My full name is Marcus John Horning, Jr., but my parents called me John so that’s what I go by. I am the son of Marcus John Horning and Marilyn Elizabeth Pinckston, and was born August 2, 1952 at Timken Mercy Hospital in Canton, Ohio. You can learn a bit about my parents here, and find more of my family history at FamilySearch.org.
I write in the hope that my story will do some good, particularly for my posterity. Much of what I write is ordinary, but I’ll try to make it somewhat interesting. I’ve included links to posts that I think are particularly important at the bottom of this page. I hope you will find perhaps a bit of comfort or inspiration in my words.
To my children and grandchildren, in particular, please know that I love you and hope you’re doing well. If you feel that I have neglected you, please know that it wasn’t intentional. I would truly like to have been a bigger part of your life, but family relationships can become strained for various reasons, preventing contact with family members. We can control some of the reasons for this, but not all.
Our church leaders have counseled us to keep a journal. Why? President Spencer W. Kimball said “if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to your families, to your children, your grandchildren, and others, on through the generations”. [New Era Magazine, Dec, 1980]
Sadly, I’m convinced that some of the most important people in my life have no interest in what I have to say. But maybe they will some day. Writing all this down is requiring a lot of faith. On the positive side, there is some satisfaction gained from writing down your thoughts and feelings even if no one cares. It can be very therapeutic.
So, what should one write about in their journal? Pres. Kimball had this counsel:
Your private journal should record the way you face up to challenges that beset you. Do not suppose life changes so much that your experiences will not be interesting to your posterity. Experiences of work, relations with people, and an awareness of the rightness and wrongness of actions will always be relevant. Your journal, like most others, will tell of problems as old as the world and how you dealt with them.
Your journal should contain your true self rather than a picture of you when you are “made up” for a public performance. There is a temptation to paint one’s virtues in rich color and whitewash the vices, but there is also the opposite pitfall of accentuating the negative. Personally I have little respect for anyone who delves into the ugly phases of the life he is portraying, whether it be his own or another’s. The truth should be told, but we should not emphasize the negative. Even a long life full of inspiring experiences can be brought to the dust by one ugly story. Why dwell on that one ugly truth about someone whose life has been largely circumspect?
Your journal is your autobiography, so it should be kept carefully. You are unique, and there may be incidents in your experience that are more noble and praiseworthy in their way than those recorded in any other life.
What could you do better for your children and your children’s children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved? Some of what you write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity.
I understand from this that it’s important to be truthful without dwelling on the negative — and to avoid criticism. This can be very difficult. How does one express honest feelings without sounding negative or critical at times?
I will do my best. We are commanded to love our neighbor, even our enemies. I believe I am a peacemaker by nature. I avoid conflict at all cost. The criticism I have faced has been the biggest challenge of my life, and leaving out any mention of it would leave a gaping hole in my life. Nevertheless, I will try to dwell on the positive and not the negative.
If I feel that a subject is too sensitive, I will keep the post private, accessible only to myself and those with a password. This will be rare. For my public posts, I will focus on positive experiences.
In conclusion, I ask for your patience and tolerance. I apologize for offending you or anyone. I am an imperfect being, but trying my best to be more like our Savior.
P.S. If you really want to read my private posts, you’ll have to find out the address of the home we (Therese and I) purchased in Hartville in 1985 (hint: the address changed when we remodeled).