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ADULT SOS Challenge  A-2   Write Your Life's History


We have divided the life span into five categories:

  1. Birth, parents and siblings

  2. Childhood memories, school years, Scouting/youth group activity memories

  3. Religious, civic, and/or military service

  4. Marriage and children

  5. Employment and retirement

In each category, include:

  • A historical timeline of that period of your life (for help, see the website

  • Specifics of dates and places

  • Your memories (or those of others) of key events in that period

  • What you learned from key events in that period

  • People who had great influence on you during that period of your life

  • Vacation or special event memories during that period

  • Your friends, associates, hobbies and interests during that period

  • Pictures relative to that period of your life

You can download a list of Writing Prompts here.

Take one of these five categories for a week and write about that category. If you finish one category before the end of the week, start on the next category. Some may take more than a week to complete. The bring together what you have gathered, combine and putting the finishing touches to your life’s story.

Conduct interviews:

Research could include interviewing your parents, your siblings, other family members, and even friends for information from their perspectives on the events of your life. We promise that they will remember things you don’t, or that you haven’t considered. You may wish to take notes in draft form, on paper or on computer, on which you can draw to write your story.

Locate newspaper accounts (optional):

  • Find a copy of the newspaper for your place of birth, whether in digital, microfilm, or other form, and make a copy of the front page for the day you were born  See online Utah Digital Newspapers at:

  • If you cannot find a copy of the newspaper at the Family History Library, go to a public or university library that has film copies of newspapers. If you were born outside of the area where you live, you should be able to order a copy of the newspaper through interlibrary loan. Some digital copies of newspapers may be available on the Internet. Do an online search for a newspaper for your town.

  • Check the days following your birth and see if you can find a notice of it.

  • Do the same for your marriage.

  • If there are other events in your life which may have been reported in a newspaper, search for those notices too.

Copy documents:

  • If you do not have copies of official documents of the events in your life, obtain copies. These include your birth and marriage certificates, and religious documents include your baptismal certificate, priesthood ordination certificates, etc.

  • Scan the documents and store the scanned images on your computer or an external source such as floppy disk or a flash key. If you do not have a scanner at home, bring your documents to the Family History Library and use the equipment available there.

Select pictures:

Each week spend some time collecting, organizing, and selecting pictures to be included to illustrate the periods of your life. Be selective; less is probably better than more.

Finished product:

We have divided the life span into five categories to assist you in collecting your thoughts and compiling information, but your finished product and narrative do not have to flow in the same order. You can arrange your story in any way you choose.

Your finished life’s story can also take a variety of forms:

  •     A bound journal, with a few inserted pictures, and hand-written narrative.

  • A scrapbook of pictures, documents, newspaper articles, etc. with hand-written or typed narrative giving the collective memories of the events depicted.

  • A desk-top published history including pictures, documents, newspaper articles, etc., printed or burned to a CD.

  • A personal website or blog with the history, pictures, etc., which only selected individuals can access.

Whatever you choose is entirely up to you, but the challenge is to complete your life’s story before the ward social. Once you have completed it, you should continue to keep a journal or in some way continue to document the events of your life so you can update your story periodically.

Consider sharing your story with family at a special occasion such as a family reunion, a birthday, or Christmas. This may give you added incentive and help you decide the final form of your story. Remember to keep a journal of your progress, your experiences, and your feelings about completing this challenge.


At the ward summer social, bring your journal and a copy of your story for the concluding awards ceremony