Guest: Jeff Rodeback – BYU Athletics and Keeping It in Perspective

Jeff Rodeback

After BYU’s disappointing first-round tournament loss Ole Miss tonight, I found myself wishing that BYU cared more about its big-name sports. Maybe then the Cougars would win more high-profile games.

But the fact is that BYU doesn’t care about sports. Tom Holmoe might disagree with me, but it’s true. BYU does not care about sports, at least not in the way other big-name schools do.

Shortly after Bronco Mendenhall became BYU’s football coach, I attended a meeting where he discussed the interviews he had before becoming head coach. His final interview was with then-Elder Henry B. Eyring of the LDS Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Eyring’s job was to decide whether or not to hire Bronco.

In the interview, Elder Eyring didn’t mention football once. They talked about education, missions, the importance of the late teens and early twenties, the way BYU fits into the mission of the LDS Church, and just about everything else besides football. After that interview, Bronco got the job.

Fast forward a few years, and I was working for BYU’s police department. I wasn’t a police officer, but I worked closely with police officers and was heavily involved in security and traffic management on campus and at athletic events. Part of my job included writing parking tickets — and I gave plenty of parking tickets to well-known athletes.

What Mormons Mean: “The Church Is True”

If you spend any time in church-related settings with Mormons — members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — it won’t be long before you hear phrases like this:

  • “I know the Church is true”
  • “the only true church”
  • “the only true and living Church on the face of the earth”

That last one is scripture for us.

What do we mean when we say our Church is true? What don’t we mean? Should you be offended, if you’re not a Mormon?

Short Take: Using the JST

Author’s Note

One purpose of the Book of Mormon is to establish the Bible’s truth (1 Nephi 13:40). Another is to restore “plain and precious things” which were lost from Bible (1 Nephi 13:24-29). After the Book of Mormon’s publication, God set Joseph Smith another large scriptural task: restore the Bible. The Bible is that important.

Under inspiration from heaven, Joseph restored much that was lost and corrected many errors. We usually call the result the Joseph Smith Translation (JST), though it is not a translation between languages. The LDS Church still uses the King James Version (KJV) – a longer story – but many JST excerpts are in footnotes and an appendix to the LDS publication of the KJV. Several whole chapters are included in the Pearl of Great Price. Noticing these enriches our reading and teaching.

For example, the JST version of the early chapters of Genesis is published in the Pearl of Great Price as the Book of Moses; the expansion is dramatic and priceless.

When Moses shows wonders to Pharaoh, beginning in Exodus 7, the KJV says that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Exodus 7:3, 13). The JST has Pharaoh hardening his own heart.

When John records – according to the KJV – both that Jesus baptized (John 3:22) and did not baptize (4:2), the JST says instead, in the latter case, that Jesus performed baptisms, but not as many as his disciples.