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Hi I'm Rusty

I grew up in Arizona. I'm a husband, father, artist and former legislator. I love gardening and raising apples. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

As a professional artist, I have painted and sculpted among the Tarahumara people of Mexico, political and historical figures and uplifting themes for over 33 years. Prompted by friends, I ran for state office and served in our state legislature for several years. My late father taught me to work hard and I love to grow our garden and tend our apples and fruit trees, especially with my children and grandchildren. My wife and I have known feast and famine and the gauntlet of challenges of a big family. And while most of the time its just hard work, they encompass the deepest values of what I really want in life, to see my children grow well and be trusted by my spouse and associates. I love to fix things, grow things, and make things, and I have learned that its best to use things, but love people, and not get that formula backwards.

Why I am a Mormon

What an interesting thing life is. From the intoxication of youth, the sobriety of middle age, and now the resignation and acceptance of, well, older middle age, I have come to realize that the greatest gift I have is the ability and right to make choices and be accountable for them. Through the education of experience, I have come to know that every person is given a chance to believe in God, and act on it. I choose to believe. I choose to see His hand in the most minute expressions of organization - the life of my garden, and the most massive and majestic - the order of the universe. But the most impressive...to hold my tiny grandchildren near me and know in their perfection that they came from God, and that I have a responsibility to help them return to Him. As an artist I know that certain rules govern composition and visual impression, that through study I can learn those rules, and through work I can increase my ability to convey beauty and character through those rules. Things that Paul the Apostle might have called virtuous, or lovely, or of good report, or even praiseworthy come by knowing and using rules - in art, and in life. My commitment to the things I have chosen to believe and act upon has brought me a knowledge of their truth, and that - even in the most trying of circumstances - has brought me peace. Being a Mormon has guided me to that position.

How I live my faith

So now, in the fall of life, I am a busy guy. I don't know how effective, but I am busy. I translate for the Spanish speaking members of a nearby Church congregation, teach Sunday religious classes, and then come back 30 miles or so to be in our local ward choir with the family. I am blessed to advise and teach a group of young men. I really like to do that while we are fishing or shooting clay pigeons! I am blessed to help watch over three more-senior couples in our ward as a "home teacher", and love to fix the washing machine or put in a new floor for them. When I am needed it makes me happy to respond. When I am not in the studio I also work in the administration of a technical school, meet with legislators, and host large groups of visitors to our orchard and getaway in the nearby mountains. I especially like to tell stories of a grandfather who rode the Pony Express, of a father that played football with Jackie Robinson, and of growing up on our sheep ranch to my grandchildren while we snuggle down for the night among the pines at "the ranch". I point out constellations and challenge them to find satellites among the stars. I tell them who made them, and that He is the ultimate artist. I try not to wear my religion on my sleeve. I just hope that when I die they can all say that Grampa loved them, loved creation, loved to work and loved Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father.

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

I have, and in a measure, continue to participate in the political arena. I believe in the true principles that guide individuals and societies. I think the Church, and all churches, are blessed by a balanced and dynamic political system. As long as true principles that govern the relationship of people with each other are respected, the dynamic activity of politics can help keep people focused on doing good in the world. My church encourages that type of activity. When true principles are attacked or are at risk, the Church encourages their protection and longevity by all parties and persuasions. I personally have friends of all political positions. While we have disagreed on certain actions, and may again, I have found that most continue to seek common ground in sound and respected principles. I personally am glad that our church does not endorse "candidates, platforms, or parties", and is scrupulously firm against any such a position. Show more Show less