BYU-Pathway Worldwide Inauguration
"Pathway is for the Kingdom"
To better understand the nature of BYU-Pathway, I would next highlight a simple but profound statement from President Nelson that speaks to the very purpose and design of this remarkable institution. When BYU-Pathway was first starting to expand across the Church, President Nelson remarked to Elder Kim B. Clark, a former Church Commissioner of Education: “Pathway is for the kingdom.” That statement is visually captured on the of the executive conference room where President Ashton and his leadership team meet.
As I have reflected on this statement, I have felt at least three implications of what it means. First, BYU-Pathway was not created for any one university or institution — BYU-Pathway must be a resource for the entire Church. This starts with the Church Educational System. Beginning with its historical and foundational connection to BYU-Idaho, BYU-Pathway must continue to work across the entire Church Educational System, drawing on its collective resources to serve a worldwide Church. BYU-Pathway provides access to curriculum from BYU-Idaho and Ensign College, it is partnering with BYU–Hawaii to reduce time on campus in Laie, it draws on English language learning resources from BYU for BYU-Pathway’s EnglishConnect program, and of course it relies on religious instruction from Seminaries and Institutes of Religion. Nowhere does the Church Educational System come together as a “system” more effectively and more profoundly than through BYU-Pathway Worldwide. Another aspect of the idea that “Pathway is for the kingdom” is how it works with the departments of the Church, including its long partnership with the Welfare and Self-Reliance and the Missionary departments. BYU-Pathway must also continue to meet the needs of the areas of the Church as it responds to real and pressing needs from Area Presidencies across the world.
Above all, I believe that when we are taught that “Pathway is for the kingdom,” we must remember its deepest purpose: to develop disciples of Jesus Christ who are leaders in their homes, the Church, and their communities. I believe that BYU-Pathway was created in part to prepare the Church for the return of the Savior. BYU-Pathway is one of the resources the Lord has prepared for His great gathering ahead of His return to the earth. One of the ways this will happen is by helping students all across the Church deepen their discipleship so they can in turn build others and build the Church.
This is Christ’s work. This is His Church. BYU-Pathway Worldwide is for the kingdom of God. I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.