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BYU President Kevin Worthen Shares Inspirational Message With Football Team

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is given the game ball and a BYU helmet by BYU President Kevin J Worthen during the first time out of the Brigham Young University vs. University of Utah football game in Provo on Sept. 9. As a guest of Deseret First Credit Union, Elder Rasband and some of his family members, including his wife, Sister Melanie Rasband, met on the field for the presentation. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – Brigham Young University President Kevin Worthen recently stopped by the BYU football fall camp practices.

Worthen, the 13th president of BYU, has held the title of President since 2014. A graduate of BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School in 1982, Worthen joined BYU’s university faculty in 1987.

Before the pandemic began in the spring of 2020, Worthen, a former college athlete of his own at Eastern Utah, frequently attended home and away games with the football program. So it wasn’t uncommon for President Worthen to be around BYU’s football team.

He shared an inspirational message to the 2021 gridiron squad last Thursday at practice. BYU’s official football social media accounts shared a snippet of the message. Here are the full quotes from Worthen.

President Kevin J. Worthen addresses the BYU football team

“First Corinthians chapter 12 talks about the various parts of the body. And it says, “The eye can’t say to the foot, I have no need of thee. And the head can’t say to the arm; I have no need of thee. We have need of all of them, and we’re one together to do that.’

“Now, did you know that more than anything else, that you represent us? And as you represent us in a way in which you trust each other, in which you love each other, in which you help each other. It not only sends the right message that we want to send to the world. But it allows you to be the perfect kind of football team you’re going to be this year.

“Finally, just one other thing, there will come times this season, maybe already in this camp and this camp and this fall practice, in your own life in which things will not go well. Guaranteed. When that happens, there’s a saying attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson; I’m not sure that he was actually the one who said it. But he said, ‘When it gets dark enough, you can see the star.’ You think about that in the heavenly context in which you sort of say, ‘the stars are always there. But it’s only when it’s dark that you can see who they are. When you find out who the real stars are, when it’s dark enough, when things aren’t going right, then you find that’s when you can see the star.’

“There are a lot of stars on this team. 123, I think is the number, is that about right? That’s what you can do is shine out to other people, when you see them down, when you see them having a tough time or something when things aren’t going right; that’s when you need to be the star.

“When things aren’t going right, that’s when you need to be the star. So thank you, I’ll spare you the rest of the speech. But we love you. We enjoy being around you. We will be there, so I’m glad Coach [Sitake] introduced us, so you don’t think we’re strangers wandering around. But thank you for all you do, and thanks to your great coaching staff as well.”


BYU opens up the 2021 football season on Saturday, September 4, against the Arizona Wildcats. The game will take place in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders. BYU and Arizona will kick off at 8:30 p.m. (MT) on ESPN and KSL NewsRadio.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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