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Can I Get An Amen?

(Warning to my non-religious family members and friends- this post contains religion. Consider yourselves warned. And read at your own risk.)

On Sunday, I cried through verses 2-4 of the hymn, "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" Cried like a baby. For two reasons. It is a touching hymn. And, the Primary Program was finally over.

As I may or may not have mentioned before, I serve as a counselor in the Primary Presidency. A calling that came as a total shock to me, because in my opinion, I am not "presidency material". My favorite place to be is in the Nursery, (I think I am the "1" out of 1 million persons who actually likes nursery), or teaching a lesson somewhere to people who are younger than 18. (All places that typically offer snack time or chocolate.)

But being a counselor in Primary has taught me a few things.
1. You can't be a procrastinator, and be effective at the same time.
2. It is a LOT of work.
3. The secretaries deserve a million dollars for everything that they do.
4. Figuring out the seating chart for the primary program is a total nightmare.
5. Hearing those little voices sing makes it all worth it.

And in the end, whatever verses to songs were forgotten, whatever speaking parts were totally botched, whatever chaos took place... it was all ok. Because there were about 200+ parents & extended family who came to watch their child(ren) have their moment of fame during Sacrament Meeting. And loved every minute of it.

And I loved every minute of knowing it would all be over. Soon. While crossing my fingers that they remembered all the words to the first verse of "I Know That My Redeemer Lives".

I know that my Redeemer lives.
What comfort this sweet sentence gives.
He lives, He lives who once was dead.
He lives, my ever living head.
He lives to bless me with His love.
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed.
He lives to bless in time of need.

Because in Primary, that is what we want to teach the kids. That they have a Savior and Redeemer who loves them, and will always love them no matter what. And that they- each and everyone- are special and important to Him. That He knows them. That He loves them. And seeing it in their eyes- when they feel it- that, too, makes it all worth it.

Our Primary is crazy. It is total chaos a lot of the time. Well, maybe 38% of the time. But I love it. I love hearing their stories about saying a prayer to help them find their teddy bear. Or having faith that they can be with their family forever. And when I get to play with the little, little kids in nursery for a few minutes... and sneak some animal crackers and a pretzel or 2... or 5. I really love that part the most.

But I am thankful for my calling. And I am thankful for my religion. For what it teaches me every day. For the peace that it brings to my life. For the reassurance that I feel every day, knowing that I can get on my knees in prayer- to ask forgiveness, to ask for help, and to give thanks for all that I have been blessed with. It is a belief that I feel stronger about everyday. It is a belief that I don't know where I would be without it. It is a belief that teaches me, and helps me to want to be a better person. And offers forgiveness when I am not.

I am also thankful for the availability of pretzels during church. (Is that sacrilegious?)

But the Primary Program is over. At least for the next 6 weeks. Until we start preparing for the 2008 performance. But for now, can I just get a massage? And some Olive Garden?



Anonymous said…
I was of course blog hopping...and read this. I am in Primary too, and just loved and laughed over what you wrote. Our program was last Sunday and I loved hearing them sing "I know that my Redeemer Lives" as well..its so amazing to hear little voices sing such a powerful hymn.

And while you let a big "PHEW" and eat all the chocolate bars you brought for them yourself to decompress from the program prep...its been so fun. And now on to the Christmas program.

And let's face it, all Mom's would die in Sacrament without a bag of pretzels and fishy crackers!
Alifinale said…
Amen! Way to survive the Primary Program. I really admire all those who work so hard in Primary because I think it is so hard!

And I am thankful for snacks in church too.
josh said…
Amen! (except the Olive Garden part, you lost me there...Olive Garden, seriously?!)
grandma jojo said…
not presidency material? you are exactly what primary needs. someone who cares. i know it is an exhausting job - believe me i know. and i know what a relief it is when the "program" is finally over.
and josh, what the heck? olive garden - i'm in!
grandma jojo said…
oops! i forgot.
NEVA said…
AMEN!!!! I remember when I had to, opps, got to be responsible for a primary program. NEVER want that experience again thank you very much!
NEVA said…
I'm so for Olive Garden too
Anonymous said…
Oops. AMEN!
rabidrunner said…
I play the Pie-Ano in the primary. It's the greatest calling ever... in fact it's my dream calling and I had to lobby vehemently for it. But there is one exception and it's the Saturday before the performance (you know where they jam them into the chapel in their "Sunday Dress" for two hours then feed them pizza). I call it Black Saturday.

Every year, someone, and usually more than one from the bishopric suggests that we do it once a month. And this is where I look at them and say, "If you want regular church activity from me, don't say that." That's really not what I say, but the look on my face says it with fierce animal repugnance.
holleynoel said…
Well I will give you an "amen" also. I am in the presidency also, tons of work!!! We are having our Primary Program this week, (Josh and Cally should be here then) so I can't wait to be where you are, relieved that's it's all over. Except that we don't have a secretary so I am getting together lists and helping lead music for the program. I can't wait for January!!!
Deby said…
Congrats on all of your hard work. I am sure that the service was beautiful in the eyes of everyone there. And all the botched little parts are the ones that parents like the best anyway. (I need to tell you about the time Katya refused to wear a tutu at her dance recital.)

Anyway, I love Olive Garden and can't wait until one is built closer than a two hour drive!
Eliza said…
Yeah for you, me, and every other woman out there who is in primary. I love my calling but it feels soooo good to be done with the program. I am the chorister and I had the lovely task of teaching all the songs this year. I really do like this calling some weeks it feels like I have run a marathon but you're right it's worth it!

Deb- My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry to hear you live 2 hours from an Olive Garden. That really stinks for you...
Katie said…
Mandee, you are SO presidency material! And you did WAY more than the secretary (purposely singular on that one) on the program.

A massage? Let's do it!
Katie said…
And I say these things, in the name....
Emily said…
Congratulations on conquering the program and being a better person because of it. I am a councelor in primary too and we had our program on Sunday. SO glad it's over.

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