Latter-day Saint Life

What Happened After a BYU Student Sang "I Am a Child of God" to Mother Teresa


Before bidding farewell to a group of Brigham Young University students, Mother Teresa asked her visitors from distant Provo, Utah, a final question:

“Would you like to sing to Jesus?”

It was the winter of 1986 in Calcutta, India, — and Taunalyn Rutherford and her fellow BYU Young Ambassadors had spent several hours, unexpectedly, with the venerated Catholic nun visiting orphanages and end-of-life care facilities.

Now, in an exchange of services of sorts, Mother Teresa was asking the students to sing for the Lord.

“We went up to her sanctuary and sang 'I Am A Child of God,' said Rutherford. It seemed an obvious choice for that moment, that setting and that unique audience.

Witnessing a Nobel Peace Prize recipient minister to some of India’s most helpless people proved career defining for the BYU dance major.

Story by Jason Swenson, lead image courtesy of Taunalyn Rutherford

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