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A Night Back at High School

Prompted by a strange dream, James began his search for something more in his life

God must have had me in mind when PathwayConnect was organized, because when it came to getting an education, I always felt like I was missing out.

After finishing secondary school, I didn’t go on to get a university education and I never went to any institute classes. More than 20 years later, at 40 years old, I came to regret those decisions — I often found myself praying to Heavenly Father and asking Him to change my circumstances for me.

Through PathwayConnect, God answered my prayers in a way I never expected.

Bowman Family
James with his wife and three children

A Recurring Dream

In the years leading up to my enrollment in PathwayConnect, before I ever heard about the program, I had a recurring dream that led me to believe I needed to continue my education and get a university degree.

In the dream, I found myself wandering the halls of my old secondary school. As I walked around, the thought came to me that I needed to continue my education, which always confused me. If I was supposed to finish my education, why was I back at my old school? “I shouldn’t be here,” I always thought. “I should be at a university campus somewhere.”

Just as soon as I think that, it occurs to me that there must be a class here at my old school I still need to take — so I start looking. As I search, the image of the old institute building appears in my mind, and I feel that if I were to go there, I would find the class I needed. I always dismissed the idea, though — it just didn’t make sense to look for a university class in an institute building. It was always at that point in the dream that I would wake up.

Cedar high school
In a recurring dream, James found himself wandering the halls of his old secondary school, searching for a university class he needed to take. Photo taken by Tyson Stevens.

An Answered Prayer

I had that dream for years, and for years I was confused about what it meant. Eventually I forgot about it and moved on with my life.

Time passed, and I eventually learned about PathwayConnect and enrolled. One day, after being in the program for a few weeks, I read a talk by Elder Bednar for an upcoming assignment. In it, Elder Bednar explains that as disciples, we should strive to become “agents to act and not objects to be acted upon.” 1
David A. Bednar. "The Powers of Heaven," Ensign or Liahona, Apr. 2012, 48.
As I read, I remembered my dream, and suddenly it made sense to me.

The class I had been looking for in my dream was through PathwayConnect. For years, I prayed to Heavenly Father to change my circumstances, but He didn't do it for me. Instead, He prepared me to exercise my agency and take advantage of a program that would help me change for myself.

PathwayConnect wasn’t the answer to my prayers I had wanted, but it was the answer I needed in order to learn to act for myself and improve my life.

James Bowman at his sons baptism
James learned the importance of using his agency to improve his life — a blessing that has blessed him and his family.

Not Missing Out

Since enrolling in PathwayConnect, I have been able to change my life in many ways — both spiritually and academically. The knowledge and skills I gain from my courses bless me and my family as I strive to grow and improve my circumstances. Now, whenever I think about education, I no longer feel like I’m missing out.

Perhaps one of my favorite parts of PathwayConnect is the weekly gathering . Meeting with other students and learning with them has truly been a blessing in my life. And where do we meet for these weekly gatherings? At the institute building by my old secondary school, of course!

Through PathwayConnect, James learned to act for himself to change his circumstances in life. Learn more about what PathwayConnect can do for you at