SANDY — Don't be a "gamer" or an "orange-eater"; be a "doer," and master the fundamentals of the gospel, said Morgan Scalley, University of Utah defensive coordinator, as he spoke to a chapel full of young single adults at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Sandy Institute of Religion's weekly forum Wednesday, June 1. Scalley, a former Ute all-American safety, also shared a few thoughts on missionary work.
"It’s my prayer that if we find ourselves as gospel gamers, or being orange-eaters in the gospel, that we find a way out and become doers," Scalley said.
Speaking without notes, Scalley acknowledged that in the eternal perspective of things, football is an insignificant game, although it has taught him many important life lessons. Among many football/life parallels, he has observed three types of people in football, he said.
First, the "gamers" are the guys on the team who have talent and athleticism, who love the bright lights, individual accolades and glamour, but who don't appreciate the team, practice or attending class. As a result, they often find themselves disgruntled on the sidelines during the game because they don't understand the game plan or have the trust of their coaches, Scalley said.
Second, the "orange-eaters" don't care about playing time, wins or losses; they only care about being on the team and attending the post-game party. The name "orange-eaters" comes from being the first guys to enter the halftime locker room and eat the oranges, even though they haven't broken a sweat. They are the first in line to have their picture taken with the bowl trophy. Around campus they sport a letterman jacket so others know they are on the team, Scalley said.
Finally, there are the doers, who consistently spend extra time working in the weight room, in the film room and after practice. With all they do, you wonder how they have time to get top grades and to speak to students at elementary schools. They represent the program the right way, and regardless of talent level or personal aspirations, all that matters is the team, Scalley said.
"The group you win championships with are the doers," Scalley said.
These three types of people are also found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Scalley said, adding that he has fit into each category at different times in his life.
"To a certain extent, probably all of us have been one of these types," he said.
Scalley calls the gamers the "Sabbath Saints." They show up to church. They may sit in the front row and bear their testimony, but they go missing the rest of the week. They want high-profile callings for all the wrong reasons. They don’t do their home/visiting teaching or attend ward temple night. Theirs is a Sunday-only membership, Scalley said.
Gospel orange-eaters don't want the high-profile callings, Scalley said. They want to lie low and skip Sunday School to talk in the halls, and they are the first through the ward dinner buffet line so they can leave before cleanup time. They enjoy the social aspect of the church, especially ward Lagoon Day, but don't contribute much else, he said.
Meanwhile, the names of the doers somehow end up on all those Relief Society or elders quorum lists for blood drives, service projects and ward temple nights. The doers sustain their leaders by magnifying their callings, and they consistently do their home/visiting teaching without fanfare. They understand what the gospel is all about, Scalley said, citing James 1:22 and Mosiah 4:10.
"We've been asked to be doers since we were Sunbeams," Scalley said, referring to the class of 3-year-olds in Primary.
Doers are successful because they master the fundamentals, Scalley said.
For the University of Utah, spring football practice is less about scheme and more about fine-tuning the fundamentals, such as tackling and catching passes. Players who neglect the fundamentals eventually drop down the depth chart and become engulfed in self-pity. Sometimes they accuse the coach of not keeping his promises, Scalley said.
The same concept and process can be applied to the gospel, Scalley said.
"If we don't care about fundamentals, we become absent-minded toward things that matter most," Scalley said. "What are the fundamentals of the church? They are everything you’ve been taught since you were a Sunbeam. You could be asleep in Primary and someone asks you a question and (you, waking up, say), 'Oh, go to church, read your scriptures and pray,' and 90 percent of the time you are going to be right."
Scalley described reading the Book of Mormon as a teenager and being moved to emotion for the first time.
"If you get nothing out of the Book of Mormon, it's because you aren’t looking hard enough," Scalley said. "Read until you get something out of it, read until you are moved to emotion. You pray and thank your Heavenly Father for putting you here in this life, at this time so you can be a light, one of the doers, to prepare for his Second Coming."
After Scalley concluded his remarks, an institute leader asked Scalley to return to the pulpit and say a few words about his experience as a missionary for the LDS Church in Munich, Germany.
Scalley said he was influenced to serve by siblings who served in India and Hungary, as well as good friends. Although every door was slammed in his face, he said, he grew to love the people.
Scalley compared his missionary service with the experience of playing in big-time college football games and being part of the Fiesta Bowl team that became the first to bust the Bowl Championship Series in 2004.
"As cool as it was to be thrown in the air with Tostitos chips flying all over the place, nothing compares, not even close, to the feeling you have when you are sitting across from an investigator or inactive member (and) you are bearing your testimony, and they start to cry," he said. "For the first time in their life, they know that God loves them, that the gospel is true, and you have been part of that process. That is the greatest feeling in the world. Nothing I ever did in football or ever will do in football compares to it. That is what a mission is all about, and I loved every minute of it."
A person won't know how great a Mormon mission can be until he or she serves one, Scalley said.
"The coolest promise, in my opinion, is found in the letter you receive from the First Presidency with your call," Scalley said.
That promise is: "Greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in this labor of love among his children."
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