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Latter-day Saint Children Take Active Roles in Worship Services

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of thousands of children around the world participated in special worship services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Latter-day Saint children regularly take part in church meetings by singing with the rest of the congregation, praying, and partaking of the sacrament (similar to Holy Communion in other churches).

They also participate each week in "Primary," the Latter-day Saints' organisation for children ages 3 to 11. 

Once a year, each congregation holds a "Primary Sacrament Meeting Program" in which children share talks and testimonies, read scriptures and sing. 

As is the case with all Latter-day Saint worship services, the annual Primary programs focus on the teachings of Jesus Christ. 

The children, their parents and others look forward to these meetings each year. The youngsters practice the songs and learn about Jesus in their weekly Sunday lessons all year.

This year's theme studied by the children is, "I Know My Saviour Lives."

Like other children around the world, children throughout the Pacific Area sang songs and gave talks describing their feelings and understandings of the great love that Jesus Christ has for them and of their love for him.

In one Auckland, New Zealand congregation, children sang: "How could the Father tell the world of love and tenderness? He sent his Son, a newborn babe, with peace and holiness. How could the Father show the world the pathway we should go? He sent his Son to walk with men on earth, that we may know."

"How could the Father tell the world of sacrifice, of death? He sent his Son to die for us and rise with living breath. What does the Father ask of us? What do the scriptures say? Have faith, have hope, live like his Son, help others on their way." 

A young speaker said, "Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I can gain a testimony of this by praying to my Heavenly Father and reading the scriptures."

Taking turns coming to the pulpit, one child said, “Jesus Christ's example teaches me how to live."

Another child said, "If we have faith we can see the miracles in our own lives."

"God knows what we need and he will care for us," said a young boy.

An older child said, "Because of Christ's Atonement, I can repent when I do wrong and be made clean and pure."

A tiny girl said, "Jesus blessed the children."

The words to one Primary song sung by twin sisters said: "Faith is knowing the sun will rise, lighting each new day. Faith is knowing the Lord will hear my prayers each time I pray. Faith is like a little seed: If planted it will grow. Faith is a swelling within my heart. When I do right, I know." 

Usually every child is given a part on the program, from three-year-olds to those who are eleven. They are often invited to write their own thoughts in response to a topic, such as: "I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me because..."

Around the world, children's responses are universal: "I know the Saviour loves me because he gave me my family;" and, "I know the Saviour loves me because he gives us food to eat."

"I know the Saviour loves me because I can feel it;" and, "I know the Saviour loves me because he loves everyone!" 

Whether in New Zealand or Kenya, Chile or the Unites States, all across the globe the children study the same lessons and sing the same songs. The only difference is that they are spoken and sung in Spanish, German, Tagalog, English, Tongan and many other languages.

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