Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mormon-raised Paul Walker remembered for faith and character as well as 'Fast & Furious' films

By Abby Stevens, Deseret News

Published: Mon, Dec. 2 2:23 p.m. MST

 Paul Walker as Brian in \

Paul Walker as Brian in "Fast & Furious 6," the next installment of the global blockbuster franchise built on speed.

(Deseret News Archive)

Actor Paul Walker, who is known for his role as Brian O’Conner in "The Fast and the Furious” movies, died in a car accident Nov. 30. But in addition to his films, Walker also leaves behind a legacy of faith and generosity.

According to the Christian Post, Walker grew up a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Glendale, Calif. Although he was not an active Mormon in his adult years, Walker remained a Christian.

"The people I don't understand are atheists,” Walker said, according to his IMDb bio. “I go surfing and snowboarding, and I'm always around nature. I look at everything and think, 'Who couldn't believe there's a God? Is all this a mistake?' It just blows me away.”

Walker is remembered by many as a charitable man, who wanted to help others. According to CNN, a decade ago Walker generously purchased a wedding ring for a U.S. soldier who could not afford one for his fiancée.

"The groom was just back from duty in Iraq, and he was going to be deployed again soon and wanted to buy a wedding ring, but he said he just could not afford it," Irene King, the saleswoman said in an interview with CNN. "I don't think the soldier realized how expensive those rings are, about $10,000.”

Walker is survived by his teenage daughter, Meadow, and he channeled much of his energy into caring for her.

“I’m into being a dad,” Walker said, according to IMDb.com. “That’s where my focus is most of the time. I’m an actor — that’s my job, but it’s not my life.”

Abby Stevens is a writer for the DeseretNews.com Faith and Family sections. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University–Idaho. Contact Abby at astevens@deseretdigital.com.

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1. Hutterite
American Fork, UT,
Dec. 2, 2013

I don't think the people gathering at the roadside in California are celebrating a mormon. I don't believe they're celebrating a good series of movies, either, but that's certainly up to them, I guess.

2. The Scientist
Provo, UT,
Dec. 2, 2013

"The people I don't understand are atheists,” Walker said, according to his IMDb bio. “I go surfing and snowboarding, and I'm always around nature. I look at everything and think, 'Who couldn't believe there's a God? Is all this a mistake?'"

Such is the muddleheadedness that presumes to judge non believers. No non-believer I know has ever argued that nature is "a mistake". What does that even mean?

The mistake is committing the logical fallacies that believers commit when attributing nature to an "intelligent designer", while selectively ignoring the fact that the nature supposedly created by that designer seems designed to kill the human race en masse!

Ironic that the forces of physics by which nature operates overpowered Mr. Walker's prayers, his good deeds, his "faith" and "generosity", and killed him without blinking an eye.

Mr. Walker, please come back and testify to us all how wonderful and benevolent is this god in which you believe. We will be waiting...

3. Moontan
Roanoke, VA,
Dec. 2, 2013

Sad how even a nice piece reporting the death of a fine actor and a moral man will draw jabs.

4. AZKID
Mapleton, UT,
Dec. 2, 2013

Condolences to the Walker family.

Regarding Paul Walker being raised Mormon: Is it just me or am I am seeing a trend among people in the entertainment industry who used to be Latter-day Saints but are no longer practicing. I suppose this happens in every walk of life, but I am tempted to say, "Mamas, don't let you babies grow up to be actors/actresses".

5. Stop The Nonsense
El Paso, TX,
Dec. 2, 2013

Sad to hear this. Hollywood needs good people like him. RIP, Paul.