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Steve Young And Clayton Christensen Sunday Athletics


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I dont care much for sports except Hockey. But I recently heard Pres. Monson share how Dr. Clayton Christensen didn't play on sunday and was blessed for it. i am not disputing Pres. Monson or Clayton Christensen. What I am wondering is members of the Church like Steve Young who played on sunday and Steve Young did quite well. Why is one held up to be a good example yet the other isn't? Why don't we hear about Steve Young in Conference?

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I dont care much for sports except Hockey. But I recently heard Pres. Monson share how Dr. Clayton Christensen didn't play on sunday and was blessed for it. i am not disputing Pres. Monson or Clayton Christensen. What I am wondering is members of the Church like Steve Young who played on sunday and Steve Young did quite well. Why is one held up to be a good example yet the other isn't? Why don't we hear about Steve Young in Conference?

I have always wondered about making millions playing on Sundays...let's say Dale Murphy (big fan btw) and then becoming mission President supervising missionaries who teach Sabbath observance.
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It isn't a topic worth judging people about. I suppose I could have picked a profession long ago which didn't require me to work an occasional Sunday and miss my meetings. I could have been letter carrier instead of a lawyer. But I picked the profession I picked and to keep it I must work on a few Sundays.

I think the New Testament view is correct: ""The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath."

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Have you been to Mormon.org? There are numerous stories there of members making important contributions to society that the church chooses to highlight. The church does this my making videos of their life work and singing their praises. While I haven't found Steve Young, there are a number of professional athletes the church chooses to profile. Many of them play on Sundays. For example, see here http://mormon.org/william/.

Yes, this isn't the same thing as being lauded in general conference, but it is an indicator that you can play sports on Sunday and be seen as a very good member - even one the church wants to use as its public face.

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Have you been to Mormon.org? There are numerous stories there of members making important contributions to society that the church chooses to highlight. The church does this my making videos of their life work and singing their praises. While I haven't found Steve Young, there are a number of professional athletes the church chooses to profile. Many of them play on Sundays. For example, see here http://mormon.org/william/.

Yes, this isn't the same thing as being lauded in general conference, but it is an indicator that you can play sports on Sunday and be seen as a very good member - even one the church wants to use as its public face.

I am on mormon.org! but I don't have the clout to make a video though! haha!

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These conversations are simply wrong headed. Heavenly Father may have approved both choices. We don't know and have no right to know. And it was several years ago when one of the apostles told the saints that the church ALWAYS teaches the expectation and ideal. Anyone who believes themselves to be the exception must figure that out for him/herself, seek divine sanction and be held accountable therefore. So of course they aren't going to teach that working on the sabbath is right. (When I worked on the sabbath, I gave that day's wages to fast offerings. Of course I was in a position then to do that.)

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A couple of thoughts on this.

1) I played the best baseball of my life when I played in a summer league in the Chicago area during high school. After my sophomore high school baseball season, I was invited to play with a team made primarily of seniors and men who had graduated, and I was the MVP. There were several Sunday games where my performance in center field (diving catches, great plays) and my hitting launched my next two high school years (I was moved to the outfield from middle infield because of my speed and ability to cover the gaps). We played games on Sunday, and I even remember giving a talk in Church and leaving after sacrament meeting to play a game. I am grateful that I had these experiences. I had a lot of missionary experiences because of this, too. My nickname on the team was "Marlboro Man," precisely because of how different I was from the others, and I was grateful for it, because most of their nicknames had profanity. :) I was always nervous about getting invited to parties ---- I would have declined to go, but I didn't want to be put on the spot and asked and have to decline. The stars on the team, though, protected me and I never was asked to parties they went to ---- even though we were good friends. They probably knew more about the Church from me than anything else, before or since.

And yet . . .

If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't do it, because of playing on Sunday. I regret it, and have told my kids that I regret it. This is something I feel strongly about now at 37 than I did at 15. It's a real complicated feeling inside, being torn between my strong feelings now and my good experiences then. And I recognize that it isn't that cut-and-dried and easy for many, and that some people have the opportunity to do a lot of good for the Church by playing on Sunday.

2) I need to be really careful here with judging, but I want to throw this out. I don't think Steve Young is as committed a member as other LDS athletes that could be mentioned. He's famous for being a Mormon and a direct descendant of Brigham Young, but I've never gotten the sense that he's a solid member in the sense that Dale Murphy or Danny Ainge are. Even after retiring from the NFL, he's been a regular on the Sunday NFL studio analysis circuit, which makes it nearly impossible to attend church in season (even after being retired from playing). While he famously didn't get married until very late in life, as I consider the eternal importance of family in our earth life, I don't think the career was a good trade for his time he (potentially ---- maybe he would have had trouble getting married even without football) and a wife and children could have had as a young father. Nobody can judge, of course, to what extent this was directly related to an NFL career.

3) Dale Murphy is my hero. I wrote him when I was 7 (1982), and he wrote me back with a very personal letter (he talked about his sister and family and commented on what I had written him about) and followed it up with two autographed photos a few weeks later. He was all set to drop his baseball career at the age of 19 and go on a mission (prompting Ted Turner to threaten suicide and killing his mother to the Atlanta mission president), but was directly told not to by a member of the Seventy. I think he was a special case that a lot of LDS athletes have used as their model, when there are very few who actually could potentially have his impact.

4) Good, better, best. Eli Herring from BYU was a sure early round #1 pick for the Kansas City Chiefs, and he and his father called a press conference and announced that he would not be playing NFL football because of playing on Sunday. His father said, "My parents called it the Sabbath Day, my generation called it Sunday, and now it is 'the weekend.' I'm proud of my son for standing up for this." Eli, last I saw, has a family and is coaching high school football.

This is a complicated topic, and will be different for different people, but "as for me and my house," it's clear to me. The blessings of full Sabbath observance outweigh the potential good that would come from living the lesser law.

Let the flaming begin . . . :)

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It isn't a topic worth judging people about. I suppose I could have picked a profession long ago which didn't require me to work an occasional Sunday and miss my meetings. I could have been letter carrier instead of a lawyer. But I picked the profession I picked and to keep it I must work on a few Sundays.

I think the New Testament view is correct: ""The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath."

Is that one of the 10 commandments we don't need to worry about?

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Playing on a sunday and having a career that requires you to work on a Sunday are two different things. I chose a career that would not require me to work on Sundays, but then again, my talents are suited to those types of careers I have had bishops who were police officers. We have an apostle who was a pilot - and I guarantee you he flew on many a Sunday.

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I think Christ came so we wouldn't have the legalism and He looks at far bigger and more important things we do vs. working on Sunday. Above all is love and charity in our hearts. I know there is a scripture about keeping all the law and if we break one we're doomed from the get go and therefore the need for a Saviour.

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I think Christ came so we wouldn't have the legalism and He looks at far bigger and more important things we do vs. working on Sunday.

On the other hand, when Jesus taught this principle he was in the temple or synagogue every week, and in the weekdays preaching the gospel.

I'm not referring to you, but I get a kick out of people who have a New Age view of Jesus Christ and his ministry to somehow justify ignoring what He requires of us on a daily and weekly basis. His burden may be light but it is all-consuming.

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A couple of thoughts on this.

1) I played the best baseball of my life when I played in a summer league in the Chicago area during high school. After my sophomore high school baseball season, I was invited to play with a team made primarily of seniors and men who had graduated, and I was the MVP. There were several Sunday games where my performance in center field (diving catches, great plays) and my hitting launched my next two high school years (I was moved to the outfield from middle infield because of my speed and ability to cover the gaps). We played games on Sunday, and I even remember giving a talk in Church and leaving after sacrament meeting to play a game. I am grateful that I had these experiences. I had a lot of missionary experiences because of this, too. My nickname on the team was "Marlboro Man," precisely because of how different I was from the others, and I was grateful for it, because most of their nicknames had profanity. :) I was always nervous about getting invited to parties ---- I would have declined to go, but I didn't want to be put on the spot and asked and have to decline. The stars on the team, though, protected me and I never was asked to parties they went to ---- even though we were good friends. They probably knew more about the Church from me than anything else, before or since.

And yet . . .

If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't do it, because of playing on Sunday. I regret it, and have told my kids that I regret it. This is something I feel strongly about now at 37 than I did at 15. It's a real complicated feeling inside, being torn between my strong feelings now and my good experiences then. And I recognize that it isn't that cut-and-dried and easy for many, and that some people have the opportunity to do a lot of good for the Church by playing on Sunday.

2) I need to be really careful here with judging, but I want to throw this out. I don't think Steve Young is as committed a member as other LDS athletes that could be mentioned. He's famous for being a Mormon and a direct descendant of Brigham Young, but I've never gotten the sense that he's a solid member in the sense that Dale Murphy or Danny Ainge are. Even after retiring from the NFL, he's been a regular on the Sunday NFL studio analysis circuit, which makes it nearly impossible to attend church in season (even after being retired from playing). While he famously didn't get married until very late in life, as I consider the eternal importance of family in our earth life, I don't think the career was a good trade for his time he (potentially ---- maybe he would have had trouble getting married even without football) and a wife and children could have had as a young father. Nobody can judge, of course, to what extent this was directly related to an NFL career.

3) Dale Murphy is my hero. I wrote him when I was 7 (1982), and he wrote me back with a very personal letter (he talked about his sister and family and commented on what I had written him about) and followed it up with two autographed photos a few weeks later. He was all set to drop his baseball career at the age of 19 and go on a mission (prompting Ted Turner to threaten suicide and killing his mother to the Atlanta mission president), but was directly told not to by a member of the Seventy. I think he was a special case that a lot of LDS athletes have used as their model, when there are very few who actually could potentially have his impact.

4) Good, better, best. Eli Herring from BYU was a sure early round #1 pick for the Kansas City Chiefs, and he and his father called a press conference and announced that he would not be playing NFL football because of playing on Sunday. His father said, "My parents called it the Sabbath Day, my generation called it Sunday, and now it is 'the weekend.' I'm proud of my son for standing up for this." Eli, last I saw, has a family and is coaching high school football.

This is a complicated topic, and will be different for different people, but "as for me and my house," it's clear to me. The blessings of full Sabbath observance outweigh the potential good that would come from living the lesser law.

Let the flaming begin . . . :)

not to derail but what was this about Ted Turner wanting to do himself a mischief and the Atlanta Mission President's wife and a Seventy? I must know this!

Edited by Duncan
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Playing on a sunday and having a career that requires you to work on a Sunday are two different things. I chose a career that would not require me to work on Sundays, but then again, my talents are suited to those types of careers I have had bishops who were police officers. We have an apostle who was a pilot - and I guarantee you he flew on many a Sunday.

In the case of LDS athletes, "playing" on Sunday is their career. Personally, I don't think that a case such as Steve Young is much different than the guy in my ward growing up who was an OB-GYN, who would commonly get notified via his beeper in sacrament that he was needed at the hospital. Now playing football and being a doctor have different levels of priority, admittedly, but the fact is that neither of these men are in sacrament meetings on a regular basis due to their occupations. My brother-in-law, a blue-collar TBM, sometimes misses sacrament due to his work schedule, but it is required in order to maintain their lifestyle, in which my sister stays at home to raise 5 kids, while he works 75 hours a week to make it possible.

Anyway, I think that a person such as Steve Young likely did more good for the church's public image playing on Sunday, by being an admirable leader of a football team watched by millions each Sunday, and maintaining a squeaky clean image in a game of ruthless men with selfish attitudes and wanton habits, then he would do by sitting in a pew at the local ward-house each Sunday.

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I need to be really careful here with judging, but I want to throw this out. I don't think Steve Young is as committed a member as other LDS athletes that could be mentioned. He's famous for being a Mormon and a direct descendant of Brigham Young, but I've never gotten the sense that he's a solid member in the sense that Dale Murphy or Danny Ainge are.

I think you might be surprised.

I don't know if he still does, but Steve was a regular fireside participant.

He tells a story of a certain teammate warning others not to make fun of Steve's garments because of their sacred significance.

My sense, for its minimal worth, is that Steve is every bit as faithful as any LDS you would care to put him up against.

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I've never gotten the sense that he's a solid member in the sense that Dale Murphy or Danny Ainge are.

You'd be wrong. I know Steve Young, somewhat indirectly through one of my law partners. You might be confused by the nonsense over Prop 8, but there's a lot to that story.

The last I looked, Danny Ainge is a bishop but he's there for games on Sunday.

Edited by Bob Crockett
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i think what we do on the Sabbath has a lot to do with our attitude and our reasons for doing it. Mormon athletes such as Steve Young, Danny Ainge and Dale Murphy chose to play Sundays, reasoning they could be ambassadors for their church. They refer to passages in the scriptures that support their choices -- where the Lord speaks of "being a light to the world and positive influence on others." And perhaps they’re right. Their associations with their fellow team mates and fans has probably been responsible for bringing many people into the Church. But does that still make it right to play on Sunday? They feel that it does.

And it might seem hypocritical, for the Church to praise these people and give them so much recognition, but even though LDS sports professionals do play on Sunday, I think Church leaders still like to recognize them because they know that people like to have good role models in all different walks of life. Church leaders want people to see that a person can have a high standard of morals and spirituality as members of our Church, even though they are in a profession that might tend to encourage the opposite.

When it comes right down to it , it is not our place to judge who is right or wrong for the decisions people make about Sabbath day observance. That is between them and God. We only need to care about ourselves and do all we can to live the commandment the best we can.

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I dont care much for sports except Hockey. But I recently heard Pres. Monson share how Dr. Clayton Christensen didn't play on sunday and was blessed for it. i am not disputing Pres. Monson or Clayton Christensen. What I am wondering is members of the Church like Steve Young who played on sunday and Steve Young did quite well. Why is one held up to be a good example yet the other isn't? Why don't we hear about Steve Young in Conference?

A General Conference talk will focus on certain religious and spiritual topics (such as keeping the Sabbath) and give examples of doing it, and not focus on other topics (such as suceeding in sports).

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We've discussed this in the past, and I spent some time researching "sports on Sundays" on the Church website. There are many stories about people who have chosen to not participate in sports because the games were on Sundays, and I couldn't find a single one illustrating an exception. Not even Steve Young.

It's certainly not an excommunicable offense (obviously), but the Church's teachings on the subject seem to be extremely clear and consistent. The only justification I can find comes from those who actually want to play sports on Sundays.

Try it yourself. Search for "sports" and "sabbath" on the Church website. There are pages of results, with dozens and dozens of talks and articles that mention sports and the sabbath, and every single one presents it as something we (i.e. LDS) don't do.

(FWIW, Steve Young has been mentioned several times in Church publications over the years, but the fact that he played football on Sundays is never mentioned.)

Edited by cinepro
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I have since come to grips with this, but I remember many years ago when Peter Vidmar spoke during the Priesthood session of General Conference. He had recently won 3 Olympic medals (2 gold and a silver). He did not serve a mission, in order to focus on his gymnastics career.

I remember thinking at the time--skip the mission, focus on gymnastics, and if you win, you get to speak in Conference. If you don't win, you'll never be heard from again; or, skip gymnastics, serve a mission, and you'll never be heard from again.

Either way, I found it strange that since he sacrificed mission for career that he was recongized in the way he was, since he won.

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I have since come to grips with this, but I remember many years ago when Peter Vidmar spoke during the Priesthood session of General Conference. He had recently won 3 Olympic medals (2 gold and a silver). He did not serve a mission, in order to focus on his gymnastics career.

I remember thinking at the time--skip the mission, focus on gymnastics, and if you win, you get to speak in Conference. If you don't win, you'll never be heard from again; or, skip gymnastics, serve a mission, and you'll never be heard from again.

Either way, I found it strange that since he sacrificed mission for career that he was recongized in the way he was, since he won.

exactley and how many youth have been lost to sports, either on sunday or not. I do have a secret wish though that Clayton Christensen would become a General Authority though but based on his ideas anot his sporting prowess of which Steve Young was above and beyond

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exactley and how many youth have been lost to sports, either on sunday or not. I do have a secret wish though that Clayton Christensen would become a General Authority though but based on his ideas anot his sporting prowess of which Steve Young was above and beyond

+1 (gave you a rep point, too).

Clayton Christensen's articles that have appeared in the Ensign are really, really good. He has very astute insights and experiences.

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not to derail but what was this about Ted Turner wanting to do himself a mischief and the Atlanta Mission President's wife and a Seventy? I must know this!

Dale Murphy was the #1 overall draft pick for the Atlanta Braves. Not a first round pick, the #1 overall pick. These picks make big money, and are the future of the franchise. He quickly rose through the minor leagues and was a major league player at 19 when he joined the Church. Great conversion story (I've used it in illustrating real member missionary work, including not being afraid of "botching" things or saying the wrong thing, awkwardness, etc.), and he was set to quit baseball and serve a mission, when he was counseled by a member of the Seventy not to.

Ted Turner (who owns the Atlanta Braves) demanded to know who was "in charge of the Mormon Church" so he could talk him out of letting this happen. Dale didn't know much about Church organization at that time, so he referred him to the mission president. Turner called him and started right out saying that if Dale went on a mission, he would kill his own mother, wife, and himself (typical Ted Turner hyper-drama). Neither Dale Murphy nor Ted Turner understood much about the process of going on a mission when this occurred.

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Dale Murphy was the #1 overall draft pick for the Atlanta Braves. Not a first round pick, the #1 overall pick. These picks make big money, and are the future of the franchise. He quickly rose through the minor leagues and was a major league player at 19 when he joined the Church. Great conversion story (I've used it in illustrating real member missionary work, including not being afraid of "botching" things or saying the wrong thing, awkwardness, etc.), and he was set to quit baseball and serve a mission, when he was counseled by a member of the Seventy not to.

Ted Turner (who owns the Atlanta Braves) demanded to know who was "in charge of the Mormon Church" so he could talk him out of letting this happen. Dale didn't know much about Church organization at that time, so he referred him to the mission president. Turner called him and started right out saying that if Dale went on a mission, he would kill his own mother, wife, and himself (typical Ted Turner hyper-drama). Neither Dale Murphy nor Ted Turner understood much about the process of going on a mission when this occurred.

WHAT!!! hahahahahahahahaahahahaha! well, paint me pink and call me pinkie! that is one for the records!

Edited by Duncan
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