Camilla Eyring Kimball
:“Everyone should keep a journal. I hope each of you is keeping a journal. It is a valuable record of today. Tomorrow it will be the priceless history of your past.”
(The Writings of Camilla Eyring Kimball, p.94.)
While teaching at Brigham Young University I gave the students an assignment to try to teach them the value of keeping a journal. Lori was one of my students and at the time of the assignment she was struggling with the thought of nearing college graduation without having a marriage prospect. She wrote:
Friday, February 14
“The day of love, what better day to remember the love of Christ. I dread Valentine’s Day each year because first, I don’t have a boyfriend to lavish gifts on me and second, because of the first, I feel like such a low rider. I thought this year that I would escape and forget Valentine’s Day by going on this trip. I would concentrate on my job interviews and that is it. Well I was wrong.
As I awoke this morning, I hurriedly got ready to go to my first interview, which happened to be the most important one. I ate breakfast and began a small walking tour of the city. The first person I came across as I was entering the subway was an old man in rags. He greeted me with a “Happy Valentine’s Day” and apologized for not having any candy or flowers for me. Quickly in my mind was the thought to keep on walking. My conscience would not let me, and I found myself stuffing a dollar bill in his can. Never have I seen such love and gratitude as was in this man’s eyes. I hopped, skipped and jumped unto the subway. I was ready for the interview.
I approached the building to where my interview was and found two elderly ladies, whom I opened the door for. I walked into my interview with love in my heart and it must have radiated because the interview went well and they offered me the job I was dreaming about for months…
She was feeling a little down and unloved on Valentine’s Day, and was given a boost by a man in rags, instead of a handsome prince. That turned into her having a better attitude and perhaps helping her land her dream job. Those are the kind of experiences that you don’t want to forget. Keeping a journal helps to preserve those important memories. Here is another entry two days later:
Saturday, February 15
“This day I spent doing more of my favorite things; shopping! I also began to notice the blessings in my life.
After a long day of shopping, we were headed to the Hard Rock Café to eat and bust our eardrums. The rain was coming down hard and as we were running through town. As I passed some benches, I noticed there were boxes and boxes of garbage, of so I thought, that were covered with plastic. Later, I learned that it was someone’s home that was trying to keep the rain out. I thought of the analogy of “no time and always in a hurry” as I ran past these precious children of the Lord who needed my help! It is so heartbreaking because I think, what could I do to make their life easier. How could I have made a difference in their life?
This incident reminded me of a trip my family took to New York City about ten years ago. We were on our way back to our hotel from a Broadway play and there was a blind man without legs, sitting on the street. In the bustle, my family kept on walking. The man stuck in my mind and when I got back to the hotel, I made my parents take me back to give him some money. We searched and searched but could never find him. I felt so bad that I cried all night. To this day, I still think about him and wonder what has become of him.”
I lost track of Lori and have no way of knowing what she is doing in her life, but I have a feeling that she is a “Mother Theresa” wherever she lives. Spencer W. Kimball said: “Your story should be written now while it is fresh and while the true details are available. A journal is the literature of superiority. Each individual can become superior in his own humble life. What could you do better for your children and your children's children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved? (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, Bookcraft, 1982], 351.)