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When I was the first counselor in the Primary Presidency I found it to be one of the most rewarding callings I have yet to serve in. 

According to Gospel Topics, through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, it says Primary is…

“The Primary is an organized program of religious instruction and activity in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for children from eighteen months of age until their twelfth birthdays. Its purpose is to teach children the gospel of Jesus Christ and help them learn to live it.”

I was able to use talents of mine by leading and guiding in love, all through the principles of Jesus Christ to the primary children.

Each child I would talk to, I tried to see them through the eye of our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

I could see from each of them the light they brought to the whole primary. It was magnificent. I felt honored to be a part of their lives at such a unique time in their lives.

Primary is a great way to shape and build a testimony at a young age. 

These children have purity and greatness. 

It was such a privilege to have a leadership role in the many primary children we met with each week for an hour.

Authentic and Genuine Leadership

Leadership is genuine love that is given to each person. 

For me, it was genuine love to each child in the primary. 

My focus was to see them as the Savior would and love them each individually for their strengths.

I had many wonderful experiences when I was a counselor in the primary. I had great connections with many children, younger and older, but there was one particular class that I felt so much love for. I could see so many of them trying to do what they felt was right.

One experience in particular was very heart growing for me.

One of the kids in an older class had a strong spirit and desire to do what is right.

His parents were not active and he came to church with his grandparents. 

He looked forward to coming each week. He loved the friends he had there. 

His class wasn’t very big, so each week when they would walk in for singing time it was common for one to give a talk, say a prayer, pick a song, or comment multiple times during the lesson.

The other kids in his class have given talks more than once. We had asked him times in the past if he would be willing to give a quick, couple minute talk on his testimony and scriptures that could relate to the week’s topic in, Come Follow Me.

He would politely say, “I’m ok, but thank you.”

One Sunday while he and his class were all coming in to take their seat I walked up to him and asked him how I could help him if he would be willing to give a talk. 

I expressed that I could see how much he is trying to be like Jesus Christ. I could see how his testimony is growing by coming to church every Sunday. How he is kind to others and desires to learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

When I said these things, he smiled and said, “if you could help remind me during the week by calling my grandparents and talking to them about how they could help me, I think I could do it.”

I was so excited and accepted this request. 

Matthew 20:26

26. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

Our sweet secretary reached out to his grandparents that week to remind him.

On Sunday the presidency and I were eager to see if he would come to give his talk.

When he walked in I walked on over and asked him if he was ready to share his talk that day.

He half smiled and said that he was nervous but knew that he would be ok because the whole primary and us, (the presidency) were cheering for him.

I gave him a high five and was so excited to see what he had prepared.

When it was his time to give his talk, he got up and shared the true intentions of his heart. 

He shared what he could feel from the Holy Ghost for his love and knowledge of the gospel. 

It was amazing to hear his words. We could all see the light from within him.

His grandparents were in the back watching and had such big smiles on their faces. 

When primary was finished and the children were leaving, he walked over to me and said, “thank you for believing that I could do it. It felt right.”

My heart was filled with love.

I was so grateful for such a wonderful experience.

One of My Greatest Callings In Leadership

It reminded me that leadership in the church or any leadership role in life is best done with love. 

Seeing each child in the primary as Christ would see them was very fulfilling for me each week.

I wanted to take the time to speak to each of them, recognize them, acknowledge their strengths, and lead them with love and righteousness.

One of the greatest roles in my life is my opportunity to be a mother. A great role of a leader. A mother that I desire to be with Christ-like attributes. One of the greatest ways to be a leader. 

A mother at such a wonderful time. Leading the youth today is such a wonderful time. 

I strive daily to lead them in love and righteousness. As I did with the youth in the primary. 

As I do, I notice myself seeing them more as a child of divine worth, of love, a child of our loving Heavenly Father, that is filled with potential.

We each are filled with wonderful potential.

I have seen with great leadership, those being led by great leaders have a greater desire to share their potential and talents to others, the world.

It was a great opportunity to see the potential in the young man in the primary. It might have been a primary class with about 12 people, but to him, that was his world. 

He was able to share a wonderful part of him to his classmates and those leading him. 

He was being encouraged. He knew those in that primary wanted to love him and lead him to do what is right. To be led with the principles of Jesus Christ.

I know in the youth as they are led and guided with love and kindness they are empowered to do so much more. They are empowered to continue to lead with more love and with more kindness.

I see so much potential in our youth today.

I know they are being led by such great church leaders and our wonderful Prophet, Russell M. Nelson.

It’s so great to know that when we are seen with the intentions of our hearts and with the ability of who we can become it strengthens our faith, grows our testimony, and shares that light to others.

That’s the great power of leadership being guided by love.

Isaiah 48:17

17. Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.

About Author

My name is Brianna Marshall. I was born in Dayton, Ohio into a Air Force family. We moved to Colorado Springs, CO when I was 5 years old and lived there till I moved off to College to Orem, Utah in 2007. I was raised into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I'm still actively practicing the same faith today. I graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelors in Communications. I was married to my husband Dom in 2010 in the San Diego Temple. Dom and I have two children, one a boy, named Ronen, and a girl, named Ryen. I have been in and out of teaching physical fitness for over 10 years. I love to run and weight lift most days of the week. I also love to do yoga at night to calm me down before bed. I have always had a love for baked goods. My mom made a great dessert every Sunday and made them upon request growing up. I have always been really well at expressing my thoughts and feelings. I love to express a lot of my spiritual feelings with friends and family. As a young girl, I worked really hard to have a great relationship with my Father in Heaven. I have felt His presence from the time I was 8 and currently still feel his love and desire for me to become closer to Him. I desire to be a missionary as well as help others understand His love for all of His children. I find that being friendly, understanding and being compassionate to everyone is the best example of His son, Jesus Christ. I strive to follow His teachings. I also stumble with all of it. I'm so grateful for the atonement and repentance when I'm in need of change of heart and a compassionate spirit. I find life to be so beautiful and I'm grateful everyday for the experiences I have. I am a wife, mother, daughter of God, writer, runner, baker, and an imperfect being striving to be the best me.

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