He also worked on the development of the first commercial land-based nuclear power plant. He worked with Admiral Rickover until 1965 when he was called to preside the Argentina Cordoba Mission of the church, with his wife and family accompanying him. One of his missionaries was D. Todd Christofferson, who would later be called to serve in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles with Scott.

On his second return from Argentina, Scott joined other former Rickover staffers who had a consulting firm in nuclear engineering, working out of Washington, D.C.. He stayed there until his call to be a general authority of the church in 1977.

Church service

Scott has had extensive experience in church service and in leadership roles. Apart from his 31 month mission to Uruguay, he served as a stake clerk and as a counselor in a stake presidency before he was called to preside over the Argentina North Mission in 1965, where he stayed until 1969. He then served as a regional representative of the Twelve in the Uruguay, Paraguay, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C areas. He was called as a general authority in April 1977 to serve as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.[5] In 1983 he was called to the Presidency of the Seventy[6] and on October 1, 1988 he was called to serve in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles after the death of the quorum president Marion G. Romney.[2]

As a seventy, Scott served as managing director of the Genealogical Department and Executive Administrator of the church for Southern Mexico and Central America.[6]

As a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, Scott is accepted by the church as a prophet, seer, and revelator. Currently, he is the seventh most senior apostle.[7]


Scott is a regular discussant at Church Educational System firesides and at general conferences of the church. In these settings he is known "for delivering compassionate talks ... 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."[8]

In 2007, Scott wrote Finding Peace, Happiness and Joy, his first book written as an apostle. It carries on many themes from his talks such as repentance and finding happiness through the atonement of Jesus Christ.[9]

Some of his more memorable speeches delivered in General Conference are:

  • To Heal the Shattering Consequences of Abuse[10]
  • Truth: The Foundation of Correct Decisions[11]
  • Jesus Christ, Our Redeemer[12]

See also


  1. ^ "Newsroom Leader Biographies: "Elder Richard G. Scott"". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. November 1983. Retrieved 2009-04-07.  
  2. ^ a b c Marvin K. Gardner, "Elder Richard G. Scott: 'The Real Power Comes from the Lord'"', Ensign, January 1989, p. 7.
  3. ^ "Do What Is Right Form Church Educational System fireside, Brigham Young University, 3 March 1996". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. March 2001. Retrieved 2009-04-12.  
  4. ^ Scott, Richard G (April 4, 2009). "Conference Report April 2009 Afternoon Session". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.,5239,23-1-1032,00.html. Retrieved April 7, 2009.  
  5. ^ “Elder Richard G. Scott Of the First Quorum of the Seventy,” Ensign, May 1977, pp. 102–103.
  6. ^ a b News of the Church: Elder Richard G. Scott Sustained to Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy", Ensign, November 1983, p. 90.
  7. ^ "Newsroom Leader Biographies: "Elder Richard G. Scott"". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 2006. Retrieved 2009-04-07.  
  8. ^ "Richard G. Scott". mormonwiki. Retrieved April 7, 2009.  
  9. ^ Richard G Scott (March 28, 2007). Finding Peace, Happiness, and Joy. Deseret Book ISBN 978-1570087523.  
  10. ^ "General Conference Address Saturday Afternoon Session". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. April 2008.,5239,23-1-851,00.html. Retrieved April 11, 2009.  
  11. ^ "General Conference Address Sunday Afternoon Session". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. October 2007.,5232,23-1-775-32,00.html. Retrieved April 11, 2009.  
  12. ^ "General Conference Address Sunday Morning Session". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. April 1997.,5232,23-1-64-23,00.html. Retrieved April 11, 2009.  

External links

Religious titles
Preceded by
Joseph B. Wirthlin
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 1, 1988—
Succeeded by
Robert D. Hales


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