October 13, 2017
It is hard to believe we are already five weeks into this semester of PathwayConnect. As I have pondered what I want to share with you, I have felt impressed to discuss the power of gathering and giving back.
It is often said that the gathering is at the heart of PathwayConnect, and I am sure that many of you have experienced the power of this statement. Indeed, as we look to our institutional legacy stemming through BYU-Idaho and into BYU-Pathway Worldwide, we lay claim to “The Spirit and Purposes of Gathering,” as articulated by Elder David A. Bednar:
“The Lord gathers His people to worship, to build up the Church, for a defense, and to receive counsel and instruction.… This spirit of gathering brings assurance, encouragement, and a sense of purpose greater than self. At BYU-Idaho [and I would add, BYU-Pathway Worldwide,] you gather to worship the Father in the name of the Son, to build up the Church and the university, to find defense and protection, and to receive counsel and instruction.”
In visiting PathwayConnect gatherings around the world, I am continually inspired and amazed at how readily students and missionaries alike take these principles to heart. By attending each week’s gathering, you truly are leveraging the power and blessings articulated by Elder Bednar.
Sometimes this means that you need to lean on others for help. Sometimes it means you are the one who will be asked to help another student. This is what President Eyring spoke about when he said you would become “natural leaders” because you had learned how to lift and to be lifted by others.
If you are feeling overwhelmed or struggling to understand concepts in your coursework, I encourage you to lean into your fellow students. They can help you. And as you receive that support, I invite each of you to replenish — to give back — and apply Elder Bednar’s counsel to “strengthen each other” as you gather.
We are praying for you. We love you. Keep gathering and keep growing.