How do I know if I know?" I quote it all the time. I really hope that someday I'll bump into John, so that I can tell him how awesome I think he is.
If I ever get the chance, I will shake his hand and say..."Brother Bytheway, thank you. Thank you for the time and effort you have put into caring, teaching and loving the youth. Thank you for being creative, following the spirit, and using your unique talents to inspire both young women and young men alike. You have invested your life in them, and it is paying off!"
Last week I sat in the car driving down a country road with my ten-year-old. We were driving to Violin Lessons which is great and terrible all at the same time. It's great because I love the violin and want my children to develop the skill to play like their father; terrible because they don't always have the same vision and it often feels like a tortuous chore.
As we drove down the road I popped in John Bytheway's new talk on CD entitled EMBARK!
Embark is a motivating talk related to the 2015 youth theme, John Bytheway explains what it means to truly embark — to get fully on board in the service of God with all your heart, might, mind, and strength. Using scriptures, powerful stories, and his characteristic humor, John explains that with the Savior's help, we can remain on board and eventually stand blameless before God at the last day.
My 10-year old Dylan is a great kid. He is loving, full of life and wants to make good choices. However, he is also a kid. A kid who is learning to navigate his way through good choices and bad choices, a temper, boredom, and an relentless mother who is constantly pestering him. I don't mean to be a pest, but I am his mom...and isn't that sort of my job? Regardless, Dylan gets tired of the constant demands placed on him by his parents. Being a kid can be hard. We have a pretty good relationship for the most part, but I worry about him. Life is hard. The world is scary. Like any parent, I want what is best for my child. Like any parent, I worry that I'm not doing enough.
As we listened to the first few minutes of John Bytheway's talk, I could tell that Dylan was not only becoming engaged (which is saying a lot for a 5th grader listening to a talk on CD), but he was enjoying himself. The giggles and the laughter we both shared back and forth as we listed to Siri and Siral talking to John. (If you want in on the joke, you'll just have to buy the talk. Believe me, you want it.) I couldn't believe it. Dylan and I were enjoying ourselves so much that when we got to our destination, neither one of us wanted to exit the car. We BOTH wanted to keep listening.
Amazing. Did I already say that? John Bytheway is talented. He just gets it. He has the ability to make people listen to what he is saying. But more importantly, he knows how to teach the gospel.
Sitting in the car, feeling the influence of the Holy Ghost mutually with my Son, was so completely thrilling and wonderful that I just started sobbing. I felt so much gratitude to Brother Bytheway for delivering such and incredible message that I just couldn't wait to thank Heavenly Father for him in my prayers that night.
Since listening to Embark, Dylan has asked me if I have other talks by John Bytheway that he could listen to. I don't, but I'm going to. I'm ordering this for Dylan's February Birthday.
Embark is perfect for the youth. Perfect. And to John Bytheway...thank you. Again and again and again.
You can PURCHASE EMBARK here Deseret Book / Amazon
JOHN BYTHEWAY served a mission to the Philippines and later graduated from Brigham Young University. He has a master’s degree in religious education and is a part-time instructor at the BYU Salt Lake Center. John is the author of many bestselling books, audio talks, and DVDs, including How to Be an Extraordinary Teen; Life Rocks; and his first children’s picture book, The Sacrament. He and his wife, Kimberly, have six children