~by Michelle

Mormons believe in repentance and in God's Amazing GraceThe internet is abuzz with the recent events with BYU’s basketball program. Emotions are high, and opinions are flying. I find many of them rather extreme, especially those that are either overly critical of BYU or overly critical of Brandon Davies.

I was interested to read what those closest to the situation had to say. For example, while this article from ESPN Sports focuses a lot on the confidence Coach Dave Rose has in the team in their ability to “bounce back,” there are some other facets further on in the article that I think are noteworthy. First of all, you can read comments on the importance of the BYU Honor Code from coaches and others, including former BYU basketball player and current Boson Celtics president of basketball operations, Danny Ainge. (I’d also invite you to read Brenda’s post yesterday on the Honor Code.)

Here, I want to highlight one comment in particular from the ESPN article. Davies’ teammate, Charles Abouo, says this about Brandon:

“He’s a great friend, like a brother to me….Everyone makes mistakes in their lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with him. We’re reaching out, trying to help him get through this.”

Indeed, we all make mistakes. And when we do, we need love and support. I am grateful to hear that Brandon Davies has a circle of support around him in his coaches and teammates. He’s also reached out to his teammates in sorrow for what happened.

I hope BYU fans will also rally around Davies, as well as anyone else who has been affected by this story.

I also think Brandon Davies can be commended for his courageous decision to be honest. I think it shows integrity on his part, all the more so at such a time in the season as this, during such a season as this.

I think there is a lot to reflect on here. Rules and laws do exist. They exist for our benefit. Love should not be confused with excusing wrongful choices. Repentance can be very, very hard. But the (sometimes very difficult) reality of consequences must never overshadow the power and necessity of genuine compassion and loving support that we should extend to each other. Because, again, we all make mistakes.

This has all unfolded in the context of BYU basketball, but I’m left reminded of the core message of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which includes both a consistent invitation to recognize our mistakes and and seek to become better, coupled with the reality that God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ love us perfectly. When we can mirror both elements — encouraging people in their efforts to improve and extending love and compassion — I think we can reflect (and feel!) some of the wonder of God’s amazing grace.