Jabari Parker, Danny Ainge and LDS missions

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  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    July 2, 2012 5:49 a.m.

    @aggielove....that's an awful thing to say. An no, you can't.

  • Demisana South Jordan, UT
    July 1, 2012 7:29 p.m.

    I would hope nobody judges a young man who doesn't go. I have a child who is high functioning autistic. Most people don't know unless they are told, they just find him somewhat obnoxious in his mannerisms, although obviously a good kid with a testimony. I don't know if he's going to be able to go, or if he'll be allowed to go. Some are, some aren't and it's a very individual decision. Certain other kids will make one time mistakes that keep them from going, or join the military out of high school. Some don't have a strong testimony at the right age. It's nobody else's business.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    June 29, 2012 7:50 a.m.

    In this church, it's easy to tell who went and didn't go on a mission.

  • lloydlewisjr Montrose, CO
    June 28, 2012 3:39 p.m.

    As for me, I never had the opportunity to go on a mission, but knowing what I know now, I wish I had been able to. However, I wonder if I would have married the same wonderful woman, had the same kids etc. No, I didn't get to serve as a youth, but since my wife joined the church and I became active, I can hardly wait until WE have that opportunity as oldsters. As for Jabari, the Lord will help him in his opportunities as he prays and thinks about it. Whatever he chooses may God Bless him and keep him strong and content in the gospel. I support his decision, and I'm sure the church does also, just remember to express your support and love for him as he goes forward. Thanks for allowing me to comment.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    June 28, 2012 10:27 a.m.

    @ junkgeek

    And lastly, if you can't understand the incalcuable influence that "ambassadors" of the Church like Steve Young, Danny Ainge, Sid Going, Brandon Flowers, Dale Murphy, Gladys Knight, and even our politicians Harry Reid, Mitt Romney, and Orrin Hatch have in dispelling misconceptions and opening avenues for the Church then...well (sigh), I can't help you.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    June 28, 2012 10:15 a.m.

    @ junkgeek

    Well, if the Church doesn't need any more "ambassadors" then maybe the Brethren would scrap the
    "I'm a Mormon" campaign all together. Hilarious, we should all be ambassadors of the Church.

    It's ludicrous to suggest the Church doesn't need "ambassadors". We're highly misunderstood and categorized. A huge percentage of people think we can't dance, eat chocolate, use electricity, still have multiple wives, live in commune, ect, ect. If anything, we need more ambassadors who live productive, social, and community-active roles then ever before.

    I kindly, but passionately, disagree. And, evidently, so does the marketing department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    June 28, 2012 9:30 a.m.

    The Church doesn't need any more "ambassadors".

  • 55534947 Hooksett, NH
    June 28, 2012 9:01 a.m.

    Great article, especially is you read all the way to the end.
    About most members looking down on a young man who doesn't serve two years, some people do. I hope "most" is not true, especially outside UT.
    A stake leader made the comment that if one comes home early, they'll never make it to the celestial kingdom, and after doing a lot of research on this, I have it on good authority, that is not accurate. Only the Savior makes the judgement calls, not any man presently walking the Earth. My concern goes out to all those who don't serve; you are missing out, and "you" have changed my Life completely, and, if you came home early, get into Church asap. No need to make any confessions to anybody about early release. You don't see others confessing whatever, left and right. Just stick to the scriptures, be involved, and keep moving forward.

  • rnoble Pendleton, OR
    June 27, 2012 1:58 p.m.

    I have never been present in any meeting of the church where anyone's mission service was tabulated or tracked. I have, however, been asked personally about my past and present missionary service; mostly looking forward to what I am going to do next.

    This author surely knows the difference and I hope those of you who remain members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are also focused more on personal missionary service and less on others serving missions, whether celebrities or not.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2012 11:04 a.m.

    Wendell Hoop,

    Choosing to not serve a mission does not preclude anybody from going to the temple, being sealed in the temple, being a father, being a Bishop (or Prophet see current one), or obtaining any eternal blessing promised in scripture. Choosing to not serve a mission ALSO does not label you as UNFAITHFUL. Jabari Parker should probably forgo a mission if it means it would limit his ability to become a wonderful lifetime ambassador for the Church.

    And he can serve as many missions as he wishes later on in life.

    STOP IT!! GET OVER YOURSELF and read President Uchdtorf's talk from Conference. What about that talk don't you understand. Enough!

  • kiwi111 Auckland, New Zealand, 00
    June 27, 2012 7:45 a.m.

    Thanks for clarifying Bishop Ainge's comments. I must admit, I did think the original report on what he had said somewhat surprising. As for Jabari, he'll choose to serve a mission and will still make the NBA when he returns.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    June 26, 2012 10:53 p.m.

    There are many good arguments expressed by people as to why someone else should go on a mission. The bottom line in Parker's case is that it would cost him many millions of dollars. In the end, no matter what he does there will be plenty of people who are critical of his decision. Only Br. Parker can make this decision. I'll support what ever he decides after his prayerful consideration.

  • Wendall Hoop Murray, UT
    June 26, 2012 6:33 p.m.

    @USAlover & @Montana Mormon - just because we shouldn't judge them, per se doesn't meant that we should beat around the bush. he should go. every young lds person should go. or else he either is incapable (which Jabari is not), unworthy (which jabari IS worthy), or unfaithful (which he has been to this point). It is selfish not to go. I'll make that judgement. It is the right thing to do. Even though you are a good person, you still are disobedient to God and the prophet by choosing not to go.

  • Montana Mormon Miles City, MT
    June 26, 2012 5:34 p.m.

    @USAlover: Amen!!

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    June 26, 2012 3:20 p.m.

    President Uchtdorf gave us his opinion of our judging others, "STOP IT!"

    A few of you should listen. Best wishes to Jabari in whatever decision he makes. He appears to be a tremendous young man.

  • custer Boise, ID
    June 26, 2012 2:49 p.m.

    Pres. Monson did not serve a full-time mission as a young Elder, but just prior to his call to the Quorum of the Twelve, he served as mission president of the Toronto Canada Mission, at the age of 31. So Pres. Monson did indeed serve a full-time mission--as mission president.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    June 26, 2012 2:46 p.m.

    Of those I know who are active in the church still yet did not serve missions I'd say that 99% regret not having served. Most of these will be very diligent in trying to 'make up' for what they perceive as a missed chance. They are not judged by those around them yet do much to judge themselves. We all have something we regret not doing and this is another of those things; the chance to learn and grow and develop beyond one's years is a great blessing in the lives of the 19-21 year olds who decide to sacrifice and serve yet does not hinder those who do not from becoming such.

  • Mark from Montana Aurora, CO
    June 26, 2012 1:01 p.m.


    Nice article. You thoughts about seeing how others in the world live, those not given so much, rings home with me. I too had the privilege of serving in Chile, though in Vina Del Mar. I had a pension mother who was one of the most faithful women I have ever known. She was single with several children and struggled to make ends meet.

    There is much to be learned from serving that I believe it is half the reason the Church wants all young men to go. However it is a decision that each must make for themselves. No one should be pressured to go by their leaders or their family. Yet I also believe that to say, 'I can do more missionary work playing ball (or singing, dancing, whatever) is a justification not to go.

  • MarkMAN West Columbia, TX
    June 26, 2012 12:48 p.m.

    Oh and almost forgot, when you leave you out by not participating, you most likely leave behind important personal experiences more easily found.. And least we forget that when one CAN'T but would the needed help and promises do come, by other means. In the end, that Spirit which enlightens can leave clear knowledge as to the right decision, regardless.


  • MarkMAN West Columbia, TX
    June 26, 2012 12:40 p.m.

    Thanks Trav!!!! Powerful article. Missions are first and formost about the missionary, second about those you serve. To say that well you can serve instead by this or that, removes the most important reason to go YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

    With that it is a personal decision, one not to be judged one way or the other.


  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    June 26, 2012 10:03 a.m.

    I just had lunch with a friend named Steve who served a mission 21 years ago and who tearfully told me that he would not have qualified to serve a mission today. After "raising the bar", he would not have been deemed worthy to go.

    Now he is a Bishop on the East Coast with 5 kids and enjoying the gospel. He credits his mission for where he is in life.

    I'm concerned that "raising the bar" too much excludes young men who are perhaps a little "rough around the edges", but who grasp on to the gospel during their missions and it changes the course of their life.

    We need to remember these applicants are KIDS! And their whole life of change is BEFORE them. Raise the bar...but if a kid has a desire to serve than his past foolishness should matter little.

  • Dektol Powell, OH
    June 26, 2012 9:47 a.m.

    No NCAA wrestling championship has been won by an LDS returned missionary. Two years off in this demanding sport erodes the skills enough they can't be brought back at a high enough level to compete for a title. Every LDS kid who has won an NCAA wrestling title has chosen to compete, not leave for two years of being nice.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    June 26, 2012 9:31 a.m.

    @Sir Brave Robin

    It was President Kimball who frist stated that Every Young Man should propare to serve.
    He was also President when the Church advised the Osmonds not to serve.

    Many ways to serve. It's an individual thing, period.
    Don't pry and don't judge.

    I've known those who would have been awesome as missionaries and I served with a few who had no business going on a mission and wasting the Lord's time and their Parents money..

    Chill Brothers, chill.


  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    June 25, 2012 12:02 p.m.

    I'm torn about "articles" like this. I use quotes because it's not really an "article"; it's the same testimony I hear in church several times per year. Not much of a journalistic angle or even something to make me think. Sure, mission was great, lots of unique experiences, best two years, etc, but there ARE other paths you can take and still be a faithful church member. I know many RM's who are not exactly the grinning, uber-zealous poster child for Mormonism that fill BYU co-eds' heads when they first head off to Provo.

    To the poster(s) that say "the Lord doesn't make exceptions for exceptional athletes/entertainers, etc," I say please get off your high horse. It's that type of insufferability that gives the LDS church a bad name. Jabari will have plenty of experiences that you and I will never have whether he goes on a mission or not. Him sacrificing two years for church service is not equal to you or me doing the same. Whenever he does take the court, I'll be rooting for him.

  • JoeCoug OREM, UT
    June 21, 2012 8:45 p.m.

    I really enjoyed the article, and loved the fact that Ainge's comments were clarified. I had a great experience in Bolivia, and also feel like it moved me in a different direction with respect to my future. I NEVER would have married the woman I married had I not served (married so high I get nosebleeds...).

    I completely believe Jabari will make the right choice because he has the Spirit with him (and it might not be to serve...it's completely between he and The Lord). He is a great kid who is already blessing many lives.

  • Noodlekaboodle Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2012 3:26 p.m.

    @Coach Biff
    It is a statistical fact that religious conversion (not just Mormons) is higher in Africa and S. America. Are people looking for a message everywhere. Absolutely, but in an impoverished 3rd world country more people are looking for a message. Those people have less hope than someone in a Western country and religion is hope (sorry you can't prove any religious belief is real, they are all based on faith)I mean do you really claim conversion is easier in Tokyo than Bogata?

  • rogerdpack2 Orem, UT
    June 21, 2012 9:31 a.m.

    Oh man that is a question between him and the Lord, I just hope he stays cool like he seems to already be, whatever gets decided between him and the Lord.

  • ed in atl Duluth, GA
    June 20, 2012 4:46 p.m.

    EXCELLENT article Travis. You came to our ward to do a Fireside when you played for the Hawks. I loved my mission. I have one son that did not serve. His little sister served in the Las Vegas West mission. Her mission changed my life! Because of her service a younger brother is serving in Phoenix and another younger brother is preparing to go. Here the definition of a missionary (noun) Someone who leaves their family for a short amount of time, so that others may be with their family for ETERNITY.

  • Coach Biff Lehi, UT
    June 20, 2012 12:14 p.m.

    What's your point, Lvalfre? I have a daughter in Chicago serving a mission and she has seen great success. People are looking everywhere. I served in Tokyo where peoples lives were "stable" and they still listened. Your venom towards the LDS faith shows in almost all of your posts on here. Why?

  • Montana Mormon Miles City, MT
    June 20, 2012 11:20 a.m.

    My wife and I have one son. As he was growing up, we would talk in terms of "when you go on your mission." However, as that decision came closer to reality, we reiterated that the decision was between him and the Lord. If he went on a mission, we told him, it had to be for the right reason: that he had his own conviction that it was the right thing to do and that he would make a wholehearted commitment to the task.

    The decision to serve a full-time mission is intensely personal. Articles and comment threads such as this open up the opportunity for people to make a lot of judgmental, self-righteous comments--as we have seen. Jabari has a major, extremely personal decision ahead of him. It will be between him and the Lord, with meaningful input from his parents, his bishop, and his stake president. The rest of us need to mind our own business and let him to study it out, make his decision, and take his decision to the Lord for confirmation.

    The rest of us need to mind our own business and lose the self-righteous, know-it-all attitude.

  • dung beetle Bountiful, UT
    June 20, 2012 10:33 a.m.

    I served my mission in Australia almost 60 years ago. While it had a decisive and very positive effect on the rest of my life, I value that experience most highly because I had the blessing of bringing gospel light to two families whose influence has spread throughout the Far East. Seeing how they have blessed the lives of so many in Australia, the Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam and now Papua New Guinea is one of the greatest joys of my life.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    June 20, 2012 10:28 a.m.

    Read the statement you quoted. He/she clearly state "...I believe..." There was no statement of fact or knowledge, only belief.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    June 20, 2012 9:02 a.m.

    I agree 100% with Travis Hansen's article. It truly is ultimately the decision of the individual to make the choice of missionary service.
    Jimmer Fredette chose not to serve, but still seems to be blessed, like Danny Ainge, for that matter.
    However, it doesn't make any easier, for those of us in the many local wards and branches, to convince young priesthood holders to serve missions, when they see these other promising options.

  • The Bishop CHINQUAPIN, NC
    June 20, 2012 7:54 a.m.

    What a wonderful article. It brought back the fond memories of serving my mission in SC, USA. Other than being in the Military before my mission, it was the best two years of my life. When I served I was a bit older than the young men already on the field; so I think I had a better maturity level and of setting goals, etc... Although I am not a member of The LDS Church any longer, I hold no regrets about the values and life lessons learned while on the mission field. Who I am today is because of serving. If it wasn't for some theological issues that I disagree with, I still would be a member. I have a fondness in my heart for all the great people in The LDS Church and wish them nothing but the best.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    June 20, 2012 5:55 a.m.

    @the truth...."Otherwise I believe he would served a mission if he could." And you know this for a fact? Don't make the mistake of being able to read others thoughts and intentions. It'll get you into a big jam someday.

  • I Choose Freedom Atlanta, GA
    June 20, 2012 12:11 a.m.

    Thanks, Travis. I served a mission in the late 70's and still consider it the best two years of my life. Not that I have not had great years since then, but those two years took my life in a whole new direction and made possible all of the great years since.

    I hope Jabari chooses to serve a mission. But it is his decision and I will not criticize him if he chooses not to. I have two sons that chose not to serve and two that chose to go. I love them all the same.

  • bobosmom small town, Nebraska
    June 19, 2012 11:45 p.m.

    i went to Manila on my mission and really loved the people. I learner so many things from my mission. Ive heard from a friend who just got his mission call and they do background checks. Ive had background check done due to the nature of my job. Good thing I went on my mission in the dark ages don't know if I could pass the physical part of it.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    June 19, 2012 7:39 p.m.

    "It should be everyone's goal to both serve a mission and to become a missionary, for the two are different in every aspect."

    But not everyone is a Mormon. Why would you make such a blanket statement like this?

    "Just months before I had sat down next to the father in a bus, he was smoking, unemployed and at the verge of losing his wife and their children. I testified of the restored gospel and the plan of salvation. I looked him in the eyes and I saw a light that was ready to be lit. He invited us into his home and was overwhelmed by the message."

    He was desperate for the message. Try converting Americans or Europeans who have a solid, stable life.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    June 19, 2012 7:33 p.m.

    RE: David H

    Pres. Monson was in the military and could not serve because of a war.

    Otherwise I believe he would served a mission if he could.

    In any case his whole has been dedicated to serving the Lord from being bishop in his early twenties to President and Prophet of the church.

    Other general authorities of the Church have similar reasons.

    If you are worthy and able to go there really is no excuse (unless you are Donny Osmond and you are so famous it may be problematic).

  • Meadow Lark Mark IDAHO FALLS, ID
    June 19, 2012 6:13 p.m.

    Yes a mission is a wonderful thing. I am thankful for my mission. It set a course for me to follow for this life. Yes it is correct that we shouldn't judge either. I'm just thankful for what it did for me. I shall forever be grateful.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    June 19, 2012 4:39 p.m.

    Jabari should go on a mission when Jimmer goes on a mission. The responsibility is the same.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    June 19, 2012 2:43 p.m.

    @David H

    President Monson was a young man long before President Hinckley's 1995 counsel that "every worthy 19-year-old male should serve a mission". If he were, I have no doubt he would have obeyed.

    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.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    June 19, 2012 2:05 p.m.

    I'm not LDS but I enjoyed your very sincere article. I've traveled and worked in third world countries as did my father and grandfather before me. Both of them spent most of their lives in Chile by the way. People here simply have no idea how lucky they are to be Americans.

    It is a real eye opener to talk to people from these countries about their government and the problem of the "disaparicidos" - the disappeared. Thousands of people in Latin America have simply disappeared because they were caught disapproving of their government's policies. It seems that's all we do here and nobody worries about being taken away in the middle of the night.

    I think it is commendable to learn about other peoples and other cultures. I would only caution those who engage in that work to understand they are guests in another land and to try to learn from local peoples before they attempt to teach them. If you can go in a spirit of mutual sharing, people will love you for it.

  • Coug Pleasant Grove, UT
    June 19, 2012 1:41 p.m.

    Missions are incredible! I speak from my own experience. That service has effected everyday of my life since then. I feel an amazing gratitude for that opportunity.

    The cultural expectations of some members can weigh heavy on those who don't serve missions. It's unfortunate. I suppose it's part of our growth as a people. Heavenly Father seems to be far more patient with our spiritual growth, than we as members are with each other.

  • David H Layton, UT
    June 19, 2012 1:17 p.m.

    If members of the Church look down on pepole who did not serve a mission, then why don't members also look down on President Monson? He did not serve a mission. Since when is it right to judge someone based on two years of his or her life?

  • Captain L Provo, UT
    June 19, 2012 12:54 p.m.

    Travis, good article, I agree, a mission is an unbelievable experience and the benifits are hard to find in any other endeavor one can attempt. Jabbari seems like a great kid and I hope he realizes the importance of a mission and decides to go. If Jabbari doesn't go on a mission I hope he has a great and successfull ncaa and NBA experience and that he can still be a great missionary by his example and his communications with others. If I read things right in other artiacles his older brother went on a mission and feels it was a great experience and invaluable to him, I hope Jabbari follows his brothers example. Basketball will still be there when he get home.