“Church Debuts New Children’s Songbook,” Ensign, July 1989, 80
A chorus of singing children joyfully helped introduce the Church’s new Children’s Songbook to the public during a May 11 program in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, presided, and a number of General Authorities attended. Also invited to the meeting were composers and musicians, Primary and music leaders, illustrators, and others who contributed to the book.
Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve and Michaelene P. Grassli, Primary general president, spoke. A children’s chorus from the Bountiful Utah Orchard Stake sang selections, providing a musical tour through the new book.
Speaking of the way music can mold children’s lives now and for the future, Elder Nelson referred to “the power of music, which is the language of the spirit. Particularly when sung by children, music melts the hearts of members and nonmembers alike.”
He recalled a visit to a small, isolated Ghanaian village in which visiting Church leaders were greeted by an enthusiastic chorus of LDS children singing Primary songs. The children’s testimony and conviction were felt by many non-Latter-day Saints who witnessed the Church meeting, held that day under a tarp stretched between coconut palms.
President Grassli spoke of the faith and receptiveness of little children and noted that music can be an important tool to “fill the storehouse of their minds forever” with gospel truths. She urged Primary leaders to teach children to sing reverently, not necessarily loudly, listening to the words as they sing. “The whisperings of the Spirit do not come in the midst of boisterous singing, but in the naturally sweet and light voices of children as they sing reverently,” she said.
The new Children’s Songbook is on sale in Church distribution centers for $6.25 in both hardbound (stock number PBMU0643) and spiral-bound (PBMU0507) editions. (For more information, see “The New Children’s Songbook,” Ensign, June 1989, p. 14.)