Non-Mormon BYU student comes for the standards, stays for the athletics

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Running is her expertise. Hurdling is her passion. But Kensey Berry didn’t come to Brigham Young University just for the track team.

“What sold me and my parents to come to this great institution was the honor code,” said Berry.

BYU’s honor code website states rules such as:

Be honest, live a chaste and virtuous life, use clean language, abstain from alcoholic beverages and other substances abuse and participate regularly in church services.

These standards are in line with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But Berry is in the two percent minority at BYU. She’s not Mormon.

“My overall beliefs is that I am a Christian and I really do have this great and intimate relationship with my Lord and I am able to just create these amazing experiences and receive this revelation without a church,” Berry said.

One of Berry’s track coaches, Edwin Randolph, said he’s grateful for Berry’s leadership skills on the track.

“She’s ready to learn and she’s learning. And I think that’s a plus for the team to understand someone who is not LDS and fits in perfect. That’s good,” Randolph said.

Berry said she’s grateful for the positive vibes at BYU; she has never been pressured into drinking alcohol or doing drugs.

“I always joke around that the only peer pressure that I have is getting baptized,” she said.

Berry’s best friend introduced her to the LDS Church in eighth grade.

“And she was like, ‘Hey, come meet these missionaries. That was the first time that I’ve gotten introduced to religion as a whole. That’s what led me on this huge adventure of really trying to recognize what religion was in my life and forming this relationship that I have with my Lord,“ said Berry.

Ben Meyer is a junior on BYU’s track team, a member of the LDS Church and he’s also Berry’s boyfriend.

“It would seem there were to be difficulties in that knowing that there is a barrier with our religion and our standpoint, but there’s not,” Berry said. “There really isn’t because we both believe in the same God. He is so good to me and trying to get me to come to activities and wanting me to be comfortable really in my own skin. There are no pitfalls because we don’t believe in the same thing, because we do.”

Berry is commonly asked if she will ever get baptized.

“I don’t know if I’m going to get baptized or not because I’m still in that searching and seeking process. I don’t know if the Book of Mormon is false, I just don’t know it’s true yet,” she said.

Berry said her favorite thing about BYU is that “you are surrounded by all of these amazing people that you can just feed off of. It’s really fun to know that you are growing at the institution you chose.”

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