A Cougar converted: Mark Bellini, the '84 national championship and beyond

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 19 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

From there, Bellini earned a master's degree from BYU in environmental engineering. At different times he has worked as a real estate developer, a property manager and once he even owned a restaurant. Today he makes a living as an environmental consultant and biologist in Midway, Utah, where he lives with his wife and six children (five daughters and one son).

Bellini says making the transition from pro sports to a new career is difficult for most athletes because they can’t find a new passion.

“It took me some time to figure out my next place in life,” he said.

Most importantly, Bellini has continued to nourish his faith and build upon his testimony of the gospel. He has two church callings — shepherding his 19-year-old son with Down syndrome through the Young Men program and serving as a ward clerk.

Bellini will admit he’s had moments of lazy discipleship over the years. For now, however, he's grateful for how the Lord has blessed his life. More than a year ago, he felt compelled to create a Mormon.org profile and shared his story in the LDS Church’s “I’m a Mormon” campaign.

“I’ve gone through periods where I’ve been close to the Spirit and others where I’ve been distant … I got to the point when I realized it wasn’t working for me on my own. I needed the blessings of God in my life,” Bellini said. “When you are engaged in seeking the Spirit and trying to follow the teachings of Christ, your life is truly blessed.

"Live the teachings. It leads to happiness.”

Email: ttoone@desnews.com Twitter: tbtoone

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