|Muhammad Ali during his early boxing years|
"Ali: "So, I can be a Muslim again? Herbert: "Yes." Ali: "I never stopped, just like I never stopped being the champ. Herbert: (Silence, with puzzled look on his face) Ali: "I love you, I love your father, and I love the Nation, but it don't own me"That is an amazing statement, which is mentioned by Ali in his book and shown in the biopic. This also influenced me after becoming a Mormon. There is in LDS culture a delusion (a fixed, false belief) that leaders are always right, and you are better off doing what they say even if you believe it is wrong rather than following your own conscience. I have never embraced that belief in my entire tenure as a Mormon, and I never will. I love the Church, I believe its doctrines, I sustain my leaders, and respect their opinions, but this does not mean from time to time they do not err (as I also do). As John Taylor said once "I will not be a slave." I thank Ali for stirring that belief in me as a young boy when reading his biography. It has never left me.
Everyone is now talking and showing clips about how great a fighter Ali was, but his strength of character is even greater than his fists (and they were a force to be reckoned with. Ali, you will be missed, but to me he was not the greatest because of what he did in the ring; it is what he did outside of it. I will miss you brother. I hope that you have found happiness on the other side. You are truly "The Greatest."