Saturday, March 20, 2010

Vai Sikahema

It's not everyday that you get to meet one of your heroes but I did at the Gladys Knight concert up in Cherry Hill New Jersey.  We were waiting in the lobby to go into the chapel and when I saw him I knew it was "Brother" Sikahema.  He's actually the Stake President there if my sources are accurate.  I knew that he did sports for the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia because I spotted him on there not long after we moved out here.

He was so friendly and kind.  He talked to me like we were old college buddies.  I remember him as a part of the 1984 National Championship Team for BYU (Uncle Mel Olson was an offensive line coach for that team) and later returning kick offs and punts for the St Louis/Arizona Cardinals.  I lost track of him when he went to Green Bay and later Philadelphia but I've always admired him for keeping the standards of the church.

I'll never forget one of his kick off/punt returns either.  As I recall it the announcer said he wasn't much to watch because he played college ball for BYU.  Vai then proceeded to run it all the way back for a touchdown :o)  A true hero for young people like myself to look up to and hope to emulate.

Gladys Knight

I had a rare opportunity to go and see Gladys Knight and her Saint Unified Voices Choir.  As a member of the church she has used her popularity and fame for the good of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  She is a convert and is not afraid to share her testimony of the restored gospel.

I was able to take Bonnie and Lloyd Harmon with me and they both enjoyed it immensely.  Bonnie is an inactive member of 15 years and I was the first contact from the church that she'd had in 5 years.  She is faithfully attending another denomination now and actively involved in their choir.  Lloyd is not a member but has been  receptive to visits from myself and the missionaries.  Neither really show tremendous interest in pursuing activity in the restored Gospel but it's no reason not to keep inviting them and letting them know they are loved.

I'm certain that they felt the spirit that was present at the concert but translating that into a need to embrace the gospel, as restored in it's fullness within our church, is not as obvious.  Still it was a great spiritual experience and one that will like touch many of the lives of those who attended.