COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — A few weeks ago, Phil Ford was resolute in stating his desire to join BYU’s football program upon graduating from Iowa Western Community College in May 2013. Well, those plans have now changed.
Cougar coaches responded quickly to Ford’s interest in playing for their program by flying out to evaluate and talk to the 6-foot-6, 330 offensive line prospect. BYU offensive line coach Mark Weber informed Ford that they were interested and encouraged him to raise his grade point average, shed some pounds and to keep in touch throughout the season.
Ford had intended to do just what Weber prescribed, but if BYU now wants to proffer a scholarship for the mammoth offensive linemen, it’ll have to wait — for at least three years or so.
“I talked it over a lot with people and I prayed about it even more and I’ve decided to serve (an LDS Church) mission after I graduate” next May, Ford said. “Football will still be there when I get back, but the chance to serve a mission and letting people know of the truth that I have found is something I need to do.”
Ford was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints several months ago and has since been a vocal proponent on Twitter of all things LDS. He's been tweeting inspirational messages several times a day every day. Given his notable enthusiasm, the transition to becoming a full-time missionary seems right up his alley.
“I’ve already shared the gospel with most of my friends and family, and I want to share the message with everyone,” Ford said. “As a (full-time) missionary, I’ll be able to share the most important thing in my life for two years, and I can’t wait to do that. It’s my dream now to have the opportunity to be a missionary for the (LDS) church.”
Ford understands that serving a two-year LDS mission involves a huge sacrifice of both time and money. For this reason, he’s already well into the planning stages by working weekends and nights in order to earn enough money.
“I’ll do whatever it takes,” Ford said. “I know that if I put forth the effort that the Lord will provide the way. I’m so excited since making my decision. I feel that I owe this since I’ve been so blessed in my life. I’ll go anywhere I’m called, and I can’t wait for the opportunity.”
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