By Kathryn Elizabeth Jones
Scripture journaling is like beginning a journey without leaving home and traveling the universe.
God is in the heavens. He wants us to communicate with Him. And we can travel best when we not only hear His voice but record His direction.
Consider for a moment, your last opportunity to speak with Him. What was it like? What did you speak to Him about? What direction did you receive?
Do you even remember?
I remember the first time I really listened to and recorded the Lord’s answer. I was reading about the Kirtland Temple dedication and the Spirit spoke.
“Go into the kitchen and get a piece of paper and something to write with.”
In the next few minutes, I recorded on paper what I felt impressed to record. I didn’t know it at the time, but this moment was to be the first of many moments that I was blessed to hear the voice of the Lord and His direction, love, and counsel to me.
I put the piece of paper near my patriarchal blessing, feeling grateful to the Lord that in His great love and mercy He would make time to speak to me. Still, the words I had written— about a paragraph in length—remained with my patriarchal blessing for about two years. I’m sure I glanced at it during those two years, but I never thought it would happen again.”
But it did, and it has, numerous times since.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would have been like if the prophets hadn’t recorded their thoughts, if their visions and dreams hadn’t been written down, if their struggles and joys hadn’t been recorded, then you have a pretty good idea what scripture journaling is.
Scripture journaling gives the reader an opportunity to see themselves as Christ sees them. To work through their personal struggles, to invest in their relationship with Jesus Christ.
Related: “7 Tools that Could Transform Your Scripture Study”
Scripture journaling isn’t about perfection today. It’s about trusting in God enough to speak with you, listening to His words and following His direction. It’s about taking His word seriously enough to write it down.
Writing things down is no easy step, but the step is rewarding, and the promise is sure:
Richard G. Scott said, “Inspiration carefully recorded shows God that His communications are sacred to us. Recording will also enhance our ability to recall revelation.”
I am amazed at what I have learned from the power of the Spirit, as I have made time daily to speak with God. I have my own special place—my own holy of holies if you will—and sometimes an agenda of what I want to learn (sometimes not). I am open to receiving from others, from dreams and visions, from personal experiences, from church, from Conference, and from the scriptures.
Like an invisible wire, the scriptures are connected to my journal in a real way. Through prayer, the connective power, I am able to learn more from the word of God, and I’m able to record my feelings about what I learn. I am also able to connect my journal writing directly to my scriptures through cross-referencing.
Imagine going to a highlighted scripture one day only to find a journal reference in the margins that says something like: “July 10, 2019.” What happened that day regarding that verse? What did you learn? What did the Spirit speak to you?
Imagine returning to your journal during the month your child passed away, or you struggled in your marriage only to find the scriptures that healed and comforted you, scriptures that you needed once again.
Consider what it would mean to pull from your journal the Lord’s word in regards to raising your children or information that will help you in your next Family Home Evening lesson.
Consider what it would mean to take the Lord’s words to heart and always remember them. (see Doctrine & Covenants 20:77, 79).
Check out Kathryn’s book: “Enlightened: My Personal Journey with Christ Through Scripture Journaling,” designed for recording to take place. This hands-on book, filled with scriptures, quotes from the prophets, and personal experiences, will help you begin your own scripture journaling journey.
Related: “Resources for the Best Scripture Study of Your Life”