Mormon rugby fullback reverses decision to sit out Sundays

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  • J-TX Allen, TX
    May 22, 2017 7:35 a.m.

    Joshua 24:15

  • 2close2call Beverly Hills, CA
    May 21, 2017 4:31 p.m.

    @ADN - Weiser, ID "He that has no sins may be the first to cast a stone..."

    I think yo might have missed the point. Working on Sunday is not a sin in the LDS church according to the Area Presidencies' quote in this article!

  • aggiefather Fulton, MO
    May 21, 2017 12:30 p.m.

    Not everyone has the moral courage of an Eric Liddell. His version of Christianity viewed sport, even that played for hard cash, as optional recreation and essentially different from vocations which actually provide "essential services." The LDS popular culture, not so much.

  • Glenn L Nauvoo, IL
    May 20, 2017 11:35 a.m.

    When I began a successful sales & marketing career in 1975 training sessions, sales meetings, and medical conventions were never held on Sundays. Only Sunday travel to make remote Monday business requirements was needed. In the 3.5 decade's that followed that changed, requiring occasional Sunday work. I served faithfully in a stake presidency & as a Bishop, wishing it could be different. I'm sure some felt stronger faith would have driven me to change jobs. But in my field, it had become a requirement, and I felt good about keeping that position, and about my personal efforts to keep the Sabbath as I could. This man, Steve Young, and others live the kind of life I like to emulate. The Church statement should be our guide in judging others.

  • Stop.The.Liars Logan, UT
    May 20, 2017 10:44 a.m.

    I worked for the LDS Church for over 20 years and was often required to work on Sundays when circumstances required me too. While not perfect one can work on Sundays and still be completely active in the LDS Church.

  • ADN Weiser, ID
    May 19, 2017 12:31 p.m.

    He that has no sins may be the first to cast a stone...

  • gusdanielson Blue Springs, MO
    May 19, 2017 10:24 a.m.

    We all have been blessed with many gifts and talents. As such, we should magnify and develop these gifts and talents and use them for the upbuilding. God's commands us to, "Keep The Sabbath Day Holy". If Brother Hopoate is able accomplish this in his heart and mind then I applaud him with his decision. God has a plan for everyone. All the best and many more blessings to Brother Hopoate and family!

  • gusdanielson Blue Springs, MO
    May 19, 2017 10:11 a.m.

    We all have been blessed with many gifts and talents. As such, we should magnify and develop these gifts and talents and use them for the upbuilding. God's commands us to, "Keep The Sabbath Day Holy". If Brother Hopoate is able accomplish this in his heart and mind then I applaud him with his decision. Best wishes and blessings to the Hopoate family! 🤙

  • Gallen13 Windermere, FL
    May 19, 2017 10:05 a.m.

    Hello, just wanted to ask. Is not the sabbath Saturday? I think he is confused about the wrong day of the week. Even Sabido is Saturday in Spanish, does that not mean the Sabbath is Saturday? That would mean that he is totally fine with working on Sunday... Just saying

  • agkcrbs Holladay, UT
    May 19, 2017 3:10 a.m.

    As usual, the "non-judgment" all goes in one direction -- straight to amorality, the absence of values (with, tellingly, plenty of reverse judgment left for those retaining the value). Be straight: EVERYTHING is a personal decision. Murder is a personal choice. Personal choices have consequences, some interpersonal, some horrible, but nothing that we personally assent to do is chosen for us. The term by itself justifies nothing.

    And one of his inferred excuses for his changed mind (it's not a perfect world) is as close to meaningless as could be. In a 'perfect' world, nothing related to this story would exist -- certainly no sticky religious choices. While none need condemn him for his free acts, consistency requires on the other hand that every plaudit for his initial courage be reversed (not, as here, amplified).

    Even if one likes imagining that a job as a paid entertainer, dancing clown, gladiator, sportsman, or something of that nature is somehow necessary or comparable with life-saving or holy work, the doctrine is blatant, to eschew sabbath labour where practicable, and it's a glaring omission to reduce it to "a personal matter" and leave it there. Shame on the deceptive.

  • Caddis Terry, MT
    May 18, 2017 7:02 p.m.

    As has been said, its a personal decision. Not all that long ago, we were almost all tied to agriculture. And even then, there were decisions to be made. Water, milk, feed, ... I wouldnt judge a man. Or woman too harshly. Obviously his heart is trying to honor the sabbath.

  • Warbunny Puyallup, WA
    May 18, 2017 6:09 p.m.

    Maybe it is an unfair apples vs oranges comparison...but if we warriors, military refused to do our contracted duty on Sunday, you'd all be reading this in German, Japanese or Russian.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    May 18, 2017 12:49 p.m.

    Smart choice because of his profession. Plenty of Mormons have to work on Sunday, he is a pro athlete so he gets more attention.

  • UteTrog Phoenix, AZ
    May 18, 2017 12:44 p.m.

    "I do not recall anyone criticizing Steve Young or any other church member playing in professional sports on Sunday. "

    Probably because the internet wasn't around like it is today for everyone to comment on everything pretending to be an expert on whatever flavor they choose that day.

  • Mack2828 Ft Thomas, KY
    May 18, 2017 12:11 p.m.


  • Kevin Surrey, BC
    May 18, 2017 10:42 a.m.

    With all due respect, this whole story is a non-issue news item. I will add President Uchtdorf to the ones mentioned below who had to work on some Sundays as a pilot. A faithful man in my ward works the night shift and gets off work and comes directly to church. Do we fault him? The church even employs many people on Sundays to do essential services. If you can avoid Sabbath work, great but many more employers are open 7 days a week now.

    I think the Sabbath day rule applies more to members who choose to enrol their kids in sports that play on Sundays. That is recreation, not a job. The spirit of the Sabbath always applies wherever you are, whatever you are doing. Turn your heart to the Lord as best you can. Who are we to judge?

  • FanOf"ChuckARama" Vernal, UT
    May 18, 2017 10:39 a.m.

    Good for him. It is his personal choice and I'm sure God is understanding and loving. The fanatical religious community seems to always like the idea that God is a one sided non-understanding God and yet parents will always have a deep love for their children no matter what choices they follow in life. Maybe it is going to be an eye-opener, comes judgment day when we all witness how understanding, loving, and merciful the Judge (God) is.

  • petersenjc Springville, UT
    May 18, 2017 10:21 a.m.

    When I was in the Navy I was required to work on Sunday about once a month. I would do everything I could to swap with other sailors by taking their watch on other days, even holidays, but occasionally I got stuck with a Sunday shift. It sounds like he's done his best to avoid it but like me, got "stuck" in the requirements of his vocation. Anyway, we will eventually be judged by our works and the desires of our hearts (D&C 137:9). It is clear what the desire of his heart is, he'll be okay in that great day.

  • Yorkshire City, Ut
    May 18, 2017 9:06 a.m.

    Better not to commit to this in the first place than to reverse yourself and abandon it.

  • Puregolf69 Tracy, CA
    May 18, 2017 9:05 a.m.

    Johnny Miller, Billy Casper, Mike Reid, Bruce Summerhays and a host of other Pro Golfers played and won their Championships on Sunday. Dale Murphy, 2 time MVP Major League Baseball Player played on Sundays, Steve Young MVP Football Player and Superbowl MVP played and won the Superbowl on Sunday. Lets let people live their live how they best see fit. Some HAVE to work on Sundays, most don't, it's their decision!!

  • scoobydoobydo Burley, ID
    May 18, 2017 8:45 a.m.

    EPoint - Roy, UT

    "I have wished Church Leaders would stand up more strongly on this, one way or the other."

    I think it is clear that the Church Leaders have made a strong stand in this. It's an individual decision. Do we really need to have every move we make dictated by a Church Leader? Is there no room for individual thinking and inspiration in the Church?

    It is my belief that we are all given personal inspiration/revelation regarding matters in our lives and the personal inspiration an individual receives, will always trump what a Church Leader suggests.

  • PorLibertad Salt Lake City, UT
    May 18, 2017 8:35 a.m.


    Based on your justifications you posted I think you did the right thing for you. I also think you can just quietly bask in the knowledge that you made the right decision for you and just let other brothers and sisters exercise the same freedom of choice as you have my friend. Whether or not we make the same decision as you did is between us and our God.

  • iluvnz Vernal, UT
    May 18, 2017 8:34 a.m.

    This is easy. Personal decision. DON'T JUDGE!

    My wife's wonderful grandfather (not a member of the church), was a heavy smoker, but a great man who welcomed home teachers and always made sure his wife - who was a member - paid a full tithe. A kind and wise elderly lady approached my wife at her grandfather's funeral and said, "If all our sins smelled like cigarette smoke, none of us could stand to sit next to each other". Words of great wisdom, to be sure.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    May 18, 2017 8:31 a.m.

    Article quote: "“In a perfect world I wouldn’t play,” Hopoate said. “It’s something I’ve been churning over quite a bit in my heart and mind. Obviously I would love not to. But at the same time I have a duty to my employers, and that’s the Canterbury Bulldogs at the moment.”

    Tough, tough call.

    I do think that since he:
    A) acknowledges he has a "duty" to his employers (which he does)
    B) said he will ONLY play games and no other team activity on Sundays (no training, meetings, etc)
    C) said he's open to offers from other teams that WOULD honor his hope to not play on Sundays

    ....I think that because of these things his heart is in the right place. (See 1st Samuel 16:7)

    God has told us to hone/improve our talents. His talent is rugby. He's also told us to work for a living so we can provide for our families. These truths cannot be denied.

    Some things change per differing situations and people. The Nephites were told by God to defend their families even if it meant war and bloodshed. Converted Lamanites decided to lay down their lives rather than fight.

    Who is more righteous? No one here can judge.

  • Justiciaparatodos Salt Lake City, UT
    May 18, 2017 8:31 a.m.


    I liked your comment and I would say I agree with most of it until you asserted this judgmental sentence: "I wonder if him playing on Sunday is closer to keeping the Sabbath day holy than those watching him".

    I wonder if watching some occasional sports on TV is worse than judging our fellow beings?

  • heavyhitter Lehi, UT
    May 18, 2017 8:22 a.m.

    Difficult choice for a good man. As the church statement said, honoring the Sabbath Day is a personal matter. Sports is not quite like essential services such as medical care (so the justification for working is not quite the same) but it is difficult to criticize him for pursuing his chosen profession which requires occasional play on Sundays. Godspeed Brother Hopoate!

  • Laurels Sandy, UT
    May 18, 2017 8:09 a.m.

    @NoNamesAccepted - Very well said!

    My mother collapsed Saturday night and had to be rushed to the hospital. She spent all day on Mother's Day--a Sunday--at the hospital receiving care in an emergency situation. I'm so grateful for the medical personnel who were available on a Sunday and holiday to provide that care!

    Policemen were on the hospital grounds on Sunday dealing with a man who was accosting people coming to visit relatives in the hospital. Thank goodness the policemen were there to provide a safe environment for sick people to recover, receive care, and have visits from friends and family.

    While at the hospital, we watched the Tab Choir's Sunday broadcast. The singers are volunteers, their conductor, organists, and the tech people who make that broadcast possible are not. The broadcast would not be possible without those people working on Sundays.

    Using the rationale expressed in some posts, one could also argue that since the LDS GA's are paid--they do receive stipends for their full-time service/work--they should consider another profession as their job duties entail much work on the Sabbath.

    NoNamesAccepted nailed it. Thank you!

  • goosehuntr Tooele, UT
    May 18, 2017 7:53 a.m.

    This young man is not a bad example. He is not a hypocrite. He is a young man who is trying to find a way for his loyalties to God and his loyalties to employers and teammates to co-exist. It is not a perfect world. He is employed, and he has a responsibility to his employer. I submit that he will continue to work things out and render unto Caesar what is his, and unto God the same. In the mean time, how is our Sabbath day observance going? I wonder if him playing on Sunday is closer to keeping the Sabbath day holy than those watching him.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    May 18, 2017 7:47 a.m.

    It is not our place to decide if someone is being faithful or not re the Sabbath . The Lord will make that decision when the time comes and we may suffer the consequences for our decision and we may not. We have been taught what it right and what is wrong and will be held accountable. That's the way it is with the Lord.

  • ssev Maple Grove, MN
    May 18, 2017 7:20 a.m.

    “The position of the church is that the decision to work or not work on Sunday is a personal matter. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches its members to honour the Sabbath day. Each person determines how they will do that according to their faith and circumstances.”

    "When a nation grows careless in observing the Sabbath, all aspects of life are affected and its religious life becomes decayed (Neh. 13:15–18; Jer. 17:21–27)." ("Sabbath Day," Guide to the Scriptures, LDS Scripture Online.)

    "Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death." (Exodus 35:2-3.)

    I don't believe that a prophet of God would command another human being to be put to death for failing to observe the Sabbath. I say this great sports figure should live!

  • LEGAL IMMIGRANT Salt Lake City, UT
    May 18, 2017 7:17 a.m.

    Exercising ones agency will be graded by the LORD, failure to exercise same agency will also be graded;
    Since Rugby is NOT played every Sunday it does not matter on iota to the LORD!
    It would behoove all LDS people to take Reality into consideration in their decisions as to what do do and not to do on Sunday!
    After all Church is a unnatural phenomenae which takes up mostly all Sundays in every week of the year!

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    May 18, 2017 7:04 a.m.

    Plenty of Mormon athletes have "worked" on Sunday. The list is almost endless. I don't see Vern Law, Steve Young, Dale Murphy, Bryce Harper, Jabari Parker or most of the others having any problems.

    I was a cop for 10 years and worked many Sundays. When possible, I attended my meetings. Sometimes I couldn't and missed it.

    Bottom line, it is a personal decision. This guy's pro career will be short and maybe, just maybe he'll be a great influence on others.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    May 18, 2017 5:50 a.m.

    Actually, Steve Young did get criticized for playing on Sunday. In fact, one person made the comment about how difficult it was to teach the young men in his ward about keeping the Sabbath day holy, while Steve Young was throwing footballs for big cash. It was supposed to be about a "personal decision.
    Many members of the church rationalized his decision on "missionary work", as a high profile representative to the public, etc. Whatever. It's still a personal decision.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    May 18, 2017 5:34 a.m.

    DN surprised me. Usually I have only seen stories about a person or sports team deciding NOT to play or practice on Sunday.

    I commend them for showing that it is a 2 way street.

  • rickbreneman Paducah, KY
    May 18, 2017 2:39 a.m.

    I wonder if his playing on Sunday will prevent him from attending Sabbath day meetings?? Likely not.

    I would ask this of some: I am a nurse. Should I quit my profession because I sometimes have to work on Sundays?

  • Hope & Faith give us strength Utah County, UT
    May 18, 2017 2:25 a.m.

    It is sad to see this reversal. Caving to the world because it's imperfect isn't what we're asked to do. At the end of the day your decision serves one master or another. As a public figure and one who brought a sense of credibility to the church to onlookers, it is sad to think about the impact his choice is having on other people.

    As for me, I know what choice I made and I'm sticking to it no matter what this world wants to throw my way. I'm happier when I do and no worldly success can compensate for that joy.

  • EPoint Roy, UT
    May 17, 2017 9:59 p.m.

    Having made a commitment to not work for money on the Sabbath Day, I quit 3 jobs as they evolved into Sunday work, and found other employment, feeling this was a required sacrifice to be true to the Lord's Church and commandment to honor the Sabbath Day.

    I have seen first hand how many souls have been hurt by Sabbath Day work that keeps them from attending Church Meetings and worshiping on Sunday. I believe the general rule of attending Church before being baptized, for example, is required. Some who tried to come back into Church activity could not succeed due to Sunday work requirements.

    Most folks who do not keep the Sabbath Day holy do not have the devotion necessary to living the other truths of the Gospel throughout the week. There are always exceptions.

    I am grateful to have been able to go with my children to Church, and grateful for the opportunity to participate actively in helping build the kingdom. I've known I need the Lord and His Church far more than He needs me. Selfishly, I guess, just saying no to Sabbath Day employment has helped me and my family.

    I have wished Church Leaders would stand up more strongly on this, one way or the other.

  • gsjpom Lawrence, KS
    May 17, 2017 9:04 p.m.

    I do not recall anyone criticizing Steve Young or any other church member playing in professional sports on Sunday. Years ago when going to BYU, for 3 months I worked 13 hours every Sunday - all for Church owned facilities - BYU in the Wilkinson Center and at then Utah Valley hospital. Each of us make our own decisions and live with them.

  • 1Reader Sunnyvale, CA
    May 17, 2017 8:48 p.m.

    I think Hopoate is right--his job requires him to work on Sundays; he did his best. Some people milk cows on Sundays. He is admirable to me.

    May 17, 2017 7:28 p.m.

    What is so difficult about a personal decision if we all examined our own lives we would find things other would accept he is just doing it under a spotlight maybe all our decisions need to be made under the same spotlight

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2017 6:33 p.m.

    MormonForever - St George, UT
    To bad what an example he could have continued to set in keeping the Sabbath day holy.

    If everyone followed your counsel we would in trouble especially if what you do for a living to pay your bills requires that. How many Mormons have to work on Sunday as police officers, firemen, in emergency rooms and hospitals?

    It isn't other people's place to judge them as bad examples. They simply have to find ways in their day to honor the Sabbath as best they can in the situations they are in.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    May 17, 2017 5:34 p.m.

    The sad reality is that there are any number of professions that require one to work on one's Sabbath, at least sometimes. Some of these are essential services such as medical work, police, fire, paramedic, and utilities. Others are effectively essential in a modern world: pilots and air traffic controllers, gas station employees, and pharmacists.

    Then, there are jobs that we could and should avoid forcing to work on Sundays because they are not essential. But public demand for 24/7 commercial and entertainment dictates that those in such fields do work on Sunday.

    If a person is going to work retail, food service, or professional sports he is almost certainly going to have to work some Sundays.

    Some men of faith will entirely avoid certain fields so as to abide their Sabbaths fully. Others will determine to use their God given talents even if it means having to miss church a certain number of weeks each year.

    It is not for others to judge how another meets his religious obligations regarding the Sabbath.

  • MormonForever St George, UT
    May 17, 2017 5:29 p.m.

    To bad what an example he could have continued to set in keeping the Sabbath day holy.