by Tami J. Creamer and Renée W. Packer
Every song has a story of its inspiration and purpose. Most of us may never know the stories behind the beautiful songs of our church, but when we do, or are a part of that story, it needs to be shared. "Daughters in His Kingdom" is such a song!
In September 2011, Renée Packer, Stake Relief Society President in the Layton Utah South Stake, was visiting with her ward Relief Society President Raegene Weston, who voiced her concern that some of the young women entering into adulthood had a challenging time accepting that they were now going to be a Relief Society sister. Sister Weston said that lessons and songs were taught in Primary to help boys prepare for the priesthood, but she couldn't think of any songs or lessons that would help the girls look forward to Relief Society.
Renée, who also volunteers in the Relief Society Building resource room in Salt Lake City, discussed this issue with Sister Denise Doxey of the General Relief Society board, and proposed the idea of asking someone to write a song that would help the sisters of the church, from Primary age on up, to have a greater understanding of their purpose and potential as faithful women and daughters of God. Sister Doxey told Renée to go ahead with the idea and suggested the title as it stands today.
In October 2011, after much prayer, Renée felt impressed to call her friend Tami Creamer, who composed “I Know That My Savior Loves Me,” to ask her to write a new song joining the voices of Primary girls, Young Women, and Relief Society sisters. Tami had long ago envisioned composing a song with the same purpose. They both knew that they must go forward with faith.
Renée encouraged Tami to read the new Relief Society book Daughters in My Kingdom to gain inspiration for writing the song. Tami says, “Over the next few months, things began to evolve. I felt very humbled and unprepared to take on this task but also very blessed to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands. As I accepted Renée’s challenge to read Daughters in My Kingdom, I found myself learning more about sisters who had gone before and who had made lasting contributions to building up the Kingdom. This too became my desire.”
After a challenging and trying time in Tami’s life, making it difficult to begin the process of song writing, Renée called. She mentioned that her stake would like to sing the song at a special all-women's fireside for sisters ages 8 and up in May 2012. The pressure was on.
Within a few days of this phone call, Tami became ill with bronchitis, which she actually found was a blessing in disguise. She said, “As I had time to study, ponder, and pray, the Lord blessed me with many tender mercies, and the words just flowed. I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I felt that once the words were established, the rest would be easy, since I consider myself to be more of a composer than a lyricist. That didn’t prove to be the case!
"As I attempted to write the music, I was hit with several road blocks. During one of these road blocks, Renée shared with me a fitting scripture in Colossians 3:16 which reads, 'Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.' This helped tremendously, and after I was feeling discouraged, the Lord opened the heavens and poured out His blessings in the form of the music for this song. I definitely had help from beyond the veil. It was one of the most amazing tender mercies I’ve had in my life.”
Tami finished the song on March 15, 2012, and called her stake Relief Society president in the Syracuse Utah Stake to let her know she had just finished a song that would go along perfectly with the theme of their stake women’s conference, which was “Daughters in My Kingdom.” In only two days she quickly put together a small choir, and on March 17, 2012, the 170th anniversary of the Relief Society, “Daughters in His Kingdom” was first performed with a small choir of Primary girls, Young Women, and Relief Society sisters.
A recording of the song was produced for rehearsal and sharing. Then on Sunday, May 20, 2012, Renée’s stake held their fireside for all sisters, ages 8 and up, with over 600 in attendance. The purpose of this meeting was to help each understand her role as a noble daughter of God, and to also help the younger women look forward to becoming Relief Society sisters. A choir of 40 sang “Daughters in His Kingdom,” accompanied with piano, strings and flute. It was a powerful testimony of our Heavenly Father’s love for each of us.
Since the inception of this song, it has been shared with thousands in numerous meetings, won an award in the Church music competition, and even been sung on a little island in French Polynesia. On March 29, 2014, it will be performed by a choir of over 350 sisters in the Salt Lake Conference Center in the very first General Women’s Meeting for sisters ages 8 and up. Women all over the world will be able to hear this song and feel of its compelling spirit.
Renee and Tami noted, “How grateful we have been to be a part of this wonderful work and to have been given so many tender mercies throughout this process. To this we testify: that the Lord lives and loves us and honors all women as His daughters.”