Football star tells youth 'life is walk in faith'

More than 15,000 youth from throughout Arizona packed the north lawn of the Arizona Temple grounds on March 31 for a special fireside with Elder W. Mack Lawrence, North America Southwest Area president, and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young.

Elder Lawrence said Brother Young was "truly an MVP." referring not only to his outstanding career as a professional football player, but also to the message he has brought to the youth concerning faith, missionary work, the Word of Wisdom and self-worth."I salute him in terms of the message he gave us" Elder Lawrence said, adding "each of us can be an MVP."

The fireside was part of Easter Pageant week on the temple grounds. The speakers delivered their messages from the stage, and young men and women from more than 33 stakes in Arizona filled the 10,000 chairs and overflowed onto blankets on the grass.

Brother Young said he was "overwhelmed by the amount of people" in attendance and that he was "humbled and honored" by it. "I take this very seriously," he said, "and I seriously pray for the Spirit."

He opened his talk by bearing his testimony of God, Jesus Christ and the gospel and said, "This testimony is the most precious thing I possess."

He spoke on faith and said, "Life is a walk in faith. Sometimes life is hard (for me) as I'm sure it is for you, but faith gives us the ability to just hang in there. We don't get to know the details (of life) in advance," he said, "but the Spirit is our guide."

He spoke on missionary work and said, "Don't ever use me as an excuse not to serve a mission. I still plan on my day coming." He urged the youth, "Go and serve."

Brother Young expressed his gratitude for the doctrines of the Church and for the Word of Wisdom. "We see daily the evidence of it's wisdom," he said. By living it in his life Brother Young said he is able to feel better and has the freedom to choose. "I am only dependent on the Lord," he said.

He encouraged the youth to understand their own inherent self-worth as children of God. "The Lord knows each one of us," he said. "I'm convinced you and I have our own purpose on earth. We are all equal in the sight of God. No one can diminish your worth or add to it. What can be greater than knowing that truth?"

He also warned of the dangers of competition with others. "In football there are winners and there are losers," he said. "(In life) this is a dangerous way to think. The true and only competition is with yourself."

Brother Young urged the youth to look to God for true worshiping. "Please don't waste your time worshiping sports heroes, rock stars and movie idols; only worship God."

He ended by personally challenging each young man and young woman to "search for the Spirit, keep your covenants and live close to Heavenly Father."

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