Meet the Mentors: Steven and Debbie Farrell

March 5, 2024  •  Author: marketing


Looking back at the main events of our lives, we’ll see that they were the offspring of small decisions. These decisions may come from us or other circumstances. Were these casual events a coincidence, or were they part of something bigger?

The word “coincidence” means “the fact of two things happening simultaneously by chance, at the same time” (Oxford). Many authors have shared different visions on this topic: whether the events in our lives happen by coincidence or not. James Redfield, the author of the bestselling novel The Celestine Prophecy, shared:

“I don’t think anything happens by coincidence. No one is here by accident. Everyone who crosses our path has a message for us.”

These words by James Redfield perfectly fit the journey of Steven and Debbie Farrell. This charismatic couple volunteered to mentor our students after their son, Jonathan, shared a spiritual prompting of them mentoring on campus.

Jonathan was once on our campus recording a video for Scripture Central and had a strong spiritual feeling that his parents should be mentors. “After speaking with Patrick [Sedivy, Cumorah Academy’s founder] and feeling the Spirit, we were thrilled to be chosen. The prospect of working with these amazing young people, who have a deep love for their countries and a desire to serve both their people and God, was truly inspiring,” said the Farrells.

Keep reading about this fantastic story of this couple and their week here on campus.

A life of preparation

The Farrells came to campus way more prepared than expected. The couple has a strong background in serving youth and young adults. They served in Church callings and volunteer work.

Steven graduated in Economics and has an MBA from Harvard Business School. He has been working in finance for thirty years. His callings include institute teacher, Stake Young Men president, and EFY teacher.

Debbie has a background in teaching and leadership. She was a teacher in Church callings and many other assignments, including gospel teacher, Young Women ward president, and Young Women stake president. Indeed, the Farrells have a lot of experience in leadership.

Therefore, this gave authenticity to their teaching in classes. Each week, different classes and topics are covered. The Farrells taught this week about leadership agility, self-awareness, and the characteristics of Christ’s leadership. They had a life-long journey of living these same principles.

Olga, our student from Ukraine, highlighted how happy she felt interacting with our mentors:

“I was impressed with our mentors; they are extremely open to students by sharing their experiences and motivating all the students. I am very glad that I had the opportunity to meet them. The class was all about experiences that I’m pretty sure will help me grow in the future.”

Connecting with students

Before starting the classes, they had a goal of knowing all students’ names. They fulfilled this goal on the second day. “This reflects our genuine interest in forming meaningful connections with each student.” And what meaningful connections they’re making! Alona from Ukraine said:

“Our new mentors seem to be very inspiring people. They helped me understand my life vision and then shared warm stories from their personal lives, which reassured me that I was taking the right path! So glad to have been able to meet them.”

Another student, Miriam from Portugal, also said a few words about them:

“They are such great examples of how to stand our ground and how to fight for what we want even if it means risking something sometimes.”

“The students at Cumorah Academy have left a profound impact on us. Their testimonies, personalities, and life experiences have touched our hearts deeply. Sitting in interviews with them and hearing their stories has been a life-changing experience. We are continually learning from their perspectives and the strength of their faith,” the couple says.

How grateful we are for their presence.

By divine design

All of this happened after their son, Jonathan, felt a spiritual prompting. This inspiration led the couple to join our campus for a week and mentor our beloved students. We might say this wasn’t a simple coincidence. Reflecting on this, Elder Ronald A. Rasband shared:

“The Lord’s hand is guiding you. By ‘divine design,’ He is in the small details of your life as well as the major milestones.”

The Farrells were guided to Cumorah Academy by divine design. Indeed, it is by divine design that mentors and students know about Cumorah. They come full of expectations to learn and teach, to discover new things, to know more about themselves, and to apply them in their lives. Looking at this inspiring story, we might ask: What would have happened if Jonathan didn’t share his prompting?

Watch a message Steve and Debbie shared with us:

Written by Fernando L. Ferreira Jr. Supports by Delton Sambo.

Supervision: Kamila Umberto Fullmer.

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