Newsmaker: MVP: Most Valuable Perspective

Steve Young, Latter-day Saint quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers football team in the United States, was elated when his team recently won Super Bowl XXIX: San Francisco 49, San Diego 26. Unanimously voted the game’s most valuable player, Steve had broken a Super Bowl record with six touchdowns and was the leading rusher in the game.

“I’ve achieved my football dream,” he told his mother, Sherry. And then he paused. “But if we would have lost, I could still be happy.”

That perspective is a Steve Young hallmark. After a successful stint as quarterback at Brigham Young University, Steve has played pro football for the past decade. After a handful of difficult years finding his niche, he has won four passing titles in his four years as a starting quarterback in the National Football League, setting several records for passing efficiency and completion percentages. He was named the league’s Most Valuable Player two of the last three years.

Steve works at keeping his priorities in proper focus. He teaches a Primary class in his Provo ward. He tries to attend the temple on Tuesdays, the team’s day off. He’s established a charity called Forever Young, and last summer he graduated from BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School.

“The gospel has been an absolute anchor in my life,” says Steve. “It continually provides me with the foundation with which I make all the decisions in my life.”

A Certain Slant on Light

As an artist, Kenneth Richard Turner, bishop of the Columbus Ward of the Katy Texas Stake, has long been a student of the creative process.

His study led him to Beethoven’s claim that he did not invent his melodies but wrote them down from God. “I wanted to do this same thing with my painting,” explains Ken. Before joining the Church, he sought truth everywhere. Once, while fasting for direction, he wrote on his studio wall, “I am eternal, but who am I?”

Missionaries eventually found Ken and his wife, Nell. “The Church has given direction and meaning to my life and art,” says Ken. “I had always thought art should portray truth and that artists should live what they portray.”

Spiritual subjects are Ken’s preference, but most of his work is commissioned, including portraits, historical paintings, and Book of Mormon scenes.

“I believe art is a way of serving and of sharing truth,” Ken explains. “Truth is my subject in everything I paint. And I try to make it so in the way I live my life.”Elaine Ostrander, Houston, Texas

A Book, a Blessing, and Service

A love of Relief Society and following the example of a former Relief Society general president spurred Jane Carter to get involved in women’s organizations.

Sister Carter, a member of the Edmonton First Ward, Edmonton Alberta Millwoods Stake, has been elected to the International Council of Women, a consultative organization to the United Nations. She was elected at the council’s triennial conference in Paris, France, and will represent the National Council of Women of Canada.

In 1975 Sister Carter was called as Relief Society president in her ward. “I had a young family, and I must admit I was at my wit’s end,” she remembers.

“It was Women in Today’s World, a book written by former Relief Society general president Belle S. Spafford, that gave me the direction I needed and also helped me fulfill certain parts of my patriarchal blessing. That book was a blessing.”

As a result of Sister Spafford’s counsel to get involved in service and the community, Sister Carter became involved in Canada’s National Council of Women. She has served in many leadership roles in the organization and is currently serving her third term as its vice president.Hugh A. Calder, Edmonton, Alberta

A Talent to Cheer

I could tell she was nervous as we talked on the phone. “What do you think they’d like? Fried chicken? Spaghetti? Oh! I hope they’re not thinking I’m cooking up a kitchenful of soul food to make them eat.”

I laughed. It was my mother’s first visit with the missionaries.

That was the beginning of my mother’s caring service to every missionary who served in the Milwaukee City Branch, Milwaukee Wisconsin Stake, in the Wisconsin Milwaukee Mission. Since that first pot of chili, Flo Stolberg and her husband, Swede, have joined the Church and have always lovingly welcomed the missionaries into their home.

Sister Stolberg often consoles discouraged missionaries with stories of her tough times and illustrates how the gospel has helped her. She shares the same lessons with them that she taught me and helps them see that the difficulties in our lives are intended to make us better, not bitter.

Few missionaries realize that Sister Stolberg has degenerative arthritis. Most of her days are filled with pain, but she insists that the photographs she poses for with happy missionaries and the time she spends serving those who preach the gospel are the best pain medication that she can find.Darlene Boyd Watts Day, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

To Run and Not Be Weary

“And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings … shall run and not be weary” (D&C 89:18, 20). Seventy-five-year-old runner Matt Miller enjoyed a full measure of that promise when he set a new world record by running nearly 143 miles in forty-eight hours. “I feel to the extent that I do what Heavenly Father wants me to do, he will help me do what’s good that I want to do,” Brother Miller observes.

One thing he wanted to do was set a world record. On the quarter-mile track at Williams High School in Plano, Texas, Brother Miller started his run. Two days later the record for runners in the seventy to seventy-four age group was his.

A high priest in the Pontchartrain Ward, New Orleans Louisiana Stake, Brother Miller is a latecomer to the world of runners. He began at age sixty-six by taking a pet Chihuahua out for exercise. The dog tired before he did, so Brother Miller began leaving it at home. He ran his first competitive race in 1986. One thing led to another, and three years later he ran his first marathon.

In his relatively short running career, Brother Miller has made many new friends, many of whom have received a copy of the Book of Mormon from him. He refuses to run on Sunday and has had many opportunities to discuss the gospel, the Word of Wisdom, and the Book of Mormon.Betsy Nagel, Metairie, Louisiana

In the Spotlight

  • California’s Twenty-ninth Assembly District has named Bette Worthen of the Visalia Fourth Ward, Visalia California Stake, its 1994 Woman of the Year. Sister Worthen, who received the honor during a special ceremony on the assembly floor, has worked in the office of assemblyman Bill Jones for twelve years.

  • Utah Governor Michael Leavitt has appointed the state’s first director for Polynesian affairs. Fineasi M. Nau of the Bonneville Fourth Ward, Provo Utah Bonneville Stake, will work closely with the governor’s Polynesian Advisory Council to build unity and solve problems within the Polynesian community, as well as increase awareness of one of the state’s fastest growing ethnic populations.

  • The Penn State Nittany Lions men’s volleyball team, coached by Tom Peterson, recently won the NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship. Brother Peterson, a member of the State College Ward, Altoona Pennsylvania Stake, has coached at Penn State for six years. He was also named Coach of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

  • Susan Tjarks of the Mitchell Ward, Sioux Falls South Dakota Stake, was recently selected as one of the one hundred most influential women in South Dakota. Sister Tjarks, who has lupus, serves on the Mitchell School Board and has spent hundreds of hours in community service.

  • Members of Parliament from both parties recently honored sixteen-year-old Mark Grant as the Most Outstanding Prime Minister in the national Motorola Youth Parliament Competition. Mark, a member of the Nuneaton Ward, Coventry England Stake, attended a special reception at the House of Commons, Westminster, London, to receive a prize.