Just a Music Leader?

On a recent visit to Utah, a friend and I made several trips to a local shipping store to send some purchases home. During our last visit to the store, the young man behind the counter struck up a friendly conversation with us. He could tell from the items we were having him wrap and ship that we were members of the Church, so he asked what Church callings we held. My friend told him she was a leader in the Young Women program and her husband was the bishop in their ward. I laughed and said that my husband was a branch president but that I was just a Primary music leader.

The young man looked earnestly at me and said, “Please don’t say that. I know for a fact that you are more than ‘just’ a music leader.” He then proceeded to tell the following story:

“When my brother and I were small, my mother was a single mom raising us. She took my brother and me to Primary, and what we enjoyed most was the singing time. The leader sang fun songs with actions and rewarded us for our efforts with stickers and other small trinkets. My mother eventually became less active, but my brother and I were hooked—we loved the singing. We would take a taxi on Sunday mornings just so we could be there for singing time in Primary.

“The music leader praised and encouraged me. She convinced me I was a good singer, and I believed her—even when my mother quit going to church. My brother and I were eventually baptized. We later joined a choral group and toured with it. I went on a mission and returned with honor. I am now married in the temple and have several children born in the covenant. All of this is due in large part to one music leader in the Primary and the love and encouragement she showed me.”

Tears filled my eyes as I thanked him for sharing his story. After that, whenever anyone asked me what I did in the Church, I said with confidence that I was the Primary music leader in my branch. Each Sunday, I had the opportunity to influence children by teaching them to love music, the Lord, and themselves. I began to observe the children more closely and wonder which were being influenced by my actions. I told them I loved them. I had a chance to show them how music can invite the Spirit of the Lord into our Primary meetings and into our homes.

I will always be grateful that I learned I was much more than “just” a Primary music leader.

[illustration] Illustrated by Roger Motzkus

Sherri Timmons is a member of the Borger Ward, Amarillo Texas Stake.