Monday, October 25, 2010

The Infamous Primary Program

This past Sunday we had our Primary Program. (In my church, once a year we have the children, ages 3-11 put on a program for the whole congregation.  It consists of them singing songs and giving very short speaking parts, usually 1-2 lines.)  Robyn and I are in charge of the Sunbeams (the 3 and 4 year olds).  This meant that we got to be involved in all the practicing and we got to sit up on the stand during the actual program and attempt to get the kids to do what they're supposed to.

I have to admit, my attitude wasn't quite where it should have been.  I was not excited about the various practices we went through.  Trying to get 3 years olds to sit quietly for 2 hours while other kids practice speaking parts or various songs is not the funnest activity in the world.  And, of course, they're supposed to stand for each song which means that I am trying to whisper, "Stand up.  It's time to stand up.  Let's all stand up."  By the time they stand up the song is usually over and I'm whispering, "Sit down. Sit down.  Sit on your chair.  Sit. Sit. Sit."

The practice we did on Saturday was particularly rough.  We had gathered at the church on Saturday morning, and we were doing a run through of the whole program.  One of the kids turned to me and said in the whiniest voice he could muster, "This is taking foooooreeeeevvveeer."  What could I say?  I wanted to be home playing on a Saturday just as much as he did.  I thought if I gave him some numerical data that he could understand it would help him put in perspective how much longer we had.  So I said, "There are just 2 more songs."  After we sang another song he turned to me and said, "After one more song I can go home?"  I wasn't sure exactly what the plan was but I said, "Ya, I'm pretty sure."

Well,  I shouldn't have been so sure.  After we finished going through the whole program, the Primary President stood up and said, "You kids did such a good job on our first run through.  Let's run through the whole thing one more time."  Now, at this point I wanted to cry.  I couldn't imagine the anguish our little 3 and 4 year olds were feeling.  I knew that the second run through would do nothing for our sunbeams.  At this point the goal of the second run through was to get through it alive.  I turned to this particular boy and said, "I'm so sorry.  I was wrong.  Now there are 9 more songs."

The day of the actual program came.  During the program there was plenty of "Time to stand up." and "Sit down. Sit. Sit. Sit."  But despite all that, I think I finally got it.  I finally understood what it was all about.  I looked out at the audience and saw tears on the faces of many of the parents of our little children.  The children were almost yelling as they sang, "Follow the Prophet, don't go astray."  And I really felt that they believed it when they sang, "I know that my Savior loves me."  I finally understood why we worked so hard.

These children really do know their Savior.  They know the simple truths of the gospel, which are that Jesus Christ lives and that he loves each one of us.  They may not know the deeper doctrines.  They can't quote scripture and they don't know the difference between a Jew and a Samaritan but they know the important things, they know that they are children of God.

I said a little prayer to repent for my bad attitude.  The one tear came to my right eye as I pondered the gospel truths that we were learning from these little ones.  I understood at that moment why our Savior said that we should become as little children.


  1. I wrote this halfway through reading the whole post:
    THEY HAD THE KIDS PRACTICE ON A SATURDAY!!?! How awful. Poor kids. Poor you and Robyn. (And running through it twice??? Seriously.)

    After reading the rest, I wrote:
    I should repent for thinking badly about those leaders that made everyone come on a Saturday. Glad it went well! I can't wait to see my own kids up there someday. :)

  2. Great job! It sounds like a wonderful program (and even cuter for all of the things that DIDN'T go according to plan).

  3. Jeff you did such a great job in the primary program. Your performance was excellent. I am glad that you were able to learn that pure doctrine. (as a side note How many times did you ask Robyn when it was going to be over?)

  4. I'm just glad it is over and we can go back to normal primary (which is hard enough as it is). Thanks for being there to help me. I was having a hard time with it so I knew you must have been dying! Thanks for fulfilling your calling with me. I couldn't do it without you.

  5. I am always amazed at how the programs seem so chaotic during practices yet go so smoothly and have such a sweet spirit about them. I love how you could totally relate to the program going fooorrevvveerrr! My favorite was the "I Know My Savior Loves Me" song. So powerful and sweet!


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