Music can bring blessings into lives of Primary children in different ways

"For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads." (D&C 25:12.)

The blessings of Primary music can come in many different ways - a feeling of peace during times of stress or fear, a way to communicate, a way to touch the heart, and a way to teach principles of the gospel.Following are two accounts of how Primary music touched the lives of children when the spoken word wasn't sufficient:


One morning in July 1979, Beckie Johnson looked out her bedroom window and realized that what she originally thought was smoke was really a tornado.

The mother of five quickly grabbed 3-month-old Brianna, called in the family dog and rushed to the basement where three of her four other children had been playing. The oldest, Chereon, then 7, was at a friend's; her husband, Wayne, was at work. "I told the children we needed to stay downstairs. My son, Eric (then 5 years old), said, `Mom, we're supposed to get in a closet or in a corner.' So we all went to a closet and put a large bean bag over our heads."

Sister Johnson told the Church News that the children were "really scared, especially the baby, who was crying. We could hear the wind. It sounded like a train going through the upstairs.

"That's when we started singing Primary songs. The one I remember was `I Am a Child of God.' "

For the remainder of the disaster, Sister Johnson sang songs with Eric; Mark, then 3; Enoch, 2; and Brianna. "It really calmed the children a lot to sing. The baby stopped crying," said Sister Johnson, who today is the mother of two additional children, Trista, 13; and Luke, 12.

Although their home was severely damaged, the mother and her children emerged unscathed - and grateful for the calming effect of Primary songs.


"I'm convinced the inner spirit of children is touched through music," said Janet Falls, Primary president of the Joplin Missouri Stake. She especially notes the effects music can have on children who are developmentally disabled.

"Even though their bodies are disabled, the music strikes a chord with their spirit, and the children can feel it."

To emphasize this, Sister Falls related, part of a recent stake leadership training meeting was devoted to including children with disabilities in activities through music. "We had a workshop on how to teach music, and we discussed ideas for including children with physical or mental disabilities.

"We also had my second counselor, Karla Hoyt, talk to priesthood leaders about recognizing the needs of our physically and mentally disabled children. She gave an overview of how Primary meets those needs, and one of the ways we do that is through music," Sister Falls explained.

And Primary leaders in this stake take their own advice seriously. Whenever a musical event is held in Primary meetings or in sacrament meetings, children with disabilities are included along with their peers.

"These children can participate in a music portion of a meeting, but they can't always participate in a speaking part. We feel that's one reason music is so important; it's one of the best times to include them."

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