Trying to Be Like Jesus

By Barbara Jean Jones


A Haven of Peace

Walk into Primary in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and you’ll hear the most energetic singing of “Keep the Commandments” (Hymns, number 303) you’ve ever experienced. Then you’ll notice the huge smiles of the children as they sing another favorite song, “Love One Another” (Hymns, number 308). Even though most of these children have been coming to Primary for only a year or two—the Church is still new in their country—they all know about Jesus and are trying to be like Him.

Dar es Salaam is the capital of Tanzania. Tanzania is a beautiful country in East Africa, famous for Mount Kilimanjaro (the tallest mountain in Africa) and for its national parks full of all kinds of wild animals.

The name Dar es Salaam means “haven of peace,” and the children there are helping to make Primary and home their own havens of peace. At Primary, they’ve learned to pray. “When we pray, we thank God that we can know the truth in this Church,” says Romanus Gideme, age 8. “And we ask God for help to understand what our teacher teaches,” says Elias Mwingira, age 7.

The children love to hear their teacher tell stories from the scriptures. They listen quietly so they can retell the stories to their parents, who are all new members of the Church. “The children have been teaching us things,” says William Gideme, president of the Changombe Branch, Kenya Nairobi Mission. “They’ve surprised us by teaching us Book of Mormon stories and the stories of Moses, Daniel, and Isaiah.”

Primary children in Dar es Salaam also love family home evening. “If I forget about home evening, the children remind me to have it. I love them for that,” says President Gideme.

The children also like to do things to make other people happy. For example, whenever a missionary is about to finish serving a mission, the children surround the missionary and sing and clap and dance.

One of the favorite scriptures of the Dar es Salaam Primary is 3 Nephi 18:7 [3 Ne. 18:7]: “And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.” The children here are trying hard to remember Jesus in everything they do.

[illustration] Story Time in Galilee, by Del Parson

[photo] Photograph of Primary children by Barbara Jean Jones