At the end of last year, I carefully studied and pondered the 2013 Children's Sacrament Meeting Presentation outline and the songs I would be teaching the children for the coming year. There are several months where I am given the opportunity to choose the song I would like to teach to reinforce the preassigned gospel topic. May was such a month. The topic for May is: "Prophets Teach Us to Live the Restored Gospel". Although I was free to choose a song, I noticed that the outline had instructions on how to teach "We Thank Thee O God, For A Prophet". I felt that that was as good of a song to sing about prophets as any other, and added it to my list of songs to teach.
When May rolled around I began to prepare how I was going to teach that hymn. I studies the words. It basically is a beautiful prayer of gratitude to the Lord for his bounteous blessings. Although it is commonly sung to show our love and respect for our prophet, I was somewhat disappointed when I realized that only the first line made reference to a prophet. With that realization, I had a very clear and distinct thought come into my mind: "Help your Primary children have a relationship with their prophet, Pres. Monson." With that thought, I made the decision to change songs and teach the hymn "We Ever Pray For Thee".
I spent two hours scouring through Ensigns, Friends and New Eras finding different pictures of Pres. Monson. I matched these pictures to corresponding phrases in the hymn. For the phrase "As the advancing years" I showed the children a picture of Pres. Monson smiling as he was holding on to a wheel chair with Sis. Monson seated in it. For the words "furrow thy brow", I found a fitting picture of the prophet with the pronounced wrinkles on his forehead.
The children quickly learned the song and sweetly sang it as a sacred plea to Heavenly Father for their prophet I challenged them to really think about Pres. Monson through the coming week and to make a special effort to pray for him. I accepted my challenge as well. It was nice to reflect on our prophet every day and night in preparation for my prayers and I felt a greater love and appreciation for him.
I was shocked and so saddened to learn just three days after I issued that challenge, Pres. Monson lost his beloved Francis. I know it wasn't by coincidence that I changed hymns at the last minute. I know I acted on a sweet, tender prompting and that prompting was as much, if not more, for me as it was for my Primary children.
I write that my children may know...when we listen and act upon our promptings, heaven is so close. Please know also that I am grateful for revelation, our Prophet dear, and my calling in Primary.