Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Calling ... not new to me ... but new lessons to learn.

So once again, I am the Primary President. I absolutely loved it before and I know I will love it again. I mean, let's be honest: the Primary is the best organization in the church. Not to disrespect the others, nor to incite competitiveness within the church; but let's be honest: the Primary is the best. Here is why:

Children are children. They are essentially the same all over the world. They can be both crazy and innocent, reverent and funny. The children aren't answering questions because they are trying to impress anybody. They tell the truth. They will raise their hands and tell you that their mom yelled at them or they didn't have Family Home Evening or they hit their sister. They are unpretentious, honest, without guile. If Christ came to visit, he would spend his time with the children.

The programs and lessons in Primary are so universal, that the lessons and plans and gospel principles are all laid out in their basic pure form. All you have to do is study them, prepare and testify. Sing the songs of the gospel principles. Follow the program. Follow the handbook. Follow the Brethren. The closer you follow, the better results you get. I love how organized the Primary is. You can actually see the results, right here, right now.

The Primary prepares children for baptism. This is the most important ordinance. Everything else adds to this, but this is the first and most celebrated. It is a humbling opportunity to prepare young children for this ordinance. The parents hold the ultimate responsibility, but the primary teaches the children everything they need to know to be ready.

The Primary prepares children for the Priesthood and for Young Womens. Show me a young boy or girl who has successfully completed their Faith in God goals, and has been active in scouting and activity days, and I will show you someone who is well on their way to honoring their Priesthood and womanhood. It is so critical and important that they are excited about going into the youth organizations.

Primary is an intense two hours on Sunday. Some days you are actually sweating like you just worked out. But you are essentially finished. You have a little planning, maybe a presidency meeting, a visit to make sure scouts and activity days are going smoothly, etc. But that is pretty much all the time you will spend. In Young Womens there are meetings and firesides, and activities, and stake activities, and beach trips, and meetings, and times when you need to be there for the girls one-on-one. It is exhausting, worthwhile to be sure, but extremely time consuming. In Relief Society, you may get a call at any time, day or night that someone needs you. Emergencies are 24-7. People are unemployed, being foreclosed on, and dealing with stresses. People get sick, have babies, and pass away. Families need a meal, a ride, a food order. Sisters need a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on, an understanding ear. It is exhausting, worthwhile to be sure, but time consuming. It was a supreme privilege to hold the hand as a sister received the news that she had terminal cancer and be able to testify to her of the Atonement and resurrection. I will never forget that moment. In YW and RS, you deal with big girl problems. In Primary, you deal with clay. In YW that clay is almost hard. In RS, it has already been fired. It is a great responsibility with great rewards.

In Primary, I laugh and cry. I nurture and teach. I testify and set an example. With teens and adults you get "Sunday School" answers to questions. Children say the most amazing things.

It is no wonder, that when we moved here, I prayed for the calling of Primary Teacher. A few weeks ago, I felt a president calling was on it's way. A couple more signs verified that it was coming. I prayed to know for sure. That afternoon the bishop asked us to come in the following night. I went knowing it was for a Presidency. If I had pondered a little more, I probably would have figured it out. The bishop extended the calling and I requested to let me finish the Savior of the World production. He gladly agreed. I finished the last performance, packed up the last of the prop boxes and went to bed for a restful sleep. Thirteen hours later I was in the middle of busyness again.

I am thrilled with my counselors. I have amazing people on my board, many of them have been Primary Presidents before. I love my bishopric. I love the children. I love Primary.