The Great Big One-Girl Primary Program
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“The Great Big One-Girl Primary Program,” Friend, November 2020

The Great Big One-Girl Primary Program

Friend Magazine, 2020/11 Nov

Illustrations by Nathalie Beauvois

“I guess I’m just a one-girl Primary now,” Bella said to Mum. The only other family with kids had moved away from their small branch in Australia. Now she was the only Primary-age kid left.

Mum gave Bella a hug. “That does sound a bit lonely.” Then she smiled. “At least I’m the Primary president, so you won’t get too lonely! Maybe you can talk with the branch president about the sacrament program.”

Bella laughed. “Dad is the branch president!”

“And he’s just coming in the door,” Mum said.

“What’s wrong, possum?” Dad asked Bella as he walked in.

“It’s time to get ready for the Primary program,” Bella said. “But now I’m the only one in our Primary.”

“We will do what we always do in our little branch,” Dad said in his most official-sounding voice. “We’ll all pitch in.”

And that was exactly what happened. First, Mum emailed some Primary leaders she knew in other countries. They sent videos of their Primary kids singing songs. “Now you can practice by singing along,” Mum said. Bella watched the videos and sang the songs every day. Seeing other kids enjoying the same songs she did helped Bella to feel less lonely.

Then a missionary couple serving in the branch found out Bella was getting ready for the program. “We’ll visit Primary each week to practice songs and talks with you and your mum,” they said. “And our grandchildren will send a video, so you can practice by singing with them too.”

The videos wouldn’t be used in sacrament meeting, so Bella would have to sing alone or have others sing with her. That was a bit scary, but all of the practicing helped Bella feel brave.

Soon a returned missionary who had served in the branch called Bella’s family. “I hear you’re planning a Primary program,” he said. “May I come?” A family who used to live in the branch and now lived in the outback also called. “We’ll come too!” they said.

On the day of the Primary program, the branch meetinghouse was nearly full. After the sacrament, Dad, as the branch president, introduced the program. Mum said a bit about Primary being a worldwide Church organization with more than a million children, of which Bella was one. “And a very special one,” Mum added.

Then Mum and Dad stood on one side of Bella, and the senior missionaries stood on the other. Bella gave a short talk about Jesus. Then Mum, Dad, and the missionaries joined her to sing a Primary song. Bella gave another short talk about Heavenly Father. Then the whole congregation sang a song together. Bella remembered the words because she had practiced so much. And when she sang with her parents, the missionaries, and the whole congregation, it felt like everyone was part of the Primary.

Soon the meeting was over. When they got home, Mum said, “Well, Bella, what did you think of our one-girl Primary program?”

“It was perfect!” Bella said. And she meant it.