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“If That’s Not Prophetic, I Don’t Know What Is”: Philadelphia 76ers CEO on President Nelson and Christ-Centered Homes

by | May 18, 2020

For two decades, Lisa O’Neil raised her daughters in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a part-member family, until her husband, Scott O’Neil, joined the Church.

Scott is the CEO of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. In a recent Facebook Live video hosted on the Facebook page “Followers of Christ in Greater Philadelphia,” Scott and Lisa shared their testimonies of the gospel, explaining the many ways the gospel blesses their lives.

“My life, I work in sports,” Scott said. “I work for two professional sports teams, the 76ers and the New Jersey Devils of the NBA and the NHL. It is stress and chaos and commotion. What the gospel gives me is a sense of peace and stillness. It allows me to understand and put things in perspective. It provides an opportunity to help guide and lead me in my darkest days or my most challenging days.”

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Lisa explained that the gospel also provides peace in turbulent times.

“There’s so much happening in the world right now that I think that if we’re looking to the world to find peace we won’t find it,” Lisa said. “When I’m thinking of the world right now it’s full of confusion and fear and doubt and darkness. That’s really in contrast to what I think the gospel brings, which I think is assurance and optimism and clarity and hope. Looking to the world will never bring us that kind of peace.”

Scott and Lisa spoke specifically about the COVID-19 pandemic. Normally, Scott is outside of the home nearly every third night with his work. While acknowledging that the pandemic has brought hardship to many including loss of jobs and loss of lives, Scott noted he has been grateful for the time to spend at home and for the direction we have been given for this time at home.

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“President Nelson, a year ago, was instructing us very strongly to make sure that we had a Christ-centered home . . . . We were empowered to do what we needed to do at home and not to be so reliant on a physical building on Sunday,” Scott said. “If that’s not prophetic, I don’t know what is.”

Scott also discussed how during the pandemic he has felt the importance of each person’s personal responsibility to build a relationship with the Savior.

"This is on me,” Scott said. “I have to own my relationship with our Savior, and I have to own what I do to make sure that I’m progressing, As a convert, it’s work. It isn’t easy. I have to read my scriptures. I have to learn more. I think this experience, this hiatus, this gap, this pause has brought us more joy to come together as a family.”

Watch the full video below and learn more about Scott’s conversion story from the All In episode after the video.

Lead Image: Facebook Video Screenshot
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Lindsey Williams

Lindsey Williams joined the LDS Living team with a passion to find the stories that matter most. Previous stops in her career include BYU-Pathway Worldwide, the Special Projects Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Utah Valley Magazine. When she's not searching for stories to write, the Colorado Springs native is most likely on a hiking trail. 

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