This week in Church history

25 years ago

Members of the BYU football team shared the gospel as well as their athletic skills during a pre-Christmas tour of Japan, according to the Dec. 31, 1977, Church News.

President Gordon B. Hinckley, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, was among those accompanying the team on the 10-day tour that ended Dec. 24.

The article reported: "Appearing at as many Church functions as football games and receptions, the BYU players and coaches were double-duty missionaries — espousing the finer points of American football and the finer points of the gospel."

The team won two football games against Japanese all-stars.

According to the article, BYU head coach LaVell Edwards said the tour "carried much further than football. 'It has been the No. 1 experience for a football team since I've been at BYU,' he said. 'The cultural and spiritual opportunities were tremendous.

" 'The players and coaches will have the spirit of Japan, and more especially, the spirit of the Japanese saints, with us always.' "