Getting resurrected (or would that be crucified?) in the Primary program

Every year, the Primary children (kids ages 3-12) in our congregation perform a program for Sacrament meeting. Each child is assigned a short  scripture or talk and it is interspersed with lots of music. Putting on a production like this takes a fair bit of planning–from writing the script to rehearsing to performing. In years past, the kids have received their parts several weeks in advance with plenty of time to practice. A couple of overachieving Primary presidencies have even burned a CD with all the Primary songs for the kids to learn.

This year, the kids received their parts only one week prior, leaving very little time to prep. I was admittedly a bit irked about this but then realized I was forgetting what I love most about the Primary program: when kids mess up. Now, I’m not talking about anything demoralizing that would land the kids in therapy session but rather, those funny little unpolished moments where kids are just kids (like the one time toddler Hadley very obviously lip synced when she forgot the words).

Every year, I have helped my kids memorize their lines but that didn’t quite happen this year due to three reasons.

1) Lack of time. Remember that?

2) Complexity of what was required of them. This is specifically referring to Bode, who was given a humdinger of a scripture in the book of Abraham that even I couldn’t keep straight…something proving them herewith to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them. Huh?

3) Messing up on key terms in a major way.  And yes, there is a story behind this.

Bode had memorized his introduction, “My name is Bode and I am a child of God” and he had practiced reading his scripture several times so he could recite it smoothly. But here’s the thing: he was over it before it even began. Before church started, he complained, “When this is done, I can’t WAIT to throw away this piece of paper with my lines.”

Because the 10 minutes I required them to practice was just so demanding.

Standing up at the pulpit in front of 300 grown-ups is terrifying for anyone but all was going smoothly until Bode got near the end. We had practiced smiling as he wrapped everything up and I was prepping myself for his million-watt toothless grin…until…until…until while he was saying his final few words, he turned around and went back to his seat, still reciting it as he walked.

At first I was mortified until the congregation united in a collective chuckle. It could have been a lot worse and that worse couldn’t been Hadley.

You see, her part was a bit longer but a lot easier so she had memorized her lines. Part I involved her going up with a darling Sunbeam (3-year-old) and asking him, “Owen, what is your favorite story of Jesus?” Owen, being an unrehearsed 3-year-old, gave her a deer-in-headlights stare and shrugged his shoulders. More laughter.

But then I braced myself for Part II. You see, when Hadley had been practicing, she made a very critical error along the lines of “Because Jesus was crucified, we can be crucified, too.” I reeled in horror and then laughter when I told her the word she should have used was resurrected.

After Owen sat down, Hadley continued with her lines, which she decided to read. Normally I would have been disappointed because she had already memorized them but decided to look on the bright side:

Not preaching false doctrine from the pulpit? I’ll count that one was a win.

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