PROVO, Utah – It was appropriate that Roger C. Flick summarize his presentation about suggestions for preparing a spiritual book of remembrance with a quote from the LDS apostle who diligently kept a journal for most of his life.
"Men should write down things which God has made known to them," wrote Wilford Woodruff, fourth president of the LDS Church. "Whether things are important or not, often depends on God's purposes: but the testimony of the goodness of God and the things he has wrought in the lives of men will always be important as a testimony."
Flick, a librarian in computer-assisted research services at BYU, taught the class as part of campus education week on Wednesday.
Using quotes and scriptures, Flick offered practical suggestions for organizing and writing a family book of remembrance. Citing Moses 6:5, he encouraged those in attendance to write in a spirit of inspiration. The scripture reads: "And a book of remembrance was kept, in the which was recorded, in the language of Adam, for it was given unto as many as called upon God to write by the spirit of inspiration."
"We usually do it with perspiration and out of desperation," Flick said..
Just like Nephi was instructed to write both secular and spiritual things in the large and small plates of the Book of Mormon, those compiling their family history should combine the secular (scrapbooks, photo albums, baby books, etc.,) and spiritual (ordinance certificates and records, inspired writings, testimonies, etc.) in one complete family record.
"Be creative with ideas, seek the spirit, and determine what is meaningful and instructive for you, your family, and posterity," Flick said. "It is best if you focus around themes."
To find those themes, simply examine the life of the subjects, said Flick, who shared the example of how he married into a family of prestigious and decorated educators. The lives of his in-laws centered around education.
Possible themes could be missionary work, someone who has seen numerous accidents, sickness or misfortune in life, music, church service, scouting, occupations, sports or other special interests.
"You know what is popular in your family," Flick said.
Flick suggested starting with the older family members first and if nothing else, asking those people about what important counsel or advice they would pass along to future generations.
"Ask what is the most important thing in their life. Ask them to express faith, wisdom, and knowledge gained that they wish to pass on," Flick said. "Be selective in writing your spiritual experiences. Select those that that will have a positive impact on lives of family members and future generations."
Flick said developing an overall structure and templates with easy-to-read formats would make the work easier.
The last bit of advice Flick offered left class members with a sense of urgency.
"Remember if you don't write your personal history, someone else my write your biography and he or she might not get it right," he said with a smile.
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