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Hi I'm Russell Rich

I grew up in Utah, but I am headed to West Africa for the next 18 months to help with the Perpetual Education Fund.

About Me

My wife Shelley and I raised six children. I enjoy camping and backpacking. I also enjoy sharing my love of nature with young men and have worked with our local Boy Scout troop as a scoutmaster. My wife and I are serving as Self-Reliance Missionaries in West Africa for 18 months.

Why I am a Mormon

I was raised in a family that frequently studied the Bible and the Book of Mormon as scripture. As I personally read these holy scriptures, I would ask God in prayer to help me to know that they were true. My prayers were answered. God helped me through the spirit to know that the Bible and the Book of Mormon are both testimonies of the living Christ. I also knew that His church had been restored and that we have a living prophet on the earth today. As I have followed this living prophet in my daily life and raised my children with the restored Gospel, I have had frequent confirmation of this testimony. I have seen this same conversion process in the lives of many people. I have personally seen these people make miraculous changes in their lives as they accept the teachings of Christ in their lives and follow His directions through modern-day prophets.

How I live my faith

I had a very happy childhood and my faith and testimony was helped by the teachings of good parents, teachers, and Boy Scout leaders. I try my best to return the favor in teaching my own children and other youth while serving as father, a teacher, and a Boy Scout leader. The LDS Church has given me an opportunity to serve as a Sunday school teacher, scoutmaster, and Bishop of our ward (local congregation). The principles taught by our church have given me structure and guidelines to raise my own children. My children grew up knowing that these guidelines for modesty and chastity were more than just a bunch of rules made up by their dad - they were inspired by a living prophet and came from a loving Heavenly Father. While I was in college, I spent two years teaching Italian immigrants in Australia as a missionary for the LDS church. My father served 7 missions for the LDS Church including opening Nigeria and Ghana. My four sons also spent two years as missionaries in Argentina, The Philippines, Mississippi, and the islands of Tonga. We believe that all people on this earth are children of our Father in heaven. My mission gave me an opportunity to share the message of the restored gospel to many of my "brothers and sisters" in Melbourne, Australia. Knowing that we all share a common Heavenly Father helps encourage me to continue to share my testimony with others around me.

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

Russell Rich
We believe that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate beings. Unlike God and his Son Jesus Christ who have bodies of flesh and bones, the Holy Ghost is a spirit being. This allows the Holy Ghost to carry out his special calling to testify the truth to us here on earth, to be our source of revelation, and to be a comforter in times of sorrow and discouragement. I have personally felt the influence of the Holy Ghost in my life and have seen the positive effects of his influence in the lives of others who were given the gift of the Holy Ghost in their lives. Show more Show less

What is the Word of Wisdom that Mormons talk about?

Russell Rich
The Word of Wisdom is God's law for good health that was revealed to Joseph Smith in 1833. The revelation includes warnings about avoiding alcohol, tea, coffee, and tobacco and encourages healthy eating habits. In the 177 years since the revelation, modern-day science has given us more insight into why God warned us about these substances. I have lived this Word of Wisdom for 56 years and can see the difference it has made in my personal health and happiness. Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Russell Rich
While I served without pay as a Mormon Bishop for six years, I was responsible for using money from members' donations to help the poor and the needy within the boundaries of my ward (local congregation). These donations helped pay for food and necessities for members of our church and non-members who lived in those same boundaries. Mormon families often help neighbor directly with service and are often the first to respond to local disasters and emergencies. In addition to voluntary two year "missions" at their own expense, my four sons have also volunteered for humanitarian projects like digging wells for villages in Africa. One son joined me for a week of health clinics that provided much needed doctors and dentists to the people in mountain villages around Cusco, Peru. We believe that we are all children of our Heavenly Father, so these efforts are really just serving our brothers and sisters around the world. Show more Show less