This is John Bytheway. I met him today! (: He was the speaker at our forum tonight. His talk basically was about surrounding yourself with positivity. He called his talk ‘The Parable of the Marinade.” He shared a quote, it goes as follows, “Regardless of your original intention, you will eventually become what you surround yourself with.” And it just made me think of how I was back home in Connecticut. I surrounded myself with people that were no good for me, in hopes that I would be that positive influence, the one to inspire and convert them. I’ll tell you one thing, I taught my friends a lot, but I got nothing in return. At the time, I was okay with that. What I wasn’t aware of, though, is that I caught some of their bad habits.
He shared a quote, it stated, “You can’t play with a skunk and not stink.” by Chad Lewis and another one that said, “You are the average of the 5 people you hang out with.” That was given by Jim Rohn. I was becoming unreasonably hateful and bitter toward society, I was careless, I started to have casual faith, I was becoming worldly. And I’ve caught myself just in time. Today has been amazing. I am so in love with the gospel— nothing has ever brought me so much joy. At the end of his talk, I met up with him and he asked me to tell him about myself, where I’m from. I told him very briefly, that I was from Connecticut. He, like everyone else, asked me what brought me to Utah. I told him I was the first in my family to be converted and I flew out here to experience Utah, that I live with the family of a missionary. We were shaking hands when I told him this and he stopped, held my hand, looked into my eyes and said, “Wow, you’re amazing. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet you.” It was amazing. I LOVE forum. :’)