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Hi I'm Richard

I'm a father and a grandfather, and I'm a physician. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm the father of 9 wonderful children and 26 grandchildren, all scattered over the Western United States. My eternal companion, Pam, has really been the one to whom credit can be given in getting these children theough their growing-up and getting-out of the house. She and I now live in Northern California, where I still have the grand privilege of practicing medicine. I was born and raised in a small farming town in South-central Utah, came to California for college education and medical school and never left the state. I give credit to my father, a successful farmer, for teaching my 2 younger brothers, a younger sister and me, the work ethic and standards that have served us all so well. We all give credit to our mother for raising us to be educated and be challenged to our maximum. Both of our parents came from several previous generations of pioneer stock, who with THEIR parents and grandparents were the literal pioneers who settled in the territory of Utah, and made it "blossom like a rose." I'm very proud of that pioneer heritage.

Why I am a Mormon

Being "born in the Church" might imply that I'm a Mormon as an accident of birth. Nothing would be more incorrect, as I believe that I would have chosen this church even if it were presented to me in my adult years. In fact, that's pretty close to what did happen, as I actually acquired a deep testimony of the truthfulness of the Church when I was about 21, and starting to fulfill a mission call. I was assigned to a small town in Southern Belgium, where I learned to speak French and to speak to others about LDS teachings. In doing so I realized I had to decide for myself, once and for all, if what I was trying to teach others was what I really, REALLY believed, deep in my heart. My own "conversion" came about by reading the Book of Mormon and pondering the history of the early Church and the role of the Book of Mormon in that history. It finally came down, in my mind, to a simple question: "Was the Book of Mormon what it purports to be?", that is, a translated history of another people, and another testimony of Christ. I DID have a literal conversion, early in my mission, that the Book of Mormon is true, therefore the actions of the early Church leaders, (Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, etc.) were correct and were God-ordained. That testimony has only grown stronger in the 50+ years since I was assigned to a little, remote town, in Southern Belgium.

How I live my faith

I'm an "older" member of our ward ("congregation"), & I have several areas of responsibility. My particular responsibility, at this time, is to organize the older men and form a working group that contributes to the welfare of members of our ward. This is called the "High Priest Group". We serve as a resource to our ward leader, (the "bishop"), and in particular we all have an assignment to visit several familes in the ward, at least monthly and, in truth, whenever needed. Our goal is to know about these members and to be seen as a resource to them, if they should ever need help, regardless of the circumstances. This is known as "hometeaching", and every active male in our group has accepted that assignment.(There is another group in our ward, mostly comprised of younger men, and they have essentially the same charge and responsibilities, but to younger families. These men are known collectively as the "Elders Quorum") Over the years I've been asked to participate at many different levels of the Church. I've been a "proselyting" missionary when I was young, (age 21-24). Older, and after finishing my medical training and starting a private practice, I was assigned as a teacher to many different age groups, some on Sunday and once to a group of high school students who would meet every school day, a couple of hours before their first bell, (termed "seminary".) Later I served another mission, this time as a volunteer surgeon to Western Samoa. Somewhat later I had the grand privilege of serving for about 5 years as a bishop of a ward. Since then my wife and I served still another mission, this time to Eastern Europe (Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Bulgaria) where we provided assistance in keeping the missionaries of that area in good health. Each and every one of these callings has been a challenge, (usually of scheduling time and resources to do them), but have been a great blessing to me and my family.

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Richard
Not at all. The Mormon Church regularly donates cash and supplies to countries around the world, considering only their needs and not their religions. Many of these countries have no organized units of the Church in them, and many are non-christian. In times of crisis it's often the LDS/Mormon Church that is first on the scene with volunteers, (sometimes missionaries from the area, sometimes personnel sent in to provide specific services, such as medical or construction.) The Church has a vast organization of volunteers throughout the United States, (and elsewhere), collecting and preparing food and clothing items to be used in areas of need, without regard to the faiths of those in those areas. Show more Show less