Jabari Parker back on the court, not planning to serve Mormon mission at 18


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  • gharmons Helendale, CA
    Dec. 5, 2012 7:51 p.m.

    While I wish that he had chosen to serve a mission now and hope that he will choose BYU, it is not for me to judge him. Whatever he chooses, I hope that people who are judging him don't drive him away.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Dec. 5, 2012 5:10 p.m.

    Haven't talent in something can easily put you in the spotlight on every descision you choose to make. David archuleta, Manti Teo, the Osmonds, Jimmer Freddette, Luke Staly all had achieved great talent before mission age and performed in front of thousands so people follow there descisions like crazy.

    Any case I have seen several explanations of Laban and God always tells us to do what is right. What Nephi was told was foreign to him he hesitated. For active friends and neighbors trying to make that descision but not well known besides family and friends I would not put them down for choosing not to go. Wish they would and do what I can to encourage them. I think you can defend righteous principles withoug unrighteous judgement, Encourage people to keep the commandments and such help them repent when they need too. Were not Protestants. All missionaries who go out willingly sacrifice. And performers who are well known well there sacrifice might be more visible than the average Joe. A mission is what Church leaders have repeatedly urged for all worthy young men and we should encourage them.

  • Y Ask Y Provo, UT
    Dec. 5, 2012 4:06 p.m.


    Oh, I'm sorry. I thought this was the "unrighteous judgment blog". At least that is what everyone else is doing (including you), so I thought I would pile on the bandwagon.

  • JParkerfan St. George, UT
    Dec. 5, 2012 3:39 p.m.

    This "Diversity" garbage is so overrated. Come to Utah. See how the church is supposed to work. Then go out and help those in the "mission field." You know the place that has fewer monthly baptisms than the Utah missions.
    If he doesn't go to BYU then the only logical choice is Duke. (And I hate Duke) MSU can't develop a decent pro player.

  • dallas realist rockwall, texas
    Dec. 5, 2012 1:03 p.m.

    Missions are great but they are not for everyone.

  • PhatFunkaSpartan Detroit, MI
    Dec. 5, 2012 1:02 p.m.

    Has anyone told him that the LDS church has an institute building and LDS apartments across the street from the MSU campus? I got find a way to get this message to Tom Izzo. Please Jabari don't get sucked into the Mormon culture superiority complex. Plus...much more diversity. I'm sure the 4 hours from Chicago will help as well.

  • Brother Wolf Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2012 12:12 p.m.

    His only mission right now should be learning to nail jump shots.

  • Bill Shakespeare Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2012 12:04 p.m.

    RE: Higv

    Then I guess you didn't notice that part in the scriptures where the Lord tells Moses "Thou Shalt Not Kill," but then tells Nephi take Laban's life for the greater good. What the Lord tells people to do is the Lord's business, and you shouldn't go around inventing doctrine. We are all responsible for our decisions. I'm happy I can teach you more about our religion.

  • esodije ALBUQUERQUE, NM
    Dec. 5, 2012 12:00 p.m.

    I wouldn't purport to tell Jabari whether or not he should serve a mission; however, it would be interesting if someone studied the pro careers of past BYU star basketball players to try to ascertain how much correlation there is between serving a mission and one's longevity in the NBA. Anecdotally, it always seemed to me that the players who served missions (e.g., Devin Durrant, Michael Smith) typically didn't last as long in the NBA as some of the players who didn't (e.g., Danny Ainge, Fred Roberts, Greg Kite). And even an RM like Shawn Bradley, who stayed in the league for over a decade, never really developed into the player he was expected to be. An LDS church member who plays pro basketball, football, or baseball already forgoes strict Sabbath observance for the sake of career. Does it really compound the situation not to serve a mission for the same reason?

  • Bill Shakespeare Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2012 11:57 a.m.

    Great news! The church leaders give wise general counsel. GENERAL counsel. There are exceptions to the rules. Jabari is one. He'll do more for the church at Duke and in the NBA than any of you sour grapes hypocrites out there giving Jabari the disappointed head shake. Gimme a break. This is fantastic news! Go Jabari!

  • Go Utes! Springville, UT
    Dec. 5, 2012 11:49 a.m.

    Wow, just wow. its no wonder I cannot stomach the culture here in Utah Valley. Guys you seriously need to chill, if you are against young men not going on missions you should start by influencing the young men in your wards, heck, check your own homes for somebody who could use some advice. Do not start laying the gospel down on a kid you have never, met, spoken too, affiliated with, looked at (except online) or invested time and love in raising. He is none of your business you need to relax and let him live. the people who raised him should be the only ones who help him make any decision.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Dec. 5, 2012 11:40 a.m.

    Y ask Y:

    When did it become a mandate to serve a mission at 18? NEVER. He may elect to serve up to 26 years of age. So for you to state that he is currently NOT following the Prophet and needs to (repent) is false, and the unrighteous judgement puts you in danger of hellfire.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Dec. 5, 2012 11:37 a.m.

    Patriot said: "Danny Ainge didn't serve either. He played for 12 years in the NBA and won a world championship! He later served as an LDS Bishop."

    Cracks me up when people hold up Ainge as a good example of the Faith, when for his first 30 years he was a punk. Having been associated with him in Oregon and at BYU, I can tell you that it was probably a good thing he did not serve a mission. Good for his companions, good for the investigators. It took a long time for this particular individual to grow up.... I'm glad he did. But I'm sure the important things in life might have come sooner in life if he had heeded President Kimball's counsel to lengthen his stride and serve a mission.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Dec. 5, 2012 11:29 a.m.

    higv; I wish you could write properly in English.

    Wow, reading these comments no wonder people think we're not Christians.....

    My 2nd son is on a mission. My first son decided to get married at 20 (sealed in the temple at 21), so did not go on a mission.

    Is one a better human, a better Mormon? Am I a failure of a father first, and a success second?

    Is it any of your places to judge me, my children, or Mr. Parker. NO!

  • Y Ask Y Provo, UT
    Dec. 5, 2012 11:20 a.m.

    It is pretty simple. Either you follow your Prophet or you don't. Jabari Parker is, at this stage of his life, NOT choosing to follow his Prophet. He may change his mind (repent) later and go on a mission when he is 19, but unless he injures himself again, I highly doubt he will. Professional athletes have such a short productive life span. He is at his prime and developmental peak. Wasting two years of that prime time would not only be foolish because it would effectively cost him millions of dollars, it may also risk his career entirely.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    Dec. 5, 2012 10:02 a.m.

    How is this young man's business anyone's concern but his?

    I always love seeing the great number of responses to important issues of the day, like sports. Write an article about trivial stuff like education and scarcely anyone notices.

    It's kind of like the way everyone talks about the "reason for the season," yet spend the greatest majority of their Christmas time and treasure on stuff.

  • SyracuseCoug Syracuse, ut
    Dec. 5, 2012 9:11 a.m.

    Pretty simple really, it's completely up to Jabari.

  • johnnylingo62 Gray, TN
    Dec. 5, 2012 8:56 a.m.

    I have always considered serving a 2yr mission as a "tithing on my time" 10% of my first 20 yrs. But that's just me. It's interesting how easily one physical injury can sideline an athlete for a whole season (depending on when it occurs). It's also interesting how one spiritual injury can also subject a person to a long time of healing.
    Jabari will make his own decision and will hopefully stick to his commitments - whatever they may be. He seems to be a well principled young man with a testimony of Christ. He'll make his own decision according to how he is led by the spirit.

  • JParkerfan St. George, UT
    Dec. 5, 2012 8:26 a.m.

    I like it when people get after others for judging and then they call them things like "hypocrites." Doesn't make much sense.
    There are no "generalities" re: mission service. Of course there are good people who don't serve missions, but the prophet has made it clear that all worthy men should serve.
    If he doesn't i'll still support him and wish him well, but I believe that he will be blessed if he does and when he has his own children, and grandchildren, he'll be happy if he served.

  • TOO Sanpete, UT
    Dec. 5, 2012 7:15 a.m.

    Here's food for thought for all the judges on here:

    A mission is not a saving ordinance. It's not like temple marriage, word of wisdom, tithing, etc. The guy can still go to the Celestial Kingdom without serving a mission. Now, whether or not you can accept the fact that the kid can make it to the same place as you hypocrites is a matter of your choice, but that's a fact.
    Let the kid do what he thinks is best for him, his future, and his life. God will take care of it--not you people.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Dec. 5, 2012 7:11 a.m.

    @ eastcoastcoug 5:47 a.m. Dec. 5, 2012

    I completely agree. As someone from within the Zion curtain but not part of the *true believers*, I avoided weighing in... until now.

    That being said, ed in atl 5:27 p.m. Dec. 4, 2012 is 100% right.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Dec. 5, 2012 6:49 a.m.

    He never said he wasn't going on a mission. He said not at 18. My only brother-in-law never served a mission. He has served as a Bishop, Stake High Council, and principal of a major High School in Utah. He has a son that served and a grandchildren that have. I have heard a General Authority admit that they often speak in generalities and that there can be exceptions. I wish him nothing but the best whatever he decision he makes.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Dec. 5, 2012 5:47 a.m.

    Sports and religion don't mix any better than religion and politics. I wish some of you would read your comments once posted from the perspective of a person sitting outside your little bubble. How would Jabari feel if he read this? What would someone from ESPN think?

    I'm not saying you're not free to think as you wish or may not have good intentions, just realize this blog is viewable worldwide. How we practice our beliefs is more important than whether we are orthodox.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 11:48 p.m.

    remember a mission is an opportunity to serve - not a commandment! I loved my mission but there are some exceptional athletes like Danny Ainge and Steve Young that are blessed with God given talent and I don't think throwing that away is something you automatically do. Only the Savior can judge each of us and he isn't impressed with titles or check lists of what we did. Without Charity you are nothing (Moroni 7) and my guess is that will weigh far more than accomplishments - missions or basketball. Yes every young man should serve a mission - should serve and not must serve. There are sometimes circumstances that may change those plans.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 11:36 p.m.


    Danny Ainge didn't serve either. He played for 12 years in the NBA and won a world championship! He later served as an LDS Bishop. There are many ways to serve.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 11:33 p.m.

    Parker is doing the right thing - with his talent I am guessing he will end up at Duke or North Carolina. The ONLY trouble is I doubt either school is going to be too keen on him leaving after one season. My guess is he will follow Danny Ainge and play instead of serve a mission. A mission is great but so is playing at the highest level of basketball. We all are blessing with different talents.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Dec. 4, 2012 11:30 p.m.

    Guam Bomb There was no decree to go on mission in Hunters day, Robert D Hales wrote book and same thing. War and depression hindered. A modern prophet said to go and only leaders can excuse you.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Dec. 4, 2012 11:26 p.m.

    I don't think the Lord himself would tell the prophet one thing and tell an individual to do something diffrent. Since the Lord does not tell someone individualy what he has revealed collectively and is no respector of persons. Mission playing ball, Is someone free to donate ten percent of there income to charity, Feel religious with creations and not church, Or modify any other commandment for what they think is greater good. Playing in front of thousands though takes work to get there is nothing like sacrficing for your brothers and sisters were the Lord calls you.

    OF course I would not say someone not going is bad, But there are greater blessings for those that choose to serve how the Lord wants them too. How will a mission damage them or the church? A few people will point to missionaries that are not to be out there. True there always will be bad apples. But do the few bad apples excuse others from going with fame and talent? I would think it would be great if all great athleted went on missions myself for there and there brothers and sisters benefits.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Dec. 4, 2012 11:20 p.m.

    This article was on the sports page a few days ago with all the comments. Welcome to conference a brief introduction President Monson first thing talks about going on missions. For him to say that that frequently that early means it is pretty important. As for Freddettte, Young and Ainge they missed out on great experiences by not going. An individual that joined the church at 19 served in several leadership positions but did not go on mission got married said A mission would of helped him in those callings.

    Many athletes did go on missions and did ok on there return, Sid Going, John Beck, Devan Durrant. Could the people that mentioned did not go had better experiences going on missions? Who joined the church because they skipped there missions? We are not to make unrighteous judgements. Many active people may not go on mission does not mean they are bad people. Not in limelight. Just miss an oppurtunity to follow the counsel of the prophets. DAvid Archuleta is now on a mission. AS far as I know It is up to an individual to decide if he weill go. However I don't think the Lord himself continued

  • Elk Hair Caddis Sandy, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 11:01 p.m.


    I totally agree. It is between him and God!!!

    Mission or no mission he would be loved at BYU and later respected in the church as have Jimmer,Young,Ainge and many other outstanding members who did not serve missions (with white shirts and ties that is).

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Dec. 4, 2012 10:17 p.m.

    It is between him and God.

    Dec. 4, 2012 9:48 p.m.

    I'm LDS, went on a mission and it was great for me. But I would not pretend to know anything about what Jabari is going through or to receive any revelation or guidance for him.

    I saw an interviews and read some articles on Jabari and he is a far better person at his age than I was! I think that is as far as anyone should go on judging him, just far enough to be impressed by him as a person.

    He seems like a great person and will make the best decisions he can which should be enough!

    Dec. 4, 2012 8:47 p.m.

    Sports are great,
    And I suspect that if he chooses provo, then

  • SS MiddleofNowhere, Utah
    Dec. 4, 2012 8:32 p.m.

    @ PGVikingDad,

    Christ didn't make any exceptions either when he commanded us not to judge others with unrighteous judgement. No one has the right to pass judgement on anyone for not going on a mission, you have no idea what is going on in their lives. None.

  • Al Thepal Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 8:21 p.m.

    Although I agree with the Prophets who have said every able young man should serve a mission, I also agree with the Savior when he said judge not that ye be not judged. Do I think Jabari would make a great missionary and do I think it would be a great experience for him? Yes, of course I do. But at the same time, I will not judge him not blame him if he chooses to not serve a mission. How many of you who are judging him can honestly say that you would serve a mission if you were in his shoes? I know I can't.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 7:51 p.m.

    Jabari Parker is a good young man whether he serves a mission or not. If he chooses to not serve a mission he probably should not play at BYU as so many members of my church cannot fully respect an individual's choice if it doesn't match how they believe he should behave. Yes, church leaders have stated that all worthy young men are obligated to serve a mission but that doesn't change the fact that some choose not to. The same church leaders also teach that we should love one another even when others choose differently than we do. I personally hope that Jabari prayerfully considers his choices and then does what he is prompted to do and what is in his heart. He deserves our acceptance whatever he decides.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Dec. 4, 2012 7:20 p.m.

    Sports Are Great,

    Question? Did Jimmer, and Steve Young go on missions?

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 5:53 p.m.

    Weak Lady Robin,

    You just got rocked by PG Viking Dad. I stand by my claim. If the kid chooses BYU and doesn't go on a mission, he'll be criticized by Utes both Mormon and non-Mormon. If he goes elsewhere and doesn't do the mission, the same people will be congratulating the guy.

    Lady Robin - You've already proven to be a flip flopper.

  • Guam_Bomb BARRIGADA, GU
    Dec. 4, 2012 5:31 p.m.

    This has to be why his parents have been very protective of him. He's got so much pressure on him from being an elite Basketball player. Add to that the pressure of millions of Mormons and their expectations and that's a heavy load for a 17 year old.

    BTW, I don't recall anything in the guideline saying that a male must leave when they are 18. For those who have already made plans, as it appears Jabari has done, I don't see a need to change them.

    If he goes of doesn't it's up to him. If he doesn't then the "righteous" need to keep it zipped. It would be good to remember that the LDS Church was once led by a man who decided to chase a music career instead of a mission.

  • ed in atl Duluth, GA
    Dec. 4, 2012 5:27 p.m.

    ITB you why I enjoy living in the south and not UT. Jabari just listen to your heart. You will do well whatever you decide. Is it too late to get a game with against Lone Peak and Simeon?

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 5:08 p.m.

    Cut him a little slack to decide his future. Not every young man is a good fit at age 18 (or even 19). And then look in the mirror before deciding what someone else did regarding missionary service was wrong if they go out at a later time. I know missionaries who left at about age 25 and they are very good missionaries. It's their decisiion and agency to decide when to serve.

  • PGVikingDad Pleasant Grove, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 4:42 p.m.

    "I am not his judge," eh, Sir Robin:

    "Brave Sir Robin
    San Diego, CA

    President Hinckley's counsel did not make exceptions for promising young athletes, singers, actors, or other celebrities. Nor did it make an exception for those who think (or are told) that they will do more missionary work by furthering their careers than going on a mission, like a lot of local leaders were doing 30 years ago.

    This isn't 1981 any more...everyone needs to get with the times."

    But nobody's judging, right?

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    Dec. 4, 2012 4:30 p.m.

    You had to know that someone like 'inthebooth' would chime in and pretend to care what this good young man does.
    Not that I'm convinced that 'itb' is even LDS.
    If only any one of us were in the position that this young man is in.
    I suspect he feels alot of pressure no matter what direction he goes.
    I for one hope he just enjoys being a 17 year old kid playing high school bball.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Dec. 4, 2012 4:14 p.m.

    @Sports Are Great

    I was going to ask you if you'd like a bigger brush to paint with, then I realized the one you've already got is big enough.

    This Ute fan will not call Jabari Parker anything no matter where he goes or what he does, because I'm not his judge.

  • Osgrath Provo, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 4:09 p.m.

    Interesting that inthebooth knows so well what is in Jabari's mind and heart. Pretty black-and-white bold statement: "He will regret it." What if he doesn't regret it? Also, I'm not sure he sold out for money and fame. Fame he already has, and the money is there for him at any time, since the only thing he needs to do is play a year of college ball to sign a first-round draftee contract in the NBA worth millions - that whether he goes on a mission or not.

    I think that New Testament statement about judging has real merit and application for us all.

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 3:59 p.m.

    My guess is if he chooses any school but byu and says no to a mission, most Ute fans(aka byu haters) will applaud him for doing the right thing for his career.

    If he chooses byu and still doesn't go on a mission, the same Ute fans will call him a hypocrit for being a mormon but not doing the mission thing.

  • inthebooth Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 3:55 p.m.

    If he plays he will not serve his mission. He will get drafted. unfortunate that he sold out for money and fame. He will regret it.