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Hi I'm Rick

I grew up in California. I'm a dad, grandpa, retired Air Force Colonel, and professor of dentistry. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in Garden Grove, California. I attended UCLA undergrad and Dental School. I married Cheryl Taylor of Carmichael, California. We have seven children (six boys and one girl) and eighteen grandchildren. I served in the US Navy as a dentist after which I started a private practice in Idaho. I decided four years of private practice was enough and joined the Air Force with Guam as my first assignment. I received specialty training in Prosthodontics and Maxillofacial Prosthetics at Wilford Hall Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas. I then served at Keesler AFB, MS, Lackland AFB, TX, and Elmendorf AFB, AK. I retired in 2004 as a Colonel in the Dental Corps. Upon retirement, we moved to Gilbert, Arizona where I am an Associate Professor teaching Prosthodontics to dental students at Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health. I love to hike the many trails in the Arizona back country, ride the back roads on my Harley (I have two), target practice in the desert, putter around the yard, make things in the garage, and just hang out with my wife, children and grandchildren. Sherry and I enjoy traveling, especially visiting children that are spread around the world. I have one living as far east as England and one as far west as Japan.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into the church. My mother was a lifelong member and my father joined the church shortly after my birth. I was baptized when eight years old. I have always had the gift of faith. I could always understand the truth of the gospel, even as young child. I remember my mother teaching me at her knee and it always felt like home. I know that there were times when my faith was stronger than at others, but I have never doubted. When I entered my teen years my convictions strengthen as I participated in the programs of the church. I don't remember the moment when my testimony became my own, separate from my parents. It was a slow, gradual process. When I served a mission in Finland, my spiritual growth quickly matured and anchored my testimony in Jesus Christ. I understood the nature of an eternal family and made it my goal to have one. Upon returning from Finland I set out on my great life's adventure to begin my family. I met my wife while attending college and together we committed to a common goal. Many times I have wondered what my state would be without the gospel and the plan of happiness to guide me through the constant trials of life. We learned the value of hard work, discipline and sacrifice as each child was added to our eternal family. There were times when I felt my burden was too great. These are the times when my faith in Jesus Christ and His gospel saved me from failure. The Lord always prepared someone or something to ease the burden so that I could continue my journey. I will be forever grateful to those that have been there for me; I count them as angels from heaven. I know the Savior loves me and wants me to succeed and I know this is His desire for all of us. The gospel has been given to us as a guide to return to his presence.

How I live my faith

I currently serve as secretary to the bishop in our ward. I have served as leader of the congregation, youth leader, adult leader, teacher. I have been involved with Boy Scouts since I was eight years old. As an adult I often served as a Scout leader. I have been involved with many community service projects. Some of the more memorable ones have been in Guam where we restored a Chinese memorial park, cleaning rubble from homes in Texas after a flood, community clean up after a hurricane in Mississippi, and spring clean up of the roads in Alaska. I have been able to touch the lives of many people around the world. While I served in the military I met people from all walks of life and many nations. I feel privileged to serve my country and sustain our leaders.