More Important Than Basketball
February 2020

“More Important Than Basketball,” Friend, February 2020

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More Important Than Basketball

From an interview with Tiffany Leary.

young boy spinning basketball

Illustrations by Aaron Painter

When I was 11 years old, I loved basketball. My oldest brother loved it too. He played on the basketball team in college. He had to decide whether to serve a mission or keep playing on the team.

One night at dinner, he was talking with our family about whether or not to serve a mission. I just blurted out, “If you go on a mission, I’ll go on a mission.” Everyone was silent as my brother thought about what I said.

My brother did decide to go on a mission! In fact, all four of my brothers served missions. When it was time for me to decide whether or not to serve, it wasn’t a question. I had already made that choice!

Someone else who loved basketball helped me prepare for my mission too. His name is Devin Durrant, and he was one of my teammates in college. He became my hero.

He asked me if I knew what it felt like to make the winning shot in a basketball game. I said yes. Then he said, “It’s great. But it can’t compare to how you’ll feel when you teach and baptize someone on your mission.” I never forgot that.

Through these great examples in my life, Heavenly Father showed me that His work was more important than basketball. What matters most is living the gospel of Jesus Christ so we can live with Heavenly Father again.

Missionary Basketball

Play this game to practice sharing the gospel!

  1. Cut out the squares below and crumple them into balls.

  2. Set a bowl at the end of a table or desk. Then take turns shooting the balls into the bowl.

  3. When a ball lands in the bowl, open the paper and read the question. Practice answering it as if you were talking to someone who wants to learn more about the Church.

  • What church do you go to? (Tip: Use the full name of the Church.)

  • Are you a Christian?

  • Who is Joseph Smith?

  • What is the Book of Mormon?

  • Do you believe in the Bible?

  • Why do you believe in God?