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Keeping a Personal Journal - FHE Lesson

Keeping a Personal Journal – FHE Lesson

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Scripture

2 Nephi 33:3-4

But I, Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people. For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry.

And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal.

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Hymn

Families Can Be Together Forever, Hymn #300

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.

(Chorus)
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.

(Chorus)

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Lesson

*For Children*

Begin by watching this video with your family. If you are unable to share the video, discuss the story of Nephi and his brothers going to get the brass plates. 

Ask: What were the brass plates? Why do you think it was important for Nephi to go and get the plates?

Read aloud: The brass plates were a record that contained many things that were very special to Lehi and his family, including a genealogy of Lehi’s family. A genealogy is a record that tracks all of the people in a family, such as their grandparents, great-grandparents, brothers, sisters, and more. In fact, the Book of Mormon itself is a record of Lehi’s family throughout many generations.

Ask: Do we keep records today? What kind of records do we keep?

Read aloud: One of the most important kinds of records we can keep is a personal record. One of the most common ways to keep a personal record is by writing in a journal.

Ask: What is a journal?

Read aloud: While it is fun to write down the things that happen to us every day, one of the greatest things about journaling is that we can record important spiritual events in our lives. We can write about times we have had answers to prayers or when we have felt Heavenly Father’s love. Then, when we go through a trial or something hard, we can look back and see all the things the Lord has done for us. Our future families can also look back, read our experiences, and learn from them.

If you have stories or journals from your ancestors, share them with your family. Pass around the journals and share a specific way in which reading from an ancestor’s journal has helped you. You can also share personal experiences from journals you have kept.

Finish the lesson by bearing your testimony of writing in a journal and how writing down spiritual impressions can bless your life.

 *For Teenagers and Adults*

Read aloud: Wilford Woodruff, the fourth president of the Church, was described as the “best chronicler of events in all the history of the Church.” Starting in 1835, President Woodruff wrote in his journal every day for the next 63 years. Of this extraordinary effort, President Woodruff remarked:

“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. Therefore it appears to be very important that we do keep a true and faithful record in all things.

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.”

Ask: What are some things that stood out to you about what President Woodruff said? What can we learn from his example?

Read aloud: There are a lot of things that can be recorded in a journal, from the day to day moments to big events in our lives. But more than a log of each day, we have been counseled to write down things of a spiritual nature. Consider these quotes:

Pass out these quotes to be read by different members of your family.

“We often leave the most precious personal direction of the Spirit unheard because we do not record and respond to the first promptings that come to us when the Lord chooses to direct us.” -Richard G. Scott

“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

“When it is for the Lord’s purposes, He can bring anything to our remembrance. That should not weaken our determination to record impressions of the Spirit. 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

Ask: Why is important to write down spiritual promptings and spiritual experiences in our journals?

Watch this video or share personal experiences of journals kept in your family: 

Read aloud: This video helps illustrate the many blessings that come from keeping a journal and from writing down spiritual lessons and experiences. Spencer W. Kimball once said:

“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.”

Ask: What are some blessings you’ve experienced from keeping a journal yourself or reading an account from someone else’s journal?

Finish the lesson by bearing your testimony on the power of recording important spiritual moments in our lives and keeping a journal. If time permits, discuss some of the challenges of journaling and how you can improve as a family. For more ideas about journaling, view our activity section and the provided links. 

 

 

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Related Products

 

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Treat

Chocolate Pudding or Chinese New Year Cookies


Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients: 
-3 cups whole milk
-1/3 cup granulated sugar
-2 tbsp. cornstarch
-2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/4 tsp. salt
-2 large egg yolks
-3 oz. dark or semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
-1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup of milk with the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder and salt. When well blended, whisk in the egg yolks. Set aside.

2. In a large saucepan, bring the remaining 2 cups of milk to a boil over medium heat. Stir frequently so as not to scorch the bottom. As soon as milk comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer. Gradually whisk in egg mixture, stirring quickly to incorporate. Continue cooking and stirring until pudding thickens enough to thickly coat the back of a spoon, about 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until it is completely melted and the pudding is smooth. If there are any small lumps, you may optionally run the pudding through a fine mesh strainer to remove them. Stir in the vanilla extract.

3. Serve the pudding warm or cold, with a sprinkling of powdered sugar or nuts, or a dollop of whipped cream. The pudding will thicken up quite a bit when cooled.

(Courtesy of Cup of Jo)

 

Chinese New Year Cookies

Ingredients:

-12 oz. chocolate chips
-12 oz. butterscotch chips
-12 oz. can of peanuts
-5 oz. can chow mien noodles

Directions:

1. Melt chops in double boiler and then stir in remaining ingredients.

2. Drop spoon fulls on waxed paper and cool.

3. Keep refrigerated.

(Courtesy of Tastebook)

 

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Activity

 

Journal Activity or Home Videos Night

 

Journal Activity

Journal together as a family! Depending on your circumstances, you can encourage family members to get their journals out or present them with a new journal. Sheets of paper or notebooks also work. Put on some relaxing music and let your family write for a set amount of time. If you’d like, encourage family members to write on a specific spiritual topic. Examples include writing their testimony, remembering a recent spiritual experience, or writing how they feel about their relationship with Jesus Christ at this point in time.

If you’d like more information on how to get creative with your journaling, read our post here.

 

Home Videos Night

Gather your snacks and pull out those old VHS tapes and watch home videos. Try to make sure each person in your family gets to see themselves or let each person pick a favorite clip or tape. You can also pull out old photographs and talk about who they are. If you don’t have any home videos, start taking some! Grab your phone and camera, and start shooting. You can put on some fun music, interview family members, or make your treat together while filming.

 

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About 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 social media manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and is addicted to organic milk, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.
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