Have you ever bowed your head in humility and cried out: “Heavenly Father, are You really there? And do You hear and answer ev’ry child’s prayer?” You may recognize these longing questions from a Primary song that has touched many searching hearts. Then comes the profound assurance: “Pray, He is there; speak, He is list’ning. You are His child; His love now surrounds you” (“A Child’s Prayer,” Children’s Songbook).
Hearing and acting upon clear messages of truth such as these can comfort us, uplift us, increase our understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and build our faith in Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Plain and simple Primary songs can invite the Spirit to help “strengthen your spiritual foundation,” as President Russell M. Nelson has invited us to do, by declaring pure truth, teaching pure doctrine and inviting pure revelation. The truths in this music not only strengthen us but also provide an essential foundation for children to build on throughout their lives.
Consider some of the ways Primary songs can help you and the children in your lives strengthen your spiritual foundations.
First, Primary songs invite the Spirit to testify of pure truth, such as “I know my Father lives and loves me too. The Spirit whispers this to me and tells me it is true” (“I Know My Father Lives,” Children’s Songbook).
When we open our hearts to simple messages of pure truth conveyed through music, we open the door for the Holy Ghost to change our hearts. A changed heart leads to greater desire to make and keep sacred covenants.
When the Spirit testified of pure truth to the people of King Benjamin, they experienced a “mighty change” (Mosiah 5:2) in their hearts. With increased faith in Jesus Christ and “exceedingly great joy” (Mosiah 5:4), they were “willing to enter into a covenant with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his commandments in all things that he shall command us, all the remainder of our days” (Mosiah 5:5).
Similarly, pure truth witnessed to our hearts by the Holy Ghost is powerful, and when combined with music, that witness can come again and again every time we sing or hear pure truth!
Second, Primary songs teach pure doctrine in plainness and simplicity. The prophet Nephi exclaimed, “For my soul delighteth in plainness” (2 Nephi 31:3). He then taught the plain and simple doctrine of Christ and invited us to “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men” (2 Nephi 31:20).
Can you think of a favorite Primary song that plainly teaches you pure doctrine? How does that song help you live as Nephi invited? Perhaps, “He Sent His Son” or “Love One Another” come to mind. How has the song that came to your mind helped pure doctrine get deep into your heart?
President Nelson has declared: “The pure doctrine of Christ is powerful. It changes the life of everyone who understands it and seeks to implement it in his or her life. The doctrine of Christ helps us find and stay on the covenant path. Staying on that narrow but well-defined path will ultimately qualify us to receive all that God has. Nothing could be worth more than all our Father has!”
Third, Primary songs can invite pure revelation through the power of the Holy Ghost. Has there been a time when you were seeking an answer from Heavenly Father and then the words of a Primary song came into your thoughts?
Maybe you prayed for help to be more Christlike in small and simple ways, as one woman did. When she was driving down the road, another vehicle unexpectedly cut her off. During a moment of frustration, these words came clearly to her mind: “I’m trying to be like Jesus; I’m following in His ways. I’m trying to love as He did, in all that I do and say. At times I am tempted to make a wrong choice, but I try to listen as the still small voice whispers: ‘Love one another as Jesus loves you. Try to show kindness in all that you do’” (“I’m Trying to Be like Jesus,” Children’s Songbook).
The anger dissipated as this simple revelatory song softened her heart and helped her to change her mindset. Perhaps more of us should “sing [our] way home at the close of the day” (“Sing Your Way Home,” Children’s Songbook).
In these ways and more, Primary songs bring us joy and invite the strengthening power of the Spirit to help us build a sure spiritual foundation through “pure truth, the pure doctrine of Christ, and pure revelation.”
Do you need a boost in strengthening your spiritual foundation or that of your family today? Then “lift up your voice and sing” — or simply hum — your favorite Primary songs!