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Hi I'm Ray

I like backpacking, skiing and anything else I can do in the mountains. I like reading to my grandkids. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was born in Canada. My family moved a lot, so I grew up in Canada and the U.S. I discovered the joy of mountains at an early age, and I escape into the mountains every chance I get - backpacking in summer, skiing in winter, and any other way I can. I like to read, to write, and to drive fast. I've been an engineer, a public school teacher and an entrepreneur. I've been a Boy Scout in both Canada and the U.S., and I've lived in Italy for two years. More than anything in the world, I've enjoyed spending time with my sweet wife, my children, and my grandchildren.

Why I am a Mormon

My father's family comes from good Mormon pioneer stock. My mother converted to Mormonism in high school. I grew up in a family where my parents lived their faith and taught it to their children, but they made it clear to us that it wasn't enough for us to believe just because they believed - that we had to go on our own spiritual quests and find out for ourselves whether belonging to the LDS church and adhering to its doctrines was the right thing to do. I had been taught that the answer to my quest, the witness of the truth, would come as a result of study, meditation and prayer. I spent over a year studying and praying and, when I didn't get the answer I wanted, studying and praying some more. When I was 17, I went deep into the firs and tamaracks of the Laurentien mountains and found a quiet place to pray without interruption. After more than a year, I was surprised how quickly the answer came, once all the distractions were gone. I had a sweet experience, too personal to relate here but one that other seekers after truth will recognize. God did not appear to me, but I received divine confirmation that the doctrines and principles of Mormonism were from Him. I don't think there was a visible change in me when I walked out of the woods, but with my newfound knowledge, I continued my quest after truth, and it continues through my life, as I build upon the foundation of the witness I received in those Canadian woods.

How I live my faith

To me, Mormonism is a practical religion. The rules by which Mormons live, when you boil them down to the essentials, are just good common sense. Abiding by those rules helps me to avoid a lot of the dangers, pitfalls and sadness in the world. It makes it easier to do the right things in the everyday secular world, and it makes it easier for me to get along with those around me, Mormon or non-Mormon. One of the greatest joys in my life is to guide young people as they embark on the same quest that I went on, when I was their age, and to see them come to the same knowledge that I did - not by my persuasion or by their wishful thinking, but through the power of God - and to watch it shape the rest of their lives. For many years, I volunteered in the church as a Boy Scout leader and as a teacher of youth. Every morning that school is in session, Mormon youths of high-school age go to a religious-studies class at their church, usually at 6 in the morning so they don't miss school. Not simply a catechism, this class helps students prepare to meet the challenges and temptations of the day with strength and courage, with confidence and a determination to make the right choices. Despite the early hour, it's a lively group that includes deep discussions, sometimes laughter, and sometimes tears. I love my wife. Next to Jesus Christ, she is the most important person in my life, and after her, my children. The unique perspective that Mormonism places on the family has helped me to become a better husband and father. I enjoy spending time with my family more than with anybody else. My family are my best friends, and we have lots of fun together. Besides my family, I am blessed to count as friends all those young people I have taught over the years, my Boy Scouts, and the hundreds of people I have come to know through membership in the LDS church. Being a Mormon means we are "no more strangers and foreigners," we are not alone and never will be.