Keeping a journal is perhaps one of the few areas where the advice given to the general membership of the Church and that given to aspiring writers is similar. Still today we occasionally hear the advice from the pulpit, usually in the context of how this will improve our spiritual lives. In contrast, writers have traditionally been given the advice to keep a journal in order to improve their writing and provide material for their creative lives.
Unfortunately, at least in terms of Church members, I suspect this has been one of the most ignored pieces of advice to come from Church leadership. Any historian of Mormonism will tell you that, even among Church leaders, diaries and journals are few and far between. And even when they exist, the events that we see as important now, were too often not seen as important in the diaries and journals of participants. Alas, I am, myself, guilty of this failure.