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'I Am a Child of God' author Naomi Randall remembered for service

Naomi Ward Randall, author of the beloved children's song, "I Am a Child of God," was remembered for her years of vast community and Church service during memorial services May 24.

She always felt that she was just an instrument in the hands of the Lord in writing the lyrics, said her grandson, Mark R. Oakes, during the services.

The memorial service was held at the North Ogden Utah Coldwater Stake Center and was presided over by President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve. During the service, a letter signed by the First Presidency was read that noted how her well-known music would endure as a lasting tribute of her faith and testimony.

In his comments, President Packer said, "Imagine me holding a very large bouquet of white roses. I would do what Naomi would have wished. I would divide the roses and give half to Mildred T. Pettit. She wrote the music to "I Am a Child of God." The music and the lyrics are inseparable. Then I would take one rose from the half I had given to Naomi Randall and give it to President Spencer W. Kimball. He made a suggestion for one word change in the lyrics which originally read, 'Teach me all that I must know.' His suggestion would change it to 'Teach me all that I must do.' Thereafter, he claimed to be coauthor with Naomi Randall."

Also speaking during the memorial service was Sister Sydney Reynolds, counselor in the Primary General Presidency.

Sister Randall died May 17 at age 92 while living in La Mesa, Calif. She was born Oct. 5, 1908, on a dairy and cattle farm in rural North Ogden, Utah. She served 27 years on the Primary General Board of the Church, including six years as a counselor in the Primary General Presidency. During those years, she traveled widely throughout the world, including the Pacific islands, Europe and Asia.

"I Am a Child of God" came as a response to prayer, she said. After receiving an assignment to write a new song for a Primary General Conference, Sister Randall went home and after saying personal and family prayers, she retired. During the early hours of the morning she was awakened by thoughts that began to form in her mind and she arose to write.

"Those words give me goose bumps," said Sister Pettit.

She never stopped serving her family, said Brother Oakes. She learned that prayer was one form of service that old age and a frail body could not stop her from doing to bless her grandchildren.

Interment was in the Ben Lomond, North Ogden Utah Cemetery.

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