In 2002, President James E. Faust gave a talk during the priesthood session of general conference. He said, “Your future may not hold fame or fortune, but it can be something far more lasting and fulfilling. Remember that what we do in life echoes in eternity.” Twelve years later in 2014, Nate Checketts co-founded Rhone Apparel, an activewear company for men. He hoped that positive messages on men’s apparel could help shape the future of the little men he and his wife, Dayna, are raising. So he began adding messages on the inside of his company’s clothes, including this quote by President Faust.
But that isn’t the only gospel principle shared by Rhone. On this week’s All In podcast, the Checketts discuss why sharing the things they believe through their business is important to them.
Morgan Jones: So your company’s motto is: “Forever Forward.” Can you tell me what that means to both of you and how the gospel plays into that use of the word “Forever”?
Nate Checketts: Yeah, you’re on to me. It’s funny, my brother is our creative director. And we talk about this all the time. And we believe in eternal progression. And it–one of my favorite things is that we get to tell and teach gospel principles in a way that is disarming to people because they don’t associate it with Church or religion.
And unfortunately, the society that we have, you know, and especially in first world countries, I served my mission in Italy, there’s just such a stigma around religion. And so there’s a natural barrier and wall to, “Don’t teach me anything about Church or God or religion.” And yet, if you teach people correct principles, eternal principles, it resonates. We know that. And if you can do that without those barriers and walls, you have the ability to impact and maybe soften and fertilize the ground for that, when they are ready to hear the gospel, it will continue to resonate.
And so when we talked about what did we want to stand for, what was our mission, I really loved this idea of eternal progression. How can we say that? How could we talk about eternal progression in a way that is disarmed? So we talked about the pursuit of progress, and we talked about forever forward, but really, it comes back to eternal progression and in our company town halls, in our marketing and videos, and, you know, to our consumers, we are consistently—basically—teaching gospel principles. It’s funny because we have a few members of the Church that work for us, and they’ll always be like, “I know where that’s from.”
Dayna Checketts: “I got that one.” No, it’s so good. And in our family, we do try to help begin the practice of–“Every day’s a new day.” We can always make mistakes, we can take those lessons and bring them forward. My favorite quote is from Anne of Green Gables, it’s “Tomorrow’s a new day with no mistakes in it.” And I say that all the time, just forever forward, you know. Two steps forward, one step back, whatever we need to do to just progress forward.
I’m actually the special education representative for our elementary school. And this same concept is that I have found that even in my little position in our elementary school, I had a meeting today. We’re constantly trying to teach the same principles that we would teach at Church, but I’m bringing that into the special education department because we need to do, love everyone, you know, kindness, and all of those primary answers.
I’m like, teaching these adult women saying, “This is what we need to do. And this is what we need our mission to be.” And everyone’s like, “Wow, that sounds so great.” I’m like, “Well, you should hear my prophet. Because he says it a lot better than I do.” But it does, any aspect of any job, company, everything, we can have this eternal progression. And like Nate said, as long as you kind of come at it a little bit differently, you can bring these principles into your everyday life.
Nate Checketts: And she’s so great about this. I mean, she has said that quote to me so many times when I have a hard day, she’ll be like, “You know what, it’s okay. Just remember, tomorrow’s a new day with no mistakes.” And even though I will admit I’ve seen Anne of Green Gables.
Dayna Checketts: Hey, it’s something to be proud of.
Nate Checketts: Yeah.
Dayna Checketts: It’s amazing.
Morgan Jones: I love Anne of Green Gables.
Dayna Checketts: Thank you! It’s the greatest.
Nate Checketts: But she’s just–she’s very much that way. And she’s, you know, she’s a rock that way. So yeah, we do try and teach those principles at home and at work and it resonates with people. People want to progress and they want to get better. And it’s not just about physical fitness or meeting a certain aesthetic, it’s about trying to grow. We launched something that we call the 12 pursuits. And every month we focus on something else. So we’ve done hydration, nutrition, movement, self-care, meditation, gratitude in the month of November. So you know, it’s just kind of trying to teach these correct principles and have it be a part of kind of who we are as a company.
Morgan Jones: Yeah. Well, I think that’s the reason people love Stephen Covey, you know?
Nate Checketts: Yeah.
Dayna Checketts: Exactly. So true!
Morgan Jones: I think, essentially, that’s what he did. And then the same thing is true of, I don't know if you’re familiar with Greg McKeown and Essentialism, he’s such a, he’s such a good guy, too. But he–I feel like that’s what he does is he takes gospel principles and, you know, obviously, there’s original thought in it, but he makes it fit for a secular audience. And there’s definitely an appeal to it.