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Three Reasons to Keep a Journal

By Mormon.org
girl on a rock writing in a journal

Good Counsel for Our Day

In today’s world of lightning-fast technology and 15-second soundbites, it might be tempting to discount the value of slowing down to record personal experiences in a journal. “There’s just no time,” we think. Or “I don’t really have anything to say,” we justify. But the scriptures—records written by men of God to guide us—offer valuable counsel about keeping a written record that is as relevant today as it was millennia ago.

In the Book of Mormon, companion scripture to the Bible, Alma taught his son Helaman about the importance of keeping a written record. As Alma prepared to shift responsibility to his son, he warned Helaman, “Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6). In other words, you may think that keeping a written record isn’t important, but this small thing will be of great value to you and others.

Alma continued by teaching that there are three important reasons to record personal experiences in a journal. He said that a written record can “[enlarge] the memory … , [convince] many of the error of their ways, and [bring] them to the knowledge of their God unto the salvation of their souls” (Alma 37:8).

Enlarge the Memory

Keeping a journal helps you remember the events of your past. Some events may seem small and unimportant, but when you record them in a journal, they won’t be forgotten. How fun to look back and remember what life was like when you were younger or how you made it through challenging experiences with success. It gives you great perspective and empathy for others as you remember the things you have done.

Discover and Improve

By processing and recording feelings, attitudes, and behaviors in a journal, perhaps the one who will be convinced of any shortcomings, as Alma taught, is you. When you keep a journal, you are able to discover who you are and how you can improve. A journal is a safe place to work through issues, struggles, and conflicts to determine the best course of action in any situation. So write it down and work it out.

Strengthen Faith

Keeping a journal helps you acknowledge the hand of the Lord in your life. When you write down the ways the Lord has blessed you, your eyes are opened to the many small things that occur each day that might otherwise be overlooked. Watch as President Henry B. Eyring shares a message about the importance of recording blessings in a journal to strengthen faith.

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When you record sacred thoughts and experiences in a journal, you can come to know God personally, and your faith in Him will grow stronger. These messages not only help you when times get challenging, but they can influence future generations as others read your faith-filled words.

Like the journals we keep that tell our stories of faith, conflict, and growth, the scriptures teach us important truths that enlarge our memories, convince us of our shortcomings, and lead us to Jesus Christ. Request your free copy of the Book of Mormon and begin discovering these truths for yourself today.