In an earlier post I talked about the importance of keeping a journal. Perhaps you’ve read that and understood why it’s important or maybe you already knew the value of keeping a journal. But sometimes, in spite of knowing the importance of something, we find that something very hard to do. Journal writing is certainly not something that everyone finds enjoyable.

mormon writingI’ve always enjoyed writing, whether it be poems, short stories or journal entries. So keeping a journal is something I look forward to doing and it isn’t hard for me to get creative or think of topics. Math on the other hand is something I avoid doing at all times.

Maybe it’s the other way around for you and writing is something you dread in any form. For some it’s the act itself of putting pen to paper. For some it’s coming up with anything to write about. If you fit into the latter description I have an idea for you. It’s something that one of my Young Women leaders implemented in my life when I was a teen and it may get you started if you’re having trouble thinking of what to write.

She presented us with a standard mason jar. We dressed up our jars and the lids with cloth, beads and stickers (not required for you of course) and then we were asked as a group to come up with some topics we could use for journal entries. After brain storming a while we had a great list and each of us wrote each topic on a thin strip of paper. We put each slip of paper in the “journal jar” and committed to pulling out one slip of paper each night and writing about the topic thereon.

Some of the journal topic ideas included were:

* When and where were you born? What was your birth story like?

* Write down the full names of your father and mother including your mother’s maiden name and write down your favorite things about each.

* Write down the full names of your extended family members and your favorite things about them.

* Write down the most spiritual moment you’ve had in your life.

* Write down the most terrible moment you’ve had in your life and how you got through it.

* What are your beliefs and morals?

* What are your hobbies and why did you choose them?

* What is your happiest memory?

Those are just a very few of the many topics we came up with that night. Some we’re as simple as writing down your favorite color and others we’re more complex. But each topic no matter how simple, will offer important clues as to who you were at one time. Whether it be important for yourself down the road or for future generations.

“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, President Kimball Speaks Out on Personal Journals,” New Era, Dec 1980, 26

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