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Hi I'm Raymond

I'm a 911 dispatcher, a teacher, a musician, a published novelist, a husband, father, and grandfather...and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

My father was an entomologist and my mother was a science teacher, thus I grew up with a healthy respect for science. Our family collected a new species of scorpion and had it named after us. A high school creative writing class sparked my interest in writing. I majored in creative writing and English in college, but the science fiction stories I tried to sell reaped only rejection slips. Instead I became an English and social studies teacher in a small desert community. I sang in the church choir and made many friends. My father introduced me to my future wife. She was a choir director in her ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was also a teacher. I joined the church and we both taught in the same school. We had a difficult time starting a family and exhausted our resources trying through medical science. We had to turn it over to the Lord through prayer, priesthood blessings, and a ward fast. In a year's time we gained three children, two by adoption and one through a successful pregnancy. My wife retired to raise our children. In time I became a 911 dispatcher and returned to writing. I have now published two mystery novels set in our small desert community. Our children have begun "multiplying and replenishing the earth" with grandchildren. We try to bring the Christmas spirit to our town by organizing an annual Christmas concert. My wife directed the community choir until her death in 2016. Our miracle daughter is now wearing her director shoes.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up in a protestant church. I developed a conviction that church was important and I would listen intently to the sermons. One minister told about gaining a testimony that God lived suddenly while climbing a tree. I worried that I would never gain such a strong conviction, but no one in that church could tell me how to develop it. It seemed to be by chance. When I met my wife-to-be, I found that she had developed a strong testimony. She bore powerful witness that God lives and knows me personally. I knew that she knew. She answered my questions and involved the missionaries. I started devleopng my own testimony. I also started reading the Book of Mormon. When she asked what I felt when I prayed about it, I said, "I feel good, calm, peaceful, but I don't get an answer." She said, "Perhaps that is your answer." I found this was true. The good feelings I got from reading the Book of Mormon and praying were the beginning of my testimony that God lives, Jesus is the Christ, Joseph Smith is a prophet, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord's true church. I have been a member since 1979 and have been tested and tried by many experiences. I know more strongly today than ever before that these things are true. I am overwhelmingly grateful to the missionary who taught me how to know for myself. I married her and we have grown closer through our trials and through sharing our interests. I have the strong conviction now that I worried I might never develop. My testimony grew stronger going through my wife's passage from this world to the next. I know more than ever that God lives and loves me and the church is true.

How I live my faith

I attend church and try to live my religion. I have personal and family scripture study and prayer. I fast. I sing. I play the hymns on the piano and organ. All of these things feed my spirit and give me power to resist temptations. They allow me to stay on the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life. I try to be a good neighbor. I have been given many opportunities to serve in the church. I have been president of the men's priesthood organization, scoutmaster, a youth teacher, a missionary, a counselor to the bishop, a clerk keeping track of ward records, and organist. I was recently given a project to write a short history of the local ward which was distributed at a reunion. My daughter and I organize an annual Christmas concert in our community, drawing singers and musicians from all churches to participate. This testifies of our belief in Jesus Christ and brings the Christmas spirit to all who participate and attend. My mystery novels include Mormons as characters who are integral members of the community.

Can a husband and wife be together forever? Do Mormons believe that families will live together in heaven?

I know that families can be together forever. I will see my sweet wife again when I leave this life. She will be the first to greet me on the other side. The spirit was strong when she passed from this life to the next. This is a testimony to me that she still lives. Two nights before she passed I drove home to pick up one of my daughters for a final visit. A meteor passed in front of my car, very large and very white. I wished it would stay forever, but it disappeared. It was a sign to me that my wife's life was as clean and pure as that meteor was white. She was prepared to go home to her Heavenly Father. Thirty minutes later a second meteor lit up the sky in exactly the same manner, passing in front of my car. It confirmed to me that the first meteor was no coincidence. God was telling me my wife was ready to return home. Music was my wife's passion. At her death a dear friend of hers was singing "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," one of her favorite hymns. Show more Show less