Supporting Brother Young!


I once spoke with a church member who was an avid professional football fan. At the time, Steve Young, the Hall of Fame quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, was playing. He often told me with a smile and in jest, that he was trying to support ‘Brother Young’ in his duties by watching and cheering for him while watching Sunday football.  While I had banned my four boys from participation in Sunday ballgames, having to make the decision on whether my sons could watch sports on Sunday was a very difficult one for me. I once had a funny conversation with a sister of the ward regarding this subject.  She unexpectedly approached me in the hallway and presented me with a situation that required the “Wisdom of Solomon. “ She complained, “My husband likes to watch sports on Sunday and I tell him that it is not right. I know how much of a sports fan you are and I want to know if you allow your boys to watch sports on Sunday or not?” Well, I had never had anyone approach me directly with such a question, so I quickly responded, “I tell my boys that they better not watch games on Sunday, but when I get home (from church meetings) they better know the score!” I quickly walked off and escaped down the hallway. I left the sister with her face showing signs of inquisitive bewilderment! Had I said, “yes or no?” Even I didn’t know. I made the statement out of panic!

Over the years I have learned that every family makes decisions about their household that may or may not meet with the approval of other families.  Modern prophets and apostles have laid out guidelines for us and we should certainly do our best to follow their counsel, we can’t go wrong if we do. However, all of us are faced with unique situations regarding the rules and regulations of the gospel, be it family dynamics, job related issues, or other issues too numerous to mention. What one family deems as “acceptable” another family might frown upon! However, over the years I have found that usually the family that frowns on another families ‘interpretation’ of the law,  usually has a “third” family that is frowning on something they are doing. It can be one big circle of frowns when it comes to judging others.

Some areas of the gospel are black and white but there is plenty of ‘gray’ surrounding some issues.  I think the best thing to do is follow what our leaders have to say on a subject tempered by individual inspiration. Then do what we deem to be right for our families and not worry about what others may think of our decisions. The Lord knows all. If we feel we can present ourselves before him without shame, and if we keep that in mind, we probably can’t go wrong. Each of us must learn to properly govern ourselves within the concepts and principles of the gospel.


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