Hi I'm Richard
I have been married to a wonderful women for over seventeen years. The two of us are still getting closer to each other every day. I have a grandson who is just 1 1/2 years old. I have only been able to see my grandson for the first week of his life as my children, including his mother, live in separate pats of the United States. I served two enlistments in the US Army. I always love my country but after serving in the US Army I have a greater respect for the United States and those who defend it and our way of life. I am currently serving as a Family History Consultant in my local church Congregation.
Why I am a Mormon
Why am I a Mormon? Many people have asked me that question and I have given several different answers. It is easy to give the normal run of the mill answer to that question "I was born and raised a member of the Mormon Church". While this is true. It is not the reason that I am a Mormon. There was a time when that would have been a correct answer. I was indeed born, and raised a member, of the Mormon Church. There came a time however that I had to to ask myselft the question of why "I" am a member of the the church. It is after not all that easy to be a member of the Mormon church. For most of the churches in the world membership in said church is an almost passive thing. Here is the big question that I think everyone needs to answer, for themselves, did Joseph Smith actually see God the Father and his son (as a seperate being), and experience the Holy Ghost in the vision that he had. If Joseph did see the Godhead as he says that he did then The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is indead the true church of God the Father. If Joseph Smith did NOT see God The Father, his son Jesus Christ, at the event that is know within the church as The First Vision then the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (The Mormon Church) is a lie. This is the one biggest question that I believe everyone must answer for themselves. If it is true then it changes the basic foundation of the world. I have not been to the to see the place that Joseph Smith had the vision. I do not need to see the place to know that what Joseph Smith claims happend during the vision DID INDEED happen. It has been made know to me by the power of the Holy Ghost through studying and prayer. Ok, I will agree with the many people who say that being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church) is not easy. Just remember that it is not easy, it was not designed to be easy.
How has your knowledge of the Plan of Happiness changed/benefited your life?
It is so much easier to go through the trials of this earthly life knowing that is is part of the "Plan of Happiness". We knew that we would ALL make mistakes but that there was a plan that would make it so that we can repent of our sins and be made clean. Through the Plan of Happiness we CAN return to God's presence. This is why we are here on earth. We are here to be tested. It was known that everyone, except "Jesus Christ" would sin and therefore need to make use of his payment for our sins. That means your sins, my sins, and everyone's sins who ever were or will be born onto this earth.
Why/How do you share the gospel with your friends?
I let my friends know that I am a Mormon and that I am willing to discuss any part of the Mormon Church. I am willing to do this as long as this does not become attack against anyone or their religion. If someone has questions about the church that I don't know how to answer, I will get someone who can answer that question.
Please share your feelings/testimony of Joseph Smith.
Joseph Smith listened to the holy spirit that prompted him to go into the woods and pray. Because Joseph asked with pure faith to know of God he was given a vision of the true godhead. That was God the father who had a body of flesh and bones, his son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. Because Joseph was willing to tell others about his vision with God he was hated, feared, hunted down, and ultimately killed. Some of my ancestors, after praying to know whether the Book of Mormon, hence the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was true, and getting the answer that it was the only true church on earth, gave much of their lives guarding Joseph Smith. I too have prayed about the truthfulness of the Mormon Church and have come to know in my heart that it is true. I know that their is no other Church that is true, though they may have parts of the truth.
How I live my faith
I am currently serving as a Family History Consultant in my ward. I find that as I help others with their Family History work that I get closer to my ancestors most of which I never knew. It helps me to be proud of how my ancestors dealt with the problems that we thrown their way. I find that some of the things that are easy for me to understand takes quite a bit for someone else to understand. We patiently work through the problem(s) sometimes time and time again. I will admit that there are time,s after I have helped someone with the same problem yet again, that I come back home and talk to my wife about the challenges. She helps me to understand, yet again, that they may have a different personality than I do and therefore different challenges. It is nice to have a spouse that completes you. This is the way me and my wife are together. We are complete.