Me? Nursery Leader?

“Me? Nursery Leader?” Ensign, Mar. 1988, 58

Me? Nursery Leader?

Relief Society nursery leader? I was prepared for the bishop to ask me to do anything. But nursery leader?

I hurriedly listed every excuse I could think of not to do it. The bishop sat there smiling, waiting for me to finish, then simply asked if I would accept the call. Hadn’t he heard all my reasons? Then I heard myself say yes, I would accept. I walked numbly out of his office, wondering if I would survive until I could be released.

When Sister Shipp, the Relief Society president, called several days later, she was so loving and reassuring that I began to feel guilty about my feelings toward the call. Perhaps it wouldn’t be as hard as I had thought.

I soon learned that although the work was challenging, it certainly wasn’t impossible. Still, the nursery did need some organization. Sister Iler, the homemaking counselor, and I began to tackle the problems.

Under the direction of the president, we planned a homemaking meeting to create nursery projects, organized a nursery cleanup, and implemented policies to bring more structure to the nursery.

Soon the nursery was running smoothly. As I saw the children grow from their nursery experiences there, my sense of accomplishment increased. But what happened the following spring gave me an undeniable testimony of nursery service.

It began when I became discouraged by the sisters’ seeming lack of interest in helping. After one particularly bad day, I met with the presidency to discuss the problems. None of us could find any definite solutions. After I left the meeting, I felt so inadequate that I wondered if the time had come for me to be released.

I decided to write down everything that was bothering me so I could better understand the situation. That helped clarify the problems, but it brought no solutions. I shared my thoughts with my Relief Society president, who prayed again that she might find an answer. Soon a plan began to formulate in her mind. If team teaching worked so well in the schools, why wouldn’t teams of sisters work in the nursery? Four sisters could serve with me each month, with each contributing her talents and energies. Not only would that make the nursery orderly, but all sisters would be able to enjoy the children as well as attend Relief Society.

As soon as I heard Sister Shipp’s plan, I knew it was inspired. We tried out the plan, and it worked! Our nursery is now staffed with sisters who can teach our little ones as they continue to enjoy Relief Society.

I have always known that our Heavenly Father guides his church through those who are called to lead. However, it was difficult for me to realize that he cares about every organization in every ward. As I watched my leader work under inspiration, I was filled with a testimony that Heavenly Father directs his church at all levels.

  • Janice P. Doolittle, a preschool teacher, is a member of the Hamilton Ward, Oakton Virginia Stake.