Thursday, March 25, 2010

About the song, "I Know That My Savior Loves Me" written by my friend, Tami Creamer!!

In D&C 76:2 it says, “Great is His wisdom and marvelous are His ways, the extent of His doings none can find out.” These words will come into play more fully after I share the following experience of mine with you.

Back in the year 2000, I was serving as the Stake Primary Music Director. I had been asked to put together and lead a Primary Children’s Choir for Stake Conference. We would be singing prelude music, an opening song and one other number. As I pondered on the music to have the children sing, I felt the impression to talk to Tami Creamer, and ask her to write a song especially for the Children's Choir. She was a piano teacher /music writer that lived close by that I had just barely gotten to know.

I approached her about the idea. She was shocked. “Are you serious?” she had asked me with shock in her voice. I responded that I was.

After gathering her thoughts she then asked, “What would you like the song to be about.” I told her that I wanted it to be about the Savior.

I have found that any time we talk about the Savior, teach about the His life and teachings, and bear witness of Him, there is a profound reverence that fills the room that is unequaled when we talk about any other gospel principles or topics. I ccould think of nothing of greater importance or worth to sing about than the Savior.

Tami took the assignment and went to work. In later years she admits that this was one of the hardest songs she has ever written. It did not come easily. She carefully and prayerfully studied 3 Nephi. She thought about the children and what they must have felt when they not only saw, but touched the Savior and saw His wounds when He appeared to them after His resurrection.

Here a little and there a little, bits and pieces of the song came to her. They came in phrases or parts of a sentence. She would write them down. It took several weeks, even over a month for it to all come together. She asked a friend of hers, Derena Bell, to assist her with some of the wording and sentence structuring. The music then came together.

One day my doorbell rang. In walked Tami with the announcement that the song was done. She sat down at my piano and played. It was beautiful! The message was powerful! It was inspired!

Our stake president readily approved it so we began preparing for the choir.

Tami and I visited each of the wards in our stake to teach the song to the primary children. I taught and led the songs and Tami accompanied us on the piano. We visited 10 or 11 wards.

In teaching the song, I used a lot of body movements to portray the words in the song- just as the general primary board has now suggested in the “How to teach this song” hint box. About half way through the process, we were in the Nordic Valley ward, practicing the song, when for reasons I could not then explain, I interrupted the song and told the children how special they were. That this song had been written especially for the children of the Huntsville, Utah Stake to sing at Stake Conference. I told them this song was so special that someday their children would sing this song, and their children’s children because this song could end up being published in the Children’s Friend magazine. If it is published there, it could end up in the next Children’s Songbook where children all over the world would sing it. They then would be able to tell their descendants that that song was written just for them!

As I finished speaking these words, Tami, who was situated at the piano in the back of the room facing me, sat straight up behind the piano, eyes bulging, jaw dropped with a “huh” grunt. I had to ignore her response and proceed with singing the song.

After singing time was over, I exited the room through one door; Tami exited through the other and grabbed me in the hall where she put her hands on my shoulders and shook me and asked, “What were you thinking in there?!”

I told her it wasn’t me that came up with what I'd just said, it had just came out of my mouth! I too had been surprised. I had never entertained such a thought prior to saying it!

Months later, after much thought, Tami submitted the song to the LDS Church Music Competition. She won!! It was then published in the Children’s Friend Magazine in 2002, I believe!

In May of 2009, after returning to Utah from Guam where her husband had been working for the church, Tami received a phone call from the wife of a church leader over in Guam informing her that she'd just heard that Tami's song had been published in the Children’s Sharing Time Outline for the year 2010. It was listed as the song the children would learn and sing during the month of January! Now her song, literally, would be sung by children “all over the world!”.

Again I repeat, “Great is His wisdom and marvelous are His ways, the extent of His doings none can find out.” Who would have guessed that a woman from Liberty, Utah, my friend, would one day sit down and write a song that would end up being sung by children all over the world?
Tami is now living in Syracuse.


Kari said...

Oh this story has SOOO much meaning to me. I lived in Guam for 2 years with Tami and Lamar. I can not even begin to tell you how much I love her and her family. I feel so blessed to have served with her(them) for so long, but really for such a short amount of time. When she called me this past fall to tell me the news we were screaming together on the phone! At the time I was in the YW program (and loved my calling!) but Heavenly Father knew that this would mean so much more to me. I am now the Primary Chorister in my ward here in Alaska. Everytime I hear the children sing the song, my heart feels so full. How neat it is for me to be so many thousand miles away, and yet this Primary is singing her song too. I truly just feel so blessed to be a part of teaching this song to them. Thank you for your side of the story, it was neat to hear from your perspective.

sjhatch said...

I was so touched by this story. This is my 2nd year as primary chorister, and the 2nd time I've had this calling. I feel so lucky to have this calling because music means so much to me. "I Know That my Savior Loves Me" is such a profound statement, and I love to hear our children sing it. Their energy just blows me over. I'm glad we learned it in January so we can sing it over and over again. We are in the Elk River, MN ward (just over 4 years old) in the newly created St. Cloud, MN stake (less than one year old). I am forever grateful to those who create the music that I often feel in my heart. The gospel will be a part of our children's lives as we teach them the primary songs!

Jillinda Baldwin Hatch

Lisa Warnes said...

Thank you for adding to the post. It's fun to hear just where Tami's song is being sung!

Lisa Warnes said...

Thank you for the kind comments. I appreciate hearing that in MN the children and singing and loving the song!

Tami said...

Thanks so much for writing this up! I just found it today and it's what I needed. You are awesome! I'll forever be grateful to you for putting me up to the task. I love ya!!
P.S. Another one of my Primary songs "I Will Go And Do" just won first place in the Church competition this year!! Who knows, maybe it will go somewhere too! Thanks.

Victoria ObSEUSSed said...

I'm searching for song tips tonight and came across this post. I love hearing the story behind how songs were created, especially this one. I was the Primary Chorister in 2010 and loved that we got to sing this song. It has truly become my favorite and helps me feel the spirit of the Savior's love for children each time we sing it. I also sing it as a lullaby to my own children. I'm so glad Tami shared it so children all over the world may be blessed by it's message and feeling. I know it will be around for many generations as you mentioned.