Posted by: rusch | December 3, 2004

Why Am I here

I was attending BYU Idaho when I began the application process. About midway through the 2001 fall semester I was miserable and needed to make a change. I had tried for months to make things work socially and spiritually.

Spiritually I was hanging on only because of a testimony and a desire to live up to that precious knowledge. Socially it was a wasteland. Or a “cloneland” where individuality and diversity were not valued and conforming to prevalent social mores, wrong or right, was the thing to do. The student body by and large was not tolerant of differing worldviews and culture. Among the things that I did want to accept were that non-committal make outs or NCMOS were okay because they did not involve sexual intercourse, viewing people as commodities to be consumed, being conservative republican because it’s God’s party, conspicuous consumption, pride, rushed marriages and pressure to marry quickly, and a whole list of things that I will not name here.

I did not want to change to fit in, which would have brought some temporary happiness, and felt that I would be betraying my faith as a latter-day saint if I did. So I decided to try out another Church college believing that they were not all the same.

I knew that Hawaii would be different because of the large number of international students and the fact that it was outside of the culture that dominates Utah and south eastern Idaho. I felt safe because it is a Church college and to large extent would not be exposed to what takes place on many other campuses.

While applying I prayed night and day telling the Lord that I that this was what I really wanted, and if it was his will to make it happen, but at the same time was willing to accept his will in all things if I was not accepted. I don’t ask God for many big or miraculous things, but his was something that I just knew that I needed.

The answer to prayer was when the letter of acceptance came and the minute that I got off the plane in Honolulu. At both times I felt the spirit that this was the right thing to do and did not bother applying to any other schools. The classes that I have taken; the teachers that I have had; the friends that I have made; the wards that I have been in has reinforced this testimony on an almost daily basis that this was where I not only was supposed to be, but was needed.


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