Comments about ‘Former Oakland Raider recounts LDS conversion’

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Published: Thursday, May 30 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Mesa, AZ

great article---congrats to the Owens family. As much a pioneer family as those that entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.

Dietrich, ID

I haven't seen VAi's view for sometime on here but the Sunday issue he didn't want his kids to play on Sunday but he did as did Burgess. That is one of those I guess what is better descision for the time and it was there occupation. One that they chose. Great story. I remember reading about it in some book a long time ago too.

Frozen Chosen
Savage, MN

I hope this story causes people to think before judging athletes whose profession requires them to work on Sunday. Obviously much good came out of Todd Christensen's NFL career.

Having said that, the number of teenagers who go on to play pro sports is very, very small so you can't necessarily use that excuse to let little Johnny play sports on Sunday.

Richmond, VA

Beautiful conversion story! Thanks for sharing. I'm sure the Christiansens are no doubt experiencing already the joy of that promised blessing told in scripture, "...if it so be that you should labor all your days...and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father." Sounds like the Owenses are a very special couple and judging from the strength of their faith and testimony since joining the Church, they are indeed great assets to the Lord and his work. Again, thanks for sharing. This makes my day!

Salt Lake City, UT

I'll tell you how the Christensens did it. It's almost a foolproof method and it snares lots of people when used by just about anyone. Sneaky as all get out too. The Christensens do this to lots of people. They were friends! Can you believe that? They actually cared about others, had interest in their interests, shared time and truly cared about some one not aligned with their personal agenda. How sneaky is that? Why if people started doing that we would have kindness, generosity and service up to our ears? Pretty soon we would have people actually knowing about each other and knowing they can always get help or give help without obligation. Of course this might lead to people considering a life changing decision but then again many just might know they were loved without agenda or guile. Wow, who needs a friend without an personal selfish agenda?

Just thought I would warn people about what happens if they are....true friends.

Cougar Passion
Salt Lake City, UT

@SLCWatch: I don't think we stress enough in the church that the two great commandments are to love the Lord with all our heart/might/mind/soul/strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. The "loving your neighbor as yourself" part is not contingent on whether the neighbor is a church member, or whether he or she might become one. But a great many of our neighbors will eventually find the joy of living the Gospel if they see us practicing it toward them first.

DEW Cougars
Sandy, UT

What the Christensens did was they only planted just a little seeds at a time and things blossom

Austin, TX

As one who has harped on the Sunday thing...

My qualm has never been with the Athletes. I would have played on Sunday too in a heartbeat given the chance. They can be great people in spite of playing on Sundays.

That said, the problem as I see it is with the members and church leaders who make idols out of these pro athletes who pass up missions and choose to play on Sunday. (This is not the case of Mr. Owens BTW, I am well aware.)

The BYU Womens Rugby team can't be heroes for not playing on Sunday while Steve Young is a hero for doing it. You can't have it both ways. Playing Sports on Sunday is 100% a choice as proven by the Womens Rugby team (and it is the Wrong one, as per God's commandments). Don't pretend like it's a vital job.

It is *not* Missionary work (at best it is just PR) and even at that why ask for PR brought by way of commandment breaking?

I liked this article. Owens' conversion story is an inspiration...and not bc he was an athlete but because of his faith.

Omaha, NE

Who can deny the peace that is afforded by His Gospel? It is true, once your heart has been opened, the peace that it offers in a very disturbing and challenging world is inconceivable at first, but irreplaceable thereafter. Godspeed Mr. Owens!


Herbert Gravy
Salinas, CA

@teleste: Is it OK if I have my "sabbath" on Saturday or Monday instead of Sunday? Just asking.


Thanks for the sermon, teleste. One important point of living the gospel is being honest. I highly doubt you've heard a single person make a claim that Steve Young is a hero for playing on Sunday. For being a highly gifted and acclaimed athlete and holding to high moral standards in the midst of a hedonistic culture, yes. But, I do not believe for one minute that anyone attributed his "hero" status based on the day on which he played.

I think most of us would just prefer that you keep the sanctimony to yourself, and maybe work on the logic and truthfulness of your debating point.

Saint George, UT

WOW! Beautiful story about perspective. It is difficult to understand why certain things happen but while we may not understand all of God's ways, we know we are children of a loving God who knows us and loves us. God works in mysterious ways and always hears our prayers. The Owens listened to the promptings of the Spirit of God and have reaped tremendous blessings as a result. Total respect goes out to them and their family.

Austin, TX

@Herbert Gravy

You can have your Sabbath on whatever day you want. Again, my problem is with the members/leaders who ream me for watching the NFL when I should be keeping the Sabbath Day Holy and then who look upon Jimmer Fredette a great "missionary". (Deseret News, Sunday, Feb. 13 2011) They, not you, nor the athletes, are who I see as inconsistent and tire of.


I agree Young has great qualities that makes him a good person. It still doesn't mean it was OK for him or anyone else to pursue football on Sunday. (Or if you make enough money is it OK?)

I've heard it on these discussion boards. It is usually said along the lines of "His way of being an example and missionary".

I am not anyone to be on a soap box, I am "telete" ha ha. Even so, the fail in logic is that it is OK for some people to play on Sunday and for others it isn't--especially when it is then preached both ways. That's my complaint.

Bountiful, UT

"but the Sunday issue he didn't want his kids to play on Sunday but he did as did Burgess."

Burgess wasn't a member of the church when he played on Sundays. If you read the entire article he joined the church on New Years Eve and then retired from pro football in April so he didn't play on Sundays as an LDS athlete. Also, he went back for the entire previous year's income and paid a full tithe even though he wasn't a member of the church during that time.

Talk about getting it. What a great man.


@Teleste - yes, we understand with every article involving professional LDS athletes, there comes the automatic lecture about Sabbath observance from someone who should probably be in charge of professional LDS athletes' temple recommends.

If you feel good about watching NFL on Sunday, tell those who "ream" you to mind their own observance. I've heard comments about caffeine, R movies, vegetarianism and the Word of Wisdom (both sides), worthiness of gay members, sanctity of Monday evenings (FHE MUST be held on Mondays!), taking political sides, etc., etc., that don't line up with my interpretations of the gospel, yet I don't feel the need to correct everyone who may feel differently. Almost always, they're casual passing comments, but I know there are those who feel "reamed" if they ever hear such comments.

I suggest you develop enough confidence in yourself to allow others to seek their own inspiration and live by their own integrity without judging them.

You may have noticed that Gifford Nielson was just called as a General Authority. I haven't heard anything about the repentance process he must have experienced to overcome the stain of having a former professional football career.

Herbert Gravy
Salinas, CA

@teleste: Are you ABSOLUTELY certain that the likes of Steve Young, Jimmer Fredette and other professional "Sunday players" don't (didn't) observe the "sabbath" on a day of the week other than Sunday? Again, just askin'. If they do (did) could they still be a "great missionary"? Which leads me to ask another question: How do YOU define a "great missionary"?

Tom in CA
Vallejo, CA




You might want to quit while you are still ahead.

Cache county, USA

It's nice to see a Mormon story excepted in the DN. usually they are a negative for some folks. But this one falls under a different subsection.

Cougar Passion
Salt Lake City, UT

@teleste: Interesting points you make. I for one have never heard anyone bother anyone else about watching football on Sunday, but I guess that sort of thing exists. I look at it something like this: I have a vast collection of songs on my MP3 player. I have noted that, over time and as I have tried to live the Gospel more in line with what I think Heavenly Father wants me to, there will be the occasional song I delete after I realize I probably shouldn't be listening to it, although that thought hadn't occurred to me in the previous 30+ years. The same thing has happened with movies, and with matters related to paying attention to sports (either on TV, online, or in the newspaper) on Sunday. I think the important point is to ask ourselves if what we are doing falls in line with God's will. Often that even means substituting something that is better for something that might not be particularly bad. Is watching sports on Sunday the best Sabbath-related activity you could do? That ultimately is between you and the Lord.

Cougar Passion
Salt Lake City, UT

@teleste: One more point: I don't like the idea of working on Sunday, but I have had jobs that required that. I really don't know what choice I would make if given the opportunity to quickly secure my family's financial future and, yes, be a positive role model and potential missionary if it meant working on Sunday. I think that would again come down to whether one felt it was in line with God's will. I would note that it can't be a black-and-white issue, given that President Hinckley highlighted Dale Murphy (and Peter Vidmar) as a great example at a Priesthood session years ago.

I will say that I *do not* agree with a professional LDS athlete who, once his playing career is over (and no longer has to work to support himself and his family), then chooses to go into another career that requires working on Sunday. But the fact that I don't agree with it doesn't necessarily mean it is entirely out of the question in the Lord's view.

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