Comments about ‘BYU basketball: Jimmer Fredette’s spiritual side’

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Published: Monday, March 7 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

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Orem, UT

Jimmer has been and will continue to be a great ambassador and missionary for the church. He's already accomplished a lot just by being a good example of living the gospel.

Dewey Hewson
Eagle Mountain, UT

"(Being a missionary for the church) means more to me that being a good basketball player," Fredette says.

Oh, I suppose that's why he didn't go, then.

Don't get me wrong, there's absolutely nothing wrong with a person who chooses not to go on a mission, but I loathe doublespeak.

West Jordan, UT

Jimmer does really seem like a great guy and I do hope things go well for him in the NBA.

I keep seeing this picture with Jimmer and Kupets and I always wonder what they were laughing about. I know they both seem like funny guys. (I think Kupets is saying to him, Hey Jimmer, I got two hot sisters that want to meet you!)

Gray, TN

From where I live in TN, I can assure you that Jimmer is being a good "Missionary- Ambassador" for the LDS Church. I consider this a "tag-team" operation where "doors may be open" because of Jimmer's accomplishments on the court, AND more importantly his humble nature and clean lifestyle, could allow some missionaries into homes to teach some gospel principles.
I think there are many ways we can ALL be missionaries in today's world besides serving a full-time mission. Jimmer may miss out on some of the joys of being a 2yr full-time missionary now, but I think he will have more to share in the long run, especially as he will be looked at through a microscope if he makes it big in the Pros. How would you like that kind of pressure on you? We should all DO what we can do, and hope others will DO the same.

Big Thunder
Hurricane, UT

Jimmer has brought more attention to the LDS Church through his basketball career at BYU than 99 percent of all missionaries. Jimmer may have missed out on what a mission can teach a young man individually, but dont call it doublespeak when he talks of the importance of being a missionary for the church. I wish I would have affected have the people he has while I was on my mission.

hier sports
Washington, UT

The same people (fans) who credit JF with being a 'great missionary' would probably be quite disapointed in their own sons if the son(s) chose to forego a mission instead to pursue aspirations of becoming a professional.

Another point- I was taught, or at least it was my understanding, that chapels were places where behavior should consist of a most respectful manner, ie. reverence.

I imagine the Fredrete basketball practice scenes playing out in the hallways of chapels; offended some members who regard chapels as places of the Lord's house (Kingdom).

These comments will surely rile JF's fans, I know, but sometimes love of sports makes people compromise principles that are so preached about.

Notice: that the most successful BYU athletes (in the professional sense) all choose to not go on missions. (Steve Young, Danny Ainge, Wally Joyner).

This fact is detrimental to any member trying to teach their children that a mission is so important.

Some Y' fans will continue to rationalize to serve their love of sports, but in the end, the big man has absolutely no time or regard for the world of sports.

Orem, UT

Dewey Hewson

Remember the saying "every member a missionary"?

Serving an 18-month or 2-year full-time proselyting mission isn't the only way of being a missionary.

It would have been great if Jimmer had served a full-time mission, but being a great basketball player and being a great missionary are not mutually exclusive.

See President Thomas S. Monson and Kresimir Cosic -- two great missionaries who never served full-time, two-year, proselyting missions.

Centerville, UT

I am not judging the guy, a lot of you are spot on, he has done so much to open doors across the country for the LDS church. People are talking about it a lot and people are asking questions because of the exposure. For that, I applaud him for using his abilities to further the work of the Lord.

My next point is, I cant take this quote seriously:

"(Being a missionary for the church) means more to me that being a good basketball player," Fredette says

Anyone who values being a missionary for the church more than being a basketball player would do what the prophet says. "EVERY" young man should serve a mission (if physically/mentally able to do so).

My final point is: I grew up wanting more than anything to be a good basketball player, and it didn't work out for me. Jimmer has everything I wanted when I was growing up. I can honestly say, I would not trade the experiences I ahd on my mission for all of the accolades that are sure to come his way. Not now, not ever.

Ted H.
Midvale, UT


I'm curious what you think of University of Utah or University of Washington athletes who are Mormon and don't go on missions?

Please - go ahead and tell me that they don't represent the church also. Or will you throw out something lame like "BYU students represent the church MORE, so it doesn't matter about other kids." My response in anticipation of such utter nonsense that so often comes out of the mouthes of BYU haters - this must mean it doesn't matter what kind of person I am because my bishop is MORE responsible for being a good person than me.

I don't see a single Y fan rationalizing anyone not going on a mission by the attention he might bring from sports success. Similarly, I don't get bent out of shape when a Ute of Washington Husky doensn't go on a mission.

Jimmer didn't go on a mission. Get over it. And yes, as much as it seemingly pains you Jimmer and his talents can and do appear to be a missionary tool.

The self righteous hypocrisy from BYU haters is unbelievable.

Provo, UT

@Dewey - where is the doublespeak? Are we not all called to be member missionaries? What would you have Jimmer say?
Is it not great that someone of his fame also desires to be an example, regardless of having served a full-time mission?

@hier sports - Church buildings are obviously multi-purpose facilities - delineating the cultural hall as okay for baskbetball but not the halls can be debated, but if it actually offends someone, I would say to that member, lighten up.

I don't believe you can purport to 'know' what the big man has time or regard for - but it is obvious that recreation and enjoyment are approved by God, and inasmuch as a sports figure or team can create a positive impression of the church or the Gospel, I would think that is something God "has time for." If not, why does the BYU Football team exist?

Las Vegas, NV

hier sports: "but in the end, the big man has absolutely no time or regard for the world of sports."
Really? Did He tell you that personally?
Chapel hallways have kids acting irreverent in them! It happens. Get over it.
Is Bishop Ainge somehow diminished as a person because he chose not to serve a mission? Some are so quick to make judgements about people and their personal circumstances of which they no absolutely nothing!

Be Practical
Sandy, UT

To hier sports

Let me ask you, is the point of a mission to serve yourself or serve the Lord? If it is to serve the Lord, which I submit that it is, there are other ways for some people to serve which are by far more effective than a 2 year proselyting mission. Countless people have come into the Church as the result of the example and testimony of a Donny Osmond, Danny Ainge, or Steve Young, more so than perhaps many a full-time missionary.

Conversely, I have seen missionaries come into the field who had no business being there. I had a companion who wouldn't get out of bed before 9:00. There was another Elder in my district who was sent home because he couldn't stop flirting with the young ladies. Those guys did more damage than good by being there. A full time mission simply isn't for everyone.

As far as practicing in the church hallways, that's not part of the chapel, it's just simply part of the building, like the cultural hall is part of the building, or shouldn't they play B-Ball in there either?

metamora, IL

heir sports:

"in the end, the big man has absolutely no time or regard for the world of sports."

I disagree with you.

As a dad, I take great pleasure anytime I get to watch my children excel: one is a wonderful piano player (and she's only 12!); another is a good writer (25 and published); another excels in almost every way academically; another was a good cross country runner.

I really don't think God is much different from me in this matter. He enjoys seeing his children excel in whatever righteous endeavor they attempt. Is sports the most important thing in regard to their salvation? Of course not. But the discipline and self-mastery and hard work that leads to athletic proficiency are all qualities which must be employed to develop spirituality.

Bottom line is, I think you are drawing the line a little too dark between temporal and spiritual things.

Solomon the Wise
Alpine, UT

The Pharisses and Sadducees worried so much about the tiny details of the law, that they completely failed to understand to the spirit of the law.

Modern day judges in Israel should keep that in mind when judging Jimmer for choosing to fulfill his missionary obligation via a different path than a serving a two-year, full-time mission.

Maricopa, AZ

I think we would all do well to avoid judging JF, lest we are judged for what we do or don't do with the talents we are given.
I knew missionaries in my mish. that were not there for the right reasons and
did not serve with all their heart.
So are they some how better than JF just because they went throught the motions?
I seriously doubt it.
I home teach a lady in AZ who joined the church last year because of her admiration of the Osmond family.
Our lives will be measured in many different ways, but in the end I think there are many ways to be effective members and missionaries.
And I for one will not judge another for their choices.
Especially not the Jimmer.
Sincerely, an ASU fan.

Syracuse, UT


Do you honestly think that HE (Jimmer) thinks that he is not doing missionary work by playing bball at BYU the past 4 years? I think his mission IS playing bball. I have heard of many people who have served several missions in their lives with many different kinds of missions (full-time two year, welfare, temple, etc, etc). Your last statement, " I can honestly say, I would not trade the experiences I ahd on my mission for all of the accolades that are sure to come his way", how do you know what accolades will come his way. What if he were to bring in hundreds of converts around the world due to his bball playing. Do you think that he would have found that many on a 2-year mission? Come on and face it, he is doing a wonderful job for the Church and I doubt he would do anything close to what he is doing now for the Church and BYU. We could all sit here and say "What if", but anyone's serving a full two-year mission is between them and the Lord, not them and you!

Provo, UT

Danny Ainge's father was a good friend and he said that the prophet asked Danny, just as he did Donny Osmond, to serve a different kind of mission. Don't judge.

Tomball, TX

I loved my mission but I don't feel like I can judge others who don't choose the same as me. Please, people, let others make their own decisions. Don't ask people when they are getting married and having children either. Mind your own business.

Centerville, UT


You make some great points and I agree with a lot of what you say. I think you are assuming I said things that I never said.

The first thing I pointed out was that Jimmer has done a fantastic job of representing his faith on a large stage. People are asking questions about the church and he has become a "one name only" celebrity. It has done great things for the missionary effort.

Yes, the prophet has said that every member should be a missionary. Jimmer has done a fantastic job of being a member missionary. I can't applaud him enough.

The prophet has also said that each worthy young man should serve a full-time mission. I think anyone who values being a missionary more than anything else (in this case a basketball player), would heed that call (if physically able), put aside everything else for two years, and do it!

Plenty of people who go on missions are bums. Plenty of people who didn't go on a mission are faithful members of the church. I am just saying that I don't agree with his statement.

that being said, I applaud him, loudly.

Ted H.
Midvale, UT


I don't particulary care for bennie boy too often - but he's right on this one. I treasure my mission experiences and wouldnt change them for anything.

I'm not for bashing Jimmer at all, but to counter your point couldn't Jimmer have gone on a mission AND then come back and brought hundreds into the church as you say? Going on a mission wouldnt have meant he couldnt have come back and been a great baller still.

He could have done both.

That being said - I still doubt the majority criticizing Jimmer would be doing the same to a Mormon Ute, which shows their serious lack of gospel comprehension in my opinion.

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