In a recent live recording of the All In podcast, Steve Young became so passionate about what he was saying that he began yelling. When he realized that he had raised his voice, he said, “I've lost my mind. I'm yelling. I don't mean to yell. Oh, my gosh, I just caught myself. I apologize for that.”
But what was the Hall of Fame quarterback so adamant about? The gospel of Jesus Christ and the need for non-transactional relationships in our lives. In fact, Young is so passionate that he even wrote a new book, The Law of Love, about Jesus Christ's example of love and what it means for us today.
The following transcript has been edited for clarity.
Morgan Jones Pearson: Before we wrap up, I love something that you say at the end of the book. You mentioned that there are a number of things that can kind of rock us that can destabilize our relationships with the Church, whether it's polygamy, racism, difficult aspects of Church history, sexism, queerphobia, etc. But then you write something that I think epitomizes what it means to be all in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I wanted to make sure that I read this. You said:
“I can stare at it, chew on it, and own it. … I can go back to the fundamental message of the Restoration, which is this: every single person on earth has a divine heritage from loving Heavenly Parents who knew us before; They have a plan for our growth on this earth; and Christ came to heal us and save us. All those pieces were present in various religions in different ways before Joseph Smith’s time, but the Lord brought them all together through Joseph in the Restoration. Every aspect of Christ’s message should propel us outward to bring healing and to extend the atoning power of Christ to everyone. Every soul is rooted in faith from their very first step into mortality, and we are called to provide more space for that trajectory of faith. It’s the call for each of us to rise up to Christ’s message of inclusion and love.”
So, having read that, Steve, what does it mean to you to be all in the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Steve Young: People [don't have to] be perfect. In fact, I can engage them in their imperfection. And in that engagement, I can have the grace to give the space for the learning and growing that I'm going through, and that every human being is going through, because my theology said so. And so my energy for—my relationship with the Church—comes from those fundamentals that I believe Joseph brought forward, and they're beautiful.
And all the other things that came along that are the human foibles—I can give everyone the grace to have those foibles as they are looking through the same glass that I'm looking through—the intersection of agency and opposition. And we're all looking through the same glass. And [it's important] to give people that space, so that if somebody made a critical mistake, it doesn't take away from the glory that their lives are about. To me, it's true for every human being and I truly believe that Christ can take all of the foibles and all the shortcomings and create a space for us to engage in something glorious.
And so, to me, when you say “all in in the gospel,” like I've never been more energized, and more excited for the potential of these fundamentals to get to move forward. And then to leave behind the things that can be left behind. It's okay, like the law of love says, "I see you, and I see you in the flaws. And I love you, not because I want you to be or go or do anything because I don't have that in my mind. I just want you to see the full measure of who you can be. And I can make that space for prophets. I can make that space for [Latter-day] Saints. I can make the space for my atheist friends. I can make the space and let us journey together and what can I do for you, individually, to help you in your healing? That's my religion. And that's why I go to church. And that's why I take the sacrament. That's why I do the things I do because it's energizing to that mission. I'm super excited.
Recently, I was [speaking] with other missionaries and they were home from COVID ... and they [were] all stuck in their homes ... during that spring and fall. And we had a Zoom [meeting,] of course, and I was teaching these principles and then they said, “Well, I feel like I'm worthless. I'm sitting here at home. I can't do anything. I'm supposed to be out teaching the gospel and I'm sitting at home.”
And I said “No, you do not understand. Is there anyone at home? Is there another human being in your home? Yes, you are a missionary right now in the healing effort to extend the Atonement into every place that you can. And if you do that, that is what you're doing, whether you're in Santiago, Chile, or in Provo, be about the work. And the fact is you have a tag on your chest. It never goes away.”
I've lost my mind. I'm yelling, I don't mean to yell. Oh, my gosh, I just caught myself. I apologize for that. And I think those missionaries took that as a relief, that "I'm not sitting here failing. I'm missing opportunities to do the ... work. Why did I do it? Why the sacrifice, if I can't bring healing to the people in my own home?" And if that's not enough, then we don't understand the law of love.