What Is a Church Community?
Loading.....

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Ryan

I'm a father of four with an endless desire to learn. I love my wife, my kids and the people of the world. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a (relatively) young father of four children, a 10-year old daughter and three sons: a 6 and a 3 year old and a sweet, happy and (the consensus seems to be) "smiley" 4 month old. My wife and I have been married for 13 years and we only recently settled into a long-term job. I've spent the majority of our married life in school, bouncing around between a few different areas and ending up with a couple MS engineering degrees and a double major as an undergrad. Academics have been important to me and my determination to finish a PhD ended in disappointment. But, the lessons have been profound and the experiences served to deepen my commitment to my family, my ultimate priority. My passion for learning, though, has not diminished and there are several things, entirely unrelated to my academic education, that I wish I had time to delve into and study (particularly as it relates to goings-on in the world). I'm not a perfect father and husband, but I try to be. Where to place my greatest effort and highest priority is a daily choice. The pull in different directions is ever-present and I have to remind myself of what season I'm in in my life. Right now, it's time to give these children what they need to make it in this life - that is to say, to lead an honorable and productive life that positively impacts the world and the people they come into contact with. Right now, it's time to give my wife the support she needs at home as she is struggling to raise and teach our children.

Why I am a Mormon

I'm a Mormon because I believe that the Book of Mormon is true and that the Lord, in addition to speaking with prophets in the 'Old World', also spoke to other prophets in other parts of the world. The Book of Mormon is an account of the Lord's dealings with the people of the ancient Americas. This rings profoundly true with me that the Lord of the whole earth would have dealings and communications with others of his children in different parts of the world and in all ages. No other religion tells such a story. No other religion tells of the ministering of angels in our day and of the restoration of the priesthood which gives authority to individuals, who have made special covenants and promises to the Lord, to carry out the Lord's work on earth. I feel no feelings of superiority with respect to other religions of the world; in fact I feel a profound respect and love for those of other religions, those who are equally god-fearing, equally good (and often better) and who do so much good in the world. But there's a profound story of universal religion and the universal love of God to be found in the teachings and doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There is one story to be told, something that we refer to as the Plan of Salvation, and all of us of every nation, creed and color are equally important, equally loved and valued of the Lord. It's an infinitely merciful Plan and at its core, is the story of a most profound act of unconditional and universal love and atoning sacrifice by a Savior. Upon certain conditions that were taught by this Savior, Jesus Christ, a universally imperfect human family could be enabled and ultimately ennobled by grace and a power to overcome this imperfect condition and to be set free from sin. Indeed we are one human family and God has spoken and continues to speak to us on a collective scale and on an individual and very personal scale. This is my profound feeling and belief.

How I live my faith

I participate in our weekly Sunday meetings, all three hours. I love the talks that we hear in our main sacrament meeting as well as the lessons we hear during the second and third hours. Recently I taught 5 and 6 year olds in a sunday school class (which included my own son) which was fun (and funny). I usually don't feel like I'm doing enough in the community around me, but I love to get to know people, my neighbors, my co-workers, people I meet in the park when I'm out with my kids. To be honest, sometimes I feel like my wife and I are just trying to survive. Some were made to do everything it seems; these people have as many or more kids than we do and still seem to do so much at church and in the community. I feel as though so much of our energy is consumed as we try to keep things under control in our own home. But I like the opportunities I have to meet and talk to people of all different 'flavors' - different backgrounds, religions (or philosophies), nationalities or ethnic backgrounds, etc. In this, I feel a kinship and close personal relationship with the Jesus of Nazareth who gave no regard to intercultural animosities and instead sat and spoke in a personal and familiar way with the Samaritan woman. The question, here, is how I live my faith (present tense), but I wanted to mention my 2 year mission to eastern France and french-speaking Switzerland, because of the profound impact it had on my life. Everything I do now to live my faith has been directly influenced by this experience. I cherish this time of my life and the opportunity I had to immerse myself in another culture and come into contact with so many interesting people from all over the world. I was permanently changed by this and my desire to learn about and understand and love people of every kind remains undiminished. Somehow I think this is integral to the way I live my faith right now. I hope I see the world and its people with the universal love, concern and care that God has for them.