In a new video released from BYU-Pathway Worldwide, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reiterates the message he shared during April 2019 general conference, encouraging members of the Church and BYU-Pathway students to invite others to “come and see.”
“One of the easiest and most effective ways to invite your friends and family to ‘come and see,’ is to encourage them to enroll in the programs of BYU-Pathway Worldwide,” Elder Uchtdorf says in the video.
The video message, which was first shared with BYU-Pathway students around the world during their Thursday cohort gatherings on July 18, marked the launch of a new effort from the Church-owned online school to invite more people to benefit from the opportunities offered through their programs.
“When people see BYU-Pathway, they see the gospel lived,” said President Clark Gilbert, president of BYU-Pathway Worldwide. “It’s a great way to introduce people to the Church in an environment that shows them what the Church is all about.”
While BYU-Pathway is known for offering great value in education that is easily accessible from almost anywhere in the world, it is more than just another online university, President Gilbert explained.
In order to enroll, individuals must have a certain level of English comprehension as well as have a tie to the Church — meaning they need to be a member, be from a part member family, be meeting with the missionaries, or get referred by a friend who is a member and can act as a sponsor of sorts.
“And there’s a lot of reasons for that,” President Gilbert said. “But part of it is BYU-pathway isn’t just another educational offer. At its core, BYU-Pathway’s purpose is to develop disciples of Jesus Christ who can be leaders in their homes, the Church and their communities. The fruits of BYU-Pathway echo the fruits of the gospel. Students who come into the program grow in their testimony of Jesus Christ and are more likely to attend Church, to pray, to feel the Spirit and to see the gospel lived.”
That’s part of why it is important for students to invite those they think may benefit from the program to join, he said. They can act as sponsors and help improve the lives of those they share it with.
Speaking to students already enrolled in BYU-Pathway, Elder Uchtdorf says in the video that inviting friends and family — whether they are members of the Church or not and whether they need help to grow spiritually or just need access to better educational opportunities — will bless the lives of many.
“Inviting people to join BYU-Pathway will help them feel of the Savior’s love as they progress both spiritually and academically,” he says.
One of the key things that makes BYU-Pathway programs unique when compared to other online learning experiences is the sense of community support and belonging that students and participants feel, said Brian Ashton, vice president of field operations for BYU-Pathway Worldwide.
Additionally, nearly 96 percent of students who participate in BYU-Pathway indicate they would refer a friend, President Gilbert said.
“We find that those who bring a friend with them are more likely to stay in the program. They do better, and I think that just in general they have a more positive experience,” Ashton said, noting that the new “come and see” initiative offers the perfect opportunity for students to do just that.
And for the many returned missionaries who are beginning to enroll in the BYU-Pathway programs — particularly since it was announced in May that all young returned missionaries would be pre-approved for enrollment in the BYU-Pathway PathwayConnect program — Elder Uchtdorf’s message emphasizes that inviting friends and family to join BYU-Pathway can be a way of continuing their missionary and ministering efforts.
“My dear friends, take advantage of this opportunity to prayerfully invite someone you know to come and see by joining BYU-Pathway Worldwide for this coming semester,” Elder Uchtdorf says in the video. “As you do so, you will not only help others to see more clearly what the Church is all about, but I promise that you will feel the love, gratitude and blessings of the Savior — in their lives and yours.”