The Passing of Elder Richard G. Scott

ScottThe Church has just announced the passing of Elder Richard G. Scott today. Our hearts, prayers, and condolences are with the Scott family, as well as the members of the Quorum of the 12 and First Presidency.

His passing marks the third member of the 12 to pass away since April General Conference. This upcoming Conference will give us all the chance to see how the mantle of responsibility is passed to the next, new apostles and to witness the Gospel in action. It’s a testimony to the order the Lord has established in His Church.

Till we meet again, Elder Scott. Thank you for your years of wise council and wisdom. You will be missed.

UPDATE: Elder Scott’s funeral will be held on Monday, September 28, 2015, in the Salt Lake Tabernacle at 11am MDT. The funeral will also be streamed online at,, and on KSL, and KBYU tv in Utah.

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About Joyce Anderson

Joyce is a mother, wife, sister, school teacher, Bulgarian speaker, conservative, lover of good music, social media junky and a two time culinary arts Grand Champion bread baker. She and the family reside in a remote mountain community where great discoveries have been made. When not changing the world, she enjoys the occasional bowl of chips and salsa. She can be found at:

26 thoughts on “The Passing of Elder Richard G. Scott

  1. To be honest, I never paid too much attention to Elder Scott until a few years ago, when I noticed in his conference talks a pattern of addressing ways to develop deepening spiritual sensitivity and growth. Either he was changing emphasis, or maybe I was just ready to receive it, but I found his messages both comforting and challenging, encouraging us to live so as to be more in tune with what the Holy Ghost would have us understand. I came to love his calm, humble demeanor, his depth of insight, and his elegant simplicity of expression. (And by the way, his book “Finding Peace, Happiness, and Joy” is one of the finest books written by a general authority I have ever read.)

  2. Several friends have already mentioned how they felt he was always looking right at them and having a personal conversation with them as he spoke. I felt that way too, with a few of his talks over the years. He always was so soft-spoken, but so powerful. I will miss him for sure.

  3. Sad news; I’ve appreciated his talks over the years.

    When was the last time we had three Quorum openings at once? I can remember two replacements in a General Conference, but not three.

  4. He was my favorite apostle. I loved the way he would look right into the camera and speak for a while, then look at a different camera and speak for a while. I used to joke that I’d love for him to try and fool the cameramen by appearing to be about to change to a different camera and then quickly go back to the first camera instead. RIP, Elder Scott.

  5. Jim W, to answer your question, a friend who is a church history buff, said 1906. I’m not totally sure about that, but it seems right.

  6. Joyce,

    Your friend was correct. April of 1906 brought us George F. Richards, Orson F. Whitney and David O. McKay.

  7. On April 9, 1906, George F. Richards, Orson F. Whitney and David O. McKay were sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve. They filled the vacancies created by the resignations of John W. Taylor and Matthias Cowley, and the death of Marriner Merrill.

  8. Thank you all for that information.

    Next weekend’s sessions of Conference will be most interesting. We’ve been praying for the brethren as they prepare to speak, and for us to have ears to hear. I always appreciate the first address from a newly called apostle. I can’t imagine many more humbling moments.

  9. It was Elder Scott’s April 2010 General Conference talk that inspired me to start The Atonement Library:

    And when I was collecting links for the conference talks page, I noticed just how very many came from Elder Scott. He loved teaching and testifying of the Atonement. Truly, a great man of God.

  10. I actually got a hug from Elder Scott once. We were reorganizing the stake presidency in Miami and I was on the high council, and he was interviewing us all privately on who we thought should be the next stake president. After a 5-minute interview he thanked me for my service and gave me a hug. He was a great and humble man.

  11. Elder Nelson must be feeling like a Primary president hoping that within the next couple weeks the bishop will call replacements for the teachers who already moved away. If he were president of an elders’ quorum, the stake president would tell him his current short-handedness is an opportunity for reactivation.

  12. LeGrand Richards died January 11, 1983. The April General Conference passed without sustaining a new member of the Quorum of the Twelve, and so did the October conference. One year after Elder Richards’ death, also on January 11, Mark Petersen died. At the April 1984 conference, the church sustained Elder Nelson and Elder Oaks. So maybe three new apostles will be sustained a week and a half from now, or maybe none will be.

  13. **Admin’s note: for some reason, some comments are going into moderation, and some are not. I don’t know why. I have just figured this out, and will be checking more frequently.

  14. It just occurred to me that the Lord and the Prophet, and maybe the whole FP or whole Q12, could arrange to have the next 1, 2, or 3 people to be called as apostles already “on deck”, but known just to them, prior to any passings. Then perhaps have a final confirmation vote/sustaining of the remaining apostles after someone passes before extending the calling.

    The FP/Q12 are methodical planners. Personally, I don’t envision a “mad scramble” when someone passes unexpectedly.

    I’m sure the Lord knows in advance, as I think it is one of those fore-ordination things.

  15. I think this is the first time there have been so many vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve due to death. But as the Church survived the former “thin times” caused by apostasy, then this opportunity to honor the honorably fallen and advance several new apostles to the fore will not be a challenge.

    It is at times like this when I very much value the decision to make the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles the body that handles succession when a prophet passes away. Even though several of the Apostles might pass away, it is unlikely in the extreme that all twelve will be taken. Recall that when Joseph conferred the keys on the Quorum of the Twelve in 1844, he was operating with the knowledge that there was an active conspiracy to murder him, a conspiracy that Joseph believed also applied to his successors (based on his warning to Wilford Woodruff in the temple in March 1844).

    I will miss Elder Scott. But I am so glad that in our day we have the ability to hear his voice and read his words any time we wish.

  16. I honestly would be surprised if they called three new Apostles next weekend, two for sure but three would seem to rushed.

  17. Going by the past three decades, the “on deck” pre-selected group that Bookslinger wonders about is the seven Presidents of the Seventy. It seems more likely than not that at least two of the next three LDS apostles are currently Presidents of the Seventy.

  18. Apostles called since October 1976 who were serving as Presidents of the Seventy: Andersen, Christofferson, Cook, Uchtdorf, Scott, Wirthlin, Ballard, Maxwell, Faust.

    Those who weren’t: Bednar, Eyring, Holland, Hales, Oaks, Nelson.

  19. Thus all the apostles called since October 1976 had been either Presidents of the Seventy or members of the Quorum of Seventy at some point prior to their call, with two exceptions:

    Dallin H. Oaks had been President of BYU and was serving on the Utah Supreme Court at the time he was called to be an Apostle.

    Russell M. Nelson had been a Regional Representative and was a world-renowned surgeon, including having served as surgeon for President Spencer W. Kimball (who was still President of the Church when Elder Nelson was called to be an apostle).

    As I look at those who happen to currently be Seventies (Presidents, members of the First Quorum), I would be thrilled to see any of them selected to minister at the more prominent apostolic level. Particular favorites:

    Paul Pieper: I know him, and he is son-in-law to the much-loved Theodore Tuttle. He has served as mission president in Russia, worked in Kazakhstan, and was president of our stake’s Spanish branch back in the day. His right hand is maimed in a permanent version of the ASL sign for “I love you,” which as stigmata go is pretty perfect.

    Larry Echohawk: He’s a Democrat and a Native American. He was Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the Obama administration prior to accepting the call to be a member of the Seventy. I don’t know him on a personal level, but was very moved by a fireside he spoke at, just prior to his call to the Quorum of Seventy.

    Duane Perkins: He’s read and liked my Faithful Josephseries (LOL). For the eight years prior to his call as Mission President over the Taiwan Taipei Mission, he was senior partner for McKinsey & Company in Beijing, China. If you know what that means, you know what that means.

    Craig A. Cardon descends from the original Valdese converts from Italy. And he was my mission president… 🙂

    From the standpoint of moving forward to a Quorum of the Twelve that more accurately represents the broad diversity of the world to which we are commissioned to take the gospel, there are many wonderful individuals born in foreign nations or of foreign ancestry.

    Let’s just say that the bench is super deep.

    I think one of the amazing things in calling Elder Oaks and Elder Nelson is that it reinforced the message that professional excellence was entrée to ecclesiastical opportunity. As a way of enforcing the concept of servant leadership, I don’t know that the Church could have done a better job.

  20. I would really hope that the Lord would call 3 from foreign lands: one Hispanic, one African (or African-American), and one Asian. These would go great with the European Pres Uchtdorf.

    We’re an international Church, and it needs to be able to understand and represent the Lord to all peoples and all cultures. So, I’m hoping we’ll see some great changes.

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