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Hi I'm Rick

I'm a father of 8, a carpenter, a wakeboarder and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My wife and I have 8 children and two grandchildren. She had four children when we first married ranging in age from 13 months to 7 years who have always lived with us. We have three together and have legal custody of one that will be with us until she is grown. Altogether we have four boys and four girls. We have three of the eight still at home. Our home is filled with laughter and love. All of our children love spending time together. Now that most of them are grown, the holidays are an especially joyous time, being the times that we all get together. We love spending time on our boat wakeboarding, waterskiing, barefoot skiing and of course tubing. I also enjoy deer hunting, archery, golf, playing guitar, and just spending time with my family. I hope that some day I will be able to return to college and earn my degree.

Why I am a Mormon

I was in the U.S. Navy when I first met the missionaries. I started dating a girl who was a member of the church but was not actively practicing. I met the missionaries through her. After taking several of the discussions with them I asked why I should believe them. I asked why I should believe what they were telling me was true. How do I know that you are right? I had to admit that what they were teaching me made sense, and I felt good when I met with them, but there was this underlying uncertainty about what I was learning. Well they smiled and said “don’t believe us, we’re men just like you, if you really want to know if what we are telling you is true than you need to go to the top and ask God. If you will sincerely ask our Heavenly Father if what we are teaching you is true, he will answer your prayers and let you know the truth.” Then they challenged me by asking “will you do that? Will you ask our Heavenly Father if what we have been teaching you is true, if the Book of Mormon is true, and if Joseph Smith is a Prophet?” I felt that that was a reasonable request and although praying was not something I had ever truly done, I did believe in God. I wouldn’t call it a strong belief; it was more like the benefit of the doubt. Nevertheless, I started praying that same evening. I was very sincere in my prayers and not only did I really want an answer, I expected one. Over the course of the next two weeks I prayed almost continuously. When I woke up in the morning the first thing to hit the floor was my knees as praying was the first thing I did each morning. I prayed over breakfast, I prayed on the way to work, I prayed at lunch, I prayed on the way home, I prayed at dinner, and I prayed again before I went to bed each evening. I wanted to know. I wanted an answer. I continued to meet with the missionaries and I read everything they asked me to read. I continued to feel good when I met with them. I felt good when I prayed or read the things they gave me but I didn’t feel I was receiving an answer. I recall one Saturday morning when I woke up and as usual prayed before doing anything else. Then I went into the kitchen and started eating a bowl of Cheerios. As I sat there eating my bowl of cereal I started thinking about the things the missionaries had been teaching me. As I sat there I felt so good inside that I started giggling. I couldn’t believe that I was sitting in my apartment alone giggling in my Cheerios. Although I was feeling better than I’ve ever felt, I didn’t recognize any of this as an answer to my prayers. After a few weeks of continued praying and not feeling I was receiving an answer I was starting to feel pretty discouraged and frustrated. The next Sunday I attended church again and felt good about my visit but was still feeling a bit down that I hadn’t received an answer yet. I came home from church and went to my bedroom. I knelt down beside my bed and poured out my heart to my Heavenly Father. My prayer went something like this: My dear Father in Heaven, I have been praying about this for weeks now and I don’t feel that I am getting an answer. I feel good about what the missionaries are teaching me, I feel good about going to church, everything makes sense and they have answered all my questioned but I still don’t know what to do. I don’t know if it’s true. Will you please let me know in a way that I can understand and know for sure that what the missionaries are teaching me is true. Is this church really Christ’s church restored again to earth? Is Joseph Smith a prophet? Is the Book of Mormon True? Father, I need to know! I’m sorry if I’m being obtuse, but please let me know in a way that I can recognize and understand. If you will answer my prayers and let me know if these things are true I will be baptized, join this church and be faithful all my life! If it is not true then please let me know that so I can move on with my life and put all of this behind me, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. Then I waited for an answer, and waited, and waited. I expected an answer right then and there. I waited… …and nothing. I couldn’t believe it. I prayed with all the energy of my heart, I really wanted to know and nothing! The heavens were silent. Or so I thought. In looking back now I realize that I had been receiving answers the whole time I just didn’t know how to recognize the promptings of the Spirit. I didn’t realize that all those good feelings were the Holy Ghost testifying to me that these things were true. Anyway, after not hearing or feeling anything, I got up and went into the living room and plopped myself down on the couch in disgust. As I was sitting there wondering what I was going to do, I looked down at the coffee table and noticed the set of scriptures my girlfriend had loaned me. I picked them up and opened them to a section called The Doctrine and Covenants. I was not familiar with this book and started to read from the beginning. I was not all that focused as I started to read but I knew it was the Lord speaking. As I came to verse thirty I became very focused, then I read these words: “And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the whole earth, with which I, the Lord am well pleased…” When I read those words the spirit witnessed to me so strongly that I could hardly believe. I felt as though I had been shot in the chest with an arrow, I felt as though the sun was within me and I was illuminating the universe. Tears were streaming down my face and I knew at that moment that my prayers had been answered. I now knew for myself that the church was true, that the Book of Mormon was true, and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. There was no longer any room for doubt. When Joseph Smith left the grove of trees near his boyhood home after seeing God the Father and Jesus Christ he said “ I had seen a vision, I knew it and I knew that God knew it and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it. I likewise felt the same way. I had my prayers answered in a very powerful way. I knew it and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dare I do it. That was in March of 1985 and everything I have learned, witnessed and experienced in the church since that day have only repeatedly confirmed to me the truthfulness of what I experienced in my apartment on that Sunday afternoon.

How I live my faith

I live my faith one day at a time. Each and every day I strive to follow the example, teachings and commandments that the Savior provided for us. I usually fall short but looking back over the past 26 years since I joined the church I can clearly see that I have made great progress and I often marvel at the joy and happiness this lifestyle has brought me so far. Having an understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ gives such comfort and hope; providing you the desire to continually improve. I am grateful everyday that this is not just another Sunday religion but a way of life that has blessed me and my family in countless ways. I still have much to learn and experience and I am pleased to say that the gospel of Jesus Christ is just as exciting and fulfilling today as it was the day I was baptized. When you have a clear understanding of where you came from, why you are here on earth, and what to expect when you leave, it has a profound affect on how you choose to live your life and the decisions you make. Viewing life from an eternal perspective, knowing that we are literally children of a loving Heavenly Father, provides peace and guidance that is unobtainable through any other way.