"Courage is the ability to move;
when all around you are frozen in fear
and no one would blame you if you did nothing at all."
Capt. Click. Phx. PD
My Name is Chris Rash
Taken from the book Think
About it... for your reading convenience
My first name is actually Robert. I feel extremely honored to have been asked to
share my feelings
with you. As all little kids do, I went through a stage of wanting to be a
police officer. I’m sure part
of this was from the influence my grandfather had on me. My parents divorced
when I was six, due
to my fathers’s increasing troubles with alcoholism. My grandfather became the
father figure in my
life. He had been a police officer for nearly thirty years in Ohio. He was far
from being a saint but the
one characteristic he possessed that has always stood out in my mind was his
love for helping others.
When I was fourteen, my grandfather died. The only role model in my life was
gone and I had a lot
of questions about life, death and what’s it all about.
I had always been told that there was a God,
but I had never been taught anything about God.
I can only remember going to church a few times in my whole life.
I started searching.
When the “Mormon” missionaries taught me about the gospel plan and the eternal
nature of families,
it was like hearing something I had been taught before. Though I had never
really been taught
anything about God or Spiritual matters, it made sense. I knew it was true and I
was baptized at the
age of sixteen. I became the only member of the church in my family. When I
turned nineteen, I put
my papers in to go on a mission and was called to serve in the Florida, Ft.
Lauderdale Mission. I
served all over southern Florida and spent almost half of my mission in Nassau,
Bahamas. During this
time I learned the great joy that comes from service to others and I learned how
to develop a personal
relationship with my Father in Heaven.
When I came home from my mission I knew that it was my calling to be a police
officer. I had always
remembered being in the fifth grade and the Mesa police officer that came to my
school and talked
to my class. He had left an impression on me that never left. I don’t remember
what he said, I just
remember the countenance, or in police terms, the command presence that he
presented in such a
professional manner. Little did I know that I would someday respond to calls
with that same officer,
Officer Sam Jeppsen, #3751.
I graduated from the Mesa Police Academy in 1994 and started my career as a
police officer. At times
it has been very difficult to be LDS and a police officer at the same time. As a
police officer you have
to be skeptical and judgmental and it is very easy to become cynical in this
line of work. I have a high
activity level and I make a lot of arrests. In doing so, you begin to size up
everyone you come in
contact with as whether they are a “scumbag” or not. In my short time as a
police officer I have
struggled with these challenges.
I decided that what I would do is apply the gospel and its principles to the
experiences I have on a
daily basis at work. My goal was to have a spiritual experience at least once a
day at work in order
to keep in tune with the spirit since I was unable to attend my church meetings.
What I started doing
was looking at the experiences I encountered with people. I would analyze these
peoples’ lives and
how they came to be where they were. I would then think about it in terms of
By doing this the gospel has become very applicable in my daily life. I find
myself now giving counsel
to people using basic gospel principles without preaching religion to them. This
has brought me closer
to the spirit and has allowed me to feel the spirit in situations that are not
always at the onset,
conducive to the spirit. One such situation happened recently during routine
I am an FTO (field training officer) and my OIT (officer in training) was
driving when I observed a
man and a woman who were obviously having an argument on the side of the street.
language indicated that this could easily escalate to a physical confrontation
between them. I
instructed my trainee to turn around so we could investigate. We contacted the
immediately separated them. We then began to talk with them and find out what
was going on. They
were both very hesitant to talk and the woman was fairly uncooperative with us.
They told us that they were married and were having an argument. I then
explained to them that I had
a duty to investigate what was going on and that I was concerned that someone
might get hurt if I
didn’t step in. As I spoke to the couple I learned that they had been married
for five months and had
gotten into an argument about something very insignificant. They had made a
“mountain out of a
mole hill.” From talking with them, I got the impression that they were LDS. I
asked them if they
were and the expressions on their face immediately changed from the agitated
upset look to the look
of embarrassment and realization of how they allowed such an insignificant event
to impact on their
relationship. I spoke to them of being LDS and knowing the frustrations that
occur in marriage. I
ended my counsel by having them hug one another. They embraced and tears welled
up in the young
woman’s eyes. They left arm in arm with smiles on their faces. I left with a
smile in my heart.
I have encountered situations where being a priesthood holder
took more importance than being a police officer.
One night on patrol I was sitting in a parking lot doing paperwork when a hot
tone came across the
radio. It was a CPR call for an infant drowning and I was dispatched as the
primary officer. I was
three blocks from the house and arrived within a minute. I ran into the house
and found two frantic
parents with a small, one year old infant on the floor. The child was a pale
blue color. I checked his
vitals. He was not breathing and did not have a heart beat. I started CPR. It
seemed forever before
the fire department arrived and took over. The child was flown into a trauma
center where he was
pronounced dead. I learned that the child had fallen into a large bucket of
water and had only been
out of sight of the parents for a few minutes. What a tragedy this was. I could
only think of my own
son who was the same age and looked very similar to this child.
My heart went out to this family. As I looked around the house I saw that this
family was LDS. The
parents went to the hospital and I remained with the child’s aunt and two small
brothers and a visiting
teacher. There was a very somber feeling in the house. The two small brothers
were confused and
upset. The aunt was upset. I was the only priesthood holder present. I offered
to give the aunt a
blessing but then felt prompted to call everyone in for a prayer. I asked the
aunt if that would be ok
and she agreed.
I will never forget the feeling I had
as I knelt in a prayer circle with this family
and offered a prayer in their behalf.
At a moment when I did not know what to say, the words came to me. There was a
that dictated what I said in that prayer. I ended the prayer and with tears
welling up in my eyes, I left
and had to go back to work. You never know when you might be called upon to
exercise the power
of the priesthood. What a humbling experience it is to be the macho street cop
that everyone imagines
we are and in an instant, be the priesthood holder and servant of God.
With recent events such as the Rodney King incident and the O.J. Simpson case,
the public has lost
a lot of trust in police. Those incidents have impacted police officers
everywhere. It is a comfort for
me to know so many officers that are doing their job with a desire to serve
their fellow man. Many
are LDS. I have come to feel that being a police officer is a calling from my
Heavenly Father. I know
He has inspired me many times to know what to say and how to say it in a manner
confrontations and impacted the people I was dealing with. I know that God
lives. I know that He
has an eternal plan for each one of us.
I know that as we draw close to Him,
He in turn, will give us guidance in how
to handle any situation we encounter.
This is my testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Officer (&RM) Robert “Chris” Rash Badge #10740
If you are or were a police officer,
or wife, mother, father of such or some other branch of emergency
and would like to share an unusual testimony building experience with
please contact us for details at
or use the link on the front page of this site at
Thank you and God bless,