Sunday, March 4, 2012

"Stand for the Right" Song Review

The primary children already know this month's theme song, "Stand for the Right," (they learned it last year) so I treated it as more of a review today. I spent most of my time on "I Often Go Walking" (see previous post.) In fact, I ran out of time in junior primary so I will cover "Stand for the Right," with them next week instead. The Sunbeams have not yet learned this song so I actually will spend some time teaching it to them, not just reviewing it. Fortunately, it is a short, easy song.

I changed my mind right before sacrament started about how I wanted to review this song, so I grabbed a permanent marker and sketched out some images that represent each line of the song. I think if I had more time, I would have attached magnets to the backs of them or for that matter, found some color pictures on the Internet. I think I will do the magnet part anyway, since I haven't reviewed this song with the junior primary yet. I think for them, I will draw a little scene on the chalkboard so that as I am putting up the pictures, they are fitting into the scene. I will draw the house open, like a dollhouse, so you can "see" into the house and see the children during their chores "At work or at play ..."

I am also tentatively planning some sort of take-home sheet, specifically with the Sunbeams in mind, but that I can give to all children in Junior Primary. I already made something for "I Think When I Read that Sweet Story," which I will be reviewing in April, if I can wait that long. Sigh. I am planning to share a downloadable PDF once I introduce it to the class - I am super excited and may break down and introduce the song earlier.

Anyway ... In junior primary, I will talk about what each picture represents as well as give the message that I gave to senior primary today. In senior primary, I told the children today that they know this song, and that I wanted them to hold up their hands as they recognized what song the pictures represent. A few hands went up with the first two pictures, but by the time I reached the end, almost all of the hands were up. I then called on a child to identify the song.

*Stand for the Right 
Our prophet has some words for you,
And these are the words, "Be true, Be true,"
At work or at play, 
In darkness or light,
"Be true, be true, and stand for the right."

(*Song can be copied for noncommercial church or home use. Please see link above for source information.)

I quickly ran through what each picture represents (since the children already knew) and then spent some time talking about what it means to "Be True."

One child thought it meant to not lie, which is a very good answer, but not the full story.

I shared (summed up of course, rather than reading the entire thing) the prophet's story called "Dare to Stand Alone" that was in the November 2011 New Era preparing for General Conference:

Dare to Stand Alone

“I believe my first experience in having the courage of my convictions took place when I served in the United States Navy near the end of World War II.
“Navy boot camp was not an easy experience for me, nor for anyone who endured it. For the first three weeks I was convinced my life was in jeopardy. The navy wasn’t trying to train me; it was trying to kill me.
“I shall ever remember when Sunday rolled around after the first week. We received welcome news from the chief petty officer. Standing at attention on the drill ground in a brisk California breeze, we heard his command: ‘Today everybody goes to church—everybody, that is, except for me. I am going to relax!’ Then he shouted, ‘All of you Catholics, you meet in Camp Decatur—and don’t come back until three o’clock. Forward, march!’ A rather sizeable contingent moved out. Then he barked out his next command, ‘Those of you who are Jewish, you meet in Camp Henry—and don’t come back until three o’clock. Forward, march!’ A somewhat smaller contingent marched out. Then he said, ‘The rest of you Protestants, you meet in the theaters at Camp Farragut—and don’t come back until three o’clock. Forward, march!’
“Instantly there flashed through my mind the thought, ‘Monson, you are not a Catholic; you are not a Jew; you are not a Protestant. You are a Mormon, so you just stand here!’ I can assure you that I felt completely alone. Courageous and determined, yes—but alone.
“And then I heard the sweetest words I ever heard that chief petty officer utter. He looked in my direction and asked, ‘And just what do you guys call yourselves?’ Until that very moment I had not realized that anyone was standing beside me or behind me on the drill ground. Almost in unison, each of us replied, ‘Mormons!’ It is difficult to describe the joy that filled my heart as I turned around and saw a handful of other sailors.
“The chief petty officer scratched his head in an expression of puzzlement but finally said, ‘Well, go find somewhere to meet. And don’t come back until three o’clock. Forward, march!’
“As we marched away, I thought of the words of a rhyme I had learned in Primary years before:
Dare to be a Mormon;
Dare to stand alone.
Dare to have a purpose firm;
Dare to make it known.
“Since that day there have been times when there was no one standing behind me and so I did stand alone. How grateful I am that I made the decision long ago to remain strong and true, always prepared and ready to defend my religion, should the need arise.”

I talked about thinking about how we can listen to the prophet's words to BE TRUE and that, like the words of this song, "Choose the Right," and "As a Child of God," if we prepare in our minds TODAY what we feel is right, that we will be able to stand for what is true when the time comes, without hesitation. I then had us sing the song, and told them to think about what those words, "Be true, be true" meant. I was impressed at how reverent the class became for this portion of singing time.

I think I might tell them ANOTHER "Be True" story next week and sing it again - and in that way, give some quality attention to this song. I want them to truly understand what it is that they are singing. I might even talk about how in choirs I participate in, it is not uncommon for the chorister to talk about the song and how understanding it will help us sing with more conviction and honesty to truly convey the beauty of the lyrics and music. I think I will use a different story for Junior Primary though ... guess I'll have it figured out by the next post. :)