I, like you, am a writer. You wrote hundreds of letters, both to contemporaries and to those in the past; you sought out and copied ancient records for the benefit of those who would come after you.
I have felt recently that I have generated a great deal of writing; I write a personal record, which I have kept since I was ten years of age; I write letters to my brother in his military endeavors and to my best friend who is on a religious mission, and soon I will be writing to my sister as she departs on a mission of her own. I write down lists, thoughts, impressions, quotes, things to do--everything. I wonder if you, like I, ever got the malady known as writer's cramp because of time spent holding a pen, or ever looked down to find ink-smeared hands. I imagine you did.
So why write? What drives me to scribble down words concerning nearly every aspect of my life?
I want to remember.
Because frankly, my friend, as I'm sure you have discovered, what is not written down, we forget.
Great ideas, even entire cultures have been lost to us, because we have no written record of them. To leave a record grants a kind of immortality; our ideas and thoughts can be read and shared by those who come long after we are gone, and we can read the writings of those who have come before us. To remember them and remember what we have experienced ourselves in the past makes us better able to shape our futures and realize our potential because we remember the knowledge we have gained and build upon it. Surely you, credited as the father of Renaissance humanism, can see that.
That, sir, is why I write to you now, and why I will continue to write.
Written from the great library of BYU in Utah, in the month of September, the year of our Lord the 2010th.