Waiting for the Font to Fill

“Waiting for the Font to Fill,” Ensign, Mar. 2000, 47

Waiting for the Font to Fill

Although I had served in a variety of Church callings, there was one thing I had always dreamed of doing: leading a large children’s choir. I felt very excited when, as stake Primary music leader, I heard—unofficially—that the stake president had requested a children’s choir to sing in the next stake conference. Because of my calling, I assumed I would be asked to lead the choir; however, as the weeks passed, I didn’t receive a call.

Then, three weeks before stake conference, our ward Primary music leader said to me: “I need your help. I’ve been asked to lead a children’s choir for stake conference, but I’m going to be out of town for the next two Sundays. Could you please substitute for me and make sure the children really know the music? I’ll be back in time for stake conference.”

I swallowed hard and told her I would be happy to. But I went home with a lump in my throat, disappointed I had not been asked to lead the choir. As the days went by, I continued to struggle with feelings of disappointment. I was doing all the work, and she would have all the fun. And added to those feelings were feelings of disappointment in myself that I was bothered by it all. As the days went on, I found myself praying many times a day for my heart to be softened that I might serve and do my part.

The Saturday before stake conference, my husband and I, who were serving as assistant physical facilities representatives for our building, were asked to fill the baptismal font. I walked across the street to the church, turned on the water in the font, and then walked back home, knowing it would take about an hour to fill. My heart was aching as I thought about the next morning when the children I had worked so hard to prepare would sing under someone else’s leadership. I knelt down in my kitchen and pleaded with the Lord to remove the hurt feelings from my heart.

About 45 minutes later I returned to the church to check on the font. It needed about 10 more minutes to fill. As I sat on the top step of the font to wait, my mind returned to the children’s choir. It was then that the Lord answered my prayer. I felt the Spirit fill that tiny room, penetrating my heart. And I heard the Spirit whisper gently that it didn’t matter where I served; filling the baptismal font was every bit as important as leading the children’s choir. Blessings and opportunities to feel the Spirit were available in every calling.

The next day I sat in stake conference filled with joy as I listened to the tender voices of the Primary choir. The Spirit was there, and hearts were touched, perhaps none more than mine as I reflected on the lesson I had learned while sitting quietly, waiting for the font to fill.

Chris Hall