The Purpose of a Journal

Jun 6, 2011 by

Latter-day Saint ("Mormon") woman writes about journals

~by LeAnn

I started writing in a small red journal when I was a teenager. I recently found this journal in my Cedar Chest. I laughed as I was reading it. I was such an awe struck teenager at the time and what I wrote I would not want to share with anyone. However, I did enjoy reading it myself. I first met my husband in driver’s training class the summer before my sophomore year in High School. We didn’t start dating until our junior year. However, my journal indicated that he had asked me out once during my sophomore year; I was so surprised to read this entry in my journal. I didn’t remember him asking me at all; obviously, I didn’t accept the date.

After I started dating my husband; I stopped writing in my journal. I missed so many important moments of my life then and during the early years of our marriage.  I started to write in a journal after my fifth child was born. I have faithfully kept a journal for 34 years.

First of all I want to stress that writing in a journal is very important. Since the beginning of time we have been commanded to keep records.

In The Pearl of Great Price: Moses 6:5-6

5. And book of remembrance was kept, in the which was recorded, in the language of Adam, for it was given unto as many as called upon God to write by the spirit of inspiration;

6. and by them their children were taught to read and write, having a language which was pure and undefiled.

In The Book of Mormon: Mosiah 1:4-5 King Benjamin taught the following to his people:

4. For it were not possible that our father, Lehi, could have remembered all these things, to have taught them to his children, except it were for the help of these plates; for he having been taught in the language of the Egyptians therefore he could read these engravings, and teach them to his children, that thereby they could teach them to their children, and so fulfilling the commandments of God, even down to this present time.

5. I say unto you, my sons, were it not for these things, which have been kept and preserved by the hand of God, that we might read and understand of his mysteries and have his commandments always before our eyes, that even our fathers would have dwindled in unbelief, and we should have been like unto our brethren, the Lamanites, who know nothing concerning these things, or even do not believe them when they are taught them, because of their traditions of their fathers, which are not correct.

The scriptures are a journal of God’s dealings with his children. Scriptures stories can help us with our everyday problems. Journals are a record of God’s dealings with us.

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we are or should be a Journal keeping people. President Wilford Woodruff one of our early-day Prophets stated that Journals Are Far More worth than Gold:

“What shall I write?” you ask. Write about anything that is worth preserving, or the best you have; and if you begin this while you are young, it will be quite easy for you when you become men and women. How pleasing it would be to you, and to your children, thirty, fifty, or eighty years hence, to sit down and read what took place around you in your childhood and youth! Would you not like to read what took place with our fathers, and mothers, and grandparents, while they were young and during their lives? But the object is not so much to get you to keep a journal while you are young, as it is to get you to continue it after you become men and women, even through your whole lives. This is especially needed in the generation in which you live, for you live in as important a generation as the children of men ever saw, and it is far more important that you should begin early to keep a journal and follow the practice while you live, than that other generations should do so.”

President Spencer W. Kimball one our Latter-day Prophets gave a challenge to all of us to keep a journal. He stated the following:

“Get a notebook, my young folks, a journal that will last through all time, and maybe the angels may quote from it for eternity. Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies” The Angels May Quote From It”, New Era, Oct. 1975, p. 5).

The following is a list of things to include in a Journal.

  1. Important events, impressions, and personal feelings
  2. Personal counsel, promises, and blessings received and the circumstances surrounding them
  3. Deaths, births, marriages, baptisms, and endowments
  4. Personal triumphs, failures, and struggles and how they are met
  5. Current local, national, and world events that impress you or influence your life
  6. Simple occurrences in daily life

These are some of the blessings from keeping a journal:

Your posterity will learn about you from your journals.

You will be able to find dates of special events in your life.

You will have fun reading about what your children said or did through the years.

You will have a record of the many important events both personal and in the world around you.

You will have a place to record your spiritual experiences, blessings, miracles and your testimony.

I love it when one of my children calls me regarding an event from their childhood. I enjoy reading my journal so I can recall memories as I get older. Recording my moments of joy and happiness brings great peace to my soul. I want my children to know that I have a strong and true testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I want them to know the love I have for my Savior and for each and every one of them. I want them to know how much I love my husband and the good father and man he is. These thoughts and feelings are interlaced throughout my writings.

I can’t help but wonder if another important reason for a journal is that it will provide for our posterity during the thousand years of peace – marvelous stories to be shared of our lives and times. Towards the end of the thousand years there will be a space of time when Satan will be loosed. Many of the children of that time will have no idea what it is like to have Satan and his followers in their lives. Perhaps reading of our experiences will give them courage to fight against the evil of their time.

 

 

 

 

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  1. Journal writing can seem like such a daunting task when you add it to the list of all the many things we need to do each day. Thank you for reminding us about the purpose of journaling and the blessings we obtain from following the Lord’s counsel.

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