Thursday, September 16, 2010

Teach the Gospel - By Singing

Our doctrine instructs us that teaching the gospel is fundamental to the structure of the church. We come together, first and foremost, to learn the gospel. This fact underscores the value of teachers and the importance of the call to teach.

It is easy to imagine that being the Relief Society president is a more important calling than being the Primary secretary. It is easy to reason that teaching and leading the youth is somehow more significant than teaching Sunbeams. We all know some in Primary who are merely marking time until a more important calling comes along. I do hope it isn’t you.

I acknowledge that it is easy to think or feel that some callings are more important than others, but in reality, every calling is a sacred opportunity to serve, no matter where or what it is. I know that you all understand this on a logical “brain” level, but do you really feel it in your heart? The Spirit is present in all of the Lord’s work, to teach and testify of the truths taught. We can choose to believe in the divine nature of our calling or not, but that choice will affect our attitude towards the work we do. The Lord needs laborers in his vineyard. He needs pruners and diggers as well as foremen. While we grasp this in a rational way, it doesn’t always sink into our hearts far enough to be of use during the heat of the afternoon when our job in the vineyard is to shovel the manure. Because I grew up on a farm, I readily understand what is involved in the parable of the olive tree when the Lord of the vineyard “digs and dungs” about his olive trees. It is tempting to wish for a more glamorous job. But truly, the most needed laborer in God’s kingdom is that of teacher. All of God’s children, no matter their age, must learn of Jesus Christ and of the doctrines of his gospel so that they may properly and fully exercise their agency. Because of this, the job of teacher exists, along with all the other callings that making the teaching possible.

We can sign on to help. D&C 6 promises us that if we have a desire to help, we are called to the work. I think this invitation goes beyond a formal calling to teach a class. I think it goes clear down to our emotional desire to give ourselves to Jesus Christ, and to promote His gospel and lead others to Him.

It might seem apparent that our job as a Primary chorister is to help the children enjoy a break from all the teaching and talking and have a little fun. It might seem that our job is to make sure that the kids know the monthly songs and are prepared to sing in the sacrament meeting presentation. In reality, I believe our job is to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are simply called to do it by singing. Think about it.

This is a difficult time of year for the Primary Chorister. One can become discouraged over a number of different issues, mostly related to the sacrament meeting program. I just want to encourage you all to remind yourselves of what we are really trying to do. Remember that programs come and go. We really want the children to know that our Savior loves them. Music can help them know that. It may seem a small and simple thing, but you are doing a great work.


Debbie said...

Thank you for those encouraging words and a reminder of what our true purpose really is. It's amazing that I seem to feel the Spirit the strongest is when the kids are singing in Primary. Very powerful stuff there!

taylor said...

Thank you! What a wonderful message that we need to remember while we're organizing and planning and getting logistics ready for our programs. The children should not feel pressure or stress to sing better and louder and smile more--they get enough stress at school. They need to feel the message of the songs which all teach about the gospel. Go team!

Vicky said...

Wonderful comments; well said!

Sarah said...

Thank you so much for your words. I needed to refocus on the most important task at hand--helping our children know the Savior loves them. That simple truth invites obedience, and obedience leads to becoming like our Savior.
Your thoughts were inspired! Thank you.

Sarah said...

Thank you for these perfect words. I needed to refocus on the most important work we're doing in this calling--helping the children understand the Savior's love for them.
Your thoughts were inspired!

thank you.

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