Work Ethic a Blessing in Life, Says Brother Randall L. Ridd
By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer
- Brother Ridd is the son of a builder who instilled in him the value of hard work.
- Brother Ridd has set a pattern in his life of trying to put the Lord’s will first.
- On May 14, 2013, he was called to serve as second counselor in the Young Men general presidency.
“The personal relationship that a young man has with his Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is the most important thing in their life.” —Brother Randall L. Ridd of the Young Men general presidency
As the son of a builder, Randall L. Ridd learned early the importance of doing a job the right way. On several occasions, young Randall would complete a task only to hear his father, Leon Ridd, declare, “You’re not done yet.”
Such exactness left a lasting impression on the man who now serves as the second counselor in the Young Men general presidency. To this day, he sometimes hears his father’s firm but loving words as he performs his professional, family, and ecclesiastical duties: “You’re not done yet. Do it right.”
Brother Ridd said his family’s work ethic has been a blessing in his life. “I had great parents growing up who taught me the value of work.”
Young Randall also found himself in the company of mentors and priesthood leaders who often nudged him along the gospel’s path.
Still, when many of his classmates from Utah’s Skyline High School accepted mission calls at age 19, Randall opted instead to enroll in college and enlist in the U.S. Army Reserves, where he was trained as an x-ray technician. When he returned home he got a job at a local hospital and continued his college education.
A few wise men were bold enough to remind him, gently, that his place was in the mission field. “There were many good men that did not allow me to fall through the cracks,” he said.
Prayer was the key to the final decision to go on a mission. “I could think of many reasons not to go—work, school, a girlfriend who waited while I was in the army, being shy—but when I prayed I knew that these were all reasons why I wanted to stay home. Deep down, I knew what the Lord wanted me to do.”
This set a pattern for his life of trying to put the Lord’s will first. “I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I had not served a mission,” he said.
Serving in the mission field also placed in him a love for the Latin American people that continues to this day. His service in the Mexico North Mission would not be the last time he would serve the Lord in the Spanish-speaking world.
He would also develop a testimony of the Savior’s guiding hand in the work of sharing the gospel. “During my mission I learned it was always important to follow the Spirit, and I learned that the Lord is personally in charge of missionary work.”
Brother Ridd would return home, continue his education, and, in 1975, marry Tamina Roark in the Salt Lake Temple. The Ridds would raise four children as Brother Ridd developed his professional career.
The Ridds placed the gospel at the center of their growing family. They served in a variety of callings and were blessed by each one. However, they found the opportunity to be parents to be the most important university in the world to understand God’s love for His children.
The Ridds’ shared love for missionary work and the youth of the Church proved essential tools when Brother Ridd was called in 2005 to preside over the Ecuador Guayaquil North Mission. There he again witnessed the change a full-time mission can have in the life of a young man or a young woman. Blessings arrived in abundance, he said, when the missionaries recognized the Spirit’s promptings and then fulfilled their respective duty to God.
In 2008, the couple returned home to Utah and Brother Ridd continued pursuing his professional interests in real estate and securities. A year later he was called to serve on the Young Men general board. “He was well suited for that calling,” said Sister Ridd.
“Randall has always loved working with the young men,” she said. “He is able to see potential in each and every young man.”
His tenure on the general board offered a unique opportunity to travel and meet with thousands of Aaronic Priesthood holders. Through those gatherings and in informal conversations, Brother Ridd came to understand the importance of a young man being actively dedicated to the work of the gospel. He turns to the 58th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, verses 27–28:
“Men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
“For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.”
It is hard to be tempted to do wrong, he said, “when a young man is ‘anxiously engaged’ in a good cause.”
Brother Ridd’s tenure on the Young Men general board also afforded him yet another opportunity to be guided by wise mentors. Working with the Young Men general presidency—Brother David L. Beck, Brother Larry M. Gibson, and Brother Adrian Ochoa—provided him a template for loving and guiding young men.
Now Brother Ridd will rely on such lessons as he assumes the seat in the Young Men general presidency vacated by Elder Ochoa, who was called to the Seventy last April.
He is both humbled and honored to shepherd and serve holders of the Aaronic Priesthood at a pivotal moment in Church history. “Young men are now answering mission calls at 18. Many are entering the field just days after high school graduation. Gaining a strong personal testimony early in life is essential.”
“There is a tremendous urgency being felt in Aaronic Priesthood quorums throughout the Church,” he said. “We are seeing the Spirit enter into the lives of young men and changing them.”
With so much at stake, young men must decide today to rise up and answer the call to service, he said. Such a challenge is impacting and blessing many lives. “This is a defining time in the lives of young men. They are deciding if they will follow the Lord’s will.”
Brother Ridd said the young men of the Church must know that they are never alone. Devoted priesthood leaders, parents, and mentors are praying for their safety and success. Most important, the Lord knows His young men. He loves them and wants them to love and know Him.
“The personal relationship that a young man has with his Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is the most important thing in their life,” he said.