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Music & the Spoken Word: Remembering the day

Journaling has all kinds of mental, emotional and spiritual benefits. Very often, the most difficult step in journaling is simply getting started, Lloyd Newell observes

Editor’s note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This will be given Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024.

For as long as people have put pen to paper, they have found satisfaction in keeping journals. So many people of all ages record special moments in their lives, expressing their inmost feelings and thoughts. Some do it to leave a record for their posterity; others write only for themselves. There’s just something about putting our life into words that helps us see it clearly, understand it and, over time, make it better.

Very often, the most difficult step in journaling is simply getting started. Experienced journal keepers have found that it helps to establish a rhythm for writing. It can be different for everyone; some journal every Sunday afternoon, before breakfast on weekdays, on the train during the daily commute or just before bed. Journaling, they discover, invites order, awareness and peace into their lives.

During the onset of the pandemic, a woman started keeping a journal — just a quick entry each morning to reflect on her many blessings. Sometimes she repeated what she wrote the day before. Some days she wrote with more enthusiasm than others. But now, years later, she looks forward to her daily ritual, and she enjoys reading past entries. Recording her gratitude in a journal has deepened her joy and softened her sorrow.

Scientific research confirms what journal keepers have learned for themselves: Journaling has all kinds of mental, emotional and spiritual benefits. Besides the obvious ones, “like a boost in mindfulness, memory and communication skills, … studies have also found that writing in a journal can lead to better sleep, a stronger immune system, more self-confidence and a higher IQ” (see “What’s All This About Journaling?” by Hayley Phelan, New York Times, Oct. 25, 2018, nytimes.com).

Some find healing and peace in the pages of their journals. Others find deeper understanding of their own emotions, which helps them connect better with others. By remembering and reflecting, by writing things down, we can see how we’ve grown over the years. And seeing how we faced challenges in the past might give us courage to face what lies ahead.

Even if we write only one line every few days, journaling can help us “ponder the path of [our] feet” (see Proverbs 4:26). while also turning our thoughts heavenward, opening our hearts to gratitude for the Lord, His grace and His goodness in our lives.

Tuning in …

The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL NewsRadio 1160AM/102.7FM, KSL.com, BYUtv, BYUradio, Dish and DirecTV, SiriusXM Radio (Ch. 143), the tabernaclechoir.org, youtube.com/TheTabernacleChoir and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at musicandthespokenword.com/viewers-listeners/airing-schedules.

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