Author Archive for Lisa Riska

Lisa Riska

About the Author:

Lisa is the mother of Matt, 40 years old, intellectually challenged due to a seizure disorder (epilepsy). Originally from Virginia (where she joined the Church as a teenager) and after many years in the Salt Lake Valley, her family moved to Texas in 2003. She, her husband Steve, and Matt lived until November 2011 in a small town 90 miles northeast of Dallas. They relished the experience of church in a small branch, but missed proximity to their other 6 grown children, scattered across the country and overseas. Grandchildren beckoned and they returned to the Salt Lake Valley to be near some of them … allowing Matt to practice his skills as “an awesome uncle.”
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Downs Designs

Karen Bowersox of Ohio is a grandmother who saw a real need and did something about it.  Her granddaughter Maggie wanted to look great in jeans, the mainstay of teen fashion, but having Downs Syndrome meant her proportions, particularly leg … Continued

The Red Sea Place

Have you come to the Red Sea place
___ in your life
Where in spite of all you can do,
There is no way out.
There is no way back.
There is no other way but through.

Love Unfeigned

In a March 1998 Friend article, Elder W. Craig Zwick of the Seventy wrote touchingly about his own son that is intellectually disabled.  Then he shared a favorite scripture:  Third Nephi 26:14.  You’ll remember this moment during Christ’s visit to … Continued

Kind of Little

One day when our youngest, Kate, was about 3, she came skipping into the kitchen and declared . . . “I love Matt. He’s my little brother.” “That’s so sweet, honey. But actually, he’s your big brother.” “Oh … yeah … but he’s kind of little, isn’t he?” … Continued

Each Mind

I’m fascinated by the way Matt’s mind works.  For instance, when Matt was around 16, his voice began changing.  This was a disturbing development for him and his way of dealing with it was to shout everything.  So I sat him … Continued

Gifts and Challenges

“For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.” Doctrine & Covenants 46:11 Our family has always talked a lot about gifts … Continued

More People to Love

We are officially retired and getting settled in Draper, UT (still searching for items we know we packed … where IS that muffin pan?) We are excited to be close to two of our grandchildren and at least closer to the others. … Continued

The Plains of Today

To the spirit of heroes we give honor today.
We are awed by the stories of the price they had to pay,
And when we think of their trials, we must marvel that they
Still found joy as they went on their way. …Continued

Searching the Scriptures

From 2003 to 2011, we lived in a small branch in Sulphur Springs, Texas.  We loved that experience.  In that setting, it just seemed a bit easier to truly know, and truly care about, every single member . . . … Continued