great article---congrats to the Owens family. As much a pioneer family as those
that entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.
I haven't seen VAi's view for sometime on here but the Sunday issue he
didn't want his kids to play on Sunday but he did as did Burgess. That is
one of those I guess what is better descision for the time and it was there
occupation. One that they chose. Great story. I remember reading about it in
some book a long time ago too.
I hope this story causes people to think before judging athletes whose
profession requires them to work on Sunday. Obviously much good came out of
Todd Christensen's NFL career.Having said that, the number of
teenagers who go on to play pro sports is very, very small so you can't
necessarily use that excuse to let little Johnny play sports on Sunday.
Beautiful conversion story! Thanks for sharing. I'm sure the
Christiansens are no doubt experiencing already the joy of that promised
blessing told in scripture, "...if it so be that you should labor all your
days...and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with
him in the kingdom of my Father." Sounds like the Owenses are a very
special couple and judging from the strength of their faith and testimony since
joining the Church, they are indeed great assets to the Lord and his work.
Again, thanks for sharing. This makes my day!
I'll tell you how the Christensens did it. It's almost a foolproof
method and it snares lots of people when used by just about anyone. Sneaky as
all get out too. The Christensens do this to lots of people. They were
friends! Can you believe that? They actually cared about others, had interest
in their interests, shared time and truly cared about some one not aligned with
their personal agenda. How sneaky is that? Why if people started doing that we
would have kindness, generosity and service up to our ears? Pretty soon we
would have people actually knowing about each other and knowing they can always
get help or give help without obligation. Of course this might lead to people
considering a life changing decision but then again many just might know they
were loved without agenda or guile. Wow, who needs a friend without an personal
selfish agenda?Just thought I would warn people about what happens
if they are....true friends.
@SLCWatch: I don't think we stress enough in the church that the two great
commandments are to love the Lord with all our heart/might/mind/soul/strength,
and to love our neighbors as ourselves. The "loving your neighbor as
yourself" part is not contingent on whether the neighbor is a church member,
or whether he or she might become one. But a great many of our neighbors will
eventually find the joy of living the Gospel if they see us practicing it toward
What the Christensens did was they only planted just a little seeds at a time
and things blossom
As one who has harped on the Sunday thing...My qualm has never been
with the Athletes. I would have played on Sunday too in a heartbeat given the
chance. They can be great people in spite of playing on Sundays.That
said, the problem as I see it is with the members and church leaders who make
idols out of these pro athletes who pass up missions and choose to play on
Sunday. (This is not the case of Mr. Owens BTW, I am well aware.)The
BYU Womens Rugby team can't be heroes for not playing on Sunday while Steve
Young is a hero for doing it. You can't have it both ways. Playing Sports
on Sunday is 100% a choice as proven by the Womens Rugby team (and it is the
Wrong one, as per God's commandments). Don't pretend like it's a
vital job.It is *not* Missionary work (at best it is just PR) and
even at that why ask for PR brought by way of commandment breaking?I
liked this article. Owens' conversion story is an inspiration...and not bc
he was an athlete but because of his faith.
Who can deny the peace that is afforded by His Gospel? It is true, once your
heart has been opened, the peace that it offers in a very disturbing and
challenging world is inconceivable at first, but irreplaceable thereafter.
Godspeed Mr. Owens!GO LDS!!
@teleste: Is it OK if I have my "sabbath" on Saturday or Monday instead
of Sunday? Just asking.
Thanks for the sermon, teleste. One important point of living the gospel is
being honest. I highly doubt you've heard a single person make a claim that
Steve Young is a hero for playing on Sunday. For being a highly gifted and
acclaimed athlete and holding to high moral standards in the midst of a
hedonistic culture, yes. But, I do not believe for one minute that anyone
attributed his "hero" status based on the day on which he played.I think most of us would just prefer that you keep the sanctimony to
yourself, and maybe work on the logic and truthfulness of your debating point.
WOW! Beautiful story about perspective. It is difficult to understand why
certain things happen but while we may not understand all of God's ways, we
know we are children of a loving God who knows us and loves us. God works in
mysterious ways and always hears our prayers. The Owens listened to the
promptings of the Spirit of God and have reaped tremendous blessings as a
result. Total respect goes out to them and their family.
@Herbert GravyYou can have your Sabbath on whatever day you want.
Again, my problem is with the members/leaders who ream me for watching the NFL
when I should be keeping the Sabbath Day Holy and then who look upon Jimmer
Fredette a great "missionary". (Deseret News, Sunday, Feb. 13 2011)
They, not you, nor the athletes, are who I see as inconsistent and tire of.@LetsDebateI agree Young has great qualities that makes him
a good person. It still doesn't mean it was OK for him or anyone else to
pursue football on Sunday. (Or if you make enough money is it OK?)I've heard it on these discussion boards. It is usually said along the
lines of "His way of being an example and missionary".I am
not anyone to be on a soap box, I am "telete" ha ha. Even so, the fail
in logic is that it is OK for some people to play on Sunday and for others it
isn't--especially when it is then preached both ways. That's my
@higv"but the Sunday issue he didn't want his kids to play on
Sunday but he did as did Burgess."Burgess wasn't a member
of the church when he played on Sundays. If you read the entire article he
joined the church on New Years Eve and then retired from pro football in April
so he didn't play on Sundays as an LDS athlete. Also, he went back for the
entire previous year's income and paid a full tithe even though he
wasn't a member of the church during that time.Talk about
getting it. What a great man.
@Teleste - yes, we understand with every article involving professional LDS
athletes, there comes the automatic lecture about Sabbath observance from
someone who should probably be in charge of professional LDS athletes'
temple recommends. If you feel good about watching NFL on Sunday,
tell those who "ream" you to mind their own observance. I've heard
comments about caffeine, R movies, vegetarianism and the Word of Wisdom (both
sides), worthiness of gay members, sanctity of Monday evenings (FHE MUST be held
on Mondays!), taking political sides, etc., etc., that don't line up with
my interpretations of the gospel, yet I don't feel the need to correct
everyone who may feel differently. Almost always, they're casual passing
comments, but I know there are those who feel "reamed" if they ever hear
such comments.I suggest you develop enough confidence in yourself to
allow others to seek their own inspiration and live by their own integrity
without judging them. You may have noticed that Gifford Nielson was
just called as a General Authority. I haven't heard anything about the
repentance process he must have experienced to overcome the stain of having a
former professional football career.
@teleste: Are you ABSOLUTELY certain that the likes of Steve Young, Jimmer
Fredette and other professional "Sunday players" don't
(didn't) observe the "sabbath" on a day of the week other than
Sunday? Again, just askin'. If they do (did) could they still be a
"great missionary"? Which leads me to ask another question: How do YOU
define a "great missionary"?
LetsDebate:Ditto. teleste:You might want to
quit while you are still ahead.
It's nice to see a Mormon story excepted in the DN. usually they are a
negative for some folks. But this one falls under a different subsection.
@teleste: Interesting points you make. I for one have never heard anyone bother
anyone else about watching football on Sunday, but I guess that sort of thing
exists. I look at it something like this: I have a vast collection of songs on
my MP3 player. I have noted that, over time and as I have tried to live the
Gospel more in line with what I think Heavenly Father wants me to, there will be
the occasional song I delete after I realize I probably shouldn't be
listening to it, although that thought hadn't occurred to me in the
previous 30+ years. The same thing has happened with movies, and with matters
related to paying attention to sports (either on TV, online, or in the
newspaper) on Sunday. I think the important point is to ask ourselves if what
we are doing falls in line with God's will. Often that even means
substituting something that is better for something that might not be
particularly bad. Is watching sports on Sunday the best Sabbath-related
activity you could do? That ultimately is between you and the Lord.
@teleste: One more point: I don't like the idea of working on Sunday, but I
have had jobs that required that. I really don't know what choice I would
make if given the opportunity to quickly secure my family's financial
future and, yes, be a positive role model and potential missionary if it meant
working on Sunday. I think that would again come down to whether one felt it
was in line with God's will. I would note that it can't be a
black-and-white issue, given that President Hinckley highlighted Dale Murphy
(and Peter Vidmar) as a great example at a Priesthood session years ago. I will say that I *do not* agree with a professional LDS athlete who,
once his playing career is over (and no longer has to work to support himself
and his family), then chooses to go into another career that requires working on
Sunday. But the fact that I don't agree with it doesn't necessarily
mean it is entirely out of the question in the Lord's view.
Sabbath observance? Very simply put: "Judge not, that ye be not judged."
Leave it between each of us and the Lord. He is wiser than all of us put
together, and will do the right thing for each and every one of his children.
Loved the article. I love reading conversion stories like this that inspire me
to be a better member missionary.
As a young man I had the opportunity to watch Todd Christensen play at BYU -
Fullback as I recall. His example has clearly extended far beyond his football
days. Conversion stories like this always make me feel "warm
& fuzzy". Congratulations to the Owen's family for their
faithfulness over the years. Their influence has been felt by many family
members, friends and associates alike, for which I am sure they will be
blessed.As far as Sunday play - chill out folks. Trying to equate a
BYU athletic team that doesn't play on Sunday to an individual simply
doesn't work. BYU will never give into Sunday play - never. Individuals,
however, have the God-given right of free agency and must choose what they will
do. My feeling is shame on anyone who hypocritically judges an
individual for a decision (particularly a job-related decision) he or she makes.
Don't we all have enough to worry about in our own lives instead of
casting stones at others? I for one applaud Players like Steve Young, Ty
Detmer, Eric Weddle, Dale Murphy, etc. for the wonderful example and influence
they have been to countless people.
Could someone please explain the don't play on Sunday rule? I think its
becoming one of the "tells" as to whether one is a "good"
Mormon. They way I look at it athletes like Steve Young and others have done
much to help Mormons be accepted as relatively normal members of society. I also
agree that BYU should not play on Sundays but the league they are in knows that
up front and works with it. What I find hypocritical are people that participate
in athletic programs and then refuse to play a game that is scheduled on a
@Sneaky Jimmy - you may need to consult the Scribes and Pharisees handbook for
the "No Sunday Play Rule." The LDS Church policy is that any affiliated
organization won't play sporting events on the Sabbath, and individual
members are encouraged to read the scriptures and General Conference talks, pray
for guidance, and make their own decisions.I find it odd that you
think it's hypocritical for someone to hold fast to their religious
convictions when making playtime decisions. Isn't that the opposite of
being a hypocrite? To quote Inigo Montoya from Princess Bride, "I do not
think it means what you think it means."Or, are you against all
religious accommodations, or do you believe religious people should totally
exclude themselves from activities where they may need a religious accommodation
for a portion of the activity? I think that's highly intolerant, and
probably illegal discrimination in some cases.
"Yet, in their midst, was a black, athletic, knock-your-teeth-out safety who
now holds the priesthood and is sealed to his wife and children for time and all
eternity. Amazing, isn’t it?”It certainly is. I've always
wondered whatever happened to a young black man named Mike who LOVED coming to
church with our family in the late '70's, yet moved away before he was
18. His mother wouldn't let him get baptized. He was a gem of a guy who had
a testimony. This just brings happiness to my heart to know that even the
tough guys end up being the nice guys.
Good point, teleste. Any active member knows the "Sabbath"
prohibitions. They come from church leaders, period. Nothing about them are
Biblical, however. So you might wanna consider the sage advice about ethical
exit...Earth to the debaters: The Sabbath always has been and
always will be the Seventh Day, Saturday, (Genesis 1,2). Just because
anti-semitic Catholic leaders changed it to the First Day, Sunday, does not
change God's Word. Biblically Sunday was and is called "The
Lord's Day", commemorating Christ's Resurrection, and early Jewish
disciples and believers(new converts) worshipped with our Lord's communion
on that day. (Acts 20:7 and several other refs.)So choose to follow
man-made changes or enjoy your true freedom in Christ. Nothing on Sunday has
any Sabbath restrictions to be concerned over.
I do find this conversion fascinating. Mine is just the opposite. And I have
both Muslim and Jewish friends who converted from Christianity to their current
faiths- after deep spiritual searching and study, also. We all must follow our
conscience and respond honestly to what we consider "the Lord's
voice".I am the same age as Brother Christensen, so I lived
through all the bad LDS publicity of the black restriction, and remained
faithfully LDS for 35 years. I had many spiritual experiences and temple
blessings, even quit a lucrative job for "Sabbath" reasons and was
blessed with a better one...I never dreamed I would have a
"born-again" experience and certainly never sought it. So I must say I
am happy that the Christensens have enjoyed their LDS conversion. I experienced
all the love and Mormon fellowship they have. But just ask a born-again
(former) Mormon which spiritual existence they prefer. There is no comparison
to the In-dwelling of the Holy God of the Universe residing inside you. The
best part is that you can't undo that birth. (John 1:12-13)
Teleste, first of all there's many members who have to work on sundays to
support their families, and it's not a bad thing. Don't tell me if you
had a job opportunity that came your way that would set your family up for life
but you had to work on sundays that you wouldn't take the job. If someone
is chastising you for watching sports on sunday that's none of their
business either, I doubt the first thing God will look at on judgement day is
what did you do on your sundays. There's many people who keep the sabbath
day holy but never help a soul or who are into themselves more than helping
others, I'll bet you that someone who works on sunday but influences many
people for good will fair better in God's eyes then the others. So many in
the church unfortunately keep commandments yet pass judgement and gossip about
others. God has taught us not to judge others yet many think they can because
they think their better. This damages more people than it helps. So look into
the mirror before you judge.
Those criticizing another's journey of faith are strange. Take this story
of self awareness and conversion at face value. Being "reamed" for
watching football on Sunday is a personal matter and those who are hung up on it
are in danger of throwing out the baby with the bath water. Do what is right let
the consequences follow.
I don't know what you're watching in SLC, but you definitely
don't have a crystal ball, Brother Watch.There are many
ministries with a specific LDS outreach; in our city alone there are over 20
churches that teach classes on "Mormonism vs. The Bible". We aim to
keep the discussion honest, factual and cordial. We run into members with your
attitude often. We just hand them a fact-sheet test on LDS teachings from
1830-present and see how much they know. Then we present the Biblical gospel,
keeping the Mormonisms separate, and allow people the opportunity to see where
their LDS friends may not have shared all the information on current
theology.Just as you target our homes and churches, we target yours-
for the same reasons. We love you and also want to give you the opportunity to
hear God's Truth, from the purely Biblical perspective. You don't
have a monopoly on missionary, personal friendshipping, Biblical evangelism or
the mandate of Christ's Great Commission, (Matthew 28:19).There
are more than one family in our community that are former LDS. FYI: we often
notify each other of interesting DN stories to comment on.
@ShazandraYou raise an interesting point. I have asked many, many of my
"Born Again" friends who converted to the LDS faith which spiritual
existance they prefer (Notice the Owens which this article is about are a
perfect example) and they prefer the LDS version where they also received the
"In-dwelling of the Holy God of the Universe" for which they say their
is no comparison.So, I understand you have had a great experience.
Guess everyone like you said follows their own spiritual promptings. Don't
discount what others have because you think you have found better, it's
personal. Just be happy. They are too.
There are men and women that "CHOOSE" to work Sundays and it is only the
hypocrites that condemn them because they don't like the way they sin.Is there really any difference between the athletes that work on Sunday and
the firemen, policemen, pilot, and all of our service men and women in the armed
forces?I think not. I doubt that most of us will ever understand how
difficult it is to reconcile what we know to be true with the actual
requirements for mandatory sabbath work. Once the choice is made the
consequences are accepted, whether you sit in a firehouse, patrol car, locker
room, hospital ER, tent in Kandahar, submarine control room, aircraft carrier
flight deck, airplane cockpit, etc.The fact remains that we're all
required to make choices and to live with the consequences. I respect those that
have the ability to choose for themselves, I understand that it is probably
something that they are conflicted about as they look at how they can best meet
their professional obligations, family obligations, and still reconcile with
their God. I chose not to condemn their actions, that is not my job; it is not
Since the LDS church believes in modern revelation they teach that Sunday is the
Sabbath. I am typing this on Sunday. So you can't call Tuesday your
Sabbath. The 7th day Adventist do have history on there side. People that live
by the tenants of there faith should be free to worship on there Sabbath. I did
tract into a 7th day Adventist on Saturday headed to the beach once.The church does not proselyte in the Middle East but for expiatre members they
do observe local Sabbaths. Read where Harold B Lee said couldn't do it but
changed later on. Gifford Nielsen didn't go on mission and
worked regularly on Sunday for 10 years as player and commentator and I am sure
some later on but is now General Authority. I think in Vai's view he
explained how his job required sunday work but didn't want kids to play
soccer on Sunday. It is doctrine when possible not to work or recreate on
Sunday.That is one however that comes to much interpretation. Owens
found the gospel and family great members of church now. Some jobs do require
Sunday labor too.
yeah the jews used to not allow anyone to take more than a thousand steps on
sunday until Jesus came along....maybe we need to enjoy the spirit of the law.