I’ve got to tell you a funny story which is also pretty inspiring. I went to high school in Orem, Utah. I played on the varsity soccer and basketball teams and on the b-ball team I played with a guy named Jason Lewis. He had a younger brother named Chad who, as I remember him, was this scrawny, pimply faced, redheaded kid who more often than not spent his time as a gym rat: what I mean by this is that he was usually in the gym shooting hoops, talking trash, and basically being a pain in the neck to the rest of us, as I recall. I think he played football but never made the basketball team, despite trying out. Personally, I always kind’a liked the guy but he was a couple years younger than us and still had a lot of growing up to do.
A few years later I heard that he had had a major growth spurt and ended up walking on the BYU football team. From there he went on to dominate the game as a tight end. Following BYU he was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles (in 1997) and played for over a decade with the Eagles, the St. Louis Rams, etc. He caught the game-clinching touchdown pass in the 2005 NFC Championship Game. He played with distinction and now works at Brigham Young University as an Associate Athletic Director, to my understanding.
Chad’s story is inspiring because, among other things, he didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth or even with extraordinary natural talent, I don’t think. From my perspective, he set a goal, worked hard, and did what it took to accomplish his dreams. Today he is a great ambassador for the church, the NFL (especially in China; he served a 2-year LDS mission in Taichung Taiwan), and for how to live your life right.
It’s a few minutes long, but I encourage you to first watch his “I’m a Mormon” video below and his football highlight reel if you’d like, but most of all, please take the time to watch the address he gave to the students of Brigham Young University at one of their BYU Student Devotionals. His insights into and experience in the NFL are really interesting but his thoughts on standing up for your faith (i.e. “letting your light shine”) are what touched me the most. It’s one of the best talks I have ever heard and is right in line with this blog about standing up for what we believe.
If you ever read this, Chad, we really appreciate your example, your testimony, and the phenomenal way in which you’ve represented the Church so valiantly these last many years, and still do today. It means a lot to the rest of us too. We’re really proud of you, man.
Congratulations on all your success and keep up the great work!
All the best,
Patrick Laing – Portland, Oregon USA
Click Here to read Chad’s bio page on Wikipedia.
Click the Video Below to Watch Chad’s Short “I’m a Mormon” Video:
Click the Video Below if You’d Like to Watch a Highlight Reel of Chad’s:
And, most important of all, please take the time to watch his extraordinary BYU Devotional, “The World Needs to See and Feel Your Light,” talk by clicking below:
Take care, everybody.
All the best,