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Hi I'm Richard

I am a Mormon graduate student studying Thin Film Material Science.

About Me

I come from a small family of 9 children. I am the youngest. Much of who I am comes from the lessons I learned observing the lives of my siblings as they grew up and made their own choices. I was an aspiring artist during most of my childhood, so naturally, I majored in physics when I went to college (only someone who made that transition could really understand why it is so natural). I still enjoy fine art and having creative time whenever I can fit it in. I was never very good a writing. So again, it makes sense that I married a writer and I have been happy ever since. I have been married for six years no children yet but we are still hoping. We both enjoy art, education and personal development in general, though we approach and view everything from very different angles. I love it that we are so different from each other because of the balance that naturally comes from our clashing personalities trying to work together. I feel like my wife and I can accomplish almost anything when we work together because of our differences. I take joy in the fact that our future children will inevitably receive a 'full spectrum' type education from us. I enjoy exploring the outdoors, running, biking and camping. I also enjoy philosophy, science, and history.

Why I am a Mormon

My conversion started with the Book of Mormon. I was about 15-16 years old growing up in a sizable family that had all been active at the time I was born but many had lost interest in the church in the years since then. I had many youth leaders in the church who took a serious interest in me and kept giving me responsibilities to perform in the church. There came a point where I found my self wanting to understand why so many of the people I knew felt so passionately about the gospel. I was never very good at reading during my early years so, I hadn't taken many opportunities to study the scriptures. I realized that I needed to start reading the Book of Mormon to find out why everyone thought it was so special. I didn't receive an immediate revelation about the book, but over time, as I continued to read, I noticed some changes taking place in my life. I wanted to be happy, to do good and to be a good influence on others. I became less and less opposed to religious discussions. I felt all kinds of senses just awaken inside me that I didn't know I had. Then one day while I was writing in my journal I felt something sweep over me that I could only describe as the most peaceful, calming and loving feeling I had ever felt in my life. It was like my soul had expanded to fill the universe and I could feel the reality of my Eternal Father in Heaven in it. I could feel His presence and His concern and pure love for me (not generally but individually). I knew that this feeling was communication from God. This experience helped me understand how truly loving and compassionate His nature was. This is where my conversion to the church began. I have had many such experiences since this one that have added to my knowledge of God and the purpose of my life on this earth. I have learned through these experiences that Joseph Smith was a prophet called by God and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only church which gives me access to all truth.

How I live my faith

I have been given the assignment to serve as a counselor in the Elders Quorum (a group typically composed of younger men...18+years old who have the Melchizedek priesthood...you can look it up on Mormon.org if you would like more info) presidency for my local unit/congregation. It is my duty to work with the Elders Quorum president to help the members of our quorum fulfill their personal responsibilities. I really enjoy this assignment because I like working with the members, and organizing information.

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

Richard
The Book of Mormon was written by several ancient prophets who lived in the Americas from shortly after 600 BC to around 421 AD. The majority of the book is written by an ancient Prophet historian named Mormon who abridged the almost 1000 year history of his people. The book was named "The Book of Mormon" by Moroni (Mormon's son) who completed the book and buried it in the hill Cumorah (what is now up-state NY). Joseph Smith, a few years after his first vision (where he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ), was led to the location of the Book of Mormon where he was given the book by an angel (whose name was Moroni, the same that buried the book anciently). By the gift that was given to Joseph Smith by God he was able to translate the book into English over the course of a few months and have it published for the first time in 1830. Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Richard
First, you need to know something about it. Read from the Book of Mormon, talk with the missionaries from our church. Second, you need to pray to your Father in Heaven and ask him if the words and doctrines that you have been taught are His. God has a special way of communicating to his children. He does it through the influence of the Holy Ghost...by which He is able to communicate to our spirits the things that He wants us to know. These communications are often manifested as peace, hope, comfort and happiness in our hearts and as ideas, understanding, visions, or simply clarity in our minds. As you put into practice and faithfully keep Gods commandments, these communications from God through the Holy Ghost become deeper, clearer, and more meaningful to you. The type of knowledge that we receive from the Holy Ghost is more powerful and convincing than other types (the ones we receive from our bodily senses). Our bodily senses can be deceived but when we experience communication from the Holy Ghost we experience the most pure and perfect form of knowledge that we can obtain. Simply put, you can know (and be certain that you do know) that Mormonism is true when you study, pray, ponder (continue to study it out in your mind and be willing to be obedient to what God communicates to you), and when the Lord can see that you are sincere and ready, He will tell you. This can happen quickly, or it cant take some time. But He always answers sincere, heart felt prayers. Show more Show less

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

Richard
Motherhood has been referred to by our church leaders as "near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels (Conference Report, October 1942, p.12-13)." We revere women and motherhood to the greatest degree we know how. We believe that the men of our church may be equal to the women of our church as they honor their mothers, wives, sisters and daughters, and as they honor the priesthood which God gives them to teach them how to become humble, self sacrificing, and pure hearted like their wives (while serving as mothers) already have the tendency to be. By design men and women as husband and wife are meant to be married for eternity...to live and work together, as equals, forever. Neither can become perfect without the other. They, individually, can only elevate themselves as they elevate the other. And God designed their respective roles to make them equal with each other. "Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 11:11) Show more Show less

What is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' attitude regarding homosexuality and same sex marriage?

Richard
The attitude of the Church toward homosexuality is one of kindness. God is no respecter of persons; He loves all of his children equally. His church is no different..we believe that everyone should be treated equally and fairly. Concerning same sex marriage...we believe that everyone has the right to believe as they choose and live according to their beliefs as long as those beliefs do not impose upon the freedoms of others. And we believe that to legalize same sex marriage would impose on the religious freedom of churches by taking away the right of religious groups to define marriage according to its original, historically religious definition. Marriage was first a religious idea before it was ever adopted by world governments. Consequently, we feel that to change the definition of marriage is outside the authority of any world government (especially one that claims to preserve religious freedom). I feel that the danger in allowing our government to legalize same sex marriage is that it opens the door for complete government control/mandates on marriage (e.g., possibly requiring all churches to perform same sex marriages in order to maintain their right to perform marriages). This would undermine the critical core of churches and religion (i.e., the traditional family). Hence in this church we feel the need to actively oppose same sex marriage legislation and/or promote traditional marriage protecting legislation in the public square. Show more Show less