I was a boy during the Great Depression. I remember children wearing galoshes because they had no shoes and going hungry because they had no food. These were difficult times.

A bright light of hope shining amidst the gloom was Primary. I was 10 years old. I had a marvelous teacher. I look back upon that year as my finest in Primary, and I must say it was because of my wonderful teacher. It wasn’t because the boys in the class were particularly enlightened or unusually well behaved; on the contrary.

The laughter of the boys and the chatter of the girls at times must have been most disconcerting to our Primary leaders.

One day as we left the chapel for our classrooms, I noted that our Primary president remained behind. I paused and observed her. She sat all alone on the front row of the benches, took out her handkerchief, and began to weep. I walked up to her and said, “Sister Georgell, don’t cry.”

She said, “I’m sad.”

I responded, “What’s the matter?”

She said, “I can’t control the Trail Builders.* Will you help me?”

Of course I answered, “Yes.”

She said, “Oh, that would be wonderful, Tommy, if you would.”

What I didn’t know then is that I was one of those responsible for her tears. She had effectively enlisted me to aid in achieving reverence in our Primary. And we did.

Illustration by Dilleen Marsh

Show References

  • When President Monson was young, 9- to 11-year-old boys in Primary were known as Trail Builders. The girls were called Home Builders.