Prompts for a Life History



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Prompts for a Life History

writing prompts and interview questions

Don’t feel that you have to answer every question. Jot down quick, brief answers to those that seem interesting to you. Ignore the others. Hit the highlights of your life. Share your feelings. Avoid the boring. Then take your jottings, and begin writing your history. Summarize experiences when appropriate. @
Your name

Your parents’ full names

Memories of your father (and brief outline of his life; how did he support his family?)

Memories of your mother(and brief outline of her life)

Your birth date, and place

Any unusual conditions surrounding your birth

What were your family’s circumstances (living conditions) when you were born ?

How you got your name (named after anyone?)

Any nicknames you had (and why)

Childhood homes and towns you lived in

Blessing date (special circumstances?)

Your siblings (tell a story about you and each of them; include both funny and positive things)

Special early childhood friends

Games you played as a child

What you enjoyed doing with your free time as a child

Did you have a bicycle? wagon? club house? favorite toy?

Did you have a childhood hide-out?

Describe the house you lived in most as a child; your bedroom; living room etc..

Funny things you did as a child

Do you remember any childhood feelings you had (fears, fantasies)

Childhood chores and responsibilities; allowance; jobs

Significant childhood accidents / illnesses

What are / were you frightened of? and why?

Special pets you have had

Memories of your grandparents (physical appearance; personality traits; visits to them)

Do you remember any interesting stories your grandparents told you about themselves.

or their ancestors?

Tell about favorite aunts, uncles or cousins

Were there any family recipes, heirlooms, or other objects handed down in your family

(a special necklace? a framed photo? a piece of furniture?)

Is there a family cemetery?

Does your family hold reunions? Describe a few

What expressions or sayings are used in your family?

Christmas memories (best Christmas, worst Christmas, family traditions, beliefs about Santa):

Describe a childhood Christmas and the activities

Describe getting a Christmas tree. How did you decorate it?

Special birthday memories

Best gifts; worst gifts

Tell about your family=s traditions or special memories concerning graduation, Easter, Valentines Day, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, hunting trips, funerals, Memorial Day, Mother’s or Father’s Day, weddings, etc..

Describe your relationship with your father

What were his best traits? his worst? which do you share?

Describe your relationship with your mother

What were her best traits? her worst? which do you share?

How did your mother spend her time? How did she dress?

How did your father spend his free time? How did he dress?

Did your family face any difficulties while you were growing up?

Describe a trip to town with your parents

Describe what the town was like

Important community events and activities (celebrations, county fair, parades, etc..)

Schools you attended

How did you get to school?

Describe recess; describe report cards; describe the building; describe lunches

Describe a typical school day as a child

How did you feel about school?

Favorite school teachers (and why)

Significant things you remember about your elementary school years

What childhood fads do you remember?

Special trips, vacations, etc..

Did you go camping? Tell experiences of doing it

Did you have a favorite television show(s) as a child? Describe them

What part did religion play in your childhood home?

Some of life=s early lessons you learned (values your parents taught you)

What did you do as a child that got you in the most trouble with your parents?

How did they handle it?

Describe the church you attended; meetings etc..

Special religious teachers (Seminary? Sunday School? Mutual?)

Baptism date (special circumstances; memories; who baptized and confirmed you?)

Patriarchal blessing (date, impressions)

Significant things you remember about your middle school/junior high school years

Sports; talent instruction (art, dance, music); clubs etc.. you participated in

Significant things you remember about your high school years and Seminary (graduation dates etc; courses taken; special occasions; winning teams; fads; important decisions)

Describe a typical high school day

Tell how you learned to drive (how old were you? any memorable experiences?)

Talents / hobbies you have

Special awards you have received during your school years

Special friends in teen years (activities you did together)

MIA or YW/YM experiences (special activities, leaders, etc.)

Describe your first Acrush@

Dating experiences

Describe the social life of a teenager? What did you do for fun? Compare it with the

experiences of youth today

Advanced schooling (college, trade school experiences; special training; graduation date; degrees earned; roommates; financing it etc..)

Temple ordinances (dates; special memories)

Mission served (place, dates, how you financed it; companions; memories; faith-promoting

experiences; people you met; adjustments made upon coming home)



Priesthood ordinations and dates and who ordained you:

Deacon Teacher Priest Elder High Priest Seventy

Special experiences in connection with your priesthood ordinations

Military Service (enlistment and discharge dates; experiences; branch of service)

How you met your spouse / how you got engaged / your wedding / your honeymoon

What you most admire about him/her

Describe early marriage years (living costs; unusual happenings; difficulties)

Describe your first home as a married couple

Other homes and towns you have lived in since marriage

Tell about any special neighbors you had; experiences with neighbors, etc..

Has divorce or remarriage caused any serious changes in your live?

Your children; birth dates and places; names; personalities or special circumstances; short descriptions of their lives (childhood, schooling, marriages, children they have etc..) tell one positive story about each

Daily routine of family life (wash day, modes of transportation, use of radio or TV, gardening,

spring cleaning, etc..

How did your parents discipline you? How did you discipline your children?

Describe Sundays in your home as a parent

Work or Occupation experiences (how and why you got the jobs you did)

Problems? Successes?

Would you choose differently if you could choose your occupation again? Why? Any advice?

Significant Church positions held

Which church calling did you enjoy the most? why?

Welfare projects you have helped with

Any special “awakenings” in your life? Describe your conversion to the gospel

Community Activities and Involvement

Awards and Recognition received

What are your favorite foods? color? activities? movies? books? music?

What bad habits have you had? how did you overcome them (if you did)

Describe a practical joke you played on someone, or they played on you

What “gladdens” your heart? List a few of your simple pleasures

List at least 3 good qualities about yourself

Tragedies in your life and how you dealt with them

Health problems you or your family have had (any genetic health problems in your ancestors

that you know of)

Spiritual experiences you want to share with your posterity (how you gained your testimony)

Answers to prayers

Favorite scripture and why

What important message, lesson or advice would you like to pass on to others?

Describe significant world events that have taken place during your lifetime (the Depression;

natural disasters; political events; etc..)

Where were you the day the wall came down in East Germany, or the day of the coupe in

USSR? or the day the black people were given the Priesthood?

What major changes you have seen in the way people live?

Describe how fashions have changed over your lifetime

Your hopes and plans for the future

Talk about your plans for retirement. When, where, what will you do with your time?

What would you like to be remembered for?

How do you feel about death? Tell about your philosophy of after-life.


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