In 2007. my Grandma shared a personal story of when she first felt the stirrings of the spirit as a young child. President Heber J. Grant visited her Sacrament meeting one Sunday when she was seven years old and living in Denver, Colorado.
Their Denver, Colorado chapel
President Grant and his counselors
My Grandma (on the far left in the white dress),
in front of their church building with her primary class.
"He spoke in our sacrament meeting and told how, by practice and perseverance, he learned to throw a ball, to write with a beautiful hand, and he taught himself how to sing. To illustrate an example of his accomplishment, he wanted to sing for us one of his favorite hymns. He left the podium and descended a few steps down to the piano. He stood next to the piano, gently placed one hand on the instrument, and began to sing the words to the hymn: "Who's On the Lord's Side?" with a beautiful, clear voice.
The words touched my heart. I felt as though he were asking me directly whose side I was on. We were used to choosing sides in a variety of childhood games, so this language and these circumstances were very familiar to my childish mind. In my trusting, guileless heart I thought, "I will choose the Lord's side!"
The side I had chosen at that moment established a pattern that I would follow for the remainder of my life. The feeling I had then was that this choice of whom I would follow was more significant than every other decision I would make. I also received a witness on that occasion that President Grand was a prophet of God and that his successors all were called of God."
Yesterday was our Primary Program in Sacrament meeting. A primary program is a time for the children (ages 4-11) of our church to share the songs they have learned around the yearly theme, this years' being I Know My Savior Lives. We were able to sit right behind Yaks, who sat in his row with his fellow Sunbeams and his beloved teacher. They would turn around in their seats and sing each song. Diddles was in heaven hearing all the songs we listen to in the car on our daily trips to take Boo to school. She waved her arms and yelled for joy. We could see Boo from where we were sitting, smiling and excited.
Boo mentioned last week that the "kids" were having a hard time with the Jonah part in the song, "Follow the Prophet". It goes like this: "Jonah was a prophet, tried to run away, but he later learned to listen and obey. When we really try, the Lord won't let us fail; that's what Jonah learned deep down inside the whale. Follow the Prophet, Follow the Prophet, Follow the Prophet, don't go astray. Follow the Prophet, Follow the Prophet, Follow the Prophet, he knows the way!" I thought nothing of it. "Oh, they'll get it," I said. Imagine my surprise when I saw Boo and two of her classmates walk to the pulpit, pull down the microphone to sing this verse as a trio. I promise, I had NO idea! Boo somehow got on the step stool, so her face was right in front of the mic. Boo has been blessed with many talents, but singing isn't one of them. Josh and I watched with red faces and our hand covering our mouths as Boo belted the verse in her loud and off-key voice, completely overpowering her other two friends. I felt so bad about it - in more ways than one. I got a lot of comments throughout the day on Boo's performance.
But today, after thinking about it for a while, I'm glad she loves to sing. I'm glad she likes to learn the lyrics to songs and sing along. President Grant didn't have a great singing voice when he was young. It was said he couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. But, I'm sure glad he kept singing! One of the direct results of him persisting in developing that talent was the impact it had on the growing testimony of a young seven-year-old girl many years ago. A young girl who then shared that testimony with her son, my Dad, who in turn shared his testimony with his children and so on. Music is a powerful thing. So, keep singing Boo!