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Monday, October 28, 2013

Tender Mercies


I am a primary teacher to the 6 & 7 year old kids at my church. To add to that, there's usually about 12 kids in my class. As you can imagine, getting them to listen feels like it's nearly impossible. This past week was my turn to teach & I was feeling a little discouraged. My lesson was on "Being Pure & Righteous" & I felt even more discouraged when I was reading through the lesson manual. It wanted me to list TV shows that might not be appropriate & talk about scenarios such as a kid at recess offering them cigarettes.
When I was 6 did I even know what cigarettes were??
At the start of class I usually let them talk about something that they did during the past week to get out some of their energy. The kids were all so excited about Halloween I let them tell the other kids what their costumes were. While they were talking we started hearing screams and loud noises coming from the hall. As I looked in the doorway there was a mother with her severely handicap child in a wheelchair that completely strapped her in. This sweet young mother told me her daughter would be joining our class. "This is Lori. She doesn't speak, she likes to hear music, and she likes being wheeled around. I'll be downstairs if you need me." As her mother walked out the loud screams & grunts continued from the girl visiting our class. My heart broke as some of the kids looked scared and shifted seats away from sweet Lori. My heart pounded as I smiled at Lori & told her how glad we were to have her visiting our class.
I'm so thankful for my team teacher who so gracefully approached the situation by again introducing Lori to our class. "As you can see, Lori has a different body than ours. Our Heavenly Father loves Lori so much & gave her sweet spirit to this body. He loves her so much & he wants us to love her too! It may get hard to hear Sister Gordon with some of the noises she makes. I want you to focus really hard on listening to Sister Gordon as well as listening to The Spirit..."
My class relaxed quite a bit and was still.
Through the lesson at times I had to speak a little louder to make sure the class could hear me over her noises. Not once did I have to ask my class to listen, sit in their seats or pay attention like I usually do. We talked about being Pure & Righteous and setting an example to friends, family, classmates & people all around us. We talked about the meaning behind CTR (Choose the Right) & why we have CTR rings. "We use our hands SO much throughout the day. Most of the time we use our hands without thinking. When we look down at our hands we see our CTR rings which reminds us to choose the right.." One of the kids said, "Look! Lori is clapping her hands!" I looked over to see Lori grinning from ear to ear clapping her hands.
"Great listening Lori! We are talking about our hands!"
Towards the end of the lesson Lori started screaming and crying. My team teacher softly touched her hand and asked if she wanted to wheel around and took her in the hall to wheel her back and forth. As the door shut behind them my heart felt full. My class was still reverent with their arms folded. I told them how proud I was of them for being so reverent and showing Lori how great Primary is. I let them know how special they are to me for setting a good example for Lori and how thankful I was to them for listening to the lesson.
They lined up at the door to go to sharing time and every single child walked reverently down the hall with their arms folded which is exact opposite scenario from every other Sunday.
As we got to Sharing Time a little boy in my class tapped my arm and quietly asked if he could go in the front to set an example. Tears welled up in my eyes as the sweetest little 6 year old boy reverently stood in front of the entire Primary to set an example.
I was so proud!
As I had prepared a lesson on being Pure & Righteous my sweet 6 & 7 year old kids taught me a different lesson. The Lord is so aware of each and every one of us. He loves me & you just like he loves Lori and these sweet innocent kids. The Lord knew how discouraged I was feeling about not getting through to these kids. They showed me yesterday they really do listen & they are so sweet & compassionate.
I hope more often than not I can be like these sweet kids & love everyone around me.
I am so thankful for these small sweet Tender Mercies..
Be still my soul


  1. Thank you so much for this post! It was exactly what I needed to hear this morning :)

  2. It was moments like this that made all the uneasy days of teaching primary worth it.!

  3. so beautiful. thanks for sharing this kel :)


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