9 quotes from LDS Church leaders about the importance of keeping a journal

Published: Thursday, Feb. 21 2013 8:35 a.m. MST

President Wilford Woodruff Next » 1 of 9 « Prev
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“There is one subject I wish to speak upon and that is the keeping of a journal with respect to the dealings of God with us. … When the Prophet Joseph organized the Quorum of the Twelve, he counseled them to keep a history of their lives, and gave his reasons why they should do so. I have had this spirit and calling upon me since I first entered this church. I made a record from the first sermon I heard, and from that day until now I have kept a daily journal. Whenever I heard Joseph Smith preach, teach, or prophesy, I always felt it my duty to write it; I felt uneasy and could not eat, drink, or sleep until I did write.” (in Matthias F. Cowley, Wilford Woodruff: History of His Life and Labors[1964], 476–77)

Related story: Tips, guidelines and principles: How to write a personal history your posterity can't put down
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30ish years later, "our" missionary and we found each other through our daughter. Her Mission President wanted the conversion stories from each missionary's first LDS ancestors.

From my own journal, our missionary found out how we had been prepared --- from his journal, we found out how he knew exactly what to say when I opened the door (even he found out why) -- and we all learned "the rest of the story".

Grants Pass, OR

What a wonderful reminder of why we should keep a journal. Writing releases inner thoughts and feelings and often our own words teach us truth we had not imagined.

Mount Pleasant, UT

It's difficult for me to read my scribbly handwriting due to a health issue but I do it anyway because as I get older my memory is not as sharp as it used to be and I can still read my notes. I have those daily reminders of what I felt, what I did and what I learned. It probably won't be as easy for others to read after I'm gone but hopefully it will bring goodness to their lives to read my thoughts, my experiences and my testimony.

Roy, UT

Just yesterday morning, up early, I turned to read Missionary accounts of spiritual experiences in the Japan West Mission...tears flowed as I remembered those days, 43 years ago, from accounts written by the Sisters and Elders who served there, and by our beloved President Kan Watanabe. I'm thinking to start putting together my own life history, using past journals and still remembered experiences...I highly recommend all to heed the words given in these quotations connected to this article. We may not now know how, but I believe the future will reveal the ways in which our experiences may be valuable to our families, possibly to others as well.

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