Hi I'm D Ray
I was raised in various states even lived for a time on an island far out in the Atlantic ocean. When I was 19 I served a 2 year mission to Norway and I love the people of that country. I have visited countries in Europe and North America including Switzerland which is where my mother's family is from. I love seeing the beautiful creations of our Heavenly Father in these varied lands. I am particularly drawn to the mountains and the outdoors. One of my favorite activities is hunting with my Father and my Son, mostly because I enjoy being with them. As a Father I have four children spread from kindergarten to high school. The majority of my free time is with them and I wouldn't have it any other way. My family is the most important group of friends I have. As a family we have lived additionally in the Northeast US, Southwest and Southeast...we've only paid a short visit to the Northwest, but it was beautiful. I enjoy baseball and am a Yankees fan. The fall brings college football and I like watching Gator and Cougar football. Supporting my children in the sports and activities they love is the most fun for me. I work in health care and my goal each day is that I might touch the life of the children I care for such that they might not just be healed physically, but that through the love and kindness shown in our office their lives and spirits might be blessed. If I can help one child find a smile and some hope...it has been a great day.
Why I am a Mormon
I was born into the church and have generations of family who have lived and testified of their belief in Jesus Christ. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints because I too have a deep witness of the reality of Jesus Christ, His mission of Salvation for us, and the Restoration of His Gospel in these Latter Days. I have seen His power to bless and strengthen lives - to change people - helping them to grow closer to our Heavenly Father and to learn of their Eternal purpose in His plan. I have felt the love of my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ in my life. I have seen the results of that love in answers to prayer and direction through the Holy Ghost. I know who I am because I know Them, and that is the greatest gift of all. I know that whatever challenges I may face in this life I do not face them alone. I am a Mormon, because that is truly who I am.
Why do Mormons do family history or genealogy work?
As I learn about my past, about those who laid the groundwork for me, I learn more about who I am. I am strengthened by their examples and faith. I seek to be better to live up to the standard they set. I carry their name, and I must be aware of how I represent that name in all I do. I learn of how one ancestor struggled across the country by herself, driven by the faith she had inside, to reach a new land where she could practice her beliefs in freedom. I learn of another, who taught the gospel to some of the earliest leaders of this church. I am grateful for their faith. I am grateful to represent their name and I hope I make them proud by the way I teach my children who will carry that name into the future.
Please explain the part prayer plays in your life?
Prayer is my lifeline to Heaven. It is how I am able to reach out to my Father in Heaven and feel of His deep and personal love for me, one of His children. Prayer allows me to seek His guidance when I need direction, the ultimate eternal GPS. It allows me to conform my will to His. Prayer helps me to plan my day according to His priorities. It puts me in touch with those things that matter most. Maybe most important, it allows me to thank Heavenly Father for the rich blessings He has given me in my life. Although I could never even begin to thank Him enough, I try to express some measure of my gratitude for what He does for me and has done for me...and when I do, He blesses me further by opening my eyes even more to the vast expanse of His tender mercies. I love my Father in Heaven, and it is in prayer that I most often have my eyes opened to enable me to see glimpses of how deeply He loves me.
Could you talk about your baptism?
Honestly, I wish I could remember more about that day. I was eight years old. I have a picture in my mind of stepping into the water with my father, and another of talking with him while drying off. I remember him laying his hands on my head to give me the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Most is just pictures, of a day long ago. What I do remember is what that Baptism means to me now. Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I have access to his forgiveness, mercy and love through that baptism. I have felt the sweetness of that forgiveness. I have felt my utter dependence upon Him and His willingness to lift my burdens and help me home. Each week as I renew my covenants with Him through the Sacrament, I am reminded of His great sacrifice for us, and of His continued commitment to me, to us. What does my baptism mean to me? It means everything, because without that precious moment, I would not have access to the peace and hope that has come through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
In what ways have your prayers been answered?
Answers to my prayers most frequently come in small and simple ways. Occasionally in great and magnificent ways, but always answered. The answer is not always yes, but always I can note my Heavenly Father's tutoring care in responding to my need. I have seen prayers answered swiftly and directly, such as when I pray for one of my sick children and see their immediate improvement. My prayers have been answered through other people who bless my life through service or testimony. One Christmas Eve we were to travel out of town to join family when a winter storm prevented us from leaving. As we returned home I prayed that we would be able to piece together a meaningful evening alone. As we stopped to but some groceries to put a meal together, we ran into a family we know. Upon hearing of our situation they invited us to spend the evening with them. Shortly after arriving home, another family called to invite us to join them after dinner for a Christmas devotional. We expressed gratitude for Heavenly Father caring enough for us to send us love and support in our moment of loneliness. Some answers have come over years and through experience. In every instance, when I am able to recognize the Lord's hand in my life I am filled with a sense of His love for me and a warmth confirming His interest in me individually, and I am grateful for that love.
How I live my faith
I seek to make what I believe become a part of who I am. In my everyday interactions, I believe that how I treat those around me and how I react to the normal highs and lows of life is a true depiction of how completely I live my faith. When I seek to lift others around me, regardless of their current standing or position, regardless of what or who they have been in the past, I feel I draw closer to the Savior Jesus Christ, for that is how he treated those around Him. In addition to my daily actions and interactions, I try to live my faith by studying the word of God in the Scriptures, including the Bible. I try to take those things I learn and make them a part of who I am. I value my personal relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and seek their guidance through daily prayer. I attend my regular Church meetings and serve wherever I am asked, trying to do so as Jesus would do if He were here. I had someone tell me once as I taught them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that I wasn't just talking about something you report a belief in, but an actual way of life, a lifestyle...really becoming the disciple that Jesus invites us to be...and she was right, that is what I try to do each day.