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Journal Ideas

(See Journal Jars)

The most important reason to write in your journal about your life's experiences and the things you learn is for yourself.  Your memory  sometimes develops holes.  But if you have your experience recorded, just reading  it can bring back all the important feelings you had. Your journal will become a precious treasure to you and to your family. Some ways you can make your journal more interesting are to:

1. Add keepsakes--your journal doesn't have to be just words day after day. Include a favorite poem or thought, add photos when you have them or if  you like to draw, add a few sketches.  You can also clip a comic from the newspaper that illustrates your feelings.  Keep ticket stubs and cards if they mean something special to you.
2. Write about the world--Write about the important things happening in the world, especially if they make you think.  These are interesting times--lots going on every day.
3. Include humor--Everything you write doesn't have to be terribly important.  If something happened that made you laugh--write it down.
4. Write about the past--Write about things that happened earlier in your life or stories you've heard your parents or grandparents tell.
5. Include your testimony--Be sure you write down when you've had a prayer answered or a teacher gave a lesson that really made you think.  Also write about your testimony and what made it grow.
6. Just Do It!  Try to write regularly, but don't be too hard on yourself if you can't manage to write every day.  You might do better with once every few days or once a week.  Figure out what works best for you and stick to it.
* Remember to date every entry and include the location and full names of the people you're writing about. ~Debbie

We had trouble getting my dh to keep a journal so we had a FHE on journal keeping and I wrote the following poem:-Lesley

J  is a Journal meant to be
O Original notes penned by me
U Unused are its pages because each night, I fail to
R Remember some words to write
N Neglected
A Abandonded, it purpose forgot
L Left on the shelf, simply to rot.

J  is a journal written by me
O Open its pages, treasures you'll see
U Unique events in my daily life
R Reminders of joys, sorrows and strifes
N Necessary trials to show that I can
A Always live the Gospel plan, and show
L Love for my Father in all that I say
       a Testimony to Him each day.  Lesley Walker

I have a real testimony of Journals and faithfully kept one for years....  Have slacked off but am determined to recommit.  The main reason we should keep a journal is because the Prophets have asked us to but there are many other benefits besides knowing we are being obedient.   Journals allow us to look back and assess ourselves and personal growth more accurately.  There are many things in my journals that I would have forgotten if I had not written them down..... Many people,  many experiences  had an impact on my life but  I would  not remember them as clearly (or at all) if it were not in my journals. I kept a journal during the first time I was a Relief Society President and when my older children were young and then as teens....  My first temple marriage ended in divorce and I had to find a way to support my 5 I went to nursing school.  That was such a traumatic time that I would have little memory of it and my life in general if I had not kept a journal.   There are some sad things in my journal but they are just as much a part of my life as the happy, joyous things and I can look back and reassure myself that I can indeed survive difficult times,  with my testimony and gospel commitments in tact.    I am not sure how others handle their journals, but just a few things I do:

1.  I do not 'edit' my journal to only include happy times and thoughts. But I do take care the way I word things,  especially if it involves personal information about someone else.

2.  I began to feel a strong commitment to journals when I read/heard of Pres. Spencer W. Kimball's devout journal keeping AND when I read the many journals kept by my ancestors.  I would not have really known them if it were not for their journals.  They wrote the good and the bad and the everyday events of their lives and because of that I have a pretty good picture of who they were and how they handled mortality.

3.   In the past I have tried to write something every night just before bed... life allowed me to do that for a number of years,  but it seems much more difficult to do now.  I try to write at least every Sunday...........and every FAST SUNDAY for sure,  if I have not written all month.   I don't try to 'catch' up all the news,  but just write the high-lights of the month.

4.  If  I know I am not going to get to my journal for a few days (or even weeks) but there is something I know I want to include.  I jot down some key words on a file card w/ dates, times, etc.

5.  Each journal entry I also include the weather, temp. and time of day that I am writing. There is no particular reason.......  I guess I got it from pioneer journals.

Just remember,  most of the  information and wonderful,  inspiring stories we enjoy from the pioneers,  we have because someone took the time to write it down in a journal or personal history.

I am the first to admit the times we live in seem to work against us in keeping a regular journal,  but it is well worth the effort.
~Marilynn B.

For our final activity of 1998 we had the PJ's Party (previously posted) as a combine YW activity and I have copies of 371 questions for the journal jars.  There are duplicates of some but we also told the girls that if they pull out a duplicate, to either answer it again or put it back in the jar for a later date.  Some of the questions asked may have a different answer in 2, 4, or 6 months or even earlier.  I also went through the PP book and prepared questions pertaining to goals they could pass off with reference as to which value it fulfilled.  BH1, F  would be Beehive 1, Faith.  This way as they write in their journals daily they also could be meeting a PP goal.  Most of these were ones that said, "Read ???? scripture and record your feelings in your journal.  ~Ronda Robbins

Here are some Journal ideas... followed by more journal jar questions

My Journal
by Julianne Lowman

My journal is my Archive,
To show where I have been.

My Journal is my Manuscript,
To write what I have seen.

My Journal is my Confidant,
To share my deep emotions.

My Journal is my Registry
To record live's celebrations.

My Journal is my Strongbox
To keep my hopes and dreams.

My Journal is my Music
To play my many themes.

My Journal is so much to me,
And yet it's just bare pages--

Yet as I fill them with my pen,
Becomes priceless throughout the ages.

Journal writing leads to better health Tucked in the corner of my attic (amid the clutter my husband wants me so desperately to clean up), is a  box full of personal journals, some dating back to my days in grammar school. Every so often I open the box and select a journal, peering through the pages, some filled with the scribble of a young  adolescent, others filled with the more mature penmanship of an adult.  I never  intend to spend more than a few minutes browsing.  But before I know it, hours have passed as I rediscover friends I had long forgotten and relive events that have faded from memory. Sometimes I laugh.  Sometimes I cry.  But I always feel more at peace with myself after reading through those pages.  I find that reading these journals today is as therapeutic as writing  them was years ago.  There's something restorative about putting pen to paper, even in this age of electronic mail and voice mail messages. Apparently, this sense of well-being is not unusual.  New research is pointing to the physiological and emotional value of keeping a journal. In one study, James  Pennebaker, a psychologist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, followed the health status of a group of students who kept a journal for four consecutive days early in the semester.  These students fared much better physically - suffering  from fewer bouts of colds, flu and fatigue --over the next several months compared to those students who had not kept a journal. In another study, Pennebaker asked recently fired professionals to write in a journal for 20 minutes a day for five consecutive days.  One  group was told to discuss their feelings about job loss, while the control group was asked to merely write about their daily activities.  Eight months later, more than 50 percent of the people in the test group had landed new jobs and less than 25 per of the control group was back in the work force. Of course journal writing does not appeal to everyone.  But if you're interested in giving journal writing a shot, I offer these suggestions or techniques to get you started. Stream of consciousness.  Just start writing and keep writing for five minutes straight.  Don't worry about grammar, punctuation, spelling, or sentence structure.  Don't stop to think, don't try to edit your words or thoughts. Just keep going, page after page.  You'll be amazed at where your
thoughts and words take you.  Once the five minutes are up, go back and review your entry. Elaborate on any topic that strikes you.  Try writing for another nonstop five minutes and see what happens. Write  a "Dear Ann Marie" letter.  Whenever  I feel at a loss for words, I begin my entry with the simple salutation, "Dear Ann Marie," and suddenly the words begin to flow.  I no longer feel the pressure of making a "perfect" journal entry.,  Instead, I find I'm easily conversing with an old college friend, someone who doesn't pass judgment, someone who always listens, no matter how convoluted my tale.  (I don't  mail  these journal entries to my friend; it's just a technique to facilitate writing).  Try writing to your own "Ann Marie." Describe your surroundings.  Sometimes when I don't know how or where to begin, I start by describing my physical surroundings.  I am sitting on the porch, in my favorite rocker, watching the neighborhood children walk to school, listening to the squirrel scramble  up the tree.  The sun  feels wonderful on my face ---- a sign that spring is just around the corner.  The house is quiet, peaceful.  Oh,  how I love  the silence.  The description serves as a setting, a sort of anchor that calms me and allows thought to flow.
Once you've kept a journal for a while, take the time to reread your entries. It's like reading a great novel, only you're the main character!  Which reminds me I better find a  new hiding place for my box of journals.  These novels are for my eyes only! ~Magaly Olivero

Top 10 Miraculous Benefits of keeping a Personal Journal

In earlier generations it was common to keep a diary or personal journal.  Today few people do it, and very few recognize the value and astonishing power of keeping a journal.   If you can read and write, you have access to the most amazing source of personal power and magic!   Try it for 30 days and watch it transform your life!   Clients periodically tell me they couldn't possibly find the time.   I ask them to try it for 30 days.   Then clients often tell me they couldn't possibly live without the power of their journals. The following are my list of the top 10 reasons to keep a journal.

    1.  A journal will clarify your goals.   As you write a few thoughts each day, your ideas about what is important, what is worthy of your life and your time will become much clearer. You'll automatically discover what you really want in life.

    2.  A journal will simplify your life.  Spending as little as 10 minutes with pen and paper describing your values, noting your achievements and giving thanks for the joys of life, will make you less tolerant of life's distractions.   Things become much simpler when you write them down.

    3.  A journal will strengthen your relationships.   It will give you time and the words to  express your feelings, it will help you understand and be patient with your loved one's peccadilloes, and it will teach you to love more powerfully.

    4.  A journal will make you more attractive.  Socrates said, "Know thyself."  Keeping a journal will help you know yourself and express yourself more clearly, and that is amazingly attractive!

    5.  A journal will empower you.  Thinking with pen and paper forces you to eliminate fuzzy or confusing images and "laser" in on precisely the right word, the most powerful image to express yourself.   Keeping a journal will make you more a better communicator, and that can make you rich!

    6.  A journal will eliminate temptation.  Some ideas sounds great in our imagination, but when written on paper they just aren't the same!   It's easy to blurt out "I hate my job!", but writing about what it means to quit, change careers and start over will quickly result in one of two things:   The temptation will go away, or you'll start generating actual plans to make your
life better.   Either way, you win!

    7.  A journal affirms the reality of your life.  Writing about life adds meaning and power. Journal your child's first steps or first tooth, starting school, her first date and high school graduation adds substance to these things.   A friend of mine just became a grandfather for the first time and a gave his son, the proud father, a fat 3-ring binder of notes he'd written as he'd watched his baby boy grow 25 years ago.   Together they cried and laughed at the reality that life is a sacred, wonderful thing.

    8.  A journal helps you be quiet.  Journalizing has been called a form of meditation.   It has a similar power to quiet the mind and focus your thoughts.   It even has the power to turn off the TV!   It can heal anxiety, change your breathing and make you smile.   What more could you ask?

    9.  A journal helps you speak out.  Many of my articles, letters to the local paper, and letters to friends began as notes in my journal.  A journal helps ideas become words, and it provides a nursery for words to grow into sentences and paragraphs, until finally they need a stage on which to express themselves.   Sometimes that "stage" is a candle-lit dinner, other times it's
a protest sign or a letter to an old friend.   

Whatever form it takes, many of those messages would never have been born without the safety of a journal in which to grow.

   10.  Finally, a journal just feels good!  Using quality paper and a fountain pen or other a beautiful instrument with just the right "heft" and feel is a wonderfully sensuous, delightful experience.   It will cheer you up, reduce your stress, make you smile and add to your life. ~Sharlene contributed (did not write this)

I think this website will give you what you need. Oh... the younger primary one is for a child who isn't yet writing. The slips of papers list things for them to DRAW pictures of in their journal. Hope that helps. Stacey

P.S. Speaking of birthday ideas....wouldn't Journal Jars make GREAT birthday gifts for the young women??? Journal Jar Ideas

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