When considering early settlers of Mesa and Lehi communities, we might be inclined to imagine such personalities as those depicted in American Gothic. But is that fair when we haven’t ventured anywhere in their shoes or ships? The Stapley name may be familiar; however, details of this family’s journey to settle here may be less familiar.
The Lord Jesus Christ has not only given us His own words to read in Holy Scripture, but has shared with us the ability to write!
Renowned scientist Galileo Galilei marveled at mankind’s “stupendous invention” of being able to write one’s thoughts, remarking, “And with no greater difficulty than the various arrangement of two dozen little signs upon paper?”
Church scholar Hugh Nibley said of writing, “By its operation we know not only what men saw and heard and did and said three and four thousand years ago, but actually what they also thought and felt. The most delicate nuances and fleeting impulses of the mind have outlasted the enormous Cyclopean foundations of world-ruling cities, and where twenty-ton blocks may have vanished without a trace, the dreams, hopes, and surmises of the fragile people who lived among them remain as fresh and clear as ever….”
Family Home Evening is an excellent time to get your family writing! Here are ideas. You can have all family members create their own written work or one together.
Capture Random Memories
For those who think you have nothing interesting to say or that the only way to journal is to recall the formation of your clan and chronologically document every major event since then, this might help. Start a “Random Thoughts and Memories” book or file folder. In that book, on the computer or even scrap paper, jot down epiphanies, experiences that anchor your faith in the Savior, how many times your family has ridden your favorite roller coaster—anything you want to record. Regard these writings as a rough draft and allow yourself to cross out words you’ve penned. Maybe someday you’ll pull out an excerpt, spruce it up and show it to strangers!—or maybe you won’t. Either way, at least you’ll have it.
One compilation of random writings my family keeps is a “Kid Quote” file. We love to read hilarious things my children say years afterward and giggle together.
Enjoy Art Journaling
For those who like hands-on projects or get overwhelmed by the task of constructing complete sentences on blank pages, try this popular method of expression. Employ artistry such as painting or drawing and add whatever single words or phrases are meaningful to you. Words can stand alone, but they don’t have to!
Computers provide a quick, non-messy way to organize and express thoughts. Share e-mailed memories with faraway family members and keep them on file.
Save What You Already Have
Put church talks, school writings, made-up stories, etc., in binders with sheet protectors. Easy!
General Authorities occasionally encourage Church members to write publicly in support of wholesomeness—in blogs or letters to editors, for example—or to email people with power to shape the culture. If we don’t, producers and editors of all media types, education administrators, etc., may assume we’re content with what they broadcast, print and choose for curriculum. Some who read our concerns might take heed, especially if written sincerely by children or teens. Be an example of civility when writing.