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Hi I'm Ray

I am a Native Arizonan, I served in the US Navy, and am a Vietnam war veteran. I work for the Forest Service. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I came from a family of lumber mill workers, and I worked for Southwest Forest Industries until 1969 when I enlisted in the US Navy. I served aboard the USS Noxubee a gasoline tanker. We delivered fuel to bases along the Vietnamese coast. Our ship was attacked and crippled during an attack at the base at Qua Viet. After my service I returned home and went to college for a year before returning to working as a lumberman. The last sawmill where I was employed closed in 1999 and I worked at several jobs until I was offered a postition at the Forest Service. I have been there for 10 years and enjoy my job and the people I work with. My hobbies are photography, camping, fishing, and hunting. I love to spend time in the forests, exploring new areas. I am married to a wonderful woman and have four step children, they are all adults and do not live at home. We get along very well and I love them as if they were my own. We have three grandchildren one girl and two boys. We visit as often as we can. My wife and I still work full time, but plan to retire within in three years.

Why I am a Mormon

I have ancestors that joined the Church in Joseph Smiths day, and I have a great Mormon heritage, yet when I was young I questioned the truth of what I was taught and I quit going to Church and joined the Navy during the Vietnam war. Even though I was inactive I knew what it meant to be a Mormon, and appreciated the standards of virtue I had been taught, even though I was not living as I knew I should. I also believed in the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine of Covenants even as I tried to deny their importance. When I found myself in my fortys, I realized I was missing something important in my life, and I began praying and asking for forgiveness and began asking God what he wanted me to do. I had some very powerful spiritual experiences during this time that led me back to the LDS Church and into full activity. My life has changed in a wonderful miraculous way as I have strived to do as my Heavenly Father wants me to do. I met a wonderful Mormon Lady with a strong testimony of the gospel, and we were married in the Temple. I know this is the Lords Church, and that it is the true and living church, restored in these latter days by Joseph Smith. We have a prophet today that leads the church under the direction of our Savior Jesus Christ. During these last fifteen years I have been called to serve in many capacities, I have worked in the young mens program, I have served as a leader of a mens organization called the Elders Quorum, I served as a counselor to a Bishop, and I am now serving on the High Council. My wife and I have also recently been called as Temple workers. The Lord has changed me from a lonely, insecure man, to a confident, secure, genuinely happy man. The Church teaches us about Jesus Christ, who he is, about his teachings and example and about the power and importance of his atonement for us. I know without that atonement I would be lost. We Mormons want share this knowledge with others.

How I live my faith

As a Mormon I have been taught that God gives us commandments and asks us to make covenants with him to live good, honest and morally clean lives. I have found as I try to live in this manner I am happier and more content. We have been been given Agency, to choose between right and wrong, and I have found by experience it is better to choose the right and to follow Heavenly Fathers plan rather than my own. While some may think this is living under too many restrictions, I find it to be freeing, uplifting, and spiritually powerful. There are no paid clergy in the LDS Church, therefore each member takes part in the Church organization in what are known as callings. One of my callings was a Sunday School teacher for the adult class, I loved studying the lessons and preparing to teach the Gospel, and I think I learned more from the class that they did from me. I have also served as a secretary to the Bishopric, helping to organize their schedules and I took part in their meetings and became better aquainted with the ward members. Later I was a Bishops counselor with specific duties and assignments as directed by the Bishop. I now serve in a Stake calling under the direction of the Stake Presidency. Each of these callings have increased my faith in God, and in his Son Jesus Christ. It has also helped me to grow and develop talents attributes that I probably would hot have developed in any other way. As an example I grew up shy and lacked confidence in myself. Each calling has been a step in overcoming these things, and has also helped me to develop patience, compassion, understanding and love for those around me. I am now a better husband, a better step-father/grandfather and a better citizen. As a Mormon, I try to live clean in body and mind, I do not smoke, or use alcoholic beverages, and I avoid entertainment that portray violence and sex. One of my favorite and most rewarding Church responsiblities is overseeing the Addiction Recovery Group in our area.