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Hi I'm Rick

I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm happily married (25 years and counting) and the father of four sons. I grew up in California and have lived since then in Minnesota, Kansas, and now in Utah, where I'm a professor of plant genetics. I learned Spanish while on my LDS mission in Peru and have been able to keep it up through my research, some of which focuses on the genetics of crops like quinoa and amaranth that are native to Latin America. I also enjoy flyfishing in the mountains.

Why I am a Mormon

I was not raised in the Mormon faith, and without the formal concept of a personal religion. My parents were divorced from the time I was a baby and I was raised by a good father. But as far back as I can remember, I have always believed in right and wrong, and that if I were to follow my conscience I would find happiness. Following this simple rule has brought me a life of tremendous joy and fulfillment. As I became more familiar with religious figures and ideas, I gravitated toward Jesus Christ. In him, I saw and felt the embodiment of everything that God should be: loving, kind, compassionate and merciful, and yet fair and just. As I obtained a copy of the Bible and started reading it, I was filled with a sense of accountability to God and an increased desire to understand what I was reading - some of which did not make sense to me. When I was 15, two LDS missionaries knocked on my door and showed me the pieces that were missing in my understanding - for example, how a just and loving God can wipe our conscience clean through baptism and repentance, and how he can extend these blessings to all people, throughout time. They also reaffirmed Jesus' teachings that God really is our Father. I came to know a second scriptural witness of Christ's divinity, the Book of Mormon, and that the Lord restored the ancient Priesthood authority in preparation for the great outpouring of light and knowledge that characterizes our time. As the Holy Ghost bore witness to me of the truthfulness of these things, I decided to be baptized and dedicate my life to following the Savior.

How I live my faith

I have served in many ways in the Church, including as a home teacher to young families, students, and several wonderful widows. I have worked as a Scout leader with the young men, including most of my sons. I have served as a teacher in youth and adult Sunday School classes. I am currently serving as the bishop of my ward. It is a very time-consuming responsibility; most Sundays I am at the church building for 10 or more hours. However, it is also very rewarding, and I have felt the hand of the Lord bless me to know how to counsel with individuals and couples.

What do Mormons believe about the Holy Ghost? Who is the Holy Ghost?

The Holy Ghost (also known as the Holy Spirit, or Spirit of God) is one of the single most powerful forces for good in the world. I felt its influence, though I didn't realize it, before I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a teenager, when I used to read the Bible at night before going to sleep. Sometimes I felt so deeply moved with love for, and a desire to be like, Jesus Christ that tears came to my eyes. I now realize that was one of the manifestations of the Spirit, testifying to my soul of the reality of Jesus and of his great love for me. Since my baptism, I have felt the Spirit's influence on almost a daily basis. After we get baptized, we are granted the gift of the Holy Ghost when two or more Priesthood holders lay their hands on our head and confer it upon us in a sacred prayer and blessing. We believe the Holy Spirit is a member of the Godhead, separate and distinct from our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and He is not embodied. Not only does the Spirit testify of all truth, including the Father and Jesus, but also He quietly whispers words of knowledge to us, brings peace to our troubled souls in times of sorrow or great adversity, warns us of potential dangers and, little by little, over a lifetime of patient discipleship and beyond, He molds our character and desires to become more like those of the Savior. I am very grateful for the influence of the Spirit in my life. Show more Show less