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Hi I'm Ryan

I am a father of four, a fly fishing photographer and real estate developer, and I love being Mormon.

About Me

I live in Arizona and have been working here in real estate for the past 8 years, which has been quite a ride with our real estate market and economy the past few years. As a hobby, I own a fly fishing photography company and have filmed and fished throughout the world. For me, just being out in the woods or on the water is the best part. I have a wonderful marriage, we have four children, and our home life is great. My wife and I attribute this to doing our best to implement the teachings of Jesus Christ into our every day home life.

Why I am a Mormon

The reason I've stayed active and involved in the Mormon LDS Church started when I was a child. While I was about the 5th grade my Dad taught me about setting goals. I knew I wanted to play college basketball, so I set a goal that I wanted to play college basketball. Even at that young age and throughout Junior high I practiced regularly. As a freshman in high school I was invited to play on my high school's varsity basketball team. This was a great experience for me and I really enjoyed it. About the same time, I started to think about my life and I didn't really feel content or at peace--something I expected to feel. I felt that I was missing something but I didn't know what it was. On the first Sunday of every month LDS congregations have a meeting where members of the congregation share their feelings about Christ and their lives. A woman in my congregation shared a statement from the President of the Church, who spoke about the effect that reading the Book of Mormon has the life of a peson. This woman told that she felt this feeling in her life as she read the Book of Mormon daily. I listened and felt like I should try it for myself. I went home that night and I began to read the Book of Mormon. I found that there is really a power in that book, and that the Spirit of God is in that book. I began to seriously study the book and I discovered great truths. I learned that God is literally our Father and that we are literally His children. I learned for myself that He loves me and found that through prayer I can communicate with Him and He with me. I learned for myself that Joseph Smith told the truth. And most importantly, through this book I have learned the purpose for my life and that gives me great perspective when things don't work out like I hope or anticipate. My reading of the Book of Mormon at 15 years old gave me great enlightenment and perspective on life. Since that time I have continued a regular serious study of the Book of Mormon, The Bible, The Doctrine and Covenants, The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and Church History. I've found that the more I study this out, the more sense it all makes. I've also found that the more I bring my life to be consistent with these teachings the more happiness and joy I have, and the closer I am to God. I know for a fact that God the Father of us all lives and I know for myself that Jesus is really His Only Begotten Son who died on the cross that we might life. I know this for myself. Joseph Smith said that the purpose for our existence here is a "subject we ought to study more than any other. We ought to study it day and night, for the world is ignorant in reference to their true condition and relation. If we have any claim on our Heavenly Father for anything, it is for knowledge on this important subject." I've found that through the Book of Mormon and the teachings of current prophets, that God has given important information to mankind about our purpose. To me, this has brought and still does bring great peace.   This is the statement by the President of the Church which I referred to above, the President was Ezra Taft Benson. “It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called ‘the words of life’ see D&C 8485, and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance.”

How I live my faith

The most important way I live my faith is through personal study and worship and then teaching what I learn and am trying my best to live to my children. I wholeheartedly believe the instruction that the most important work that we can do in this life is within our own homes. My recent responsibilities in the Church include serving as a teacher and scoutmaster to young men between the ages of 12 and 14. I did this for five years. Most recently I've been called to teach a class to help young men and women prepare to serve as full time missionaries for the Church. I also have been called to teach college age students at the Mesa Community College LDS Institute of Religion. I've taught there for the past 3 years and have taught classes on the Old Testament, New Testament, LDS Doctrine and Covenants, and Missionary Preparation. I absolutely love being a teacher. Outside of my family, this has been one of my greatest sources of satisfaction and enlightenment.

Who was Joseph Smith?

Ryan
Joseph Smith is the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was born in a small town in Upstate New York. When he was young was concerned about his salvation and he wanted to know which church was true. He prayed to know which church God would have him join. God answered his prayer and through subsequent events, Joseph was called as a prophet and led by God to restore the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth. We love and revere Joseph for what he did, but we do not worship him. I recommend to anyone who wants to know more to read about that experience in his own words, I believe it is published in here as “Joseph Smith’s Testimony.” I’ve studied the Bible a lot, and I’ve taught college level biblical courses. I find Joseph’s experience to be entirely consistent with the way that God has worked in the past. God called the prophet Samuel when he was a child. He spoke to Amos as Amos was herding sheep, Moses as well. As members of the LDS Church, it seems to me that we see Joseph Smith the same way that the Children of Israel would have seen Moses or his successors who wrote books in the Bible. Show more Show less

How can I find someone to talk with, in person, about the Mormon religion?

Ryan
There are many people who are happy to talk about these things with someone who is interested. In most places, there are local missionaries who teach about the Church and Savior in a more formal way. Another way could be to find a member of the Church in the place where you work or to find one on Facebook. I believe that my Facebook profile is connected to this page, and I'd be willing to chat about it. 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?

Ryan
One of the ways that the Church helps people around the world is that the Church coordinates delivering food and clothing to people all over the world, mormon and non-mormon alike. The way this works is that people (mostly Church members in Utah) deliver used clothing and household items to a facility called Deseret Industries. The Church then assembles the clothing (I actually think the clothing is baled together by string like a large hay bale!) and ships them all over the world. Some is delivered to aid in a natural disaster and some is sent to people in poverty. I saw the results of these efforts while in 2008 I was filming a fly fishing video in a very remote jungle village in Bolivia. We’d been there for nearly a week and interacted a decent amount with the local people. The nearest small town was a 10 day boat ride down the river on which the village sat. Needless to say, the village was extremely remote. The local people were very poor and primarily lived off the fish in the river, a few banana trees, and whatever else they could gather or hunt. While we waited to leave, the whole village came to say goodbye. My mind became interested in the clothing that the people wore – and I consciously noticed for the first time that the writing on their cloths were in English. I looked at every shirt and finally noticed one mother carrying a child whose shirt read, “Hatch Family Reunion, Spanish Fork, Utah. The Family that prays together, stays together.” As soon as I read this I realized that the shirts these people were wearing had come from Utah, and somehow found their way to a very small, remote village in Bolivia. Show more Show less