Hello everyone! Exactly five years ago today, on December 16th, 2009, I published this blog's very first post. The post is called "Mormon Mysticism?," and it represents the very beginnings of my still-growing impulse to share the thoughts, insights, and ideas I have with the world. Looking back on it now, I've realized that my decision to make a blog was nothing less than a prompting from the Spirit. Even if I don't consider the effects it has had on other people, the blog has helped me to develop as a person, a thinker, and an individual in more ways than I can count. True to its name, it effectively acts as a giant journal (or series of journals) for me to record and revisit my intellectual insights and the progress I make as I pass through them. When I testify of the gospel's truth in its pages, I effectively testify to my future self and help him with the doubts that may have creeped in since the relevant posts. This blog has also helped me develop confidence in myself in a writer and as a thinker, for some of the favorite things I've ever written can be found here. Finally (and a little surprisingly), this blog indirectly led to my first romantic relationship.
But as far as I'm aware, I think that my blog has helped other people, too. From the people that contact me or comment on the links to my posts on Facebook, I've gathered that this blog has given light and insight to people in the midst of the dark times of doubt and isolation. I don't say this to boast. Instead, I (like Ammon) boast in the majesty and mystery of God, who I believe used me as a simple tool to assist other people in their time of need. In that sense, my experience resonates with Adam S. Miller's statement that, “working, you will find that you are not your own and that God is at work in you. You will find that God, in both rough and subtle ways, is working in and through you to do things you can’t do and create things you don’t entirely understand.”
And that's precisely the thing: oftentimes I don't understand the full meaning of what I've written here until months after I post it. To use another Book of Mormon idea, I believe that many of my blog posts are like seeds, which only grow into their fullness and their relevance with time. As to where these seeds come from, I can only say that I have often felt "carried along" by my impulse to write a post, but even that doesn't give a true picture of what it's like. In fact, I suppose that one could best describe these posts as the "pneuma" of John 3:8, of which you hear its sound, but can't tell where it came from or where it's going.
In summary, my blog has probably been the biggest way in which I've come to see God's hand in my life. The posts I write here help me become aware of the divine currents constantly nudging me to go where I need to go and to believe what I need to believe, and without it I wonder if I could have ever found my way to where I am right now. Writing this, I now see that the Spirit working invisibly within me knew that all these wonderful things would happen when it gave me an impulse to write my first blog post. And knowing that, how can one not wonder what mysterious blessings lie hidden in a seemingly insignificant prompting followed today?