Dearest Children, God is near
by Shanne, UT
Today, to introduce Dearest Children, I typed the song,
in a script font, as a letter. I put it inside of a Global Priority Mail
envelope and sealed it.
I addressed it to the ward primary. I told the children I had received an
important letter but there was no return address so I didn't know who it was
from. I asked them if we should open the letter and see who had sent it. (They
all agreed we should open it!) The letter had "Love," at the bottom but
with no signature. I asked the children to listen to the letter as I read
it, to see if they could decide who wrote it.
After I read the letter someone in Senior Primary suggested that the Holy
Spirit might have written the letter. We talked about how the Holy Spirit
may have influenced the writer. I then took out the hymn book and turned to
the song. I showed them where Charles Walker had written the letter to them. I
told them about how he was a grown up and had gotten tired during a
sacrament meeting. I asked if sacrament meeting had ever gotten long for
them and they'd needed to get out a pen and paper and draw or write. I told
them that Charles had taken a paper and pen and written them a letter. I
added that John Macfarlane found out about the letter that Charles had
written during sacrament meeting and asked if he could write some music for
the letter so it could become a song. Then we listened to the music as I
read the first verse again. Then I used the wonderful flip chart sent by
the dear sister in the group and we sang the song.
When I presented the letter again in Jr. Primary (I made
two so I could really open the letter for them as well) and they were asked
to listen for the author I had hands up before I got through the first verse. When
I was finished they agreed that either Heavenly Father or a Prophet had
written the letter. I told both groups that the song sounded very much to
me like a letter from my Heavenly Father reminding me how much he cares for
me and how we wants me to keep the commandments so he can bless me. I hoped
it sounded that way to them as well.