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Hi I'm Ryan

I grew up in the great Northwest. I love music and the outdoors. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a 23-year-old college student, studying mechanical engineering. I love my family! I'm the oldest of four boys. I love just about anything to do with music, whether listening or performing. I play the piano and ukulele, and I like to sing. I also love to play recreational volleyball and snowboard. Really I love life! I grew up a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and I'm so grateful for that. I also served a 2-year full-time mission in the Florida Tampa Mission, covering most of Southwest Florida.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but as I grew up, like many teenagers, I found myself wondering why I believed what I did and even whether I actually believed any of it. I believed enough that I still felt going to church meetings was right, but at the time I was also doing some things that I knew I shouldn't. As time went on I started to feel trapped by the poor choices I had made, and as I began college I came to the conclusion that I needed to put my beliefs to the test (and put action behind my beliefs) and see if repenting of my mistakes would make any real difference in my life. It was one of the hardest and best decisions I have ever made. I became truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ as I learned what it really means to repent, which is to change your actions, thoughts, and desires to be more in line with what God (who loves you more than anyone in the world) wants for you. It took time, but as I went through that process I felt the love of God, and I found myself wanting to pray more and read the scriptures. I realized that I was changing, and it was wonderful! I grew to understand that God's commandments are given out of love, to provide us with the greatest happiness possible. Because of that formative experience, I actively choose to be a Mormon and everything that comes with it.

How I live my faith

In my ward (a group of church members who live in the same area) I teach Sunday School. I love it because it allows me to learn so much! I teach one or two Sundays out of the month, and this year our class is focusing our study on the Old Testament and how it testifies of Christ and teaches us to follow Him. One very important way I live my faith besides my church calling is in my personal worship. Private, personal prayers and daily scripture study have gained an increased significance in my life as I go through my "decade of decision." There are so many questions and so many concerns that it's so refreshing and comforting to turn to God each day and ask "What should I learn from thee today?" I really feel that I have a personal relationship with my Father in Heaven and with His Beloved Son, my Savior. Prayer is how we maintain our relationship with God!

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

No. The Church encourages single young men from ages 18 to 26 to serve two-year proselyting missions, but there is no requirement. Single women ages 19 and up may also serve full-time missions, as well as senior couples. Show more Show less

How can I know Mormonism is true?

This is such a great and important question. I asked myself this question, so I'll tell you from experience: Sincerely pray to your Heavenly Father. Ask Him about what you are learning, and ask if it's true. Also pay attention to the feelings you get when you learn about Jesus Christ. The good feelings you get from learning about Christ are from the Holy Ghost, testifying that Christ really did die for you so you can live with God again. As you feel those same good feelings while reading from the Book of Mormon and praying about what you are learning, you can know that the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. That process is never over, however. You can know that these things are true, but you can continue to learn and grow throughout your life. As I attend church and participate in personal worship, I feel those same feelings and am reminded that Jesus Christ really did what He said He did. I also get those feelings as I choose to follow God's commandments and live a life that is pleasing to Him. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

I grew to love this question on my mission. Many people I met in the South love grace, and I do too! The grace of God is the most beautiful expression of His love for us as His children that I can think of. We believe what the scriptures teach when they say that God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, but we also know that He loves us more than we can imagine. Because He loves us so much, He wants us to be with Him after our period of testing on the earth. Our Father in Heaven provided a Savior for us, Jesus Christ, who paid the price of our sins so that we can be accepted back into God's presence. The terms we agree to in order to accept this gift of all gifts is to repent and follow Jesus Christ. Through that gift (the Atonement of Jesus Christ), we, who are unworthy in and of ourselves (every one of us makes mistakes, even though we start out innocent), are able to be cleansed and return to live with God, who is perfect and pure. That is the grace of God. Show more Show less

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

I love the outdoors, and whenever I get the chance to hiking or camping I get this renewed sense of awe for the world in which we live. It's beautiful! I think the reason people of many cultures and backgrounds get a spiritual feeling from the outdoors is that it was created for us by a loving Father in Heaven. The scriptures also tell me there is a God, and they tell me what God is like. For me, it's not so much that the words say "and God said," but the feeling that I get from studying the scriptures is so beyond me and beyond the feeling that I get from reading any other good book. The feeling of love is profound, so much that it must come from a source outside myself. Show more Show less