“We will now hear a song from a Mormon girl from Utah”
In 2004, Collin Allan traveled to the Netherlands with his granddaughter, Arianne, and grandson, Jim, to commemorate the anniversary of Dutch liberation. Allan shared a story from the trip with Liahona Magazine. An excerpt is below:
While there we traveled to Hommersum, just over the border into Germany, to attend a ceremony dedicating a plaque where my brother’s plane had crashed. Father Gerard Thuring, one of the event organizers, and I spoke during the ceremony, after which 17-year-old Arianne sang the U.S. national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and Jim, 15, helped raise the U.S. flag.
Afterward I told Father Thuring that we would like to attend the special liberation Mass the following day at his church in Oosterhaus. He welcomed our interest and invited us to attend. I then summoned the courage to suggest that Arianne, with whom I had consulted earlier, would be willing to sing at the meeting.
Surprised, he asked, “What will she sing?”
“‘I Am a Child of God,’” I told him.
This good and kind man thought for a moment and then said, “We are all children of God. Let’s do it.”
When we arrived for the liberation Mass early the next morning, the church was full. Partway through the program, Father Thuring invited Arianne to come up and sing. After escorting her to the front, he said, “We will now hear a song from a Mormon girl from Utah.”
Without the benefit of music or accompaniment, Arianne began. As her voice echoed from the church’s high ceilings, tears began to flow as parishioners comprehended the hymn’s comforting message.
Naomi W. Randall spent much of her life serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, specifically the children of the Primary. Besides doing other things, she chaired a committee that recommended the beloved CTR ring in 1970. However, her most famous contribution came when she wrote the lyrics to “I Am a Child of God.”