I went to LDS.org just an hour or so after Elder Richard G. Scott passed away and the Church posted the announcement. Not long after that, I received a few texts from friends and family as word started to make its way around. His passing was not a surprise (he’d been incapacitated for some time), neither is it rare lately, given that two other apostles passed away recently as well. But I was filled with the same odd emotions that I've felt upon any of their deaths ever since I gained real respect for the lives they live and the office they hold. It’s bittersweet. Any sadness felt must be for the world left behind. It is our loss. For him, I like to imagine just how awesome the reunion must be on the other side.
As Elder Bednar pointed out in an interview, many church members tend to see and understand General Authorities only via their General Conference talks. Elder Scott was famous for his focus on repentance, his soft speech, and his soul penetrating gaze. I've been reviewing a few of Elder Scott’s talks that have been important to me personally:
Most of what Elder Scott did as an Apostle we do not know. The closest I came to interacting with him personally was when we crossed paths in the Salt Lake City Airport. But in an age where many are fixated on the fallibility of our leaders and some have even chosen to raise their hand to the square in opposition, I want to state very plainly that I sustain the prophets and apostles with all my heart. I believe completely that they are God’s servants, and that what they teach and do is right and good. I know that when I follow their counsel, I am blessed and when I ignore their counsel, I do so to my own detriment. I’m not sure I can express in words how confident I am in following them.
I don't know exactly when this pillar of my testimony become so firmly planted. As a child, we listened to conference while cleaning the garage on Saturdays and always watched at least an hour on Sundays. In terms of ritual and tradition, the patterns of General Conference both in structure, sight, and sound, held some power in my life. But it probably wasn’t until my mission, when for the first time I really sat down and listened in earnest: I was completely enamored by the power and relevance of their teachings. Those feelings have only grown.
Since then, I've realized that I am blessed with the spiritual gift described in Doctrine and Covenants section 46:13-14, where it says, "To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world. To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful."
I believe on their words. I cherish their words. I try my best to know and follow what they are teaching. I know not everyone enjoys the same confidence, but I will add my testimony to the body of testimonies that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is led by Christ through prophets of God.