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Vai Sikahema accepts another big challenge with new church calling

Vai Sikahema accepts another big challenge with new church calling

(Rick Loomis, For the Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Vai Sikahema — pro football player, boxer, journalist and ecclesiastical leader — was recently called to be an Area Seventy in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but before that happened he had to overcome fears and doubts — about himself.

It wasn’t as if he hadn’t accepted difficult and varied challenges all his life. As a boy, he crossed the ocean in an open boat with his family. He was a Golden Gloves boxer. He was a student in the U.S. who learned English on the fly by watching TV. He was a football player at BYU and the first Tongan to play in the NFL. He was a sportscaster in a major TV market and then a news anchor.

His life had been one story after another about doing difficult things against great odds, but this seemed too much. During a meeting last fall with Sikahema, a general authority explored his availability for a calling to the general leadership of the church. Sikahema was told the Lord is going to expect more from him, to which he replied, “I’m willing to give everything I’ve got, and I just don’t know if it’s enough. I don’t have the gilded résumé.”

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