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Janice Kapp Perry
Thursday, March 15 2012

As a Child of God- Seventeen New Songs for Children

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Introduction

I love children’s music! There we find the gospel—simple and direct. The Primary songs teach everything we want our children to know and there is no more appealing way to repeat these truths over and over again than by singing about them. There is a certain magic in music that helps children learn and remember important gospel concepts forever, and they will be able to draw on these memories throughout their lives. If it is in their minds it can come forth later when they need to be strengthened, comforted,directed or inspired. When we combine a simple gospel truth with an appealing melody it is one of the greatest teachers we can have in our homes.

New Music for Children

During the last decade I have been writing new songs for children now and then. Some were assignments from church leaders, some have been published in church magazines, and some have been written in support of Primary programs. Others just seemed to be important subjects for children to learn and sing about. This month we have published and recorded a collection of seventeen new children’s songs that we hope will bring the gospel to life musically for children and their families. It our hope that we can turn off the negative influences of TV and raucous music on the radio and CD’s and gather our children around the piano to sing together.

As a Child of God

The title song of our new album is “As a Child of God.” This song is printed in the Primary sacrament meeting program for 2012 and was learned by the children in January. A simplified version was printed in the Friend and Liahona magazines in January. The song teaches a child his responsibility to strengthen his family by making good choices.

Listen to the song here

“As a Child of God”

(Janice Kapp Perry)

I came to earth with power to choose
Good choices bless me and my family too
As a child of God I receive special light
The Holy Ghost helps me to know what is right

I feel so safe and happy because
Such feelings of peace come from family love

As a child of God I receive special light
The Holy Ghost helps me to know what is right

In my own home I’ll happily serve
I’ll strengthen my family by my good works
As a child of God I receive special light
The Holy Ghost helps me to know what is right

One other song on the new album was written to support the Primary sacrament meeting program for 2012, and is titled “I Will Choose the Right.”

Preface in the Primary Book

In the Preface of our Primary children’s songbook church leaders have written a beautiful explanation of the power of the songs contained therein:

            Here is a book of songs especially for you. You can sing them just about
            anytime, anywhere. As you sing, you may feel good inside. The Holy Ghost
            gives you warm feelings to help you understand that the . . . messages in the
            songs are true. . . . You will remember more easily what you have learned
            when you sing about it. The melody of a song helps you remember the words
            and also brings the feeling of the song to your heart . . . . The good feelings
            the songs bring . . . will help you to remember that you are children of God.

I Will Stay on the Path

Our general Primary presidency often speaks in the stakes of the church about the importance of children staying on the path. Beautiful artwork showing a child walking carefully down a safe and sunny path hangs in their office in Salt Lake City, as a reminder of the need to stay on the path.

As we heard them discuss this idea in their office one day I felt that it would be important to write a song on this subject that would help the children understand and remember the concept. I tried to incorporate the Primary leaders’ ideas in this new song:

Listen to the song here 

"I Will Stay on the Path”

(Janice Kapp Perry)

I lived with Jesus before my birth
I felt His Spirit, believed in His words
I chose to follow His plan here on earth
I know He loves me, and I’m of great worth

Chorus:

I will stay on the path
He has shown me the way
I believe in His teachings
And want to obey
I will keep His commandments
For I’ve always known
One day I’ll return
To my heavenly home

I’ll honor Jesus by how I live
I’ll love as He loved
And freely forgive
Faith and repentance
Will help me remain
Worthy to live in His presence again

Repeat chorus

Words of a Prophet

President Hinckley has said, “Let there be music in the home . . . and its influence will become increasingly manifest as the years pass.” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p. 394)

I’m Learning the Ways of Jesus

When my husband and I were serving a mission in Santiago Chile we saw many new members come into the church, and also many less active members return to the church. Some had Primary age children who needed to be taught the basic principles of the gospel. We were assigned to help one such family and decided that the best thing we could do to get these children up to speed in the gospel was to teach them the Primary songs. The children looked forward to our visits and were especially happy to get to the singing portion of the lesson. We bought them the children’s songbook in Spanish and had a wonderful time furthering the gospel learning of this faithful little family. I wrote the words to this next song while in Chile, though I did not set it to music for many years. It was published in the November 2010 Friend magazine.

Listen to the song here 

“I’m Learning the Ways of Jesus”

(Janice Kapp Perry)

I’m learning each day to be caring and kind
I think of good deeds in my heart and mind
I try ev’ry day to give love away
I’m learning the ways of Jesus

     So if I see someone who’s lost or afraid
     I’ll offer to help—that’s a choice I have made
     Or if I see someone who just needs a friend

     I’ll speak to them kindly and spend time with them
     I try ev’ry day to give love away
     I’m learning the ways of Jesus

I’m learning each day to be friendly and fair
I try to help others, I willingly share
I try ev’ry day to give love away
I’m learning the ways of Jesus

     So if I see someone who can’t walk or run
     I’ll think of some ways I can help them have fun
     Or if I see someone who can’t see or hear
     I’ll tell them that I’ll be their eyes or their ears
     I try ev’ry day to give love away

     I’m learning the ways of Jesus

Sing to Your Children and Grandchildren

I encourage everyone to sing to your children and grandchildren often.


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