We know that ancient prophets kept journals, or the equivalent, because we read them (the scriptures). At the time, those prophets didn’t know why they had to keep the records, but they followed the commandment and their words are our guide now. Their journals keep us on the path, they teach us about life, and they testify of our Heavenly Father’s beautiful plan. Today, several modern-day prophets have advised us to keep our own personal journals. We might not know why we need to, but we know that it is a commandment.
Even though I have been raised reading the scriptures and acknowledging them as journal entries, I never fully understood the importance of keeping a journal until a few years ago. I would pour my soul into my journal every two months, maybe three, and it felt okay… until I was in ninth grade and I really wanted to remember the details of when I received an award in seventh grade. I searched my journal from that year for what felt like ages, but I didn’t even find a reference to the occasion. I started to write a little bit more often (still only once a month), until my mom showed me her journals from when she was younger, then I started to write almost every day and I still do.
My mom is a very good writer and she has kept a very detailed record of her life. Lucky for me, it not only sets a wonderful example, but her experiences also help me through things that I am experiencing in my own life now. In her journals, you can find suckers that her aunts gave her, lost balloons, pieces of her dog’s hair, and hand-drawn family portraits (all credits of a 6 year old). As funny as these things are, her journals also contain accounts of Young Women’s activities, things about boyfriends, spiritual experiences, and the unavoidable ups-and-downs of life. Her example means so much to me, especially because I am able to learn about her life and get to know things I didn’t know before.
Learning from the ancient accounts in the scriptures, and my mom’s ‘ancient’ journals has changed my life and helped me to grow and learn in every aspect of my life, especially the gospel. Listen to the promptings you get to keep a journal because you never know whose life will be impacted by the words and stories you pen.
In case you don’t know what to write about, here are a few ideas:
- Your friends and things you are experiencing with them
- Things you are grateful for (gratitude journal)
- The scripture passage you just read (scripture journal)
- Fun things your family did
- The fun vacation that you recently went on
- The new recipe you recently tried and succeeded with (or didn’t)
- The nice teacher at school
- A life-changing event (graduation, baptism, wedding, etc.)
- And one of the most beneficial, spiritual experiences and your testimony
- In short, Live… and then go write about it
What are some other things you can write about, or have written about? Happy journaling!