Britain Covey: Getting Back up After Tragedy and in the Face of Adversity
On New Year's Day, Britain Covey will play the biggest football game of his life thus far. He and his University of Utah teammates will play in the Rose Bowl against Ohio State, in what, win or lose, will be an incredible finish to a remarkable season. But at the end of September, he and his teammates were just a group of young men heartbroken over the loss of two of their best friends in just over 10 months. They have responded in a remarkable way and on this week’s episode, Covey discusses the faith that has carried all of them through.
"I believe that there are people in the building who mock and scorn, but if they see people who smile back and hold tight, it does something to the people mocking and scorning...the Spirit touches them and they want to come and join and say, 'Why does that person have that peace?'"
Britain's grandpa, Stephen R. Covey's book: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Watch: Britain talks about Ty Jordan
2:13- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
4:15- Blessings of Serving a Mission
10:19- The Loss of Two Teammates
14:59- Diversity of Faith Traditions
18:34- Returned Missionary Teammates
21:24- Popping Back Up
23:33- "Old Man Covey”
26:28- Kyle Whittingham
30:50- Suicide Prevention and Conscious Kindness
37:03- What Does It Mean To Be All In the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Morgan Jones [00:00:00] As you know, we weren't planning on doing an episode this Wednesday, but when the opportunity to interview Britain Covey before his last college football game came up, we had to take it. I hope you enjoy the surprise special episode of All In. Britain Covey is no stranger to opposition or adversity. The Utah Utes wide receiver was always considered too small for football. He battled a meniscus injury after returning home from his mission. He and his Utah football teammates have lost two of their own in the last year. He has lost two of his cousins in recent years to suicide. But the thing I love about watching Britain Covey play football is he does this thing where when he gets hit, he immediately pops right back up. As I prepared for this interview, I realized that there is probably a metaphor for life somewhere in this that when we get knocked down, we have to do our best to immediately jump right back up to our feet and keep going. After leading his high school to back to back for a state championships Britain, Covey began his collegiate football career at the University of Utah in 2015 before serving a full-time mission. This season, he has led the Utah Utes in receptions. He is also the school record holder and career punt return yards. He will play his final college football game in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. This is All In, an LDS Living podcast, where we asked the question What does it really mean to be all in the gospel of Jesus Christ? I'm Morgan Jones and I am so excited to have Britain Covey on the line with me today. Britain, welcome.
Britain Covey [00:01:46] Thank you, Morgan. I appreciate it. Thanks for having me on.
Morgan Jones [00:01:50] Well, this is such a treat for me. My boyfriend is a huge fan and we have watched all of your games this year and have just loved cheering you on. So this is really, really exciting and we're so excited about the Rose Bowl and all that your team has coming up. But I thought before we get into the football team and your experience this year, I would start with the reason that your name is probably most recognizable to people that meet you and will listen to this and that is because your grandpa is Stephen R. Covey. My dad was saying the other night when I was telling him that I was going to be interviewing you. He was like, "I think that his grandpa probably had more influence on the world than just about any one human being," which is pretty, pretty high praise. So I wondered which of your grandpa's seven habits would you say has affected your life most?
Britain Covey [00:02:45] Well, that is a very high compliment from your dad. That's really kind. I always think of the concept of, you know something's classic when it withstands the test of time. It's like the Beatles. Like, they'll always be classic and I think that's kind of what my grandpa is like, at least to me, is all the stuff that he taught, it was relevant 50 years ago, and it will be relevant in a hundred years because it's just kind of timeless principles. And for me personally, I would say the habit that has impacted me the most, probably because it's the most difficult habit is the seek first to understand, then to be understood, right? Because I think that the world is all about living with people and being around people who are different from you and who think differently from you and may have different opinions or whatever it may be. And it's just so important to not only coexist with people, but just to thrive with people. And I feel like a lot of times today, you know, if someone has a different opinion than you, it's so easy to just kind of block them out. And so that habit, for me, I think, is the most important and seek first to understand, then to be understood. And man, everything, just your relationships, everything goes a lot smoother. If you if you focus on that.
Morgan Jones [00:04:09] For sure. And you're absolutely right. If there was ever a time where that habit feels relevant, it would be today. Britain, I don't know if there's ever been a game that I've watched where they haven't mentioned that you served a mission. And so obviously that has been a part of your story as a football player and as a human being. You've said that you didn't see serving a mission as a sacrifice, but as an opportunity, and you've talked about how choosing to serve God magnifies us. I wondered, how would you say you've seen God magnify your abilities?
Britain Covey [00:04:45] Well, I think that serving a mission and going to Utah were two kind of joined decisions for me, right? Because obviously I grew up in Provo next to BYU, right? All my siblings had gone to BYU. Kind of the easy answer would be to go to BYU and you go on a mission that's just what you do, right? And I remember praying about it and getting my patriarchal blessing, and it was just so clear to me that not only did I need to go to Utah for football reasons and things, but that I also needed to go to Utah and then serve a mission. To continue to show just that you can be a good member of the Church in Provo and Salt Lake or anywhere else in the world, and that you can just show what's most important. And I prayed about it many times, and it was a decision I made a long time before, you know, in second grade, I chose to serve a mission. So it wasn't that hard of a decision. But I like how you phrased it to me earlier was, it wasn't a sacrifice as much because I think that it's easy to view serving a mission as a sacrifice. And of course it is. But it was the best thing for me and the best thing I've ever done. I grew as a person. I feel like that was a turning point for me and for many people who serve a mission. But I also feel like I was fulfilling part of my bigger mission, and that's what I felt from the moment I chose to come to Utah and serve a mission. And I have been blessed in ways in countless ways, from serving a mission and every single kid that I talk to, I recommend it, obviously, especially to the boys. I'm just like, "You got to, you got to go." But it was the best decision I could have made far superior to that of anything I've done on the football field.
Morgan Jones [00:06:43] Let me ask you this Britain, I thought it was interesting, I didn't really realize the timing of your meniscus injury, but I realized that like you battled back from that injury after coming back from your mission. And I wonder, did you ever wonder while you were in the middle of that adversity, if serving a mission was not a good idea. And how did you see God's hand during that period of your life?
Britain Covey [00:07:10] Well, like I said, I never wondered if serving the mission was the right thing or anything like that. I always, I learned so much from it and met so many people that I just love and grew so much from it that I never questioned that. But I will say that sometimes I would think to myself, like, Gosh, you know, I served a mission. I did everything that I was asked to do. And there are so many promises from the prophets you know that if you serve a mission, you'll be blessed in one way or another. And so I never questioned serving a mission, but I always would sometimes would think to myself, Gosh, I did all these things. Why am I not being blessed in this way?
Morgan Jones [00:07:51] Which I think is a really normal reaction?
Britain Covey [00:07:54] Oh, it's so normal. And I think that that happens for, gosh, probably the majority of people that come home from their mission. It's just not all roses when you get home and the Lord doesn't just, like, create perfectly straight pathways for you. I think that the language we use in the Church sometimes can make it seem like that. But obviously, in hindsight, pathways were created for me. But I think about people who, you know, they're told that if you go on a mission and you'll come back and you'll get married and then a lot of people don't or you come home for a mission and you will get into the school that you want, and a lot of people don't. And I think it's really easy to get frustrated and wonder, is that blessing really attached to me keeping that commandment or partial commandment? And so yes, I did feel that at times. But the one thing I do feel like I've learned throughout my life is that life is all about getting frustrated with God and just being like not understanding what he's doing and then coming back and realizing what he was doing. And then that cycle happens so many times to the point that when you get in that frustrated mood, you've experienced enough times to know that something is coming, some path is being opened. I met my wife because I tore my meniscus and ACL. I didn't have to go to practice and I had to go to rehab down in Provo, and my wife was going to BYU at the time. So I just feel like life is full of that cycle of you get frustrated with God and you say, I thought that my life was going to be like this, or I thought I was promised this if I did this. And then once you go through that cycle enough and realize that you can trust God, I think that's kind of what it's about.
Morgan Jones [00:09:39] Well, and I loved hearing you in another interview, you talked about how you felt like meeting your wife during that period was a miracle. And I think that that's true. Like when we're in the middle of things, I think a lot of times we can't see exactly what God is doing, but then we look back. And not only did he take care of us, but he worked miracles in our lives. And I think that that's pretty, pretty remarkable to just I think sometimes we just need to wait it out a little bit longer.
Britain Covey [00:10:07] And the fact that my wife even wanted to go on a date with me was a miracle. I mean, I definitely married up in my mind.
Morgan Jones [00:10:16] I love it. OK, so I want to kind of shift gears a little bit. And this season has been really unique. The last year has been really unique for your football team and that started on Christmas Day of 2020, when your teammate Ty Jordan passed away after an accidental gunshot. In September of this year another teammate, Aaron Lowe, was killed here in Salt Lake City. I wondered for you, and we can get to how that's affected your whole team, but I wondered, first of all, how it's affected you personally?
Britain Covey [00:10:53] It's kind of like one of those moments that you never forget where you were, what you were thinking and what you were doing last year on Christmas, right? I woke up and looked at my phone and I saw about probably 60 text messages. And when something like that happens, you know, something's gone wrong. And so before I even saw the text messages were, I knew something was wrong. And before I chose to open my phone, I said a little prayer, basically and said, like, "Heavenly Father, I don't know what I'm going to see, but please. You know, because I had missed calls and things like that, and so I just knew something was wrong, and I said if I would please prepare me with whatever news I'm about to receive basically and just opened the phone and saw the text messages. And as much as I was expecting something, I was shocked because I was with Ty about four or five days earlier. So that was really hard and I know that for me and for a lot of guys, we haven't really experienced a tragedy of a best friend like that where it's so unexpected. And it was really hard, especially because it was still during COVID. So we weren't together as a team very much over the next couple months. And I remember being confused about it and kind of coming to peace about it a couple months later. But still just, I don't think I'll ever fully understand why, you know, he had so many things ahead of them. Four days earlier, and I was talking with him about his dreams and his goals and stuff. So that was really hard. And then obviously, Aaron, when he passed away, when he got shot in the middle of the season, that was just—it was almost like you were numb. You couldn't believe it. You didn't know what to feel. It was so shocking. And for me personally, I had to rely on my teammates and my wife and my family because it was really hard and and that really brought us together. You know, I think that the public loves to focus on how we went forward and won the PAC-12 Championship in honor of Ty and Aaron. But that was so secondary in all of our minds, like football just became secondary at that point. Wins and losses didn't matter, nearly as much as honoring them with how we lived, with how we played, with what kind of bond we created. And the turning point for us was when Aaron Lowe's mom came into the team meeting a couple of days after and basically said, thank you to us and said, you know, you guys have permission to go forward. I want you to live your life and go forward and be happy. So for me personally, it's been tough. But I think more than just Ty and Aaron is what they represent, and I try and carry that with me throughout my life. I feel like enough time is passed where I don't have to feel so somber and sad about it. I can be happy when I talk about Ty and Aaron and smile and laugh and joke about how childish Ty was and what a goof he was, about how funny Aaron was. So I think it's just one of those things that you you never get over it, but you get through it. And yeah, anyways. "Twenty two percent better," that's kind of been our motto this year.
Morgan Jones [00:14:24] Yeah. Well, I think you made a really interesting point because I think a lot of people have said these guys would have been doing good to just put their pads on and get out on the field and instead you all have excelled. But I I think your point about football became secondary shows that. You know, when you have your priorities straight, everything kind of falls into place and everything is better when we have our priorities in order. And so I love that. I wondered you mentioned that you've had to lean on your teammates and I know that they come from a number of different faith backgrounds. So I wondered, how have you gained an appreciation for their faith as you've dealt with this together?
Britain Covey [00:15:12] Oh, it's been amazing. I mean, yeah, we've probably got, I don't even know how many different religions or faiths on our team. We're the most diverse team in the country in that we have it's one third Caucasian, one third African-American and one third Polynesian. Like, it's like a perfect split. It's really cool. And then a couple of foreigners from Australia and England, but it's really cool just to be around guys raised totally differently. And you realize, and especially after being on my mission and stuff, you just realized how circumstances kind of shape who we all are to a point. And then once we realize that we can choose who we become, you know? And so everybody's in that phase right now where they're kind of choosing, you know, what do I want to keep from my background/childhood growing up? How do I want to be different? So I feel like we're all kind of just growing up at this point. You know, maybe I'm kind of grown up. I'm like a lot older than a lot of my teammates, you know, they feel like my little brothers. It's so fun. But in particular, their faiths. I just love talking to my teammates about their faith. One of my favorite questions to ask, and I think that a lot of people are scared to ask this question, but it's so easy to ask is just like, did you did you go to church growing up? You know, I'm not asking this with the intent to convert them, right? It's just I genuinely I'm curious, what is your background with religion? What do you believe in? And I've asked that to probably every one of my teammates at some point, and we've had great conversations about it. And I just believe that God honors faith. Any type of faith, God honors it. And so I always will encourage my teammates to stay strong and grow closer to their faith because most of them, I'd say, say, "yeah, my mom's religious, but I don't go to church anymore." And so I'll be on them about, you know, getting back into religion. I've gone to many churches with my teammates. I've baptized one of my teammates, so I just think that God honors faith. And so I've tried to, I don't know, in any way do my part to help push every one of my teammates towards whatever faith they have. There are a couple that I just... Man, they've taught me so much.
Morgan Jones [00:17:33] Yeah, that's awesome. Tell me a little bit about the teammate that you baptized.
Britain Covey [00:17:38] Yes, his name was Devonte Henry Cole. He actually transferred to Utah State last year, but we just started having some missionary lessons. And me and Chase Hansen and a few other guys on the team just brought him over for family home evenings and had the missionaries teach him. And he just was one of those guys that was ready for a change in his life and excited about the idea of it. And man, he moved quickly and it was so fun to just do it outside of your mission because it was about a year after my mission. And so Devonte and I are still really close friends, but it was really fun. And I share all the time with, like I said, I'm not pushy in any way, but I have it all the time said to my guys, "Hey, you're coming to church with me this Sunday" or things like that.
Morgan Jones [00:18:28] Just putting out some feelers.
Britain Covey [00:18:30] Just putting out some feelers. Yeah.
Morgan Jones [00:18:32] Well, I think that's awesome. I just spoke the other night with the University of Utah President, Taylor Randall, who happens to be in my ward and his wife is one of my favorite people in the world. And he talked about that faith that he said, You know, I think that many various faith traditions have carried these guys through this experience over the last year. But then he talked about the number of return missionaries that are on your team. And he said "They bring back with them those life experiences that help lead teams. They bring back with them a resilience and a perspective that particularly this year, is quite poignant." I wondered, how would you say that your mission, as well as your fellow return missionaries on your team, how would you say that that prepared you guys for what you faced this year?
Britain Covey [00:19:24] Well, it's interesting. I've always found it curious and funny that there are few schools in the country that are known for accepting players who will go on missions out of high school. But the majority of them, for example, when I was being recruited, I would tell these these teams and coaches, you know, I'm going to go on a mission, just say, you know, I might play a year, then go on a mission or go on a mission right out of high school. And it was a big turnoff to them. It's like they didn't. And I just I look at the perspective and the value that returned missionaries bring to teens, especially teens, like I've done a bunch of buddies on Stanford, Utah State, BYU, Utah, the stability that a lot of return missionaries bring to a team is invaluable. I mean, you can't you can't just fake that. And so if I were to recommend anything to a coach, I'd say find some return missionaries that bring you that perspective and kind of that stability to your room. And so they have brought a lot of, I think, stability and especially obviously through this year. But you know, it's funny when you say return missionary, instantlyl your mind goes to and I think there's a funny talk from Elder Holland where it's like, it's like Moroni, you know, and if a return missionary messes up, it's like "What?! They were a returned missionary, you know, and so returned missionaries aren't perfect. But I do feel like two years of trying to give some selfless service just helps you develop skills that you can't just do like that, you can't do in a snap of a finger. And so it's been fun. You know, a lot of times my receivers coach, we've got two returned missionaries in our receivers room, and he'll call on everybody else and say, I'm calling you in the morning to get up because he knows he doesn't have to call me DeVaughn because he'll be on time. So it's pretty funny.
Morgan Jones [00:21:18] Not super funny. OK, I want to talk a little bit about football, and one thing that I love about watching you play football, Britain is that when you get hit, you immediately pop back up like it's remarkable how fast you're like right back up. So I wondered for me, like, that's kind of left an impression that when we get hit, we have to get back up and, you know, if we pop back up as quick as we can, all the better. How have you developed that ability and is that something that you consciously do?
Britain Covey [00:21:50] Yeah, I definitely do it consciously. I think it stems back from I have two older brothers, right? And I used to love playing sports with them when I was little, even though I was totally outmatched. And for some reason, one of their favorite things to do would be them and the neighborhood kids. It basically became a hobby just to say, like, let's see how much Britain Covey can take. Like we used to play tackle football and it would be me versus like me and my friend versus like three guys twice our age and size. And it would be tackle football. And they just love to say, like, let's see how much Britty can take. And I never wanted to give them the satisfaction that they beat me, and so I would pop right up. I remember getting the wind knocked out of me and I'd pop right up. And so it's kind of that mentality that I've carried with me, where sometimes I will be hurting and I will get hit, but I just do not want to give them the satisfaction. And so I'll pop right out and maybe start trash talking a little bit, even though I did nothing good, you know? But that's a mentality that I've had to have as an undersized player my whole life. And that's kind of how I survived in football and, like you said, you can make a lot of metaphors for life with it. But I think more than anything is when I do that, it fires up my teammates just as much as it fires me up, like when my teammates see that, you know, it's not just about proving these other guys wrong in the sense of like, you can't hurt me. My teammates see that and they get excited. It's funny because I'll come over the sideline. They'll be like, Bro, how do you just like, get destroyed and just get up? Like, nothing happened? And so it kind of gives confidence to other people. And I think that's a good lesson to learn from it because whenever I get nervous for things, I just look over at my teammates for help because I do get nervous before every game. I get so nervous, I start to shake sometimes. And what helps me is when I look over like Cam Rising or Tavion and I'm like, OK, they can take some of the load, you know what I mean? and so I hope I can be that for certain people at times.
Morgan Jones [00:23:58] Yeah. Another thing that you've gotten some attention for this year is your locker room celebration and the beard. And so I wondered, why would you say that keeping things light is important to you, especially this season? And why is it important to be a light in difficult times?
Britain Covey [00:24:19] Yeah. Well, part of it is just my personality. I mean, they only started capturing it on camera this year, but I've always done weird things. In my freshman year, I remember a few times having a little costumes and stuff, but you know, I never was in front of the camera. But this year it's been, you know, it's been fun. It's kind of taken a life of its own, "Old Man Covey" is kind of what it was—the beard part. But one of the things I've always loved is to take, and I learned from my grandpa is to take a serious situation that doesn't necessarily need to be serious and make it lighthearted. And my grandpa Stephen Covey, right? Seven Habits, just like a businessman, he would go meet with the president of the United States and train these military generals, and he'd show up with these fake teeth that were all moldy and he'd show up with wigs. And everyone would look at him just like, what in the world? He was the biggest prankster ever. And everyone loved him for it because it would just loosen the mood and and made people comfortable. Actually, my grandpa used to say that same thing about Joseph Smith, right? A lot of people in records say that Hyrum Smith looked a lot more like what they thought a prophet should be than Joseph because Hyrum was very proper and stood up straight and it was never somber and things, whereas Joseph was like a goofball. Most a lot of the time you listen to Truman Madsen on Joseph Smith and he just goofing off with the kids, wrestling around with kids and making jokes to the brethren. And it would confuse people a lot of times, but it also helps them realize that you can't take life too seriously, yourself too seriously. And so I don't know. I've always felt like that's a little natural to me, but I've seen kind of what it helps do for me and other people and kind of lighten the mood. So yeah, that's what it is.
Morgan Jones [00:26:20] I think it's it's super cool just to see somebody not taking themselves too seriously. Right? Another thing that you've talked about, Britain, is how Coach Whittingham, who's also a member of the church, is consistent, as a coach, and you talked about how important that's been for you as a player. And I wondered, why would you say that consistency is so important in a leader?
Britain Covey [00:26:47] Oh, that's a good question. I would say the main thing is it builds trust. It's like when you have a ref of a game like a basketball game, you don't mind if the ref calls fouls a certain way, as long as he calls it that way, the whole game. And if he calls ticky tacky fouls, like if he, you know, you're not that angry as long as he does it the whole game. But when all of a sudden it comes out in the second half and he's calling fouls that he didn't call in the first half, that's when you get frustrated because you don't know what to expect. And so it's all about trust. And when you know what the other person is going to do, you can trust them and you don't have to worry about it. And I think that's what it is with Coach Whit. It's not that everybody likes or loves Coach Whit on the team. I mean, I do personally, but it's just the reality of being a coach. Not everybody's going to love you. But everyone needs to be able to trust you and how you will react in certain situations and circumstances, and that you won't be different for other players. And I think that's what it is, is it's all about creating that trust between players, because then they know what to expect. Then when you do mess up and coach freaks out, you kind of say to yourself like, OK, I deserve that becaus I knew he was going to do that because he's always like that. Or it's like when you when you have high trust in a team, the amount of things that you are able to do just increases because you don't have to put an extra guy back here because you're worried about this guy not doing his job. You don't have to micromanage. You can run this, what's called an option route for a receiver, because the quarterback trusts him so much that he knows exactly where he'll go. He'll Go to the right spot. So it's all about trust in my mind of what, you know, why consistency is important.
Morgan Jones [00:28:43] Yeah. You know, everybody's been held to the same standard, essentially. Britain, what does it mean to you to be able to represent the church and your school on a stage like the Rose Bowl and to be able to finish your college career in this way?
Britain Covey [00:29:00] Well, I mean, man, it's been bittersweet this week. Honestly, I've been an emotional wreck. You know, my wife's the emotional wreck, but I'm the emotional wreck this weekend. It's bittersweet. I'm so happy and content with my college career and I've been so blessed and man, I've made such great friendships. My teammates are honestly everything to me, and so I just hope that all of my past teammates are watching. I'm excited to go out there and put a Utah uniform on one more time in the Rose Bowl. Like, come on, are you serious? You couldn't write a better story. So I'm excited. And as for the church, I've always just hoped. That I could represent the church well in any way. I always hope that I can represent Christ well and just be a light. And I know that I am not perfect at that, but I've always tried to, especially throughout my career, because I know a lot of times people have misconceptions about the church. And that's one of my things that I've tried to do is break down those misconceptions and those barriers and say, you can be so normal and fun and happy as a member of the church, not this stingy person that a lot of times the world thinks. But also, you are so dedicated to what you believe in, not shy about it, and I think people are really attracted to that. And so I hope I've done a fine job of representing Christ or the Church. And, you know, I will my whole life.
Morgan Jones [00:30:34] Well, I think that you've done an incredible job of that. I have always been proud and I don't have any right to be proud. But I think as members of the Church, like we're proud of our own and certainly have been proud of you. So thank you for that. I think one way in which you have been a really great example this year is earlier this year, for those that aren't aware college football players for the first time ever or I don't know, for the first time in a long time, were able to use their name, image and likeness to make a profit as college athletes. And when those opportunities opened up, one of the first that you took was to help your aunt and uncle tackle mental health and suicide prevention with an organization that they run in honor of your cousin who took her own life. You said at the time that you wanted to inspire people who were now able to use their name, image and likeness for more than just opportunities to make money. Why was that important to you, Britain?
Britain Covey [00:31:43] Well, it's important for two reasons. First, I love the fact that college athletes can make money now. You know, I think it's great. I think it's good because it's creating new opportunities and new money. It's not taking money away from the girls basketball program or things like that. That's always been the thing that scares me with money and college athletics, but this is creating new opportunities. But also, there's so much more than just creating new opportunities in terms of a monetary standpoint, it's you can use your platform, you know, to do something that you care about, and that is so much more valuable than just making a couple hundred dollars. You can attach your name to a cause that you care about or something that's been difficult for you in your life. And so Bridle Up Hope was one that I knew I wanted to do, and I hope that other athletes would see it and start partnering with charities. I told it to my friend Nick and then Nick started doing foster care stuff. And I hope that it's kind of a chain. But yeah, it was really cool to partner with Bridle Up Hope because so many of my family members have struggled with mental health, and I think even a lot of times people can see the Covey name and think that that may not happen like that, but it totally does. And it does for everybody. People see people who look like everything's going great in their life, and I think social media can attribute to that, but they don't realize that it's not always going great. And I'd say the majority of people are like that. And so I think removing the taboo from it, I think the world's done a good job of helping with that, whether that's mental health or body image or suicide or whatever it is. And so just while I had a platform, I wanted to use it to build some awareness with that. And Bridle Up Hope has helped thousands of girls, hundreds of girls, probably over a thousand that have said, you know, they wouldn't be here if it weren't for that program. And I think that's amazing to me. So if anyone's listening to this and have us a sister or a daughter or a niece that, even if they're not struggling with like depression, hard depression, if they're just, you know, having a hard time, a program like that is so beneficial. And I think it's great. So yeah.
Morgan Jones [00:34:01] You guys made a really cool video when you kind of partnered with bridal up hope and Year and you talked about how your aunt spoke at your cousin's funeral. And she said that she felt like no one cared about her. And then your aunt invited everyone in the room who loved and cared about her to stand up and that thousands of people rose to their feet and there wasn't anybody still sitting in their chair. And in the video you said, "I think everyone has moments like that in their life and there's darkness and there is despair. But never forget that that you were important." How has that experience with your cousin, Rachel changed you? And how do you try to help others around you know that they are important?
Britain Covey [00:34:48] I think it's changed me because my whole life I was taught to be kind. I feel like most parents try and teach their kids to be kind, but. I guess you don't realize how kind and aware you need to be. It's so much more than just being kind in passive situations. It's looking for opportunities to find people who are struggling or being so aware of that because we didn't know with Rachel, we didn't know with my cousin Jenna. I know other people and I didn't know and people are private about those things. So I think that it's so much more than just being passively kind. It's honestly easy to be a kind person. It's hard to be consciously aware and making efforts to be kind and make someone's day or change someone's life or ask someone the hard questions. And so I think that's what I've learned, because if you don't do that, people may not feel as important. And everybody is, you know, I'm not important because I am a good football player. I felt like that before at times in my life, because when I have a couple of bad games in a row, all of a sudden, you know, fans stop liking you or people are like, "Covey's like, he's too small. He's like two foot five!" And my value doesn't lie in my football performance or my ACT score or, you know, if I made the team or not. And I think that most people, when you strive for something in your life and then you don't succeed in it, you start to place your value on that. And you know, if we can remind people that their value doesn't lie in those things, that's going to be the best thing. And so I think that's what we should try and do with ourselves first and with other people.
Morgan Jones [00:36:43] Well, I think Britain, you've taught us some really valuable lessons today. And probably the most important, whether we're talking about Ty or Aaron or Rachel or Jenna is just to love people and to let them know that they're loved because sometimes we don't know how long we have. Thank you so much for taking the time to be with me. My last question for you is what does it mean to you to be all in the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Britain Covey [00:37:11] Oh, I love that concept. So here, you know, when I saw the name of this podcast, I thought of a story that my grandpa used to tell, my grandpa Hutchings on my mom's side. So he was a pilot in World War II. And he used to wear his garments all the time, and I think he even have these long sleeved garments, and so they were pretty obvious. And all the people that he used to fly with, he flew a B26 bomber and all the people, all the pilots, used to make fun of him for it like Arden Hutchings. You would go wear your, you know, your funny little angel suit. They called it, you know, go wear your angel suit and they used to make fun of him. Oh, he won't come drink at the bar and do these things. And then whenever it was time to go up in the air and actually fly, every single person wanted to fly with my grandpa because of his angel suit and because of how dedicated he was to that. And so it was all fun and games until it really mattered. And I have noticed, I think this is probably one of the biggest things that I've noticed about religion in the world is that the stronger and the more true I am to my religion, the more people respect me for it, even if they at first, they'll make fun of you for it and things like that. The stronger I stay to it, the more my teammates respect me. I remember multiple times with multiple teammates who were returned missionaries. People would ask them questions like, Are you Mormon or Are you Mormon Mormon? You know, I mean, they would ask things like that and and they would say, you know, like, do you do you really follow it? And a lot of times my teammates, I would see them be shy about it and embarrassed and kind of shy away and be like, I mean, I'm Mormon, but like, you know, not really. And my other teammates, you know, would kind of see that as like OK? But then whenever they ask me or a couple of my other friends and I would say, No, I am Mormon Mormon through and through, I'm not perfect but I try to do my best, my teammates, even if they don't believe in anything like that, they respect it so much. Just like that, one story with the angels suit right? Teaching one of my teammates about garments one day in the locker room because I'm changing all the time in garments. And he was like, What is that? Another teammate came to make fun of them and he looks at him and he goes, Hey, don't you dare make fun of those just because he respected so much. And so the truer you are to it, the more people will admire that and respect you for it. And I've had many teammates who will laugh about things, but then privately, they'll come up to me and they'll say, Do you really believe that like, there's life after death, even if they're the ones kind of making fun of it in the moment. And so it just reminds me of in 1 Nephi, the great and spacious building, of many that fall away because the people in the building that mock them and scorned them. And yet I believe that there are people in the building who mock and scorn. But if they see people who smile back and hold tight, it does something to the people mocking and scorning. It touches them, the spirit touches them and they want to come and join and say, Why does that person have that peace? Why does that person have what I don't have? And they want to join, but I don't think that's just with Mormonism. I think that's with anyone of any faith who holds true to it. I respect anyone who is dedicated to their faith. And it draws me to them. I think it draws people to them and they see the peace that they have and they want that. And so, yeah, that's kind of what I think it means to be all in is to not shy away from those things, just to be truly all in, even if people make fun of you for it. Because when it comes down to it, they aren't making fun of you. They respect you for it.
Morgan Jones [00:41:18] Yeah, absolutely. I couldn't agree more. Well, Britain, you are a delight and we will be rooting for you in the Rose Bowl. And just good luck.
Britain Covey [00:41:27] Thanks, Morgan. Thanks for having me on.
Morgan Jones [00:41:32] We are so grateful to Britain Covey for joining us on today's episode. Be sure to tune in on New Year's Day to cheer on Britain and his Utah football teammates in the Rose Bowl as they take on Ohio State. We will not have an episode next week, but we'll be back the following week for the first All In episode of 2022. We'll look forward to being with you then.