Dick Harmon: A Mormon kid from Hawaii, Notre Dame's Manti Te'o inspires many

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  • Weimar1223 Charlestown, MA
    Dec. 10, 2012 10:46 p.m.


    I guess you know who Manziel is now. If not check out the billboard in Times Square or the full page add in the New York Times or US Today.

  • Cougar Passion Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 11:40 p.m.

    I believe I have seen you post before and have respected your comments while not necessarily agreeing with them. However, as you identify yourself as not being LDS by saying "your faith", I would respectfully point out that you might be out of place in telling me how my church does things. The person who is the current president of the church did not serve a mission because circumstances were different at the time. I also know the previous president, Gordon Hinckley, did not expect to serve a mission due to world conditions but was surprised with a specific invitation from church leadership to do so. Most of missionary age at that time were not serving missions. I don't know how long church leaders have been saying "every young man". It has been quite a while, but probably some time after World War II that it started.

    Dec. 8, 2012 8:37 p.m.

    An LDS Mission is a call given to a worthy member of the LDS Church by the Church Leaders.

    Manti Teo has played well for # 1 rated Notre Dame but don't confuse being a good example at Notre Dame, BYU, or (Heaven forbid) Utah or Wyoming with an actual "Mission Call" from the Church Headquarters to serve a proselyting mission for 2 years (or 18 months for sisters).

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 7:59 p.m.

    @Cougar Passion

    I understand where you are coming from. I went on a mission and when I got home, I felt like it was something that young men in the church could not afford to miss for anything. It was that life changing. However, I also think Manti IS on a mission. He has touched far more lives than I or most missionaries could hope to. He is on the most historic, celebrated, fabled college football team in America (sorry BYU, not you) and he has been a fantastic example. I think the Lord utilizes different people according to their talents and Manti happens to work in the South Bend part of the vineyard.

    As for all the fuss about why his religion is being highlighted, this is a Mormon newspaper. It doesn't try to hide that fact.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 7:17 p.m.

    @Cougar Passion
    "I do think it is worth pointing out that he likely could have had the same impact in his choices, and additionally served a full-time mission"

    Considering that your faith thinks God thought well enough of a certain decent man who didn't serve a mission to make him the current Prophet... there's probably more important things for you to worry about than whether or not Te'o should've served one.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 7:12 p.m.

    I think I hear the sound of thousands of readers googling Manziel to figure out who he even is (hint: he's that random name you all keep seeing at the bottom of the bajillion Te'o articles in recent weeks).

  • Poly Draper, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 6:34 p.m.

    Many roads to Rome as there are different kinds of missions. Yes, the leaders have counseled that every worthy young man should serve a mission and although it is wise and safe to always follow their counsel, we still have our free agency to pray about it and get our own confirmation. I believe that is what Manti did with all his decisions. This is what is wonderful about the Gospel, we are not robots who are expected to blindly marched to what others take as orders, instead of counsel.
    I am positive Manti has open a lot of doors for the the full time missionaries through his examples and positive publicity that he has gotten the last few months. It is an important mission much like Steve Young and others before him.
    Rather than passing judgement, just enjoy the moment and the good fortune of one of our own. Good luck Manti and bring the hardware home!!!

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 6:18 p.m.

    What's the religion of the other Heisman candidates? Don't know?
    Maybe that's because other churches don't try to overshadow athlete's personal accomplishments.
    Also, does this mean it's cool for all Mormons to get tattoo's? Cool!

  • Ruben Jersey City, NJ
    Dec. 8, 2012 6:14 p.m.

    Cougar Passion,

    I don't think you are hypocritical. However, it seems that there are at least a couple of differences between you and the church leaders you reference. One is that they would not likely espouse the positions such as those that you have under pseudonyms. Another is that they wouldn't likely call out specific members of the church on a public forum, rather they would teach general principles. The principles that you espouse seem to be consistent with those espoused by church leaders. However, your apparent decision to take it one step further by calling out Manti for being something less than what you perceive he should be on this public forum is something unique to you, something that a church leader, such as a general authority, would not generally do. Your decision to do so anonymously further distinguishes yourself from them.

    Yours Truly, a fellow anonymity.

  • Cougar Passion Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 4:16 p.m.

    I'm guessing that, since I was the only one to suggest Manti could have been even more positive in his influence by serving a full-time mission, "certain sanctimonious pre-judgments" refers to my comments. I looked up the word "sanctimonious" on Merriam-Webster and came up with this: "hypocritically pious or devout". So my question to any who feel that way is: Is it hypocritical to espouse the same position as church leaders have--many times--which is that every worthy young man should serve a full-time mission? If you go with the position that church leaders are inspired of God in their pronouncements, then is it sanctimonious to side with them? It would certainly be hypocritical if I suggested my own son--who may end up playing at a very high level in another sport--was exempt from church leaders' counsel, but I haven't.

    Perhaps church leaders told Manti not to serve a full-time mission--anything is possible. My comments are for any high-level athlete: By and large, the decision to go against the counsel of church leaders is simply based on rationalization that somehow it doesn't apply to them.

  • Elk Hair Caddis Sandy, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 1:51 p.m.

    @nothegame I am Mormon and I have served a mission and I totally agree with you. Just know comments finding fault with those who choose not to serve white shirt and tie missions or set out a numbered agenda on what LDS athletes should do are not mainstream.

    I question what the intent is of those who purport to be Mormons then make comments that no Mormon I know would ever make is. I wonder if they are actually Mormons.

  • nothegame Saratoga Springs, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 11:31 a.m.

    Not morman but this is why most people outside of Utah county dislike u all. For goodness sake just enjoy the kid. It's like saying he would have been a better person if he would have went on a mission. If he would have went maybe he wouldn't have even played when he got back. Don't like Notre Dame but like them more than Alabama

  • tlaulu Taylorsville, Utah
    Dec. 8, 2012 10:19 a.m.

    Thank You. I share your sentiments. Manti; congratulations on your accomplishments for yourself, your family and your faith. More importantly, I am happy for the way you have conducted yourself in South Bend and in the community of Catholic Saints as well as throughout the sports world. Keep up the good work.

  • Krwman Amarillo , TX
    Dec. 8, 2012 9:50 a.m.

    As a Cougar fan, BYU alum and an RM, I have to take exception to certain sanctimonious pre-judgments of Manti's decisions. Can't we just celebrate this outstanding young man's accomplishments? I now can see why he went to South Bend. Had he come to the Wasatch Front he would have had to endure some unfortunate attitudes for four years. Jeez.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 9:17 a.m.

    Manti IS serving a mission. Although not formally called, he's applying all the power of the media and the resources of the modern age, and influencing thousands via those mechanisms. He's a good example of the fact that it takes more than physical ability to be a great athlete, and he's an inspiration to those who recognize all the parallels between achievement in athletics and accomplishment in other facets of life.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    Dec. 8, 2012 6:00 a.m.

    If he had been non-Mormon, I don't think he would have been anywhere near as inspiring to many young people as he has been. Let's hope that Manti remembers to point out to every person he meets, that he is---(1.)---of the LDS faith, (2.) willing to share his story---and (3.) anxious to let other know how they can become Mormon. His football accomplishments are wonderful and we all give him credit for that. But let's always remember that his greatest accomplishment lies in his ability to represent the church with every snap of the ball.

  • Scandrus Cedar Hills, Utah
    Dec. 8, 2012 1:47 a.m.

    Dick, Manti didn't play for the Kahuku Red Raiders, he played at Punahou High School.

  • Cougar Passion Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 1:01 a.m.

    Without specifically commenting on the right/wrong/good/bad of choosing to go to Notre Dame or not to serve a mission, I do think it is worth pointing out that he likely could have had the same impact in his choices, and additionally served a full-time mission. I suppose some might think his ability to positively impact people at Notre Dame or nationally would have been diminished if he chose to serve a full-time mission. I frankly don't think that would be the case, and in fact think his impact would have been even greater if indeed he had served a full-time mission. Then he would not only be praised for all the qualities that he certainly has, but, if influence was the goal, think of what more would be added to the conversation if the national media could link him to all the other LDS missionaries around the world. Does any LDS person think that would not have opened even a few more doors?

  • DodgerDoug Salem, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 11:40 p.m.

    Good luck tomorrow Manti. We are pulling for you thanks for your example.

  • 79Ute Orange County, CA
    Dec. 7, 2012 11:16 p.m.

    Where UCLA and USC flags are predominant on the homes in our area, today for the first time I saw a Notre Dame flag flying on a home in our neighborhood. I'm seeing lots of new ND t-shirts and sweatshirts as I'm out and about. This ND team, led by Manti, has awakened the echoes!

  • OCoug Ogden, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 10:01 p.m.

    Good luck to Manti and Notre Dame. I hope he wins the Heisman.