February 17, 2017
Sometimes BYU-Idaho can seem distant to those not physically on campus. Online broadcasts of weekly devotionals at BYU-Idaho can solve this problem. Through watching or listening to devotionals online, PathwayConnect students and instructors receive weekly spiritual encouragement and feel closer to their brothers and sisters in Rexburg, Idaho.
How to watch Devotional Online:
In order to help students feel this unity with campus, PathwayConnect has integrated BYU-Idaho devotionals into student accounts. All PathwayConnect participants can view or listen to live or previous devotionals by logging in at byupathway.lds.org and selecting “Devotional” from the drop-down menu. Everyone can access BYU-Idaho’s devotionals online or tune in online at BYU-Idaho Radio.
Many PathwayConnect students and instructors make watching devotional a priority, grateful for the opportunity to connect with BYU-Idaho’s campus, strengthen their faith, and receive revelation.
In 2012, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland addressed the Church Educational System. He said the time has come to gather together and build up Zion where we already are: “We no longer think of Zion as where we are going to live; we think of it as how we are going to live.”
Similarly, PathwayConnect groups gather in their own homelands, yet are connected to the Church Educational System as a whole. Watching BYU-Idaho devotionals is one way to fulfill Elder Holland’s words and build up Zion at home. Fittingly, Elder Holland’s words were delivered via broadcast, with thousands watching online. PathwayConnect students can do the same, connecting to BYU-Idaho from around the world by watching devotionals.
Basic Writing PathwayConnect instructor Trent Mikesell lives 300 miles from Rexburg, but he still listens to devotionals every day: “I listen to the devotionals on my drive to work in the mornings. It puts me in the right frame of mind to have a positive attitude each day.”
Brother Mikesell also believes devotionals make him a better teacher because they connect him to BYU-Idaho.
“I am an online instructor, and am thus a little removed from the university. Listening to the devotionals helps me connect to the university and feel like I am part of it even though I am not on campus. It makes me feel closer to BYU-Idaho as a whole. Listening to devotionals makes me a better online instructor because I understand and see the mission of the university,” he said.
Devotionals also provide PathwayConnect participants around the world an opportunity to remember spiritual development. This is a powerful reminder in a world now characterized by irreligion and frivolous pursuits.
Katie Foniciello, a 2015 PathwayConnect completer from Houston, Texas, found great spiritual strength through devotionals while attending PathwayConnect: “Devotionals have helped me stay on track and remember my eternal purpose, which has encouraged me to live the gospel; living the gospel allows me to feel inner peace and be more Christlike, which has impacted my family and friends as they are able to feel the peace and light of the gospel.”
Similarly, PathwayConnect instructor Stacey Birk, from Camano Island, Washington, uses the spiritual power of devotionals to invite the Spirit into her life and strengthen her faith. “Devotionals have helped me stay connected to the Spirit and keep the gospel in mind throughout my busy weeks,” she said. “Devotionals are a way for me to increase my interactions with the Spirit and build my faith. I feel closer to our prophets and leaders when I get to hear and see them speaking. When they address us, I remember how much they care about us—and how much Heavenly Father cares about us.”
For Sister Birk, devotionals directly relate to her involvement with PathwayConnect: “Listening to devotionals reminds me that education is a spiritual pursuit, that Heaven is interested in Pathway.”
|Did you know every past devotional is available online? Watch or listen to past devotionals and view talks as far back as 1957!|
Specifically, she believes the spiritual benefits of watching devotionals amplify her ability as a teacher. “Devotionals make me feel more compassion for my PathwayConnect students, as a result of the love I feel when the Spirit is present. God can make me a better instructor.”
Brother Mikesell agrees. “Devotionals give a practical side to spirituality. That is, people sharing their experiences helps me to see practical application of gospel principles,” he said. “I also like that devotionals show that academics and spirituality do not have to conflict.”
Those who watch or listen to devotional find inspiration suited to their own situation. Kimberly Peterson, a PathwayConnect student in Vancouver, Washington, remembers being inspired by Marilyn Nelson’s devotional in the Spring Semester 2015 about the Savior’s willingness to help us. Kimberly watched the devotional online and felt the Savior’s relevance to her own life.
Katie has also felt devotionals’ ability to impart messages personal in nature. “Most of the time, speakers have said things that have either uplifted me, or things that I really needed to hear at the time to help me with life circumstances,” she said.
Past Devotionals: “Editor’s Picks.”
Brother Mikesell recalls being inspired to be a better husband because of watching devotionals: “President Gilbert and his wife spoke about families. I’d been thinking and reflecting on ways that I could put my family more front and center. I liked the ideas that they shared and it reminded me that the most important work in which I am involved is to build my family; that is how I build the church. President Gilbert is the president of BYU-Idaho, but his family still comes first.”
Spending time to learn from devotionals is also a sign of faith, so blessings can extend beyond spiritual aspects.
Sister Birk felt inspiration in her everyday life after watching devotionals: “Whenever I show the Lord that He is my priority (as delivered in university devotionals), He helps me in other areas. Specifically, I find I am more organized with my time, more patient with my students and my children, and more focused on what is most important.”
The blessings of BYU-Idaho devotionals aren’t reserved solely for those enrolled in a Church school. One of the best things about devotional is that it can bless anyone with an Internet connection!
Do you regularly watch devotional? Why or why not? Let us know what you’ve learned from your own devotional experiences.