Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I am alive!

I still am kind of embarrassed that I have a blog. I guess it is the fact that I am living alone in a city unlike any city I have lived in before that led me to return to this. This is the first time that I have been alone: truly, unequivocally, absolutely alone. Whereas, in college there was always a roommate, a friend, a family member, a co-worker, someone in whom I could find refuge. Now, I am alone. I have no friends here. I have no family here. I have no roommates. I may as well have no neighbors. And at the moment, to make this solitude even more profound, I have no books. My books have always been a source of comfort, an escape from the overly pressing demands of reality and adulthood. Yet, I find myself alone. So, I have had a lot more time to reflect, and to watch old episodes of "How I Met Your Mother."

Most important to me, and most cherished, is the time I have been able to devote to what I view as the most important thing to me: my testimony of Jesus Christ. I recognize now that I am alone, I need this testimony more than ever. I have no one to pressure me into going to church. I have no one to sit over my shoulder and chide me when I am doing something wrong. And what's more, my co-workers, while I adore many of them, do not share the same values as me. So I am striving to maintain a firm grasp on this belief, this hope, this elusive and often fleeting concept of a testimony.

I have been reading in the Book of Mormon these past few weeks. You know, I have been saying my whole life that I believe this book to be true. I have read it well over a dozen times. I even spent two years of my life and money testifying to people that this book, in conjunction with the Bible, contains a roadmap to happiness in this life, and eternal life with God and our families in the next. Notwithstanding all this, I think I may actually be coming to understand for myself the true weight of these implications and what they really mean. Throughout the previous months, I have found myself calling into question what I believe. I mean, let's be honest, the idea of some "god" who sits and watches us and cares enough to intervene here and there is kind of a ludicrous idea. I am a news junkie and I love watching how nations interact and see events unfold and how all these events influence my life and the course of my country and others like us. To think that there is some grand mastermind, some Oz behind the curtain, who also exercises power and influence, kind of seems almost childish at times. Especially when I am one of the only ones around who may still hold onto these convictions, and try to follow them.

In spite of those doubts and in spite of my colleagues' doubts, I simply cannot deny that there is a God: a real, tangible, loving, caring, and very interested God who watches over us and answers prayers. How can I make such bold claims? How can I make you understand why I feel why I do? I cannot. I can only live my life according to what I have experienced and my life is replete with evidences to His presence and concern for me. If you allow me to strike a personal tone, recently I had an experience that confirmed this to me. I just moved to the East coast from Utah. I left my girlfriend, my family, my friends, and the life I have known for the past 4 years behind. I moved to an apartment that I had not before seen in a neighborhood that I had never visited to take a job in which I had no idea what I would be doing, all the while, spending money I do not have. I do not need to explain the lack of friends, I already belabored that point. Needless to say, I was a bit apprehensive. On the night before my first job, as nervous as could be, I thought that I should turn to the Lord in hope for some whisper of comfort. I opened up to a random section in The Doctrine and Covenants that I had bookmarked for some reason weeks prior. It was section 100. The fourth verse read, "Therefore, I, the Lord, have suffered you to come unto this place." I know you cannot understand the relief and confidence that swept over me upon reading those words, but for this was an answer to my prayers. I need comfort and consolation that what I had done was in fact what He wanted done. He let me stumble upon a verse where He was giving someone else that exact same comforting message. Well, the fourth verse I read gave me that comfort. I have not always received such quick and straightforward answers to my prayers (in fact it is much the opposite), but this was one of those moments I will always treasure.

So all that being said, this post and the next few are not intended to make you (assuming someone actually will read this again, it's been well over a year) believe like I do. In fact, with all due respect, these are not even really intended for you at all--they are for me! These next posts are attempts for me to put what I am feeling and learning into words so that I can better digest these teachings. I have made so many mistakes in my life, and I am trying to apply what I read in this book, in the Bible, and in other script both modern and ancient to repair my life-to repent and improve. If you feel inclined, I invite you to do the same.

4 comments:

  1. Mr. McGrath...
    I want to let you know that I care and I love you and what you put here is amazing. My life has become far more complicated than I would have ever imagined in only the last 6 months and the next year is going to be difficult, unpredictable, rough, lonely, but will be rich with blessings. When we really need it and I mean, REALLY NEED IT... God will always come through. He has never truly abandoned us. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony. It truly was powerful the amount of faith you have shown. Pray for me and I will pray for you. You are never alone. *HUGE HUGS*

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  2. This was so good!! One of my faves is http://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/6.14-16?lang=eng#13
    (D&C 6:14-16)

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  3. Oh Sean!! Aaron and I have felt exactly the same way in moving out to the east. I hope you know that if you ever get lonely and you need to get away for a weekend you are MORE than welcome to come visit us!!! You are a wonderful guy and I am so excited to watch and see how the future you have laid out for yourself goes!!

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