“I’m Trying to Be like Jesus,” Liahona, Oct. 2000, 35
When I became part of a new ward in Guatemala, I was surprised at a call to serve in Primary. I had not worked with children for a long time and was happy to accept the call.
Among my first duties was preparing the children for their annual sacrament meeting presentation. Of all the music I needed to teach the children, my favorite became “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (Children’s Songbook, 78–79). The problem was, I couldn’t seem to memorize the words well enough to teach them.
One afternoon I set aside some time to listen to the music while concentrating on the words. As I repeated the words over and over, I began to recognize the deep meaning of the doctrine they expressed. A warm, wonderful feeling grew inside me. My eyes filled with tears, and a lump formed in my throat. Still, although I spent several days trying to learn the song, I couldn’t do it. I started to feel desperate. Why can’t I get this song right? I asked myself. Why is it so hard for me to learn? And then, unexpectedly, I answered my own question: Perhaps it’s because I’m not really trying to be like Jesus.
At that moment I committed myself to acting more as the Savior would have me act—to be, as much as possible, like Him. I continued to practice the song every day, but in addition I practiced its message. From that day to this, I have tried being kinder and more gentle, more loving, and more helpful. On my face is a warm smile, and on my lips are encouraging words. I visit the sick and give to the needy. Each month I go out into my community with a backpack of clothes, toys, and cookies, looking for those in need. Each day I try to find some way of showing my love to a friend or neighbor. Each morning I wake up happy, knowing the day will give me more opportunities to follow my Savior.
Today, I know the song well. I know it because, with all my heart, “I’m trying to be like Jesus; I’m following in his ways.”