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September 27, 2021

The Student’s Journey: A Hero’s Tale

Becoming a student is a great adventure, one brimming with “dragons” and “trolls,” blessings and joy

“Long, long ago, even before we were born, in an age dimmed by time and clouded from memory, we were invited to embark on an adventure.”1

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf explained in his October 2019 General Conference message that during any adventure in life, you will face unknown danger and trial. As a BYU-Pathway Worldwide student, you’ve chosen the student’s journey. While this journey will be challenging, it will also bring endless, remarkable blessings — making all the hardships worth it.

The great adventure

Circular wood door leads into a hillElder Uchtdorf shared the story of Bilbo, a character in the novel The Hobbit, who lives a simple life but one day feels the call of adventure. Knowing this adventure would be dangerous, he was nervous! At first, Bilbo was set in his ways and determined to never leave his hobbit-hole, friends, and comfortable life in the Shire. But even with all of the distractions and fear, he couldn’t shake the pull of adventure.

Just like Bilbo, you may feel similar pulls of adventure in this life to pursue higher education, a career, and new passions and talents. However, sometimes it can be hard to make big changes when where you are is just so familiar and comfortable. If you feel a pull to do more, it is often God trying to communicate with you, trying to lead you on a more fruitful path.

Elder Uchtdorf shared, “If you and I have felt the stirrings to join the great adventure of living and sharing what our loving Heavenly Father prepared for us a long time ago, I assure you, today is the day to follow God’s Son and our Savior on His path of service and discipleship.”

Growing as we go

In The Hobbit, Bilbo felt inadequate and scared to go on this adventure. Still, he wanted to rescue his friends and help them reclaim their home. As Bilbo continued, his confidence grew, so much so that he confronted a dragon! He knew he could overcome hard things even if they were terrifying.

Just like Bilbo, you can also learn and grow as you work toward an ambitious goal, like higher education and a future career, and you can strengthen your confidence in the process. As you make the journey toward your goals, you will likely have opportunities to use your agency to fight against Satan’s attempts to hold you back from achieving your full potential.

Drawing on a forest with spiderwebs in the treesThe Holy Ghost will be your ally during these times and help you to remain strong. God will offer guidance through scriptures and prayer. Elder Uchtdorf taught, “There are many bends in this road. There are hills, valleys, and detours. There may even be metaphorical spiders, trolls, and even a dragon or two. But if you stay on the path and trust in God, you will eventually find the way to your glorious destiny and back to your heavenly home.”

If there’s a will, there’s a way

There will never be a “perfect” time to tackle your goals or embark on a new adventure. Bilbo felt that there would never be a good time to leave the comfort of his cozy home, but eventually realized that if he never walked into the unknown, he would never progress. Taking every opportunity that comes your way can bring opportunities to learn and grow.

Elder Uchtdorf said, “We could spend a lifetime waiting for that moment when everything lines up perfectly. But now is the time to commit fully to seeking God, ministering to others, and sharing our experience with others.”

As you work to accomplish your goals, God will open new roads and blessings to you. He will push you, offering strength as you experience hard challenges that may make you question your purpose or want to give up. In times of doubt, you can receive comfort from Elder Uchtdorf’s words: “To those of us already walking that path, take courage, exercise compassion, have confidence, and continue!”

What trials have you overcome on your adventure as a BYU-Pathway student? Comment below!

1. ^ Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Your Great Adventure,” Ensign or Liahona, Oct. 6, 2019, 86
Illustrations by Lexi Harris

Comments on "The Student’s Journey: A Hero’s Tale"

Lisa M Kuehnl says:

I have been blessed that academics have always come easy to me. I love to learn! Having graduated from high school 40+ years ago and earning my last academic degree over nearly 20 years ago, I was a bit apprehensive about returning to school; especially in an online format. But PYU Pathways has been wonderful. What an inspiring environment in which to seek learning. This is truly a gift.

Wuilian Mendez says:

Thank you for that inspirational message. In my case I have had to face many challenges in life.

Ukamakam Rita Nzeh says:

Its been my desire to get a good education but because of some challenges of life, I always stop on the way. I never gave up, until I come to know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, today I am blessed to be one of this great and Holy Institution, my hope is alive today, am so grateful to our Father in Heaven, to BYU officials and to my husband who put me through and has always been there to encourage me.

Robert Kanyesa says:

My mind is enlightened and I take strength to move forward thank you very much for this message so inspiring and encouraging

Will says:

Thank you so much, this is so inspiring and touching.


I am grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and a student at one of the best universities worldwide among all universities in the world, to be clear ”BYU”. Heber J. Grant and Brigham Young inspired me so much!!! When they said, “The object of this existence is to learn, which we can only do a little at a time.” knowledge without practice had no value”. something registers in my mind, our purpose of existence is to learn and practicalize what learn to make the value of it and add more value, I understand learning to be the spirit of knowledge that we are ought to invite in our personal life to find our way out each day the Lord brings.

Joseph Yalley says:

I am very lucky to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Thanks goes to our leaders for giving us all the resources to strengthen us both spiritually and temporally. I will take courage as I have chosen to seek a higher education for myself.

The story of Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf gives me courage to move on no matter any challenges in life.

I know that it’s not going to easy, with God all thing are possible.

Cate Williamson says:

What a wonderful lesson from Elder Uchtdorf!

I am proud to be a member of the Church. I have received a lot of blessings from Heavenly Father since I decided to improve my education. I once ruled out education in my life as far fetched, but today I am a student at Ensign College, being challenged academically with other students around the world. I have come to know the true meaning of the phrase, “with God all things are possible.” Each time I have prayed, I have received blessings that I will be grateful for forever.

Nellie Angela Mensah says:

Thank you for the inspired message. I felt little nervous before the gathering but I’m now confidents. Faith, perseverance, confidence, prayer and time management is the key our success.

Susan D. Umadhay says:

As I read this story, its give me a motivation like Bilbo. I felt nervous and fearful. If we have faith and desire in our hearts, I hope and pray that I can learn and grow as I work towards my ambitious goal. Elder Dallin H. Oaks advises us to choose our learning with care because learning is eternal, and whatever useful knowledge, wisdom, or principle of intelligence we acquire in this life will rise with us in the resurrection.

Ethel says:

Thank you so much for sharing the inspiring message. I have been having issues with my computer since week 3 of my second semester with BYU-Pathway. I was almost about to give up and find a more convenient time to continue, but reading the story, I feel the urge to catch up and continue. I have decided to do all it takes to be up to date on my school work. I know with the Lord’s help I can do all things.



I really enjoyed this!!! It´s an inspiring story and an example for everyone.

Sandra Ellis Franco says:

Like Bilbo, I too am stepping out of my hobbit into the pull of adventure. Seeking the pull to pursue higher education and discover my full potential, I know Heavenly Father wants me to explore and discover. The journey is scary. It’s overcoming my inner fears and inadequacies, but through prayer the Holy Ghost, my instructors, devotionals, and tutorials, I can reach my intended goal. Student friends I meet along the way will help me too, and together we will overcome the trolls and dragons. All things are possible through Christ, my Lord and Savior.

Julian Maccaferri says:

Very inspiring, I really enjoyed it!

Ruth Ndlovu says:

Hi Julian. I am so glad to see that there are senior citizens in this journey that l am embarking on. I am 59 years old and thought l will be the only one there. I am truly inspired. Thanks for sharing. I am confident that it is possible for me also to follow your footsteps and of those before us.

Kay Duke says:

Thank you for sharing your analogy. I’m like Bilbo and finally took the leap of faith into the dark at almost 68 years old. I feel like a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis.

Joseph Oswago says:

Thank you so much for this inspiring lesson

Venício Monteiro says:

I am improving the way I spend my time. I say that before starting pathway, my thought was “I don’t have time to do things,” but now I know that I can “make time” for school. And I’m just starting.

Annette von Brughan says:

Thank you for the inspiring blog message. My dragon in the Pathway course is math, which I have not done since 10th grade in 1968! I find the tutorials helpful, and the best part is that I can pause a tutorial, speech, or devotional to record my inspiration. I enjoy being able to pause, consider, practice, and then take action.

Nantumbwe Kasifa says:

Thanks a lot for this inspiring and encouraging message. I will always follow the teachings and counsels of these Church Leaders. What ever principle and counsel l live, positive things play out in my life. Glory to God for showing me this church.

Nathalia Diaz Ludeña says:

Thank you, so cute!

Angela Piuca Arotinco says:

I used to believe that being a student and mother at the same time was an unreachable professional goal, but I have confidence in myself now.

Ryan Manares says:

When we were asked to talk to our classmates about our assignments and discussions, I felt nervous because of my fear of talking to people in English, thinking that they might not understand me or I might not respond. But because I needed to do it, I was inspired to get confidence to pursue my assignments. I prayed for Gods help and comfort and messaged my classmates. Someone responded, and she told me that she’s looking for someone to talk to. I told her that we should talk to each other about our assignment, and it happen. We finished our assignment on time together.

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