“I repeat what prophets have long taught—that every worthy, able
young man should prepare to serve a mission. Missionary service is a priesthood
duty—an obligation the Lord expects of us who have been given so very
much. Young men, I admonish you to prepare for service as a missionary. Keep
yourselves clean and pure and worthy to represent the Lord” (President
Thomas S. Monson, As We Meet Together Again, October 2010).For what
shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
the word is prepare....just where did Pres. Monson serve his mission at 19? i
think people ought to worry about themselves. and yes i did serve a mission
ute alumni, I agree wholeheartedly with your comment. It's
Jabari's decision & we should leave him alone about it. There is a
thing in the church called stewardship... None of those commenting on this story
have the proper stewardship to counsel Jabari on his spiritual decisions!
I don't fault Jabari for choosing not to serve a mission. It is a personal
thing, lets not judge others. How many of us would have made the same
decision...? I also served a mission and was glad that I did. It was a great
experience for me.
Missions and service come in different forms, not always clad in a white shirt
@ute alumni,While I disagree with the criticism from Angela, I
equally disagree with "President Monson didn't serve a mission at
19" as if that impacts anything. It doesn't. My guess is there are
numerous things that the brethren have either done or not done in their lives -
and of which they'd hope others do differently. What the prophets tell us
to do is infinitely more important than what they may have done or not done
One thing I have come to learn is this. One can reach the Celestial Kingdom if
they do not serve a mission. However, one cannot without the ordinances of the
temple. We should prepare young people for the temple. In addition, where
possible, every young man should prepare for a mission. There are circumstances
when individuals like Jabari Parker, Danny Ainge and Jonny Miller will do and
have done much good in furthering the work because of their circumstances and
professional opportunities. For the rest of us like me, a mission was the best
thing in my lfe!
The Church has over 80,000 fulltime missionaries serving. The work isn't
hurting any and one more isn't going to make a difference. An opportunity
like the NBA or the NFL doesn't come along every day.
Judgmental much, Angela08? He met with his local leaders, who probably
encouraged him to play ball. But I guess you know better than they do. Are you
suggesting he pass up the NBA? Because it's his priesthood duty? What about
all the young men who can't go due to health issues, past mistakes, etc.?
What about all the sisters serving since the age requirement change? I'm
sure one will be happy to take his place and be grateful for the opportunity.
Steve Young didn't serve - do you feel he's lost his soul?
@JimmyJackJohnJonesIf you were telling people that their religion
was wrong and yours was right, you didn't do your mission correctly.
Personally, I taught people about my religion, refrained from stepping on
theirs, and told them to figure it out for themselves.
@independent - how do you know what his local leaders told him to do? You
don't know they probably told him not to serve any more than another person
on these boards knows that his bishop told him he had to serve.
Re: ". . . every worthy, able young man should prepare to serve a
mission."Just as Jabari is doing.He's at peace.
His Church leaders are at peace. Who are we to disturb that peace and
second-guess the all-knowing source of it?
Give it a rest everyone. This is not national news and should have been a
private matter for Jabari. He can be just as good a person in the NBA as he can
on a mission. He will have a chance later in life to serve if he so chooses.
I suppose there are mission and then there are missions. Don't you think
that Steve Young or others named represented themselves and their church in such
high profile professions? It's not my business and not anyone
I'm not seeing any response to "Jimmer" and his decision not to go.
Does going to BYU exempt you from criticism. Leave Jabari alone.
He'll be just fine.
A Mission is "NOT" a Saving Ordinance. Every young man
should prepare and be worthy to serve, but that does not mean that every young
man (or women) should or will be prepared to serve a formal mission in their
youth. Perhaps their time comes later in life or not at all.It must
also be understood that there are indeed many ways to serve a "Mission"
and many high profile athletes and entertainers have been counseled by Apostles
and Prophets not to go and to just keep doing what they are doing.This is a personal decision between any individual, his church leaders and the
Lord. It is very presumptuous for anyone to be dogmatic and judgmental in this
regard. The old adage, "Mind your own business", applies.We
all knew a few missionaries, who never should have wasted the Lord's time
and/or their parents treasure. The most effective missionaries are those who
serve after serious contemplation and prayer. Those who miss the mark are those
who only go because of a misunderstood "mandate" and social pressure.Jabari Parker is an outstanding missionary, every day of his life
Danny Ainge later became an LDS bishop after his NBA career. Steve Young has
said he and his wife want to serve a mission together. A mission is a privilege
and the growth experienced during that two years is priceless. Parker is a rare
talent and taking that talent to the NBA is the right thing for him so long as
he is able to stay grounded with his faith with all the money and glamor of
being a high draft pick.
Angela was reminding us of the words of two very wise men. I fail to see any way
that it can be construed as "criticism". It is good to be reminded. I hope Jabari does well in his career, and even more so, in his life.
Serving a mission is a transformative experience. I am sorry that he will miss
out on that experience at this point in his life. There are some very important
points being made, here, that this doesn't mean he's a bad person, and
it doesn't mean he can't serve the Lord, and his fellowman, in many
constructive ways in the future.
I left Utah for Arizona 20 years ago and have to say that I do not miss these
types of discussions AT ALL. If there is one thing Christ's example
teaches us is that everyone should be treated as an individual.So
now I'm going to do what drives me crazy when others do it: Pick at
Angela's words: "every worthy, able young man should prepare to serve a
mission." So tell me, Angela, does the term 'prepare to serve a
mission' strictly mean SERVE a mission as a single person, or just prepare
so you are worthy if/when other aspects of one’s life 'line up'
– he/she is worthy to accept the call?I don't know the
answer - don't pretend to know the answer. I served a mission and
couldn't be happier that I did. Others serve and are bitter, and I'm
not just talking about the fellow from Jonestown TX. The point is, it's
personal matter between you and the Lord.Only Parker knows if he
made this decision because he didn't want to sacrifice 2 years of his
basketball career, or because he loves money more than God.
Question: How many of us 'just know' that we would LOVE to have this
decision to make? Everyone thinks they would love it, but my guess is that
notion is like iron pyrite - sure looks like gold until take a closer look.Anyone would be torn by this decision, struggle to do the right thing -
set aside the natural man or woman. It could lead one to a sense of discomfort
the spans the rest of a person's life, unsure as to whether or not he/she
did the right thing. Another man's path is always greener, the
sun shines brighter on the other side. And if you don't believe that, I
have some 'gold' you might be interested in buying.
Good luck with your career Jabari! Ignore the naysayers.I agree with
BraveSirRobin - I never taught others their religion was wrong on my mission. I
just went and taught people that wanted to listed about our church. That was all
I was ever counseled to do by my leaders as well. There are great people in
every religion. The fact that I believe my church is true doesn't mean I
think they are in the wrong. Our church teaches that those in other religions
will have an opportunity to receive the fulness of the Gospel at some point.
With those in other religions, I am glad they believe in God.
Whether he goes or not, Parker is free to make up his mind and that's how
it should be.
For what it is wroth, the admonition for all worthy men to serve missions was
first issued by President Kimball in the early 1970s. Such an admonition did not
exist in the 1940s, so we cannot compare Preasident Monson's actions to
those of more recent figures.That said, the decision to serve a
mission or not is an individual one, and I will not take it upon myself to know
what the right decisions for any individual is. In the case of sports there is a
very narrow window in which people can be involved in professional sports, and
leaving for 2 years is very disruptive to careers.I firmly believe
Parker can do at least as much for LDS outreach as a well followed NBA player as
he could as a missionary. Although, because I like thinking outside the box, I
still wonder if there is any chance that Parker could still serve a mission. I
know there was at least one pro-futbol player in Argentina who took a leave from
his team to serve a mission.
My guess is his bishop and other leaders he may have met with, refrained from
saying if he should or should not serve. I would guess they had him work out the
results on fiances, future employment options and other such things if he
entered the NBA now, if he waited to finnish college, if he went on a mission
and then went back to college and then to the NBA, or any other possible
options.There are lots of facts I do not get a sense we know. Like
the economic situation of Parker's family. Also, having seen pro-sports
figures be big draws for missionary firesides, a way to get people out to at
least listen to things that they might otherwise ignore, there is a definate
plus to having a figure like Parker.This is more so because he is
African-American. On my mission we had a hard time getting African-Americans to
even pause to listen to us. While Parker as a misisonary would help in this
regards, him as a nationally known Mormon African-American basketball player
will also help, and more broadly while not maybe as personally.
Steve Young did not serve a mission. After his NFL career he's served in
many ways. More recently, he came out in support of LGBT and has been very
supportive of gay rights.Jabari will have his time to make a
positive impact on the world, but he obviously decided he doesn't want to
serve a mission now.
Let's see, Jabari forgo his mission and opt for the NBA which will pay him
handsomely in millions, which in turn benefits the Church quite nicely with a
hefty dose of tithes, offerings, missionary fund, perpetual education fund, etc,
which will then help support hundreds, if not thousands more of other young
people from around the world who wants to serve but are unable to support
themselves. On top of that, the publicity he'll receive will benefit the
missionary work quite nicely if he continues to stay humble and true to the
values he espouses as an honorable Christian young man. I'm sure in the
eyes of the Lord that's more than a valuable contribution to his work. And
who can say that he won't ever go on a mission later in his life?
He'll probably be a bishop, stake president, or a general authority some
day. Who knows? Heck, he may even be a Relief Society president! (Just being
With Parker going into the NBA the Church gets 10% of many millions of dollars
and Parker can still go on a mission later in life.
@McMurphy,Many people assumed he would go on a mission and did not
respect his decision not to serve a mission. He may also choose not to pay
tithing. I hope you'll respect that decision as well. After all, his
Father is not LDS but his mother is. Now that Jabari is an adult, he is free to
make his own decisions.
Brother Parker has made his choice and I believe that he will be an outstanding
example, mentor and missionary to the world. In the interviews that I have
watched he is humble and polite. Let your light shine, Br. Parker! Oh, and get
those rebounds! Go Bucks!
This is a topic I will probably never understand. If every worthy young man
should serve a mission, why would there be exceptions? Because he's GOOD at
what he does? Why is that different than being a young entrepreneur or computer
science expert?I understand that physical abilities deteriorate after 30,
so you have to strike while the iron is hot. I understand that taking a
'time out' from your sport and possibly future profession would be
considered a sacrifice (giving up--or delaying-- one thing for something
else).But this all needs to be said more simple: Would you rather serve
the Lord on a mission or.... (insert 'more important' thing here).
People need to stop with the "He can be a missionary through playing his
sport and being an example." Couldn't he do that after he got
Who knows, Maybe the NBA is his mission
I did not serve a mission. I was ready and prepared, but at my stage in life
when I was 19, it was something that was not in the cards. I have held many
positions of service in the church, married in and attend the temple, have been
married to my sweetheart over 30 years, have raised two wonderful daughters...
And I believe that every member is a missionary.I personally have no
control now over a decision I made when I was 19, but I don't regret it a
bit. Maybe more people should be worried about how they live their
lives, than judging how others choose to live theirs. Too many Mormons are more
interested in forcing the sheep mentality on other members, which has a negative
impact on many of them. We should not run them off if they don't fit with
our plans for their eternal salvation. Let's have them strive to grow up to
be good fathers and mothers. IMHO.
What has Jabari done, to show he's an active Mormon?