Top-Ranking Mormon Leader Dies at 86; Was in Governing Body

23 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Mormon leader Richard G Scott dies at 86 at home in Salt Lake City.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Mormon leader Richard G. Now, with Scott’s death, it is unclear whether they will name a third man to the all-male quorum at the fall conference, just the previous two, or none at all. “If they have made a decision about first two openings, almost certainly there are two or three others who were highly ranked in these deliberations,” Mauss said from his home in Irvine, Calif. “It seems likely to me that it would be fairly easy— even in a short time — to come to closure on one of those.” Such replacements might alter the quorum’s makeup, Mauss said, given that two of the three late apostles — Packer and Scott — were religious conservatives. Scott, who was born in Pocatello, Idaho, had a successful career as a nuclear engineer before being chosen in 1988 as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

The group, modeled after Jesus Christ’s apostles, serves under the president and his two counselors in overseeing operations of the church and its business interests. Cowley, resigned from the faith’s second-highest quorum for continuing to officiate at Mormon polygamous “sealings,” or weddings, after the church had discontinued the practice.

He recovered from that but church officials announced in May that he was experiencing fading memory that kept him from taking part in quorum meetings. A Mormon scholar, Armand Mauss, called Scott a “mild-mannered leader promoting self-improvement and compassion as important attributes for Latter-day Saints to acquire”. He was credited with helping drive global church membership. “I don’t go anywhere, especially in Latin America, where he served for so long and in so many places — I don’t go anywhere there that I don’t see his footprints, where I don’t meet somebody who hasn’t been influenced by him in some way,” Christofferson said.

Scott kept a fairly low public profile, known mostly for his speeches at Mormon conferences where he managed a delicate balance of “preaching repentance without stridency,” said Matthew Bowman, an associate professor of history at Henderson State University. Monson, who, at age 88, the church has said, is “feeling the effects of advancing age.” Though they have no say in the process of selecting apostles, some Mormons hope a non-American joins Uchtdorf, a German who now serves as second counselor in the governing, three-member First Presidency. After all, the percentage of Spanish-speaking members now accounts for more than a third of the world’s 15 million Latter-day Saints, inching ever closer to the 41 percent who communicate in English.

If not a Latino, many of the devout would like to see at least one of the new apostles who hails from beyond the usual “Mormon corridor” in the western U.S. His final address came in October 2014 when he spoke about the importance of prayer, scripture reading, family home nights and going to the temple. “Each of us is intimately aware of our own struggles with temptation, pain and sadness,” Scott said that day. “Despite all of the negative challenges we have in life, we must take time to actively exercise our faith.”

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