Rick Sherley, a Texas Sports Basketball Hall of Fame coach, shares how his home teacher, General Authority of the Seventy Gifford Nielsen, changed his life and lead to his conversion.
Sherley’s first contact with Latter-day Saints was playing with a local ward basketball team in 1979. After joining the Church in 1982, Sherley remembered feeling disconnected. Like any new member, he went through a transition period.
“None of my friends were members of the Church. Then I found out that all of my friends were there, I just didn’t know them yet,” he said. Having a friend, being nurtured and given an opportunity to serve dramatically increases the likelihood of being converted to the gospel and committed to the Church.
Sherley was grateful for the mentoring and support of S. Gifford Nielsen, now a General Authority Seventy. “Giff was our Home Teacher. He was the first person in athletics I could identify with. We would jog together in the mornings when he would get ready for training camp [as a quarterback with the NFL Houston Oilers football team]. I got to see that sports and being a good member of the Church could coexist,” Sherley said. “There were many tough times I would call him and he would talk me through things,” he added.
Lead image from the Deseret News