Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Great Heaps Mission Debate

This is a subject in which I am surprised such debate exists: should Jake Heaps serve a full-time mission?

It is easy to give the answer of "yes," because we have been taught all of our lives that every worthy young man should serve a mission. So, by that token, the decision is not a decision all, because it has already been made for him.

Except for a little thing called "agency."

For me, the answer was easy. I went and did what was expected of me. It was a decision I had made years and years before acting on it. But there is a different set of circumstances surrounding Heaps' mission decision compared to my circumstances, and I don't think people understand the difficulty of Heaps' decision.

Those in a third-person perspective looking at it, say, "There's no question or decision about it. Just go!"

I would wager a small fortune none of those people were ever the #1 QB prospect in high school as a senior. They were likely not given the starting job at the most visible position on the BYU football team as a freshman - a dream come true for Heaps, I'm sure. The bottom line is they have no idea the sacrifice Heaps would be making.

Heaps has worked so hard throughout his entire life to one day be a QB in the NFL. Two years is an immense sacrifice for anyone, but for a QB, that's two years away from the game. Two years off a possible NFL career.

Saying "yes" to that decision is almost definitely saying "good-bye" to the possibility of being drafted in the first round. Teams like to draft younger QBs to groom them to be their quarterback.

People know BYU as a "QB Factory," but do you remember who the first returned missionary BYU QB to start in the NFL was? John Beck, a mere three years ago. A BYU QB not going on a mission is not a new topic.

Remember former #1 QB prospect Ben Olson? He served - and I give him ultimate props for doing so - and his college career did not turn out how he would have preferred. Not that it is because he served a mission, but if you were in Jake Heaps' position, wouldn't that scare you a tad?

The answer to the question of whether to serve is non-existent, because whether or not Jake Heaps should serve a mission is not even a question - at least not for me or you. It is a private decision between Heaps and the Lord. He is the one going. He is the one that needs to be committed.

Agency is one of the most sacred possessions we have as children of our Heavenly Father, so how dare anyone try to rob him of that?

I understand the thought that Jake Heaps should be an example to the younger kids in the church. However, I am from the Charles Barkley School of Philosophy. It is not Heaps' job to be a role model. Jake Heaps wants to play football, not raise your kids.

Why criticize him for not going on a mission? Why not appreciate him for the good kid he already is? Why try to fit him into a role he may not want to fulfill? There are plenty other people on the BYU football team or other teams willing to be that guy.

For example, here is a video on Utah basketball legend Tyler Haws.

After a very successful freshman season on the BYU basketball team, he chose to serve a mission. Tyler Haws' example screams "Here! Here's a role model!" Why waste time making someone else fit into a role that is already being fulfilled by guys like Tyler Haws?

1 comment:

  1. Agree. People act like if you don't serve a mission, you can't go to the CK. News flash: a mission is a commandment, NOT an ordinance. If he goes, great, if not, great too. He's got talent that can make his family in generations secure, and put him in a position to help others philanthropically. So if he forgoes a mission to pursue that, who are we to judge?