Sunday, October 26, 2014

Primary Program

Every year every congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints hosts a primary program. Yes, every congregation the whole world over does this. It's pretty amazing. 

Primary is simply the class time set aside for children ages 18 months to 11 years. Each Sunday children those ages attend Sacrament meeting with their families followed by individual and group primary classes. Nell's primary class is referred to as Nursery and it mostly consists of play time, snacks, a brief lesson, and singing time. Reid attends Sunbeams. Sunbeams is a 35 minute Sunday School class for children ages 3-4. After that he attends Sharing Time and Singing Time with all kids ages 3-11. Each year the Church creates a Sharing Time and Singing Time curriculum based on a doctrinal theme. This year the theme was "Families are Forever." In each calendar year LDS kids learn songs, scriptures, and lessons surrounding the year's theme. Around the 10 month mark they present a program, during the Sacrament portion of our Church service, demonstrating what they have learned through out the year. 

I dare say this is the most loved Sacrament meeting in LDS congregations world wide. 

Reid is the youngest member of our congregation's primary and it showed. He was so squirmy throughout the entire meeting.  The kids sit up on the choir seats, so they can see the whole audience and we can see each of them. This creates entertainment, for sure. There's always "that one goofy kid" and it turns out he is mine. The real problem came when he gave Ben and I the most adorable wink + thumbs up I have ever seen. Neither of us have seen him wink before, so we both burst out laughing. Because we were in a Church meeting it was the kind of laughter you have to hide. No sound, just big smiles and bouncing shoulders. That kind of laughter always makes things worse; it's so much harder to contain. Naturally, our reaction encouraged more bizarre winks and thumbs up, and after about the sixth time we both gave him stern looks and instructions to fold his arms. He responded with his own stern looks, and I soon realized I just couldn't engage eye contact with him for the duration of the program.

The program is always a balance of scripture verses, memorized lines, individual talks (given by the oldest kids) and songs. Each child is assigned at least one of the above mentioned parts. Reid was given a simple line and we worked on memorizing it weeks ago. He had it down pat. "Jesus Christ was resurrected and I will be too."

He repeated it to us without prompting almost 100 times. So we were both surprised when he got up on the stand and had the primary president whisper it in his ear. When we asked him why he needed the line whispered into his ear he simply responded, "Benny's mom was there to help us."

"Yeah, but we didn't think you needed any help."

"But she wanted to help me. So I let her."

What a kind kid, always thinking of others, ha ha. I suppose this really shouldn't have surprised us. He is fully capable of saying prayers all by himself but he'd never pass up a chance to have it whispered into his ear. It's a method of teaching we have since stopped with him but now practice with Nell. Obviously if Benny's mom was going to whisper it into his ear there was no reason to stop her!

At the end of his line he looked at Ben and I, fully extended his right arm, and pointed his index finger at us. I can't even explain how weird and random that was, but the whole congregation giggled. There's always that one kid, and this year he was mine.

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