Primary children around the world paid tribute to Elder L. Tom Perry by singing “Families Can be Together Forever” in their local congregations on Sunday June 7, 2015.
Jenny McKinney, a niece of Elder Perry and a primary chorister in her ward, originally came up with an idea to collect stories about Perry from her friends and compile a book to give to her family members. The idea evolved when she read a post on the LDS Primary Choristers’ Facebook page by Cindy Spratling who wrote,
Looking for a simple and sweet way to address and honor Elder L Tom Perry? I just listened to his talk from April conference. About marriage and family. In it he says “imagine children all over the world… Singing Families Can be Together Forever… From the bottom of their lungs with enthusiasm!” Tomorrow I’m going to tell that simple statement from his talk and we’ll sing the song, just as he says. And that’s it! Three minutes of sweet, powerful truths taught by one of our beloved apostles!
McKinney told LDS.net about the ripple effect that followed the Facebook post. “One by one, choristers chimed in and said they would do the same thing. They loved the idea of paying tribute to someone that was so well loved and honorable,” McKinney said.
By the end of the evening we had over 500 wards saying they would be participating in the tribute, my heart burst with joy!
The following are statistics (number of wards) of those who participated in the “Sing for Elder Perry Tribute”:
- Africa: Nigeria (1), South Africa (2)
- Asia: Japan (2), Russia (1),Thailand (1)
- Australia: (8)
- Europe: England (4), Germany (2), Italy (1), Scotland (1), Ukraine (1)
- Canada: (15 wards in 5 provinces)
- Guatemala (2), Mexico (1)
- United States: 47 states (980 wards)
- South America: Brazil (1)
- South Pacific: Fiji (1), New Zealand (2), Guam (1)
- Total Countries Worldwide: 20
- Total Continents: 6
- Total Wards that paid tribute: more than 1029
McKinney was touched by the participation, support and love that Church members around the world shared for her “Uncle Tom.” “I had a special feeling that my Uncle Tom knew what we were doing,” McKinney said. “It was a sweet feeling that he approved of our efforts.”
Below is a video of one ward paying tribute to Perry by singing and signing “Families Can be Together Forever.”