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Hi I'm Ron

I grew up in Nevada and went to dental school in Colorado. I'm a husband, father of six, artist, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born in Las Vegas, and raised in Henderson, Nevada. We came to Alaska in 2006 on the Norwegian Star, sold my practice and moved here about a year later. When I'm not doing dental surgery I enjoy spending time with my beautiful wife and six children. I love basketball, football, horseback riding, water skiing, hiking, fishing, hunting, singing, dancing, oil painting, leather work, playing the guitar, and listening to music. I am extremely thankful to be alive and free and appreciate those who sacrificed to establish or now seek to defend our rights and the Constitution. I am a husband, father, patriot, artist, dentist and I am a Mormon.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon initially because of my parents who both come from a long line of Mormon pioneers. As I grew up, I was taught all of the typical stories of the Bible and several stories from the Book of Mormon. I was blessed to have a mother who shared her convictions when she shared stories and I knew that she knew and believed the lessons she taught. I gradually felt the whisperings of the Holy Ghost in my life and learned to trust its promptings. This allowed me to rely less and less on my parents and more and more on the Holy Ghost. It is hard to describe but it is like a calm, peaceful assurance that is unmistakable and certain. I felt the same feeling at certain times in my life and because of the assurance of the Holy Spirit, I know what I know. In Junior High School, I remember feeling an impression that truth was the most important thing I could seek and I decided to be good and try my best to always search for truth. In High School, I visited several Church History sites including the Sacred Grove. This is the location in upstate New York where Joseph Smith went to pray. We gathered in that beautiful area and even though it was rainy and cold, I felt the warmth of the Holy Ghost. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and what he claimed to happen there really happened. I later read the Book of Mormon completely and prayed to know of its truthfulness. My prayers were answered by the same strong feelings of peace and assurance. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I also know that Jesus is the Christ and He is exactly the same today as He was yesterday and will be forever. He chose prophets anciently to foretell of His coming. He established His Church and Kingdom during His earthly ministry choosing twelve apostles. He follows that same pattern today choosing whom He will to serve as prophets and apostles. I know He is a perfect resurrected being that loved us enough to suffer, bleed and die for us. I love Him because He first loved me. I know He lives and loves us! I know that He will return someday as He promised and that through Him we can return someday to live with our Heavenly Father. I know that alone I am unable to overcome my weaknesses but through Him and in His strength I can do anything He requires of me. I know that He leads and guides us today through a living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. President Monson leads the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints just like Moses led the children of Israel through the Red Sea and wilderness. We are truly blessed to be able to get direction in a troubled world. I am still open to all truth and continue my pursuit of happiness. I don't have all the answers yet but I know where to turn and in whom I can trust for the purest source of truth. I choose Heavenly Father for my God, Jesus Christ for my Redeemer, and the Holy Ghost for my Leader and Sanctifier. By the influence and power of the Holy Ghost I know what I know. And that is why I am a Mormon.

How I live my faith

There are several things I do to try to live my faith and hope to be a good enough disciple that my children will know how to prepare for when they grow up and I'm no longer around. I try to do the small and simple things and hope that in the end my life will reflect my most personal beliefs. I know that I have a tendency to be more willing than able and sometimes bite off more than I can chew. Nevertheless, I strive to be a good husband and father and intend to set a good example and make them feel loved and special as they are the greatest joy of my life. I also try to live the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ so that those around me will benefit in some small way or may be influenced for good. I attend church meetings regularly and volunteer often to help when anyone calls on me to help out. I have started and hope to finish a few acrylic and oil paintings to inspire my friends and family. I was blessed with artisic ability and love to create art or capture art and beauty in photos. My Mom, her sisters and my grandmother are artists as well and have taught me from time to time growing up. My goal is to finish a few masterpieces along the way to pass on to my children and grandchildren. Lately, my free time I spend studying my family history collecting both files and photos. I also frequent facebook and try to select and share positive thoughts and videos with my friends. I also enjoy reading the Ensign (monthly church publication).

What does Mormonism teach regarding baptism?

Ron
Baptism we believe is one of the first steps or the gateway to becoming a desciple of Jesus Christ. We follow the same pattern or example set by John the Baptist who baptized the Savior in the River Jordan. We believe it is essential to be baptized by immersion by one who has been authorized or commissioned of Jesus Christ to perform the saving ordinance. Baptism is symbolic of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ. It is also symbolic of letting go of our old life and coming forth in a newness of life. It allows us the chance to start fresh on the strait and narrow path of discipleship. After baptism, we recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. This gift allows us the opportunity of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost to lead us and guide us for the rest of our lives. Show more Show less

What blessings can you receive from reading the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and other scriptures?

Ron
The blessings of reading daily from the Holy Scriptures are almost imperceptible but include finding answers to yearnings and prayers. As taught in proverbs there is a price to know the truth: " Buy the truth and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding." And once you have paid that price to know hold fast to the truth and don't sell out when others may question you. I love learning "line upon line and precept on precept here a little and there a little," (Isaiah 28:10; 2 Nephi 28:30). I know reading from the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and other inspired scriptures brings a better understanding of the sacred truths of the gospel, i.e., "things as they really are, really were and really will be," (John 16:13; Jacob 4:13; Doctrine and Covenants 93:24) Show more Show less

Who was Joseph Smith?

Ron
Joseph Smith was born in 1805 in Vermont and grew up in a hard working, Bilbe reading family at a time of religious excitement. At the early age of 14 he became determined to join a church and was confused by all of the different sects and their differences. He said that he was reading one day in the epistle of James and came across a verse that hit him with great force. He read in James 1:5 that "if any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith. . . " He soon after inquired of the Lord in a small grove of trees near his home in upstate New York. He described this experience in detail but basically he tried to pray and was siezed upon by an unseen being that had great power over him and bound his tongue that he could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around him and he felt for a moment that he was doomed to utter destruction when he saw a pillar of light directly over his head that descended gradually 'til it fell upon him. When light came he felt delivered from this enemy and was able to see two personages standing above him in the air. He said their brightness and glory defied all description and that one of them spake unto him and called him by name and said "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased, hear Him." As a result of his prayer He was visited by the Lord Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father who told Him that he should join none of the churches but that the fulness of His gospel would be made known unto him at a future time. After this experience and about four years later he was instructed by an angel to go to a certain hill and translate an ancient record engraven on gold plates that is now the Book of Mormon. He said of its content that "the Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on earth and the keystone of our religion and that a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book." He was later visited by others and given the keys and authority to restore the priesthood and the ordinances of the temples. On April 6, 1830, he officially organized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and as required by law started with six members. About 14 years later in June of 1844 he and his brother were shot and killed by an angry mob after successfully publishing the Book of Mormon, translationg the Bible, choosing 12 apostles, sending missionaries to Europe, South America and Indian Territories. During his life he endured terrible persecution and false accusations that caused him to endure not only scoffs and scorns but also tarring and feathering, months in cold miserable jails, and ultimately his martyrdom at Carthage, Illinois. In spite of all of these trials he never denied his testimony of his first vision or those that followed. Before he died, he related, "The Standard of Truth has been erected. persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly and independent til it has penetrated every continent, swept every clime, visited every country and sounded in every ear, til the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah shall say, 'the work is done!'" - Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805-1844) Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Ron
Mormons are as absolutely Christians as the name of the church reflects. The Church of JESUS CHRISTof Latter-day Saints is not only the name of the church but we claim it is a complete restoration of the same church that He established during His lifetime. We believe that the Church and Kingdom that He authorized was lost for a long time as a result of His crucifixion and the death of His apostles, also known as "The Great Apostacy" or "The Dark Ages." We revere Him, believe in Him, seek to honor and obey Him, and look to Him for salvation from sin and death. We worship Jesus of Nazareth, The Master, The King of Kings, The Lord of Hosts, The Creator, The Holy Messiah and Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Redeemer and Savior of the New Testament and The Book of Mormon (Another Testament of Jesus Christ). The main purpose of the Book of Mormon as found in its title page is to "the convincing of Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ." We know He is the way, the truth and the life and the only sure foundation upon which can build. We believe that as a Resurrected and Living Christ He stands at the Head of His church and leads us today in preparation for His Second Coming. Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Ron
The best way to find out is to go to the source of all truth and understanding, i.e., ask Heavenly Father. For example, the same principle that young Joseph Smith used to find answers applies to all of us. To me this is the greatest aspect of Mormonism. We don't expect you to believe us based on only what we teach or say and allow you the same privilege as anyone else to go to the purest source possible for a sure answer. We are all able to get answers to our prayers which allows us to know for ourselves whether or not the things we question are real or not. We also can find out through our own experience and by experimenting with the word. The Savior taught this when he said, "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will he will know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." (John 7:16-17.) Show more Show less

What is the difference between attending a Mormon Church and a Mormon Temple?

Ron
The "Church" is a more commonly found building to accomidate local meetings including weekly Sacrament Service. The "Temple" is a sacred edifice dedicated for more sacred worship including eternal marriages and vicarious ordinances done for those who have passed away. "Holiness to the Lord-The House of the Lord" is inscribed on the front of these beautiful structures along with a unique feature of a gold angel on top of one of the steeples. This replica of an angel sounding a horn represents the restoration of the gospel or "angel flying through the midst of heaven" spoken of in Revelations 8:13. Show more Show less

What are some things that tell to you there is a God?

Ron
For me the evidences of God are all around us and the abundance of life and order on earth all points to the existence of a Supreme Creator. As a dentist, I have studied the anatomy and physiology of human beings and know without a doubt that each of us is a walking, talking miracle. The human eye is just one example of incredible precision that started with just two cells. I am also amazed living in Alaska how amazing and beautiful a place with mountains, rivers, glaciers, oceans, forests, and wildlife can be. The breathtaking views from a float plane of snow covered mountains, lakes rivers, and streams all the way down to the intracies of flowers are amazing to me. There is no way in a billion years all of this happened by chance and I for one am very thankful to be alive and able to take it all in. Show more Show less

Why is family so important to Mormons?

Ron
Family is so important to us because it is the source of true and lasting joy and happiness. We believe that families can be together forever if we are true and faithful to the sacred promises we make in temples. In temples we can be married not just 'til death do us part but for time and all eternity. We also believe that parents are responsible to raise their children in love and righteousness and will one day stand accountable for how we succeed in these duties. As one of our former prophets taught, "no success can compensate for failure in the home." Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Ron
Active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are not allowed to practice polygamy at all. Polygamy in the United States, at least, is illegal and not tolerated or accepted today among a people who believe that we should obey, honor, and sustain the law (Aritcle of Faith #12). Those who are practicing polygamy currently are either no longer members or are subject to excommunication from the church. The practice of polygamy is commonly associated with Mormons becuase it was sanctioned under certain conditions over 120 years ago. Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

Ron
We believe in the same orginization that existed in the primitive church and the pattern established anciently by the Lord's servants. In the Old Testament the idea of paid clergy is condemned by Isaiah describing those who are paid as greedy dogs and blind shepherds (see Isaiah 56:9-11). Ezekiel also warned against shepherds that fed themselves instead of feeding the flocks (see Ezekiel 34:2-3). The Savior chose men to leave thier nets straighway and he taught them to be fishers of men. They sacrificed to spread his word and went out into the world without purse or script relying on the mercies of the world and putting their trust in God. He taught them that the love of money was the root of all evil and that they cannot serve two masters. Peter and Paul warned against those who are geedy of filthy lucre and instructed us to have our eyes single to the glory of God. Show more Show less

How can I find someone to talk with, in person, about the Mormon religion?

Ron
The options for learning more about the church are expanding all the time. If you want to talk in person there are over 80,000 (as reported in Oct 2013) full time missionaries who would love the opportunity to talk to you in person. To meet with them is as easy as contacting any member or contacting mormon.org to have them come by. If you happen to know someone who is a member, most of us would love to set up a time to talk about our faith and even invite the missionaries to join in the conversation. If you prefer to study on your own, consider the source and feel free to frequent mormon.org or visit any LDS chapel for sunday services as visitors are always welcome. Show more Show less