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Hi I'm Ron

I was born and raised in Florida. I have two adopted sons and a wonderful wife. I build rockets for a living. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

From the time I was a little kid I enjoyed drawing and painting. Growing up on Florida's Space Coast I also liked rockets and space flight. Reading Jules Verne and other books of imagination also helped nurture a love for the futuristic and fantastic. Drawing rockets, airplanes and cars made me want to know how they work and why they are shaped the way they are. After having some success through high school in math and science I became a mechanical engineer, eventually earning Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the University of Florida. Since then I have been very fortunate to have made a living for my family designing, building, fixing and flying rockets that have carried people and payloads into space. I still enjoy drawing and painting, although I don't take as much time for them as I would like, with two active boys, three active dogs and a beautiful wife to attend to. I still enjoy reading and have found my tastes have moved more toward history these days. I enjoy being physically active, working in my yard and get frustrated by never seeming to have enough time to do all the things I want to.

Why I am a Mormon

I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints because as a small child I wanted to know about God and religion. My maternal grandmother was quite religious, but we in our home were not. I remember once asking my mother how to pray and being taught a memorized prayer; that didn't seem to fit the bill. When I was ten years old, a new family moved in next door to us. There had one child, a boy less than a year younger than I was. We became friends and found that the mother and son were Mormons. We learned about the church and eventually became members. That's the nuts and bolts of how I became a Mormon. The reason that childhood conversion has taken hold in my life is that desire from my childhood to know God has been met in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. As a Mormon, I believe the mysteries of God's nature and attributes are revealed through the church and they reveal God to be kind, loving, intelligent and generous with a unique perspecive on eternity and a high valuation of the worth of each person within a perspective that stretches forward and backward in time. As a Mormon and an engineer with a more scientific education I find that what I learn of God at church and what I learn of the universe are in harmony. The church teaches us to seek learning from the best sources we find everywhere. In addition, I find that my life experiences confirm that the teachings of Jesus are true. While my natural reactions to stress are not always modeled after the Savior's I have found that when I am able to follow His will as it was revealed in ancient times or revealed today, I am a better person for it, the people around me are usually better off for it, and I feel better. I am a Mormon because my upbringing, education and life experiences confirm to me that Jesus still communicates the will of His Father to us. If we listen and choose to do as he asks, my experience has been that our lives will be the better for it.

How I live my faith

I am active at church, attending Sunday meetings as often as the health of my family allows. I consider myself fortunate to assist with the young men's program, helping to advise boys 14 and 15 years old regarding their spiritual growth and how they might grow to be better men than my generation. The Boy Scout program is very important to this process and I believe strongly that if every young man internalized the principles of the Boy Scout Oath and Law, the problems of this world would be solved in short order. In our home we pray together often. Our boys have always been more physical than studious, so sitting and reading the scriptures has never been something that happens easily in our home. That is not to say that we don't talk about faith and morality, but it's something that happens more frequently, and in a way the boys comprehend it better, in the course of working in the yard, playing basketball or reading a bed-time story. I can tell that each of our boys are doing more than just learning to parrot back a "sunday-school answer" when they ask pointed questions about why we do the things we do and why I believe in the gospel of Jesus. Personnally, my faith is rooted in contemplating the word of God in the Bible and Book of Mormon and in the words of modern prophets. I'm not always faithful in my personal prayer or scripture study, or other behaviors, but I'm fortunate that what I learn I tend to remember. This has helped in probably the most important means of spiritual growth for me; meditation on what God's plan for me and for those around me, is. These lead me to try to serve people around me in simple ways, as a way to show Jesus' love for them.

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

Different church members find that the gospel leads them to different views of political expression, each of which is consistent with their earnest attempts to understand and live Jesus' teachings. While most church members are happy to describe themselves as "conservative," United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that he is liberal because he is a Mormon, not in spite of it. The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to do good to one another and people may best accomplish the goal of doing good in many ways, according to their own experience, talents and inclinations. If a person feels that showing love for their neighbor is best served by one party or the other, that is not for another person to judge. My only warning regarding party politics is when the goal of helping others and showing love for others is lost in the desire for power and influence over the lives of others. This is where any political party needs to be held in check by its members and by civil political discourse among all persons. Show more Show less