Herbert W. Armstrong’s Gift to the Olympic Games

Tony Duffy/Allsport/Getty Images

Herbert W. Armstrong’s Gift to the Olympic Games

How the seven laws of success were received, taught and endorsed by U.S. Olympic-nominated coach Harry Sneider and champion athlete Dwight Stones, and the need for their reviewing at London 2012

“Right now the world has its mind focused on the Olympic Games,” wrote the internationally recognized unofficial ambassador for world peace to worldwide readers in the Plain Truth, July-August 1984.

The same is true today for the 2012 Games. All eyes are focused on the host city of London. Perhaps Trumpet readers are unaware or have forgotten about former Ambassador College faculty member and renowned athletic coach Harry Sneider. As recently as last year, Mr. Sneider acknowledged Mr. Armstrong’s direct contribution to Olympic success, writing, “Back in 1967 I came to Ambassador College to study a way of life that had a major impact on my life, my marriage, my home and family as well as my work.

“My mentor was Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong. He told me that I had a gift of working with top-notch performers in sports. In 1984 I was nominated head coach for the United States Olympic Team in Track and Field.

“Mr. Armstrong wrote a wonderful booklet called The Seven Laws of Success. I used these laws in my coaching and training. They are very simple. They can be found in the Scriptures ….”

Coach Sneider went on to encourage readers to study those seven laws of success.

Yet how many athletes, spectators or viewers around the world ask the question: What does God think of these Games? You need to take the time to request The Seven Laws of Success and find out that simple formula that Harry Sneider spoke of.

In the same Plain Truth article, Mr. Armstrong continued, “The law of God is the way of righteousness. Sin is the transgression of the law. The law of God is given us in the broadest principle and also magnified into the Ten Commandments, and even into many further specific points that are magnifications of the principles of the Ten Commandments. God expects us to apply these principles of His law to specific actions.

“The basic law is love, outflowing toward God above all else, and secondarily, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

One such example of this way of give in action came in 1984 when U.S. high jump champion Dwight Stones trained at the environment which educationally institutionalized this law of love, the Ambassador College campus.

Stones was a two-time Olympic bronze medalist and former three-time world record holder in the men’s high jump.

“… Stones organized his own meet Friday at Ambassador College in nearby Pasadena,” Associated Press sports writer Bert Rosenthal reported June 15, 1984. “It consisted of one event—the high jump—and it included four competitors: Stones, Jim Pringle, Jerome Carter and Doug Nordquist.”

The jumpers felt they needed one more day of competition to sharpen their skills. This occurred just days before the Olympic trials in preparation for the Olympic Games that year, hosted in nearby Los Angeles.

Two months later, the August 3 edition of the Worldwide News reported, “[H]igh jumper Dwight Stones clears 7 feet, 7¾ inches (2 meters, 29 centimeters) at the Ambassador College International Invitational meet August 2 at Pasadena Ambassador College while Pastor General Herbert W. Armstrong watches.”

The jump was a fourth inch under the record Stones set during U.S. Olympic trials just over a month previous. Along with U.S. high jumpers, the Invitational at Ambassador featured athletes from Austria and West Germany.

Twenty eight years later, Stones will serve as a commentator for nbc during this year’s London 2012 Olympic Games, and one wonders whether he recalls those seven-laws-of-success-based training sessions at Ambassador College and the indelible principles of God’s law of love expounded by the book’s author and college’s founder.

Mr. Armstrong’s 1984 Plain Truth article featured a photo on page 1 of him shaking hands with Stones on the track at Ambassador College with coach Harry Sneider looking on.

Mr. Armstrong concluded his piece about the Olympics, writing to the magazine’s 7 million subscribers as follows:

This is sufficient to illustrate the application of the principle of God’s law to sports. That sport participated in with an attitude of hostility toward the opponent is evil. That which harms mentally or physically an opponent is evil.If it has God’s spirit of “give”—help, encourage, cooperate, stimulate for good, based on an attitude of love—it is right, not wrong.

Today, those same principles outlined in his booklet The Seven Laws of Success can be obtained from only one official legally copyrighted source.

Trumpet founder Gerald Flurry, supported by co-workers and members of the Philadelphia Church of God, went so far as to fight a six-year court battle to preserve these seven laws, keep them in print and promote them worldwide through television and distribution over the Internet.

In addition, he founded Herbert W. Armstrong College in Edmond, Oklahoma, featuring liberal arts education and including a balanced sports program founded on the scriptural principles of the seven laws of success as established by its namesake.

Add to this his continuance in the example and legacy of Mr. Armstrong by ensuring you could receive that foundational knowledge freely, as a gift without request for money, obligation or follow-up.

During these Olympic Games, request your free copy of The Seven Laws of Success to understand the keys to the eternal joy of lasting physical, spiritual, emotional and mental success. When sincerely applied, those laws truly do work to produce real and lasting success in your life!