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October 1, 2018

“I Finally Have a Sense of Belonging”

Gospel-centered learning was something Brandon never realized he was missing

Brandon Tavella never had the opportunity to share his beliefs. Growing up in France, strict religious laws prohibited the discussion of religion in public, but Brandon had a love of the gospel of Jesus Christ and desired to share his testimony with others. He never expected that PathwayConnect would allow him that opportunity.

A memory from his mission led Brandon to something unexpected

Brandon applied to serve a full-time mission and was called to serve in the Canada Montreal Quebec Spanish-speaking Mission. He developed a love for the Canadian people, the Spanish language, and especially helping God’s children come back to the fold.

Unfortunately, his service was cut short due to an injury that required surgery followed by several months of recovery. Returning to France, Brandon once again felt alone with his faith and wanted more than anything to share the gospel and progress in his life.

One day, while thinking about his mission, Brandon recalled seeing the Church’s announcement of BYU-Pathway Worldwide on their website and an article about the program in Church magazines. He had also seen how it was impacting the members he had served in Canada. After some research, Brandon decided to enroll. He felt that this could be his chance to continue sharing his beliefs even through recovery.

Brandon (center) with President and Sister Phillips, his mission president and his mission president’s wife

PathwayConnect allowed Brandon to combine his beliefs with education

Brandon (right) with his parents and sister at the Paris France Temple

What PathwayConnect offered Brandon was unlike any kind of learning he had ever experienced before: He could share his testimony during his Life Skills course, and he shared the same standards with those in his gathering.

“I finally have a sense of belonging,” Brandon said. “I’ve never felt that way attending school before.”

Brandon’s testimony of the Church grew as he participated in PathwayConnect, which allowed him to apply his religious beliefs in an educational setting with his peers. He witnessed the strength that comes through including the Lord in education.

“PathwayConnect has given me an opportunity to not only progress in my education, but increase my testimony and share it with those in my courses,” Brandon said. “I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity.”

I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity.

PathwayConnect provided Brandon with a gospel-centered education

The gospel-centered learning in PathwayConnect was something Brandon came to truly appreciate. Finally, after years of feeling alone without the opportunity to share his faith, he was able to be open with his beliefs among people who felt the same way he did.

“PathwayConnect helped me feel that I’m not alone,” Brandon said. “It’s a very rewarding experience.”

Brandon Tavella is currently working towards a BYU-Idaho online bachelor’s degree in family and marriage therapy, presented and coordinated through BYU-Pathway.

PathwayConnect provides a high-standard learning environment for Church members around the world. Learn more at

Comments on "“I Finally Have a Sense of Belonging”"

Amazing article. Couldn’t be written much better!

Kind regards,
Dinesen Schneider

Nandipha Xamane says:


I am so grateful to be a participant of Pathway connect just like Brandon I have never had a gospel centered learning. When i joined Pathway I was not my self I was scattered, hurt, wounded, bruised inside. I just had separation with my husband January last year then in April last year I enrolled in Pathway. I was amazed every lesson each week was talking to me straight. I gain strong testimony that made me to be more converted in the church than crying and being frustrated of what happened in me. It was like its the first time joining the church ,I begin to have unspeakable joy, strong and glowing. Path way healed me and made me strong. Thank you once more to bring that opportunity to us, if it was not of enrolling in pathway I dont know what would have happened in my life but God directed me to a right therapy which is Path way. During the first semester I was able to forgive my husband and advise him to join pathway also he agreed I did enrollment for him in my computer at work. He started his classes this semester. Even though we not yet staying together but things are better between us, he starting to talk positive about us because of pathway. The second and third lesson in life skills humbled him. He is less active at church its been 3 or 4 years now but after he started pathway he is talking of coming back to church again. I know pathway is powerful as I got healing or therapy from pathway my husband will also change and remember of all the covenants he made with our Heavenly Father and become active again in the church. Pathway my healer my therapy.

J.A. Banez says:

Nandipha, thank you for that beautiful story! We love how PathwayConnect doesn’t only help students in their basic skills and building confidence in those skills, but it also helps develop charity, true conversion, and stronger families. We are glad to hear about how Heavenly Father has helped you through PathwayConnect.

Riley Langston says:

How inspiring!

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