This is an amazing story. Mitch is an amazing man. Cindy is an amazing woman.
The kids are amazing kids. The Spirit is an amazing force. Congratulations on
your eternal family! And thanks for sharing your tender, though challenging
road, with us. "Sweet is the peace the gospel brings."
Tears. Touching story. The Lord knows who we are. We don't always.
Great Story! Thanks so much for sharing it.I am so glad to see how
people can change for the better. We are all in this together.President Uchtdorf said it best, We all are on the same team and wear the same
jersey. I am a UTE, but I know so many BYU fans who are haters of
the U. Or haters of other schools as well. It is so shallow and hypocritical to
hate anyone.Yes, I know a ton of haters at Utah as well. But, most
of them don't wear their religion on their sleeve!We all need
to learn to work together to make life great.Haters on both sides
please stop hating. The world is full of problems. It is time to rise above
the world!!!Good work Mitch. Love the story. Great job to your
wife and family for hanging in there.
The last little paragraph says it all. A man with priorities. Good stuff!
My 2 brothers and I were playing the back 9 at Glendale in the late 90's
one evening. We had a Smith "single" to join us. Turned out to be Mitch
who was in town in the off season. We had a fun round and it was interesting to
pick his brain a bit about Ute bball. He was as crazy good as they come around
the boards.I had no idea that he was a convert to the church. Great
story.Thanks for sharing Mitch and Cindy.
The Lords work continues...
I'd like to make a couple of disparate points. One is that Elder Holland
is right about the Lord putting people in the right situations. I am convinced
my wife would not have joined the Church for many years if she had not first
lived in a small branch with a concentration of high-quality members as opposed
to seeing the spectrum that exists in most wards. The second point
is in response to "Red". It is not my point to start a fight here, but
this is worth noting. I did not grow up in Utah and, despite being a passionate
BYU fan, actively cheered for Utah any time they didn't play BYU, even when
they were in the NCAA Championship game under Rick Majerus. But my perspective
changed dramatically when I moved to Utah. Now if I wear BYU apparel, I am
routinely bothered specifically by fellow LDS who are Utah fans--the non-LDS
have the sense to not worry about it, it seems. It seems a very strange thing
to me that Mormons would bother other Mormons about supporting the school that
has Church leadership as the Board of Trustees.
For the first ten years of my life, I lived next door to the Smith family.
Reading this story makes my heart beat fast, and my eyes fill with tears! Our
family was the only LDS family in the cul-de-sac of seven families when we moved
in, and while it was difficult to have neighbors that disliked us simply because
of our religion, my parents were such a powerful influence for good. In our
home, our convictions became stronger and our love for our Savior became deeper.
Including Mitch's family, four of those families today are now very active
members of the church and are among some of the finest people I know. I
don't remember the last time I saw Mitch, but over the years I've
heard bits and pieces of this story, much to my delight. Mitch's story
reminds me that as devoted members of the church, the "seeds" that we
plant along our life's journey, are never EVER wasted! What a beautiful
story and officially one of my most favorite conversion stories ever.
Wow. Thanks for sharing that truly inspirational story of conversion. Powerful.
Mitch sells himself short. Our family has known Mitch since his first days in
Utah. When he came to Utah he was polite,kind,and without ego. It was easy to
see that his parents had raised him well. I think that upbringing, and
particularly his humble nature, prepared him to accept the gospel at a later
time.Mitch and Cindy, you're the best.
Great article...brought tears to my eyes as well. I'm a lifelong BYU fan
and have to admit, don't cheer for the Utes much in anything. But as a
member of the Church, I'll cheer for anyone (even in red) that is willing
to listen to the Gospel--and ultimately the Spirit. Thanks for sharing.-----To "Red":Nice jab. Unfortunately there are fans of
both schools that are not sympathetic in any way to the other. When you state,
"...I know a ton of haters at Utah as well. But, most of them don't
wear their religion on their sleeve!" You are right. Instead many of them
spend an inordinate amount of time and energy making fun of; disrespecting; and,
tearing down the Mormon religion. The phrase "wear _____ on
their sleeve" means to wear or display something openly. This is exactly
what the Church teaches is to be open and deliberate in our beliefs, morals, and
actions. Ironically, this was a factor in Mitch Smith's conversion over
the years. The members were deliberate and open.-----
I remember hearing Lynn Archibald being asked who he would rather have on his
team, Mitch or Mike Smith (BYU's star player). Without hesistation and a
wry smile he stated Mitch. Very inspiring and well written article. I have fond
memories of the Mitch and Mike Smith rivalry. I also remember how devastated
Mitch was on a TV interview when Archibald was fired after his senior season.
Mitch had to have been the scrappiest player to play in a Utah uniform.
thanks for sharing.Made my day
In response to Redweek: This was a great article, and it sounds like Mitch Smith
was and is a great guy. But I would be shocked beyond belief if a coach were to
say that he would prefer a player on an opposing team to the one on his team.
The Archibalds moved into our neighborhood when Lynn joined the staff at the U
of U and I became friends with one of his sons. I had the chance to be in their
home on numerous occasions. Lynn truly was one of the classiest men I've
ever known. He was always positive, always made you feel like you were the only
person in the room, and his zest for life was infectious. This is a great
article which shows the positive influence he had on Mitch and others. I love
the last line. Lynn was a good coach, but he was a great man, and builder of
That was my point. I'm fine with everyone "wearing" their religion
on their sleeve. I encourage it!Just stop being a hater!
May God bless all of you wonderful people.
@RedI agree with you 100%...stop the hate. Your previous comment
about knowing many BYU fans that are shallow and hypocritical haters was
unnecessary and makes it out that you hate BYU just as much as any other
hater...else you wouldn't have mentioned that at all, since this article
has nothing to do with the BYU/Utah rivalry. It's a great article about
conversion to the gospel. And I'm not hating, don't accuse me of it
My experience with Mitch was as my childhood best friend(almost like a brother).
He and his family taught me to play sports and I grew up being rather tough,
being a girl amongst all these boys in the neighborhood. My family joined the
Church when I was 7, I don't think I was treated any different after that
but I know the families that were members in our neighborhood it did cause
problems. I know when I had my first car accident - it was Mitch's Dad who
helped me and was always their to encourage me. Mitch and I grew apart in our
teens, but once I knew he went to Utah, I knew their might be a chance for him
to be converted and out of his family I felt he was the one that could be
touched the most. I always kept an eye out of where he was hoping he would join
the church. I am glad he found Cindy and she was SOOO PATIENT with him, I know I
never was! It is amazing how the Lord touches someone and their family to bring
them to his fold. The Lord moves in mysterious ways!
Thanks for the inspirational story showing that some non-LDS have good
experiences at the University of Utah.I am one of the active members
of the LDS Church who do NOT like BYU sports fans who give me the opinion that
any active Mormon should be a fan of BYU football or basketball teams. Most of
my former ward were BYU fans. My current ward has about equal number of BYU and
Utah fans and there is a friendly rivalry without any openly hate filled
comments.Many missionary companions were rabid BYU fans and they
increased my personal dislike of BYU football and basketball. It is sad that
another newspaper encourages hostility between the fans with "Holy War"
comments whenever Utah and BYU play football against each other.
It is always wonderful to hear about opposing players and fans that join the LDS
church. However, once they are members, BYU should become the primary school
they support and root for, above all other schools.
Benhur sounds like troll comment.
There is much I could write that others have already said, but the one thing
that nobody has mentioned that really touched me was that Mitch's parents
came to his baptism. We hear so much about parents who disown their kids for
joining the church. I have never understood how a parent could do that and I
half expected that to be the case here with his parents being so anti-LDS.
However, as Mitch said, "THE LOVE OF A PARENT". Yes, I have to say they
were misguided for openly shunning their LDS neighbors. That is a little over
the top but they are obviously good, sincere people. It must have been very
difficult for them but they love and support their son. Family first!
I wonder if he plays church balls with his former utes players team agaisnt our
former cougar players? Will Mitch would get his red blood against us? That would
be cool what he could do or he woud be too light against our former cougar
friends. Jeff Chatman and Josh Grant would love that. What do you think? I think
Cindy would love that. You might want Jeff R. Holland to be the reffing.
@Veracity,The Lords work continues...I got that feeling, the one you don’t
want to admit, especially someone stubborn like me,” Smith said.
“There was no chance of denying what I felt.”I got the
opposite feeling that the church was not true when I had a Biblical
conversion(Born from above) after 20 years and I left the church.
Mitch should be in the Utah Athletics Hall of Fame.
donn. Thanks for sharing your story too. I read the Book of Mormon
almost every day and cannot figure out how anyone who reads and studies it like
I do can come to any conclusion other than of its veracity and divine origins.
Do you honestly believe that Joseph Smith could have made up the book? Or do
you honestly believe Satan would do such a wonderful work in the earth in
teaching true principles that advocate our becoming like Jesus Christ? I doubt
that you would share the truth to theses questions with readers. Also, how many
years before your defection did you quit reading, pondering, and praying about
the Book of Mormon? I know that if you returned to doing just as Moroni, the
prophet, promised, your testimony can return stronger than ever before. By the
way, are you aware that the Book of Mormon supports the Bible and that the Bible
supports the Book of Mormon? It takes effort and sincerity, and that's why
the Church continues to grow.
What a beautiful story! Thank you, Mitch and Cindy for making my day!
RE: Cinci man,I know that if you returned to doing just as Moroni, the prophet,
promised, your testimony can return stronger than ever before.Moroni
10:34. Jehovah The Eternal Judge. Also From LDS revelation, we learn that
Jehovah is the English form of the actual name by which the Lord Jesus was known
ANCIETLY (D&C 110:3 ,Jehovah appears to JS, Abraham 2:8,My is name is
Jehovah) 788 Mormon Doctrine. s/b YHWH, JS was unaware of the poor KJV
translation of the Personal name of God(LORD)YHWH.The spelling
Jehovah appeared first during the 1762-1769 editing of the KJV Bible. The
transcription Jehovah is nothing but a misunderstanding by Christian translators
of Jewish reading traditions
donn.I stand here in total shock that JS translated the Book of
Mormon into English. I never would have imagined that. But I am not surprised
that you could not answer my questions. I hope it works out for you. Even with
all that you say against the Savior and His chosen prophets, the atonement will
always be there for you. And you are welcome back any time and I would be the
first to humbly welcome you with open arms. I met a man on my mission who left
the Church under circumstances similar to yours. That was many years ago and he
found his way back when he returned to principles taught by Moroni and other
Book of Mormon and Bible prophets. Mitch and Cindy show a great example of just
how the gospel and the Savior of the world can work for you. Best wishes
TO: Cinci Man, I stand here in total shock that JS translated the Book of Mormon
into English? Not my point. "From LDS revelation”, we learn that
Jehovah is the English form of the actual name by which the Lord Jesus was known
ANCIETLY) 788 Mormon Doctrine.Wrong, s/b YHWH.
To donn: Thanks for saying exactly what I said. "Jehovah is the English form of the actual name by which the Lord Jesus
was known ANCIETLY (sp)"I'm so glad we can agree. Welcome
back! Feel free to answer the questions if you can understand them.
I love uplifting conversion stories like this one of Mitch Smith. It helps
strengthen my testimony. It shows how people were placed in his life for a
reason, especially Coach LA. Everything happenes for a reason. And we have to
continually "water" our testimonies as it is a process in keeping them
Cinci Man,"Jehovah is the English form of the actual name by which the Lord
Jesus was known ANCIETLY “wrong,. The spelling Jehovah appeared
first during the 1762-1769 editing of the KJV Bible. The transcription Jehovah
is nothing but a misunderstanding by Christian translators of Jewish reading
traditions." JS saw the KJV not Jesus.The KJV/3 Nephi Sermon
on the Mount. LDS Scholar Dr. Larson finds 12 examples where JS copied the
1769 KJV errors.Mt 6:13 KJV and 3Nephi 13:13 Both have the
doxology, For thine is he Kingdom and power and the glory forever amen. The KJV
is based on 9th to 12th century texts. Earlier and better manuscripts do not
contain the doxology. Only One example.
Great Story. Love and patience win out.
Lynn Archibald was a good man.
"Universal TruthSalt Lake City, UTIn response
to Redweek: This was a great article, and it sounds like Mitch Smith was and is
a great guy. But I would be shocked beyond belief if a coach were to say that he
would prefer a player on an opposing team to the one on his team."You do remember who Michael Smith was right?
Article quote: “We didn’t know why we hated them
('Mormons')— we just did, and that’s how it was. I grew up
persecuting them a bit.”Sadly, this happens far, far too
much.I will say that one of the MOST pleasant and eye-opening
experiences on my mission (Bible Belt....south Lousiana, south Mississippi and
south Alabama....that's as 'Deep South' as you can get) was in
personally meeting hundreds and HUNDREDS of good, God-fearing, Christians who
were not members of the LDS faith.Good people and I love them even
today, despite the fact that I've been home for over 20 years.
Cinci Man:Please be nice. Contention is not of the Lord, right?
Man, reading some of these comments leads me to one conclusion: There are some
really weird people out there.Love you Mitch!
@allen#2I'm one of the active members of the lDS church that
find the unmitigated hate for BYU, one of the most important insitutions of the
church, from utah "fans" like yourself to be an embarrassment. I have
known so many LDS utah "fans" who openly hate BYU and its athletic
programs yet still profess to be good members. I feel pity for this poor souls,
those that actually HATE an LDS institution, one that seeks to educate our LDS
youth. It is a sad, sad thing.
To Allen#2 - there will always be those who deceive the truth by their actions,
words. It's neat that you recognize these things which will help you to
always shy away from the negativity. I was impressed with your comments....there
will always be people who overdo the enthusiasm for what they think is the best
- but isn't it wonderful to know you can choose who you want to be like and
associate with whom you find uplifting and good company.
Duckhunter, I fail to see from Allen#2's comment any shred of
"unmitigated hate for BYU" or any LDS institution, just a personal
dislike for their football basketball teams. That says nothing about the
Church's leadership or any individual at the school. However, your response
seems to be exactly what he was talking about in that some fans take the
school's association with the Church so far as to profess that not falling
in love with everything there is to do with BYU is automatically a condemnation
of the school, the Church and each and every one of its members. Frankly, it
annoys me, too, but it doesn't make me hate my friends and family members
who attend(ed)/like BYU and also act that way. It just makes for more fun
conversation with them after the football game every year.
Red, what do you mean: "Yes, I know a ton of haters at Utah as well. But,
most of them don't wear their religion on their sleeve!”I
understand you are saying University of Utah "haters" are superior to
BYU "haters", but I am unclear on "wear their religion on their
sleeve". Would you please explain that to me? I have heard that kind of
thing before but I have never quite figured out what the intended meaning(s)is
(were).Thanks.Oh, I should mention, I am old enough to
control my emotions, so I doubt I will lose my temper over whatever you say,
but, I AM a BYU grad (1978), in case that influences you one way or the other.
I've never liked the level of animosity that has existed between BYU and
the U of U; I would like to see it removed, or at least, diminished, but since
each year brings a new group of very young, very emotional and very biased
freshman kids to each school, I don't anticipate it will go away soon.
Still, we can hope it gets a little better, right?
@stgOf course you don't see it, you share his hate. To utah
"fans" like the two of you all you see is "arrogance and self
righteousness" from BYU fans and that leads you to hate the institution. It
is obvious in your posts. The truth is BYU is one of the most
important institutions of the church. You have a hard time reconciling your hate
for that institution with your membership in the church itself. I find that
pathetic. I certainly don't think you have to be a fan of BYU
sports but the hate towards BYU and its teams is very telling.Any
unconflicted member would celebrate everything about BYU. You don't,
I've read your stuff.
Duckhunter, that's what you don't understand, is that I don't
hate BYU. I have no problem with the school. I even considered attending BYU
because my bachelor's program was much easier to get into there than
Utah's. Of course, I worked hard enough and was fortunate to be accepted
into Utah's program, so the rest, as they say, is history.No,
an "unconflicted (sic)" member of the Church has no obligation to
celebrate everything about BYU, especially sports, the most secular of all its
programs. Sorry, but your apparent Max Hall mentality paints you as the same
hypocrite that you preach nearly daily about.
duckhunter,The irony with your comments is that you always come
across as a major Utah hater. Yet, you're all offended by anything that
you perceive as being in anyway against BYU. You can't have it both ways.
If you expect respect from Utah fans (or Utah "fans" as you call them),
then you need to show them respect on your part.
@goredI neither need nor care about having respect from utah
"fans". What I find pathetic is LDS members that hate BY a great church
institution.@stgNice try at pretending it is harder to
get into a utah grad program than the same one at BYU. BYU has higher
requirements all across the board. utah is actually a very easy school to get
into, even its graduate programs. The requirements are mostly a joke.LOL!
Duckhunter, nice try pretending you actually know about every educational
program at both schools. And it's actually a bachelor's program, not a
master's program. I met with the program advisors and directors of each
school extensively, I have close friends in each program I speak with weekly.
The same program at BYU accepts 20-30 new students each semester and rarely
rejects anybody, while the U's currently interviews over 60 per year and
accepts 20 of them. The U's program has a national networking with direct
grad school pipelines all throughout the southeast, midwest, and west coast. The
majority of the Y's students continue grad school at BYU or begin entry
level jobs. Yes, acceptance into the university is easier at Utah than BYU, but
specific programs all have different requirements, and mine happens to be very
selective. I was told before applying that I would begin the program once I was
admitted at BYU, instead I underwent a 3 month interview process and am being
set up with great career opportunities. Obviously someone like yourself that
didn't attend either school isn't the best authority.
Interesting how stories of people "finding and converting to the church"
are applauded while any story of someone leaving the church is shunned or
probably never heard because the people leaving don't want to hear the
ridicule. Whichever it is I think both stories deserve praise if the decision
brings more happiness or contentment to people's lives.
Great story Trent. Teaches how we can gradually "un-learn" our
preconceptions.Always enjoyed watching Mitch play. As a BYU alum,
I've also been a fan of U of Utah sports.
RBN, is that you Reid? Why didn't you say you named your son after him you
thought so highly of him, Keep lifting weights, this old guy put up 350pd on a
legal bench at 51 years of age. Love you and your family.