Thursday, November 18, 2010

On Journals

I find journal-writing very therapeutic, so the times I write most frequently are often the times when I'm most emotional - be it good or bad feelings, I write to capture the moment, puzzle things out, rejoice, expound, and express thanks. My current catch-all journal has lasted since January, so I'm hoping the whole year can fit tidily into one volume.

I have another journal though, one that's lasted several years (mostly because I don't write in it very frequently...), and that's my "strictly spiritual" journal. Not all of my spiritually-minded musings have made it there, and I usually write in there only if I remember to while I'm studying... But I was writing in there tonight. As I was flipping to a fresh page, a couple of old entries caught my attention. The line that concluded an entry from last May read, "I think that sometimes even after we know something, the Lord tries our faith anyway, and makes us wait for the promised blessing." As I perused that and the surrounding words, I sadly realized that it's so true - and I had lost sight of that in the midst of my current trials.

What I realized on top of that is that there's more to journal-keeping than journal-writing; we should also read through our old journals once in a while. There's a lot of things I've learned that would make life easier to get through if I remembered them all the time. Journals aren't written exclusively for the benefit of future generations, and they can benefit the writer by more than just being a means of catharsis. Journals are to help us remember. "Remembering" is an important action in being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and is often emphasized in the Book of Mormon when exhorting people to repentance and in describing their consequent state of righteousness and happiness. When we remember the experiences of others and our own past experiences, we can be inspired and take faith and courage with us into whatever current circumstances we might be in.

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