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"One of the most distinctive characteristics of Brigham Young University is our proud affirmation
that the development of character is more important than academic learning."
~ Dallin H. Oaks
 

"BYU has no justification for its existence unless it builds character, develops faith, and makes men
and women of strength, courage, and service -- men and women who bear witness of the
divinity of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is not justified on an academic basis only."
~ Spencer W. Kimball 

 
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What You Wouldn't Expect to Learn
in a Sociology 101 Class

by Matt Moody 

In a freshman sociology class, my professor, Reed H. Bradford, told us of an experience that changed his life forever. You might expect this story to be told in a religion class, but Brigham Young University has a mission statement that sets it apart from other universities. Here's an excerpt from that statement:

"The mission of [BYU] is to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life.
That assistance should provide a period of intensive learning in a stimulating setting where
a commitment to excellence is expected and the full realization of human potential is pursued."

Before he earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University, and before he began teaching at BYU, Reed Bradford was called to serve a mission in Germany for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The year was 1933, just when Adolf Hitler began his reign of power.

A year into his mission he encountered a large crowd of people standing in formation. He approached the crowd to discover what was happening; suddenly, a voice from a loudspeaker shouted, "heil Hitler ... heil Hitler!" Everyone in the crowd directed their gaze to a swastika flying from a flagpole, and all commenced giving the Nazi salute. Reed immediately realized that he was the only person in the crowd that was not saluting.

Two men in uniform approached him, and asked why he had failed to raise his hand to honor Hitler. As Bradford tried to answer, someone violently struck him from behind and he buckled to the ground. Looking up, he saw the most hate-filled human beings staring down at him. The men began beating him, when a commanding voice ordered, "He's not German, he's an American."

The beating stop. Bradford later discovered that the man who gave the command was the district leader of the Gestapo, the German secret police. This leader took Reed to a car and drove him home. While driving, the man proceeded to chastise:

"You stupid moron!" he shouted, "how dare you insult the greatest man living, the Fuehrer of the German people, the one who will one day conquer the world! Why have you come here anyway?"

This question raised by the Gestapo leader caused him to do much serious soul-searching. Two years passed, and a cablegram arrived informing him that his mother had suffered a severe heart attack and that doctors say she would not live much longer. After serving three years in Germany, Reed Bradford returned home to Spanish Fork, Utah. He arrived ten days before his mother died.

But before leaving Germany, Professor Bradford visited a quiet place where he could be alone, a place surrounded by pretty flowers and trees. He prayed: "What should now be the main goal of my life?" A beautiful thought came to him; a thought expressed in a particular passage of scripture:

"Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and
also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments,
and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven."

In that moment, Reed Bradford felt to make a personal commitment to Christ: he felt to faithfully strive to love as the Savior loved, and to learn the ways of Christ -- specifically, he felt to learn the principles that governed the life of Jesus Christ.

Amid a world of sprawling complexity, the simplicity of Christ's teachings shine through. The principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ are plain and simple. Plainness is the opposite of complexity, and complexity is what often characterizes academic pursuits. Professor Bradford shared this far-reaching idea in my freshman Sociology 101 class at BYU:

"Knowledge shrinks as wisdom expands;
trivial details are swallowed up by profound principles."

Being true to the spiritual imperative he received on his mission, as well as honoring the mission statement of BYU, professor Bradford began all his classes by teaching students of the things that matter most. Afterwhich, he would teach the topics of sociology. On a number of occasions throughout the semester, professor Bradford would recite from memory a poem that he wrote entitled "The Journey." This poem expresses the reason why we have come here!

This story is based on Professor Reed H. Bradford's telling of his experiences in my sociology 101 class.
Some parts of the story have been paraphrased, and directly quoted, from Bradford's book "A Teacher's Quest."

 
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A Family Heritage of Tenacity and Grit

After coaching my three sons through Junior Jazz basketball, they were eager to make their Jr. High basketball team. But when my oldest son didn't make the team, and then my second son also failed, I decided to encourage them into a sport where anyone who wants to participate, can participate; where winning can be measured against one's own personal best; a sport that can be done for a lifetime -- long distance running.

In 1967 my dad took me to the NCAA Track & Field Championships in Provo, Utah. It was held at the old BYU football stadium. On that night the USC 440 relay team broke a World Record that still stands today: 38.6 seconds! O.J. Simpson, Earl McCollough, Fred Kuller, and Lennox Miller were gleefully dancing around the track for the rest of the evening. I was also an eye witness to a revolution in high jumping: Dick Fosbury of University of Oregon was the first high jumper to sail over the bar backwards -- the way all high jumpers do it today.

I remember how Gerry Lindgren of Washington State absolutely destroyed the competition, lapping the field more than once to win the 6 mile race. I thought, "this is something I can do" (but not as fast). I eventually got involved in running week-end road races -- 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, and 26.2 mile marathons. And because I had success in running road races, I signed up my sons for their first 5K race -- and the rest is history.

Distance Running was a perfect fit for my sons. Even though running requires a lot of dedication and hard work, my sons took to it like fish in water. After running for Timp View High, all three of my sons made the UVU cross country team.

After being head coach at Timp View High, today my oldest son coaches cross country at Provo High. My second son is a cross country coash at Salem Hills High, and my youngest son is the head cross country and track coach at Corner Canyon High in Draper -- a family heritage of tenacity and grit has been successfully passed to the next generation.

 
Matt Moody and his three running sons: Daniel, Derick, and Devin
 

 

Very first 5k Road Race with my sons!
Matt Moody, Derick Moody, Danny Moody 
front: Devin Moody

 

I weighed myself while holding these T-Shirts, then did the subtraction: 20 pounds of Running T-Shirts.
These are some the T-Shirts I could find after more than 3 decades of running road races.

Below are a few of the running t-shirts I've collected:

Along with watching Gerry Lindgren win the 6 mile race in the 1966 NCAA Track & Field Championships, I was also inspired to get involved in running due to the example of my older brother, Dr. M. Lyman Moody.
When he served in the Air Force, his basic training required a lot of distance running;
that's where he first began his running habit. My older brother has participated
in numerous 26.2 mile marathons, to include the grueling Deseret News
Marathon five times, and the famed Boston Marathon three times.

I successfully passed this running heritage on to my three sons!

 

Every day I live, I am more convinced that the waste of life lies in the love we have not given,
the powers we have not used, the selfish prudence that will risk nothing and which,
shirking pain, misses happiness as well... A ship is safe in harbor,
but that's not what ships are for.

~ Mary Cholmondeley  

Timpview High Cross Country Team
back row left: Danny Moody   far right: Devin Moody a.k.a., "Mini Moody" 4'10'' in 2002
kneeling white head band: Derick Moody

 

Running taught me valuable lessons.
In cross-country competition, training counted more than intrinsic ability,
and I could compensate for a lack of aptitude with diligence and discipline.

~ Nelson Mandela
  

Discouragement is not the absence of adequacy but the absence of courage... It is
extremely important for you to believe in not only who you are now,
but who you have the power to become.

~ Neal A. Maxwell 

Utah Valley University Cross Country Team
far left:
Danny Moody   4th from right: Devin Moody
 5'8'' tall in 2006

 

Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation.
I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure.
Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins.

~ Charles Stanley 

Who is happier?
The person who has braved the storms of life and lived,
or the one who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intent to arrive safely
in a well-preserved body, but to skid in sideways in a cloud of dust,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, proclaiming: What a Ride!

~ Hunter S. Thompson 

Danny Moody running at the BYU Track
far right:
Danny Moody 

 

 

Dirty Dash 2014: running 6.2 miles, along with conquering dozens of obstacles:
climbing over lots of walls, bouncing over air-filled bouncy things,
sliding down mud slides, crawling & wading thru swamps
-- but no worries, the mud is only waist deep,
and chest deep at the highest.

Devin Moody & Derick Moody 

 

The measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience,
but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy... There comes a
time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor popular,
but you must take it because conscience says it is right.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.  

It is your decisions, and not your conditions, that determine your destiny... If we want to
direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It's not what we do once in
a while that shapes our destiny, but what we do consistently... You become what you do
most of the time. You can't have a plan for your day, until you have a plan for your life.

~ Tony Robbins
 

Coach Devin Moody and the Corner Canyon High School Cross Country Team
far left:
Devin Moody
 

 

Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice.
It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.

~ William Jennings Bryan 

To hope is to risk despair, and to try is to risk failure. But risks must be taken,
because the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing,
does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering
and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.

~ Leo Buscaglia 

Coach Daniel Moody and the Provo High School Cross Country Team
top row white T-shirt:
Danny Moody
 

 

To be a hero means you step across the line and are willing to make a
sacrifice. Heroes always make a sacrifice; heroes always take a
risk. I want to democratize heroism: Anyone can be a hero!

~ Philip Zimbardo 

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what
is required. If you are going through hell, keep going.

~ Winston Churchill 

Derick Moody running up Santaquin Peak
  

You don't start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it's good stuff,
and then gradually you get better at it. That's why I say one of the most valuable traits
is persistence... Habit is more dependable than inspiration. Habit will sustain you
whether you're inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your
stories. Inspiration won't. Habit is persistence in practice.

~ Octavia Butler 

With patience and persistence, even the smallest act of discipleship or the tiniest ember of
belief can become a blazing bonfire of a consecrated life. So if you feel small and weak,
please come unto Christ, who makes weak things strong. The weakest among us,
through God's grace, can become spiritually strong. The God of Creation, who
breathed life into the universe, surely has the power to breathe life into you.

~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf
 

Danny and Devin running in the Grand Canyon
  
 

Anything you dream can be yours simply by focusing on
the steps it takes, instead of the distance to get there.

~ A.J. Darkholme 

Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday, I walk myself into a state of well-being
and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and
I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.
But by sitting still, & the more one sits still, the closer one comes
to feeling ill. Thus if one just keeps on walking,
everything will be all right.

~ Soren Kierkegaard 

Ragnar Relay 2007: 200 mile relay race that begins on Friday and ends on Saturday,
with each member of 12-person team running 3 legs that total 13 to 20 miles.

back row middle: Derick Moody & Danny Moody 

Every year the BYU Men's X-Country Team wins the Ragnar Relay - Wasatch Back
And every year Runner's Corner, the shoe store owned by Hawk Harper, puts
together a men's & women's team to take 1st place in that category.

 

Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand,
the spines of others are stiffened.

~ Billy Graham 

 

We must get away from the idea that
deliverance from trial is the highest form of spiritual blessing.
We learn more in a few days in the fiery furnace than we would learn in years
out of it... Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of God.

~ J. Oswald Sanders 

Here then is a great truth. In the pain, the agony, and
the heroic endeavors of life, we pass through a refiner's fire, and the
insignificant and the unimportant in our lives can melt away like dross and make
our faith bright, intact, and strong. In this way the divine image can be mirrored from
the soul. It is part of the purging toll exacted to become acquainted with God.
In the agonies of life, we seem to listen better to the faint,
godly whisperings of the Divine Shepherd.

~ James E. Faust 

Ragnar Relay 2013: 200 mile relay race that begins at sunset and runs thru the night,
with each member of a 12-person team running 3 legs that total 13 to 20 miles.

standing far right: Devin Moody 

 

Until a person can say deeply and honestly, 'I am what I am today because of the choices
I made yesterday,' that person cannot say, 'I choose otherwise.' ... You are not a
product of your circumstances. You are a product of your decisions.

~ Stephen R. Covey 

When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think,
to enjoy, to love... Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars,
and see yourself running with them.

~ Marcus Aurelius 

Derick doing a training run at the BYU Track with 2016 Olympic hopeful Jordan Hasay
Derick Moody & Jordan Hasay 

 

Two great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are first, hard work;
second, stick-to-itiveness. Opportunity is missed by most people
because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

~ Thomas A. Edison 

I'm a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.
~ Thomas Jefferson 

The greatest thing to come out of your hard work isn't what you
get for it, but what you become by it.

~ Steve Maraboli 

Danny Moody with 2-time Olympian Ryan Hall 

 

Don't make the kinds of mistakes that will bring regret... You can be wise and happy,
or stupid and miserable -- the choice is yours... Here are four suggestions which,
if adopted, will bring you rich and wonderful blessings all of your days:
be grateful, be smart, be clean, and be prayerful.

~ Gordon B. Hinckley 

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt, crept in; forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with a high spirit unencumbered
with yesterday's old nonsense... What lies behind us and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 

 

We cannot improve the world if we are conformed to the world... There are real dangers when
we fall in lockstep with the world's ways, which head in opposite directions from gospel
destinations. If we will be a covenant people, our loyalties must be with the Lord.

~ Neal A. Maxwell  

We have a choice: there is the opinion of the world with its ever-changing theories
and questionable motives; and there is God's eternal wisdom and His certain promises.
The Creator of the seas, sands, and endless stars is reaching out to you this very day!
He is offering the grand recipe for happiness, peace, and eternal life!

~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf  

Devin Moody, directing an Art History Excursion in San Francisco
for Corner Canyon High students

far left:
Devin Moody 

 

Try not to become a man of success,
but rather try to become a man of value.

~ Albert Einstein 

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking
new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

~ Marcel Proust  

Self-Betrayal defiles our sensitivity toward others; and distorts the way we perceive;
it inhibits our capacity to love and be joyful. By no longer seeing others with care
and delight, we ourselves cease to be caring and delightful. The kind of people
we are cannot be separated from how we interpret the world around us.

~ C. Terry Warner 
 

Wedding Announcement for Derick and Aubree
Derick Moody and his wife Aubree Gailey

 

Wedding at the Salt Lake Temple
Derick Moody and Aubree G. Moody

 

At the Finish Line: Devin and Harley
Devin Moody and his wife Harley Ann Murray  
WAC Cross Country Championships: Harley took 3rd Place with a 5K time of 18:13
 

October 31, 2015 the UVU Men and Women both won Team Championships
back row 4th from right: Harley Ann Murray 
  

Wedding at the Draper Utah Temple
Devin Moody and Harley Ann Moody
  

Birth of 1st Child for:
Harley Ann & Devin Moody
  

My 1st Grandchild: 20 minutes out of the womb
Aliya Chancey Moody
  

Aliya C. Moody at 5 Months

I am sure that in estimating a person's value either in private or public life,
pure integrity is the quality we take first into calculation, and
that talents and learning are only the second.

~ Thomas Jefferson  

Make sure of your commitment to Jesus Christ, and seek to follow Him every day...
I feel sorry for people who have never known the bracing thrill of taking a stand and sticking
to it fearlessly. Moral courage has rewards that timidity can never imagine... The world is
watching how we walk and how we talk. We must have the highest standards of
morality and integrity, if we are to have influence.

~ Billy Graham  

 

At my oldest Danny Moody's Wedding
Matt Moody and Aliya Moody, 8 Months old

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Matt Moody's Affinity for Catchy Acronyms:

Stay out of the JAR and you will go far

When you're in the BRIAR you're a liar!

I REPAIR my thinking about the Truth

You MUST use TUMS or your Teaching will be SMUT

A Joyful Resurrection Requires Baptism and getting WET

 

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Enriching Family History Stories with Vital & Census Information
Teaching People How To Do Family History Research Online
Premise for Family History Therapy: Why It Works
Who was Marilyn Monroe's Biological Father?

  

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