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Hi I'm Rick

I was born and raised in Oregon. Practicing forester, ecologist, wildland firefighter in six states over 42 years. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a lifelong learner. I finished my B.S. degree in 1973. In the following years I completed a M.S. degree in curriculum and instruction (1976) and M.F.R. degree in forest resources (1988). I am currently a Ph.D. candidate (2011). Except for the B.S. degree I completed the remaining degrees while raising a family, doing service in community and church, and working at my profession. My family consists of my lovely wife and four precious children. Presently, I am an empty nester watching my children raise my eight grandchildren, continuing their own education, and progressing along with their professions (lawyer, mother, structural fireman, and law student). Service included volunteer ambulance service as an EMT, ski patrol, scoutmaster and other scouting positions, and a plethora of church positions. My profession has included environmental project planning and document writing, timber sale layout and logging administration, marking and cruising timber, logging system design and layout, planning transportation systems, real estate appraisal, district ranger, and wildfire firefighter including smoke jumping. I moved my family an average of every four years. I worked and lived in OR, WA, AZ, NM, CA, and GA. My present hobbies are reading, scouting, swimming, and biking. I completed one marathon, one triathlon, and several 5-to-10K races through my adult life. I am presently writing my dissertation about fire treatment effects on soil bacteria. It's a challenge.

Why I am a Mormon

I am a Mormon because of personal confirmation received through the Holy Ghost that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ declared that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day is their recognized church on the earth today, and as Joseph Smith declared: "the Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." I came to the same realization after reading the Book of Mormon and following the exhortation at the end of the book in Moroni 10: 3-5 to read, ponder, and ask God if the things in this book are not true and then having the faith to believe that God will manifest the truth to me. God did reveal all he promised and continues to manifest His truth to me on a daily basis. However, my story really begins when I was about 10 years old. One night before I fell asleep I thought "if Jesus was so important why was there only one book (i.e., the bible) written by people of his time." The answer did not come fast. I attended a protestant church for years, but with my earlier question constantly in mind. I was about to graduate from college before I received my answer. It seems that another book was written by prophets of God and has been available to man since the 1820's. That book of course is the Book of Mormon which is a record of God's people in the Americas from 600 B.C. until 421 A.D. What a find! It comes complete with witness statements for those who are more skeptical. It comes with truth and clarity about where we came from, why we are here, and where we go following our earthly tenure. It is my moral compass. I read the Book of Mormon and tested its teachings by learning about faith as taught in Alma 32. I gave the seed of faith a place to grow in my heart. It was a good seed because it enlarged my soul, it enlightened my understanding, and it became delicious to me. Read it!

How I live my faith

I try to live my faith daily. I read a couple of chapters from the Book of Mormon each morning. Reading is followed by prayer. I constantly communicate with my Savior throughout the day and close the dialog in the evening when finally asleep in bed. Several evenings each month I home teach my assigned families with a conversation about their physical, emotional, and spiritual health. I also deliver a message developed from my experiences through life and scriptural resources I have in my possession (i.e., Bible, Book of Mormon, conference talks, and church magazines). Our evening together ends with prayer. As a holder of the priesthood, I feel a duty and obligation to attend to my duties as a home teacher. As a representative of the Savior of mankind, visiting members of his family, it is a very humbling and enjoyable experience. Most members of the church fulfill various assignments and callings. Presently, I serve as executive secretary to my Bishop. My responsibilities include: preparing his Sunday appointment schedule, drafting agendas for a variety of Sunday meetings (i.e., Ward Council, Priesthood Executive Committee, Bishopric meeting, etc.), and helping the three-man Bishopric accomplish their many administrative tasks. The administrative meetings usually occur prior to the Sunday block of meetings (i.e., Sacrament, Sunday school, Priesthood for men or Relief Society for women, and Primary for young children) that all members are invited to attend. Through the years I have held many other callings from scoutmaster to high councilor. All these positions, while growth promoting and challenging, were also both fun and exciting. There are, perhaps, many avenues to get ahead in the world. As a member of the church, however, some of these methods are unavailable (i.e., social alcohol drinking). I am successful and achieved my educational and career goals without sacrificing either my values or family within the bounds that the Lord has set.