My name is Richard Herbert Goms Jr. I am sixty-seven years old. I am a Family History Consultant in the Millcreek Stake, Utah 9th Ward. I was just released as the Sunday School President, a calling I held simultaneously with the other for four years. Awhile after my release I began to feel so useless and undervalued that I applied for this calling as a Church Service Missionary.
Born in Gary, Indiana, I grew up in Washington State, for the most part, and graduated from Central Washington State in 1972 with a degree in business management and a penchant for accounting and law. I was transferred from Tri-Cities, Washington to Provo, Utah in 1976 to manage a retail store. One of my employees turned my name into the Stake missionaries in a BYU branch, and I was baptized in August at the age of twenty-seven, so I have been an active convert for almost forty years. Marrying my first wife shortly after, a year later I took her and our infant son to the Provo Temple.
After I was baptized the Spirit of Elijah took over and has not let go. I have written four books on my family history I presented to the Family History Library. I published a 400 page book last year entitled In Their Footsteps, A Montana Legacy about both my grandparents and their families living in Montana during the homesteading years. It has several hundred photos and newspaper articles of the family and life in Montana. Just do an author search on my name. I was invited to give presentations and book signings in Livingston and Havre. Several historical societies and libraries bought a copy including the Montana State Historical Society. I have also written several how-to family history articles published in "Family Chronicle" magazine (now called "Your Genealogy Today") over the last three years.
As a graduate student, I attended BYU for almost a year, learning computer science and data processing, traveling back and forth across the country, taking contracts wherever I could find them, including several Fortune 500 companies, for the next twenty-three years. I also have experience as a project team lead. I am detail oriented as can be attested to my accounting and programming background.
I have five children by that first marriage and one by the next after she joined the Church and we were sealed in the Washington DC Temple. My present wife Ann, and I were married for time-only in the Los Angeles Temple and were sealed four years later in the Salt Lake Temple. When I married her I took in four of her five teenage girls. Between us we have eleven children and twenty-nine grandchildren. At the present time we are empty-nesters. After spending several years as a veil worker in the Washington DC and Salt Lake Temples, Ann and I worked as temple ordinance workers for several more years in the Salt Lake Temple.
After Y2K and especially after 911 at the age of fifty-two I was unable to find work as a programmer. We moved from Southern California in with in-laws in Utah to cut expenses. Unemployed and unable to find work for several months, I asked for and received a blessing from their bishop in which I was told I had a hidden talent I needed to discover and develop. For nine years I stagnated as I struggled to find work, start and fail in business several times, and to learn what that hidden talent was, but to no avail. Finally my step-daughter suggested I take a creative writing class at LDS Business College. When I learned it cost $300, I told her I could not afford it. She offered to pay for it. I was the oldest person in the class and surprised myself by getting straight A+'s on all the assignments. I knew then that that was the talent the Lord wanted me to develop.
Callings (chronological): Sunday School Teacher, Ward Examiner, Elders Quorum Secretary, Genealogy Class Instructor, Elders Quorum Temple and Genealogy Committee, Ward Family History Consultant, 2nd Counselor in Sunday School Presidency, Branch Clerk, Temple Preparedness Class Teacher, Stake Family History Librarian, Satellite Consultant, Ward Clerk, Stake Missionary, Ward Sunday School President, Nursery Helper, Primary Teacher (younger), Ward Singles Coordinator, Ward Employment Specialist, Denver Temple Worker (cafeteria), Stake Family History Librarian, Ward Librarian, High Priest Quorum Instructor, Nursery Leader, Primary Teacher (older), Ward Financial Clerk, Stake Family History Librarian, Ward Public Relations, Family History Librarian (volunteer), Ward Family History Consultant, Ward Sunday School President.
With the approval of President Sheldon Child, Northeast Area authority, I researched the restoration period in Kirtland, Ohio and wrote about 80% of a script for a professional pageant with the spectacular production effects of the Hill Cumorah Pageant (that my family was in) and the Nauvoo Pageant, before Pres. Child was released and called as the president of the Salt Lake Temple.