Year 01/Wk 04: Personal History & Keeping a Journal

You may remember me sharing that I am a part of a special LDS Easter celebration with other bloggers!  This project is one I cam up with specifically for this challenge and I hope to make it a new family tradition each year leading up to Easter.  CLICK HERE to find the Easter projects from all of the other LDS bloggers participating. There is a great selection and I know you'll find great activities for a Christ-centered Easter with your family!

What You'll Need: set of scriptures, GAK 509/GAB 125: Wilford Woodruff,  printed ABOUT ME book for each family member, scissors, stapler, coloring tools.

You can also choose to download the pdf of LESSON 04 for easy printing. If you download, please leave a comment here on what you like about this lesson. Note: GAK vs GAB pictures explained here.

Scripture: 1 Nephi 1:1,3 -  Having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the 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.

Opening Song: Every Star Is Different - PCS #142


Even if we cannot enter the temple yet, we can begin working on family history by learning about our ancestors and loving them. One way we come to know those who are already dead is by reading their journals.

(Show picture of Wilford Woodruff)

When Wilford Woodruff joined the church, the Prophet Joseph Smith had told the church to keep records, so Wilford Woodruff wrote in his journal every day starting on the day he was baptized and for the rest of his life.

Those journals help us know exactly what happened when the Pioneers were building the Salt Lake Temple and other important facts, but for Wilfred Woodruff he was simply writing what happened to him each day.

We can serve others and become a part of Family History by keeping our own journals and scrapbooks. Just as we enjoy finding out about our ancestors, our future families will want to learn about us, too.

What should we write in our journals?

(show print-out of 'Journals from the Past' - CLICK HERE to download)

On these pages you can see four journals that were kept more than 150 years ago by early pioneers. By looking carefully at them, you may get ideas of what you can write in your own journal.
Thomas Bullock kept the official journal for the first group of pioneers who traveled to the Salt Lake Valley with Brigham Young in 1847. Brother Bullock made lists. He wrote the names of every person who traveled west with him. From this list we know exactly who was on that trek.

- What lists could you make in your journal? Maybe you could make a list of the children in your Primary class or a list of your favorite books.

Here is a picture of Luke Johnson’s journal. He also traveled with Brigham Young as the company doctor. In those days, a doctor had to make the medicines he used to help people get well. He wrote the recipes for his medicines in his journal.

- If you have a favorite food, you could copy the recipe in your journal.

Two ideas of what you could put in your journal come from Appleton Harmon’s journal. You can see that he put down the dates of when he wrote. That’s very important. Always put the date so you won’t have to wonder about when you wrote something. Appleton also sketched what he saw as he traveled west.

- In your journal, you could draw a picture of your family or of an event in your life such as a piano recital. You could also draw what you see when you look out your window.

Eliza R. Snow was the first secretary of the Relief Society. She wrote about what happened at meetings she attended in a special book. Because she did this, we know what happened at the very first Relief Society meeting. Sister Snow wrote poems in her personal journal, including the lyrics for 10 of the hymns in our hymnbook.

- When you want to remember a talk from sacrament meeting or a story you heard in Primary, you can write it in your journal. If you like to write poems, your journal is a good place to keep them.
Prophet Spencer W. Kimball said, “Your story should be written now while it is fresh and while the true details are available. …write [about] your goings and your comings, your deeper thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies.  Those who keep a personal journal are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives.”

(hold up a set of LDS Standard works)

- Who wrote these scriptures? (ancient Prophets)
- What did they write about? (their lives, history and the spiritual things which happened to them)
- What do these records remind you of? (personal journals)

The scriptures are really just journals of Ancient Prophets.  Because they wrote about their lives and testimonies our lives our blessed.

Try to write in your journal as often as you can. Then when you grow up and have your own children, you can share some things from your journal so they can know what you were like when you were their age!

Bear your testimony about the blessings which come from writing a record of your life. If it's appropriate share a few meaningful passages with your children from your own journal.

(For tips on sharing your testimony please click here.)

Practice Song: If you are teaching your family the JANUARY Song of the Month, go over the words and music with your family.

CLICK HERE to download pdf with full instructions.

26 Way Righteous Comments:

Kristin said...

I love people who keep journals! The article from the the Friend is so inspiring. I need to do better at this, and your FHE plan is a great start.

Natalie said...

Thank you so much for your lessons and all of your hard work! I've used them the last two weeks with my 3- and 4-year olds (just simplified a tiny bit) and it's gone really well. I feel like I can handle a year of FHE with your help!

Devon said...

Hi! I found your site a few weeks ago from Pinterest, and I have to tell you how much it has helped us. My husband grew up in a home where for whatever reason they never held FHE, and I am convert to the church, so needless to say it has been a struggle for us to hold it. Finding your site has made it so easy for us to do this--I am very crunched for time as my son is ventilator dependent and wheelchair bound, and I don't have time to do the well researched lessons I would like. Thank you for having that readily available. Your lessons are great, and my son is enjoying learning the stores from the BOM (I started with last year's lessons.). Anyway, just wanted to say thank you!

Anonymous said...

Another great lesson. Thanks for all your hard work.

AmyH said...

I am so excited to give this lesson to my children! I love journals, but they are young (5 and 7). My 7 year old is going to be 8 in March, so I would love to challenge her to start keeping a journal like Wilford Woodruff did when he was baptized. I also think I'll start conducting a little interview with my 5 year old after school and recording the events of his day for him. He can take over in a couple of year. Thank you so much! This will be my first lesson from you but, certainly not my last!

Emily said...

LOVE THIS!!! I love the little journal book you put together!! Thank you for making this lesson!!!

Megan said...

Super excited about this lesson! Thanks again for your hard work!!

kelly l said...

I just found your site on Pinterest too. And with no good excuse, our family has been terrible at family home evening lately. And since my kids have been asking us why, I figured I needed to get in gear. I'm so excited to use your site as a resource. Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all you do! I have a suggestion for anyone with young ones and you want to have them journal. My daughter is 2 and I bought one of those little notebooks, you can get in the school/stationary section at stores, that has a blank space above and then you can write underneath. I write what my daughter did that day, something she thoughtw as really fun, and then she scribbles all over the page. I bought hers at the dollar store, but when school supplies go back on sale in fall, I'll stock up on a few of the nicer ones at the other stores.

JeannineW said...

My kids loved this lesson especially making the books. Thanks. Your site has been so helpful.

Jenny said...

We've been trying to follow along with your weekly plans... simplifying them a lot but it's been so helpful to have a plan! My daughter loved drawing our family tree last week on our chalkboard and seeing where all of our names came from. And then tonight we did the All About Me books and she had lots of fun. We may not follow everything and have it quite as spiritual as we should, but it's helping us get in the habit of doing regular FHE. Thank you!

Carrie said...

Thanks so much! Love the "all about me" journal!

stevie kay said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the journal books!

jgalke said...

Best FHE blog I've ever seen! Thanks for doing all the work for us. Amazing.

April said...

Thank you so much. I love that everything is printable and that you can tailor everything to your family. My husband is not a member and it is helpful to be able to use what works best for our family.

Ryan Cox said...

Thank you for your wonderful blog! What an inspiring way to use the internet purposefully. I am very excited to be using this lesson for our family home evening tonight. I bought my girls personalized journals for Valentine's Day this year and this lesson will be a great way to stress the importance. By the way, I L-O-V-E the all about me book, thank you!!!

Crystal Dever said...

This is awesome! Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is so wonderful! While looking for material to help with my lesson for our Empty Nester's FHE, I came across your site. What wonderful ideas and creativity! Thank you for so freely sharing this with all of us. It will be so easy to adapt this to meet the needs of any age group. For some of us who are not so creative, this is an answer to prayer.

Angie said...

Thank you for making that fantastic All About Me book. I was looking online for something and found yours. I'll definitely be printing this up for my kids.

Unknown said...

Thanks for creating the All About Me Book. It is an excellent resource for 1st graders. I am a new teacher and I appreciate your generosity of sharing a wonderful activity to use with my students.

Unknown said...

I like the journals of the past print out. I love reading from old journals (especially if they are family members). It reminds me of how important it is to keep a journal, to show your posterity how you handled trials and triumphs in your life, how you used and understand the atonement. Your words to posterity can strengthen their testimony.

Tami said...

Thank you! Perfect FHE for my family!

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