When it seems like “Been there; done that” is the reaction to every suggestion made in planning youth activities, then you might try what members in the High Wycombe Ward in the Staines England Stake did. Think of something challenging and interesting, then see if it can be done.
The teens suggested that it might be great fun to record their own CD for their super activity. That meant writing the lyrics, performing the music, and, before anything else, making assignments.
What kind of song could they write? First, it had to include everyone, and some people readily admitted that singing was something they’d rather listen to than do. They agreed that to include everyone, they really needed something simple with some sections to pull in everyone. Lindsey Judd, a Mia Maid, agreed to write the lyrics. One of the Young Men leaders agreed to compose a background track.
Lindsey said, “My first source of information was For the Strength of Youth. That is where I found the topics to write about. I looked some of those topics up in the scriptures and found a really good first line in D&C 45:57. ‘For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.’ I had my topics, some scripture lines, and my own knowledge. I just started to rhyme.”
Next came the practicing. The date for the recording came, and 19 youth and 5 leaders drove to a small recording studio for what turned out to be a three-hour recording session. The professional musicians who ran the studio were overwhelmed to have 19 teens crowding into the small studio. Some parts took many retakes to get right, and other parts made it in one take. Every teen participated; every voice was recorded. The musicians asked some meaningful questions about the young people, who asked if they could say a prayer after the session was over.
The best parts of the day didn’t end up on the recording. MaLanie Robison said, “I learned how important it is for everyone to work together as a team. When we were all singing together, all bunched up around the microphones, I kept thinking how cool it was that each person, with his own unique talents and differences, could become one and sing about our similar belief in the Savior.”
“I think our recording of a CD was great,” said Richard Holt. “It taught us the importance of teamwork, patience, and, most important of all, we proclaimed the gospel.”
With the CD finished, the young people discovered that words put to music really make them easier to remember. “I think it was good,” said Camilla Warren, “to give the song words that remind us of our standards.”
So, as their song says, “Whether you’re in Malibu or in Timbuktu, if you pray with faith, He’ll always be there. He’ll be there to guide you and to answer your prayer.”
And in the background, you’ll hear the High Wycombe Ward youth humming along.