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Hi I'm Ron Schiel

I like chess, Risk, Scrabble, football and camping. I love my wife and children. I live in Bellevue, Washington. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a husband and father of 5 wonderful children. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and have since lived and worked in Provo, Utah, San Francisco, California, Washington, DC, and now the state of Washington. I love history. I love strategy. Our family went on our first family campout in 2005 and has been converted ever since. We love to camp in the great northwest. (OK, mostly we like to eat while camping and having fun in the great northwest.) Some of our children have begun attending college and we love sharing their experiences with them. I am a tax CPA and a financial advisor. I enjoy assisting people with their challenges and helping them solve complicated puzzles. I enjoy coaching football with my sons. I enjoy canoeing, swimming, boating, exercising, dancing and watching movies. Mostly I enjoy the soundtracks that accompany great stories in film. I like a good party. And, yes, Halloween has been one of my favorite holidays. At their youngest ages, I would prop my children up on doorsteps in order to assist them with collecting treats. I write daily in my personal journal. I anticipate this will provide many great memories and stories in my later years. I love my wife. She is one of the kindest persons I know. Our home is filled with goodness, despite the challenges of life. We can always find goodness in life and love to celebrate that goodness. My life has been difficult, like most, but it has been richly blessed.

Why I am a Mormon

My mother and I joined the Mormon Church in Cleveland, Ohio when I was 9 years old. My parents divorced later that year. Over the course of the next 4 years, my 3 sisters joined the Mormon Church. But despite the best of intentions, my commitment to the church during that period was only in spurts and life was extremely difficult. At age 13, my sisters and I were transferred across town to live with my father and his new wife based on the determination of a civil court. Despite the great tidal forces of teenage years and exposure to a variety of lifestyles, I was lucky to have the teachings of the church as guideposts. At age 14, I “woke up” and realized that I wanted all of the goodness that the gospel of Jesus Christ had to offer. From then on I began making decisions that would secure incredible blessings for me and my family. As with any decision of true faith, you act on promptings you receive and then watch as that faith is confirmed over and over again. At age 18, I took a bus from Cleveland to Brigham Young University to accept a scholarship and attend college. Prior to that, I had never been west of Toledo, Ohio. And my indigent circumstances added to the challenge of that first year in college. I interrupted college to serve a Spanish speaking mission for the church in San Diego, California. For a boy from inner city Cleveland, that was foreign enough. From the time I learned of the Mormon Church until I returned from my mission, I was exposed to a lifetime of challenges to my faith. People in Cleveland were not familiar with the Mormon faith, and that was reflected in well meant challenges from school teachers, friends, and family, including a father and stepmother with whom I lived and who weren’t Mormon. But during this time, I tested the principles of the gospel over and over. My experiences with God were tangible and the miracles that occurred in my life were undeniable. Since then, my life has continued to be filled with manifestations of faith.

How I live my faith

My faith permeates every aspect of my life. I have relied on principles of the gospel to guide me in professional decisions at every level, including what professional sacrifices need to be made in order to have a strong family, or secure promised blessings of the gospel, or how I interact with clients and other professionals. My church assignments have included working with the youth, such as a scout leader, Sunday school teacher, early morning seminary instructor, and activity leader. I have also spent years assisting the coordination of missionary activities in the areas where I lived, which includes teaching the gospel to those seeking to learn more about Jesus Christ. While in Arlington, Virginia, we participated in the missionary rededication of the area in which we lived. That opened the door to incredible experiences for me, my family, and the members of our congregation. I have also served in leadership positions in the local congregations where I have lived. However, the most important aspect of how I live my faith takes places in my own home. It is the time I spend daily reading scriptures, praying to the Lord, seeking to understand promptings and spiritual guidance and assignments that may come at any time. It is in trying to live in a way that God can communicate with me when there are things that he would have me know or have me do. And then having the courage to act on those promptings. I can’t claim to have been successful at doing that on every occasion, but I can testify that when I have, the spiritual rewards fill my soul with inexpressible joy. I have seen those same experiences in the lives of my wife and of my children. And even though those experiences don’t remove the temptations of the world or answer every question, they do provide evidences of faith that help us withstand periods of trials or doubt. Another important aspect of the gospel for me and my family is the opportunity to perform ordinances in the Mormon temples.

Are Mormons Christians?

Ron Schiel
That depends on your definition of the word "Christian." If you believe that the word "Christian" can be defined in a way that narrows the meaning such that it doesn't apply to the Mormon church, then there is no way to overcome that usurpation of the word. For instance, if the Mormon church teaches that we are required to follow Christ's teachings and that grace is required to bridge the gap between our efforts and what Christ wants us to become; and further, if you define Christian to mean that only people who believe that they must work for whatever they achieve and grace doesn't play a role, then you might conclude that the Mormon Church doesn't fit that definition of Christian. However, if your definition of Christian is based on a personal requirement to learn who Christ is in the scriptures, and that we are each responsible individually for developing a personal relationship with Christ, and understanding what Christ expects of us, and working with Christ to overcome our natural weaknesses through his grace, then we are absolutely Christian. Show more Show less

What is faith?

Ron Schiel
When you are a child and your parents tell you something, you are inclined to believe it if you love and trust your parents. However, by the time you get to high school, you are taught to question everything, experiment, see if it works or is true. Faith is like what happens in a science lab. Typically, you'll learn something from the teacher or from your textbook. You have enough confidence in that idea to experiment with it in the lab. If your experiment goes well, you may or may not have a better understanding of the process, but you will certainly see whether the experiment generates the expected results. If not, then you study some more to see what happened and try the experiment again until you've proven the validity or falsity of the expectation. The process of experimentation is similar with religion. When you are exposed to a religious concept, you must decide if you have enough confidence in that concept to experiment with it. In other words, do you have enough "faith" to put that religious principle to the test in the labratory of your life. If you do, then you can judge the result of that experiment and determine if that religious principle brings you closer to God or otherwise leads to spritual experiences. If not, then you have to decide if that was an accurate experiment or if the principle is false. It has been my experience that true religious principles yield results that confirm your faith. In that way, they are more than just blind belief. Show more Show less