Curtis Brown's LDS conversion at BYU

By Talo Steves, Jedd Parkinson and Matt Hodge

Deseret News

Published: Monday, Oct. 14 2013 10:30 a.m. MDT

On Feb. 21, 2004, Brown was baptized a member of the church by Berry. Leading up to that day, Brown was unsure how he should handle the situation with regards to his family.

“At first I didn’t even want to tell my family that I was getting baptized because I felt like it’s personal, I don’t need to bug them with it,” Brown explained. “I wasn’t sure how they’d respond.” He ultimately decided to tell them about his plans and invited them to attend the ceremony in Provo. Two days after attending her son’s baptismal service, Cheryl Brown penned an article on TotalBlueSports.com describing the experience from her unique perspective as a mother and a member of another faith.

“My son Curtis Brown, a running back on the BYU football team, was baptized and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints last Saturday in Provo,” she wrote. “His father, brother, sister and I are not LDS members, but we were thrilled with his decision and would not have missed it for the world. I can honestly say I saw it coming for some time and was not too surprised. I have witnessed and marveled at the growth and maturity in my son since he has been at BYU. As parents, how can we not be proud and supportive when our adult child chooses to accept God as his Savior and commits to live his life in accordance with God’s word.

“I truly appreciate the love and support my son has received from so many in the BYU community. Be assured as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Gospel is moving forward at BYU and lives are being changed, one at a time. I would personally like to thank Matt Berry, a BYU quarterback, and George Curtis, the BYU trainer, for the spiritual guidance they provided Curtis and being there for him on a daily basis. In addition, I would like to thank the many BYU coaches, athletic department staff members, his teammates and friends who led by example and were such a positive influence in my son’s life. As parents, we are ever mindful that our actions speak louder than words.

“Since our affiliation with this unique and special university, the BYU coaches and supporting staff have done nothing but conduct themselves with integrity and dignity. For that, we are forever grateful. The male athletes at BYU are blessed to have them as role models since they are our future fathers, husbands, church leaders, community activists, etc. Thank you Bishop Edgley, a member of the LDS Church’s Presiding Bishopric, for taking time out from your busy schedule to participate at this joyous occasion. How profound your words were when you assured Curtis that, as the newest member of the church, that it is as much his to claim as it is yours.

“When Curtis told us he wanted to be baptized into the LDS Church, I never once felt that I was losing a son, but gaining a whole new family. This fact has been amplified in my mind and with members of my family over and over since Saturday. Thank you all for the kind words and best wishes. I will be sure to pass them along to Curtis.”

More than 150 people were in attendance that day as Curtis Brown began a new chapter in his life. Looking back on the experience nearly a decade later, he is grateful for the love and support he received from his family and friends.

“Knowing that they were there supporting me, having quite a few people there supporting me, I didn’t realize at the time how big of a deal it was,” he said. “To see the kind of support I got from friends and family was a pretty awesome experience and it’s something I’ll take with me for the rest of my life.”

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