Aaron burst through the front door after school and ran straight upstairs to his bedroom. He began searching for something while his little brother Jared curiously watched.
“Where are you? Where are you?” Aaron mumbled to himself.
“What are you looking for?” Jared asked.
“I’m looking for …” Then Aaron spied the very thing he needed up on the corner shelf in his closet, next to his scriptures. “Here it is!” Aaron exclaimed as he reached up and plucked his journal from its hiding place.
Aaron’s mind was buzzing with thoughts from his day. He wanted to begin writing as soon as possible so he wouldn’t forget about all the things he had heard and seen. He sat at the desk and carefully opened his journal to a blank page. He began to write.
Jared watched his big brother, wondering why he was so determined to write in that book. “What are you doing?” he asked. Aaron continued to concentrate on his journal. He wrote down the date, time, where he was, and how he was feeling. Jared became impatient and asked again, “What are you writing in that book?”
Aaron stopped writing and turned to Jared. “I’m almost finished,” he said. “Then I promise I’ll tell you what I’m doing, OK?” Jared nodded and sat patiently on his bed.
After writing some more, Aaron finally closed the book. Then he grabbed his scriptures and carried them with his journal to where Jared was sitting.
Aaron held up the Book of Mormon. “This book is kind of like a journal,” Aaron explained to his little brother. “It’s written by prophets and tells what they did and taught.”
Aaron told Jared about some of the stories he remembered reading and learning about in Primary: the Lord teaching Nephi to build a ship, the brave Lamanite Samuel standing on the wall to preach, Jesus Christ coming to the Americas and teaching the little children.
“Mormon and his son Moroni finally finished writing their people’s history on gold plates. Then Moroni hid the plates as God had commanded,” Aaron said. “The Book of Mormon was left for us to read today. Someday, someone in our family will read my journal too.” He smiled. “My journal is not scripture, but it will tell about all the important things that happened in my life and about the people I love, like you, Jared. It will be my testimony of the love Heavenly Father has for me.”
Jared thought about what Aaron had told him, then sprang off the bed and ran out of the room. He soon returned with a piece of paper and some crayons. He began coloring. Now Aaron was curious. “What are you doing?”
“I’m almost done,” Jared said. This time Aaron waited patiently. Jared put down his crayons and lifted up the paper for Aaron to see. He had drawn a picture of himself and his big brother. And he had drawn a journal and a Book of Mormon in Aaron’s hands. “I’m writing my journal now!” Jared said. “This is where I put down the time, the date, and where I was.” Then Jared pointed to the cartoonlike picture he had drawn of his big brother. “And this is where I put the person I love.”
At that moment Jared remembered he had forgotten something. He reached for a bright yellow crayon and drew a big smiley face on the top of his paper. “And this is how I am feeling inside!”
“I promise you that if you will keep your journals … , they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to your families, to your children, your grandchildren, and others, on through the generations.”
President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985), “President Kimball Speaks Out on Personal Journals,” Ensign, Dec. 1980, 61.