One of my most valuable possessions is a dog-eared bundle of letters that I’ve written to myself. I wrote the first letter on my 16th birthday. I sealed it up, tucked it in my drawer, and didn’t read it until a year later on the night of my 17th birthday. So much had changed in just a year! I had written about my life, describing things I wouldn’t have remembered on my own. I had joked with myself, saying that the things I was worrying about then probably wouldn’t matter much in a year. I was right.
Best of all, I told myself why I had a testimony. A year later, my words were a timely reminder. As I looked back, I could clearly see how blessed I was and how much Heavenly Father loves me. Excited, I pulled out another piece of paper, and wrote my next letter. With each year, the bundle of letters continues to grow.
You might not think of my experience in writing these letters as exactly the same thing as keeping a journal in the classical sense. But it is a way of keeping a record that is my own. It is a way for me to remember spiritual things, as President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, has suggested. He described how, after keeping a daily journal of how the Lord was blessing him and his family, that “trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done” (“O Remember, Remember,” Ensign, Nov. 2007, 67).
I’ve learned that when you try to remember your blessings, you let your Father in Heaven show you how He has blessed you. You also show gratitude for your blessings when you take the time to remember and record them—whether it’s in a journal or in letters, whether it’s handwritten or keyboarded into a computer—and that it’s important to preserve your records for yourself and for those who may benefit from your experience later on (such as, someday, your children).
There can be many ways to help Heavenly Father show you how He has blessed you. You can keep a journal or make a personal history. You can take pictures or make recordings. You can save papers and documents or sentimental items. The idea is just to preserve memories of your life so you will always be able to look back and remember your blessings. That is the importance of your record. And who knows? Maybe someday down the road you and many others will find strength in your record of Heavenly Father’s love and the blessings He has given to you.