Former BYU quarterback Gifford Nielsen called to be a General Authority

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  • BYU Rocker South Jordan, UT
    April 9, 2013 11:32 a.m.

    In 1977 I attended 7th grade at American Heritage school (Pleasant Grove). Had a friend from Provo, David (won't mention his last name but I could). Dave told me he lives in Gifford Nielen's ward. I wrote a poem that took third place in the 7th grade competition that year. Dave asked me to write him a copy in my best handwriting, to give to Gifford Nielsen. He said he did and Gifford liked it. I don't know if that really happened (if so, sorry Dave for questioning), but here's the poem:


    Once at the football game you see
    Gifford Nielsen hurt his knee
    All his enemies were very glad
    But all his friends and fans were sad
    Some people say there still is hope
    But other people just say "nope"
    He thinks it happened for a reason
    Maybe he'll play with the pros next season.

    (c) 1977 Karl C

    I saw a television interview that year, where Gifford Nielsen said he believes in God and that things happen for a reason, and that his injury that 1977 season, as terrible as it was, happened for a reason. So I put that in the poem.


  • GD Syracuse, UT
    April 8, 2013 3:12 p.m.

    I believe Bosco is 6'4". Elder Nielsen has always been an example. Congrats to he and his family.

  • HS Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 8, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    He's come a long way since pumping my gas. Congrat's on living right on and off the field.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    April 8, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    Giff--er--Elder Nielsen is a truly honorable man.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    April 8, 2013 2:17 p.m.

    Wow, I always thought Ty was pretty short (from what I remember crossing paths with him on campus) but Bosco is really short. I'm wondering if he's even 6'0"?

  • jlowe83927 DENVER, CO
    April 8, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    Yes, the game was against New Mexico. Giff was 3rd string and the team had not won a game that year. I was on the sidelines as a student equipment manager and remember it very well. The starter and backup were ineffective. In the middle of the third quarter, Giff came in an lead the team to a victory. He became the starter from that point on.

  • Jumanjijuice Springville, UT
    April 8, 2013 8:13 a.m.

    One of the most honorable and charming people I have ever met. Always a big smile and a bigger hug. Great man and great family. Love you guys!

  • softball ump Lehi, UT
    April 7, 2013 8:00 p.m.

    Elder Nielson will always be "The Giff" to me.. he will be a great asset to the church and will become one of the most beloved of the 70... I am looking forward to hearing his conference talks

  • TXBYUFAN Spring, TX
    April 7, 2013 7:46 p.m.

    Elder "Giff" Nielsen is a great person. I had the opportunity to grow up in his ward and served with him as a home teaching companion for a time. He is still a great friend of our family. Even with his Area Authority schedule, he made time to come my aunt's funeral this past year. He'd give her a big hug every time he saw her.

    I'm happy for Elder Nielsen and Wendy. They are a great example of how to live a Christlike life.

  • BYU64 Fremont, CA
    April 7, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    Can we say Leader. Gifford was and is. Great Teamate, Great Example, Great Man. He treated all of us the same whether we were new freshman on the team or the 5th yr. sr. Class act when he got hurt and was one for the team. Does this call surprise any of us. No.

  • stephen29 American Fork, UT
    April 7, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    Great man and a wonderful person with the leadership skills few have. I have known Giff since elementary school. His leadership always came to the forefront, not only in sports, but life. His heart is pure,he has the ability to connect with everyone young & old. Great choice by the church.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    April 7, 2013 8:03 a.m.

    I can still recall Gifford coming into a game I think with New Mexico and BYU was losing by a couple TD"s perhaps a night game and he quickly got the team going for a win.

  • DRay Roy, UT
    April 6, 2013 11:22 p.m.

    I watched Gifford as a member of BYU basketball team, his team spirit and leadership stood out, though he was a freshman...he was a leader consistently, in whatever he was involved in.

    April 6, 2013 11:05 p.m.

    Giff Nielsen is one of the most Christlike, caring and personable leaders I've ever experienced in the Church. He is beloved by everyone who has been blessed by his leadership in his many years in Texas. We will miss him, but the worldwide church will be blessed.

  • just-a-fan Bountiful, UT
    April 6, 2013 6:33 p.m.

    Thanks to SLCWatch. Great comment.

  • SLCWatch Salt Lake City, UT
    April 6, 2013 6:20 p.m.

    Well Wayne, things were different back then. More is asked of Qb's today. But yeah even today coach Mendenhall would give him his shot. But back then most people would make civil comments about a head coach of any team, so we wouldn't have have even seen your comment in print.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    April 6, 2013 4:43 p.m.

    I wonder if he would even get a chance under Bronco? Great guy, real leader.