Alan Osmond: Battling MS as a grandfather and devoted Mormon

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The doorbell rings, and two young children burst through the front door.

They race through the cozy home, fighting to be the first to give Grandpa a hug.

Grandpa Alan Osmond sits at the kitchen table smiling as he describes how the scene was a perfect example of the life he lives and loves.

“I used to be an old rock and roller. I’m just an old grandpa now,” Osmond said. “I’m having the time of my life.”

Osmond continues to write songs, battle multiple sclerosis, build relationships with his family, share his strong beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, do genealogy and participate in charities.

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Suzanne Osmond and Alan Osmond hold a picture of their eight sons and family genealogy chart. (Photo courtesy Alan Osmond)

“I just like to stay busy and involved,” he said.

MS has been a part of Osmond’s life for 27 years, and he still continues to amaze and motivate others around him with his unending supply of charisma.

One of those inspired by Osmond is his friend Rod Meldrum, the president of an organization called The FIRM Foundation that researches the geography of The Book of Mormon.

Osmond has spent time touring sights in North America with Meldrum, and Meldrum spoke about how amazed he was to see Osmond leave his electric cart behind and hike the grassy mounds with the rest of the tour group.

“MS is debilitating. I’ve never heard him complain about it. He’ll joke about it sometimes, but he doesn’t complain about it,” Meldrum said.

Osmond said, “I just determined when I got it, ‘Hey I may have MS, but MS does not have me.’”

Suzanne Osmond, his wife, also sees the great control her husband has had over the condition he has faced for almost three decades.

“He doesn’t ever use it as an excuse,” Suzanne Osmond said.

Before Alan Osmond started his fight against MS, he met his future wife at a BYU basketball game. She was a cheerleader and noticed him in the crowd of fans, and they started eyeing each other throughout the game.

They went on their first date soon after, but their love for each other grew the most after they spent a little time apart.

“I think what did it is that he went away for a month,” Suzanne Osmond said. “During that month away I think we realized, ‘Hey we kinda do like each other.’”

Meldrum’s wife and the Osmonds’ friend, Tonya Meldrum, admires the great respect that Alan and Suzanne Osmond show for each other now, and how they do not expect their notoriety to entitle them to be treated better or differently from other people.

“He and his wife both. They just act like anybody else,” Tonya Meldrum said.

His struggle with MS was not the only trial Alan Osmond faced as a famous singer of the LDS faith.

“We were told we would never make it in show business because we were too goody-goody and clean,” he said.

Grinning as he remembered the experience, Alan Osmond went on to relate a time when the Osmond Brothers were invited to an exclusive party by Elton John. They were then uninvited 10 minutes later by his manager because the guests at the party would not feel comfortable around the Osmonds at the party.

When most individuals would have been upset or offended, Alan Osmond said his family looked at the action as a respectful gesture made by John regarding their religious beliefs.

Alan Osmond said, “You just live your life. You just make decisions and stick by them.”

Reviewing his life and the experiences he has had and how it affects him now, Alan Osmond opened up about his sincere love for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others.

“The time is now when every member must be a missionary and open their mouth,” he said. “People are looking.”

He detailed how he continues to reach out to others based on the belief that it is best to be noisy about his faith and what it means for others.

Spelling noisy as “noiz,” or zion backwards, Alan Osmond explains that as the members of the LDS Church become more outspoken about their beliefs in Jesus Christ, the world will become a more united and peaceful place.

Looking to the future, the Osmonds want to continue to live a life centered on what they value most.

“Show business is not first in our lives. It’s family,” Alan Osmond said.