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Hi I'm Ryan

I'm a Chemical Engineer. I spent a semester in the Middle East. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am a 26-year-old recent college graduate. I just finished a degree in Chemical Engineering and moved to Houston, Texas to start my first job. I was born in Southern California, lived for seven years in Atlanta, Georgia, but did most of my growing up in Gilbert, Arizona. I also recently got married to the most wonderful girl in the whole world and we keep ourselves busy trying to make the most of life. We enjoy reading, going to plays, playing soccer, frisbee, and volleyball and music in many forms.

Why I am a Mormon

Many people point to the fact that both sides of my family have been Mormon's almost since the word was first used. This heritage was passed down through several generations to get to me, and I'm grateful for that. But despite the deep-entrenched family history, everyone has to figure out the truth for his or herself. For me, a decisive point in my life occurred while I was an adolescent. I found myself questioning many of the things I had been taught since birth. Someone close to me had recently decided to stop attending church, and I looked up to her a great deal. Her losing her faith made me seriously question mine. Though it pains me to think that my dear friend made the choices she did, I am grateful that I began asking at that stage in my life; for, through study of the Book of Mormon and fervent prayer, I felt the confirming power of the Holy Ghost, testifying to me that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith was called as a prophet just as Moses was of old, and that the church that Jesus Christ established on the earth in ancient times had been restored. These fundamental truths have completely changed my life. I began more serious personal study of the scriptures, resolved to continue my church attendance and to prepare to serve as a missionary in the future. Ten years have passed since that turning-point in my life, and everyday I feel that I made the right choice. It hasn't been easy. Serving a two-year mission was incredibly difficult. The only thing that kept me going was seeing how people's lives changed for the better as a result of what I was sharing. But I feel that the true challenge has been resisting the onslaught of negative influences in the world today. It requires constant vigilance and hard work. But there has never been anything more rewarding in all these years than to see my life and the lives of those around me who embrace the restored gospel of Jesus Christ improve day-by-day. This is what makes me truly happy.

How I live my faith

One of the beautiful things about the Mormon church, in my opinion, is that it's a lifestyle more than a matter of attendance. I attend church meetings every Sunday, participate in a young single adult church activity every Monday evening, a scripture study class every week, and activities as they come up. While many of my friends and co-workers are of other faiths, it can be challenging in settings where activities that I don't participate in (i.e. drinking, smoking, immorality) are the main form of entertainment. That's one reason I'm so grateful that I can have a robust social life among people that share my faith in settings where we can help each other make correct choices. Even if something isn't officially planned, I often find myself spending time with my friends from church on a daily basis.

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Ryan
Visitors are always welcome at church meetings. Sunday meetings are fairly standard: 3 different meetings each lasting an hour long. Sacrament meeting: This is usually the first meeting and is what many people think of when they think of a worship service. Everyone meets together. There will be prayers and hyms at the beginning and end. Near the beginning of the meeting, we take the sacrament. It is bread and water that represent the body and blood of Christ. We use the sacrament as a time to reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus made for us and how we can better follow His teachings. After the sacrament, we hear from members of the congregation that have been assigned different gospel topics. Sunday School: Here, classes are divided by age and interests. Children all go to the same class, as do young adults. Adults generally have at least a couple options including Gospel Doctrine, a class focusing on one book of scripture, Gospel Essentials (or Principles), one reviewing basic doctrines and principles, and others such as Family History, where you can learn how to look up your ancestors. Priesthood/Relief Society: During the third hour, the adult men and the adult women gather together separately to learn about what specifically applies to them. How to be better fathers/husbands/brothers/sons. How to be more effective mothers/sisters/spouses. These classes are aimed at improving each of us by sharing experiences with one another and learning together from the scriptures. Show more Show less