It may not seem like it, but we are nearly one quarter of the way through 2016. And that means the annual Primary sacrament meeting program could be here in as early as six months. It’s likely your children have been learning songs in Primary that they will sing in the program. Do you know what these songs are?
In January, the children should have learned the words and music to the song, “If I Listen with My Heart.” This song is not included in the Children’s Songbook, but you can find the sheet music for it online by clicking on the link below.
If I Listen with My Heart Sheet Music
If you are personally unfamiliar with this song, you may want to review it with your children by watching this video of the Tabernacle Choir singing it.
Tabernacle Choir – If I Listen with My Heart
If your children have not been practicing this song in Primary or if they have forgotten it, now would be a good time to go over it again with them.
The lyrics talk about being able to hear the Savior speak as you read the scriptures, listen to the prophets, and feel the Spirit. Talking about what the song means will help your children remember the words. You could even ask the children to help you create simple actions to go along with the lyrics. For example, you could open your hands like a book when you sing the word scriptures or cup your ear when you sing the word hear.
In February, the children should have learned to sing, “I Will Follow God’s Plan,” which is on pages 164 and 165 of the Children’s Songbook.
Again, you can review this song by watching the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform it in the video linked below.
Mormon Tabernacle Choir – “I Will Follow God’s Plan”
The lyrics for this song can be hard to learn because certain words are repeated many times. To help older children remember the order of the phrases, you could write word strips for each of the lines, as shown below. Then mix up these word strips and have the children practice putting them in order.
For extra practice, begin with the first line and then each time you add another line, sing the song until you reach the place where you left off.
My life is a gift;
my life has a plan.
My life has a purpose;
in heav’n it began.
My choice was to come to this lovely home on earth
And seek for God’s light to direct me from birth.
I will follow God’s plan for me,
Holding fast to his word and his love.
I will work,
and I will pray;
I will always walk in his way.
Then I will be happy on earth
And in my home above.
With younger children who cannot read the word strips, you could draw simple pictures to illustrate and accompany each line. If you are working with older and younger children together, ask the older children to help you draw these pictures or to help you think of things to draw for each line. The ideas below are meant as suggestions to help you get started.
My life is a gift; – picture of a wrapped present
my life has a plan. – picture of a map
My life has a purpose; – picture of a family
in heav’n it began. – picture of clouds
My choice was to come to this lovely home on earth – picture of a house and the earth
And seek for God’s light to direct me from birth. – picture of the sun and a baby
I will follow God’s plan for me, – picture of a map with a route marked
Holding fast to his word and his love. – picture of the scriptures or a heart
I will work, – picture of a child helping with a family chore
and I will pray; – picture of a child praying
I will always walk in his way. – picture of a family walking
Then I will be happy on earth – picture of a smiling face and the earth
And in my home above. – picture of a house or the temple
Have younger children help you put the pictures in order, just as the older children did with the word strips. Talking about what each picture symbolizes will help younger and older children understand the lyrics and remember them.
The song for March is “Stand for the Right,” which is on page 159 of the Children’s Songbook. This song is short and simple, which should help your children learn it quickly.
To add some fun to your practicing, try standing up or performing another simple action each time you sing the words, “Be true, be true.” Sing the song a few times together, and let the children take turns deciding what this action will be. You might try clapping your hands, stomping your feet, or raising your arms in the air. Try to maintain reverence while still giving the children the opportunity to move around and stretch.
Another idea you may want to try is to sing this song as a round. Begin with one half of the group singing until they reach the first, “Be true, be true.” Then have the other half of the group begin while the first half finishes the song. Keep going until each group has sung through the song two or three times.
While it probably seems like the annual Primary program is still a long ways off, it’s important to give your children the chance to practice these songs throughout the year. As you may have noticed, these songs work hand in hand with the themes and ideas discussed in Primary each month and each week. When you talk with your children about these topics, you can use the song lyrics to reinforce what you are teaching and to help children remember what they have learned.