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Today I watched a great 30 for 30 video on Shawn Bradley that described his “lackluster” NBA career. Although his career wasn’t as good as what everyone hyped it up to be when he was drafted, he was an excellent player and lasted over 10 years and finished in the top 15 all-time for shots blocked.

shawn bradley blocking a shot

One thing that I always respected from afar with Shawn Bradley was that he always seemed to put his faith first. He did not enter the NBA draft when he could have in order to serve a full-time mission to Australia. Also, when he was a player, he tried his best to be faithful as well. In the short documentary, he describes being fined for not going to a strip club with the team for a meeting because it was against his belief system.

I had a chance to meet him in the early ’90s and say a few words and stand next to him. I was in Jr High and he was attending BYU at the time. He was giving a talk to all the LDS youth in the region and it was very inspiring for me as a youth to hear a famous Mormon standing up for his beliefs.

Other Famous Mormons I’ve Met

Watching the documentary and reflecting on my experience with meeting Shawn Bradley caused me to reflect on other famous Mormons I’ve met. Here are a few more:

Steve Young

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When I was in high school I competed in ballroom dance. While I was at a large dance competition at BYU, Steve Young was the MC of the event. I had the privilege of shaking hands with him and asking him a few questions about himself. If it were today, I would have taken a selfie with him!

Gordon B Hinckley

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I only met Gordon B Hinckely one time and that was before he became the LDS Church President. It was in the early ’90s at a large conference and I was fortunate enough to be able to shake his hand and say a few words.

When I was 18 and preparing to serve a mission, he was highlighted in 60 minutes and did an excellent job of answering tough questions. It was very inspiring for me as a youth and his great, positive attitude was infectious during the whole time he was President.

When I was getting ready to leave to fly to Germany on my mission, I was companions with his grandson. He had requested that his grandson visit him in his office at temple square and extended the invitation for me to visit with him. The only problem was that my family had traveled hours to come and see me off at the airport and I was afraid that I wouldn’t get to see them if I visited President Hinckley so I declined the offer. When I told my family about it, they said “I would have gone and visited the Prophet!” Looking back on things, I sort of wish I would have done it because I could have seen my family still. But hindsight is always 20/20 as they say!

Mitt Romney
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I volunteered for the Romney presidential campaign in 2012 in Washington State. When he came to visit our state, I wanted to meet him in person, so I took the whole family with me and drove an hour. It was very awesome seeing him in person and although there were a lot of body guards and everything, I was able to go and shake hands with him briefly and say a few words as he thanked me for volunteering for the cause.

Alex Boye

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When I was living in Utah I went to a party in Salt Lake City at this huge mansion. I don’t even know whose house it was, but it was one of those things where word spread and a friend invited a friend and so on. The music was going and everyone was dancing when I noticed a big crowd gathering around me…including more girls. I wasn’t doing anything special and wondered what was going on. I then realized it wasn’t me everyone was gathering around for. Rather, it was Alex Boye. I had never heard anything about him at the time and he was basically right behind me. I basically did one of those “What’s up?” deals that guys who don’t know each other do and kept dancing. It wasn’t until after the party that I realized he was a former pop star and since then, he’s become a pretty famous LDS musician.

Here’s a most recent song that I really like that he did in collaboration with The Piano Guys:

Dallin H Oaks

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Just a few years ago, Dallin H Oaks came and visited our stake. When he gives official talks at General Conference, he seems very calculated and serious, so I was surprised at how jovial and funny he is in person. He answered a lot of open questions and just had a lot of fun with the crowd and it was great!

L Tom Perry

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When I was on my mission, L Tom Perry visited us. Just like with Elder Oaks, I was very impressed with how personable and close to the Spirit he was, while being fun and jovial at the same time. I learned a lot from him in a pretty intimate setting of only about 100 missionaries. We spent about 4 hours together and each one of us had the chance to meet with him afterwards. He’s very tall!

Your Turn!!

I’ve shared with you a few of the most famous Mormons I’ve met. Now it’s your turn. Who are some of the most famous Mormons you’ve met and how did you meet them?

In a revelation to Joseph Smith, God says (in Doctrine and Covenants section 98:4-10):

 And now, verily I say unto you concerning the laws of the land, it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them.

 And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.

 Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;

 And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.

 I, the Lord God, make you free, therefore ye are free indeed; and the law also maketh you free.

 Nevertheless, when the wicked rule the people mourn.

 Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil.

From this revelation, we can pick out a few key points we should consider when electing people to represent us in the way God would have us do:

  1. Make sure laws that are passed are constitutional
  2. Laws that are passed that support freedom are justified before God
  3. Elect righteous leaders or else the nation will mourn
  4. Leaders elected should be good and wise men.

Based on these criteria, who do you think lines up best between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama?  Why do you believe this?

Romney’s win in the debates last week and his surge in the polls is seen by many political analysts as something unprecedented in US Presidential history, this late in the elections.  For those who support Romney, this is inspiring and an amazing feat. and has charged many conservatives up around the country.  Those who do not support him are also inspired to try harder and are also charged up more than before to support Obama.

Since I am a conservative, Mormon Republican I obviously lean towards Romney and associate with mostly people who are of the same opinion.  Being somewhat of an “insider” so to speak, I’ll share with you some of the things I’ve seen and heard among Mormons leading up to and after the 1st debate that lead me to believe the majority of Mormons feel God helped Romney win the first debate.

1.  People sharing their “testimony” of Mitt Romney

For those who are not familiar with the monthly Mormon “Fast and Testimony” meetings, I’ll briefly describe what they are.  On the first Sunday of each month, Mormons fast usually from food and water, for a day and use the money they would have used to pay for food and donate it to those who are less fortunate.  During the “Fast and Testimony” meeting in church, Mormons are encouraged to stand up and share their “witness” or “testimony” of Jesus and the gospel.

Although discussing politics in church isn’t a normal occurance, I have heard some Mormons getting up recently and testifying of how God is leading Mitt Romney and praising Romney for being such a good man.

While I do not condone testifying of men at the pulpit, I appreciate that people are excited for a potential leader of our country who they feel is a righteous person.

2. Fasting for Mitt Romney

For those who are not familiar with the Mormon concept of fasting for someone, I’ll briefly explain.  Occasionally, Mormons will unite in prayer and fasting to pray for a person who is sick, a situation to improve, etc.  The concept is that through fasting and meditation, one comes closer to God and the powers of Heaven are brought down upon the person or situation.

A week or so before the debates, I received a Facebook message from one of my fellow Mormon friends.  She had joined a group to fast for Mitt Romney before the 1st debate so God could lift him up.

Judging from the historical leap in the polls Romney had after the debates, it is nothing short of a miracle.  I think many Mormons believe that through prayer and fasting, Romney shined in the debates.

3. Putting Romney’s name in the temple

In Mormon temples, there is part of the endowment ceremony where people come together joining hands in a circle and pray for a list of names of people who are in need of help.  The names are written down on little pieces of paper and put into a box and prayed over in general terms, not individually by name.

One of my friends was telling me that his parents, who are temple workers, saw Mitt Romney’s name on the pieces of paper numerous times as they were emptying the prayer box after the temple ceremony.

He then shared with me that he and many others feel that God helped Romney win the debates because of the prayers offered in his behalf in the temples prior to the debates.

Conclusion

While I do not have hard data, I do get the feeling that most Mormons feel that Romney was lifted up by God to help him win the debate and put him ahead of Obama currently.

I am also aware that those who do not support Romney feel that Romney cheated and lied his way through the debate to beat Obama.  Those who support Obama also feel that Romney didn’t really do that great, it’s just that Obama did so poorly that Romney looked better than he is.

In order to gather some hard numbers on this issue, feel free to take the short poll below and as always, feel free to leave a comment.

People are always curious about Mormons and what they believe, especially recently with Mitt Romney in the headlines.  He usually shys away from talking about it.  Personally, I wish he’d talk about it more because it would show his personal side of how he may have helped people.

This report is a little old (April 2012), but I thought it was a good report on people’s experiences with Mitt Romney as their bishop.

Recently, as most of you heard, the famous reporter from 60 Minutes, Mike Wallace, passed away.

Really, my only memory of him is the first interview he did with former Mormon prophet, Gordon B Hinckley.

Wallace describes his encounter with President Hinckley as being very open and different from any other Mormon prophet in the past.  He said that in the past, he would be turned down for an interview and that the Mormons.  In my opinion, this gave the impression of being closed off to the world and out of touch.

As a Mormon myself, I remember feeling skeptical about talking about my faith openly because that was the overall view of leaders and most Mormons back then.

When President Hinckley came out in the open in not only one, but a few interviews with Mike Wallace, which were aired nationally on 60 minutes, he answered the tough questions head-on and with confidence and cheerfulness.  I remember being a senior in high school and getting excited about my faith and the prospect of going on a Mormon mission in a year to share it.

While I was on my mission in Frankfurt, Germany, President Hinckley’s message “This Thing wasn’t done in a corner“. In this talk, he compares Paul’s encounter with King Agrippa in the Bible and how he was so bold in sharing the gospel publicly.  This talk stood out to me and re-energized me once again as he described his interview with Mike Wallace and how we shouldn’t be ashamed of the gospel and sharing the message.

I don’t have any references other than observation to back this up, but after these series of interviews, Mormons worldwide saw their leader as he extensively traveled and gave interviews publicly.  I feel that all of us gained more confidence to speak of our faith more openly.

As the Mormons were seen more in the media, I feel people gradually came to accept Mormons and try to understand who we are.  I feel that Mormons began to do the same for other people.  As this synergy occurred, other things happened such as the Olympics in Salt Lake City, Mitt Romney coming in and saving the Olympics, Romney winning governor of Massachusetts, and now Romney going on to become the eventual Republican nominee.

I think that hadn’t President Hinckley taken on that interview with Mike Wallace it would have been much harder for Romney to be where he is today.

Just for fun I thought I’d let you vote on who the most famous Mormon today is. Here’s the poll:

As you probably know, Mitt dropped out of the race today.  He gave a very good speech on conservative values and why he decided to drop out.  My hope is that he’ll be back or someone that has his same values. 

 Here’s the speech: http://www.sltrib.com/ci_8196972

This is huge!

 If you consider yourself a conservative Christian and you want someone with conservative values in the White House you must vote for Romney.  Dr Dobson said in a statement yesterday that a vote for Huckabee is essentially a vote for McCain and if McCain wins the nomination he won’t vote.

Read his statment

and/or

Listen to his statement

Now pass this information on to your fellow Christian friends.

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