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Hi I'm Richard

I grew up in military family and lived in California, Hawaii, and Maine. I am a university professor. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am married, and we have five children and four grandchildren. My life as a university professor provided our family many opportunities to meet people from around the world who were going to school in the United States. We often invited them into our home; and in those settings, our children’s world expanded beyond our home and community as they learned about other people. Our family also lived in Europe and the Middle East when I taught there during my academic career. As a result, we have had numerous opportunities to learn about different cultures and people. It was natural for our children to talk about local community and international issues and to get involved. We also love spending time together by supporting each other as each of us has developed specific hobbies and interests. For example, some members of our family like to run; others like to hike and camp; and still others enjoy reading and discussing a good book. Our family life has been a great adventure that has brought us much happiness, joy, and satisfaction.

Why I am a Mormon

As a young man, I often thought about war and poverty, especially when the news highlighted the conflicts and problems in the world. I wanted to make sense of that often ugly and brutal world I saw on TV and around me. At one time, we lived only five miles from our national border and often visited the country nearby. As we crossed the border one day, I saw a young man about my age who was selling some small items to those waiting in their cars as they made their way to the international border crossing. I wondered why, having been born on one side of that border, I was so fortunate and why the young man, having been born possibly on the same day and year as I, had a completely different life just because he was born a few miles on the other side of the border. I found my faith in college and discovered many of my questions answered in the plan of salvation or the plan of happiness revealed in a modern day through prophets and apostles. Understanding where I came from before I was born, why I am here, and where I am going has helped me put into context what I have seen and experienced in life. As my faith developed, it shaped my response to this world. My faith in Jesus Christ impelled me not only to do something but also not to lose hope in what God can do and will do through His Son Jesus Christ. I learned that God is a loving Heavenly Father and that we are His children. This knowledge encourages me not only to love but also to understand all His children—not just my family, friends, or members of my church. I know that God loves the whole world, and I know also that the gift of His Son is an evidence of that love. I believe God answers prayers and often uses His children to do so. I believe I can be His hands to lift others, His voice to provide encouraging words, and His eyes to see what needs to be done to make the world a better place. There is a plan for each of us. As one thoughtful Christian writer noted, “The tomb is empty, not life!”

How I live my faith

My faith provides me a sense of direction and purpose. It gives me a desire to reach out to others—not just in my family or among my friends but also to my community and to the world where possible. Sometimes I reach out through local Church service by supporting, helping, and encouraging people. In our lay-clergy Church, we have numerous opportunities to help and support each other. At other times, my sense of direction and purpose has given me a desire to help through community service—combining my efforts with those of other good people to make a difference where we live. Finally, this sense of direction and purpose has led me to help others by joining the efforts of much larger groups of people who are dedicated to making the world a better place—such as by helping people suffering with poverty and disease or providing education and training to help individuals permanently change their lives and the lives of their family members. It feels right to help people with my own hands. It also feels right to donate some of personal resources to the Church or to other groups, such as the United Way or Red Cross, who are able to combine lots of small donations and do something amazing with them. I remember during a particularly challenging year when many people were starving and dying in a faraway place. I could not travel there to help, and given the gravity and enormity of the problem, I certainly did not have the financial resources to make a huge difference. Our Church held a united fast in North America on a specific Sunday. As part of that fast, members of the Church donated the amount we would have spent on the meals we went without for a twenty-four-hour period (some donated more). The combined donations on that particular Sunday totaled more than $6 million. This made a real difference in the lives of people I will never meet and did not know. I live my faith by doing something that involves following Jesus Christ, who “went about doing good” (Acts 10: 38).