Scripture Journal Basics
WHAT IS A SCRIPTURE JOURNAL?
A scripture journal is not the same as a diary or regular journal where you would normally write about your daily activities and problems. A scripture journal is a record of the spiritual lessons you have learned as you study the scriptures. Its a place to document the growth of your testimony in every gospel principle. Its a priceless spiritual legacy you leave for your children and grandchildren to learn from and about you even after you are gone.
WHAT DO YOU USE FOR A JOURNAL?
You can use whatever you want for your journal- whether it be a spiral notebook, a 3 ring binder, a traditional bound journal, or a coptic one you make from scratch. The idea is to pick something that is durable, the right size to hold lots of information, and realistic for your lifestyle. Look for one that will function the way you want it to, and look the way you want it to. If you plan to keep it simple, pick a lined journal that you can do lots of writing in that has thick pages so your ink won't bleed through. I planned to be more artsy and wanted to decorate my covers using scrapbooking supplies so I created a coptic journal out of a drawing pad.You have to sew the signatures and book covers together but it will open and lay flat. This may be a little extreme for most but for me this is my creative outlet so I needed a blank canvas. The point is, any journal will work.
Also get a good ballpoint pen that won't bleed through pages, or leave puddles of ink that will smudge and make a mess. My favorites to use in my journals are:
- Copic Multiliner Pens (size 0.1) - You can find these at Hobby Lobby or online. They are great black pens to use in your journals but even better in your scriptures. Microns will work too, but ONLY certain colors. I used the purple one for awhile only to find out that after a long time had passed, the colors bled through badly, but they don't at first.
- Staedtler Triplus Finalizer Markers. You can purchase them from Deseret Book or Amazon. These are perfect for writing inside a journal, but don't use them in the thin pages of your scriptures, they will bleed through.
OPTIONAL: Colored pencils, glue stick, scissors, scrapbooking supplies (paper, stickers) art supplies. You can keep it as simple or get as creative as you want.
WHY KEEP A SCRIPTURE JOURNAL?
Here are a few reasons:
"We often leave the most precious personal direction of the spirit unheard because we do not record and respond to the first promptings that come to us when the Lord chooses to direct us." -Elder Richard G. Scott
"I've found, as I'm sure you have, that when you are trying to learn from the spirit, it's important to make a note so it will not be forgotten. The more you not only hear but abide by what you've been told, the more the Lord will give to you. It will come more and more rapidly and you will begin to hear and feel those impressions of the Spirit more quickly than you have previously done." -Elder Gene R. Cook
"The prompting that goes unresponded to may not be repeated. Writing down what we have been prompted with is vital. A special thought can lost later in the day through the rough and tumble of life. God should not, and may not, choose to repeat the prompting if we assign what is given such a low priority as to put it aside." -Elder Neal A. Maxwell
My main reason for creating scripture journals besides the wealth of knowledge I am gaining is to give them to my children as a family heirloom when they are old enough to appreciate them. I love to know I am leaving a tool that can help me to continue to teach them even after I am gone.
WHAT DO YOU PUT INSIDE?
This depends on you and your style. You can make it as simple or as complex as you want and is realistic for you. If you aren't into art, no problem, just print out the templates and fill them in and thats awesome! I am into art and so my pages reflect that. Make your journal reflect YOU!
Here are some ideas: a record of quotes you want to remember, spiritual promptings, stories, talks, word definitions, scriptures you looked up, etc. Basically, anything that is meaningful to you and helps you learn.
Not every single page in my journals have templates from this website on them. Here are a few of my favorite journal pages without using templates:
Some are purely artistic in nature. Some hold pictures that I love. Some are journal entries with my personal insights from a story, others are character analysis on the people I have been reading about. Here are a list of ideas to get your brain going:
- charts or graphs
- maps or timelines
- song lyrics
- favorite scriptures
- pockets with goodies
- favorite artwork
- personal journal entries
- favorite Ensign article or conference talk
- patriarchal blessing info and how it relates to your studies
Finally, if you still want to see more, here is a video that I made that is a peek into my Chapters Journal. You can see almost every page in it and get lots of ideas and insight. Enjoy!
Check out the other tutorials to learn more about how to use the templates on this site and to gain more inspiration for your own journal. Here is my pinboard that I keep for my scripture journals if you want to follow that. It lists sites, talks, quotes, etc. that I plan to put in my journal somehow or art supplies I plan to use.