Today was the children's program at church. Each year, the children prepare a special Sacrament Meeting program, based on a theme with songs and short talks. Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, sometimes even neighbors and friends are invited to attend and watch the children share the things they are learning in Primary. I will never forget the first Primary Children's Sacrament Meeting Program I participated in, as a child. My grandmother was going to come! We were still rather new converts to this church, and this would be her first experience attending our church with us. I think my Mom was worried about what Grandma would think. I was just worried about singing the songs well and giving my part. That year, we opened the program by singing, "I Am A Child of God". I could feel the truth of the words of this song every time I sang it, and Grandma did too. 'I am a Child of God, and He has sent me here; has given me an earthly home with parents kind and dear.' I will always remember the way I felt as I sang, the truth in the words of the song and the happiness I felt and knowing the gospel filled my soul with JOY. For years afterward, Grandma spoke of the way she felt as soon as the children began singing that song, how it touched her heart, and bore witness of the same message. The Primary Children's Sacrament Meeting presentation is one of my favorite Sundays, even when I'm one of the leaders!
This year's theme was "I Know the Scriptures are True". Our little Primary children did a great job!! They sang beautifully, most remembered their parts and didn't get too nervous when they stood and looked out at the entire congregation. We had asked some of the children to share their favorite scripture stories. Lots of the boys liked the story of Daniel in the Lion's Den. There were a couple of shy ones, who would speak right into the mic, then get super quiet and whisper the rest of their part when they heard the amplification. We had a little box for the youngest (smallest) children to stand on, so they could be seen over the podium...nearly every boy jumped off that box when they were done giving their part. I could see their parents in the congregation smiling and cringing at the same time. I know they hoped their boys would act reverently, but, well...as any mother of six boys will tell you (oh, yeah, that's me!), little boys have a hard time ACT-ing reverently when they FEEL happy.
We closed the program with the children singing a song, "Scripture Power"...it's a fun little song with a catchy tune and beat and the children love it. They especially love the chorus, when they punch the air, sometimes with their scriptures in hand, and sing, "Scrip-ture Power keeps me safe from sin! Scrip-ture Power is the power to win! Scrip-ture Power; every day I need the power that I get each time I read!" There was one little boy who just couldn't contain himself, he shouted between the phrases "Scripture Power!", and at the end, several boys literally landed in their seats! I looked out and saw parents, grandparents and lots of others, smiling with tears in their eyes....and remembered the way I felt that very first Primary Program many (many) years ago, and I knew they were feeling that too. They felt JOY. These little boys, jumping off the box, pumping the air and singing (shouting?) 'Scripture Power'...they were feeling JOY too! I had a secret thought about how those little boys would someday, hopefully, be JOY-ful missionaries, and how much JOY they might bring to others with the Gospel. Isn't it great?!
So that's my thought to ponder this week; when I feel JOY, I feel energized and confident. I feel like singing!! (well, that's just me...I like to sing!) I want to take time each day to recall those feelings and why I chose this gospel...and be JOY-ful!