Monday, December 21, 2015


Photography taken with Iphone showing primary
children when primary goes over
Bristol, VA—New Primary teacher Sean Thurman, called to teach the CTR 5 and 6 year-olds, cannot figure out if being in Primary is heaven or hell.

“First,” said Thurman, “I have to admit that as a man sitting in Primary, you get all sorts of undeserved praise!” Thurman noted that the Primary President was “just so happy and so inordinately appreciative” of his willingness to serve. He admitted that “yep, this is straight up sexism, since women would never get the same praise or adulation for doing the same work,” but he added, “hey, it works for me!”

Not wanting to miss any opportunities to enjoy this undeserved praise, Thurman willingly went to Sharing Time on the day he was called. He explained that “it probably seemed like I was just so happy and eager, but, let’s face it, the difference between Elders Quorum and Primary isn’t that much, so I just picked Primary and its free, unmerited praise—win for me!”

When Thurman got to Primary, he easily found the row with the class he would be teaching. As he put it, “I spotted the kids right off—one incessantly poking the girl next to him, one pulling a thread on his sweater with obvious curiosity and perhaps the hope that the whole thing might come unraveled, and two other quiet, reverent children who looked like there might be a carbon monoxide leak right above their chairs.”

“I took a seat, trying to separate the rambunctious ones, folded my arms, smiled, and sang,” continued Thurman. “I have to say that at that moment, I thought I might be in heaven. All of the old words came right back, and I sang with a joy I have rarely felt at church.”

This euphoria, partly a result of how Thurman felt that “here (in Primary) was the Gospel in all its simplicity and joy,” proved to be temporary. He explained that “one of the boys looked at me and then said flatly, ‘you are short.’” Thurman stated that “I tried to ignore him, look forward, smile, and sing to set a good example, but he must have repeated eight times in his same disaffected, monotone way, ‘you are short.’” Thurman reported that “it felt like this could have gone on forever, until, clearly not making the headway he wanted, the little &*!$ punched me!” Thurman had been punched before, including one time as a missionary, but, as Thurman said, “this was so unexpected and caught me so much off guard, that I wanted to beat him to a bloody pile of bones and skin right on the spot.”

Sensing that immediate and life-threatening physical violence might not be the best way to start his pastoral work with these “little lambs,” Thurman addressed the young man directly and firmly, making expectations clear that he was not to punch him again.

“So, yah, when he immediately punched me again, I just about lost it,” said Thurman. The new Primary teacher went on that, “well, just about the time I had reached an uneasy détente with that little spawn of Satan, I realized that one of the other boys had taken off his shoe and was throwing it at a kid behind him.” Thurman tried to corral this young man, who “having launched one piece of weaponized footwear, was now preparing to launch the other.”

“After fighting with those kids through singing time and Sharing time, well, let’s just say that all of the shine had worn off of this new Primary gig,” stated Thurman. He concluded, “and then, at the end, when Primary actually went over by 6 minutes and 18 seconds, I concluded that there must be a warm place in hell for whoever is not keeping track of the time during the Sharing Time lesson!”

Weary of the celestial heights and infernal lows his new calling will inevitably bring, Thurman finally noted, that “and this week I didn’t even have to teach!”

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