How will keeping a personal journal bless me and my family?
We talked about journals today at the Youth Sunday School Class. I started our class by asking who amongst them keep a journal or a diary? What do they write on them? Journals help develop our analytical minds. The more we write the better we can judge righteously often because writing trains our minds to always look at the whole picture of a scenario (happening) instead of focusing on a detail. We can read from 1Nephi 9 that Nephi made two sets of record, the small and the large plates. The small plates contain spiritual records of the Lord's dealings while the large plates contain the secular learning and history of the people of Nephi.
Journals have a special place in my heart. My mom taught me to keep one when I was in grade school. I had a maroon journal and I filled it out with all of my artworks. Right now I have tons of them. I shared with the youth my journal when I was in their age. This journal was so special because this is where I wrote my future hopes and dreams in life. I called it my "Time Table". I shared with them my hopes for my wedding, education, my mission goals and my letters to my future family specifically to my children. I was teary while I was doing it because I had felt how much the Lord loves me as he helped me accomplished each of my milestones. This journal had blessed my life because it served as a reminder for me from time to time so I could keep my promise well. I also shared with them a part of my missionary journals. I told them my set-apart blessing, my feelings when I started and about to finish my missionary service. They were laughing because I even wrote down special dates, names of my future kids and the taxi # of the car that drove us to the MTC. This is one of my many large plates.
The second type of journal I showed them is my small plate. This is my study journal. I made this to organize my thoughts. I wrote down all the topics I wanted to learn and created a table of contents. Then, I numbered each page of my journal and wrote specific topics assigned on top. (example, Page 1- Atonement, Page 23-Honesty). I told them that this helps a lot today especially when I was asked to speak for a sacrament meeting or any event in the church. I am always like, "give me all the topics bishop!" haha! Let us always keep both journals. It doesn't need to be perfectly neat and organized because it is the habit of writing that we need to develop.
We had a little sharing of how their lives are blessed too from keeping a personal journal. They shared with us that our future children will learn from our experiences. They will get to know us in a deeper sense. They can use our wisdom so they can succeed in their own personal challenges. Our memories will guide them to the true path of joy and happiness.
I love President Spencer Kimball's talk about Journal. He 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; you should truthfully record your real self and not what other people may see in you."
I love this talk. It's really funny that every time we transfer house, Michael complains how heavy my journals are but I comfort him by saying maybe during the resurrection or judgment day my journals will rise up and the "ANGELS MAY QUOTE FROM THEM".
So today, let us do better. Get a notebook and a pen. Our personal journal is the most sophisticated record in the world. We are all writers and God is our Editor-in-Chief. The atonement will erase our mistakes. He will make our stories a happily ever after. Happy Journaling!