By ADAM CHRISTENSEN
President Gordon B. Hinckley has something that Larry King wants: faith.
“See, he has something I admire and have never been able to get. And with religious leaders you always get it,” King said. “They believe — and I’m not sure. I would like to believe. People have tried to get me to believe, but I can’t make that leap.”
King was at Timpview High School in Provo Friday night to call the play-by play for a football game against American Fork High School.
King’s stepson, Danny Southwick, is Timpview’s quarterback and asked King to do the play-by-play for the game. King married Danny’s mother, Shawn Southwick, last year.
King recently interviewed President Hinckley on Larry King Live, Sept. 8.
“He has a very nice sense about him,” King said. “You either have that or you don’t and having interviewed people for 40 years you sense it. That, oddly enough, is not true of a lot of people. What you saw is what he is.”
Some have felt President Hinckley was given special treatment in the interview because King is married to an active member of The Church of Jesus Chris of Latter-day Saints.
“He wasn’t treated any different. He was a wonderful guest. He was responsive, he was interesting,” King said.
King, who has a Jewish background, describes himself as an agnostic but said he admired President Hinckley and other religious leaders for their faith.
“When I had my heart attack and someone said, ‘Did you pray?’ I said ‘No.’ And he asked ‘Why not?’ And I said, ‘If there’s a God, why did he give me a heart attack?'”
King dispelled any rumors that he was taking the missionary discussions, but marrying Southwick has given him the opportunity to learn about the LDS Church.
“Brett just came back from a mission — my wife’s younger brother. I understand their belief, but I just can’t make that jump,” King said. “I see too much inequality in the world to believe someone’s keeping score. I wish I had that faith.”
Shawn Southwick, who is expecting a baby next spring, said it is up to King whether or not to take the missionary discussions.
“I’m going to let him make that decision. That’s not for me to do. That will come in due time if it ever happens,” she said.
Though King does not spend much time in Utah, he said enjoys the atmosphere and unique aspects here.
“This is a much calmer way of life. Utah is like another world. I like the peace and calm of it,” he said. “I like how safe it is. People don’t lock their doors. That’s funny.”
Students and faculty at Timpview High School were thrilled at the opportunity to meet King. Timpview principal, Randy Merrill, said he was appreciative of the generosity of King in making the time to announce the game.
“That’s a unique experience,” Merrill said, “It is good for Timpview, but also good for high school sports.”
King and Southwick are not the only celebrity parents at Timpview. Kurt Bestor and Donny Osmond both have children who attend the school. Merrill said he wants them to be able to be normal parents, so they are treated the same as anyone else.