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A Gradual Push to Greater Happiness

Jessica lived a life without a mother, but the baptism of her son reminded her of God’s eternal plan


LaDawn Sartori was 28 when she was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer.

On January 2, 1985, she celebrated her 29th birthday, just two days before giving birth to her only daughter and nine days before succumbing to the illness.

Jessica Corrington is LaDawn’s daughter. Now, more than three decades later, Jessica has her own family, and because of PathwayConnect, Jessica has grown closer to her family, her mother, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Jessica knew what she wanted after only a couple of weeks

After Jessica and her husband, Matthew, were sealed for time and all eternity, they gradually lost the motivation to attend church. Twelve years of marriage and inactivity later, they realized their oldest son was reaching the age of baptism. Family members and friends asked if their son would get baptized. A few conversations later, Matthew and Jessica decided to start attending church to see how their children would adjust.

Jessica and her husband, Matthew

“We only attended church a couple times before we realized we wanted our oldest to be baptized. He was really excited about it and all of our kids loved the idea of going to church,” Jessica recalled. “Matthew and I realized that we wanted our kids to know their Heavenly Father and grow up in the gospel.”

It was during this time that service missionaries assigned to BYU-Pathway came into their Sunday School class at church and spoke about PathwayConnect. Matthew was about to graduate with his master’s degree from ASU, but he felt that it would be Jessica’s chance to get an education. Jessica was immediately intrigued with the thought of gaining higher education and enrolled.

“PathwayConnect helped me become spiritually prepared for my son’s baptism,” Jessica said. “I’ve been able to teach him, and we’ve learned to become disciples of Christ together. Seeing my child get baptized and having my husband baptize him was an amazing experience.”

Dramatic changes led to greater happiness

Since their oldest son’s baptism, the Corringtons have witnessed an empowering change in their family. They have added daily family prayers, scripture study, and weekly church attendance to their regular routine.

Jessica and her family. Photo: ABC Photography

“Our lifestyle has changed dramatically for the better,” Jessica said. “Studying through PathwayConnect and going back to church has brought the Spirit into our home. My children have come to know their Father in Heaven, and they never forget to pray. It makes me feel that I’m doing something right, and I often look to them as my examples. I feel so blessed.”

Along with church attendance and gospel study, Jessica has been grateful for the insights and knowledge she gained from her PathwayConnect courses. She felt the program gradually push her to become more Christlike and to continue developing her testimony and pursuing an education.

“I didn’t know what I would study at BYU-Idaho yet, but I did know that I was grateful for the opportunities PathwayConnect presented and for the example I could be to my children,” Jessica said. “I want my kids growing up knowing that they can continually push themselves spiritually and academically to cross barriers and reach their potential.”

Jessica came to know her mother through PathwayConnect

When it came time for Jessica to be the lead student at her gathering, she was assigned the topic of miracles. It didn’t take long for Jessica to decide what to base her lesson on. Her whole life was a miracle, and there was one major miracle that she would always turn to — her mother.

Growing up without her mother was difficult. She could never come to her for advice, cry on her shoulder, or tell her own children of their memories — she had none. But what Jessica has experienced with her mother is nothing short of a miracle.

Jessica hopes to make her mother proud of the person she has become.

“I’ve really discovered my mother’s hand in my life. As I’ve gotten closer to my Savior and understood more fully the idea and truth of eternal families, I have become more aware of my mother’s place in my life,” Jessica explained. “There have been moments, especially with my kids, where I have felt my mother close by. I know that she has been watching over me throughout my life.”

As Jessica progresses in her life, she looks forward to the future with the faith and knowledge that she will get to meet her mother and finally give her the giant hug she’s been dreaming of.

“One of the greatest blessings I have from this gospel is the knowledge that I will be with my family again,” Jessica testified. “I’m not perfect, but I hope that my mother will be proud of me and who I’ve become. I’m so grateful that I have an eternal family.”

What she couldn’t have gotten anywhere else

Jessica began studying business management online through BYU-Idaho and, while she’s focusing on being a mom right now, she hopes to finish her bachelor’s degree someday. As she continues her journey, she looks back on her time in PathwayConnect with a grateful heart.

“What I gained in PathwayConnect, I don’t think I could have gotten anywhere else,” she said. “My confidence and testimony have increased, and I am teaching my children about the gospel! It has been an amazing, life-changing program. And anyone who decides to join will never regret the time or money they spent. I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything.”

“We wanted our kids to know their Heavenly Father and grow up in the gospel.”

Learn how you can start and finish your degree through PathwayConnect today!