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Hi I'm Richard

I'm a retired Air Force aircraft electronics technician, writer, father of four, and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I retired from the Air Force in 2003. My wife and I spent the next nine years taking care of my widowed father who suffered from dementia, several heart conditions and other health problems. I realized early in his stay with us that taking care of someone with a long list of health problems like his was not something one person could do alone, so I chose to delay a second career to help take care of him. During that time, I kept myself busy by working on a long-sought-after bachelor’s degree. I chose to major in English because I love to write. In fact, as the end of my Air Force career approached, I began to think about all of the unusual experiences I had had in the military. I worked for four years on the stealth fighter when it was a secret program. I was part of the 1991 evacuation of Clark Air Base in the Philippines that preceded the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. I taught aircraft electronics for four years. We also lost our youngest child shortly after he was born. The more I thought about everything that had happened, and how significant a role heavenly intervention had played in the story, the more strongly I felt I should write a book, which I did. School, writing the book and helping raise our other three children occupied what little spare time I had until my father passed away in 2012.

Why I am a Mormon

One reason I am a Mormon is because I was, like many Latter-day-Saints, born into a Latter-day-Saint family, with ancestors on both sides who joined the church soon after it was organized in 1830. But that only explains why I was born a Mormon-not why I am a Mormon. I continue to embrace Mormonism because of the influence of the Holy Ghost. I believe that Mormonism is the greatest witness of the reality of God and His only begotten son Jesus Christ that exists anywhere in the world today. In a world where non-Christians outnumber Christians by at least three-to-one, Mormonism provides a powerful and unique witness of the nature of God the Father and Jesus Christ. Not only does the story of Joseph Smith’s first vision stand as an eyewitness testimony that God is real and that Jesus Christ really is His son, the Book of Mormon stands as yet another witness that Christ really is who Christians say he is. It was written by people in this hemisphere, including prophets and many who saw Christ with their own eyes when he visited them soon after his resurrection. As if these two witnesses were not compelling enough by themselves, Mormonism invites people everywhere to “ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moroni 10:4, 5). In other words, you don’t have to take any human’s word for it-ask God yourself. I have asked, and I did receive a clear, distinct answer that God is real, that Jesus Christ really is His son, and that same spirit burned into my soul the testimony that Joseph Smith really was a prophet. After that experience, I knew, independent of anything or anyone, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is exactly what it represents itself to be-the Church of Jesus Christ.

How I live my faith

Over the years I have had many opportunities as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve other members of the church as well as many who were not members. Shortly after I graduated from high school, I served as a full-time missionary for two years. It was a challenging two years to be sure. Besides leaving my family to teach the gospel in a part of the world that was completely new to me, I also left behind my high school sweetheart. Leaving all that behind to do something as challenging as missionary work was difficult for me, but there was never any doubt in my mind that it was the right thing to do. I had faith that if I was willing to let go of the things I cared about most in life to serve the Lord, he would keep his promise to bless me with the things I really needed—and he did. I grew more emotionally and spiritually than any other time in my life. Not only that, but when I came home from my mission—my high school sweetheart was there with my family to greet me at the airport. We recently celebrated our thirty second wedding anniversary. In spite of the difficulties inherent in missionary work, I would do it again without any hesitation. I’ve also had the opportunity to serve in many other capacities in the church. I’ve taught both youth and adults, served in clerical positions, and worked closely with full-time missionaries. In this last capacity, I had the opportunity to be part of a missionary training video that is used to train missionaries around the world. Of all the opportunities I’ve had to serve in the church, missionary work has, by far, been the most rewarding for me. Over a period of several years I worked in a program sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America to take the scouting program to at-risk Cub Scout age boys. I worked with other adults during that time period to present program material and teach archery and BB-gun skills to hundreds of boys.