To help us compensate for the shortage of lawyers at T&S, Raymond Takashi Swenson has agreed to guest blog for a week or two. You may have picked up bits of his unusual biography from comments he has made here, including his birth in Japan to an American Latter-day Saint father who married Raymond’s Russian Orthodox Christian Japanese mother in between military service and mission.
Like his father, Raymond served in the US Air Force, with duties as varied as writing computer software for NORAD (drawing on his mathematics degree), to Judge Advocate General assignments from Maryland to Tokyo to San Francisco (using his law degree), to work with the Strategic Air Command in Omaha working on environmental impacts of nuclear weapon systems (drawing on his specialty degree in environmental law).
Following retirement from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel, Raymond returned to Salt Lake City and practiced law for a time. For the past ten years he has assisted Bechtel in work on nuclear waste cleanup, currently living in Idaho.
He has served as a seminary teacher, high council member, gospel doctrine teacher, and in leadership positions from Omaha to Japan to California. Raymond and his wife Connie have three adult kids and nine grandchildren. He writes a personal blog addressing science, politics, law and religion, here.
Welcome, Raymond Takashi Swenson.
Yay. I’ve enjoyed your comments and look forward to your posts.
I figured the length of your comments meant you were a lawyer. *grin*
Welcome. I truly look forward to your posts, especially after seeing the title of the one you’ve posted already.
Thanks for the official welcome to the Bloggernacle. My personal blog gets around to LDS themes about 20% of the time, so I guess it doesn’t qualify for the official Bloggernacle, because a visitor cannot reliably expect that she will be reading something LDSpecific, rather than a diatribe on global warming or the presidential campaign. Based on comments received, half the people who read it are my children. I therefore appreciate the opportunity to participate in these discussions.
You might run into some of my pieces on the new MormonTimes.com web page run by the Deseret Morning News. The last one was a week ago, “Going door-to-door in a ‘Perfect Storm'”, responding to Richard Bushman’s recent characterization of the storm of public interest about the Church and its members that has been engendered by events like the Olympics and the Romney candidacy. They are holding in reserve another piece for Mother’s Day.
I am unable to view Raymond’s blog. Is some server down or is the link bad?
The URL for my blog is: http://coltakashi.livejournal.com
Please note that there is NO “www.” prefix.
I grew up in the same ward (Kearns 14th) and on the same street (5050 South) with Raymond. His brother, Mike, is my age. His mother, Fumiya (sic?), and mine, Shirley Pearson, were paired as visiting teaching partners, I believe, for decades.
Raymond is the oldest of his parents’ children. And, I would say, that he was always a very good example. I remember, in particular, that as a priest blessing the sacrament, Raymond was the first and one of the only priests blessing the sacrament I have heard who read or spoke the sacramental prayer with great passion and fervor. He never read or recited the sacrament prayer in the usual “in my own words” dull and lifeless manner.
It is interesting to me how examples, even decades old, can influence one’s life. Raymond’s passion and genuine faith as manifested in his youth still affects me positively decades later. Often, when youthful priests are reading the sacramental prayer, I reflect on the fervent faith of one many years ago striving to be earnest and dedicated and faithful to his charge, and taking his ordination to the priesthood of God seriously and soberly.