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Nursery cultivates affinity for church

Zac Smith and Sawyer Sarzalejo were at an impasse. Tiny hands clasped over twisted strands of colorful metal wire, the two boys tugged at opposite ends of the same bead maze. Both 2-year-olds wore sweater vests.

Zac's mantra: "Mine."

Sawyer grunted dissent.

Nursery leader Teryl Call ended the disagreement by lifting Sawyer away from the bead maze. Hers was not a peacekeeping mission, though — Call's intent was much more practical than that. She wanted to smell the seat of Sawyer's pants.Before priesthood quorums or Relief Society, before Mutual or even

Primary, there is nursery.

For children born into a Mormon family, nursery represents a first

opportunity for learning gospel principles outside the home.

"It's their first experience in the church away from Mom and Dad," said

Sister Margaret S. Lifferth, first counselor in the Primary general

presidency. "When they go to nursery we hope that they'll feel the love of

their leaders, be taught some of the very basic principles of the gospel,

and start to feel the Spirit."See the full story on

This story is provided by the LDS Church News, an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is produced weekly by the Deseret News.