SALT LAKE CITY – Family, friends, members and leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints paid their final respects to Elder Richard G. Scott, who passed away last week at the age of 86.
Funeral services were conducted in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. Elder Scott’s legacy is that of a man who could feel the pain of others and offer words of hope and faith. Those who paid tribute to the apostle also touched on his sense of humor, devotion to family and God.
Thousands packed the Tabernacle Center to bid farewell to a man who stood at the pulpit for decades as a member of the Quorum of the Seventy and an apostle.
Elder Scott’s son, Michael, spoke about his father’s upbringing in Pocatello, Idaho as the son of a non-member and a mother who was not active in the church.
Michael Scott thanked church leaders for raising the man who would later become a great leader.
“Perhaps one of the reasons dad was so good at reaching out to the one the less active, the lonely, the discouraged, the downtrodden, was because in that early period in that life he was the one, he was the one being reached out to and rescued,” Michael Scott said.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson, a fellow apostle who served as a missionary under the supervision of Elder Scott in Argentina touched on his funny side.
He shared a story about how as mission president, Elder Scott drove him and his companion to a winery.
“He came back with a box of what looked like wine bottles and with a mischievous smile that portrayed how much he was enjoying this discomfort told us this was the best grape juice ever made,” joked Christofferson.
Church Pres. Thomas S. Monson spoke about Elder Scott’s willingness to serve, saying he was a man for all season, who loved to teach all people.
“Richard’s pleasant smile opened the hearts of others. He was equally at home with the poor and underprivileged as with the rich and the famous,” Pres. Monson said.
Members who attended the service also remarked about his ability to connect with people.
“You think of him as an apostle, someone who is different, higher, but he’s very simple, very humble, and crack jokes,” said Edmar Rocha, LDS member.
“I loved him too, the way he spoke, the way he talked he never deviated from morality and things of that nature. He was very focused, and knew what he was saying,” said Tohi Ariki, LDS member.
With the passing of his sweetheart Jeanene 20 years ago, Pres. Russell M. Nelson said Elder Scott lived with purpose, knowing he would be reunited with his loved ones after this life.
“Thanks to the atonement of Jesus Christ, Elder Scott is now experiencing the joy of moving forward, free from the fetters of mortality, he is reaping the rewards of a life well lived,” Nelson said.