Sep 28

Quotes about Journal Writing!

I was researching about what has been taught by modern prophets and church leaders about keeping a journal, and found a lot of good quotes I hadn’t read before. I thought I’d share it here on my blog for those who are interested 🙂


Keeping a Journal

journal writing quotes

“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.)



“Sometimes we feel we just don’t have time to write in our journals. I wonder. President Kimball stood before the World Conference on Records last August and said: ‘By now, in my own personal history, I have managed to fill seventy-eight large volumes, which are my personal journal. There have been times when I have been so tired at the end of a day that the effort could hardly be managed, but I am so grateful that I have not let slip away from me and my posterity those things which needed to be recorded.’ ” (Hartman Rector, Jr.)


“When our children were very small, I started to write down a few things about what happened every day. … I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: ‘Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?’ As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done. More than gratitude began to grow in my heart. Testimony grew. I became ever more certain that our Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. I felt more gratitude for the softening and refining that come because of the Atonement of the Savior, Jesus Christ. And I grew more confident that the Holy Ghost can bring all things to our remembrance—even things we did not notice or pay attention to when they happened. 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.”  (Henry B. Eyring)


“Of course, it is the right of every father and his duty as patriarch of his own family to give a father’s blessing to his children, and it is our hope that every father will give a sacred blessing to each of his children, especially as they are leaving home to go to school or on missions or to be married, which blessing should then be noted in the individual’s private journal. “(Spencer W. Kimball)


“A word about personal journals and records: We urge every person in the Church to keep a diary or a journal from youth up, all through his life. Would every family, as they now hold their home evenings, train their children from young childhood to keep a journal of the important activities of their lives, and certainly when they begin to leave home for schooling and missions?” (Spencer W. Kimball)


“Every person should keep a journal and every person can keep a journal. It should be an enlightening one and should bring great blessings and happiness to the families. If there is anyone here who isn’t doing so, will you repent today and change—change your life?” (Spencer W. Kimball)


“I am grateful for a teacher who encouraged his students to keep a journal of the whisperings or promptings of the Spirit in their lives. He directed us to note what we felt and what resulted. Little things became evident.” (Sydney S. Reynolds)


“Our responsibility to keep a journal and to write our own personal histories and those of our ancestors, particularly those who belong to the first four generations of our pedigree, has not changed.” (Spencer W. Kimball)


“It is to this intent that I shall endeavour henceforth to keep a journal of my travels, that when required I may give an account of my stewardship.” (Wilford Woodruff)


“While walking in a rapid stream we cannot tread twice in the same water. Neither can we spend twice the same time. When we pass out of that door, the work of this meeting will be closed to us forever. We shall never spend the time of this evening again. Then should we not keep a record of our work, teachings, and counsel which we give in this meeting? We should.” (Wilford Woodruff)


“Write your history and the dealings of God with you in all the world for your own benefit and that of your posterity, for the benefit of the house of Israel, for the benefit of Jew and Gentile, for the benefit of future generations.” (Wilford Woodruff)


“It may be considered by some not important to write or keep a record of our work or the work of God, but I believe it is. Otherwise the prophets would not have been moved upon to exhort us to faithfulness upon this subject. The Lord has told us that what we seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven and what we record on earth shall be recorded in heaven, and what is not sealed or recorded on earth is not sealed or recorded in heaven [see D&C 128:7–8]. Therefore it appears to be very important that we do keep a true and faithful record in all things.” (Wilford Woodruff)


“Some may say [journal keeping] is a great deal of trouble. But we should not call anything trouble which brings to pass good. I consider that portion of my life which has been spent in keeping journals and writing history to have been very profitably spent. If there was no other motive in view [except] to have the privilege of reading over our journals and for our children to read, it would pay for the time spent in writing it.” (Wilford Woodruff)


“Every man should write a brief history of his life: his parentage, his birth, his religion, when he was baptized and by whom, when ordained, what to, and by whom—give a brief sketch of all his missions and of all his official acts and the dealings of God with him. Then if he were to die and the historians wished to publish his history, they would have something to go by. Many may think this a dry subject and unimportant, but it is not so to me.” (Wilford Woodruff)


“I would advise you to get all of your blessings written and preserve them. … I do feel to enjoin it upon you to make a record of every official act of your life. If you baptize, confirm, ordain, or bless any person or administer to the sick, write an account of it. . .If the power and blessings of God are made manifest in your preservation from danger, … you should make a record of it. Keep an account of the dealings of God with you daily. I have written all the blessings I have received, and I would not take gold for them.” (Wilford Woodruff)


“Should we not have respect enough to God to make a record of those blessings which He pours out upon us and our official acts which we do in His name upon the face of the earth? I think we should.” (Wilford Woodruff)


“Now, should we not keep a journal, record, and history of the dealings of God with [us] as they transpire day by day before our eyes? We should. . .Instead of neglecting this branch of our work let every man who can, keep a journal and record events as they pass before our eyes day by day. This will make a valuable legacy to our children and a great benefit to future generations by giving them a true history of the rise and progress of the Church and kingdom of God upon the earth in this last dispensation, instead of leaving it to our enemies to write a false history of the true Church of Christ.” (Wilford Woodruff)


“We are not apt to think of the importance of events as they transpire with us, but we feel the importance of them afterwards. We are living in one of the most important generations that man ever lived on earth, and we should write an account of those important transactions which are taking place before our eyes in fulfillment of the prophecies and the revelations of God. There is a great flood of revelations fulfilling in our day, and as they are transpiring before our eyes we want a record made of them.” (Wilford Woodruff)


“I wish to say to my young friends that it will be a great blessing to them, and their children after them, if they will keep a daily journal of what takes place with them and around them. Let all the boys and girls get them a little book, and write a little in it almost every day.”  (Wilford Woodruff)


“What shall I write?” you ask. Write about anything that is worth preserving, or the best you have; and if you begin this while you are young, it will be quite easy for you when you become men and women. How pleasing it would be to you, and to your children, thirty, fifty, or eighty years hence, to sit down and read what took place around you in your childhood and youth! Would you not like to read what took place with our fathers, and mothers, and grand parents, while they were young and during their lives? But the object is not so much to get you to keep a journal while you are young, as it is to get you to continue it after you become men and women, even through your whole lives. This is especially needed in the generation in which you live, for you live in as important a generation as the children of men ever saw, and it is far more important that you should begin early to keep a journal and follow the practice while you live, than that other generations should do so.” (Wilford Woodruff)


“It is now a great pleasure to me and my family to sit down and read an account of our travels, where we have been, and what we have done, and the dealings of God with us, and the many good times we have had with our friends. I can read in my journals the good teachings I have heard many years ago from Presidents Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, the Twelve Apostles, and many other good elders, and the good times we have had together. If my young friends will begin to do this and continue it, it will be of far more worth than gold to them in a future day.” (Wilford Woodruff)


“Perhaps the day will come that the Savior will point out the experiences of my life and ask, ‘Wasn’t that important? Significant? Sacred?’ And when I agree, perhaps he will say, ‘Why are these things not recorded in your journal?’ ” (Michael K. Parson)


“What could you do better for your children and your children’s children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved?”  (Spencer W. Kimball)


“Some of what you write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity.”  (Spencer W. Kimball)


“Get a notebook, my young folks, a journal that will last through all time, and maybe the angels may quote from it for eternity. ”  (Spencer W. Kimball)


“There is something about journal writing that causes us to meditate, to recommit, and to receive spiritual impressions in the process of such pondering. Frequently, you will have cause to rejoice at how the Lord has been sensitively involved in guiding and watching over you and those you love and care about”  (Elder L. Edward Brown)


“You may be tempted to write about a Sunday-best version of you with perfect thoughts and habits. Your pages will be a lot more interesting if you write about the real you, even if that person occasionally falls asleep in algebra class, has holey socks, and sings off key. Don’t focus too much on the positive or the negative. Just be honest.” (From the New Era- answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.)


“Journal writing is the perfect place to sort out your feelings, solve problems, set goals, preserve memories, and develop dreams. It’s important to write about experiences now while your memories are fresh. Years down the road you will rediscover your words and be amazed at how much you’ve grown and how much the Lord has blessed you.” (New Era)


“You may never be remembered for your superior writing skills, profound insight, or miraculous experiences as a teenager, but you’re the only one who can describe the night you finished the Book of Mormon for the first time, or the flustered feeling you had on your first date, or the smell of fresh roses at your grandpa’s funeral, or anything else in your life. If you’re the only one who benefits from your efforts, that’s enough.” (New Era)


“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.” (Spencer W. Kimball)


“People often use the excuse that their lives are uneventful and nobody would be interested in what they have done. But I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to your families, to your children, your grandchildren, and others, on through the generations. 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)


“You should continue on in this important work of recording the things you do, the things you say, the things you think, to be in accordance with the instructions of the Lord. Your story should be written now while it is fresh and while the true details are available.” (Spencer W. Kimball)


“Your private journal should record the way you face up to challenges that beset you. Do not suppose life changes so much that your experiences will not be interesting to your posterity. Experiences of work, relations with people, and an awareness of the rightness and wrongness of actions will always be relevant. Your journal, like most others, will tell of problems as old as the world and how you dealt with them.” (Spencer W. Kimball)


“Your journal should contain your true self rather than a picture of you when you are “made up” for a public performance. There is a temptation to paint one’s virtues in rich color and whitewash the vices, but there is also the opposite pitfall of accentuating the negative. Personally I have little respect for anyone who delves into the ugly phases of the life he is portraying, whether it be his own or another’s. The truth should be told, but we should not emphasize the negative. Even a long life full of inspiring experiences can be brought to the dust by one ugly story. Why dwell on that one ugly truth about someone whose life has been largely circumspect?” (Spencer W. Kimball)


“If you have not already commenced this important duty in your lives, get a good notebook, a good book that will last through time and into eternity for the angels to look upon. Begin today and write in it your goings and your comings, your deeper thoughts, your achievements, and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. We hope you will do this, our brothers and sisters, for this is what the Lord has commanded, and those who keep a personal journal are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives.” (Spencer W. Kimball)


“Remember how he has worked in your life. Write in your journal about the times when you have felt his love for you. Write about the times when he has intervened in subtle or obvious ways, to make everything work out okay for you. And when you feel abandoned and desperate, those memories will renew your faith and keep you trusting until you understand better.” (Virginia H. Pearce)


 “Do you keep a journal? If not, we would again enjoin it upon you, and upon all who have not before heard the admonition, to commence forthwith to keep a Journal, or write a history; and see to it, that what you write is strictly true and unexaggerated; so that in the end, all may know of all things concerning this last work, and all knowledge may flow together from the four quarters of the earth, when the Lord shall make his appearing, and we all may be ready to give a full account of our mission, our ministry and stewardship.” (Parley P. Pratt)


“Inspiration carefully recorded shows God that His communications are sacred to us. Recording will also enhance our ability to recall revelation. Such recording of direction of the Spirit should be protected from loss or intrusion by others.” (Richard G. Scott)


“Revelation can also be given in a dream when there is an almost imperceptible transition from sleep to wakefulness. If you strive to capture the content immediately, you can record great detail, but otherwise it fades rapidly.”  (Richard G. Scott)


“Knowledge carefully recorded is knowledge available in time of need. Spiritually sensitive information should be kept in a sacred place that communicates to the Lord how you treasure it. This practice enhances the likelihood of receiving further light.”  (Richard G. Scott)


Sacred experiences gain validity by being recorded. Any experience assumes perspective. And seen over a period of years, a life recorded day by day and page by page assumes pattern and purpose. A journal thus becomes a vehicle for seeing God’s interaction with us.” (Janet Brigham)


“Your journal is your autobiography, so it should be kept carefully. You are unique, and there may be incidents in your experience that are more noble and praiseworthy in their way than those recorded in any other life. There may be a flash of illumination here and a story of faithfulness there.” (Spencer W. Kimball)


“I urge all 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.” (Spencer W. Kimball)


Journals are a way of counting our blessings and of leaving an inventory of these blessings for our posterity.” (Spencer W. Kimball)


“As I view it, in every family a record should be kept. … That record should be the first stone, if you choose, in the family altar. It should be a book known and used in the family circle; and when the child reaches maturity and goes out to make another household, one of the first things that the young couple should take along should be the records of their families, to be extended by them as life goes on. … Each one of us carries, individually, the responsibility of record keeping, and we should assume it.” (John A. Widstoe)


“Why is the writing of personal and family histories so important? There are many reasons. I will focus on just a few. … By writing personal and family histories and doing the research required thereby, we inevitably have our hearts turned to our fathers as well as to our children. … Also, by writing personal and family histories, we are helped immeasurably in gaining a true, eternal perspective of life. Writing our histories with the proper blend of fact and feeling (and so often, feelings in spiritual things are the real facts) gives us a deep spiritual insight into the meaning and purpose of our lives. I wonder if, as in so many things, we don’t deny ourselves this deeper spiritual insight by simply neglecting to write our histories…. Writing our histories will certainly help us keep our eyes on the most important of all goals — even the goal of eternal life. … 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. … I have a strong feeling that when this life is over, our personal and family histories and the influence they wield will be of much greater importance than we now think.” (John H. Groberg)


“Some people say, ‘I don’t have anything to record. Nothing spiritual happens to me.’ I say, ‘Start recording, and spiritual things will happen. They are there all the time, but we become more sensitive to them as we write.’ ” (John H. Groberg)


“I ask that every bearer of the priesthood resolve to do what is necessary to write in his personal history. . .If you resolve to do it, you will do it. Do not let anything stand in your way.” (John H. Groberg)


“A life that is not documented is a life that within a generation or two will largely be lost to memory. What a tragedy this can be in the history of a family. Knowledge of our ancestors shapes us and instills within us values that give direction and meaning to our lives.” (Dennis B. Neuenschwander)


“I would like to share with you just a tiny sampling of the experiences I have had wherein prayers were heard and answered and which, in retrospect, brought blessings into my life as well as the lives of others. My daily journal, kept over all these years, has helped provide some specifics which I most likely would not otherwise be able to recount.” (President Thomas S. Monson)


“Each member of the family should keep a daily journal, and from that he can prepare a personal history.” (Royden G. Derrick)


“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)


“This history of the dealings of God with his people and the experiences they had constitutes our present scripture. It is nothing more or less than sacred family history. Because it was written under the influence of the Spirit of the Holy Ghost, it became scripture. . .Much of what we now regard as scripture was not anything more or less than men writing of their own spiritual experiences for the benefit of their posterity. Therefore, as a people we ought to write of our own lives and our own experiences to form a sacred record for our descendants. We must provide for them the same uplifting, faith-promoting strength that the ancient scriptures now give us.” (Elder Theodore M. Burton)


“Life is soon gone. Grandparents do not live forever. Parents all too soon become grandparents and in turn pass away themselves. They and their influence will then in part be lost as memories begin to fade. All too soon our imprint in the lives of our descendants begins to dwindle. We can keep that flame of love burning brightly if we write down a personal history of our lives and that of our families. By so doing we can pass on to our descendants in a more permanent form the courage, the faith, and the hopes we felt within us as we lived our lives and solved the problems which faced us. Passing an account of these experiences on to them will provide them with vital guidance and direction.” (Elder Theodore M. Burton)


“Not everything we do is important. Not everything we write is important. Not everything we think is important. But occasionally we are in tune with God. Inspiration sometimes comes to us without our even recognizing it. At such times the Lord whispers things into our minds, and what one then writes can become inspirational to one’s descendants.” (Elder Theodore M. Burton)