"Every person should keep a journal and every person can keep a journal." — President Spencer W. Kimball
"Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever" – Isaiah 30:8
“Your journal should contain your true self rather than a picture of you when you are ‘made up’ for a public performance. … The truth should be told, but we should not emphasize the negative.” — President Spencer W. Kimball “The Angels,” New Era, Oct. 1975, p. 5.
“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 Nephi 23:6–13
"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."
– Spencer W. Kimball, “President Kimball Speaks Out on Personal Journals,” New Era, Dec. 1980, 26
“I don’t want to live in a hand-me-down world of others’ experiences. I want to write about me, my discoveries, my fears, my feelings, about me.” – Helen Keller
"Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!" – Job 19: 23
"And upon these I write the things of my soul, and many of the scriptures which are engraven upon the plates of brass. For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them, and writeth them for the learning and the profit of my children." – 2 Nephi 4:15
"We renew our appeal for the keeping of individual histories and accounts of sacred experiences in our lives--answered prayers, inspiration from the Lord, administrations in our behalf, a record of the special times and events of our lives. From these records you can also appropriately draw as you relay faith-promoting stories in your family circles and discussions. Stories of inspiration from our own lives and those of our forebears as well as stories from our scriptures and our history are powerful teaching tools. I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to you individually, your husband or wife, your children, your grandchildren, and mothers throughout the generations." — Spencer W. Kimball, "Therefore I Was Taught"