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Hi I'm Riley

I'm a writer, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am married, and I have four children. As a husband and father, I’ve learned that impressing the world, writing a best seller, or striking it big isn't what matters most. What matters most is hard work, honesty, building a strong family, and providing an honorable living. I write books, short stories, nonfiction essays, academic essays, articles, and poems. I play the piano. I dance. And occasionally, I do cement work. I enjoy family home evenings, rice crispies, family prayers, scripture study and family activities: playing Blokus or baseball in the park, pounding out the polka ‘round our living room or watching Disney movies. My boys like Tangled. “I’m running and chasing and bounding, heart racing. When will my life begin?” What! They sing it. I can’t sing. I can’t spell. If I could grow a longhorn mustache like those old guys who ride Harleys, I would. But I can’t. If I could be the Man from Snowy River, I would. I’ve always wanted to wear an Akubra cowboy hat, ride a mountain brumby, and carry a whip in my hand--have since I was four. In reality, I own an Akubra cowboy hat; I’m scared of horses; and I carry baby wipes.

Why I am a Mormon

As I was thinking about what to write one day, I said to my wife, “You know, I have led a happy life. A lot of writers write about their horrible lives, of anguish, of suffering both past and present. But I don’t have that. I can hardly think of any time I wasn’t happy. Sure there have been tough times, times of struggle; but I’m a happy man.” “That’s good,” my wife said. “Yes, it is,” I said. “It really is. And why is that? Because I have the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life.” I choose to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because it is the only true and living church of Jesus Christ on earth with all the authorities and powers and blessings of heaven. When I keep the commandments of God, when I heed the prompting of the Holy Ghost, when I follow the counsel of the living Prophets and Apostles of God, I am blessed, and I am happy. I find strength and courage to face life’s trials. Whatever I struggle with, I know that the Lord will help me through it. God does bless His children. I have felt His Holy Spirit. My prayers have been answered. I have seen miracles. I know that God lives. Jesus is the Christ. He is the living Son of the living God, the Savior of the world. He is the head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And He will come again. “I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes. That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never, no never…no never forsake” (How Firm a Foundation).

How I live my faith

I believe the constitution is worth protecting. I believe it is inspired of God. So I got up the courage to call the heads of my political party for my area, found out where and when they meet, and receive regular emails. I strive to be honest, diligent, and hard working in my field of work and for my employer. My wife and I were primary teachers together at church. We've had the privilege of teaching the three and four-year-olds. It was delightful to interact with them. And I miss them: their fresh-combed hair, their bows and pins, their little ties and dresses, their dimples, their folded arms, their eager answers, their glazed eyes, their leaping out of their chairs for a song of “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” their attempts to climb out the window. They were my little friends and fellow soldiers. As a ward clerk, I've had the opportunity to assist the leaders of our congregation each week in counting tithes and seeing the obedience of church members in keeping the Lord’s commandment to pay a full and honest tithe as well as their generosity in paying so much more. Church members not only pay tithing but fast offerings and other offerings that help the poor and the needy. And I am humbled by it. As a home teacher, I have the opportunity to bring a gospel message once each month into the homes of two or three assigned families in our congregation. I have enjoyed getting to know these families, experiencing their joys, and offering them my assistance.