Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Keeping a Daily Journal

I received an email yesterday with a wonderful story from my sister Becky:

"Just before my mission in the summer of 2005...I came home late one night after everyone was in bed, and I saw two of mom's old journals laying open on my bed. I think you or Eric had been looking for entries about yourselves for a school project or something. Anyway, I knew I shouldn't read them if they were mom's current journals, but I figured that since they were from like 1992 and 1995, it was long enough ago that she wouldn't mind. Anyway, I stayed up long into the night reading mom's journals for hours, and it was one of the most edifying experiences of my life.

"So much was going on in mom's life that I could never have possibly been aware of as a 7-year-old, or a 10-year-old: health struggles, financial struggles, social struggles, kid struggles. It was so moving, though, because I remember feeling the power of mom's faith so strongly. She would write about the station wagon breaking down or something, and everytime the repair cost less than they were expecting, she attributed this to a blessing resulting from paying tithing. Also, I distinctly remembering this one entry she wrote in a particularly tough time financially. I don't re
 member what was the particular cause of the financial worry in that exact moment of the journal, but she was really worried that they wouldn't have enough money to send us all to college and on missions someday, etc. But then she said something like, But I have faith that as we continue to pay our tithing, it will all work out and the Lord will bless us. I was so moved by this that I would often tell people on my mission about it when we taught the law of tithing."

How grateful I was to read this!

Keeping a journal is a commandment of the Lord. I haven't found yet where the scriptures say "Thou shalt keep a daily journal" but its very clear that record-keeping is important to Him. In Doctrine & Covenants 47:1 we read "Behold, it is expedient in me that my servant John should write and keep a regular history..." Please substitute your name into this scripture! It extends to you! Heavenly Father wants each of us to write of our dealings. He has expressed this through many scriptures (see Exodus 24:4
 , Omni 1:9, Alma 37:2, & D&C 21:1 for just a few!) as well as the words of his modern prophets and apostles.

President Spencer W Kimball seems to have caught the vision of the importance of journal writing. He frequently urged us to do so. Here is but one example:

"Get a notebook, a journal that will last through all time... Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your fail
 ures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events. [3 Nephi 23: 6-13]"
 ("The Angels May Quote From It", October 1975)

I have a similar quote of his written on the inside cover of my personal journal. It is a reminder to me to write. And not just to do it but to include more than the day to day activities. I've begun to write those things that are important to me. My journal has become sacred in my life. I know that keeping a daily journal will bless our family and loved ones tremendously in the future.

Please commit yourself to keep a journal! How you do this is up to you!
Just do it!

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