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Hi I'm Ron Schill

I train young people to create business and social impact enterprises to help alleviate poverty around the world. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm from California, and my wife and I have nine children (five boys and four girls) and thirty grandchildren. My main hobbies are 1) my grandchildren, 2) world travel and new cultures, (3) cultural photography, and 4) making music. I served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam era. Soon after, I decided to become a college professor and spend my career teaching, motivating and working with young adults interested in becoming leaders of change for the better. I taught at the Marriott School at Brigham Young University-Provo for thirty-two years and also at many different universities around the world. I retired from BYU and am now a professor in California. However, the most important things that I have learned in my life have come from my knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Why am I a Mormon? Not because I am perfect. I am far from perfect and have several areas of weakness, but I know that if I am humble and try to do better each day, the Lord will help me to change whatever is my weakness into strength. By learning and striving to live the teachings of the Gospel within the Church, I can eventually reach my full potential and become the best person that I can.

Why I am a Mormon

I grew up apart from the Mormon Church and I was once quite unsure about God and His plan for our life, and was very focused merely on the intellectual answers from philosophy and science as the only answers to the key questions of life. I can witness how much my study, prayer, Gospel understanding and efforts to live the Gospel, as taught by the Church, have impacted my life in numerous positive ways. It has been fantastic. My work and efforts to investigate, to learn and to live as closely as I can what the Church and Our Savior have taught us have been richly rewarded with immense happiness and joy. I am a Mormon today because during my life I have accepted the challenge and tried to do my part to prove for myself in practical ways, as well as spiritually, whether or not Mormonism is true and whether or not it delivers the promises that it makes to each of us. Life deals us a lot of different challenges. They may differ substantially for each of us as individuals, and yet they are very much the same no matter who we are or where we live. The teachings and plan presented to us by our Lord and Savior, apply equally as well, no matter who we are, what opportunities or challenges we face, or where or under what circumstances we live. The only real question for us is "when we will really start and how diligently we will try to learn and to prove for ourselves that what He has given us through His scriptures, teachings and through Prophets is the foundational truth for our life?" It is my testimony and witness that this effort is the most important thing that we can do during our life. I testify to you, my brother or sister, who may read this profile, that the Savior's work through this, His Church, is true and faithful, that I know by study, by faith and by many years of practical experience that it was the right decision earlier in my life, and that it will also be the most important effort you can invest in your own well-being and happiness.

How I live my faith

In the Church in California I work with a congregation of young single adults in Sunday School teaching, counseling and encouraging them while they are serving in the military or attending college. The Church gives me very meaningful and relevant opportunity to practice charity and to serve others, and to do so on a daily basis. It is a Church of service, a Church for immersion of one's life, a way of life, a way of devotion to others, to one's family, and to the betterment of one's self---not just on Sundays, but every day and in every occasion. The quest for discipleship in life doesn't come easily, and it takes sacrifice and a lot of one's time, yet the blessings will far outweigh the work. In the Church we serve each other in "callings" that we receive from our leaders in our congregations, as well as through our daily life as brothers or sisters to all those around us in the world. There is no limit to the good we can do. In the Church we live by two important gifts that we receive. One is a personal testimony or inner spiritual witness of the truth of the Gospel, of the Church, of the Scriptures and of what we are doing. Second, is the gift of the Holy Ghost which each of us receives following baptism as a personal light to shine forth, light our way, and inspire and direct our lives as we live worthy of it. Living by faith in its fullness means living by direction from the Holy Ghost.

Who is the Mormon prophet today?

Ron Schill
The same as Abraham, Moses, or Peter were Prophets in their times, God chooses His spokesman on the Earth in our time for our challenges and problems, and doesn't just leave it to whomever wants to say whatever. It is admirable that so many wonderful people across the world choose of themselves to want to be religious leaders, and most of them do immense good, but as was Abraham, only a specific person is personally and formally called by God individually by his own voice and direction. Today that is Thomas S. Monson. Show more Show less

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Ron Schill
This is a sacred ordinance from God, and must be done by His own authority given directly from Him. Show more Show less

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

Ron Schill
By not practicing the use of it ourselves, nor supporting the teachings or practices of those who do. If we condone it by ignoring it, we are accomplices to the problem. Yes, we recognize the right to have free speech. But we as a people also have the right to free worship, and as part of our worship we take a stand on moral issues which negatively impact society and the lives of people, and pornography is one of those issues. We oppose R rated movies and the viewing of them by our members. We oppose the display of nudity in the media, and the use of pornographic language. We also oppose the sexual exploitation of women in the media, which is a subset and precursor to pornography. This position pertains to both adult situations, and child pornography. We believe in prosecution for the crime of child pornography. How can we stop the spread of pornography? The Church teaches us to be actively and consciously involved in the political process and this is an important avenue to retard its spread--its supply. However, the main force against it is not just in restricting its supply, but also in decreasing its demand. Demand is in the minds of the audiences. That means avoiding it and teaching others to do likewise. The Church has taken a stand against not only on pornography in society, but among some members of the Church, with recent council and talks denouncing the practice. Our first line of defense in curtailing its spread is within the lives of some members. Show more Show less

What is a ward/stake/branch?

Ron Schill
A ward is a congregation of a few families and individuals living in a smaller area who worship and work together as an ecclesiastical family. A stake is a geographical collection of wards in a larger area for leadership purposes and serves to do various things together collectively as a larger ecclesiastical family. Church members live in and are organized into wards and stakes to provide order, learning, leadership and service. Show more Show less

What is the Law of Chastity?

Ron Schill
The Law of Chastity refers to complete fidelity sexually between husband and wife, and abstinence from sexual activity outside of the bonds of marriage. It is not a social norm, which comes and goes with and between societies and cultural values, but is a commandment from God, given anciently, and still in force by Him today. It refers not only to physical activity, but also to thoughts and lusts in our minds and hearts. To be morally clean, and pure and worthy of the Holy Ghost, as a compass and direction in life, and of great blessings and opportunities provided by God, we are obliged to live by and keep the Law of Chastity as members of the Church. Show more Show less

How do I become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church)?

Ron Schill
To be baptized and become a member of the Church, you first need knowledge of the Gospel and its teachings and doctrines, second you need a testimony from the Holy Ghost that it is true, and finally, you need basic worthiness in the way you are living your life in conformance with Church standards. Usually one receives help in developing all three from missionaries. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Ron Schill
Mormons do not worship Joseph Smith any more than they worship other historical Prophets--such as Moses, Abraham, or Noah. Joseph Smith had a specific Prophetic mission to do during his life and ministry and in that mission was and is sustained as the first President or presiding officer of the Church, and all of his efforts were directed toward teaching that we worship God, the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ. He was given marvelous powers--the ability to translate ancient scriptures, the ability to see and talk with God, the ability to receive revelation and divine commandments and others. But he did so only through his power and calling as an earthly minister. We believe he was called to this work directly, individually, and personally by God, but he is not someone whom we worship. Show more Show less

What does Mormonism teach regarding baptism?

Ron Schill
We teach that baptism is an essential and critical ordinance for every person living on the earth (being born of the water), that such baptism must follow knowledge, worthiness and commitment to live the Gospel, and that baptism must be performed in the correct manner and by the correct authority given from God, as was the situation, for example, with John the Baptist. Baptisms done without proper knowledge, worthiness or commitment to correct Gospel principles, or done without proper authority or in the incorrect manner as recognized and prescribed by the Lord, are not acceptable. Baptisms are done only for those of accountable age (eight or above), because baptism is a commitment and covenant made with the Lord, thus requiring accountability and agreement. Furthermore, baptism must follow repentance from sin and worthiness of the individual, thus the opportunity to use one's agency/choice to repent and effort to do so. Finally, baptism is not the final ordinance or covenant of salvation, but merely the first in a series of them. It is necessary and essential for admission to the Church, but is only the beginning of the "new life." Show more Show less

Do Mormons regard the Bible as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Ron Schill
Absolutely. Although the Bible has had some translational problems throughout the ages and is sometimes vague and unclear in some of its teachings--thus subject to numerous interpretations by people--we accept it (Old and New Testaments) as scripture--as a partnership or companion scripture with the more recent scripture which is clear and accurate in what it says, such as the Book of Mormon. Show more Show less

Why is family so important to Mormons?

Ron Schill
Family is so important to Mormons for a number of reasons. Among them are that we believe the family to be the central unit, not a supportive or peripheral unit of the Church, where its teachings are to be taught and practiced. Second, we believe that families can be sealed together and will then continue to exist as entities through the eternities. Third, we believe that families are the most critical unit of society and the key to developing sound and healthy values. Fourth, we believe that families should consist of father, mother and children. Finally, we believe that devotion to family is a chief priority of life for both parents and children. Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Ron Schill
I believe Mormonism is called a cult for four reasons. First, because of the intense commitment and very devoted nature of what our life should be in trying to follow the Savior as a Mormon, which appears to some to be strange--and, therefore, cult-like. Second, because of the enmity felt by some ministers who dislike losing their flock to Mormon converts. Third, the reputation we have as being just a "Utah" group, and not a worldwide organization of 14 million members. Finally, because we have and use continued revelation through a Prophet and scripture in addition to the Bible, and, as a result, have distinct and specific teachings about doctrines such as God and Jesus Christ. Show more Show less

How can we come to know our Father in Heaven?

Ron Schill
I believe we come to know our Father in Heaven first by studying His revealed word about Himself. He has said a lot about this. These words are contained in our scriptures and in the teachings of the Prophets. Next, we come to know our Father in Heaven through experience with Him. We need to be in daily, sincere and effective contact and communication from Him so that He can reveal Himself to us personally and individually. The old sectarian notion that God is a mystery and too complex and vague to know or to have individual identity is blatantly false. Third, we come to know Him by proving Him to ourselves through living his teachings and discovering their truth through action. Finally, we come to know Him by trying to become more like Him, and, in so doing see in ourselves our own Divine worth and potential. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

Ron Schill
The purpose of life is first to search for and discover how God wants us to live and why, to participate personally in specific ordinances necessary for our salvation, then to go about living that way under conditions of challenge, adversity and joy, a mixture of experiences, events and opportunities, so as to best conform with what the Master has asked us to be like and to do. In addition, we are to establish and sustain loving relationships that will endure through eternity, we devote ourselves to making worthwhile contributions to others, gaining education and learning the truths of knowledge available to us, serve others, work hard at our occupations, raise families, serve for the betterment of our countries and our communities, and enjoy the beauties and blessings of nature, the arts, and the people with whom share this planet. Show more Show less

What are some things that tell you there is a God?

Ron Schill
I see physical evidence of God in the beauties around me. Someone once taught me that the chances of all this beautiful, intricate creation coming from chance, non-direction or mere physical evolution are about like the complete Library of Congress coming from an explosion that happened in a printing press. Yet, some people still choose to believe in the explosion theories. The spiritual evidence is seen in the divine souls of each person, in the love and needs that we each have, in our nature as children from our Father in Heaven. Yes, there is evil in the world, but people are inherently good and very choice and precious. Next, I am told of God in my dealings with Him. I have personal witness through His Spirit almost on a continual basis. I hear his voice and feel his promptings, encouragement and directions. I know it is Him. My conscience and mind are not smart enough to come up with the things that I learn. Finally, I gain testimony of God from those who are called as his servants here on earth as I listen to them speak and read what they have written. In scripture and in talks the words are not of any man, but come directly from God. Show more Show less

Where did Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints begin?

Ron Schill
Mormonism or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began through a process that occurred over time. It began in 1820 with what we call "The First Vision" which was experienced by Joseph Smith, and it continued through successive steps and multiple witnesses, such as the translation of the Book of Mormon, and the restoration of the Priesthood authority. When these and other activities were completed, then on April 6, 1830 the Church was established formally as an organization. Then following the formal organization, Mormonism continued to be revealed in successive years through divine revelation to several different prophets so as to contain what it does today, and what it will continue to contain as time goes on. Many of these revelations are canonized into what we call the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, but are also given and published in other forms, such as our Proclamation to the World on Families. Thus, we have the Church being founded or began as a formal organization (1830), and the presentation and development of the doctrines and the Gospel of Jesus Christ within the Church (which occurred over several years). We add to that Church policies and programs which are presented and change as needs arise. The principal thing is that we believe, and have witnessed by the Holy Ghost, that Jesus Christ is personally directing it all and overseeing what occurs. In that claim, we are, perhaps, unique. Show more Show less

How are modesty and chastity related? How can parents teach their children to be modest in dress, language and behavior?

Ron Schill
Modesty is an outward manifestation of an inner state of moral purity. Being immodest in dress or activities--by whatever means-- follows desires to cater to pride, lust and physical sensitivities. One who is immodest views his or her body as an object of gratification and pride. We teach that the body is a temple of God, and is to be kept as pure and holy as possible, and not as an object of conquest and base desires. Both children and adults struggle with immodesty issues. Our first teaching to children is our own modesty. Our second is by precept, teaching about love of Jesus, His Gospel, a testimony of the Church and the scriptures, a foundation on which modesty is then built as a commitment to a more fundamental belief and value system. Immodesty can lead to loss of chastity in several ways. First, it is a provocateur toward promiscuity and unchast thoughts and actions. Second, the one who is immodest may likely have unchast desires driving the immodesty, which then can lead to immorality. Third, those dressed immodestly or talking immodestly or behaving immodestly and those who accompany them, become lured by their desires and the situation into unchast activities. Standards of modesty are one of our best defenses toward protecting ourselves from immorality in actions. Worldly fashion and standards dissuade from this--advertising and promotion of lustful desires and thoughts, weigh heavily on our psyche's and our thoughts. We all want to be desirable to others. Show more Show less

What are some of the ways that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints helps those around the world?

Ron Schill
The Church helps around the world both temporally and spiritually. Temporally it ministers to those in physical need and deprivation through its humanitarian aid and outreach programs administered throughout the world to mankind. Second, it provides temporally by teaching people to become self-sufficient and provide for their own needs as best they can, backed with the Church's welfare system. Spiritually, it helps those around the world through two means: by teaching and trying to perfect and benefit the individual members of the Church, and second, by preaching the gospel to mankind. Next, it provides both temporally and spiritually through the countless hours of personal and human service done by people for their neighbors. The ministry of the Savior is a global ministry, carried out by numerous servants in many ways. Finally, the Church cooperates with supports and sustains numerous other church ministries and relief efforts around the world in partnership, and it also sustains and supports the huge amount of good being done in all religions and movements for righteous efforts. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe happens to us after we die? What do Mormons believe about life after death?

Ron Schill
Mormons believe that we lived before we were born in a pre-earthly existence. We were born here as part of a plan and as a step in our progression. We don't remember that time or existence because of a veil that has been placed over our minds, so that we live by faith while on the earth. After we die, our spirit bodies, as distinct from our earthly bodies, are taken home to that existence from which we came, and we regain our memories of our former home, life and acquaintances. There we continue to learn and progress in knowledge, growth and development according to our choice and agency to do so. We call this the Spirit World. However, in that world we are free from the trials and struggles of earth life, and exist with all other spirits who have been born on this earth in a developmental, schooling and service process, filled with the Love of God around us. We continue in this condition until the time of our resurrection, when we regain our earthly or physical bodies, never again to be separated by death. Show more Show less

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

Ron Schill
The Prophet today doesn't do dramatic, spectacular physical miracles, right now, like Moses parting the Red Sea; but we believe that the Prophet does communicate individually, personally and regularly with the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who is the head of the Church, and that he carries out the Savior's instructions and will in the administration of the Church and in his teachings to us. Such communication can be both direct, face to face, and through inspiration and revelation. Those who reject or doubt this today are just as those who did so at the time of Moses. There are mighty miracles going on today, perhaps not as physically dramatic as parting seas, but just as mighty, and the Prophet is leading the way. We each sustain the Prophet in this calling and role. Does that mean we have blind faith in the Prophet? No, each one of us has the gift of the Holy Ghost to tell us whether what the Prophet teaches is true and faithful. We sustain the Prophet by and through what the Holy Ghost reveals to each of us, not merely by blind and strict devotion to him. We each get a chance, twice each year, to raise our hands and sustain him as the Prophet or not to do so. We are free agents unto ourselves. Finally, we believe that he is the Prophet to the entire world, not just to Mormons. What he says applies to mankind, as God's mouthpiece to the world, not just to those who are members of the Church. That has always been the case with all prophets who are called of God. Show more Show less

What is the difference between attending church and the temple?

Ron Schill
We attend church for several purposes. The most important is to partake the Sacrament of the Lord, in order to renew our covenant and commitment made at baptism. The next purpose is to learn and be taught, and to impact of our thoughts, ideas and spirit to one another. Third, we attend church to give and receive fellowship one with another. Next, we attend church in order to give specific service in the callings that we have received. We attend church because it is a commandment, and we are obedient. Now in contrast to the church building, or ward meetinghouse as we call it, some of us also attend the temple. The temple has specific sacred purposes including the making and receiving of additional sacred covenants beyond baptism, such as marriage. It is a place of spiritual learning, sometimes referred to by Mormons as "the Lord's university." It is a place of service, of doing for others. Because of the sacredness of the edifice itself, and of the activities that occur therein, such as marriage, we must be found worthy and living by the Lord's commandments in order to go there. Thus, only Mormons "in good standing" are admitted, and it is not only not open to the general public, but also not open to Mormons who are not in receipt of a recommend of worthiness as determined by Priesthood authority acting for God. Baptisms are open to the public. Temples are special places for the higher ordinances and covenants of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Show more Show less