“Playing Sweet Music,” Ensign, June 1981, 45
The challenge of getting four young grandchildren to church in their parents’ absence was not easy. I had volunteered my services, encouraging our daughter’s vacation from parenting, but soon found my slower pace taxed to its limit with the antics of these active, clever little spirits. I had already been informed by an older child that I was going to have difficulty this morning because her five-year-old sister wouldn’t get up, and she was often negative about going to church.
I approached her with a cheerful attitude, quickly exhausted my repertoire of convincing techniques, and was getting exasperated with her headstrong testing of my authority. As time grew short and pressure mounted, I considered using threats or even force. Then the words of a long-ago teacher flashed through my mind: “If you can’t draw sweet music from a treasured violin, don’t mar the instrument. Just try harder to learn how to play it.”
I looked at this beautiful child lying there with determination frozen on her face, took her gently in my arms, and gently whispered in her ear, “I hope you will decide to come to church with us, because if you weren’t there, I would feel lonely and that someone special was missing. I know Heavenly Father would feel that way, too.”
Quickly she slipped out of bed; and as her little face flashed me a heartwarming smile, I knew I was playing sweet music on her strings. Sara Brown Neilson, Sierra Madre, California