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Hi I'm Richard Manwaring

I'm an economic development director, a former military officer, a Russian and German linguist, and a war veteran. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in a family of seven active and dangerously curious boys. In spite of cuts, bruises, broken bones, and diverse trials we somehow survived - with apologies to our parents. We grew up to be men who love and care for each other. Living in Asia, Europe, and around the United States during our formative years gave us a broad view of the world and a sense of adventure. My wife and I brought this "Wanderlust" into our own family, living abroad and traveling extensively. Now our grandchildren are coming to understand what a diverse and interesting world we live in. For a career I chose public service in the field of community and economic development, motivated by the desire to help make the world a better place. Along the path I worked many jobs to earn my way: paperboy, janitor, dishwasher, short-order cook, groundskeeper, day laborer, landscaper, farm worker, rough carpenter, roofer, language teacher, and soldier. I served a career as a military intelligence officer and Russian and German linguist in the U.S. Army. My service concluded with a challenging tour of duty during the early months of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Through the experience of war I now value more than ever the words of Jesus Christ: “Blessed are the peacemakers.” We are all God’s children, all brothers and sisters. Beyond serving my country and making a living, my life is enriched by the study of history, cultures and languages; travel, music, bicycling, writing, and photography.

Why I am a Mormon

When I was a young man I wanted to know for myself whether or not the things I had been taught while growing up were true. One day as I read the "Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ" in a spirit of humble and sincere seeking, I received a clear and powerful witness from the Holy Spirit, an experience for which words are not adequate. It filled me with warmth, peace, and light, and gave me the unmistakable understanding that the words of the book are true. I have also received a conviction of the truths taught in the Holy Bible. I marvel at how both bodies of scripture complement each other, two powerful witnesses pointing the way to Christ and the path home to our divine origins. Since then many other experiences have added breadth and depth to my understanding. These markers of light along the way have given me reason to stay on the path and to move forward in faith. Above all I am grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, through which I have received and continue to receive forgiveness, patience, encouragement, and love. I value not only the Christ-centered foundation of our faith, but the worldwide community of brotherhood and sisterhood that that has grown out of it. As I have attended or been part of congregations around the world, from Japan to Hawaii and California, from Utah to Texas and Maryland, and from Germany to Ukraine and Russia, I am amazed at the connection we share in spite of our different cultures, languages, and imperfections. We are a vibrant and diverse society. The millions of us who choose to be constructively engaged in this work are united by our faith in Jesus Christ, by shared spiritual experiences, by common goals and values, and by our conviction that God speaks through His servants today as He did in the past. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a remarkable organization. I am grateful to be a part of it.

How I live my faith

There is a scripture in the "Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ" that motivates me to be better than I might otherwise be. It reads: “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward feasting upon the word of Christ and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.” (2 Nephi: 31:20) When faced with difficulties, when confronted by someone whose actions make it hard to love, or when personal failings lead to discouragement, my faith gives me cause to keep going, to stand for the right, to focus on the example of Christ, and to bring my heart and mind closer to the ideal. Through the years I have come to understand that perfection may not be achieved in this life, but my faith in Christ gives me assurance that His grace will bridge the gap. I also live my faith by serving in a variety of volunteer capacities in the Church and in the community. This is motivated by the fundamental understanding that when we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are in the service of God. For me this has included serving a two-year mission in Germany; teaching classes and helping with programs and activities for children, youth and adults in our congregation; serving as a Boy Scout and Cub Scout leader for Church-sponsored units; and helping with all types of service projects for families and individuals in need. One of the most enjoyable opportunities for service I've had was singing with the Colorado Mormon Chorale. If you live in Colorado, find it on the Internet and attend one of their free concerts. You'll be glad you did! I have also found many satisfying opportunities for volunteer assistance in the community. These include service as a city planning commissioner, flood prevention and recovery efforts, the resettlement of refugees from the former Soviet Union, and working with students from Iraq.

What is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' attitude regarding homosexuality and same sex marriage?

Richard Manwaring
This question touches me deeply. I have two beloved, intelligent and talented sons who are gay. They were raised in the Mormon faith, but neither is currently part of the Church. They found it was not possible to reconcile participation largely because of the dichotomy that exists between that lifestyle and our faith's teachings on morality. One of our sons in particular struggled mightily with same-sex attraction while trying to remain faithful in the Church. He finally felt he could not continue the ongoing inner battle and followed a different course. The path our sons have taken is not what I would have chosen for them, but the choice was not mine to make. Our choice, however, is to love them and their partners unconditionally; to be lights, not judges. We do not understand why some come into the world with this proclivity any more than we understand why some come with other tendencies. Ultimately each of us has the power to choose how we act on our desires. One who has same-sex attractions, but does not act on them, can be in good standing with the Church and participate freely in the faith. I encourage you read “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” written by Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ in our day. This articulate document places the matter in clear context. While civil unions may be established as a civil right under the laws of secular society, traditional marriage as established by God and upheld by the Church remains between a man and a woman. Show more Show less

Are there restrictions based on race or color concerning who can join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have the priesthood?

Richard Manwaring
Race and color are not considerations for membership in the Church and inclusion in the priesthood. It is a matter of record that prior to 1978 there were certain race-based restrictions on who could hold the priesthood. The practice was discontinued by a revelation given to the Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, and sustained by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I remember clearly when we heard the news over the radio. My wife and I wept for joy and thanked God for hearing and answering our prayers. Both of us had grown up as military dependents in a fully integrated microcosm of American society. We had been raised to see all people as equals. We did not understand the origins of or reasons for the practice, but the strength of our core convictions was strong enough to carry us forward with the hope that it would someday be made right. We had often prayed for the Lord's intervention on this matter, and we were aware that many friends in the Church prayed likewise. The official discontinuance was a ratification of our collective faith. Since that time we have seen the Church grow in strength among our black brothers and sisters. Their full participation has added immeasurably to the richness of the entire body. I am deeply grateful for the changing complexion and diversity of the Church's membership as it expands throughout the world. Show more Show less