The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Journals

"Now what is our duty in regard to records? Is it necessary for each one of us individually to keep a daily journal? I would say not. It is necessary for us to keep an accurate record of our families and record accurately the dates of births, marriages and deaths, and ordinances and everything that is vital. Every important event in our lives should be placed in a record, by us individually. We do not do it. Some people keep a daily record; about like this: 'Got up in the morning, made the beds, washed the dishes, went to the picture show, came home, went to bed'; and so it goes. That means nothing. If you have accomplished something worth while during the day, put it down; it may be of use to posterity. If our fathers had only done this, it would have been a great help to us today in gathering records of our dead." — Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.2, p.204

"President Wilford Woodruff, a convert, a historian and later head of the Church, began keeping a daily record of his life when a young man. The Prophet encouraged all his followers to do this. Before his long life of over ninety years ended, Brother Woodruff's Journal had grown to many volumes. He did not leave it to others to tell shadowy traditions and legendary anecdotes about his remarkable experiences; he recorded the truth as the events occurred. So we have the facts before us fresh and accurate today." — Archibald F. Bennett, Saviors on Mount Zion, p.24

"The keeping of a journal has a tendency to keep both mind and body in the straight and narrow path. If we keep a journal we naturally desire to write something that will read well. We want to make a good record of ourselves. But in order to do so we must live a good and useful life, and thus by our actions produce materials for a clean and interesting record. We might falsify our records, but, as record makers we would constantly think of the recording angel who is making a true history of all our actions; and if we felt convinced that our record did not correspond with his in the main, we should not feel comfortable." — Andrew Jenson, Collected Discourses, Vol.5, January 20th, 1895

"I have sometimes said to my brethren and sisters: If you cannot keep a daily journal, keep a monthly journal, or an annual journal. Write something at least on the first day of every year. Record then the more important events of the year past. At the beginning of a year we are generally reflecting upon the occurrences of the past twelve months anyway, and I would say: Write down your thoughts on such occasions and record your most important experiences of life during that year. If you will keep this up, you will find, that after reaching your three score and ten, you will possess something that you would not exchange for the riches of the world." — Andrew Jenson, Collected Discourses, Vol.5, January 20th, 1895

"If I were one of the members of this ward, and did not keep a daily journal, I tell you what I think I would do. I would purchase a book of some kind in which I would make a brief record of my life and the lives of the members of my family, and the various occurrences and events connected with them, especially in an ecclesiastical capacity. A very small book costing but a few cents, will contain a record of all the blessings a family receives in many years. To illustrate this, I will refer to an aged veteran of the church, whom I met and conversed with about his records. Said he, 'Here's a little book. It doesn't seem to contain much, but in it are recorded a great many very important items.' And sure enough in that little book, he had written the dates and the skeleton work of a great history, so, that, adding flesh, as it were, to the bones, figuratively speaking, he could easily make up from it an autobiography of a very interesting character." — Andrew Jenson, Collected Discourses, Vol.5, January 20th, 1895

"On the bookshelves in my office at home there are thirty-three large, well-filled journal books. In my journal, a year for each book, I have written daily and filed in this library. It records the trips to many of the nations in the world and all around the world and meetings held, people contacted, marriages performed, and all things of interest to my family, and, I hope, someday to the Church. I urge all of the people of this church to give serious attention to their family histories, to encourage their parents and grandparents to write their journals, and let no family go into eternity without having left their memoirs for their children, their grandchildren, and their posterity. This is a duty and a responsibility, and I urge every person to start the children out writing a personal history and journal." — Spencer W. Kimball, General Conference, April 1978

"I personally believe that the writing of personal and family histories will do more to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers and the fathers to children than almost anything we can do. I am sure you will never turn your own children's hearts more to you than you will by keeping a journal and writing your personal history. They will ultimately love to find out about your successes and your failures and your peculiarities. It will tell them a lot about themselves, too. They will get a great desire to raise a family of their own when they see what a great blessing they were to you." — Hartman Rector, Jr., General Conference, April 1981

"A personal history becomes a family treasure that enables children to emulate the virtues and personal characteristics of their forebears. Their forefathers become the David, the Samson, the Moses, and the Abraham of their lineage. Writing family and personal histories is becoming the popular thing to do. More and more people throughout the world are becoming interested in this exciting pastime to them, but sacred responsibility to us. The hearts of the children are indeed turning to the fathers." — Royden G. Derrick, General Conference, April 1979

"Why is the writing of personal and family histories so important? There are many reasons....

"There is something eternal in the very nature of writing, as is so graphically illustrated by the scriptures themselves. In a very real sense, our properly written histories are a very important part of our family scripture and become a great source of spiritual strength to us and to our posterity." - John H. Groberg, "
Writing Your Personal and Family History ," Ensign, May 1980, p. 48

"On a number of occasions I have encouraged the Saints to keep personal journals and family records. I renew that admonition. We may think there is little of interest or importance in what we personally say or do—but it is remarkable how many of our families, as we pass on down the line, are interested in all that we do and all that we say. Each of us is important to those who are near and dear to us—and as our posterity read of our life's experiences, they, too, will come to know and love us. And in that glorious day when our families are together in the eternities, we will already be acquainted." - Spencer W. Kimball, "
We Need a Listening Ear," Ensign (CR), November 1979, p.4

"My point is to urge you to find ways to recognize and remember God’s kindness. It will build our testimonies. You may not keep a journal. You may not share whatever record you keep with those you love and serve. But you and they will be blessed as you remember what the Lord has done. You remember that song we sometimes sing: 'Count your many blessings; name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.' (“Count Your Blessings,Hymns, no. 241.)

"It won’t be easy to remember. Living as we do with a veil over our eyes, we cannot remember what it was like to be with our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in the premortal world; nor can we see with our physical eyes or with reason alone the hand of God in our lives. Seeing such things takes the Holy Ghost. And it is not easy to be worthy of the Holy Ghost’s companionship in a wicked world.

"That is why forgetting God has been such a persistent problem among His children since the world began. Think of the times of Moses, when God provided manna and in miraculous and visible ways led and protected His children. Still, the prophet warned the people who had been so blessed, as prophets always have warned and always will: 'Take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life.' (Deuteronomy 4:9.)

"And the challenge to remember has always been the hardest for those who are blessed abundantly. Those who are faithful to God are protected and prospered. That comes as the result of serving God and keeping His commandments. But with those blessings comes the temptation to forget their source. It is easy to begin to feel the blessings were granted not by a loving God on whom we depend but by our own powers." - Henry B. Eyring, "O Remember, Remember," General Conference, 7 October 2007

“You may make the winning touchdown, cross the finish line first, swish down the mountain on perfect powder, drive "a beauty" to the left-field stands, or pitch a no-hitter. You may do and thrill to many things. But you will experience few feelings equal to the quiet, even tearful moment when you record in your diary: “Today we baptized Mr. and Mrs. Brown and all their children. They are a fantastic family!’” - A. Theodore Tuttle, “Your Mission Preparation,” Ensign (CR), November 1974, p. 71

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