So bad, in fact, that fully nine months of my mission experience apparently never happened; at least I've got no journalistic evidence to prove it. We won't talk about my attempts at journaling before my mission, but the words 'pathetic' and 'grossly inconsistent' come to mind.
Why, despite my repeated failures, is keeping a journal important to me? I was very young when I first heard this statement by President Spencer W. Kimball—
I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to your families, to your children, your grandchildren, and others, on through the generations...those who keep a personal journal are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives.That statement made a lasting impact on my impressionable young mind, and I've since felt duty-bound to record my stories and insights. This blog is one effort to fulfill that prophetic—and now personal—vision.
|No, the blurriness and black marks are not |
a trendy feature on Picmonkey; they are a
consequence of dropping my camera at Lagoon
Woah, Johnny—never missed a day, huh? Well then surely I could do the same!
Well I couldn't. And I didn't. And I began to wonder if Johnny really never missed a day and I started to resent him if he hadn't. My inconsistent journaling on my mission stemmed from an erroneous belief that if I missed a day I could play catch up the next. The problem with this line of thinking is that one day inevitably piles up into 17 or 18. It didn't take long to get overwhelmed by how far I'd fallen behind. In trying to keep up with Johnny I couldn't even keep up with myself.
I caught myself falling into the same error upon returning home. After missing a couple of days I was tempted to play the familiar game of catch up. But something stopped me. True doctrine stopped me. My burgeoning understanding of the Savior's Atonement rescued me from the fallacy of wrong thinking. The Savior doesn't expect me to catch up on missed opportunities any more than he expects a repentant sinner to fork over back-payments on tithing. He expects me to start over, not to languish forever in a miserable game I never win.
Years from now if you're reading my journal you'll notice a break between July 9 and July 11, 2013.
Yes, I missed a day. But finally, mercifully, I didn't miss the point.