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Hi I'm Ryan

I'm a Dad. I'm a lawyer. I'm busy. I'm happy. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

"He just crazed off!" That's how my five-year old daughter described her friend at school who, for some reason, crashed headlong into the glass door at school, shattering it (the boy was apparently bruised but not seriously injured). We laughed our way through dinner as she repeated the story, hamming it up more and more with each retelling. And that's the way I often feel about myself: just "crazing off" from one thing to another, trying to keep it all together. Like a recent weekend - I had spent most of the week hundreds of miles from home working around the clock. I missed my Friday afternoon flight home, and the evening flight was delayed by weather. I finally made it home close to midnight Friday night, after my three kids were long asleep. I was up before 5:00 a.m. the next day while the kids still slept to volunteer at the Salvation Army's "dress a child" Christmas charity event. By the time I got home, my kids were awake and refusing to believe my wife that Dad was back in town. I walked in the door, and moments later I was pushed back out the door, into the snow with my eight-year old headed to "Open Gym" to play basketball. We found we had the gym to oursleves. After an hour, I was begging him to let me go home and relax: "You don't know how tired I am, son," I pleaded. "And you don't know how happy I am, Dad." And so we kept playing. And I loved it. I was reminded, again, how lucky I am.

Why I am a Mormon

Because the Church teaches me how to be a better husband and father. Life throws up so many distractions . . . I need the teachings of past and living prophets to help me be all I can for my wife and children. Also, I find that peace and optimism come from making and keeping promises to my Heavenly Father and learning to follow the example of Jesus Christ. The Church gives me a setting in which to make and renew those promises, provides a venue in which I can give meaningful service, and surrounds me with others with similar goals. We help each other accomplish those goals.

How I live my faith

I think the ultimate goal for any person who tries to follow Jesus Christ is to learn to love others as He did. I am trying to treat everyone I contact with love and respect, regardless of philosphical, lifestyle, or social differences. My wife and children and I are learning and practicing that kind of love and respect together, at home. I once read that a celebrity, not of my faith, said that if there was a heaven, he hoped that it would be populated by people like Mormons: "why not a people whose motto is 'let's just be super nice to everyone?'" he said. I'd like to share that reputation.

Why do Mormon missionaries proselyte?

I began serving what would become a two-year mission when I was 19. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was hard - one of the most difficult things I have ever done - but I learned about more about myself, about Jesus Christ and my relationship to Him, and about other people than I had ever learned before. A classmate in graduate school who was not of my faith asked me why I served -"was it just to make more Mormons?" she asked. I thought hard before answering. I told her that as a missionary I was focused on helping others to find greater happiness. The Gospel teaches that we all have a Father in Heaven who loves us, wants us to be happy, and will show us how. I feel so fortunate to have this knowledge, and I feel an obligation to follow the example of Jesus Christ by sharing it with others. Show more Show less