Check out the full video of my presentation at Rootstech titled Journaling Principles That Work.
I’m posting this here having not had the chance to actually watch the whole thing, I’ve only seen the first 2o minutes or so, but since I was there I think it is safe to post ;-)
I had presented this before at a the Family Roots Expo in St. George back in 2016 so while it was my second time giving the presentation, the crowd was substantially larger and it was being streamed live to thousands of people. Was I nervous? Well, yeah a little bit, mostly because I’m not a polished or experienced speaker at all and I’m not saying that out of humility, I make a number of mistakes that are probably common among novices. Experience and practice are key and I haven’t had much and I think it shows. My experience is mostly church talks so this presentation is only the second time I have stood in front of a crowd to present something in this context.
I get stuck a few times because I wasn’t working from a memorized speech, I did practice a little but I have a difficult time memorizing. Admittedly, I would have liked to have had more time to really distill and polish my thoughts to make them flow better.
What carried me through it was the fact that I am passionate about the topic of journaling. So what you see here in the video is just me in raw form, it’s not an act, I’m just up there talking about something I love and I hope that is communicated in some way.
As for the title, a co-worker and I decided on it long before any of this presentation was developed. I’m probably going to make some tweaks and go with a different name as I’m going to be doing this presentation at other events this year. At the time, I did have an idea of what I wanted the presentation to be and based it on this blog article I wrote for the JRNL blog about 8 months ago.
A little taste of our experience at Rootstech this year. You’ll see Nick Jones, my business partner and I’m in there too! Check out JRNL.com if you’re looking for a great journaling solution. Keep your eye out in the next few weeks, we have some major updates coming along with the ability to import social media content, it’s gonna be awesome!
This is kind of a first for oneClimbs.com, I’ve never posted a particular location where I will be appearing at before. However, since I’m pretty much already doing that on facebook, I might as well extend an invitation to anyone who happens to be in the area to stop by the JRNL.com booth at Rootstech and say hi!
I’ve mentioned JRNL before here on my blog recently, it’s one of the projects I work on professionally. I’m very passionate about journaling so it is an absolute pleasure to work on something like this with a great team of people. We’re going to be releasing some really cool new features sometime in the next couple of weeks so stay tuned!
We just released a short promo video that introduces the product, check it out:
Here’s a screenshot of my personal journal. The calendar on the right shows each day with a blue line under it for every day that contains a journal entry, so yeah, I journal a lot.
Here’s another exclusive screenshot that hints atRead Full Post
For full disclosure, note that I’m running ads for an online journaling service called JRNL.com. I’ve written about journaling and keeping your own set of “small plates” before many times. I just wanted to note publicly that, I’m one of the co-founders of JRNL.com, it is one of our projects that our team has developed.
I have no problem sharing it here because 1. this is my personal blog, 2. I’m not forcing anyone to sign up for anything to enjoy 100% of the content available here, 3. JRNL.com is 100% free for anyone to sign up and write unlimited entries, and 4. I use JRNL.com personally and am invested in making it the best journaling solution out there because I love journaling.Read Full Post
Posting here at oneClimbs.com for over 3 and a half years has led me to the conclusion that every Latter-day Saint should keep a blog of some kind. We talk about keeping journals and/or small plates, but I think the time has come to include keeping a blog among the recommendations.
I was first very apprehensive about starting a blog because I have a very poor command of the English language when it comes to writing. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I have no idea what a participle is and couldn’t explain the difference between a verb and an adverb; I just do my best to communicate what I feel is important. Very often, kind visitors to the site will correct my many grammar sins and typos and I’m very grateful for that.
I didn’t start a blog to impress people with my grammar. I started the blog because on December 15, 2007 while speaking at a graduation ceremony at BYU Hawaii, Elder Ballard said:
Now, to…all other faithful members of the Church, …may I ask that you join the conversation by participating on the Internet, particularly the New Media, to share the gospel and to explain in simple, clear terms the message of the Restoration. Most of you already know that if you have access to the Internet you can start a blog in minutes and begin sharing what you know to be true. You can download videos from Church and other appropriate sites, including Newsroom at LDS.org, and send them to your friends. You can write to media sites on the Internet that report on the Church, and voice your views as to the accuracy of the reports. This, of course, requires that you, all members of the Church, understand the basic, fundamental principles of the gospel.
We are living in a world saturated with all kinds of voices. Perhaps now, more than ever, we have a major responsibility as Latter-day Saints to define ourselves, instead of letting others define us.
I have found that the blog is useful in many ways. It’s a great place to store all of the research and things I find as I study. Putting it into an article form and making it public forces me to really make sure that I have done my due diligence of finding answers and presenting them in an accurate manner. I’ve always believed that you’ve only learned something when you have the ability to teach it to another.
The blog has become a repository for talks and lessons; I can give a lesson on almost any topic in a very short time period. The only downside to this is that you will be known at the person to call at the last minute (sometimes literally at the “last” minute) to substitute for a lesson or give a talk. I don’t really mind doing last minute lessons, I personally find it kind of exciting!
oneClimbs was not very impressive in the beginning. Your blog does not have to get a ton of traffic or every become very notable in the world; that’s not the point. Do it for you, your posterity and most importantly for the sake of truth and the glory of God. Do it your own way and change it from time to time if you feel so inclined. There are no rules, it is a blank canvas on which to explore.
Go for it, you will discover many great blessings in your journey and on your climb ;)
***UPDATE*** I forgot to include this but the Church published a short how-to on how to create a blog as well.
The following are selected excerpts from my personal “small plates“. I am an advocate of recording personal revelatory insights and desire to share my experiences to encourage others.
- Fear lulls us into a false comfort. Real and rewarding comfort comes after we have been in a condition where we actually need to be comforted.
- If people are not occasionally offended by you, then you are withholding truth that may end up damning you instead of them.
- Trust in the ability of the Spirit to speak through your inadequate words.
- Forgiveness is more than just releasing someone from blame, it is then deeply loving them and having compassion on them. Forgiveness without love is not forgiveness.
- The amount of personal liberty we enjoy is directly equivalent to the laws we know and the obedience we demonstrate toward them.Read Full Post
Here’s the simple pattern for study that leads to change:
- Determine content & context
- Discover doctrines & principles
- Ponder to reveal personal applications
- Record what you receive
- Change your behavior
Yep, that’s it! You probably want a little background and explanation though, huh? I mentioned this process in an article back in August but didn’t elaborate on it.
The original pattern was given to me by my good friend and former institute instructor, Mike King, who I often refer to in other articles as “Brother King”. After studying and pondering this process, Read Full Post
A few years back I wrote an article about how to keep your own “small plates” and why it is important. I even started posting excerpts of my own “small plates” that I deemed appropriate for the public to offer suggestions and ideas on possible applications of the principle.
The Basic Rules for Small Plates From Jacob 1:1-4
“For behold, it came to pass that fifty and five years had passed away from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem; wherefore, Nephi gave me, Jacob, a commandment concerning the small plates, upon which these things are engraven.” (1:1)
- Write only what is considered to be most precious, keep personal histories elsewhere
- Find ways to preserve the records from generation to generation
- Record the following and touch upon the following things “as much as it were possible, for Christ’s sake, and for the sake of our people” (1:4)
- Preaching that is sacred
- Revelation that is great
1. What is Most Precious and What is History
Typically, I keep my personal history journal in another place like Evernote (I’ll come back to this later) while that which I deem “most precious” for my “small plates” constitutes preaching, revelation or prophecy that comes through the Holy Spirit.
This one has been pretty tricky for me to deal with over time. Read Full Post
- “Rust ruins more tools than overuse.” – Anonymous
- “I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love.” – 2 Ne. 1:15
- The priesthood is the means whereby things are organized and exalted.
- “Repentance is not a turning away, it is a turning towards.” – R. Anderson
- “I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” Eccl. 9:11
- Strength can come from knowledge. It can bestow the power to act or the opportunity for the power of God to act in our behalf.
- Faith is intelligence exercising will.
- We don’t comprehend what we are. Using will alone, we drive a cosmos of trillions of atoms and billions of cells to bring amazing things into existence.
- Just as we direct the matter of our bodies by our will alone, it is also possible to direct matter outside our sphere. Great faith can affect matter outside of the sphere of one’s body. Perfect faith, like God’s, can organize the macrocosmos.
- Faith is exercised through ‘channels’ and life is about searching for and finding the ones that fill us with light and life.
- Faith and fear are both actions taken towards things believed but not yet seen; fear only cares about what avoids pain.
- Fear will forsake truth to avoid pain while faith will receive truth even through pain.
- “The will acts upon the body in producing motion.” – Noah Webster
- The atonement is not something to ‘fill in the gaps’ in our lives, our lives themselves are transformed as we approach this atonement. In the end, we are completely converted and totally redeemed by it.
- The faith of any intelligence is only as strong as its will.
- “The understanding or reason compares different objects, which operate as motives; the judgment determines which is preferable, and the will decides which to pursue.In other words, we reason with respect to the value or importance of things; we then judge which is to be preferred; and we will to take the most valuable.” – Noah Webster
- “Desire is that internal act, which by influencing the will, makes us proceed to action.” – Noah Webster
- The bread prepares us for the cup, signifying the way that the earthly prepares us for the heavenly. The resurrection fuses the two while grace purifies the whole.
- Revelation comes to us not only as fast as we are able to hear it, but as fast as we are able to bear it and hearken unto it.
- Revelation is not just the transmission of knowledge, but grace and glory as well. It is receiving and being transformed by what lies on the other side of the veil.
- Desire is the most important component of revelation; desire opens veils.
- Re – meaning “again” or “backward” to indicate withdrawal or backward motion.
- Velare [latin] “to cover; a veil.
- Reveal – to make known something before unknown or concealed.
- The level at wich God communes with us personally parallels not only our worthiness but our desire.
- It is one thing to know and another to understand.
- Evil can speak through that which God has already made. When evil men use symbols, they must hijack them from the sphere in which they reside.
- Faith, worthiness, purpose and service create holy places; they may be permanent or temporary.
- If we are not changing, we are not repenting. There is a difference between sin abhorrence and sin avoidance. The greatest change comes through revealed knowledge and encountering and embracing the divine.
- Receiving the Holy Ghost is not a one-time event, it is a choice we make at every moment we live.
- The Church is built upon the rock of revelation, meaning that the ability to experience truth unveiled, to commune with the divine is essential or the existence for a church of God upon the earth.
- “[Christ] went about doing good and healing…” – Acts 10:38
- The priesthood holds the entire universe together from one moment to another. Seeking blessings by virtue of the priesthood doesn’t have to be a rare event, it should feel as appropriate as drawing a breath from the air around us.
Just for kicks, I thought I’d include this thoughtful journal entry from my 7 year old daughter. She’s picked up the journaling kick like a champ and started off with a small notebook where she would just write questions like “Why do you [God] love us so much?” it was really cute.
She recently asked for a new notebook since she filled the other up, now she seems to be trying to comprehend doctrines and develop frameworks for understanding Just goes to show you that it’s never too early to start and you can make it anything you want it to be. So below are some of the ideas she was working on during sacrament meeting today. My five year old daughter has started to follow the example as well and I’ll get her a nice notebook once her writing develops more. Right now she has a sketchbook and just works on visual concepts.
Maintaining a spiritual record is a powerful tool for meditation and an invitation to revelation; truly a lost practice in the modern age.
For something new, I’m going to be posting insights from my personal notebook that I feel are not too personal to share and may be of worth to some out there. If you are new to oneClimbs, you might not have read a how-to article I posted a while back about keeping your own “Small Plates“. If you want to understand more about this practice that I’ve personally used for the past twelve years, check it out.
The primary reasons I am doing this are both to share and also to encourage this practice among any individual seeking to improve their personal revelatory insights and experiences.
- The priesthood is associated with signs; whenever ordinances are performed, signs are associated.
- Symbols guide our understanding and prepare us for experience.
- Symbols establish a framework in the mind that revelation can fill.
- Some things in life can seem as impossible to move as mountains, yet the scriptures testify that mountains are indeed movable.
- There is no full atonement without a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ. Tho know Him is to find salvation, to be a stranger to Him is to not know the atonement.
- In innocence we transgressed,
in knowledge we sinned,
in virtue we return.
- The temple is not the meaning, it is the context.
- “The repenting sinner must suffer for his sins, but this suffering has a different purpose than punishment or payment. Its purpose is change.” (The Lord’s Way, 1991, Spencer W. Kimball)
Begin keeping your own “Small Plates” today!
We learn more about Nephi’s records, or plates, in the front of the Book of Mormon with a section called “A Brief Explanation about the Book of Mormon”:
The Plates of Nephi, which were of two kinds: the Small Plates and the Large Plates. The former were more particularly devoted to the spiritual matters and the ministry and teachings of the prophets, while the latter were occupied mostly by a secular history of the peoples concerned (1 Nephi 9:2–4)
Nephi kept two records, one containing a secular history upon ‘other plates’ which came to be known as the ‘large plates of Nephi’ and another record upon smaller plates that contained primarily prophecies and sacred teachings.
How many of us do a good job with keeping a journal or secular history (large plates) of our lives of any kind at all? It’s no secret that we collectively seem to struggle with this, so how likely is it then that we keep a record of our own personal revelations, answers to prayer, promptings, etc? I would bet that many of us have not even considered doing so in the first place.
First off, let’s see what various church leaders have said on the matter:Read Full Post