One Assignment We’ll Never Forget

The assignment had seemed simple enough: Sister Davis was giving a presentation to the children Sunday morning and needed a musical number. Since we’d just had a family home evening lesson on sharing our talents, we accepted her invitation and settled on a plan: six-year-old Mike would play “Smiles” (“If You Chance to Meet a Frown”) on the piano, while eight-year-old David accompanied him on the tone bells and three-year-old Kristin sang the words.

Then the work began. I had no unrealistic expectations about perfection. I just hoped all three children could begin and end at the same time—and synchronize a few notes in between.

We practiced all week. On Sunday morning, I got ready upstairs and listened to the last rehearsal. Mike played the introduction, David and Kristin began on the first word, and everyone seemed to end up generally at the same place. I felt they’d made real progress—and they’d been able to do it on their own, without my cue.

The big moment came. Mike slid onto the piano bench, Kristin stepped up to the microphone (nothing less would do), and David fumbled with the large box containing the tone bells until someone helped him get them onto the stand. Mom and dad watched expectantly from the back row, comfortable in knowing that the kids could do it on their own. Then it happened.

Mike forgot the introduction and started on the verse. Flustered, David hit him—instead of the chimes—with the mallet. Indignant, Mike stood up and returned the favor to David, who promptly began to cry. Kristin, meanwhile, stood patiently at the pulpit, arms folded.

Children in the audience were giggling. Their teachers were straining not to. I separated Mike and David and they plunged in again. Straight-faced, Kristin blared into the microphone. “And smile that frown a-way.”

Everyone was smiling, if not downright hysterical at this point. Even Mike, infected by the atmosphere, was laughing out loud—but he didn’t miss a note! Sister Davis and I exchanged helpless looks as she rose to restore order. And I decided that it would be quite a while before my children are asked to share their talents again—at least, all at the same time.

Laurie Williams Sowby American Fork, Utah

Because President Kimball asked us to plant a garden, we did. We had our preschool children help plant, weed, and harvest the vegetables, and tried to teach the children the names of the garden plants.

Then on a recent visit to see grandparents, grandma served stewed tomatoes and our three-year-old son asked, “What’s that?”

“Oh, Jonathan,” I said, “you know what that is. We grow them in our garden!”

Jonathan’s eyes lit up. “Oh yeah!” he exclaimed. “Weeds!”

Joanne Utley Fillmore, Utah

Before the consolidated meeting schedule became effective, our ward was divided. It was the first division in over seventy years, and some of the older members had a particularly hard time adjusting to the overlapping schedules in our small building. One Sunday morning, while waiting in the foyer for the other ward’s Sunday School to end, I saw an elderly, long-faithful brother come in. He looked through the glass partition into the chapel where Sunday School was in progress, shook his head in bewilderment, and said, “Now which is that crowd in there? Is it them or us?”

Georgia D. Clegg Midway, Utah

[illustrations] Illustrated by Phyllis Luch