Sunday, May 4, 2014

I Need Your Help...

Below, I've left the original post so that new readers will understand what I'm talking about.  First of all, I have to be clear that I've never felt like anyone was mean or judgmental about my work.  You've all been very kind.  My only concern was that, if so many people were uncomfortable with what I do, maybe I was too biased to see that it wasn't appropriate.  I'm so grateful for all of your comments.  They were overwhelmingly positive, which has really helped me to make a decision.  I'll continue to post helps and ideas each month and I'll illustrate songs whenever possible.    


For the last several months, I've been having a moral dilemma, and I need your advice.

First of all, this blog got started when I began drawing pictures for use in my own home and then my Primary.  Eventually I decided that if I was spending all of this time on art, I might as well see if anyone else could make use of it.  I never intended to distribute it, so I hadn't worried too much about church policy.  I just drew on what I'd seen in Deseret Book and  the Friend for inspiration on what's "ok" and what's not.  

As I began sharing my art, I was made aware of policies I'd never read regarding the depiction of Diety.  I decided to remove all drawings of Heavenly Father (I only had one song), and to be extremely careful about drawing Christ.  However, after a lot of careful study and prayer, I still felt that my drawings of Christ were acceptable for the reasons stated near the bottom of this page.  I had a strong desire to serve and didn't want to be a "slothful servant," waiting around to be asked to serve, so I chose to continue making and sharing my art.

I know that many members still feel that my pictures of Christ shouldn't be used in church, and I absolutely respect that.  For several months I've been thinking about skipping songs which I can't figure out how to illustrate without including those pictures.  However, recently, I've seen several people say that they're hearing from their leadership that they shouldn't use anything that isn't produced by the church.  To this point, I'd been working with the understanding that we are to use church-produced material whenever possible and then other materials when we can't find anything that fits our needs.  I'm sure that's what I'd read in the manuals.  But bf that policy is changing, or if I've misunderstood it, then I feel absolutely awful for having misled anyone into using my "banned books."

Now, my immediate leadership has been supportive to this point, but I'm currently in the process of checking with "higher-ups" to see if I'm missing anything.  In the meantime, I really need your opinions.  As I've said before, whether or not my stuff is "allowed," it won't benefit the kids if you're unsure about using it.  They won't feel the Spirit.  So, my question to you is...


  • Do I keep illustrating every song and let you decide what is appropriate and what is not?
  • Do I illustrate just the songs that don't require a depiction of Christ?
  • or- Do I shut down the site, reclaim my 40 hours each week, and stop leading people into mists of darkness?  

Now, be gentle, because I'm a huge baby, but I really do appreciate your opinions, no matter what they are.

78 comments:

  1. Although on the Facebook group I have heard that it is no longer in the handbook to not use any "cartoon" representations of God or Jesus, I grew up in that era and it's ingrained in me now! For that reason, although I love your stuff and admire your talent, I can't bring myself to use any of your materials for songs with representation of Christ. However, I know lots of other people on the group don't feel that way, and use them, so I would say just to keep doing what you feel inspired to do. And those of us who don't feel comfortable with the songs with a cartoonish Jesus in them just won't use those ones! If it's no longer written guidance from the church, then I think you are okay still doing it.

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  2. I love your drawings and use everyone I can, I am sad when I am doing a song that you have not illustrated. No one in the Primary Presidency or Ward I serve in have said anything negative about your flip charts that I use, and the Bishop stops by during singing every week. If there is nothing in the handbook saying you can't I really hope you keep sharing your time and talent with us. Thanks for all your drawings and your great ideas

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    1. I agree with everything this person said! I always use your song flip charts!! Thank you for doing them!!!

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    2. I love your site!!! Please do not shut down. I think your drawings are very appropriate and are made with care. You are an inspiration to me and thank you so much!!!

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    3. I just barely got called as Junior Primary Chorister in March. Your flip charts have been a lifesaver for me. My Primary President has complimented me on them multiple times. The Bishopric is often in Primary when I'm using them, since our Sharing Time is right after Singing Time and no one has ever said anything to me about any of the pictures being inappropriate. I'm sure if there was an issue, they would have said it while I was teaching "I Stand All Amazed" or "The Family Is of God". In fact, they all tell me I'm doing a wonderful job. That's due in part to your hard work making my job easier. Please keep up the good work!!!

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  3. I love your drawing and blog, and feel grateful to be able to benefit from your extraordinary talents. Talents are something Heavenly Father has given us to use for the good of the church, which I feel you are doing. I have found that some well meaning sisters try to extrapolate counsel they receive in their own wards and stakes as if it were given by general sources. (1st Presidency, General primary presidency, official handbooks, etc.) However, we know from official sources that only our own wards and stakes have revelatory authority over us. I too have searched far and wide for the a policy that states "only use Church produced" materials, but have found none. So... as long as me, my primary presidency, and my stake pray and feel good about using your wonderful illustrations, I will continue using them.
    So... to sum it up, if you feel inspired, and your local church leaders do not oppose, I say keep illustrating, and let others decided what is appropriate for their own teaching. :-)
    I do want to say THANK YOU!! My forte is definitely not art, and your willingness to share your time and talents is invaluable! I will forever be grateful!!

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  4. I think you do what you love to do. And if you feel so prompted, you keep sharing it and those of us who LOVE it (and you, for what you do) and use it will use in in the way that is best for each of us in our own wards. I for one am utterly grateful for you and you talent, along with your generosity and willingness to share with those of us who have NO artistic abilities. I haven't spoken up before, but I thank you for all those things. I use what you share, and I feel blessed that you do. If the representations of Christ don't feel right to me, then I won't use them. But I have and am sure that I will continue because they are beautiful as well as high quality.

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  5. Within the church, there will always be people who are more conservative and people who accept a broader range of ideas and materials. There are people who say you can only use material published by the church. That is an extreme view. They are like the people who will not accept any music in church that is not straight from the hymnal. That view is not supported by church policy, but some people feel good when they create arbitrary rules that look beyond the mark.

    I choose to ignore those opinions, and I create and distribute new music for use in church. I got some push-back from a few individuals in the beginning, but the positive voices have outweighed the negative ones.

    We are a living church. Artistically, the canon is not closed. You create materials that help children to learn true doctrine. There is nothing nefarious about that. The self-righteous people who complain about your work are entitled to their opinions, but their words should not determine how or what you create. You have the Spirit, and the Spirit still help you to know how best to serve God. And others can use the Spirit in determining how and whether to use your materials in their teaching. But they can't make that choice if you don't make them available.

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    1. Well said. Thank you. It is exactly what I would have said. We are adults who can make decisions for ourselves about what we do or do not want to use. That is why we are set apart in our calling- to be inspired on how to teach the best we can.

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  6. Keep drawing. You can't be responsible fir individual decisions. And our seems there are many tyke variations it there. You can't possibly know or be responsible your them all. You ARE doing good and helping others. Your art is great for Primary, and for home use as well! Don't stop.

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  7. I have used all your artwork. I feel like your artwork helps bring meaning to the song so that the kids can understand. I felt like Jesus Christ has always been represented in a reverent manner. I especially thought your artwork helped with I Stand All Amazed which has some really tough concepts for the kids. Keep drawing!

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  8. Erin, Your work is just wonderful! I am impressed by how informed and careful and conscientious you are in illustrating the songs. I simply LOVE using your visuals and lesson plans in my little Primary. We are often without a chorister, so knowing I can come to your site in a pinch and have a thoughtful, well-planned, doctrinal based Singing Time is such a boon to me. I can't imagine how you do what you do! I know it is time-consuming. But as a Primary president, please know you are blessing the lives of many.

    Please keep illustrating every song and let the individual choristers and Primary presidencies decide what is appropriate and what is not for their own circumstances. I really do believe we should preach the gospel with whatever talents we have, and I personally think you have done excellently with the gifts and knowledge God has blessed you with!
    Love,
    Sis. Amber Galbraith
    Maryville, Missouri, USA

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  9. I can't say it any better than the supportive sisters have already posted, but I have used your artwork in my primary and the kids loved it. Especially for "I Stand All Amazed.". I was super stressed over teaching this song, but once I found your amazing illustrations of this song it was like a burden was lifted. Seriously, you are amazing. Thank you for sharing your talents with us and our primary kids!

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  10. Ugh. The idea that you might quit drawing for primary makes me sick to my stomach. I don't think you should edit what you've been doing in any way. I feel confident that our Heavenly Father would be proud of what you're doing...that you're helping His little spirits to learn more about Him. More than that....you're helping these little spirits the WORLD OVER to learn more about Him! Did you ever dream that little children in Park City Utah would learn to sing about Christ using YOUR drawings? My kids (both my primary kids and my own precious girls) have learned to sing our primary songs thanks to you. It would be a terrible shame to lose your gifts.

    That being said, I would also completely understand if you wanted more time with your own family and abandoned this effort. No one would hold it against you. I hope you'll prayerfully decide what is best for you to do personally, without bending to the pressure of "haters". But no matter what, I hope you'll leave your blog up and running so we can continue to utilize the amazing resources to be found here!

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  11. I believe your blog and drawings are virtuous, lovely, of good report and praiseworthy so I seek after them every week. They are bringing people to Christ and strengthening testimonies. By their fruits ye shall know them. You have good fruit sister and I know what source it is from.

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  12. I love that you are so concerned about keeping with church policy. My presidency has never had a problem with any flip charts I use, whether they are yours or ones I've made myself. I will pray for you that you will find an answer and feel peace in your life. You have a beautiful talent and I hope you can keep using it for the good of primaries around the world

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  13. Dear Sister,
    Amen to the comments and inspired word of encouragement above!!!! You have been heaven sent. Your diligent work and willingness to share your talents has SAVED me every Sunday. Now I am an exuberant person, and the children in our ward know that I put energy and effort into what I do. But I know they LOVE your illustrations, flip charts and activities. I always remind the children that when we sing we are praising our Father in Heaven and our Savior. And that is what YOU are helping us do! I have never met you, but I feel your testimony of the Savior through your work. Thank you for your willingness to be the ULTIMATE example of calling magnification. I thank Heavenly Father every week for you and I pray He and He alone will be your guide in your decision.
    With Love and Gratitude From St. George :)

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  14. You are wonderful and so is your work. I appreciate and am impressed that you are going to such lengths to make sure your work is "legit" for church use. I regularly use not only your artwork but your ideas on how to teach songs. You have a gift of teaching through words and art. Your visual representations are more effective in teaching songs to my primary singers than any other I've tried. Thank you for all you hard work!

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  15. PLEASE DON"T STOP! You are such a HUGE help to me! Several years ago when I had the chorister calling in another ward, they were really strict about only using church approved art & the kids couldn't get it! The songs were so much harder to teach! Your pics are clear & concise. I think many people get uptight about stuff that really shouldn't be given a second thought. The kids know that the drawing of Christ isn't really Christ but they do feel His spirit when they sing about Him!

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  16. Article if Faith 13 "...If there is anything hvirtuous, ilovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."
    We don't only seek after church materials, we seek after all worthy things. Your art is amazing and simple. It helps kids with the words without being a distraction. They are bright and easy to see around the room.
    I am also reminded of Elder Uchtdorf's conference talk a few years back. The Lord finds happiness in creating and compassion, and Elder Uchtdorf counsels us to do the same. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2008/10/happiness-your-heritage?lang=eng

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  17. You are doing NOTHING wrong. Please don't be discouraged!!! If you do decide to continue to make materials, swapping out a "Gospel Art Kit" image of the Savior here and there is not hard at all. That's what my ward has asked me to do. Thank you for all of your wonderful talent and sacrifice! No mists of darkness here.

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  18. I love it all too! There are SO many of us who haven't been blessed with your artistic talents, and we are grateful for your willingness to work and share with us. Much Love!

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  19. You have saved me with my new calling and I would be devastated if you stopped using your art or even blogging at all. Please continue doing what you do. Don't worry about those who over think things and forget the real reason we are teaching the kids and the spirit is brought in by how we teach. Keep doing what your doing!

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  20. Please keep making your materials. It's up to the individual to decide whether it's appropriate for their use or not. All you are doing is making the choice available. What is right for one primary may not be for another. Your blog is wonderful resource. Keep it up.

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  21. I couldn't agree more with that wonderful comments already shared. Let everyone decide what works best for their ward and keep on drawing!!!!

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  22. Oh Erin, you are doing a fabulous work! The whole war in Heaven was fought over our agency. I am so grateful that we have all been blessed with agency and the gift of the Holy to lead us and guide us in our callings and families. Your art and lesson suggestions are beautiful and wonderful for teaching in primary AND in the home. Thank you for sharing your talent and time with us all! ~Jessica from San Antonio, TX

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  23. I have used much of your work as you seem to get right to the point and know how much to use. When I use your work or others work that has drawn depictions of Christ I always hang a church authorized large picture of Christ on the board with it. This way I can point to Christ when discussing the song and then your wonderful drawings are like the short hand version to teach the song. Thank you for sharing your talents with all of us around the world.

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  24. Here's how I see it. Sometimes we draw pictures on the whiteboard when doing a lesson or teaching a song. There is no rule forbidding that and I think it is just common sense that that would be acceptable. I think, using your artwork is like having whatever pictures I would have drawn on the board done before hand and done by someone with TALENT and ABILITY! It has been said over and over that visual aids help children learn and so I use your visual aids all the time. They are a blessing to me - because I can't draw worth a darn! So THANK YOU!

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  25. My opinion: Keep doing whatever edifies you!! What brings you love, peace, desires to serve God and others... What brings you the company of the Holy Ghost. I think you are sharing a gloriuos and Gods gift, you are using it un good purpose. And when we come here or the facebook group, we must remember our agency and capacity to see what is good or not, and have the spirit to decide and choose the best for us and our kids.
    Thanks for your hard work and your love doing it! And also for taking the time to share it so others with no such that beautiful abilities can benefit of your job. Thanks!

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  26. So many have already posted great comments and opinions so I am just going to say that when I found your site I was so grateful because it was exactly what I needed. Your artwork is lovely and I feel that it is inspired. I know you will do what ever the "Higher Ups" tell you do and that's great too but I know that your heart is in the right place and you only mean to do well. Greatest blessings to you, whatever you decide to do--personally I'm a little selfish and I would probably reclaim my 40 hours per week :)

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  27. I am not a primary chorister. I just came across this blog looking for a way to help my kindergartner learn primary songs. Once he knows them he loves to sing, but he is slower at learning songs than the other kids for whatever reason, and doesn't like it when he is not good at something, so he goofs off instead when he doesn't know it. I feel good about using this in my home and am grateful for your talent and willingness to share. It has already improved his behavior in primary.

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  28. I have many thoughts and opinions on this subject and all are on your side! I get a little frustrated with nit-picky people. We covenant to dedicate our time, talents, and everything we have to the Lord to build up His kingdom. I do not think He would give you these marvelous talents and not expect you to use them. You are sharing your testimony to THOUSANDS of children around the world through your pictures and your ideas that other choristers present. I fail to see where the Lord would be unhappy. I only see where Satan is unhappy and where he works his influence...in the small insignificant battles about "rules and policies." What doctrine is being taught is the ONLY thing that matters-not the pictures being used.
    I know that you will pray about it and do what brings YOU peace. I hope you know and understand that all of us who follow you and look to you for inspiration will support you in whatever decision you make. If you choose not to continue drawing (which would make me sad) then I hope you will at least continue to blog and share your ideas with us because they are fabulous! I love how help us teach the children the doctrinal points, as well as, the music.
    You are doing a wonderful job and I so much appreciate you and admire you for your talents and your willingness to share them. In my primary my kids would say to you. "Be a Valiant Hero!" (and then sing you the Valiant Servant song :) ) Thank you so much for all you do and for your inspiration.
    Cara Childs
    American Fork, UT

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  29. As a guy who got called from out of the blue, your illustrations have been a life-saver. If you feel you need to stop, I totally respect that (while I cry in a corner). If you feel you need to stop due to downward pressure, I add my comment that this is a "culture issue" not a religious one. I would like to say that the depictions we have of the savior aren't in any way accurate either. They are (and were) illustrations done with the spirit and they did the best they could with the knowledge they had. I don't feel any different about what you are doing. If we were a church that valued accuracy above all else in our depictions of the Savior, I bet most of the images we have wouldn't fit the bill. The ones who have seen him didn't describe him beyond "brightness and glory defying all description". Historically, Jesus should probably look like a modern day Palestinian. Short-ish, olive skin, black curly hair, strong nose. When was the last time you saw a picture of Christ like that?

    The kids I teach immediately recognize the pictures you have drawn of the Savior because they are familiar and pay homage to other illustrations that have been done before. They respond to the images better than I could have imagined. For example, they knew exactly whose hands were pierced in the picture. We have a teacher who is in a wheelchair and I know that the kids respond well to the image of the girl working by helping the kid in the wheelchair. I love that you include other ethnicities and cultures in your illustrations as I live in Utah and except for a VERY small percentage, we are pretty homogenous in our ward.

    Thank you for sharing your talents. As a graphic designer, if you ever want to move away from paint into illustrator or photoshop, email me at aboswell (at) gmail (dot) com and I would be more than happy to help.

    Aaron Boswell
    West Jordan, UT

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  30. Please don't stop illustrating! The pictures from the church are great and all, but many of them just don't represent that words to the song that well, which are CRUCIAL for junior primary. (That and you're are simple and straight forward - many times church pictures have a lot of details and other historic figures that I'd rather not be including since they're not involved in that particular song).

    My ward does not have a problem with the pictures of Christ so I would LOVE for you to keep illustrating those and then let us decide whether to use them.

    As BUB said, I had to draw a quick stick figure of Heavenly Father on the board when teaching "Mother, I Love You" and they commented on my drawing ability (Why does he just have eyes, etc, etc) and I felt way worse about that! I wish I had your drawing including even Heavenly Father for that one!

    Honestly, your drawings are THE BEST out there. You are helping so many primary choristers, which I (as one of them) and SOOO grateful for :)

    We love you here in Colorado!

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  31. Your illustrations depict the songs and the spirit of the primary songs exactly how I would want them to look if I had even an ounce of your talent.
    You are my "go to" for every knew song I introduce to my children. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing your talents.
    We love you here in Florida, too!

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  32. Please continue to illustrate everything!!!!!!! I love it all. I have never been told anything about any of the drawings of yours that I have used. I think that it should be up to each individual person what is appropriate for their ward. Don't worry about what anyone says! The service that you are giving us is more than I could ever repay. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!!!!

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  33. Thank you for your useful, appropriate drawings. I definitely support you continuing. In fact, have you considered submitting your work to the church?
    I recently used your flip chart for "The Family is of God" and appreciated it. I wanted to share a story.
    When introducing the line "It's you all others too, we are his children." And I asked what the picture of children al over the world had to do with that line.
    An 8-year-old boy raised his hand and said, "The picture shows people all wearing really different kinds of clothes. It shows that no matter what you wear, God loves you and we are all his children."
    What a great insight, cued by your picture! Everyone felt the Spirit. Thank you.

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  34. I echo the admiration expressed for your ideas and drawings! Here is the official Church statement on pictures from https://www.lds.org/callings/primary/leader-resources/frequently-asked-questions?lang=eng#portrayal-of:
    Primary Materials

    Can supplemental books and pictures from bookstores and the Internet be used in Primary?

    Counsel with your priesthood leader.

    Here is the statement from the Church on pictures of Deity:
    Portrayal of Deity

    What is the policy on the portrayal of Deity?

    God the Father and the Holy Ghost are not to be portrayed in any way. The Savior should not be portrayed by children except in a nativity scene. (See Handbook 2, 11.8.5; see also 13.6.15.)

    I am relatively new to your site but have already used three of your ideas. Keep up the good work!

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    1. If you read both links to the handbook, they refer to role-playing and never say anything about drawings.

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    2. I did look it up, and Yes, "Do I" is correct. Both sites refer to role-playing. I have been searching for an hour about drawings and singing. So far, I have not found anything."

      11.8.5 states "Portrayals of Deity in Role-Playing Activities:
      Leaders and teachers carefully maintain reverence when they choose to conduct role-playing activities, especially when people dramatize sacred events. God the Father and the Holy Ghost are not to be portrayed in any way. The Savior should not be portrayed by children except in a nativity scene. "

      13.6.15 States:
      "Portrayal of Deity: God the Father and the Holy Ghost are not to be portrayed in meetings, dramas, or musicals. If the Savior is portrayed, it must be done with the utmost reverence and dignity. Only brethren of wholesome personal character should be considered for the part. The person who portrays the Savior should not sing or dance. When speaking, he should use only direct quotations of scriptures spoken by the Savior. At the end of the performance, the person should not wear the costume in the foyer or elsewhere. He should change immediately into street clothes. The Savior should not be portrayed by children in dramatization except in a nativity scene."

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  35. I love your work and everything you do but by all means don't do it if it is a chore or a burden to you. I come to you first before anybody else. Your pictures have graced my chalkboard more times than I can count and my kids love it. I hope you don't stop doing them. I need them.

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  36. As choristers we don't receive a "manual" to teach out of. We have to make up our own. Your drawings are amazing and you are so talented. You help me with my "manual" on teaching the Primary songs. The Friend uses drawings and coloring pages of Christ. Please keep drawing!

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  37. You are wonderful. I understand your concerns, but I would be very happy if you would keep doing what you're doing and let each one of us individually decide what we will use or not. It would be nice if they gave us the specific printouts/die cuts/art supplies/laminating machines/weekly instructions etc. that they would like us to use, but this calling requires some creativity! I love your stuff and I think that it appropriately helps me to convey the teachings of the gospel through song. Please don't go away.

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  38. There are several songs in the Children's Songbook with illustrations of the Savior.

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  39. So at a primary training a while back I was told "don't use anything not church sponsored that are of Christ." Even with a link to the guidance in a church manual. Yet, when I asked them just a month ago to send me the link for the FB group, they couldn't find it. It appears to have been withdrawn? I can't personally find it anywhere. Prior to the training I used your illustrations a lot. A LOT... then I was sad to have to "stop" but since no one can find the actual guidance anymore, I'm back :)

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  40. I like you am a bit OCD myself. Because I am still very new as a chorister, I called church headquarters today. The hostess in the Relief Society Building sent my call up to the General board area. (801-240-4450 sorry don't know the international code, but your welcome to call them for yourself) Upon explaining the dilemma (about wether it is ok to sketch pictures of deity to use in teaching songs), she chuckled and said she had no idea where this rumor has been coming from. There is nothing wrong with drawing sketches to use in teaching the songs to the children. We talked about the link that Kathryn Wood posted above that can be found under frequently asked questions. If you follow the handbook links listed in the answer, they both talk about the role-playing. Here are those 2 links: https://www.lds.org/handbook/handbook-2-administering-the-church/primary/11.8.5?lang=eng#118 (2nd link) https://www.lds.org/handbook/handbook-2-administering-the-church/activities/13.6.15?lang=eng#136.
    She reaffirmed that it refers to the portrayal of Deity in role-playing and in no way refers to sketches. To reinforce that it is ok, she talked about all the sketches of the Godhead that are used in the Friend and the sketches that are available on LDS.org (Here is a link, https://www.lds.org/callings/primary/leader-resources/teaching-children/symbols?lang=eng). If you scroll down a little on the right you will find a link titled "Godhead and Prophets." So rest assured, you are doing nothing wrong. Also, you have taken the time to take it before the Lord and have received confirmation that your drawings are acceptable and you said your leaders are supportive of your work. You have followed all the appropriate steps. Whenever we are doing things that are righteous that especially benefit many others, we are bound to face opposition that will try to derail us. These are opportunities for us to grow stronger and learn from them. You have an amazing talent and gift that you have been blessed with to explain the lyrics through pictures in a manner that the kids can truly understand. For example, I tried different cue card ideas for "I Stand All Amazed." The kids struggled with the others, but understood yours. In fact, when I asked them about the pictures they were able to explain what the lyrics were about or even used some of the words. I truly stood all amazed. Thank You!!! With such a gift, I can imagine the adversary has been throwing lots of opposition in your path. Don't be derailed from that which you know to be right. I am sure many will echo this sentiment, as your brothers and sisters, we are here for you, you are not alone. May you be able to draw strength from all of us around the world through the bonds of love as you make the decisions you are faced with.

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    1. Hooray!! I am glad you called and that we all know the real policy now! :) Thanks!

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  42. I am posting this without reading any of the other responses first because I don't want to be swayed by them. This comes straight from my heart.
    I was called to be the chorister in our primary and I told the bishopric that calling ME to this calling made as much sense as asking a cat to petsit your fish. I have NO business doing music. I have actually been asked NOT to sing with a RS choir....true story.
    I spent hours in prayer, crying, making my family miserable, and searching for tools to help me accomplish this calling. I have to say that the day I found your site changed my attitude about the whole experience. I found a place that excited me, gave me ideas that I could use as is, or adapt for my primary, and I found that I learned so much about how to teach music even though I didn't know the first things. seriously, the only thing I can play is the radio....
    I have always been impressed at your mindfulness in your depictions of the Savior, and at the positive pictures that you use to illustrate even 'negative' words or lines. I did ask my primary president how she felt about the illustrations of the Savior and she felt they were appropriate, so I have used them without any concern.
    I don't know about an 'official' church policy, but it would seem to me that pictures that correspond perfectly to the words inn the church publications would not be a problem.
    I for one will be very sad if you chose to stop giving us your amazing insight and ideas. I am in awe of how much you are able to come up with. Bless you....truly. You have been an answered prayer for me!

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  43. OK, I havent read what anyone else said... but, I know this - I am pretty certain I'd cry if you shut this site down. I just got called into Primary and you have been a life line when I have felt so overwhelmed and confused by the complexity of the calling.
    I appreciate you SO much!
    Also, my opinion: we need to stop getting caught up in blasted policy and just follow the spirit. I understand policy is there for a reason, but I absolutely do not believe you're illustrations step over any boundaries. Getting caught up "in the thick of thin things" is that I'd call it. :)
    THANK YOU!

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  44. Please don't quit. I would completely be lost! I was informed of the "official policy" after I was first using your site. I still think your drawings and hard work are SOOOO HELPFUL to me. I just appreciate you and all your hard work. I have ZERO musical experience and I use your site as my go-to site. Thank you for all you are doing for ME!

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  45. I think your work is amazing! Please don't stop! Your work is totally and completely appropriate and I think your pictures of Jesus are very acceptable. I don't see how it is any different than me drawing a picture on a chalkboard to illustrate a point (only, of course, your's look much better!) Can i tell you how many classes I have been in where a stick figure has been used to represent God and Jesus so that we can understand a point? I agree with the above post, that role playing God or Jesus can be inappropriate, but drawing them, I think this is okay. Doesn't the church SPONSOR an art exhibit every year, with non-church published portrayals of deity? Any ways, you are doing a great work! Keep it up!

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  46. I had heard the "policy" regarding "cartoon" images of Christ, but I have never read it officially anywhere. Do you even know if it is the actual Church policy? I am really not sure. I have never been complained to about any of the artwork I have used. But I have been told how adorable your pictures are. They thought I made them! I made sure to credit you as I have no talent in that area whatsoever. I LOVE your work and use it all the time. I do not feel that you have in any way used your talents in a blasphemous way! You always show the utmost respect in your depictions of the Savior. Your illustrations and ideas have saved me COUNTLESS hours and grief! Thank you so much for all that you do to help those of us who don't have the talent you have been blessed with! My primary has benefited so much from your work. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! And please don't quit! :)

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  47. Yes, pleeeease don't stop!!! You are my one stop shop for singing time. I would definitely be a dark mist wanderer!! {Thank you for all you do!!!!}

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  48. Please don't stop what you are doing. It is done in the Spirit of helping our children and sometimes their little minds just need to see what they are singing. You are amazing and I could not be the chorister I am without you!

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  49. I love your illustrations! They are beautiful, extremely helpful and maintain the Spirit. I feel it would a shame if you stop. I for one would really miss you!

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  50. Don't stop - please!! Your work is amazing and has blessed my life, and countless others. As a full time+ working mom I literally would not be able to have this calling without sisters like you!!

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  51. Please continue!!! I think you have been very respectful and thoughtful when creating these, and they are SO helpful--both to me as a leader, as well as to the children! I asked the primary president too if she was cool with it and she loves it as well!

    I completely understand your concern, but I think that Satan is trying to get at you because you're blessing SO many people! Seriously, your service has helped me as an individual, in a way that is too personal to share here, but you need to know, it has helped me in multiple ways! I don't know if you have a full comprehension of just how much you are helping and blessing others.

    You will be in my prayers, I want you to feel at peace. But I thank you for your wonderful service!!!

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  52. I never comment on any blog ever but I have to put my voice with the others on this one and beg you not to quit. You are too talented and too brilliant and too needed. I have never had anyone complain on disagree when I use your pictures, actually I get complimented on the creativity all of the time, which I pass on to your site. Anyways, most importantly, please stay :)

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  53. Keep doing what you're doing! You are blessing my primary and I am so appreciative and grateful to you each and every week!! Thank you!

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  54. I'm new to the calling and still feel very uncomfortable with trying to teach children songs, and I also have absolutely no artistic or creative talent. Your work is an answer to my prayers. I would not use a cartoon depiction of Christ, but that doesn't change what a blessing you are to me in my calling!

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  55. I think your work is perfectly appropriate and incredibly helpful. If I utilize a flip chart to teach a song - yours is always my default. The visuals are reverent and very iconic to the principles that are being taught in the song. They lead to a greater understanding of the principles and love of Christ that is taught in each of the primary songs that is also perfectly pointed to the age group and comprehension level of primary children. If they add to the spirit and not distract from it for not only your primary classroom but others around the world using them, how can they not be appropriate? Thank you for the many wonderful resources and teaching ideas! Onward!!

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  56. I am a first grade teacher. I KNOW that children learn using different modalities. Visuals are one of the strongest modes children rely on to make connections. I have read that depictions of the Savior and Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost should be respectful and representative of who they are (ie. do not make a ghost with a hole in it for the Holy Ghost). I think your illustrations are perfect and do not in any way detract from the spirit of the message being taught to our children. I have not heard any directive at all indicating that we cannot use visuals to help our children learn. Please don't quit!

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  57. Your hard work pays off in spades because of what we're all able to accomplish through your work & skill. There are plenty of ways to personalize what we present to our individual children AND with respect to what our leadership has requested. There is nothing in your work that indicates negative intent...please know how much you are appreciated!

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  58. The work you do is a way to sharing spiritual gifts you've been given! We love to use your ideas. We all can choose not to use something if we don't like it, but for me, that has not happened yet! You are amazing and you are a blessing to me.

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  59. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE everything you do! I think if you feel good about it then keep doing it, and allow others to choose if they use it or not. I am so grateful for the thousands of hours you put into this all the time. My kids love your artwork and I don't know where I would be without it!

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  60. Please do not quit! I absolutely love your work. Years ago I remember being asked to use only the approved artwork by the church. We have had a technology explosion that has given us more variety and I feel the spirit directs what I should and shouldn't use. I may be off base but if President Monson saw your work I'm confident he'd approve. Please let us make our decisions as to what to use. Your work and ideas are fantastic. Unless I'm told to not use anything except lds.org material then I'm sticking with you.

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  61. Diddo, diddo, diddo. Please don't shut down the blog! You are so inspiring, and Primary is just too darn hard sometimes :D I have to have my lessons translated into another language as I'm living outside the USA, and some weeks it's so overwhelming. Your flipcharts help me build a new singing time in my ward (they haven't done it before). Thank you for all your work, and if it does get to be time to step away, please leave it online :) We need it... like... NEEED it.... <3

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  62. As with everything in the church, Pray Always. If you are sincerely prayerful, you will be inspired.
    I've never been told in any of my callings to only use church materials Except Manual Lessons. I have used class helps my whole adult life, and the Bishopric and Presidency have always been on supportive as long as I have been inspired to do so.
    As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are taught to seek revelation, ask to receive, and listen to follow promptings. If we are in-tune with the Spirit, we will be able to teach by the Spirit - regardless of the helps we use.
    SO! My vote is: "Keep illustrating every song and let us decide what is appropriate and what is not.
    If you pray for inspiration, and we all do the same, there will never be a problem! I know this to be true.

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  63. Oh!
    I just remembered something from our Stake Meeting a few weeks ago. I don't recall anyone saying anything about depictions of Christ, but I do remember them talking about not using symbols as words. Things like a picture on an eye for the pronoun I, and a picture of a bee for the word be. Make sense? However, I feel that a heart when saying Love is indeed appropriate for children.

    Suggestion: those who are concerned about using a Christ graphic, they could easily replace that image with a different picture by pasting it over the image of their printed chart. lds.org has several available.

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  64. I just read your edit and I am so happy to see that you will continue to illustrate. Thank you so much.

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  65. I use your ideas all the time! I am so grateful for you ideas! They really help us less creative choristers get through the week! Thanks for always making me look good!

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  66. I LOVE your art. I am a music leader in a primary with six different languages. I can't reach most of the kids with words, and your clear, child friendly art conveys important messages to them. Many of the parents of these children have commented to me how useful the art has been for them to teach these songs/concepts at home. I am so grateful for the time and effort that you put into not only your art but also this website.

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  67. I just want to let you know how GRATEFUL I am for you!!! You put so much time and work and love into these drawings and songs. This is my go-to website for my primary song flipcharts!!! They make sense, the children LOVE them!!! THANK YOU so much!!!

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  68. I love your work and your efforts and your choices. Please continue with your vision of what your website should be and let others decide what is appropriate for their fold. Maybe you have fans of other faiths that are borrowing your work and thoughts. They are tailoring your efforts to their needs just like the rest of us. I make animated films at Dreamworks for a living, and our executives and lawyers are constantly comprising the original vision of the film and homogenizing the message so on paper -EVERYONE- should love the film. The end results is never as good as it would have been without the tampering.

    ...Heaven will be filled with busy-bodies with realize that their blind adherence to the letter of the law limited their potential.

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  69. Just wanted to add to the wonderful, positive feedback. You have been a lifesaver in my journey as a primary chorister. Your teaching ideas and materials have brought an incredible outpouring of the spirit to our primary. PLEASE, PLEASE continue! You have no idea how many lives you are blessing!

    The Church has recently added a new resource to it's website. Check it out. Your will pleased at their depiction of Diety and their encouragement of using symbols and pictures to teach.

    https://www.lds.org/media-library/images/primary-symbols/godhead-prophets?lang=eng

    You are right on!

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  70. I really appreciate the time you put into making illustrations and your ideas for primary. Thank you so much.

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