Hi I'm Dick
Grew up with 7 brothers and sisters...attended St. Martins Catholic School. Those were days we actually walked to school. Straight out of High School enlisted in the U.S. Army since my draft number was #35. Left about a week after graduation. Went to Ft. Jackson, S.C. for boot camp. Very hot, sandy summer. Served a year overseas in Udon Thani in Thailand as a morse code interceptor. Met my first Mormon ever (Fred MacDonald) a great young man. Planted some seeds at that time in 1971. Returned to Vint Hills Farm military base where I met my sweet wife to be Lorene Shelton . Introduced me to the Mormom Elders and converted. I knew it was true early on when I heard of The Plan of Salvation. It was as if I already knew it. No regrets with my decision after almost 40 years. Had to make important changes in my life, but well worth the change.
Why I am a Mormon
I am a Mormon because I know the boy Joseph Smith prayed unto The Lord for direction and he received an answer. I likewise took my concerns to The Lord and The Spirit bore testimony to me that The Gospel has been restored in its fullness. When one knows, one must act!! I see the importance of gospel living everyday in each of my kids, their spouses, and our grandchildren. Being a Mormon has shown me the importance of finding my ancestors and learning about them for the first time. We are all connected and the gospel has helped me to understand that. I know the gospel is true, yes, we say that alot, but I can bear testimony that I personally know that the boy Joseph saw The Father and The Son in those sacred woods in Palmyra New York. How do I know? Because I was asked by those Elders who taught me to ask my Heavenly Father if this even was true. For the first time in my life I prayed vocally and asked if it was true. The sweet feelings of the spirit filled my heart and mind that it was true. I learned that my Heavenly Father truly does answer prayers...it almost sounds too simple, but nevertheless it is true. Since then I have had many spiritual experiences that have impacted my life for good. They are not easily forgotten. As we struggle from time to time, eternal perspective helps us get through it. I love this gospel. It is my life. I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who knows me and loves me.
Please explain the part prayer plays in your life?
I would like to share a true experience that happened during a difficult time with one of my sons and his wife. During her first pregnancy they were told their little unborn baby would probably not survive. She had a number of health issues that were just devastating. It was identified that she had Turner Syndrome, spina-bifida, and a serious heart problem. To say the least it was devastating for them as young parents to be. They were asked if they wanted to abort the baby...they said no. Never knowing what the end result would be. As we began to pray and fast as a family we truly supplicated The Lord to bless these two young parents to be. We asked for the courage to deal with whatever would happen. While on a trip to England on business, I began to fast and pray for these parents to be. I really prayed that Lord would bless them to deal with whatever may come. As I sat on this rather noisy train, the spirit, as if it was just whispering to me on that train, in clear words, "Be still and know that I Am God"...there was an immediate calmness that came over me as I completed my prayer. I learned at that very instant that The Lord was aware of this little baby fighting for life and that He was aware of these young parents trying to do all they could for her survival. Again, remember that she had less than a 1% chance of survival and if born alive could shortly die thereafter due to the various health issues she was coming into the world with. Well, it was tough but this little girl is now 4-1/2 years old and yes has limitations, cannot walk like other little children, has some developmental challenges, but she has a smile that melts everyones heart that meets her, is learning and growing all the time. Has a will to live life to its fullest...and I am grateful to say, really loves her grandpa. I KNOW The Lord hears and answers prayers. I am grateful He helped me to understand and to grow from this experience.
How I live my faith
I currently serve as a counselor in what we call a Stake Presidency...Compared to a leader in other congregations. I am a sales manager for a company that works with libraries and now reaching out to private industries to try and grow the business. This calling enables me to meet many of the members throughout this area. I serve as a Hometeacher and appreciate more the blessings I have in my own life. The basic things like praying as a family, reading scriptures as a family, worshipping together on Sunday has helped me to more fully appreciate the importance of the family. We have sent 4 sons on full time missions (2 years each) and all Spanish Speaking...has helped each of them in developing there careers after their missions. I strive to keep the commandments and those sacred covenants made in the temple. I do serve on a number of different committee's within the community from time to time. Helped coach little league while my kids were growing up.