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Hi I'm Riaan

I'm a husband. I'm a father. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I was raised in South Africa in an Afrikaans speaking home with traditional values. My parents joined the church when I was still young and when I was 8 years old I was baptized. I've immigrated twice and have lived in a number of different cities and towns. I still joke that as a member of the church, you have an "instant family" where ever you go in the world. Not long after returning from my service as a missionary in South Africa, I married a wonderful kiwi girl. We chose to start our family early, whilst we were still at university, and were blessed with beautiful children. We've been happily married for many years and we're doing our best to raise "almost teenagers". I enjoy watching a game of rugby union (go the wallabies!) and have recently taken an interest in soccer. I'm in a technical line of work and I spend most of my work life behind a desk.

Why I am a Mormon

As a young boy, I was able to feel the warmth and inner peace that comes when one follows the principles and teachings of the gospel. Later in life, those feelings along with the clear standards and values taught in the church, helped me navigate the emotional roller coaster of teenager emotion and confusion with relatively few bruises and scars. During those trying times I had personal experiences that confirmed to me that God knows me personally. Most importantly, I came to know that God loves me and that there is a purpose to my life. I left to share the small flame of light that was my understanding and faith with the people of my homeland, and I came to see that the love that God had for me extended to all those around me. He loved them the same but in different ways, just like I love my children equally but differently. The things I learned about God's plan for us somehow became more real as I saw peoples lives change. Those feelings I had as a youth "matured" into something more lasting and sure. The wonderful thing to me is that, I still get the same kind of feelings and experiences when I read the scriptures and strive to be more like my Savior, Jesus Christ. He lives and He loves you and me. In the scriptures we learn that the voice of the Spirit is not like thunder or the howling wind, but rather a still small voice. My belief, hope and faith in Christ and the teachings taught by His church, has come in a similar manner. Not by "loud" experiences but rather a series of "soft" and quiet ones.

How I live my faith

One of the greatest ways of living the gospel is to serve others. Currently I work with the young men in our ward or congregation. I not only teach them lessons on Sundays, but help them to organize and run their own activities as part of a young mens program. It is humbling and faith promoting to see them learn about and choose to follow the example of Jesus Christ in the face of peer pressure and raging hormones. It is also wonderful to work with other men from various walks of life who voluntarily accept the responsibility to help run a successful program.