In recent years, mixed martial arts fighting made popular by the UFC “Ultimate Fighting Championship” has taken off across the Wasatch front. More and more Latter-day Saints young athletes are dropping basketball in favor of the gloves and pink faux-hawk. But while basketballs may be the first to drop, balls in all arenas of church life are starting to drop as well.
This passion for the fight poses a serious problem for many young men struggling to make the right choices in life. Draper High School Senior Hyrum Sorensen reached out to his Facebook network recently regarding his dilemma of whether or not he should follow through in his blossoming mixed martial arts cage fighting career, or put in his mission papers.
“I worry about if MMA will be there when I get back, but I remember that Shawn Bradley went on a mission and he was repaid tenfold by the Lord for being way righteous. His basketball career really took off when he was dropped from the NBA and moved to the German Basketball League.”
Sorenson was touched by former BYU football player Austin Collie’s now infamous quote of righteousness being “directly correlated to physical blessings,” and cites it as a direct inspiration for this spiritual inquiry.
“All that matters is you are living righteously, in and out of the octagon, and the lord will bless you either way.” Sorenson’s series of status updates also proclaims that he won’t drink creatine on Sunday, and that he will retain an active Temple Recommend from the Draper 41,506th Stake.
“Sometimes when I’m in the octagon and getting my face pummeled, I think of the stripling warriors, Joseph Smith wrestling his brothers, and Ammon chopping off arms, and then I feel the tender mercies come upon me.”
This last passage alludes to information that has been widely circulated within the Bloggernacle. Facts about Apostles and other church authorities, from in their earlier days, that have come to light. Many LDS youth now know of the infamous L. Tom Perry incidents, where he regularly fought men in barroom brawls in Saigon, and bit their ears off if they didn’t give him their cigarettes.
Kicking ass and taking names for the Lord seems to have nourished the spirit within these LDS men like Sorenson, and moves them to sustain the punching of each other’s eye sockets out. With this understanding in mind, it’s easy to see why a young man would have trouble discerning the best path for doing the Lord’s work.
Hyrum Sorenson has made his choice now. Sometimes doing what is popular and also what is right leads you to a dank, dimly lit gym in West Valley. As Hyrum makes his entrance to his fight song “Jesus Walks” by Kanye West, it is apparent that he has found his avenue for missionary work. Hyrum’s shorts are emblazoned with his sponsor’s names: Tahitian Noni Juice, Cleanflix, DearElder.com and OC Tanner. All know the works he stands for.
Sorensen’s fight was brutal and fruitful. He beat Jordan “Valiant Warrior” Vickers in a 3 round match decision. Hyrum dedicated his win to his family, God and Porter Rockwell.