Friday, December 2, 2011

Following Christ through Scripture Journaling

Ready to Journal?
This blog is a day late --I apologize. We had no power yesterday because of the great wind storm and so what you will see here is the post meant for yesterday and the post scheduled for today.

Also, although these posts have to do with Christ, Christmas and journaling, they are also written with an LDS focus, so you will see posts with Book of Mormon references as well as references from the Bible. No matter who you are, and what your Christian persuasion, I hope you will find joy and hope while reading and following these writing prompts for Christmas.


Where is Christ in your life?
I have often reflected on the power of this question and the answer to it. Within my own life I see challenges that keep me from seeking Christ. Especially during the Christmas season when my thoughts should be directed to the Lord, I am often too busy doing other things. Christmas without Christ is hollow with only scattered moments of light coming through the windows and I wanted more. Could I really have it? What would I have to do to obtain it?

Perhaps you are thinking, “Journal writing.  I can’t seem to make time during the rest of the year for this thing, why start in December?”

But my heart can’t help but return to the time of year most of us truly think on Christ.  Wonderings of Wisemen making their journey east to see the Lord can’t be distinguished.  A candle stands before me, a light like the star, it says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest to unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:30).”

What time of year are we most heavily laden? When do we labour the most? For me, the time is Christmas with all of its glitter, warmth and work. Can we feel unburdened? Can we feel light? Can life be made easy through the help of the Lord, Jesus Christ?


I believe this with all of my heart.
Are you excited to get started??
Choosing a Journal
The shepherds saw more than a star. They saw a direction to travel. Like the Wisemen from the East, they saw in the star a beacon of hope. They had faith that the star would lead them to their glorious destination—the Christ child.

Can we do the same?

The scriptures, like the star of Bethlehem, are the words of Christ, his director, compass or iron rod. Another powerful light or director is our journal, for in our journal we can record the words of Christ. His words are given to us in the wilderness just like Nephi who received and recorded the words of God as he traveled.

He says, “And upon these (plates) I write the things of my soul, and many of the scriptures which are engraven upon the plates of brass. For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them, and writeth them for the learning and the profit of my children. Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard (2 Nephi 4:15-16).”

 Our journal can become scriptures to us and to our children and to our posterity. Like Nephi, we can “delight” in the scriptures. We can “write them for the learning and the profit of our children.” We can continually ponder “upon the things which” we have “seen and heard.”

Today, buy a journal or use an old one you have sitting around the house. (I know you have one). Don’t get fancy if you don’t want to. Just get a journal. Place it beside your bed with a pen.

Before you retire, write your name and the year on the first page along with your desires for this Christmas season and some ideas on receiving your desires.

Studying by Topic
The scriptures are a powerful witness of Christ. Knowing this doesn’t mean a journal is less necessary when studying the scriptures, but probably even more so. Let me show you what I mean.

Today, look back on December 1, and the direction you planned for your Christmas season. Pray about the words you have written. What strikes you as especially important? 

Maybe you were inspired to begin a fresh reading of the Book of Mormon. Perhaps the thought of keeping a daily journal entered your mind and you were curious how you could keep faithful. Perhaps you have thought to study on a topic per day, or to seek the Lord in the subject you should study. Maybe you have wondered how to “keep” Christmas, and the thoughts of how to do this are just occurring to you. 

When I began my study of the scriptures I thought to study by topic, relying on the inspiration of the Lord to direct my path. Some of my first topics were:


Through these topics I came to a greater understanding of my worth and potential, the secret in obtaining truth through the Holy Ghost, and what vision really means in my life and how I can obtain it.

Today, begin your study of one word. The word you choose FIRST says much about your desires. Your word may not take a morning of study. It may take a week or two. Your study of a particular word may not complete itself before you feel the spirit directing you elsewhere. But this I know. Through the direction of the Holy Ghost “ye may know the truth of all things (See Moroni 10:5).

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