September 18, 2017
The lives of hundreds were changed in a moment when the creation of BYU-Pathway Worldwide was announced.
The change in the name and scope of PathwayConnect also meant a change in location for the 50+ full-time employees who work for the organization. As a result, employees were invited to move from their homes in Rexburg, Idaho, to continue their work as BYU-Pathway headquarters moved to Salt Lake City, Utah.
Inevitably, the move to Utah would require families to sell their homes, buy new homes, leave friends, find new schools for their children, and continue life in a new place.
Despite the challenges of change, a few family members of BYU-Pathway employees have shared their thoughts concerning the move and how they have seen the Lord guiding them according to His will.
“Moving on Faith”
Although the idea of moving was initially a shock for BYU-Pathway’s reporting and analysis coordinator Michael Simpson and his wife, Whitney, they have used this opportunity to build faith in Heavenly Father and His plan for them.
“We’ve lived close to Rexburg since we were married eight years ago,” Whitney said. “I just got my ‘mom routine’ down with our four kids when we received the news, so part of me didn’t want to go. Yet we cannot deny we have received a divine answer that we should make the move to Salt Lake City and give it our all.”
“It will be fun,” Whitney continued. “We are moving on faith that we’re supposed to go. You can’t really go wrong if you’re moving on faith.”
Children of employees have witnessed their parents sacrificing for what they know is right for their families. Brigham Taylor Jr., son of BYU-Pathway area manager Brigham Taylor, has been able to see the blessings of his family coming together throughout the moving process.
“I’m excited about the move, it’s like an adventure,” Brigham Jr. said. “We are moving right before my senior year of high school, which has been hard, but I think it has been good for our family. We’ve already grown closer together, and I’m expecting us to really stick together once we move to Utah.”
As sons and daughters like Brigham Jr. faithfully follow the choices of their parents, they have brought hope and optimism as parents prepare for the move.
“I Know We’re Supposed To Go”
On the day of the announcement, BYU-Pathway area manager Jon Phister and his wife, Shay, spoke with their children about the news. At the time, it was unclear if they would be moving or not, but they told their children they would pray to know if it was right for them.
Not long after the announcement, one of their sons spoke with Shay about his feelings regarding the move. “He came to me and said ‘I prayed about it, mom, and I feel good about it, but I’m scared to go.’”
“As we have gone through the process of finding a home in Utah, we have felt Heavenly Father guiding us in the direction we need to go,” Shay said. “Because of these tender mercies we have experienced, I wouldn’t dare change my mind now. I know we’re supposed to go.”
“Help Thou Mine Unbelief”
BYU-Pathway area manager Corey Christensen and his wife, Allysun, moved to Rexburg, Idaho, four years ago and had just put down money to build a home when the creation of BYU-Pathway Worldwide was announced. Although this has been a trial, they have found faith in the Lord’s plan.
“My first reactions were confusion and shock, but at some point I had to come to trust God,” Allysun said.
As Allysun has questioned how her family fits into this move, she has likened her faith to that of the man who brought his child to Christ asking for him to be healed.
“Jesus said unto him, if thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”1
“I love this scripture because the father wants to believe, but he needs Christ to fill that gap,” Allysun said. “For me, that is what I feel about moving. I trust in the Lord, and I know that this is the best thing for BYU-Pathway, no doubt. I am just trying to figure out where we fit into all of this. I have to ask Him to help my unbelief.”
As the time to move quickly approaches, Corey and Allysun have trusted in the personal revelation that they have received, knowing that God would not take them to a place that would hinder their growth as husband and wife or as a family.
Furthering The Lord’s Work
While these are only a few examples of the faith that families have shown, there has been an understanding throughout all of the families that the Lord’s work is moving forward through BYU-Pathway Worldwide. Lives are being touched and changed for the better.
The Lord knows everyone involved in PathwayConnect whether they are a student in Ghana, a service missionary in Brazil, or an eight-year-old child of a BYU-Pathway employee from Rexburg, Idaho. The Lord will continue to bring His children to better places where they have opportunities to grow and become like Him. For most of the families involved in BYU-Pathway, this means moving to a new location.
Want to learn more about the transition from Pathway to BYU-Pathway Worldwide? Check out this article about the last summer picnic employees had in Rexburg, Idaho. Stay tuned for more articles regarding the transition!