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Hi I'm Rick

I'm an apple and mint farmer from Washington state who has lived in Utah, Montana, Washington and Brazil. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a 59 year old farmer in the central part of Washington state. My brothers and I farm peppermint, spearmint, apples, wheat, beans, etc. My father moved our family to this area when I was 11 in 1962. The government had built the Grand Coulee dam and a large network of canals that brought Columbia River water to thousands of acres of desert covered with sagebrush. For several years, we wondered if we would make it. When the land was first developed, there was little humus (organic matter) in the soil to impede erosion by wind and water. Huge windstorms destroyed crops and deposited layers of dirt in our little trailer. There wasn't room in the trailer for all of us to sleep, so my older brother and I slept in the back of the station wagon. We waited for several months for electricity to arrive, during which time we studied by lanterns or candlelight. I remember taking papers to school spotted with candle wax. While waiting for our well to be drilled, we bathed in the irrigation ditch and hauled our drinking water from 5 or 6 miles away. Electricity arrived, a home was built, and a well was drilled, but none of us will forget that pioneering experience. My 4 great loves all begin with 'f': family, faith, football, and farming. I have 6 children and 19 (soon to be 21) grandchildren. They are the love of my life. My faith anchors everything I do. I'm an avid BYU football (and basketball) fan. And I've already told you about the farming.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born in the LDS faith, but I stayed in it of my own free will and choice. We all seek answers to the basic questions concerning our existence: where did I come from, why am I here, and where am I going? And of course, there's a multitude of others: why is there adversity and suffering, what is my relationship with God and Jesus Christ, etc. I have listened to the explanations of other religions (and I respect many of them), but none even approach the level of understanding derived by belonging to this church. But understanding isn't enough. Besides feeling the peace that comes from answers to fundamental questions, I've felt the witness of the Holy Ghost confirming the truth of these answers. Without that comforting witness, and the sense of purpose that accompanies it, life would be very empty. I now understand that overcoming adversity and using Christ's atonement to repent of wrongdoing are just steps in my eternal progression--my effort to become more like Christ and His Father (as Christ commanded us to do in Matthew 5:48). This church teaches me that we are all literal spirit sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father. That means that every human being is literally my brother or sister, and this has a huge impact on the way I look at other people, and creates in me a desire to lift them through service or maybe through something as simple as a smile or hello. In particular, I love children. They seem to have a way of seeing past the outer shell and into the inner person.  I don't care what the economic class, the ethnic group or race. I love all of God's children, but especially the young children.

How I live my faith

I am imperfect, subject to shortcomings like anyone else. But my faith gives me the strength to pick myself up and keep going. It helps me overcome discouragement, look past a perceived offense that someone has committed against me or one of my children, rebound from some of my own mistakes where I've said or done things that were beneath a true disciple of Christ. I know that Christ still loves me, and wants me to keep trying. Failure only happens when I give up on Christ, because He never gives up on me. I'm grateful for guidelines given by Christ, and by past and present prophets and apostles, that help me live a happier life. Happiness comes from physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Our Word of Wisdom (avoid alcohol, drugs, tobacco, etc) helps me attain greater physical health. Serving others as Christ prescribed, and maintaining moral standards, helps me find emotional well being (observe the emotional trauma of husbands/wives who lead promiscuous lifestyles). And seeking my Heavenly Father through prayer and scripture study (and reading good books, listening to good music, etc) helps me stay spiritually healthy. I have served as a Scoutmaster (we use the Boy Scout program for our young men) plus other callings where I taught classes, traveled to other congregations to give talks, helped keep records in the church, etc.