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Vai's View: 40 years 'wandering the wilderness' not too much to keep neighbor from coming home

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  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 12:56 p.m.

    Vai,

    Thanks for the great story!! I wish more Y fans were more like you and I wish more Ute fans were like the ones you have at your rivalry game party every year. You're a great example of keeping the gospel separate from football and not letting football get in the way of friendship. You've made my day.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    Sept. 20, 2013 1:28 p.m.

    I wish there were more Vai articles in the DN. Great guy. Great article.

  • dallasfreeways Austin, TX
    Sept. 20, 2013 1:29 p.m.

    Vai,

    You have a gift for writing! Wonderful story. I will also be watching the game tomorrow night with dear friends; some wearing blue and some, red. GO COUGARS!

  • jdub1942 PROVO, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 1:34 p.m.

    Great story!

    As I type this, NFL network is showing this thing on Andy Reid and you can see his G's hanging out of his shorts. Vai and Reid, two classy Y guys!

    Go Utes!

  • Dad San Antonio, TX
    Sept. 20, 2013 1:35 p.m.

    Great story! As a BYU fan, I couldn't agree more with "Mormon Ute". Some of my best friends are Ute fans and we've always had a great time together. Sad to see some fans from both sides bring bitterness into such a great rivalry. I am most happy for Via's neighbor and glad he has found that joy and peace again! When you have hope in what's important, it's easy to call each other "brothers" regardless of any differences.

  • UtesJazzCowboys HERRIMAN, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 1:48 p.m.

    This Ute regular season ticket holder ALWAYS loves your columns. Vai, thanks for sharing with us. Keep up the great work! Utes by 7.

  • WYOREADER Gillette, WY
    Sept. 20, 2013 2:18 p.m.

    There is nothing like a Vai Sikahema column to brighten my day! THANKS! GO COUGS!!

  • XelaDave Salem, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 2:39 p.m.

    I hate Vai stories for some reason I always have to wipe my eyes while reading them- allergies I suppose

  • JapanCougar Apo, AP
    Sept. 20, 2013 2:48 p.m.

    I think plenty of BYU fans are like Vai...we love our Cougars but also love our neighbors. I think the message boards create more bitterness than just about anything else, because people can be anonymously rude to each other.

    Vai is a great example. Great story.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 3:10 p.m.

    Sports is for fun. A win means your team won the game. Not much else. Who wins the battles of life matter. Vai and Lee have things in perspective.

    I do keep hearing two stories about people who aren't LDS living in Utah. 1) I was shunned. 2) I was inundated with gospel requests. Tough to have both stories. There's a third: 3) My neighbors were great neighbors. I went to some of their events. They went to some of mine. Love it here. My neighbor who said that was a VP with Stouffers and they had great sorrow when Stouffers transferred them.

    Carpe Diem.

  • 79Ute Orange County, CA
    Sept. 20, 2013 3:20 p.m.

    I'm a third generation Ute, but some of my favorite children are Y grads!

    None of my kids made it to the U - they fell in with the wrong crowd in CA. We don't decorate the house or fly flags, we just try to be objective and enjoy the games of both schools.

    We're so ecumenical that we even root for USU, so we can't wait to see the USC game and watch our neighbors get nervous. Then we root for the grads of all the Utah schools to do well in the pros - especially those from SUU playing for the Chargers. It should be a fun weekend.

    Remember it's only football and life goes on after Sports Center gives way to SNL!

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 3:26 p.m.

    I want to go eat at your house.

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    Sept. 20, 2013 3:50 p.m.

    "I allowed people to offend me". Truer words never spoken, and applies far beyond LDS Church related issues. I loved the conference talk of Bednar several years ago; "You have to choose to take offense". I read it a couple of times a year as an attitude self-check because it lays it all bare - it's not what happens or is said to you, action is up to you. Beat Utah !

  • daver Provo, 00
    Sept. 20, 2013 4:07 p.m.

    Thanks for the story, Vai. You're a good writer! I think each of us has one or more redemption stories - definitely humbling for all of us!

  • schmed Mission Viejo, CA
    Sept. 20, 2013 4:18 p.m.

    Great article Vai !

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Sept. 20, 2013 4:23 p.m.

    Great article Bro Sikahema. The security guard (non-member) in the office building where I'm located grew up in SLC graduated from West High and is a red-blooded Ute and ravenous sports fan. I visit with him nearly everyday and you'll never guess what we always talk about. Go Cougars!!

  • dogchow1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 4:31 p.m.

    Ha Ha! Bested the Ute. I was out of the Church for only 38 years. ;) Another wonderful and reaffirming story from Vai.

  • common twit Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 5:28 p.m.

    Thanks Vai for the story. I am a less than active mormon. Stories like this make me want to be better. I get "looks" when I go to church. I have a long beard and I don't have a white shirt that fits me. And I abhor ties. I am also the guy that wants to help others and shows up at service projects whenever possible. I just wish I could feel welcome in the chapel.
    I am not trying to make anybody feel sorry for me. I am fine with these things. I am just pointing out that sometimes we do get offended. I believe that some try to make us all fit a certain mold. I am glad that there are some sane, compassionate LDS people out there like Vai and Tommy Monsen.

  • Lifelong Republican Orem, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 5:44 p.m.

    Vai,

    Thanks for the story and you look great in BLUE!

  • So. Cal Reader San Diego, CA
    Sept. 20, 2013 6:26 p.m.

    Vai, where you been? I've missed your articles. I thought, perhaps, you had been reprimanded by DN editorial staff! :o) Great article, as all of yours are. Look forward to the next one. Great story.

  • kattawn ,
    Sept. 20, 2013 9:25 p.m.

    Love these stories! I too was a "wanderer" for about 20 years. Pres. S next time you're in Vineland Ward, please tell Doris M. I said HI! lol

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2013 10:12 p.m.

    RE: Commontwit, forget the looks, try a West side LDS ward. We've got beards, open collars, bolo ties. It is important you come and worship.

    As to Vai's stories, I wondered if he had died. Thanks for publishing what he writes, he's good to read.

  • CJay Logan, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 12:49 a.m.

    Vai- Great article. Rich has been a great friend for 45+ years, since South High School years. This has been a great year for him and your influence has been very special to him. He is an awesome guy and we are so glad his sweet mom's fervent wish for him has come true.
    Go Cougars! (Sorry Rich)

  • Cougar Cindy Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 1:19 a.m.

    Can I come over, too, Vai?

  • midwestfan Spanish Fork, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 7:08 a.m.

    I too want to say "welcome back" Vai. As I read this story of the return of a lost lamb missing the church, I thought of how much I have missed your stories, which usually cause my "allergies" to act up. Stories that touch the soul always lift us up. I love stories of the unconquerable spirit of mankind, of redemption and return, and of the love that so many have for friends and strangers alike. Please, please keep them coming, especially those about "me", another soul who was loved into the church by a neighbor who overlooked the outward, and even caused me to see the inward me. -A former lost lamb; a non BYU grad, but huge fan. Go COUGS!!!!

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 7:25 a.m.

    I lived a "wayward" life for a good 20 years as well. I'm glad I'm back. Welcome home Rich!

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    Sept. 21, 2013 12:00 p.m.

    @ common twit - Salt Lake City, UT - "Thanks Vai for the story. I am a less than active mormon. Stories like this make me want to be better. I get "looks" when I go to church. I have a long beard and I don't have a white shirt that fits me. And I abhor ties. I am also the guy that wants to help others and shows up at service projects whenever possible. I just wish I could feel welcome in the chapel.
    I am not trying to make anybody feel sorry for me. I am fine with these things. I am just pointing out that sometimes we do get offended. I believe that some try to make us all fit a certain mold. I am glad that there are some sane, compassionate LDS people out there like Vai and Tommy Monsen."

    Sir -

    Try to ignore any stares you might receive. I've been active in the church all my life (over 4 decades) and am glad to see 'new' faces in the congregation. Sometimes our (active members) words just don't come out right. A smile and a grateful attitude go a long way for BOTH of us.

    See ya!

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 12:24 p.m.

    Bryan Rowleys Highlight tape is worth watching! He is an amazing player!

    Go Utes!

    Vai, You are a stud! Great story!

    We need more BYU fans to move out there in the Mission field!

    That would be great.

  • atticus Orderville, Utah
    Sept. 21, 2013 4:14 p.m.

    Glad you are back. I have missed your articles.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 6:51 p.m.

    I'm also glad you're back. Great story. DN, please keep publishing Vai's blog!

  • IA Cougar West Des Moines, IA
    Sept. 21, 2013 6:57 p.m.

    I truly wish more BYU/Utah fans could be in this same place. Great article. AMEN

  • utahcountyute Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 7:01 p.m.

    Great article Vai, welcome back Rich and.....

    Go Utes!

  • Ute parents - me Cougar Rathdrum, ID
    Sept. 22, 2013 1:06 a.m.

    I grew a bushy beard at 20 so everyone would stop bugging me about going on a mission. When they did I made my own decision to go. Was the best thing i did up to that point in my life. It changed my life.

    Meeting my wife at BYU was the first awesome result of that choice. Been a great 33 years since then. I credit it all to the beard!

    Never grew it back but maybe someday. It would surely be gray new.