For my twelfth birthday my mother gave me a little diary with a tiny lock and key. I was delighted with my gift and wrote in it every day. Seeing how much I enjoyed writing in my diary, the next year I was given another diary, and I kept a written journal throughout my teenage years.
Various offices were contacted, such as those in Johannesburg and Salt Lake City, but no one had a record of Alexander’s ordination to the Aaronic priesthood two years previously. In fact, there was no record of his baptism! And I had no certificates for any of these ordinances. I hadn’t received any from my previous ward, and hadn’t noticed that they didn’t give me any after the ordinances were performed.
The clerk and I were perplexed as to what should be done. He asked me if I remembered the dates of the baptism and ordination, but I could only figure out the year. Then I remembered that I had recorded all of the children’s baptisms and ordinations in my journals. I was able to search through them and find the exact dates of everything, so that the clerk could make sure that all the records were in order, and he made out all the missing certificates.
After that experience, not only did I make sure that I always got the necessary certificates when ordinances were performed, but my testimony of keeping a record of important events in the family was greatly strengthened.