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Hi I'm Riley

I grew up playing, loving and living music. I am happily blind. I love animals, like my seeing eye dog Navada, we're both mormon.

About Me

I am a single father of 1 biological girl and 1 adopted girl. In 1973, when i was 19, i was employed as an inspector for a company that contracted out to a steel and railroad company and was betrayed by some co-workers because i am a black man. One day i was under a train car, marking things that needed to be taken out so people could insect them. 5 of my co-workers had previously set up the train car, which was full of chemicals, to explode while i was underneath it. Later, 2 of the men confessed and told the police that their plan was to kill me. I was burned so badly that i lost both of my eyes and my left hand, stomach and legs were burned. I stayed in the hospital for 1 year and 3 months recovering. During the trials i refused to attend because i didn't want to testify against the men. I decided that i wasn't going to hold animosity torwards those men and i forgave everyone of them. Instead i decided to make the best of my situation, have a positive outlook and try and learn from this exerience. They did end up serving 25 year sentences. After years of running around traveling and experiencing surgery after surgery and a divorce i found the church.

Why I am a Mormon

My cousin's girlfriend was staying with me because she had no place to go and she would read from the Book of Mormon to her children before they went to bed. So i asked more about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. Eventually they left but the book stayed behind and it drove me crazy. I couldn't read it but i wanted to know so badly what it contained. I didn't even know how to get a hold of someone from the "mormon church". For years i would call the operator and ask for the mormon church and they could never find anything on the lists. Finally one day i called and the operator who answered was a mormon! So she was able to tell me that the real name of the church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She gave me the number to the church but i couldn't get a hold of anyone. Eventually i was sitting outside on the porch and 2 full time mormon missionaries showed up. I told them i had been waiting for them! They taught me all about the gospel and i was baptized shortly after. One day i heard the President and Prophet of the church at the time, Gordon B. Hinckley, and was filled with the Holy Ghost and such a warm wonderful feeling, i knew that God had again called prophets.

How I live my faith

I attend church with Nevada every week. He leads me around and sits through al the meetings with me. He loves the attention the members of the congregation give him. Now that technology has improved i am able to have the book of mormon read to me online. I also have a blind friend in Arizona that calls me and helps me do family history work. I go and make visits to members of the congregation each month to fellowship and have a gospel lesson.

What is being a Mormon like?

Wonderful. Spiritual and constantly learning the truth of Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. It is great because i can be a missionary to all my friends and tell them about the things that i know to be true and the things that make me happiest in life. Being Mormon is 24/7, you live it and it isn't just a Sunday thing. Church is awesome being able to hear talks and testimonies of other members, instead of a preacher. I love that there is no payed ministry because that is the way the Church of Christ should be run. Most of all i enjoy learning about Heavenly Father through the prophets all the way down to the members. It is great being in this church because i have never seen a member judge another person. It is like having a big giant world wide family. Show more Show less