Famous Celebrities Who Are Latter-day Saints
Religion is an important part of many peoples lives. It comes a time in each person life that comes with unique challenges. Despite the fame and fortune, some of these famous Latter-day Saints found the gospel and are happy members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Gladys Knight’s faith in God has been a driving force throughout her life, and her thirst for light and knowledge, along with the example of her children, helped prepare her to accept the gospel, and become one of the most beloved famous Latter-day Saints.
“I raised my children to seek the Lord. We had been searching for the best of the Lord, the most of the Lord,” she recalls. “My son Jimmy and his wife were the first to join the Church, after his best friend shared his testimony. Then my daughter, Kenya, joined the Church. I watched their lives grow, and to see how my grandchildren were being raised and what they knew really impressed me.”
At her daughter’s invitation, Knight began attending Relief Society. “After a while, Kenya told me, ‘Mom, it’s time for you to talk to the missionaries.’” And so she did.
“When the missionaries came to my house, we had the most beautiful prayer,” Knight recalls. “I loved the fact that when they came in they did not try to sell me on the Church—they just told me about the gospel. My mom, who I consider to be the most spiritual woman I’ve ever met, wasn’t a member, but she said, ‘You go.’ Those were basically her last words.”
Knight joined the Church in 1997 and was baptized by her son Jimmy. “I feel so blessed because my son held the priesthood and was able to baptize me,” she says. “It is such a precious thing to me. I was overjoyed.”
After overcoming years of drug and alcohol addiction, radio and TV show personality Glenn Beck got his life together. Then he met and fell in love with Tania, the woman who would become his second wife–but she wouldn’t marry him until they found a religion.
The couple, along with Beck’s two daughters from his previous marriage, began attending every kind of church they could find. So when longtime friend and business partner Pat Gray found out, he insisted that they give The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a try.
“Mary [Beck’s oldest daughter, who has cerebral palsy] was the first one to feel the Spirit,” says Beck. “As we were walking out of the chapel, there was a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee calling my name. The girls didn’t like the church tour at all, but Mary asked, ‘Can we go back there?’ It stopped us dead in our tracks. She said, ‘I just feel so warm inside.'” Glenn agreed to keep going until someone said something that made him mad, which he thought was sure to happen. But it didn’t happen, and soon Beck was seriously investigating the Church.
Gray baptized Beck on October 23, 1999. By joining the Church, Beck finally found meaning in his life and a new outlook.
“The great thing about the gospel is that we know the end of the story,” he says. “My perspective has totally changed.”
Thurl Bailey, a 6-foot-11-inch NBA star from the ‘80s and ‘90s, grew up in Washington D.C. and was raised a Baptist. He moved to Utah after being drafted by the Utah Jazz in 1983.
Six years later, while hosting a basketball camp for underprivileged youth, the Utah Jazz player met Sindi Southwick—a beautiful, 6-foot Latter-day Saint basketball player for Utah Valley State College. The two dated for several years and married in 1994.
As Bailey’s NBA career was coming to an end, he got an offer to play basketball in Italy. He accepted, and in 1995, he flew to Italy ahead of his wife to find housing. While there, he contacted the LDS missionaries. After several discussions, Bailey surprised his wife by calling to tell her he wanted to be baptized. At the end of 1995, Bailey was baptized by his father-in-law in Italy. In 1997, Thurl and Sindi Bailey were sealed in the Bern Switzerland Temple.