Are you recording daily (or at least weekly) events, interactions, thoughts, sorrows, excitements or any worthwhile memorable experiences you might have? It could be a personal journal or any book of remembrance that could also include photos or other memorabilia. Your history of events and unique experiences will become a great blessing to your posterity.
Our life’s Experiences are Important
Kevin Stock tell his experience not having many written experiences and events in his father’s life, except personal unwritten memories. “I would like to begin with a personal story. In 1988 I was visiting with my brothers and sisters when the conversation drifted to our father, who had passed away many years earlier. We shared our memories of Dad: his ways of doing things, his favorite sayings, our fishing trips (where all he did was bait hooks), and so forth. After enjoying the discussion for 10 or 15 minutes, I was surprised when my youngest sister started to cry. When her emotions settled down, she reminded us that she had been only six years old when our dad passed away. Though she was happy to hear us talk about our memories of Dad, she was saddened because she herself had very few memories of him. That experience bothered me for several weeks. Being the oldest child in the family, I had many memories of my father and could not imagine life without those memories. It bothered me further when I realized that my wife and most of my siblings’ spouses would never meet my dad and that my children and their cousins would never know their grandfather. So I enlisted my wife’s help, and for the next several months we set about compiling a book about my father. We contacted extended family, found former friends, and called work associates and Church leaders who had interacted with Dad. We asked all of them to write down their memories of him. We made copies of pictures, news articles, and documents that showed his special achievements, trying to put everything we could find about my father in a book. After many months of effort, the book was finished, and we printed copies and gave them to family members as our Christmas gift. Although this book is of great value to our family, it does not convey anything more than a glimpse into who my father really is. To fully understand my father as an individual, one would need a much more complete book. There is such a book; the scriptures call it the book of life.”
The Book of Life.
A few scriptures that discuss the Book of Life are:
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” (Revelations 20:12 in the Bible)
In one sense the Book of Life is the total of a person’s thoughts and actions—the record of his life. However, the scriptures also indicate that a heavenly record is kept of the faithful, including their names and accounts of their righteous deeds.
“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” (Revelations 3:5 in the Bible)
“For the names of the righteous shall be written in the book of life, and unto them will I grant an inheritance at my right hand… ” (Alma 5: 58 in the Book of Mormon).
The interpretation I would make from these scriptures is the sons and daughters of God that “overcome” the world’s sins and keep the commandments of the God are written in the Savior’s Book of Life for an inheritance.
My father did not keep a journal or write any personal history and my memory of his life’s experiences are fading fast. My father-in-law prepared his history before he died and it is a treasure to his posterity.
Each of us are unique and our life’s experiences are unique. You are the hero of your own story! You are a child of God. He is your Heavenly Father. He loves you and is only a prayer away. Record your experiences including your thoughts, challenges, blessings and events. If you faithfully keep a daily or weekly journal or write your history, later in life you will be pleased you did and your posterity will be grateful you did. Keep the commandments of God so that you will be a shining example to all that know you.
Quoted part of an article by Kevin D. Stocks entitled “Our Book of Life”, March, 2008 in BYU Speeches.