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How will keeping a personal journal bless me and my family?

The Lord and His prophets have emphasized the importance of keeping records. Writing in a personal journal gives us an opportunity to reflect on our lives and recognize the many blessings God has given us. Our journals can also be a source of inspiration and strength to future generations of our families.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study the following scriptures and resources. What will inspire the youth you teach?

1 Nephi 1:1–3; Alma 37:8–9; Moses 6:5, 45–46 (Examples of record keeping in the scriptures)

1 Nephi 6:3–6 (What to include in a personal record)

3 Nephi 23:6–13 (The Savior chastises the Nephites for the incompleteness of their records)

Henry B. Eyring, “O Remember, Remember,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2007, 66–69; see also the video “O Remember, Remember”

Spencer W. Kimball, “The Angels May Quote from It,” New Era, Feb. 2003, 32–35

Make connections

During the first few minutes of every class, help the youth make connections between things they are learning in various settings (such as personal study, seminary, other Church classes, or experiences with their friends). How can you help them see the relevance of the gospel in daily living? The ideas below might help you:

  • Invite the youth to share any recent experiences they have had testifying of a gospel truth.
  • If possible, share an entry from your personal journal or the journal of an ancestor (or invite a class member or ward member to do this). Why was it important to record this experience? How are others blessed because someone kept a journal?

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the youth understand the importance of keeping a journal. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Invite the youth to read the first eight paragraphs of President Henry B. Eyring’s talk “O Remember, Remember” (or show the video based on the talk), and ask them to look for blessings that came because President Eyring wrote about his experiences daily. What else do they learn about keeping a personal journal from President Eyring’s message? Read together the last paragraph of his talk, and share a recent experience from your life in which you saw the hand of God or He seemed to have a message for you. Invite the youth to ponder their own answers to the questions suggested by President Eyring and record their thoughts.
  • Ask each youth to read one of the following scriptures: 1 Nephi 1:1–3; Alma 37:8–9; Moses 6:5, 45–46. Ask the youth to think about and share some of the blessings that have come because the people in these scriptures kept a record. What are some reasons people do not keep a personal journal? What do the youth learn from these verses that helps them see the importance of journal writing? Encourage them to read a journal of an ancestor (if possible) or interview a parent or grandparent and write down their testimonies, conversion stories, meaningful life experiences, and favorite memories.
  • Ask the youth to make a list of things to write about in a personal journal. As a class, read 1 Nephi 6:3–6. Ask the youth to find what Nephi wanted to include in his record, and add these things to the list. Invite the youth to ponder what they feel they should write about in their journals, and give them time to write a few paragraphs of a journal entry.
  • Invite the youth to read 3 Nephi 23:6–13. How might this scripture apply to our efforts to keep a personal journal? Ask the youth to think about any spiritual or meaningful experience they have had that they feel they should record. How would they or others be blessed by reading about this experience? Give them time in class to write about these experiences.
  • Ask each youth to read the second half of President Spencer W. Kimball’s talk “The Angels May Quote from It” (beginning with the heading “Your personal record”). Invite the youth to write on a piece of paper one or two thoughts or insights they find inspiring or helpful from President Kimball’s talk. When everyone is finished, ask the youth to pass their papers to the person sitting next to them. Invite them to add to each other’s papers the insights they have found and continue passing their papers until they have shared their insights with everyone in the class. Encourage the youth to take their papers home and refer to them for guidance as they write in their personal journals.

Ask the youth to share what they learned today. Do they understand the blessings of keeping a journal? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be helpful to spend more time on this topic?

Invite to act

Ask the youth what they feel inspired to do because of what they learned today. Encourage them to act on these feelings. Consider ways you can follow up.