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Hi I'm Riley

I grew up in Washington, USA. I love the outdoors, skiing, rock climbing, and backpacking. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I'm a 19-year-old college student. Most of the people around me are figuring out what to do with their lives and I guess I am too. But in nearly two decades, I've gotten some idea of who I am and who I want to be. Much of that has come from my experiences with God, His scriptures, and His church. Growing up, my parents showed me the outdoors. My father taught me how to ski and, in the summer, how to camp. Starting out, I wasn't a fan, but I came around. Now I go climbing four times a week and my backpacking tent is becoming my second home. School and learning have always been a big part of my life as well. My mom used to ground me from reading because if she grounded me from the computer or friends I wouldn't care, I'd just sit in my room for another couple hours. Working hard in school was a top priority. While I found that I was never a fan of homework, applying myself and articulating ideas was something that I really enjoyed. Moving on to college has just been a way to get a job, except for English. I actually have fun in ethics class and studying quality literature. That doesn't mean I have it figured out, at least not my career. I want to be able to get a job where I can make time to get outside and still live well and support a family. We'll see about all that.

Why I am a Mormon

I had a conversation recently that was really enlightening. A family friend of ours is a schoolteacher. She prides herself on really getting to know her students. We were discussing the moral direction of the world. Her students thought of themselves as very progressive and she loved them for that. However, she said that most of her students felt "lost" and that looking to find themselves seemed to be a very common theme. I thought about this. I came to the very certain conclusion that I have never felt "lost." Alone, sure. Despair, sure. Worried about the future, absolutely. Over-the-top teenage angst, that too. But not lost. I know for certain that this is because of the truth I've found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have been convinced of my nature as a son of my Heavenly Father. I have a purpose and a path to walk. I have never felt ambiguity as to who I am or why I'm here. In my life, I have definitely been off-track. But that the track was there to follow, if I could, has always been clear. The gospel of Jesus Christ is about love. If you are lost or alone, there is abiding comfort here. I am a Mormon because this is the church God set up, and which He directs. God provides a way for us to have purpose and joy, both here and in the life to come. The doctrines of this church are clear and robust. The teachings of Mormonism will answer any question to the satisfaction of any person who asks with real desire to know the truth. It is difficult to sum up a complete answer to the question "Why am I a Mormon?" There are many reasons. I know that God lives. He loves all of His children and has sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to atone for the sins of the world, but also to learn of their pains and sorrows so that He may comfort and aid them. He has restored His church in the modern day to give men and women the opportunity to improve and to lay their sorrows at Christ's feet. I invite you to learn for yourself that this is true.

How I live my faith

Growing up, my parents taught me standards. When I was younger, these standards didn't feel all that different from the kids around me. Nobody in the kindergarten thought stealing was good, or that we should hit. But as I have grown into young adulthood, my standards haven't changed, while the actions and attitudes of those around me have gone off in many directions. I don't do drugs. I don't drink. I don't swear. I won't be having sex until I'm married. I believe in honesty and keep my word. I believe in dressing modestly. Most people agree with a few of these things and some believe in most. Many of my peers, however, do not. Tons of college kids drink and party almost non-stop. Instead, I go to church. Sundays have become a wonderful rest for me. I have found peace and joy throughout my life that I can see kids around me do not have. Many are constantly searching for fun and happiness in all the wrong places. And the kid getting black out drunk every weekend isn't finding it. That's not to say we don't have fun. My sister and I jumped off a 40 ft. rope swing yesterday. We just find our fun within the limits God has set. He adds joy and lasting happiness to our lives in return. Being part of the church also means loving others. We care for one another, both those inside and outside of our church. Much of church service just means being a decent person, the guy you'd want your neighbor to be. We help people move in and out of the neighborhood. Today, I visited an older neighbor of mine because when we were at church his wife asked me to come by later. I figured when I was older I'd want someone to come visit with me and I know that that is both the kind of man Jesus was, and would want me to be. I've also decided to take a few years out of my life and serve as a missionary. This gospel has blessed my life in so many ways and I want other people to feel that same love and happiness. I know absolutely that this church is true or else I wouldn't be doing this.