Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Lasting Impact: Primary Songs in Seminary

What they learned in Primary
Primary music and early morning seminary. I know, I know. Those don't normally go together. I'm teaching seminary right now, though, and I've been taking opportunities to merge these two loves of mine. 

For the past month, I've asked my students to choose only Primary songs for the opening hymn. One day, a young man chose "A Child's Prayer."  After we sang both verses, I stopped the music and said we could stop there, since singing both parts together might be hard. The young man spoke up and said, "But that's why I chose this song!" Another young man said he'd be happy to help me by leading the other part, and so we went ahead with it. It was beautiful. :)  Another day, the song chosen was "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus," and my sleepy teenagers have never sung with more enthusiasm, either before or since. 

At the end of the month, I culminated the experience by recreating an activity from my senior year seminary teacher, Sister Aycock. I started by mentioning how much effort we in the Church put into teaching our children gospel truths. I asked my seminary students for what they learned in Primary. Specifically, what actual Primary lessons could they could remember? Only one student could think of one, and she reported, "We planted a seed. I think it was supposed to be like faith, but that's all I remember." Before they could start to feel bad, I reassured my students that I couldn't remember any individual Primary lessons, either. 

"OK, instead of that, what Primary songs do you remember?" I asked. I had all my students come up and write a Primary song on the board. A picture of their input is at the beginning of this post. Here is exactly what they wrote:

Popcorn Popping
Keep the Commandments
Teach Me to Walk in the Light
The Word of Wisdom
Popcorn Tree
We'll Bring the World His Truth
Army of Helaman (yep, I let them know that this was the same song as the one above)
Follow the Prophet
Where Love Is
I Am a Child of God
A Child's Prayer (x3)
Scripture Power

After they all sat down, I asked, "So tell me now, what did you learn in Primary?" This quiet, prolonged moment of realization was so powerful to me as a high school senior that I was determined to share it with my students. I went through several of the songs they'd chosen, commenting on what they'd learned. They'd learned that they were children of God. They'd learned to keep the commandments and walk in the light. They'd learned that power comes from the scriptures and from prayer. They did indeed remember the most important lessons from Primary. 

Brothers and sisters, the work you do teaching our children faith-filled songs, it matters! The effects of your efforts are long-lasting. Thank you.

Happy singing,

Looking for more?   
If you want another feel-good post about how much you're appreciated, I've got a good one for you. :) My absolute favorite post I've ever done is this one


  1. So beautiful. I am an early morning seminary teacher and the primary chorister in our small branch. I will be singing more primary songs next year!

  2. Oh my goodness! Those are two big callings to have. Your tiny branch is blessed to have you. :)

  3. This is fantastic! What a beautiful lesson to share with your seminary students :)

  4. love love love LOVE this! (I just found your blog from a blog from a blog. It's quite the rabbit hole for me this morning!) I want to do this with every teenager I know now!

    1. I know, right?! It's powerful for both them and you.