The foundational purpose of this site is to provide as efficient methods as possible of gaining a mastery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no more important body of knowledge to apply to ourselves as human beings. For those wanting to be their best selves, this is especially true. Consider the following quotation of Elder Boyd K. Packer:
“True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. … That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel” (Elder Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1986, p. 17).
We find that this proposition is scripturally sound:
“And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just-yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them-therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.” – Alma 31:5
My life is a testament to the soundness of this principle. As I spend time straining to understand the Gospel, studying and pondering the Scriptures, and writing down things that come to my mind, my very core behaviors change. If only slowly, my own perceptions of myself and the world around me become more positive. My wife has noticed a distinct change for the better during periods where I am studying the way I should.
What we want to do with this site is to offer everyone a Gospel Study Journal. There is no cost to you should you decide to create one. Your entries are your own, and are kept private. As you study the Gospel, you may come upon a topic that stands out to you. Even during the day while doing completely unrelated things, impressions may come to you that you should or should not be doing something. You may have an experience that you may wish to record for the uplifting and edification of others. This Study Journal offers to you a central location for all such types of entries.
In addition, the study journal allows you to:
- link together entries that are related.
- tag entries with keywords describing the content.
- link related scripture references to your entries for easy reference in the future.
- include relevant citations to books that are not in the Standard Works.
As I have spent time considering different scripture marking systems, some of them seem to have certain drawbacks, for example:
- Scriptures wear out – After a certain period of time, the scriptures you mark get so marked up they look tattered and thoroughly used. It is no longer easy to make out what the notes mean or what you had in mind when you made the original note. There is no longer room for new notes.
- Lost scriptures mean lost notes – If you were to lose the set of scriptures in which you were keeping notes and marking, all those notes are gone for good.
- Difficult to share with others – Short of tearing out a page of your scriptures, many of the systems that there are do not make it easy to share a copy of a given note with other people.
- Forgetfulness – With some note-taking methods, you end up relying on your memory to try and recall what you meant when you wrote a note down. It’s not fun to come back to something for which you have a note written, and have no idea what it means.
- Skew of Meaning – Let’s say you write a thought out to the side of a verse that touched your heart one day. The next time you read through that passage, you may see that note and mistakenly tell yourself, “I already know the meaning of that verse.” This is more common than you might think, and you may not even realize it’s happening. The idea is to have a clean slate where you are able to receive continued revelation, even on verses you may have read many times.
- Either too much or not enough structure – With many systems, you are either told exactly how to use the system, and it is in a rigid format (such as a book). The huge drawback with books are that they are linear. You read them front to back, and cannot access many pages or pieces of pages at once. You are tied into the structure of the book and cannot move things around as you want.
- Storage and Retrieval of thoughts – How many times do you say, “Now, where did I have that note?” If you can write it down but cannot pull the thought back out of your system, how good is it really?
The Study Journal offered on this site overcomes all of these problems. You can link journal entries to each other, tag them with keywords, link them to scripture passages, or even add citations from other books into your notes. The benefit of an immersive, intensive study of the Gospel is a tendency towards self-improvement. These are all things that have contributed to the creation of this site. It was built for the benefit of all.
For more information on why this site was built, see “Why This Site Exists.”