In Doctrine and Covenants 69 the Lord instructed John Whitmer regarding his call to keep the Church’s history. The Lord also expects us to keep personal and family histories. President Spencer W. Kimball said:
“Let us then continue on in this important work of recording the things we do, the things we say, the things we think, to be in accordance with the instructions of the Lord. For those of you who may not have already started your books of remembrance and your records, we would suggest that this very day you begin to write your records quite fully and completely. We hope that you will do this, our brothers and sisters, for this is what the Lord has commanded” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1979, 6; or Ensign, Nov. 1979, 5).
On another occasion President Kimball counseled the youth of the Church:
“Get a notebook, my young folks, 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. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events” (“The Angels May Quote from It,” New Era, Oct. 1975, 5).
Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For
Church History in the Fulness of Times: Religion 341–43, pp. 119–20.
Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 147–48.
Suggestions for Teaching
Doctrine and Covenants 69:3–8. The Lord expects His Church and its members to keep histories for the benefit of the rising generation.
Read from your journal or share your memory of how you gained a testimony of the scriptures. (Be careful not to share anything that is too sacred or personal.) Ask questions like the following:
How do you think my parents feel when they hear about this experience?
How could this experience affect my children (or other family members)?
How could remembering this help me later in my life?
What would be lost if this, and other experiences like it, were never written down?
Invite a student who keeps a journal to share what blessings come from it. Read Doctrine and Covenants 69:3–8 and ask:
What history was John Whitmer told to write? (see v. 3).
What in verses 7–8 shows the importance the Lord placed on the history John Whitmer was to write?
How could we relate this to our own journals?
Share President Spencer W. Kimball’s statement in the introduction to section 69 above. Invite students to write on a piece of paper how they received a testimony of the scriptures, or to write about their favorite scripture and why they like it. Encourage them to add this account to their journal.