I read a really cool quote once that said something like, “What if your journal is the only Bible someone will ever read.” I don’t know who said it, or if that is the exact quote, but it changed my life.
I thought about it for a long time. It’s a pretty profound question. What if something happened and the world got destroyed, but out of the rubble someone found my journal, and that’s all they had to learn from? Okay, that’s pretty dramatic. What if your posterity deters from whatever religion you are? Maybe one of your grandchildren will be going through a trial and decide to read your journal, and will see the faith you had to get through a trial. Maybe that’s a dramatic example as well. That’s not why I write in a journal, but every once in a while I think about that. Then I think about how maybe I should be more Christ-like and write more of a testimony in my journal.
Often times I’ll look back to the previous years too see what I was doing on this day. Facebook has a fun app that does this now, but usually we don’t post our true thoughts and feelings on social media. I’ve been contemplating a lot about why I live where I live, work where I work, and why I’m still in the same place I was 2 years ago. The time has passed so quickly and very slowly at the same time. It’s easy to look at our lives and think that nothing has changed, however we do change. Our experiences change us. The people we meet change us. Living life changes us. We’re meant to change and grow. That is part of our Heavenly Fathers plan for us.
By looking back at my past history the last few days, I’ve been able to see how much I really have changed. There were certain things that I’d felt had shifted in who I am, but until I saw it written down I didn’t fully understand. In some aspects of myself, I don’t even recognize the girl I was 2 years ago. I’ve grown and changed for the better in so many ways.
The beautiful thing about keeping a journal is that you get to see yourself change and grow, and also those people you write about. I had a roommate that would take pictures of herself and her surrounding and she’d post something on Instagram every day, and she used that as her journal. I don’t think writing is for everyone, but it is helpful when trying to remember people or dates. Some people prefer only hand writing their journals because it’s more personal. I’ve done that, but I like to type my journal now. It’s so much faster, and it makes searching through it for something A LOT faster.
Maybe you’re not into journaling, but you email a missionary once a week, or email a child or sibling that lives halfway across the world. Save those emails in a “journal” folder in your email. That’s a great way to keep a journal, without feeling burdened. You’re doing it anyway, and if anything ever happened to you, your family would be able to have a sort of journal from you.
History is important. That’s why after hundreds of years millions of people still read the Bible.
I usually end up writing in my journal on Sundays. Instead of taking a nap I take time to relax and record my thoughts and feelings for the week. If it's nice outside I'll take my computer outside and sit in the sunshine while I type. I find that when I am able to put all of my thoughts of the past week down, I'm able to face the next week with a lot more clarity.
When I went home a few weeks ago I pulled out my journal that I kept when I was in the Missionary Training Center. I had a cousin that was leaving soon for a mission, and I wanted to relate to her by remembering the feelings I had when I was there. I was so nervous and under prepared. I was there for a lot longer than she was going to be there, and some of the memories I wish I could forget. However, there were very many sweet memories and I saw page after page how the Lord was blessing me and his tender mercies. I even laughed out loud a few times.
I heard this quote that I LOVE a few years ago, and I have it typed up on a cute little piece of paper in one of my journals. It says, “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 goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies.” –President Spencer W. Kimball
That quote was taken from this talk The Angels May Quote From It. On a lighter note, my sister showed me this website like 10 years ago Amy's Diary, and I still think it’s hilarious! This girl took her like 3rd grade journal, and made people read it in weird voices. It’s a hoot. Enjoy!