Service with a Song

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“Service with a Song,” Friend, May 2002, 16

Service with a Song

Based on a true story

When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God (Mosiah 2:17).

“Is it music-class day?” three-year-old Dallin asked, running into the kitchen for breakfast.

“It sure is!” Mommy said. She stooped to put Baby Breeana in her high chair as Dallin poured a bowl of cereal, all by himself. “The ladies will be happy to see you.”

“Today I want to sing ‘I’m Trying to Be like Jesus’* for them, Mommy. I think they will like that.”

Later, in the backseat of the car, to practice, Dallin sang for Baby Breeana. “‘I’m trying to be like Jesus.’” He paused. “Mommy, the ladies are like grandmas, aren’t they? I bet they miss their families.”

“I think you’re right, Dallin. That’s why they enjoy your visits every week. Look.” Mommy pointed out the window as she pulled into a parking space and turned off the car. “There’s Jaren and his mommy.”

“I see them. Hurry, Mommy! The ladies are waiting!”

As soon as they entered the building, Dallin and Jaren found the ladies. “Hi,” Dallin called, running up to a lady with gray hair and a purple sweatshirt.

“Why, hello, young man,” the lady said. “You are growing up so fast!”

Dallin reached out his hand, and the lady held it for a long time. Her hand was as soft as Baby Breeana’s, and she had bright pink fingernails. “I’m going to sing my favorite song for you today,” Dallin told her.

The lady slowly stood up. Holding on to her walker, she started toward the music room. Dallin walked next to her, even though he wished she would hurry. He knew the ladies needed to walk slowly.

When they reached the music room, Dallin waved to all the ladies already there. He ran to sit in the circle with Mommy. Many of his friends from nursery class were sitting in the circle, too. They sang a welcome song, and the ladies laughed and smiled. Then it was time for instruments—Dallin’s favorite time. He carefully chose a drum from the box.

“Hey, Dallin,” his friend Sydney said as she reached into the box. “Don’t forget to take instruments to the ladies.”

“OK.” Dallin grabbed a jar full of beans and skipped with it to the lady in the purple sweatshirt. The beans made crackling noises as he bounced up and down. “Here you go,” he told her. “You just have to shake it like this.”

The lady slowly reached for the instrument. “Thank you.”

Back in the circle, Dallin pounded on his drum to the music. The ladies smiled and nodded their heads with the beat. Dallin watched the mommy who was leading the song. Soon she would bring out the small singing platform, and it would be his turn to sing for the ladies all by himself.

“Hurrah! Good job everyone!” the mommy said. She carried the wood platform to the middle of the room and pointed a finger at Jaren. “Jaren, would you like to go first?”

Dallin wished he could be first, but he sat down and listened politely while Jaren sang. Everybody clapped.

“Now, Dallin, how about you?” the mommy asked. “Do you have a song to sing for us next?”

Dallin grinned and jumped to his feet. Climbing onto the platform, he turned so he could see all of the ladies. “I’m going to sing ‘I’m Trying to Be like Jesus,’” he announced. As he sang, he kept turning to look at each person. The lady in the purple sweatshirt waved to him, and the other ladies leaned forward and smiled.

I’m helping them be happy, Dallin thought as he finished the song and everybody clapped. That’s a good way to be like Jesus.


President Thomas S. Monson

“Service is a product of love. So long as we love, we serve.”
President Thomas S. Monson
First Counselor in the First Presidency
(Ensign, May 1992, page 102.)

Illustrated by Elise Black