Music will continue to have an important role in Primary, says general presidency

Do you remember the last Primary sacrament meeting presentation you saw? Perhaps it was just a few weeks ago. How did you feel when the children sang? When you heard their sweet voices, did you feel the desire to sing along with them?

In the past few months we have visited many Primary sacrament meeting presentations. We have felt the Spirit as the children shared their “part” in the program. But we have also noticed the muted, energetic humming of the congregation as the children sang songs like “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus” or “Families Can Be Together Forever.”

The music learned in Primary stays with us long after we turn 12. Music has the ability to plant seeds of doctrine deep into our hearts that can continue to grow into adulthood. President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency taught, “The singing of hymns is one of the best ways to learn the doctrine of the restored gospel.”

Music will have an important role in the new integrated curriculum beginning in 2019. "Come, Follow Me" not only has weekly lessons but also music chosen to reinforce the doctrine being learned in the scriptures both at home and in Primary. There are songs suggested for Primary Singing Time. These same songs will be available as a resource in "Come, Follow Me — Individuals and Families" by the end of the year. Families will now be studying and singing together. Primary will support these efforts at church every week.

Primary children follow the chorister during Singing Time.
Primary children follow the chorister during Singing Time. Photo:

President Russell M. Nelson has taught that “music has a sweet power to promote unity and love in the family. Not only is it an important component of family home evening, but it can exert a continuing influence for good well beyond times when children are small.”

You don’t need to have a beautiful voice to enjoy singing in your homes. Singing Primary songs and hymns will bring blessings, even if the music is a little off key.

“Remember, music has the power to provide spiritual nourishment. It has healing power. It has the power to facilitate worship. It allows us to contemplate the Atonement, the restoration of the gospel with its saving principles and exalting ordinances. Music provides power for us to express prayerful thoughts and bear testimony of sacred truths,” President Nelson said.

We know Primary music and hymns invite the Spirit of the Lord and move us to repentance and good works. They build testimony and faith, comfort the weary and worn out and console the lonely and mourning.

Recently a college student wrote, “There are many important and big decisions I am making in my life. During this process, there have been multiple occasions where I have been filled with doubt or become discouraged. On one specific instance, I found myself asking Heavenly Father in prayer, ‘Are you there?’ ‘Do you know how much I am struggling?’ These thoughts of doubt were automatically dismissed when the words of the Primary song ‘A Child’s Prayer’ came to mind.

Megan Ray leads the Copperton Ward Junior Primary in singing time in Copperton on Sunday, February 26, 2017.
Megan Ray leads the Copperton Ward Junior Primary in singing time in Copperton on Sunday, February 26, 2017. Photo: Hans Emond Koepsell

“‘Pray, He is there. Speak. He is listening.’ Though simple, these words have struck my heart time and time again. The basic principles I learned as a child in Primary have had lasting impacts on my life. These songs are like small testimonies … that relay pure truths rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Do you want to encourage unity in your families, classes and quorums?

Sing together.

Do you want to help your children, youth, young adults and older adults to remember a point of doctrine?

Sing about that truth.

Do you want to bring the Spirit more abundantly in your life and in the lives of your families?

Sing with them the songs of Primary and the hymns.

As a presidency, our hope is that you sing Primary songs and hymns so that your families and your faith may be strengthened and enduring. May your homes always be blessed with the loving melodies of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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