Book of Mormon: Day 113: Blessings from my Grandpa’s Journal

Today’s Reading: Mosiah 1:1-10

3 And he also taught them concerning the records which were engraven on the plates of brass, saying: My sons, I would that ye should remember that were it not for these plates, which contain these records and these commandments, we must have suffered in ignorance, even at this present time, not knowing the mysteries of God.

Lately I’ve learned the truth of King Benjamin’s words: “were it not for these plates, which contain these records . . . we must have suffered in ignorance.”

I never knew my maternal grandparents–my grandma died when my mom was 6, my Grandpa died the year before I was born. So the only way I’ve gotten to know them has been through stories–memories told to me by my mom. That is, until recently when I found out that my Grandpa kept a daily journal. My husband and I have been reading this record the last few months–starting at when my mom was five. What a great experience it has been! I’ve learned that my Grandpa was a sweet, hardworking man, I’ve learned that being a parent was hard, even 60 years ago. I’ve learned that I’m not the only one who gets a little irritated by the incessant questions of a preschooler.

I’ve also learned more about my mom. Life wasn’t easy for her. I knew that my Grandma died when my mom and her three siblings were little. However, what I didn’t know was that my Grandma was in the hospital for five years prior to her death–the majority of my mom’s life! I was stunned at that realization and what that meant for my mom! She and her siblings didn’t have a mommy at home to spend time with them, to watch them at skating practice, to give them that “Something special”–that sense of security that comes from knowing that your #1 nurturer is there. My husband and I have read through six months of the journal so far, and the family has already gone through three nannies. Learning these things and developing insights into my mom’s life has helped me to gain even greater respect for her. I am impressed by how resilient she has been despite her early challenges. I’m grateful that she rose above her experiences and was there for me.

I am grateful for the records that my forefathers have kept, so that I may not suffer in ignorance. I feel blessed to have journals which bring me closer to my earthly parents and scriptures that bring me closer to my Heavenly parents.

I urge all of the people of this church to give serious attention to their family histories, to encourage their parents and grandparents to write their journals, and let no family go into eternity without having left their memoirs for their children, their grandchildren, and their posterity. -Spencer W. Kimball [i]

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After growing up in the bitter cold of Alberta Canada and serving a mission in the scalding heat of Tucson Arizona, I finally settled for the “moderate” climate of Utah. I met my best friend and love of my life at BYU where I received my degree in Marriage and Family Studies. I stay at home with my two little girls, teach marriage classes with my husband, and run an alumni Facebook group. I love to write, bake, travel, teach, and feast upon the words of Christ, but my favorite happy thought of all is going on weekly dates with my husband!

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  • So beautiful Courtney!! My guilt button hit a high as I know that I need to be a better journal keeper. I really appreciate you showing, first hand, the blessings of doing so. Looks like I better dust my journal off…

  • I have those fascinating diaries of my dad’s on a bookshelf a few feet away. They date back to age 16, a very interesting age!… and include the war years when he and my mom were in South America, he as a geophysicist hunting oil for the US military during World II. The entries, though short, are a family treasure, and thanks to my sister, Courtney’s mom, many in the family have copies.Though my mom was hospitalized off and on for those 5 years preceding her passing, she was away far, far more than with us. Journals… a way of showing those who follow what life was really like, and perhaps why they had a perspective of life that they did / do. kdm