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Hi I'm Russell

Be a Mormon.

About Me

I was born in the Southern United States, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia by good parents. I enjoy learning, and was blessed to go to schools in Atlanta with people who loved learning also. I grew up with people who welcomed diverse backgrounds and perspectives. They encouraged one another to be their truest, best selves, and me to be the best Mormon I knew how. I always enjoy creating things in print, whether it's taking a great photograph, writing a good story, or producing a quality publication. When the Lord put me to work as a Mormon missionary in Japan, He used my abilities in these areas like never before. I like singing and acting, but over time I found that I was more interested in how it let me explore the human condition - what motivates a person to believe and do what they choose. Most of my education is in psychology, but I also discovered a skill for understanding high-tech, and helping others make sense of it too. Today I work for a telecommunications / IT company, correcting problems that hurt the business relationship with its customers. After returning from Japan, I fell in love with a missionary I served with who is a Southerner like me. Fortunately, she reciprocated. Although I've traveled the U.S. extensively, and my wife and I lived in Utah for several years, Atlanta is my home. Our child's roots are here now also, and I'm discovering how much work the Lord has for me to do here.

Why I am a Mormon

The first reason is perhaps too simple: I'm a Mormon because my parents are. My mother was a Catholic when she joined the Church as a child in Nicaragua. My father's family became Mormons not long after they emigrated to New York in the late 19th century. As the Proverb instructed, they trained me as a child in the way I should go, and since then I have not departed from it. It goes beyond that, though. I grew up in the company of good people who, whether Mormon or another devotion, firmly believed that God lives, that He loves us, and that He works within our lives daily, teaching us and encouraging us to live in accordance with His will so that we will be happy. When I chose to be baptized as an eight-year-old, I understood this in principle. But as I grew I discovered how deeply personal the Lord is with us. He knows each of us intimately, perfectly, and He invites us to know Him personally, as a man would with a deepest friend. I've learned that Jesus Christ loves when we seek Him out to ask good questions. When I want to know the truth of something, and when I ask God the Father in Jesus' name, sincerely and with a well-founded purpose, He answers: He helps me connect the dots, provides insights and understanding I could never reach on my own. When I need guidance in my work, when I need help understanding who I should be as a husband, a friend, a father or a Mormon, I ask Him, and He answers in that still voice the scriptures describe so well. They are not always the answers I hope or expect to hear, but they are real. His answers - and the experiences He provides me in answer - then amplify the foundation of my faith in Him. His answers also prove that the heavens truly are open in our day. I'm a Mormon because over a lifetime of answers, Jesus Christ has affirmed and demonstrated beyond doubt that His complete gospel is found only here, in the Mormon Church. Ask Him your questions. Then, listen. When He answers, I believe you will want to be a Mormon too.

How I live my faith

I live my religion in the ways that come naturally to me. I've never felt the need for pretense or fanfare in my religious identity. I simply strive to be what the Lord wants me to be, and my life shapes itself organically to reflect. Those I keep company with know I am Mormon not because I have staged any disclosure, but because my religion is a fundamental element of my total character. It simply comes out, like anything else that makes us who we are. Throughout my life I've usually been the only Mormon at a school or workplace. This has been an immensely enriching experience for me, because I've generally felt those around me value what I contribute through being a Mormon. My faith calibrates the integrity and the moral compass that I do business by, and I feel my co-workers and managers welcome it as an asset to our work. My friends respected and appreciated my faith, and always encouraged me to live my religion and be true and faithful to my covenants. I believe part of my experience is due to a certain spirituality that is intrinsic to Atlanta itself. In my congregation I am a clerk. I tend to the Church's records, keep the books, and help the congregation operate as best I can. Mainly I try to lighten the load of our Bishop, so he can devote more time to his wife and children. None of us receive pay - but what a blessing it is to work intimately with the Bishop, his counselors, and those who lead our congregation. They love the Lord, love the congregation, and do all they can to help them follow Jesus Christ. I am constantly humbled to be in their company. I am learning that my career work, and that of a Church clerk, are perhaps divinely paralleled. In both roles, I find myself asking similar questions: How can I help our members grow with us instead of diminish? How can they get the most happiness from our organization? It is remarkable that how I live my faith in one area eventually benefits the other. Only Christ could have organized my life so.