“Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy,” Friend, Jan. 2003, 31
Taylor seems to have a special “gift” for playing basketball and has been shooting hoops ever since he could walk. In 2001, he and his family moved to a town near Atlanta, Georgia, where they have been glad for the opportunity to share the gospel with many new friends and neighbors.
Since moving there, Taylor has had the opportunity to play on both a city and an all-star basketball league. He enjoyed playing on both teams but decided it would be more challenging to try out for the city Elite Basketball Team. Knowing that only twelve boys would make the team, he practiced hard. He was thrilled when he made the team. His parents were happy for him and were committed to his schedule of practicing two hours a day, three days a week for the next five months, when the season would be over.
Then his mom received a phone call from his new coach. He told her that one of the three practice days each week would be on Sunday and that attending all practices was mandatory. He knew that Taylor was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and said that he was sorry that one practice day was on Sunday. He knew that Taylor was one of the best players on the team and had been looking forward to being his coach. Even so, he would try to understand if the decision was made to not attend the practice and have to leave the team.
Taylor was heartbroken. He wanted very badly to play on the team. He had earned his position and felt it was unfair to have practices on Sundays. However, he was a baptized member of the Church and had covenanted with Heavenly Father to choose the right and keep the commandments. He knew that if he kept the Sabbath Day holy, Heavenly Father would bless him.
He decided to keep the Sabbath Day holy. His dad called the coach, and the coach was sorry but said that he understood.
Later that evening, Taylor’s dad received a phone call from the coach. The high school basketball coaches who oversee the city Elite Team were running the drills during Taylor’s tryouts. When they learned that Taylor was giving up his place on the team because of his religious beliefs, they decided to make an exception to the rule for him. They allowed Taylor to miss every Sunday practice and still be eligible to start in the games as the point guard.
Taylor was overcome with happiness—and gratitude, for he knew he had witnessed a miracle. He had set a wonderful example for his family, friends, coaches, and team. Best of all, he knows in his heart that he truly did make the right choice, whether he was on the team or not.