Elder Richard G. Scott, one of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints passed away at 3:45 a.m. (Manila Time) at age 86. According to released news of LDS.org today, September 22, 2015, his passing was “from causes incident to age.” It may be a time of mourning for his family and for everyone touched by his compassion; it is also a joyful reunion with his eternal partner, Jeanene, and his Maker, who he served fully until this very day of his earthly life.
For almost 37 years since October 1, 1988, he displayed his fervor in serving and inspiring everyone as an Apostle of the Lord. Elder D. Todd Christofferson, another member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, mentioned:
His messages were filled with hope. And he was unapologetic about repentance and the Atonement because he knew that that’s where hope came from or what one could hope for as a consequence of true, full repentance and the effect of the Atonement, the grace of Jesus Christ, in one’s life.
(Ang kanyang mensahe ay puno ng pagasa. Walang pagdududa ang mga mensahe niya sa pagsisisi at sa pagbabayad-sala ni Jesu Kristo dahil alam niyang dito nanggagaling ang pagasa o kung saan pwedeng makahanap ng pagasa dahil sa buong pagsisisi at epekto ng pagbabayad-sala, ang pagpapala ni Jesu Kristo, sa buhay ng isang tao.)
He is a creditable embodiment of science’s harmonious relationship with faith. He worked as a nuclear engineer and served under Admiral Hyman Rickover for a “wide variety of naval and land-based power plants.” In his October 2007 conference talk, Truth: The Foundation of Correct Decisions, he displayed this symphonic understanding of the two, known to be opposing, fields. He said, “[To know the truth,] two ingredients are essential: first, unwavering faith in the source of all truth; second, a willingness to keep God’s commandments to keep open spiritual communication with Him.”
In a more personal note, Elder Scott has been a source of inspiration to many families. We were and are still blessed of his talks and his love towards his dearly missed Jeanene. During the September 2010 CES Fireside, he addressed young single adults, in particular, the blessings of building a Christ-centered family. He was, as if, talking to me directly. The following are excerpts from the conference which still guides me to this day as a father and a husband:
- Young men, don’t waste time in idle pursuits. Serve a worthy mission. Then make your highest priority that of finding a worthy, eternal companion. Get on with life and work at it. Don’t just coast through this period of life. It goes by too rapidly.
- Many women seldom hear a complimentary comment and are not thanked for the multitude of good they do. That’s a tragedy. As a husband, when you sense that your wife needs lifting, hold her in your arms and tell her how very much you love her.
- As a husband, be aware of what you might unconsciously communicate by how you treat your wife in public… [Occasionally,] I note that a man is in line in front of his wife. That is inappropriate—as a matter of fact, it’s just plain stupid.… The simple gestures like opening the door on the car or in a room for a woman show you want to give her the respect she deserves.
- I have seen men reject counsel from a wife who likely has struggled for a long time to find just the right moment to mention something the husband needed to change. Don’t do that.
His short story guides me to cherish what or who really matter most:
Once I learned an important lesson from my wife. I traveled extensively in my profession. I had been gone almost two weeks and returned home one Saturday morning. I had four hours before going to a meeting. I noticed that our little washing machine had broken down and my wife was washing the clothes by hand. Having an engineering background, I began to fix the machine.
Jeanene came by and said, “Rich, what are you doing?”
I said, “I’m repairing the washing machine so you don’t have to do this by hand.”
She said, “No. Go play with the children.”
I said, “I can play with them anytime. I want to help you.”
She said, “Richard, please go play with the children.”
When she spoke to me that authoritatively, I saluted and obeyed.
I had a marvelous time with our children. We chased each other around and rolled in the fall leaves. Later I went to my meeting. I probably would have forgotten that experience, were it not for the lesson that she wanted me to learn.
The next morning, about 4:00 a.m., I was awakened as I felt two little arms around my neck, a kiss on the cheek, and these words whispered in my ear, which I will never forget: “Dad, I love you. You are my best, best friend.”
Are you having that kind of experience with your children? If you are not, you are missing one of the supernal joys of life. If you have not yet married, you can decide now that when you are a parent the happiness of your children will be a very high priority in your life.
Let us keep Elder Scott living in our hearts by living the teachings of Jesus Christ through his words so that, like him, we can be reunited with our loved ones and with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.