Keeping a Journal


Me, my husband, and our ten children

I never understood the importance of keeping a journal until recently. I never understood why it would be important to list the things we did that day, to write random thoughts down, to halfheartedly scribble some notes at the end of the day.

That’s because I had it all wrong.

Journals are not supposed to be arbitrary. They are supposed to be recording our families, our thoughts, our insights, our relationships. They are a record of who we are and who we are striving to become. We can learn from our ancestors records. We can learn from each other, past and present.

This brings me to why I would want to be putting my journal online. That seems silly, right? There is one very important thing I’ve learned over the years. It’s this – community is important. Not only important, but vital. If my thoughts, struggles, insights or ramblings can help even one other person – family or not – then it’s worth it. Also, I’m horrible at writing in books. Somehow, this is easier for me.

President Spencer W. Kimball said – “Your journal is your autobiography, so it should be kept carefully. You are unique, and there may be incidents in your experience that are more noble and praiseworthy in their way than those recorded in any other life. There may be a flash of illumination here and a story of faithfulness there. … Your story should be written now while it is fresh and while the true details are available. … What could you do better for your children and your children’s children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved? Some of what you write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity. … Get a notebook, 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 going and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements, and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events. … This is what the Lord has commanded and those who keep a personal journal are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance their daily lives.”

I don’t know if writing my journal online will be saved for generations to be read. But I’m trying and trying in a way that I know I will be more successful in completing than if I tried to keep a paper journal. I know that it won’t always be interesting but I am looking forward to what this process can teach me.

If anything, I know that this will keep me focused on the important things in life. So here goes.

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