Once a year, throughout the LDS church, the children of each congregation put on a program during the Sacrament meeting (the portion of our service where the entire congregation is together). The Primary kids (ages 3-11) practice the songs all year long, then spend a month of more leading up to the program practicing lines written and assigned to them by the Primary Presidency (the adults who run the Primary).
Our Primary program was today. We must have 75-100 kids that fall in that 3-11 age range. They all sat up front. They all had lines. It went amazingly well. The theme was “I am a child of God,” and they talked about ways they were trying to be like Jesus. To see those sweet little faces, all of whom had been practicing for this day, sitting there on their best behavior (only occasionally sneaking in waves and mouthed hellos to their parents) was wonderful. The spirit that they brought into the room was beautiful.
Beyond a doubt, for me, it was the best Sunday of the year. With that in mind:
Today I am Thankful For (the Primary Program Edition):
- N~ (mostly) remembered his part. He had to be prompted at first, but then he pretty much remembered it all. When we practiced, he would get most of it, but would usually leave a couple of words out here or there. I think he was pretty nervous about it. But he did really well. W~ had a smaller part, and he is really good at memorization anyhow, so he did fine. I was proud of them both.
- Church practices that set our kids up with awesome life skills. In addition to the yearly program, every week in Primary, different kids are praying, reading scriptures, and giving talks. Once they are twelve and older, they have the chance to give talks in Sacrament meeting (we don’t have sermons–members of our congregation are assigned topics to speak on). Public speaking is supposed to be one of the biggest fears people have. I’d wager that isn’t the case in our church. We learn to get comfortable with it starting at three years old. Really, it’s awesome.
- The amazing ability that little children have to create a spiritual experience. I have mentioned before that I generally have a cold, dark spot where the sappy, liquid producing emotions should reside–I’m not a crier. Today, my kids had me on the verge of tears. Other people’s kids had me on the verge of tears. My heart was just bursting because of the amazing little people in front of me. I may not be dead inside, after all.
- Our Primary Presidency, who did such an amazing job putting the program together. We have a big Primary, so just handling the week to week stuff is a task. Getting all of those kids prepared to sit (reasonably) still and each have a part in the program? They are miracle workers. Really, you guys are awesome.
- The chance to actually take the program in. Sean and I laugh (a bit bitterly, at times) at the notion of Sunday being a day of rest. Sunday is usually pretty stressful, what with trying to get kids into church clothes, then trying to keep them still during Sacrament meeting. It has been years since I’ve had my whole family at church and felt like I got more than bits and pieces of spiritual education. But, with half of my family on stage, E~ playing happily on the floor, and C~ amazingly still as he watched the older kids, I actually got to listen and enjoy. Beautiful.
- The knowledge that those kids were right: I am a child of God.