Reflections and Remembrances
How did your practice go today? Our Primary Sacrament Meeting presentation was absolutely wonderful. It went even better than I ever anticipated. I hope that yours turns out just as well.
The Junior Primary classes either said an Article of Faith or scripture together. We set up a microphone that they could all cluster around. The Senior Primary classes had other parts to say based on the monthly themes out of the Primary Outline. I asked the oldest class to write their own talks. Instead of just giving them a topic (one of the monthly themes), I wrote out a series of questions that I wanted them to answer in their talks. By including all of the answers in their talks, they covered everything that I wanted, but with a much more personal touch than if I had tried to write something for them. They all did so well. I was pleasantly surprised by the things that they had written.
The songs were intermixed with the speaking parts as usual. At the end of our program, we let each child say "My name is ________ and I know that my Savior loves me." For the last month in Closing Exercises we have been talking about bearing our testimonies and that we wanted the parents to feel the Spirit and let the Holy Ghost talk to them. For many Primary children they don't really know if they have a testimony, let alone how to share it with others. It has been neat to talk about this with them and help to know how to testify (i.e. talk in a loud clear and slow voice with power, like you mean it).
I always love seeing the children once the program is over. They feel like a million bucks, especially after hearing some compliments and it always shows on their faces. The big smiles and chests bursting with pride are so precious to me. I would love to know how I could capture this feeling and bring it back more than just the one Sunday a year, but I know that it comes from the accomplishment of a job well done.
Now that the presentation is over, 3 things keep sticking in my mind.
1. Right before we sang "He Sent His Son", I looked over at the piano to see if I could offer my student one last word of encouragement. His eyes were closed, his hands were clasped, and his lips were forming the words of a silent prayer. I was so touched. Here, a ten year old knew the power of prayer and that he could ask for help to play his song. Suffice it to say, I turned around and walked away without saying anything, realizing that he was getting more help from God than I would have been able to offer. He played beautifully. It was the best that I have ever heard him play it. I am sure that he will focus on the few minor bobbles that he had, but I hope that he doesn't. I hope that he remembers that he played in front of an audience of over 100 people, that he accompanied a group of 40 singers, and most importantly that because he was willing to share his talents, people were taught the gospel.
2. All of the kids gave their parts really well with no major meltdowns. One girl sticks out in my mind. She was so nervous that she was shaking during the two songs prior to her part. She isn't a strong reader, and she knows it, which added to her nervousness. Even during the practice with an empty chapel, she was still shaky. I stood by her side. I held her with my arms around her while she read. As she spoke, a tear fell on my hand. I was surprised as her voice didn't sound like she was crying. She didn't give up. She didn't wimp out and ask for her parents. This was a major accomplishment for this girl. I think this stands out to me as an example for all of the kids. This presentation is a major accomplishment for all of them and they all rose to the occasion and did wonderfully.
3. It was so sweet to hear all of the children individually say their name and that they knew that their Savior loved them. We have several children in our primary with needs, but a few with special needs. To hear a little girl M. say this with her physical and mental limitations was so priceless. The Savior's love is endless, he truly does know everyone by name and is the Savior to all, no matter how they are. Everyone is special and loved by our Heavenly Father.
I love my Primary children, just as I know that you love yours. I am also beginning to see why you have always loved to be in Primary.