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Hi I'm Ryan

I'm in grad school at USC (Carolina), now in an internship at IBM. I'm an avid college sports fan and a family man. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm an international exchange student (currently in China). I like sports. I was born to Latter-Day Saint parents and have lived in Utah pretty much my whole life. I served a two-year mission to South Korea. I married my best friend in the whole world four years ago in the Salt Lake Temple. We have a one-year old child, Dylan, who is the center of our world. Dylan especially loves his mommy, his monkey, and Ritz crackers. We also very much enjoy meeting new people and sharing with them the happiness we find in life.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) but I have had plenty of opportunities to decide not to continue my membership. My deployment stands out in my mind as a time when it would have been very easy to just "quit" the church. But I've learned as I've continued to grow in my testimony and love of the Savior that without that testimony, understanding, and perspective I would be a much different, and much sadder, person. I saw some of the awful consequences of war while I was deployed and often asked myself why a loving God would allow such horror in the world. Through studying the scriptures and learning about His plan of salvation I was able to see how our lives on earth are just one part (although it is difficult) of our eternal progression. I realized that my perspective was as small as a child's often seems to an adult. I also came to understand how happy and peaceful life can be when it is lived on the basic principles of the Gospel such as "love thy neighbor as thyself". I learned that Heavenly Father truly does care about each and everyone of His children. I saw miracles and tender mercies that will always be special to me, a constant reminder that God is watching. Most importantly, I feel a deep sense of gratitude for the blessings and love that God has poured out in my life and I know that even if I served him with every breath I had for my whole life I would still be an unprofitable servant, because He always blesses me more whenever I try to serve Him (do what He commands).

How I live my faith

My main focus these last few months has been refining myself, particularly in becoming more Christlike in my words and deeds, for as my favorite hymn says "because I have been given much I too must give... I shall give love to those in need, I'll show that love by word and deed. Thus shall my thanks be thanks indeed." It's a long road from me to Christlike, but I'm taking it one step at a time. I also teach nursery during church, where I spend time with seven two-year olds, wiping tears and noses, resolving toy disputes, and teaching concepts like folding arms, and being a child of God.

Do you really believe there is a prophet like Moses alive today?

Absolutely! I imagine that people in Moses' time asked the same thing, only using Adam or Abraham as an example instead, saying "How can a man raised by Egyptians be the prophet for us?" My favorite example is that of Christ himself in Matthew chapter 10 verses 55-57 when those who knew Christ as a boy said "Is not this the carpenter's son?" Christ's reply is a perfect one, "A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house." I would add to that "In his own time." I think the most powerful evidence of the necessity of continuing revelation through prophets is given by Christ in Matthew 7, "Ye shall know them [prophets] by their fruits." Logically speaking, why would Jesus give us a formula for recognizing prophets if He did not intend them to continue teaching us His word? A prophet is one called of God to help us know what God expects from us. For example, how could Moses warn us of the health hazards of smoking cigarettes that had not been invented at the time? God did, through latter day prophets like Joseph Smith, teach us to avoid cigarettes, long before doctors and scientists had studied and found out their negative effects. Since the beginning of time, prophets have been a tool God has used to preach His word. God loves all of His children equally. Why would He not show us the same love? "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7 ) Show more Show less

Why do Mormon missionaries proselyte?

Imagine you found car lot full of cars for sale that each got 200 MPG, did 0-60 in 3.2 seconds, had a lifetime warranty, and cost less than $1,000. I'd imagine you'd be on the phone pretty quick, contacting those you care about to let them know about the great deal you've found. it's just human nature to want to share things that are great deals. Mormon missionaries proselyte because Christ has commanded them, and all of us, to do so and so "that we may present every man perfect in Jesus Christ" (Colossians 1:28). The Gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to mend broken relationships, rescue lost self-confidence, give hope to those who have none, heal a broken heart, and many, many other things. I am touched by the Savior's love every day of my life and it makes me want to be better, to love more, and to give to those who need. These are the things in life that make people truly happy. It is this happiness that drives the missionaries to share their message. There is nothing on or above this earth, not even the perfect car, that can bring greater happiness to mankind than the Gospel. It is the sacred responsibility and privilege of those commissioned of Jesus Christ to spread His word to anyone willing to recognize a great deal when it confronts them. As one who served as a missionary for two years in a very foreign land, I can promise that the love a missionary develops while serving is stronger than the cords of death. Missionaries serve out of pure, Christlike love. Show more Show less

Why is family so important to Mormons?

Imagine drawing a line that stretched to eternity. Now imagine that your life - including your existence before and after death - is like a walk down that line. No matter how far you go there's the same amount infinitely in front of you. That's a long walk. I believe that a person's existence is eternal, like a walk to forever, with this life being just one section of the line. When we leave this existence we can't take wealth, power, comforts, or even our favorite team jerseys. We take only two things with us: our knowledge and, if we earn it, our families (though you may have to wait until they are called home too). Having someone with you can turn a difficult and lonely path into an exciting and educational adventure. Isn't that what families do for us here on earth? Why should it be any different in heaven? A world full of well-functioning families (notice I didn't say "nuclear" or "fully-equipped" or "cookie-cutter" families) is the solution to nearly every economic, political, and moral issue the world is currently facing. Inside the walls of a good family, we learn integrity, honesty, hard work, loyalty, faith, and the list goes on nearly as long as our line. It is my ultimate desire to serve my wife, son, and any future additions to our family to the best of my ability, that my life on earth may be happy, that my posterity may have a positive impact on the world, and that I may have a blessed companionship with my family as we go forward into eternity. Show more Show less