The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Behind The Scenes With Janice Kapp Perry: “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus”

One of the most adored and popular children’s songs in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus.” Written by Janice Kapp Perry, the song was originally to be performed during a regional Primary conference where the theme was "kindness." Once Perry heard the theme, her thoughts turned to the Savior, whose exemplary life was all the inspiration she needed. As she reflected on the theme, she thought, “That song could only be about Jesus, the kindest man that ever walked the face of the earth, and the children need to get to know Him and commit to trying to be like Him.”

Perry recently sat down with us to discuss her beloved songs and the inspiration behind them. After “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus” was performed at the Primary conference, the song was entered into the Church's music contest and was eventually chosen for theChildren’s Songbook of the LDS Church.

Perry also recounts a touching story of the American Fork Developmental School performing the song for their seminary graduation. The students, most of whom had Down syndrome, filed in and hugged and kissed Perry. She was touched by the love she felt from the students and the sincerity of their singing, saying, “If any group is like Jesus, this one is.”  

In the video above, Janice Kapp Perry provides inspiring insight into her children’s classic, “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus.” Below, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square perform the song alongside beautiful footage of the Savior and children doing their best to follow His example.