My partner, John, and I are police officers in the Los Angeles area as well as active members of the Church. One night we arrested a very uncooperative and argumentative woman who seemed to have a great deal of anger in her heart. She screamed at us so loudly that her voice could be clearly heard throughout our three-story police station. Her language was crude and vulgar. The more John and I tried to calm her down, the more she continued to scream obscenities at us.
During the booking process, it came time for the jailer to fingerprint her. Since the jailer was a small woman who could have been easily overcome by our angry captive, John and I stood by in the fingerprint room to provide for the personal safety of the jailer. The onslaught of filthy language continued to pour out of this woman at the top of her lungs.
At times such as these I often have to remind myself that such people are also children of our Heavenly Father and that he loves them just as he loves me. This thought was running through my mind when my partner John suggested that maybe we should sing to this woman. We figured that singing couldn’t hurt because we had already used every police tactic available to us to try to calm her down.
Quietly John and I began singing “I Am a Child of God” (Hymns, no. 301). After the first verse this angry woman began to quiet down and cooperate with us. She started speaking softly and apologized for her behavior. Tears came to her eyes. It was as if she had become a different person. Never had we witnessed such a dramatic change in an offender’s disposition. Neither John nor I have great musical talent, and we were amazed that this simple hymn had calmed this woman’s troubled heart and brought peace to her mind.
Even though we often deal with angry and violent people, we have learned that there is never an inconvenient time to draw upon the teachings of the Savior when dealing with our fellowmen.