Becoming a student is a great adventure, one brimming with “dragons” and “trolls,” blessings and joy
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
Elder 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.
The 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!”
Illustrations by Lexi Harris