Stilman White, the University of North Carolina (UNC) freshman basketball player who rose from third-stringer to NCAA tournament starter last season, has decided to leave the basketball court this summer to be a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon).
The Daily Tar Heel, UNC’s campus newspaper, published a 2,600-word feature on White’s decision to take a two-year hiatus from one of the United States’ most prestigious college basketball programs. Journalist Kelly Parsons writes about how the Church decides where to send missionaries and also gives a glimpse into the excitement and eagerness future missionaries have for their coming service.
“In spirit of prayer and fasting we believe by revelation that that call is given to the young man or young woman about where they’re going to serve somewhere in the world,” [Church spokesman Eric] Hawkins said.
White could end up anywhere on the globe. But the grin on his face as he talks about the next two years of his life reflects eager anticipation, not nervousness. In White’s mind, he’s not just fulfilling a duty. The chance to serve a mission is an opportunity with which he feels he’s been blessed. … White knows wherever he is called to go, he’s in for the experience of a lifetime.
While White’s celebrity brings heightened attention to the Church’s missionary program, his decision is not unique among Latter-day Saints. More than one million young men and women have given such service since 1830, and 55,000-plus full-time missionaries are currently serving across the globe.
Read the entire article from The Daily Tar Heel.
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MormonNewsroom.org file photo