I came home off of my mission in mid-October 1979, and ended my missionary journal at that time. I tried to keep up my journal writing habit, and so kept writing on looseleaf paper until I could get a new bound journal to use. This journal runs from 11/18/79 to a final entry of 1/1/91. I lost this journal a long time ago, but my wife just now found it in our hall storage space, so I’ve been enjoying rereading it.
It was funny to read my post-mission patter, including a lot of entries about dating and such. On 1/14/80 I wrote this line: “Saturday I ran into Melody and her friends at a dance, and before the evening was out I had lip action.” (As you can tell I had been over-influenced by my Californian friends at BYU! And I have no memory at all of this event or even who “Melody” was.) It was also interesting to see my growing interests in scholarship, the books I was reading, my first publications, and so forth.
Speaking of my fledgling scholarly chops, starting on 3/22/81 I did something sort of pompous: I began to keep my journal in Latin. That lasted until 9/17/81, at which point I gave up; it was just too hard. I’m sure I made a lot of mistakes, but it was just my personal journal so I wasn’t too concerned about that.
The main reason I had wanted to find this thing all these years is that I wrote a poem for my yet unborn daughter Emily about a month before she was born. (We didn’t know the sex yet, so it used male grammatical forms; I’ve modified them to female here.) I’ve always wanted to share that with her, and now I can. Since this was part of my Latin journal phase, the poem is in Latin. I’ll give the original text below, together with a translation:
Carmen Domino Occasione Primi Nostri Infantis
Domino die cantabo,
Laudabo mericordias eius nocte;
Spectavit nam suum servum Kevinum,
Invisavit suam servam Sandram.
“Parvala enim nata est nobis,
Et filia data est nobis.”
Semper eam amabimus
In tempi saecula omnia.
O puera, sis robusta fortisque
Et firma viis Domini.
Crescas fieri integra probaque,
Digna filia potentis Dei!
A Song to the Lord on the Occasion of Our First Child
I will sing to the Lord by day,
And praise His mercies by night;
For He hath looked upon His servant Kevin,
He hath visited His servant Sandra.
“For unto us a child is born,
Unto us a daughter is given.”
We shall love her forever
With an eternal love
In all ages of time.
O girl, may you be vigorous and strong,
And firm in the strength of the Lord.
May you grow to become whole and honorable
A worthy daughter of Mighty God!