Category Archives: Testimonies

Harold Anderson

As a young boy living in the desert town of Wendover, Utah, my activities somewhat indicated the direction I would take as far as sports goes. My mother said when I was a toddler they had to put a harness on me because I was so fast and quick they couldn’t keep up with me. One time I ran away and was found sitting underneath a boxcar right on the track. The train was whistling to start the engine moving. Fortunately I was retrieved just in time.

When I was in elementary school my best friend, Verl Jensen, liked to match me up with anyone for a foot race. I would always win and he would get the biggest kick out it.

At Wendover Jr. High, our principle sent me to participate in the Tooele County Track and Field Day that was located at Tooele High School. They lined up all of us from 6th to 9th grade to see who was the fastest for 50 yards. As a young kid from a little desert town I was so scared. When they shot the gun to start the race I ran as fast as I could. I believe I won the race by 10 yards. At the finish line was a very large man by the name of Sterling Harris. He was the football coach for Tooele High School. He grabbed me by the arm and asked where I was from. He didn’t like me beating his future star football players.

At Grantsville High School I played football, basketball and track. I caught the attention of many university football coaches when I scored five touchdowns in a half against Murray High School, which was five times bigger than we were.

My cousin, Doug Anderson, encouraged me to try out for track. He was the only one participating. We had no track coach, no track and no equipment. I borrowed a pair of track shoes and started on my way. We had no starting blocks so we dug holes in the track so we could get a good start. In the spring of my senior year at Grantsville High School I participated in the State High School Track and Field Meet at the University of Utah. In one of the preliminary trials I had run 9.7 in the 100-yard dash. Many thought I had a chance to break the state record. But luck was not with me. I remember standing at the starting line with the wind blowing in my face mixed with rain and snow. I ran 10 flat with no record.

Because I had good success in the three major sports, a friend of mine that was an NFL football player encouraged me to go to Southern California University and play for them. I chose Brigham Young University and was happy that I did.

My senior year at BYU I was a Basketball All Conference guard. We won the conference title and went to the NCAA regional playoffs. We lost our first game but the format was that we played a second game with another first round loser. In that game I scored 27 points and set a regional scoring record. After the game was over a large man came over and introduced himself to me as a coach with the Los Angeles Rams NFL football team. His name was Tommy Protho. We talked a little about my speed and ability. He asked me a few questions about my future, and I told him my plans were to go on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He left without saying much more.

In the spring of my senior year at BYU I qualified to participate in the NCAA Track and Field Meet in California. In one of our Conference track meets, I posted a 9.55 in the 100-yard dash. Prior to the NCAA meet in California I spent two weeks in Fallon, Nevada, with my older brother. While I was there I was supposed to do some training for the up coming meet. But being young I did very little training.

In my heat at the NCAA track meet were two Co-World Record Holders in the 100-yard dash and the 220-yard sprint, Bobby Morrow from Abilene Christian University and Dave Sims from Duke University. Both had run 9.3 in the 100-yard dash. Needless to say I was scared, but as I had always done before I had my private individual prayer and asked my Heavenly Father to help and bless me. I am not sure that there was any intervention on my behalf but I did well considering how little I trained. For 60 or so yards I lead the way only to lose in the last few yards. Hack Miller, a sports writer for the Deseret News wrote, “With Anderson winning for 60 yards he must be the fastest person in the world for that distance.”

After my college schooling was over, I served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in England.

While serving a mission I gained knowledge of “The Plan of Salvation” that the Book of Mormon so beautifully explains. I read an article that stated that many are not sure of the Resurrection and that they don’t know where they will go after death. Sometimes I just wish I could explain the Plan to everyone. It is one of the most beautiful doctrines the Lord has given to mankind.

I also wanted to mention one other thing that seems to be a growing trend in our society. I was always taught the no one should use the Lord’s name in vain. You have all heard it when some one will say “Oh my—-.” I don’t and will never profane my Father in Heaven’s holy name.

The picture above is a picture of my family, my wife, two sons, a daughter and their spouses. This picture was taken at a cemetery that is the burial place of our granddaughter. We are so grateful for the knowledge that teaches us that if we live the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ and do certain temple ordinances, we will be a family forever. What a blessing that is.


Coach Harold Anderson is a husband, father of three and grandfather of 23. He was a high school and collegiate player in football, basketball and track. He coached high school basketball teams in two state championships games (lost both by 1 point each). He was an assistant basketball coach at Brigham Young University. While an assistant coach at BYU, the BYU basketball team went to the Final 16 in the NCAA. Coach Anderson has served in many LDS Church positions, including three missions, bishop, and in a stake presidency.

James W. Barry

I am a former pole vaulter at Brigham Young University. In 1971 I set the Utah High School state record in the pole vault. In 1977, after serving a mission and gradually getting better and better at pole vaulting, I set a new BYU school record of 17 feet 9 inches. I went on to win the indoor and outdoor WAC Championships that same year.

In January of 1977, I was accepted into dental school at Georgetown University’s School of Dentistry. I knew that this is what my Heavenly Father wanted me to do with my life. I knew because I had prayed about it and felt the peace in my mind and heart that this is what I should do.

I have had many experiences throughout my life that have given me confidence that my prayers are answered. Once when I was eleven I got lost in the high Uinta’s (a secluded mountain range in north eastern Utah). After looking around and trying to find my group I was with, I concluded that all I could think to do was pray. I knelt down under a small pine tree and poured out my heart to the only being that could help me. I had been crying but after praying I felt confident that I would be lead. I started running the opposite way I had been going. As a group we had left the trail earlier, making a beeline to a campsite. As I ran I came upon a trail. I ran along that trail and watched it split three times. It was as if I knew where I was going but I had never been there before. I soon ran into camp where they were putting up tents and trying to find the group I had been with earlier. I know prayers are answered.

Soon after beginning dental school I received a letter inviting me to apply to train in Colorado for the 1980 Olympics. I had a decision to make. I spoke with the dental school Dean, he said he would let me off for two years to train and then let me back in. My wife and I spoke to many people to get their feelings. Most said we ought to go for it. Our parents were a little hesitant. We fasted and prayed to know the Lord’s will. We felt, after praying, we should not drop out of school. I didn’t drop out and then two years later the USA boycotted the 1980 Olympics. Once again, the Lord heard and answered my prayers when I could not see the way.

I know that God loves us and is interested in our growth and development. He will lead us along as long as we continue to follow by taking action. I know that he teaches us through living prophets today just as he did in times past. I know that the Book of Mormon really is an ancient record written by prophets for our day. I also know that anyone can find out that it is true by reading the book and praying intently for knowledge from God.

Fred Rowland

As a youth, to me it was important to be well educated and to marry in the temple. I was very blessed to be able to marry my best friend while teaching biology and coaching wrestling at West High School, in Salt Lake City.

Linda was a gymnastics coach and taught health and physical education at West when we met. After marrying I continued teaching and stayed in school until I received my Masters Degree from Brigham Young University. During this time I coached many state championships in wrestling and won two state team titles along with having several “runner-up teams.” I later moved to Orem, Utah, teaching science and coaching wrestling at Orem High and Mt. View High School.

I have coached young men for over 40 years and I have found the sport of wrestling to have the greatest demands of any sport. During these coaching years I have called on my spiritual background on a daily basis to give my young men an understanding of the attributes that would serve them well on the wrestling mat as well as off the mat, both in the present and in the future.

Because of the many personal experiences and in the interaction with young men on such an intense level, I received a strengthening of my testimony and came to know and understand the importance and value of every single person.

Throughout my coaching experience, I have won several awards but none have been as satisfying as the reward of having a young man come to me, years later, and tell me how he enjoyed the experience. How hard it was, yes, but how much he appreciated the fact that it was there in the gym, on the wrestling mat, that he came to know who he was and what he could become through discipline and applying the principles of study, practice, obedience and hard work.

Applying my values of obedience, faith, with action and hungering and thirsting after worthwhile goals of excellence, has been a power and a guide to my worthwhile objectives of life, knowing that after all that I can do, I must have the continuing support of Father in Heaven to receive additional wisdom to be a successful wrestling coach and human being.

In conclusion: An Olympic motto has kept my perspective in balance. “To win is great, to participate is greater, but to love the sport is greatest.” I have grown to love God more and my testimony has grown because of these young men. I have served them as a coach, but they in turn have served me because of the demands I have had to place on myself in order to accomplish our goals together in wrestling. It has truly been a privilege, a blessing and a pleasure watching so many of them grow and develop into outstanding young men. Most of them have become life-time friends.

I love the Lord and I love living the gospel. It has given me a format for life. It has given me a game plan to follow. I can see who I am, where I have been and where I want to go and what I can become. In wrestling as in life, your greatest opponent is always yourself. If you can learn to master yourself you will be blessed with happiness and success.


Dr. Fred Rowland was named the Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundation/Distinguished High School Coach. He was also honored by the Freestyle Wrestling Association of Utah in recognition of over 20 year’s service. Dr. Rowland is the recipient of the Utah Wrestling Association, “Man of the Year Award”. He is blessed with five wonderful children.

Amy Menlove Otis

Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has been the most important thing to me in my life. When I was 9 years old my parents got a divorce, and although that was a tough time for me I never felt alone. It was at that young age that I found a strong testimony in Heavenly Father and the power of prayer. I remember that I could never fall asleep at night until I said my prayers. I learned at a young age that I have a loving father in heaven, and that he sent his son Jesus Christ to help us through those tough times in life. I gained a really strong testimony of the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, that he did suffer that for us that he might lift us when we are down, and strengthen us when we are weak.

When I was 15 years old another tough situation happened: my brother Cody died (at the age of 12) of congenital heart disease. This was also my first year in high school, and a significant development in track. I had always had a love of sports and recreation, but this year it was different. After my brother died I truly felt God’s presence and strength in my life, and a deep impression that my brother is still close to me and loves me. I decided then to dedicate that track season to my brother’s life, in remembrance of him. This was a significant growth in my personal testimony, as well as my athletic achievements. I truly learned to love the Lord, and feel his love in return. I knew that God had a plan for us, for I knew that he had a plan for my brother. I knew that my brother still lived in spirit, and that I would see him again after this life. I came to know for myself of God’s plan for us, and that families can be together forever. That season in track I won three state championship titles, and got second in the fourth. I recorded state records and received multiple honors throughout the state. It was truly an honor to me and to my brother, and I feel it is a personal testimony of the power of God in our lives, and his love for us.

Throughout high school I continued my growth in my testimony, as well as my achievements in track. I remember becoming very involved in my ward in Sandy, Utah, and feeling the importance of being a part of and active in the church. I grew to know how important it was to make high standards and keep them, and to find and keep friends with those high standards. I recognized how much the Lord blesses you when you keep his commandments. Throughout high school I became state champion eleven times, plus 2nd place three more times. I made state records and all-time state marks multiple times in different events. I felt extremely blessed, and knew and thanked God for all of them.

I then attended BYU on a full-ride scholarship. My parents wouldn’t have been able to help me go to college, so I felt gratitude to God for this great blessing. My early experiences at BYU continued to strengthen my testimony. My religious classes, faithful friends, and uplifting environment all contributed to my growth in my testimony. I also learned the importance of hard work and enduring. I had always wanted to become an All-American, but my freshman year was just the first stepping stone. In the indoor season I was the first athlete cut from going to the national meet, and outdoors I was the first athlete not to receive All-American honors. It was a great learning experience, and in the end a great testimony builder. That summer I was given the great blessing of jumping over 21 feet for the first time and making the junior world team to compete for the U.S. in Italy. I felt it was a great opportunity for me to be an example of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to help spread the gospel to others. My friend from BYU also made it to the Italy meet, and together we were able to share with the other athletes why we live the way we live. It was such a great testimony builder to live the way I believe and to have others notice and be impressed by who I am and what I believe.

My sophomore year I did not give up, I did not lose faith or hope in my dreams. In the indoor and outdoor seasons I received All-American honors four times. I felt an even greater gratitude and love of the Lord for the great blessings he has poured upon me.

As we all know life includes both blessings and trials. In the end of my sophomore season I got a stress fracture in my foot. This stress fracture was going to delay my training for the next track season, and since I had already planned on going on a mission it seemed like the perfect time. In December 2005 I received a mission call to Kirtland and Cleveland, Ohio. I left in February 2006 and returned July 2007. I not only gained a deeper and stronger testimony of the gospel during my mission, I also gained it from my call to be a missionary. I truly felt it was inspired for me to leave when I did, to be sent where I did, and be able to return in time to perform my future duties. So many people told me that I wouldn’t be the same person when I got home, that I might never be as good of an athlete, and that I could choose a different route. I knew deep down that God gave me the inspiration to go, and that everything would be okay. I trusted that my future would be how God wanted it to be. On my mission I learned how much each of us has been given talents to help God and the growth of his kingdom here on the earth. This is God’s work, and if we choose we can do much to help God and his children in so many different ways. Athletics is one of those ways in which we are able to meet and help other people. Even on my mission I was able to use my athletics talent to share the gospel. I gained a stronger testimony that God did restore his true church to the earth once again through the prophet Joseph Smith, and that Joseph translated the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God.

When I returned home it took much faith and trust in God, patience, and more, but in the end I saw God’s hand bless me again. We never know how long God will try us, how long or hard we will have to endure, but God always comes through if you do your part. This life is about gaining experience in whatever way God deems necessary. We must learn to say, “Thy will be done,” and trust in his arm only, and not in the flesh.

After a year and a half of trying to get back into shape after my mission I became a National Champion in the pentathlon, and that same month I married Dave Otis in the Draper, Utah temple. Again I saw God’s blessings over and over. Two of my dreams fulfilled, wow what a blessing! I was overwhelmed with joy in my God! How great are the blessings of the Lord after the trial of your faith. I also became an All-American two more times that year. A couple weeks later another trial began. My back was seriously injured, which continues to this day. My testimony has been strengthened in the work of the Lord, and the true faith and trust we must have in him. No matter what we think our destiny should be, it is God’s hands and will always be for our good. God is always blessing us, we need to only open our eyes and recognize it.

Just this last weekend I received another All-American honor. Although I might be injured, and life seems very difficult at times, I never lose faith that my life is in the Lord’s hands. The Lord knows what we are going through, and will never forsake us. We will achieve what we need to, when we need to, if we just give our life to the Lord and trust in him. I know I have done my best, and that the Lord only asks for our best. I know that the Lord lives in every aspect of our lives. God lives and did send his son Jesus Christ to the earth to die for us. Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God to restore his church to the earth, and translated the Book of Mormon so that we might have a second witness of the divinity of Christ’s calling. I know that we each have many talents that God has given to us, and asks us to magnify those talents for the blessing of others. He also asks us to keep his commandments with obedience, and in return will bless and prosper us exceedingly. I have personally experienced it and know it to be true. I love the Lord and am so grateful for his mercy and grace. He lives and will come again!


I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. I am the second oldest with four brothers, Kit (27), Cody (passed away in 2000), Kylan (11), and Jace (9). I grew up in Sandy, Utah, and lived there most my life. When I was young I participated in many activities including gymnastics (ages 3-13), soccer, band (played the flute), cross country, track and field (since I was 7), and many church activities. I was a very busy little girl who also enjoyed spending time with her family. We would go camping often, spend every summer at a beach house in California, and participate in many different sports together. When I was 15 I decided to do high school track, and have never stopped. Although my family on both sides had attended the University of Utah, I decided to go another route. My sophomore year in high school I was told that if I worked hard I might be able to receive a scholarship to attend a university for athletics. In high school I received multiple awards including 11 state championship titles (2000: 4x100m relay; 2001: long jump, 100m, 4x100m relay; 2002: long jump, 100m, 200m, 400; 2003: long jump, 100m, 4x100m relay) and 2nd place three other times (2000: long jump; 2001: 200m; 2003: 200m). I was also named Utah High School Track and Field Athlete of the Year three times (2001, 2002, 2003), and USA Track and Field High School All-American twice (2002 and 2003). When I was a junior I received multiple offers, but only one university felt right for me. I signed to attend BYU that year, and have loved my decision ever since. During my freshman year (2004) I was awarded the Freshman of the Year award for BYU Athletics, as well as became a member of the USA Junior World team to compete in Italy that summer. I placed 6th in the world in long jump at the Junior World Championships in Grosseto, Italy. My sophomore season (2005) I received my first NCAA All-American Award, compiling a total of four that season (2nd Indoor Pentathlon, 3rd Indoor Long Jump, 4th Outdoor Long Jump, 9th Outdoor Heptathlon). I received the Mountain West Conference High Point Award for the Indoor Conference meet. I also received the NCAA Mountain Region Field Athlete of the Year Award that year. Then in 2006 I received an LDS mission call to serve in the Ohio Cleveland Mission and the Kirtland Historic Sites. I served for 18 months and then returned to BYU where I am now finishing school and track and field. Just after I returned home from my mission I met Dave Otis, a young man majoring in Chinese. We dated for some time and then married March 25, 2009 in the Draper, Utah temple. My junior year in track (2009) I became a National Champion in the Pentathlon and received two more All-American Awards (1st Indoor Pentathlon, 7th Indoor Long Jump). I received the Mountain West Conference High Point Award at the Indoor Conference meet. I again received the NCAA Mountain Region Field Athlete of the Year Award. I also received the Mountain West Conference Track and Field Athlete of the Year Award, and the Cougar Club Memorial Award at BYU. My senior season (2010) is in progress. So far I have received one All-American honor (13th Indoor Pentathlon), which makes a total of 7 in my career so far. I am majoring in health education, and minoring in coaching education.

Steve Trumbo

My experience has shown me that certain things that seem important in life end up only producing fleeting happiness. I have been blessed with success as a professional basketball player and coach. I enjoyed the fame of being part of championship teams and all that comes with it. I was paid well, and led a charmed and privileged life.

These things have not, however, produced lasting happiness for me. After each championship or new contract extension, soon enough I was left with a void wondering: is this it? Sure it was nice at the time, but that is not what gave me true fulfillment.

The only thing that has produced lasting happiness in my life has been the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the knowledge that through Him I can live forever with my family and loved ones. I am grateful to my Heavenly Father that I was taught as a young child to believe in Christ. It has been the source of everything good in my life. Through the restored Priesthood power of Jesus Christ I have found true meaning.

May God bless you in your search for Truth.


Steve Trombo was a professional basketball player for thirteen years for F.C. Barcelona, where he was the winner of three European championships. After retiring from playing, he was a collegiate and professional basketball coach for six years at F.C. Barcelona and BYU Hawaii. He is a husband, father of five, and a grandfather.