Sunday, January 1, 1995

How to write an autobiography (or biography)

Remember! As you now desire information about your ancestors, so will your descendants desire information about you. Will you leave it for them? Pictures too? Write your histories in chronological order as the life was actually lived. First make an outline, listing every event in proper sequence. Small, three by five inch slips of paper with the day, month and year of each individual event can be arranged in chronological order easily. Write interestingly and in detail--paper is cheap (see Saviors on Mt. Zion, chapters 6-11).

Suggestion list:
  1. 1. Your full name, day of birth, house or hospital where born (town, county, state or country). When listing homes, schools, church houses, etc, give exact address and dates if possible.
  2. 2. Your father. Give full name, date and place of birth; his parents' full names and where they came from (trace back to the foreign countries on your lines--city and country). This can be done in a brief paragraph.
  3. 3. Your mother. Give the same information as for your father.
  4. 4. Infancy and early childhood. Date and place of blessing (Ward and Stake), by whom; early memories, health, etc. Get interesting incidents of early life from parents and other old-timers who were associated with the family.
  5. 5. Early environment. Financial, social, physical, religious (Primary, Sunday School, etc.)
  6. 6. Home training. Incidents (happy, humorous, mischievous, tragic), problems, duties, your brothers and sisters, playtime activities (inside and outside), other memories, etc. (include pictures of homes, wards, play areas--infancy up to about age six.)
  7. 7. School days. Early recollections, activities, special teachers, friends, your health, report cards, etc. (Pictures of schools, class pictures, activities, etc.--see yearbooks, scrapbooks, newspapers, etc.)
  8. 8. Baptism. Date and place (Ward and Stake or Branch and Mission), by whom baptized and confirmed, place of confirmation, etc. Special instructions received from your parents, recollections, thoughts and feelings, etc.
  9. 9. Youthful memories. School days continued; adventures, accidents, amusing incidents, thoughts, problems, friends, parties, vacations, travels, sports, hobbies, clubs (school, civic, etc), gangs, scouting (merit badges, activities, etc), M.I.A. activities, parental discipline, studies, books read, movies that influenced you, Sunday School, church activities (ordinations to the Priesthood--dates and by whom ordained), etc.
  10. 10. High School, Seminary, College, Institute. Activities, sports, clubs, parties, social life, hobbies, part-time jobs, most valuable or enjoyable classes, teachers, friends, scholarships, courses of study, honors won, graduation, diplomas or certificates received, etc (include appropriate pictures of schools, homes, seminaries, play areas, etc).
  11. 11. Patriarchal blessing. Date and place received, by whom given, etc.
  12. 12. Mission. Travels, places served (positions held, dates of service, faith promoting experiences, converts, investigators, companions, special problems, etc (include pictures). Be sure to tell the story of getting your own testimony--let your posterity know how you really feel.
  13. 13. Military Service. Travels, promotions, experiences, buddies, religious experiences, battles, wounds, dates of service, schooling, training, health, citations, (include pictures and don't forget army letters which may have been preserved--check in the attic and other storage places).
  14. 14. Courtship and marriage. When and how you met your spouse, interesting events, dating activities( dances, parties, movies), problems, proposal (date and circumstances), engagement, planning, preparations, marriage date, place, by whom married, honeymoon, travels, in-laws, (include pictures).
  15. 15. Occupations. Type of work, responsibilities, promotions, dates of service, where you worked, (city and state, name of company).
  16. 16. Parenthood. Full name and particulars of each child, experiences in rearing your family (pleasurable, humorous, tragic), sickness, disappointments, vacations, special traits of children, duties, etc.
  17. 17. Public and political life. Appointments, positions held, work in clubs, civic activities, etc. (Give dates, places and appropriate pictures).
  18. 18. Special achievements or activities. Publications, inventions, pastimes, handwork, tangible treasures, music, drama, degrees, honors, church positions, travels, faith promoting experiences, difficult problems overcome, baptisms for the dead, genealogical research, and other Temple work, etc.
  19. 19. Future plans and ambitions. Things you most desire to accomplish (in business or vocation, in home life, in Church service, etc.)
  20. 20. Leave a message to your posterity. Let them know what you really think about life and church service, and what you would most like them to achieve in their lives, and how to avoid some of the pitfalls encountered.

No comments:

Post a Comment