Sunday, January 15, 2012

20 Minutes

I had an experience today that made me rethink things a bit. I was asked to meet with a counselor in the bishopric today after church. I was worried I would be released and was so sad to think it might happen! I was praying to be humble and accepting of the Lord's will, but I was also thinking about why I enjoy this calling so much and what specifically I would miss. 

This is what it came down to, I would miss teaching the gospel through music. 

I love music, I have 17 piano students, and between teaching them, preparing music and recitals, my own practice, accompanying and helping my own kids with their practicing, music is a big part of my life. It takes up a lot of my time and I love it. It's exactly what I want to do.

But teaching the gospel with music I only get to do on Sunday. Those 20 Minutes of connecting with kids and singing about the gospel, about who we are and what we're trying to be are such a blessing in my life. Music is amazing, but the combination of Music and the Gospel is Powerful. It speaks to the soul and builds understanding. 

When we sing about true principles, the Spirit testifies to our spirit they are true and we understand better who we are. I hope I can help the Primary children recognize when that happens.

Speaking of 20 Minutes, kids are immersed in music all week long. Music is everywhere, in the car, in the store, at home and school. They are singing, playing or hearing music a large percentage of their waking hours. But for 20 Minutes every week they get to focus music that builds their testimonies. 

All this is why I try to focus Singing Time on teaching not only songs, but also teaching the gospel. Entertaining the kids for 20 minutes doesn't cut it. They are entertained all week long. It's true that kids will learn the songs and remember them for a long time just by singing them, but helping them to relate the gospel principles to their lives is priceless. The Handbook says:"Music in Primary should invite reverence, teach the gospel, and help children feel the influence of the Holy Ghost and the joy that comes through singing."  Handbook-2 11.2.4

So even though there are lots of ideas out there for fun activities during Singing Time, lots of things I would have fun with, I try to do activities that teach the gospel principle too. 

When I returned to the church for my appointment I found that there had been a mistake, and they didn't need to talk to me. I was so relieved! I have a new love and appreciation for my calling and hope I get to enjoy it much longer.


  1. say it so well! I bet your primary kids love you!

  2. Thanks for posting this. I've been wondering how to balance actively teaching the kids with inviting the Spirit, and helping them understand the message of the songs. I'm going to work more on being SPIRITUALLY prepared for Sunday, rather than making sure I have a fun game ready.

  3. Thank you. Glad you can relate!

  4. I just got this calling and have already felt overwhelmed with 'how to best tackle this calling.' This is great a perspective, and thanks for sharing the story. So glad your calling didn't change ;-)

  5. Amen. I remember times when I sat alone and lost in a teenage world. I would sing primary songs that comforted me, directed me and testified of Christ. As a primary music leader I am arming children with weapons they will use during the period in their lives when they are defining who they are. This is no small calling! I have to have the spirit with me, every week!