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Hi I'm Rich

I'm an ultimate frisbee playing attorney planning to be commissioner of baseball.

About Me

I enjoy running, cycling, playing ultimate, and playing with technology. I like watching baseball and playing catch with my kids. I haven't been able to persuade my wife to play ultimate, but she will toss the disc with me sometimes.

Why I am a Mormon

My parents were both members of the Church when they were married. They taught me the gospel and had me come to church. They encouraged me to participate in all the activities growing up, including attending seminary--a daily gospel study class for high school students (even though that meant they often drove me to the classes that started at 6:10 a.m.). We prayed and read scriptures as a family, and had family home evening once a week. I took initiative to learn whether I had a Heavenly Father early on in life. I first read the Book of Mormon all the way through when I was eight or nine years old (finishing during a week when I had the chicken pox and sat reading on our living room couch for long periods of time). The stories and people whose lives and testimonies were recorded in the scriptures stood out to me as a child. I marveled at the courage of 2,000 young men who had never fought to go to battle to defend their families and their right to practice their religion (the Sons of Helaman, recorded in the Book of Alma in the Book of Mormon). The stories in the Book of Revelation and elsewhere in the Bible about the last days before the Savior's second coming fascinated and scared me as a young child. And the beautiful literature of the prophecies of Old Testament prophets and Psalmists moved me, particularly as a teenager. I had many experiences in which the Holy Ghost confirmed the truth of the restoration of Christ's gospel in these latter days. I felt forgiveness as I sought it following remorse and restitution. Apologizing to adults or peers for things I had done wrong was difficult. I am thankful that my parents encouraged me to do that, though. After that I felt peace through the Holy Ghost and knew that the process of forgiveness taught by and facilitated by the Savior's atonement was real. I admired and felt love for the prophet Joseph Smith as a youth. And when I read the passages of scripture he translated or the revelations he received, I sensed their truth in my mind (another way the Holy Ghost speaks to us). As I served in accordance with assignments given in the church, or as a family, or through independent promptings of the Holy Ghost, I again felt peace that assured me I was following God's will. One of the best ways I found to receive a confirming witness of truth is to share it. I remember as a fifth grader, living in Germany, sharing my testimony of the Book of Mormon with my school class, and testifying of the reality of God and His Son to a friend from Poland. As a missionary in Germany, I felt the Spirit move through me like a fire as I explained to people that Christ lived, that we were his disciples sent by Him to bring them this life saving message. I once considered pursuing a Ph.D. in philosophy (that was my undergraduate major). But, I realized that I had more practical inclinations. As I once explained to a professor, debating my existence doesn't help when there are two outs, a runner on third and a poor hitter at bat in the bottom of the ninth inning of a close baseball game! So, perhaps one of the most important reasons I have continued to practice my religion is that I know it works. I know that Christ's offering in Gethsemane and on the cross can be effective in empowering, cleansing and restoring us physically, spiritually, emotionally and intellectually. I have experienced those effects as I live according to gospel principles and covenants I have made through priesthood ordinances. And I have seen it in the lives of many others.

How I live my faith

Living the gospel brings me great joy. I try to incorporate the gospel in each facet of my life - my family, my profession and my church service. At home, I pray each morning and night--on my own, with my wife, and with our whole family. I also read and listen to the scriptures and words of living prophets and apostles daily (usually for between 15 and 30 minutes). Sometimes I do that before leaving for work, other times on the bus on the way to work. As a family, we read a few verses in the scriptures each night before bed. We observe the Sabbath by not spending money and by limiting our television of movie watching to things that might be appropriate on Sunday (like church videos). On Monday evenings, we have a family home evening where each member of the family participates through prayer, leading music, teaching a lesson or providing a treat (the highlight!). I work in education law and policy. I find great satisfaction in trying to reduce the disparity that now exists in educational opportunity based on income (something that occurred before the Savior's first coming, as explained in 3 Nephi 6:12). So, I pursue gospel purposes - like helping people be lifelong learners (see Doctrine & Covenants 88:78-80) - in my professional life. At church, I currently teach primary - the Sunday School for children ages 3 - 12. I teach, together with another man, the 7 year olds turning 8. We spend probably an hour or two preparing a 40 minute lesson each week. We also sit with the children in a sharing time period, in which all the children 7-11 hear a lesson, give talks and sing songs. I also serve as a home teacher. Together with another man, we serve four families. We try to visit at least once a month, and consult with them about how we can help meet the temporal or spiritual needs of those families. Because we don't have any paid clergy, our fulfillment of this assignment is critical to helping the bishop of our ward look out for the entire "flock" that makes up our ward.