The 11th Primary general president, Cheryl Clark Lant, knows how to work with children. “My whole life has prepared me,” she says, including her family, education, profession, and previous Church callings. She says the Lord knows what He has in store for us and “leads us throughout our life, if we’re willing, through experiences that prepare us.”
Such preparation came partly through raising nine children. “When our children were young, we would tell them fairy tales at bedtime,” Sister Lant says. The children would ask, “Is that story true?” It didn’t take long for the Lants to decide, “Let’s use this time to teach our children the truth” and share scripture stories instead.
“When you tell a scripture story at bedtime, the next day when a child is stretching his wings a little and not wanting to follow your counsel, you can say, ‘Do you want to be like Nephi or Laman and Lemuel?’ Children relate.”
Born to Charles Verl and Vivian Keller Clark on January 30, 1944, she was raised in Provo, Utah. She attended Brigham Young University and studied early childhood development. On September 17, 1963, she married her high school sweetheart, John Glen Lant Jr., in the Salt Lake Temple. Together they founded a large preschool and developed a successful phonics-based beginning reading program.
“I love children,” she says. “Their hearts are tender, but their spirits are strong.”
She believes that in teaching children the gospel, one simply reminds them of truth that is already familiar to their spirits. “Never underestimate the capacity of children to feel the Spirit and understand spiritual things.”
Sister Lant has served as a member of the Primary general board, stake and ward Primary president, counselor in a stake Relief Society presidency, ward Young Women president, and Primary teacher. She looks forward to serving in an organization that seeks to “bless the lives of children in such a way that they know they are children of God.”