Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Personal Journals

- Advertisment - Save on Great LDS Gifts

FHE Scripture


3 Nephi 23:12-13

12. And it came to pass that Nephi remembered that this thing had not been written.

13. And it came to pass that Jesus commanded that it should be written; therefore it was written according as he commanded.

FHE Lesson Hymn


Families Can Be Together Forever Hymn 300 or Children’s Songbook 188

Families Can Be Together Forever

1. I have a fam’ly here on earth.
They are so good to me.
I want to share my life with them through all eternity.

Fam’lies can be together forever
Through Heav’nly Father’s plan.
I always want to be with my own family,
And the Lord has shown me how I can.
The Lord has shown me how I can.

2. While I am in my early years,
I’ll prepare most carefully,
So I can marry in God’s temple for eternity.

FHE Lesson


*For Younger Children* (Share a story from an ancestors journal and discuss the importance of journal keeping.)

*For Teenagers or Adults* Share and discuss the following article by Spencer W Kimball also, if time permits,  share a story from an ancestors journal. (Spencer W. Kimball, “President Kimball Speaks Out on Personal Journals”, New Era, Dec. 1980, 26)

His journal was 33 black binders on the shelves of his personal study when President Spencer W. Kimball was called to be President of the Church in 1973. Since then, he has frequently counseled and exhorted members of the Church to keep personal journals.

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.Journal

Any Latter-day Saint family that has searched genealogical and historical records has fervently wished its ancestors had kept better and more complete records. On the other hand, some families possess some spiritual treasures because ancestors have recorded the events surrounding their conversion to the gospel and other happenings of interest, including many miraculous blessings and spiritual experiences. 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.

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, certainly by the time they begin to leave home for schooling and missions?

From time immemorial the Lord has counseled us to be a record-keeping people. Abraham had a book of remembrance, and Adam had one. You may think of them as not being as highly educated as we are, but they were well-trained people. Adam spent much effort being the school teacher for his children. He and Eve taught their sons and daughters. He taught them the gospel in their home evenings, and he taught them reading and writing and arithmetic. And they kept their books of remembrance. How else do you think Moses, many hundreds of years later, got the information? These records had been kept, and he referred to them and got the history of the world, which wasn’t in any library other than that. Can you see your responsibility?

Early in the American life of the family of Lehi, his son Nephi said: “Having had a great knowledge of the goodness and mysteries of God, therefore, I make a record of my proceedings in my days. …

“And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge.” (1 Ne. 1:1, 3.) This great record included not only the movements of his people, but his own personal life.

When the Savior visited this continent following his resurrection, he commanded the Nephites and Lamanites to bring their records up to date. He said to them: “Behold, other scriptures I would that ye should write, that ye have not.

“And it came to pass that he said unto Nephi: Bring forth the record which ye have kept.

“And when Nephi had brought forth the records, and laid them before him, he cast his eyes upon them and said:

“Verily I say unto you, I commanded my servant Samuel, the Lamanite, that he should testify unto this people, that at the day that the Father should glorify his name in me that there were many saints who should arise from the dead, and should appear unto many, and should minister unto them. And he said unto them: Was it not so?

“And his disciples answered him and said: Yea, Lord, …

“And Jesus said unto them: How be it that ye have not written this thing, that many saints did arise and appear unto many and did minister unto them?

“And it came to pass that Nephi remembered that this thing had not been written, … therefore it was written according as he commanded.” (3 Ne. 23:6–13.)

And again in our day the Lord said to the Prophet Joseph Smith, “And again, let all the records be had in order, that they may be put in the archives of my holy temple” (D&C 127:9).

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.

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.

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?

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.

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? 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.

We hope you will begin as of this date. 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.

*Discuss these questions as a family and record your thoughts individually*
1- How could writing down your feelings help you cope with a traumatic experience?

2. In what way could writing in a journal ease a sense of loneliness?
3. How can a journal help you evaluate your progress?
4. Why is it important to maintain a proper balance between stressing the good and noting the negative?
5. Why is a journal a good place to record promises to yourself and to the Lord?
6. Why do you suppose sacred experiences gain validity by being recorded?
7. Are you keeping your journal current? If not, what specific things can you do to be more consistent?
8. What can parents do to train their children from young childhood to keep a journal?
(Questions Taken from: Janet Brigham, “Discover Yourself: Keep a Journal”, Ensign, Dec. 1980, 57)



FHE Treat


Crunchy Sesame Candy or Pear Fritters

Crunchy Sesame Candy


1 cup sesame seeds (about 6 ounces)

3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons honey


1- Generously coat two large sheets of waxed paper with cooking spray. In a medium skillet, toast the sesame seeds over medium-low heat, stirring often, until they’re fragrant and golden, 5 to 7 minutes.

2- In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar and honey. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until the sugar is melted and the mixture is thick, about 5 minutes (because melted sugar can get quite hot, this is a step best left to parents). Add the sesame seeds to the sugar and stir well with a wooden spoon.

3- Place one sheet of the waxed paper on a work surface, greased-side up. Scrape the mixture onto the paper and top it with the remaining sheet of waxed paper, greased-side down. Using a rolling pin, roll the mixture into a square about 1/4 inch thick (a great job for kids).

4- Remove the top sheet of paper and cut the candy into 1-inch squares with a sharp knife. Let the candy cool completely. Break apart the pieces and store them in an airtight container at room temperature until you’re ready to package them. Makes about twenty-four 1-inch squares.

Pear Fritters

Hands-on time: 15 minutes plus 15 for frying
Total time: 30 minutes
Makes: 24 fritters


Canola, peanut, or vegetable oil for frying

1 pound (grapefruit-size piece) prepared dough

1 firm pear, peeled, cored, and grated

1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup currants

1/4 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar


1- Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of oil and heat it to 360-380 degrees. As the oil warms, cloak the dough to help it hold its shape while it rises: dust it with flour, then quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface and tucking it under the bottom, then rotating it a quarter-turn as you work. On a well-floured surface, roll it out into a 9- by 12-inch rectangle.

2- Combine the pear, brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, currants, and nuts in a small bowl. Spread the mixture over the dough, stopping 1/2 inch from the edge. Starting at a long end, tightly roll the dough into a log as shown, then pinch the seam to seal it. Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut off 1/2-inch-thick slices from the log.

3- Fry the fritters in batches by carefully placing a few of them into the oil at a time, leaving enough room to let them rise to the surface as they cook. Fry them for about 1 minute, then use a slotted spoon to gently flip each one and fry it until golden brown on both sides, about 1 minute more. (You may need to flip them over a few times to brown them evenly.) Transfer the fritters to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Dust the fritters with confectioners’ sugar and let them cool slightly before serving.


(Recipes taken from Familyfun.go.com)


FHE Game / Activity


1- Buy journals as a family. Set a journal writing goal.

2- Buy and Decorate new notebooks and turn them into a journal.

3- Start a family journal and write in it once a week or once a month.

4- Visit with a grandparent or an extended family member, ask questions and listen to stories from their past.

5- Read from an ancestors journal.



Join the Discussion!
- Advertisment - LDS Scripture Study
Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.


  1. Great idea!!!! We could start out family home evenings by phone? Till I get there anyway. I usually do something with one of the families here or with the missionaries. But we can start together via technology. Tonight looks like a good lesson. Something we boyhood should be doing. Let me know.

Comments are closed.

First Presidency Announces Change to Temple Recommend Questions

In a letter sent to church leaders on April 12, 2024, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day...

Book of Mormon Come Follow Me FHE Lesson – “He Worketh in Me to Do According to His Will”

More than anything else, Enos wanted to connect with God. In this Book of Mormon FHE lesson, we learn about his mighty...

Here’s Your First Look Inside the Layton Utah Temple

The public open house for the Layton Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints begins this week in...

See Yourself in the Temple! | 15 April 2024

Here’s your daily dose of what matters most! The temple is a sacred place where we make covenants with the Lord. It...
- Advertisment -Color Scriptures from LDS Bookstore