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Hi I'm Rick

I grew up and still reside in the mid-Atlantic United States. A recovering musician-turned-government analyst, I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After my father retired from the U.S. Army, we settled in Maryland. As a teen in the 1960s and early 1970s, my focus was exclusively on music, especially the bass. I gradually came to see there was more to life and eventually served as a missionary in Taiwan. Among the many friends I made through that experience was a Sister also serving as a missionary there. After nearly a decade of friendship, about half of which came at Brigham Young University in Utah, we finally married and now have 3 boys. We had the opportunity to return to Taiwan for a year when our oldest son was three and our middle son was born there. We returned to Maryland and our youngest was born 2 years later. I hung on to my instruments and had the chance to perform every couple of years, either for neighborhood events or church activities. My most cherished experiences as a parent are the times my sons and I have played together at various church functions. As the youngest became a teen and the older ones started driving, I've been able to play more with other middle aged musicians aspiring to recapture our youth. This time around, however, I make time for other things--like family, work and church responsibilities. My other great interest is genealogy and family history. Again, I've gained several good friends, some church members and some work colleagues, through this endeavor.

Why I am a Mormon

I come from a curious heritage: a mother who was a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and an agnostic father. Growing up in the late 1960s and early 1970s, I was apathetic, focusing on music more than religion. Yet, I still applied to and attended Brigham Young University, the LDS-sponsored school in Provo, Utah. That began a gradual, life-altering evolution. I read the Book of Mormon in its entirety and began to both feel of its power and gain a testimony of its truth. I also attended the church's semi-annual General Conference, where I heard the President of the church speak. I knew I was listening to a true prophet of the Lord as he delivered a message inspired of God. That Easter, I was asked to offer the Sacrament prayer on behalf of the members, something I'd done dozens of times back home.This time, however, I felt the Spirit of the Holy Ghost stirring my soul with the sure knowledge that Jesus Christ not only sacrificed himself for the world, but he also did so for me specifically. The assurance the He knew me personally was overwhelming. Although I left BYU after my freshman year to further pursue my musical dreams, those three experiences taught me there was more to life. I continued to read the scriptures daily and pray for guidance, eventually realizing I needed to serve a mission. Ironically, the two choicest opportunities in my brief musical career then fell into my lap, but I dismissed both with no second thoughts.

How I live my faith

Although my faith is based in eternal principles, living that faith occurs in daily increments comprising such small gestures as yielding to fellow commuters while driving to work or picking up litter in the parking lot. I try to show respect and support for office colleagues, especially helping less experienced personnel learn to apply procedures and techniques more effectively. These are all things I would do regardless of my religion so I suppose daily living one's faith means behavior that is aligned with the principles learned and accepted throughout life. Other aspects of living my faith are more particular to being a Mormon. Leaders of a congregation--"Wards" at the most basic local level--are not paid for their service. Every member has a "calling", a position with particular responsibilities. I currently assist the missionaries assigned to our ward and coordinate their efforts with the members. I previously oversaw ward records and office functions, supervised activities and instruction for teenage boys, coordinated spiritual and temporal assignments among the men, and taught children of various ages. Ad hoc assignments have run the gamut from preparing for ward activities, through cleaning and securing our meetinghouse, to helping members move. A great blessing to our family was supporting our oldest son during his service as a missionary in Manaus, Brazil and seeing his growth. We are now excited to see our middle son now preparing to serve a mission as well.

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

Rick
Before birth, we lived as spirits with God, the our Heavenly Father. (Heb. 12:9) He prepared a plan that provided three ways earth life helps us eventually become more like Him. First is gaining a physical body, imperfect yet more like the His tangible body. The second is living by faith out of His presence, lacking any memory of our pre-mortal existence. Instead, as we learn about God, we can choose to either follow or reject divine instructions. Choosing to follow increases our faith to guide us through life’s hardships and problems. The third purpose of mortal life is to prove worthy to live with our Heavenly Father again. This is only possible through the centerpiece of God’s plan—the resurrection and atonement of Jesus Christ, the literal Son of God and sole perfect being on Earth. Our shortcomings and transgressions render us unworthy of God’s presence, then death separates our spirits from our bodies. Christ’s resurrection allows of us to have our spirits reunited forever with a perfected body. The atonement overcomes our spiritual separation from God. Jesus suffered for our sins and imperfections in the Garden of Gesthemane, a burden so great His “sweat was as it were great drops of blood.” (Luke 22:44) That blood “cleanseth us from all sin” (1John 1:7), provided we strive to obey His commandments and repent sincerely when we don’t. Fulfilling those requirements makes it possible to live eternally with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ after we are resurrected. Show more Show less