Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Fourth Article of Faith

It was Sunday morning when I received a call from our ward Primary pianist.  She asked if I could fill in for her, at the piano during the last hour of Primary.  I told her I would be happy to. When I walked into the Primary room that afternoon I was uncertain of what music would be covered, but Sister Gray, the Primary music leader, briefly and quickly oriented me with an outline.  We were up and running, and together we did our parts in making music happen in Primary.

I was primed and ready to play the closing song, but there were a few extra minutes before closing. Sister Smith, from the Primary presidency, asked if anyone would like to recite an Article of Faith they had been trying to memorize at home.

Isaac, an energetic Sunbeam, happily marched up to the podium to fulfill her request.  Uninhibited, he enthusiastically spoke into the microphone. I watched and listened as Sister Smith stood at Isaac's side.  She was encouraging as he stumbled through the words and ended up prompting him with practically every word through the entire Fourth Article of Faith.  I assumed Isaac really didn't know the Article of Faith just because he was so young. Other children came to the pulpit with each selecting The Fourth Article of Faith to recite, including Isaac's twin sister, Abigail.  Surprisingly, no one else could get through it without help.

I didn't know what Article of Faith songs our Primary knew, but the thought crossed my mind that maybe we should change the closing song and sing The Fourth Article of Faith; maybe that would help everyone learn it. I quickly turned to the song in the Children's Songbook.  I looked around hoping to see Sister Gray so I could tell her about my idea.  She was no where to be found.  I realized she must be in the hallway tending to her new baby; still, I kept my songbook fixed on The Fourth Article of Faith ready to tell her of my plan.

In seconds, I had become distracted while looking around the room for Sister Gray and then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a familiar blond head bobbing up and down approaching the podium. As I did a double take, I could clearly see it was Isaac again.  Sister Smith announced that this time Isaac would not be saying The Fourth Article of Faith, but singing it.

My eyes got wide and I straightened up at the piano.  I couldn't imagine how he would do after struggling through it earlier; but even so, I knew it was my cue.  Isaac's voice hit the microphone and I began to follow along carefully at the piano.  His voice was bright and clear. He was on key and singing every word perfectly.  As the song went on, my heart began to swell. Everyone was quiet and still in the room, hanging on every word as his young voice easily and confidently glided along each note.  We all wanted him to get it right.  I remember taking a big breath at the end of the song and pondering the special moment that had just happened. The Spirit was apparent in our little Primary and my heart was glad as I could literally feel all the pleasing smiles in the room.  We were all so inspired, happy, and impressed with Isaac. Then, another surprise; Abby, Isaac's twin sister, wanted to sing The Fourth Article of Faith too.  She was also a fearless Sunbeam. Again, I followed along at the piano.  She stood at the pulpit singing with clear voice and getting every word right.  Her song touched us all as another witness proclaiming the truths found in The Fourth Article of Faith.  Isaac and Abigail had been taught that song at home. It was an amazing experience for all of us.

We sang our regular scheduled closing song.  I didn't say anything to Sister Gray.  It was obvious why I had felt impressed to turn to The Fourth Article of Faith. When I got home I told my family about Isaac and Abby singing in Primary.  My youngest son, Sammy, now thirteen, responded, "I don't think I could say all the Articles of Faith.  I would have to sing them too."  Admittedly, I still sing The Books in the New Testament when I'm trying to locate a chapter to find a scripture.  It was one of those songs I learned from my Primary days long ago.  As always, music is a great teacher; coupled with the Spirit, understanding and testimony are strengthened.

"Out of the Mouth of Babes"
Isaac and Abby

"We believe that the first principles
and ordinances of the Gospel are:
first, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ;
second, Repentance;
third, Baptism by immersion
for the remission of sins;
fourth, Laying on of hands
for the gift of the Holy Ghost."
The Fourth Article of Faith

P.S. - May 31, 2012 - An added note from the twins mom.  I asked, Melinda, if I could post the email she sent me.  It adds insight to what was going on in their home learning the Articles of Faith:

Sister Blair,

That is so sweet!  Thank you - it gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes.  It's been amazing teaching them.  They know the first seven.  At first it took them about three weeks to learn one, even the easier first ones.  Now it takes them about a week.  It has been a HUGE testament to me of the quickening power of the Spirit.  And I find that the songs are best for them because I can sing the first few notes and "We believe" takes on new meaning with each song, and they know exactly what one they are singing.  And the words start to repeat each other in some form in the subsequent Articles of Faith, so their minds remember and his words become their words.  It's a powerful, powerful thing!  Thanks again for sharing -- might even be something for The Friend.  Whatever you do with it, I loved it! :-)

Thanks again!



  1. Jake also sang an Article of Faith (I don't remember now which one) when he was asked to do the scripture in Primary as a Sunbeam. It's amazing how easily truths are learned when set to music.

  2. Thanks for sharing that, Martha! I have been the primary pianist for over a year now, and I have grown to love being in primary. Music plays such an important role in the gospel. . . especially for the little ones!