Family Home Evening Journal Sharing

Stephanie Nixon, Florida, USA

Does your journal sit unused in a drawer? We are a journal-writing family, and it seemed a shame not to use them in a productive way. So every Monday evening, one of our goals is to read from a family member’s journal. When each of our five children was born, we started baby journals, recording our thoughts and aspirations for them. When they were old enough to participate, they kept their own journals. With everyone’s contributions over the years, we have a lot of journal entries to choose from. Each week we share excerpts from a different family member’s journal. Sometimes we share recent entries; others are from years past. We are always careful to not share sensitive information. Each family member may choose what to share.

If your family hasn’t kept journals, you might see if other relatives, such as grandparents, will let you read selections from theirs. Hopefully you can encourage your family to begin keeping journals. Our children enjoy hearing about the funny things they said when they were younger and the lessons they have learned along the way. Writing in our journals is a much anticipated activity in our family. We know we’re not just writing for our future posterity. We are recording our thoughts and life experiences to benefit our family now.

Illustration by Beth Marion Whittaker

Helps for Home Evening

“The Courage to Comfort,” p. 52: “Stories can awaken learners’ interest. We can often teach a principle more effectively when we first share a story to illustrate it. This helps learners understand the principle in terms of everyday experiences” (Teaching, No Greater Call, [1999] 93). Consider sharing a personal story when you were able to offer comfort or when someone offered comfort to you.

“With a Life Hanging in the Balance,” p. 60: After reading this article together, family members could share experiences when they have been blessed by following the promptings of the Spirit.

“Making Mountains,” p. 46: This article compares overcoming challenges with climbing a mountain. You might be able to create an activity, such as climbing a hill or some stairs, that would help family members remember and apply the principle.

“I Will Be Found of You,” p. 80: A fun activity could be to play hide-and-seek as a family, and then relate the game to the promise found in Jeremiah 29:13: “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”