How would a scripture journal benefit me?
Where to start! Scripture journals aren’t about writing, they are about recording. Recording what we learn, and recording it for future generations. I have found that I am FAR less likely to forget what I have learned if I have written it down, and if by chance I do forget, I just then need to go back and read what I took the time to write it down. Typically, I have found that I learn over time, so if I have places to write down what I am learning then I am more likely to progress in knowledge more quickly. Also, when I have a talk or a lesson to give, my years of gathering information is waiting right there to be used – and it tends to be some of the best things I have come across. So not only does my growing in knowledge increase, but my ability to impact others does as well.
Elder Gene R. Cook said this:
“I’ve found, as I’m sure you have, that when you are trying to learn from the Lord and you feel an impression from the Spirit… It is important to make a note so it will not be forgotten. The more you not only hear but abide by what you’ve been told, the more the Lord will give you. It will come more and more rapidly and you will begin to hear and feel those impressions of the Spirit more quickly than you have previously done.” (Address to Religious Educators, 1 September 1989)
What if I don’t have time to study like I would like to?
We live such busy lives. I am so glad that Nephi took the time to write… and Moroni… and every single person who left a record that continues to make my life better. We do not know how our writings could impact future generations.
President Spencer W. Kimball said this:
“Get a notebook… a journal that will last through all time, and maybe the angels will quote from it for eternity.” (Teachings, p.35)
One thing I have learned as I have worked with youth,
is that they decide when they are ready to be taught something. Teaching moments (I mean the kind when they are searching and ready to be counseled or taught) can come and go quickly, and we may not have time to run off and study about what we should say. Writing down what we learn can help us to treasure up what we have been taught and be more prepared to help others when they need it. They could even be a tool where we sit down with that person, and open to a page in your journal and they can then see something you wrote (perhaps years ago) that applies to the very situation they are dealing with. In short, as we start to gain the benefits of truly meaningful scripture study and see the records we are beginning to leave, we may find that we don’t not have time for it.
How can my scripture journal benefit future generations?
See answer to the question above.
Out of all the things our posterity could possibly inherit,
what would be better than our counsel, insights and testimony? Could we not be inspired now to write things that those we may never know (but will surely love) will be in need of?
What if I can’t afford a scripture journal?
You can set up your own TOPICS journal by following the instructions here.
Should I write in all of the Topics I want to study at once or should I write them in as I go?
This is completely up to you. I will soon have a list of possible topics for you to put into your journal and you can go through and pick which ones you would like to study first.
Writing them in your journal all at once can help encourage you to study those specific topics, and then you know that if you don’t have anything written on the page yet, you may be motivated to put some time into that subject. You could also choose to put them in alphabetically for easy referencing.
Writing them as you go will allow you to put several pages into one topic if you find that you have a lot of things you would like to record about it. It will also allow you to put in topics that you don’t think of right up front, or that you find as you are studying in your scriptures and feel impressed to study about.
What do I do when I fill up a page or section in my journal, but I still want to record more things?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions. There are a couple of options for you:
1- Just start another page with that same topic. Then at the bottom of the pages there is a place provided for you to write where you have written about that topic in that same or other journals. This way everything is linked together. Plus you will also be keeping a Table of Contents in the front of your journal so you could find your pages easily there.
2- If you just want to add something short, and don’t want to start an entirely new page, just get a small piece of paper and tape it onto your page. If you just tape the center of the paper down and not the edges, you should be able to lift the paper (like a flap) easily out of the way. The best place to put it is your inside margin, so it is like you are just adding a mini page. You could add a few mini pages and you can write on both sides.
What if I fill up one side of my journal, when another side still has room?
This will likely happen to you quite a bit. For example, while studying a chapter in the CHAPTERS journal, you may fill the right side with a lot of your insights and personal experiences while still having room in the left side to do more research into the verses. The two sides are meant to go hand in hand and sometimes one side will fill up before the other. Personally, I would leave it as it is and then move on to a new page. One reason is that what is recorded on the “not filled” side is what helped me come to the “filled up side”. So if I am ever teaching those verses to my family or class, I can see those things that I will want to teach them so they can have their own experiences like I have had. I won’t want to fill it up with stuff just to have it filled up.
What should I write in the “personal insights” section?
There are no rules here. You can get creative and have a lot of fun and meaningful experiences in this section. Here are some ideas for you:
- Any insights you have into those verses or topics. One thing that helps me is I imagine writing to my children, so I think of things I would like them to see, understand or learn. This tends to open up entirely new avenues of things I wouldn’t have considered.
- Personal experiences. As you write about topics that you have had personal experiences with, you can record them here.
- Your testimony. When you write about things that you have a personal witness of, record it.
- Inspiration. You will find that as you write, you will often think of things as you are writing.
- Diagrams, Drawings, Graphs… Each week I will be posting different ideas to help you try different things in your journal.
What if I don’t know what to write?
There can be a learning curve when just starting your scripture journal. As you continue to write, you will develop this skill more and more. You can line up my scripture journals and just by reading them, you could arrange them first to last, and you can see me growing as you read them. The trick is just to dive in and start.
Also, as mentioned before, I will be posting ideas each week to help give you a nice, healthy start.
What pens and supplies do you use?
If you don’t care about this stuff… just read on, but you would be surprised how many emails I get asking what I like to use. So here it is:
- Gel pens. All sorts of varieties and types. I just prefer them over ball point because I like how they flow and the boldness of the ink.
- High quality colored pencils. I like the kind you get in the artist section of stores – not the office supply sections.
- High quality markers. Likewise the kind you get in the artist sections. Prismacolor is my marker of choice – but it is pricey.
- And I always keep a ruler nearby
What are some good ideas to give these as a gift?
See the answer above.
Do you personally handle the shipping or is it outsourced?
It is outsourced to a company who can handle it much more professionally and timely than I ever could. Amazon also carries the journals.
Do you ship internationally?
I did sign up for international shipping with the company you are ordering through. Please let me know if you have a problem with it.
How could I use these in my family scripture study?
The CHAPTERS journal could serve as a guide for you and your family as you study and discuss the verses together. You could fill in the various boxes together. This would aid you in training your children in learning how to study their scriptures. In the “personal insights” section, you could include comments and insights your family shares with each other, writing their names by their comments. This way you have a precious family record of that valuable time spent with each other. What a wonderful thing to go back and read.
How could I use these in my Family Home Evenings?
The TOPICS journal could be a wonderful record of your Family Home Evenings. You could create a page for each topic you discuss in Family Home Evening. The left side of the page can aid you in things to prepare for what to teach, and the right side can be the outline of your lessons. You could also use the right side of the page in the way mentioned in the question above.
What if I want to order these for my church group?
Please email me via my contact page. Please include the group you want to buy them for along with the number of journals you plan on buying. I will get back to you with the appropriate discount code for your group.
How could I use these with my Young Women group? (Or other church group)
If each young woman had a TOPICS journal, you could go through the manual with the young women at the beginning of the year and have them write in the topics of each lesson. You could then encourage them to study them ahead of time and come to each lesson prepared with at least one meaningful thing to share from their journals. Then the teachers can add even more to their pages and encourage them to write or add things during each lesson.
From personal experience, I have learned that many young women like to write the topics PERFECTLY and if they make a mistake they get frustrated and want to start over. One solution to avoid this is to print labels with the topics already printed for them and then they just need to put the sticker on the top of each page.
How could these journals help with missionaries or future missionaries?
Can you imagine a missionary force of young men and women who have carefully read and studied the scriptures and have kept a record as they have done so?
I would suggest they use these journals in the following manner:
- Take Preach My Gospel and write the topics addressed at the top of each page in the TOPICS journal.
- Then as you study those topics, use the scriptures suggested in Preach My Gospel, and really dig into them using the CHAPTERS journal.