Steve Young Kirtland Joe Montana

How Steve Young, a T-Shirt, and God impacted Kirtland Ohio’s Future and Infrastructure, including the Kirtland Temple


The story of the road relocation in Kirtland serves as a compelling narrative of how miraculous events can spark transformative change within a community. Through a confluence of seemingly chance encounters, individual actions, and collective determination, a road that once posed a threat to public safety became a symbol of progress, unity, and revealed the hand of God.

In urban planning, the process of altering roadways to enhance safety and functionality often involves complex negotiations and bureaucratic hurdles. However, a remarkable anecdote from the city of Kirtland sheds light on how a seemingly insignificant event, coupled with a mayor’s determination, led to the successful relocation of a problematic road. This narrative showcases the intersecting forces of civic engagement, serendipity, and a touch of divine intervention that culminated in a transformative urban development.

This story really begins with a somewhat chance encounter between former NFL quarterback Steve Young and the city of Kirtland.

During a 5K run event, Young was handed a unique T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Kirtland—City of Faith and Beauty,” inadvertently setting the stage for a chain of events that would leave a lasting impact on the community. Little did he know that this simple t-shirt would become a symbol of unity and progress in the city’s urban landscape and serve as a catalyst for a true miracle.

As fate would have it, a photo captured Young wearing the Kirtland shirt during a practice session with the San Francisco 49ers, which subsequently made its way to Sports Illustrated. The image of a renowned athlete sporting the city’s name caught the attention of a fifth-grader, who shared it with the mayor, sparking a ripple effect that would ultimately influence the decision-making process of the city council. This unforeseen alignment of circumstances illustrates the unpredictable nature of urban development and the profound effects of individual actions on collective outcomes.

Karl Ricks Anderson (affectionately known as “Mr. Kirtland” throughout the Church because of his love, research and writings on Kirtland Ohio area church history) emerged as a pivotal figure in the narrative, embodying a steadfast commitment to realizing the vision of a safer and more aesthetically pleasing cityscape. Despite facing opposition and bureaucratic challenges in getting the road relocated, Karl’s unwavering resolve and unwavering faith propelled him to seek divine intervention in the form of a heartfelt plea to change the minds of the council members. This poignant gesture underscores the inherent belief in the power of collective action and the transformative potential of shared aspirations.

The culmination of these intertwined narratives culminated in a momentous victory for the city of Kirtland, as the city council, inspired by the symbolic significance of the Sports Illustrated photo, voted unanimously to relocate the road. The road is now rerouted to enhance safety and preserve the city’s natural beauty, which stands as a testament to the enduring impact of miracles, community collaboration, and good people being inspired to do good things.


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