BYU-Pathway Worldwide Devotional
"Your Spiritual Pathway"
Welcome! I am blessed to be sharing a message with you faithful BYU-Pathway Worldwide students. As you pursue education online, I imagine there will be times when you feel alone. My hope as I speak to you today is that you will realize that you are not alone; you and 45,000 other online students are on this great learning adventure together! (That is more than twice the seating capacity of the Conference Center in Salt Lake City.) You also have Church leaders, instructors, mentors, friends, service missionaries, and many others willing to help you.
I was born in Hong Kong, China. Carol (who is now my wonderful wife) introduced me to the gospel, and I was baptized on Valentine’s Day, 1982. Carol had graduated from BYU-Hawaii and knew education would benefit me, so we moved to Hawaii and I too began my pursuit of higher education at that same university.
The journey was very challenging! I was trying to complete my education in a foreign language. After my first semester, the regulation changed and, instead of being allowed to work 30 hours a week as a married student with an international student visa, I could only work 20. Our family lost a third of our income instantly, when we didn’t have much to start with. Thankfully, Heavenly Father guided me to an academic scholarship. But I would have to get almost all As to keep the full scholarship, which we really needed. Through daily prayer and study, Heavenly Father helped me improve my English and finish my degrees. Heavenly Father was always with me.
You will face your own challenges. Obstacles come in different shapes and sizes. You too might feel at times like you are the only one doing this, without much help.Recall the account of the Brother of Jared, found in the Book of Mormon. After building the barges that would carry his people across the ocean, the Brother of Jared faced at least two problems. Traveling in their barges, they would need air and light. The Lord instructed the Brother of Jared to create holes in the barges, and stoppers, so they could have air. But he didn’t provide a direct solution for obtaining light. The Brother of Jared had to reason through the problem, think of a solution, work to molten stones out of rock, and then present those stones to the Lord. The Lord touched the stones, and provided the light the Brother of Jared needed, but the Brother of Jared had to work for it first.
Receiving my education was a very special experience for me. Because of the challenges my family had to overcome and the faith we had to exercise, those years will always be sacred to me. Through my struggles, I became a better disciple of Jesus Christ. I came to know, as did the Prophet Joseph Smith, that “all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.” Heavenly Father was always there for me, and I know He is there for you too if you earnestly seek His help. He will strengthen you to overcome the challenges you face and help you arrive at your promised land.
Please seek a good education. Stay on your spiritual pathway. Prepare yourself for Jesus Christ’s Second Coming. I testify to you that He will come again the second time as He did come the first time, but this time will be in majesty and great glory. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.