Comments about ‘Jabari Parker, Mormon athletes and missions discussed in New York Times article’

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Published: Thursday, June 26 2014 12:25 p.m. MDT

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Rochdale, MA

“I repeat what prophets have long taught—that every worthy, able young man should prepare to serve a mission. Missionary service is a priesthood duty—an obligation the Lord expects of us who have been given so very much. Young men, I admonish you to prepare for service as a missionary. Keep yourselves clean and pure and worthy to represent the Lord” (President Thomas S. Monson, As We Meet Together Again, October 2010).

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

ute alumni

the word is prepare....just where did Pres. Monson serve his mission at 19? i think people ought to worry about themselves. and yes i did serve a mission

El Chango Supremo
Rexburg, ID

ute alumni, I agree wholeheartedly with your comment.

It's Jabari's decision & we should leave him alone about it. There is a thing in the church called stewardship... None of those commenting on this story have the proper stewardship to counsel Jabari on his spiritual decisions!

Provo, UT

I don't fault Jabari for choosing not to serve a mission. It is a personal thing, lets not judge others. How many of us would have made the same decision...? I also served a mission and was glad that I did. It was a great experience for me.

utah, UT

Missions and service come in different forms, not always clad in a white shirt and tie.

Sports Are Great
Salt Lake City, UT

@ute alumni,

While I disagree with the criticism from Angela, I equally disagree with "President Monson didn't serve a mission at 19" as if that impacts anything. It doesn't. My guess is there are numerous things that the brethren have either done or not done in their lives - and of which they'd hope others do differently. What the prophets tell us to do is infinitely more important than what they may have done or not done decades earlier.

Hyrum, UT

One thing I have come to learn is this. One can reach the Celestial Kingdom if they do not serve a mission. However, one cannot without the ordinances of the temple. We should prepare young people for the temple. In addition, where possible, every young man should prepare for a mission. There are circumstances when individuals like Jabari Parker, Danny Ainge and Jonny Miller will do and have done much good in furthering the work because of their circumstances and professional opportunities. For the rest of us like me, a mission was the best thing in my lfe!

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

The Church has over 80,000 fulltime missionaries serving. The work isn't hurting any and one more isn't going to make a difference. An opportunity like the NBA or the NFL doesn't come along every day.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Judgmental much, Angela08? He met with his local leaders, who probably encouraged him to play ball. But I guess you know better than they do. Are you suggesting he pass up the NBA? Because it's his priesthood duty? What about all the young men who can't go due to health issues, past mistakes, etc.? What about all the sisters serving since the age requirement change? I'm sure one will be happy to take his place and be grateful for the opportunity. Steve Young didn't serve - do you feel he's lost his soul?

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA


If you were telling people that their religion was wrong and yours was right, you didn't do your mission correctly. Personally, I taught people about my religion, refrained from stepping on theirs, and told them to figure it out for themselves.

Ted H.
Midvale, UT

@independent - how do you know what his local leaders told him to do? You don't know they probably told him not to serve any more than another person on these boards knows that his bishop told him he had to serve.

Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . every worthy, able young man should prepare to serve a mission."

Just as Jabari is doing.

He's at peace. His Church leaders are at peace. Who are we to disturb that peace and second-guess the all-knowing source of it?

Reasonable thinker
PAC Country, CA

Give it a rest everyone. This is not national news and should have been a private matter for Jabari. He can be just as good a person in the NBA as he can on a mission. He will have a chance later in life to serve if he so chooses.

Star Bright
Salt Lake City, Ut

I suppose there are mission and then there are missions. Don't you think that Steve Young or others named represented themselves and their church in such high profile professions?
It's not my business and not anyone else's.

Harwich, MA

I'm not seeing any response to "Jimmer" and his decision not to go. Does going to BYU exempt you from criticism.
Leave Jabari alone. He'll be just fine.

Sandy, UT

A Mission is "NOT" a Saving Ordinance.

Every young man should prepare and be worthy to serve, but that does not mean that every young man (or women) should or will be prepared to serve a formal mission in their youth. Perhaps their time comes later in life or not at all.

It must also be understood that there are indeed many ways to serve a "Mission" and many high profile athletes and entertainers have been counseled by Apostles and Prophets not to go and to just keep doing what they are doing.

This is a personal decision between any individual, his church leaders and the Lord. It is very presumptuous for anyone to be dogmatic and judgmental in this regard. The old adage, "Mind your own business", applies.

We all knew a few missionaries, who never should have wasted the Lord's time and/or their parents treasure. The most effective missionaries are those who serve after serious contemplation and prayer. Those who miss the mark are those who only go because of a misunderstood "mandate" and social pressure.

Jabari Parker is an outstanding missionary, every day of his life

Cedar Hills, UT

Danny Ainge later became an LDS bishop after his NBA career. Steve Young has said he and his wife want to serve a mission together. A mission is a privilege and the growth experienced during that two years is priceless. Parker is a rare talent and taking that talent to the NBA is the right thing for him so long as he is able to stay grounded with his faith with all the money and glamor of being a high draft pick.

Dave Duncan
Orem, UT

Angela was reminding us of the words of two very wise men. I fail to see any way that it can be construed as "criticism". It is good to be reminded.

I hope Jabari does well in his career, and even more so, in his life. Serving a mission is a transformative experience. I am sorry that he will miss out on that experience at this point in his life. There are some very important points being made, here, that this doesn't mean he's a bad person, and it doesn't mean he can't serve the Lord, and his fellowman, in many constructive ways in the future.

Gilbert, AZ

I left Utah for Arizona 20 years ago and have to say that I do not miss these types of discussions AT ALL. If there is one thing Christ's example teaches us is that everyone should be treated as an individual.

So now I'm going to do what drives me crazy when others do it: Pick at Angela's words: "every worthy, able young man should prepare to serve a mission." So tell me, Angela, does the term 'prepare to serve a mission' strictly mean SERVE a mission as a single person, or just prepare so you are worthy if/when other aspects of one’s life 'line up' – he/she is worthy to accept the call?

I don't know the answer - don't pretend to know the answer. I served a mission and couldn't be happier that I did. Others serve and are bitter, and I'm not just talking about the fellow from Jonestown TX. The point is, it's personal matter between you and the Lord.

Only Parker knows if he made this decision because he didn't want to sacrifice 2 years of his basketball career, or because he loves money more than God.

Gilbert, AZ

Question: How many of us 'just know' that we would LOVE to have this decision to make? Everyone thinks they would love it, but my guess is that notion is like iron pyrite - sure looks like gold until take a closer look.

Anyone would be torn by this decision, struggle to do the right thing - set aside the natural man or woman. It could lead one to a sense of discomfort the spans the rest of a person's life, unsure as to whether or not he/she did the right thing.

Another man's path is always greener, the sun shines brighter on the other side. And if you don't believe that, I have some 'gold' you might be interested in buying.

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