Richard Gordon Scott was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) on October 1, 1988, and was ordained on October 6, 1988, filling the vacancy left after the death of Elder Marion G. Romney.Elder Scott was born on November 7, 1928, to Kenneth Leroy and Mary Whittle Scott in Pocatello, Idaho. At the age of 5, he moved with his parents to Washington D.C., where his father served with the Department of Agriculture, later becoming an Assistant Secretary of Agriculture.He graduated from George Washington University as a mechanical engineer and 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 Church—Richard to Uruguay and Jeanene to the Northwestern United States. They were married on July 16, 1953, in the Manti Temple. They had seven children, five of whom survived to adulthood. His wife passed away on May 15, 1995, after 42 years of marriage.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. In the Church, he served as a regional representative in the Uruguay, Paraguay, North and South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington D.C. areas until his call as a Seventy. In 1965 he was called to preside over the Argentina North Mission. He served in that position until 1969.
Elder Scott was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy in 1977 and was called to serve in the Presidency of the same quorum in 1983. He served in that capacity until his call to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Elder Scott is 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.
Currently, Elder Scott serves as Chairman of the Executive Committee and Member of the Church Board of Education that governs the Church Educational System.