President Ballard urges BYU-Pathway Worldwide students to get an education despite challenges

Acknowledging the many difficulties faced by students today, President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, testified that the opportunity to get an education is provided by a loving Heavenly Father and His Son.

“[They] have given you this opportunity of participating in BYU-Pathway Worldwide to help you improve your skills and talents to bless you, your family, and others around you,” President Ballard declared during a BYU-Pathway Worldwide devotional broadcast on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

Speaking to students from 150 countries across the globe who face an equally diverse set of challenges during a pandemic, President Ballard assured his listeners that their decision to obtain an education “is very important.”

“You are investing now for eternity that lies ahead. I urge you to finish this educational journey you have begun — no matter what challenges you may face,” President Ballard said.

Students enrolled in the Church’s online university are taking advantage of the Lord’s invitation to “Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:118), said President Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

And yet some may wonder if they will be able to fulfill the Lord’s commandment to study, learn and progress through their studies, President Ballard noted.

He then cited a recent study of older university students that recorded some of their concerns or worries. The research suggested that adult learners may lack confidence in their ability to succeed in the classroom. 

“Have any of you ever felt this way? Are any of you concerned about your own educational path?” President Ballard asked. “If so, please realize that you are not alone. These concerns are common, and BYU-Pathway is investing resources to help you succeed.”

President Ballard said that when he has to do something seemingly impossible, he has found comfort in what Nephi said to his father, Lehi, after being given the difficult assignment of obtaining the plates from Laban.

Lehi asks Nephi to return to Jerusalem to obtain the Brass Plates from Laban in this Book of Mormon Videos scene.
Lehi asks Nephi to return to Jerusalem to obtain the Brass Plates from Laban in this Book of Mormon Videos scene. Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

“I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7).

Leaders of the Church are proud of students’ efforts to improve skills and talents, President Ballard said. 

Citing Doctrine and Covenants 11:21, President Ballard said those pursuing their education are following a sacred pattern of studying and learning to bless those around them. “Through your diligent efforts to progress through BYU-Pathway classes, you will be better brothers and sisters, better husbands and wives, parents, employees, employers, neighbors and community members, and better disciples of Jesus Christ.”

He encouraged students to take satisfaction in what they are accomplishing. “Remember, you are part of a great inspired education program that stretches around the world. BYU-Pathway is an important part of the complete Church Educational System.”

As individuals fulfill the Lord’s commandment to prepare to serve families, neighbors and God’s children, the Lord will provide additional blessings, President Ballard promised.

President M. Russell Ballard speaks to BYU-Pathway Worldwide students during a devotional broadcast on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021.
President M. Russell Ballard speaks to BYU-Pathway Worldwide students during a devotional broadcast on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. Credit: Screenshot byupathway.org

“As you choose to use your time wisely, learn from your teachers and mentors, study with a prayer in your heart, and diligently apply the skills and talents the Lord has given you, you will take all that you have learned and experienced with you after you depart this life,” he said. “You won’t take your home, car, money or other personal possessions. They will all be left behind, but you will take what you learn and experience through your gospel study at BYU-Pathway.”

The Church needs students’ faithful service, he continued. “Through the education you are striving to receive now, you are being prepared to serve our Heavenly Father and His children throughout your life.”