Sunday, November 16, 2008

2008 CSMP Wrap up!

As part of my calling in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I have the privilege to attend as many Children's Sacrament Meeting Presentations in our Stake as possible. The presentations for this year have followed the theme I Am a Child of God and with each being held within the last quarter of the year and with holidays and general conference during that time also, a bunch of programs were held on the same day and so we split up as a Stake Primary presidency to make sure all are attended. Some have asked if it gets old seeing the same songs and the same topics presented and without hesitation I will say that it never gets old! Every program is different and even if they were all scripted the same, it would still be different because the children really make the program. I have shed tears at every single program I have attended this year because I feel the Spirit so strongly when I've heard the children sing or bear testimony. It could even be a darling sincere face that will get me, I'm that emotional about it.

One week ago I attended my last program for the year. I am really going to miss having this chance to witness so many great programs as there is a good chance we will not be here a year from now. I have learned and continue to learn so much from Primary children! Some Primary leaders have worried about what the kids would or would not do during the presentation but as an audience member I think those things make me chuckle a little and I even find myself looking forward to some of those moments on occaision. Some of the most silly Primary moments this year have been:

1) listening to a young boy sing out loud and strong but with the most monotone voice I have ever heard (there is bound to be a few angels who are tone deaf right?)

2) a not-so-young boy who felt it was a good idea to dance while sitting in the very front and while singing the song 'Called To Serve' (that song kinda makes me want to dance too)

3) younger kids who need their teacher whispering the words in their ears who often repeat back something that they didn't need to. Things like "ok, go sit down now" and "good job!" were told to them so they felt like they needed to say it into the microphone.

4) after singing the phrase "I hope they call me on a mission, when I have grown a foot or two" a young boy looked utterly disgusted and raised his hand. With a look of terror on his face he said, "But I don't want to have four legs!"

Loved every moment of it! I also appreciate the opportunity to see so many programs because I gather so many neat ideas. For example:

1) One branch had made the effort to help all the children to memorize their parts and talks and after they did their presentation for their branch members, they carpooled to a local senior care center and did the whole presentation over again for the residents there, all the talks and songs. How amazing! What a wonderful missionary tool and a terrific service for those people! After spreading the word on this idea another branch did something similar. So great!

2) One branch has a very dedicated teacher who teaches the children using sign language to supplement her lessons. Even though they have no current need for sign language in their Primary, they still have taken the time and energy to practice it and even signed one of the songs for the presentation. It was beautiful!

3) I actually got to accompany on the piano for a branch. People, if you need it, use your Stake leaders! We are here to help and it is never a burden for us! I loved participating in the program!

4) I have seen the talents of the children displayed so wonderfully - a girl who fills in as the pianist for her Primary, children taking turns playing the prelude music before the Sacrament Meeting began, children playing other instruments to accompany a song, children singing in smaller groups, family members singing as a group, a group of boys only singing (I think it is great when the boys don't shy away from singing these days), etc. So beautiful!

5) By far I enjoy the presentations that were mostly made by the children themselves. You can tell which ones are totally scripted by an adult and ones that come from the hearts of the young ones. I'm not saying one is right over the other but I am saying that I prefer it when the kids come up with their own thoughts and impressions over the topics. Sure there will be the odd word like 'waffles' inserted in their comments (I've heard this one a lot for some reason. Silly...) but as long as they are not going too far off the topic I think it is fine and fun.

6) One ward has a chorister who really gets the attention of all the children. When she would cut them off at the end of the song, they would all stop in unison. She could get them all to rise and sit in unison. It was like a professional chorale or something. This is totally not necessary lest you think that you need to focus a lot more time on this but I was very impressed and I think it showed a certain level of love and obedience happening in their Primary.

I could go on but the more I continue the more I am missing it all so I'll stop. Another great year coming to an end! Thanks to all of you who help make Primary a wonderful place to be!


  1. I enjoyed your post, Jackie. From one Primary person to another, there are some good tips here!

  2. Hey what a great blog you have here :)


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