What Primary is and Who it is For:
The Purpose of the Primary Program:
Where and When Primary Meets:
Instructions and Training for Primary:
Administrators of Primary:
- Ward Bishopric
- Stake Primary Leaders
- Stake Priesthood Leaders
Other Programs That Exist Inside Primary:
- Nursery: For children ages 18 months to 2 years old.
- Activity Days/Faith in God: For girls’ ages 8-11 years old.
- Scouting/Faith in God: For boys’ ages 8-11 years old.
Callings it Includes:
- Primary President
- Counselors to the President (usually 2)
- Primary Secretary
- Primary Teacher(s)
- Music Leader(s)
- Nursery Leader(s)
- Activity Days Leader(s)
- Scouting Leader(s)
Resources Primary Uses:
Brief History of the Program:
Primary began in 1878 in Utah amongst individual congregations. As the practice spread, the Church took more centralized control, eventually offering training, guidelines, manuals and other instruction.
Until 1980, Primary was held during the weekdays. When meetings were consolidated in the three hour Sunday block, Junior Sunday School was discontinued and Primary was given responsibility for all gospel instruction.
Overview of Primary:
Sunday Primary meetings follow one of three agendas.
- Option 1: The younger children and older children meet for sharing time in two different groups. During the first 50 minutes, one group meets for sharing time while the other group divides into classes for 40 minutes and has a 10-minute break. Then the two groups switch places, with the first group taking a 10-minute break before their classes begin.
- Option 2: All the children meet together for sharing time first. Then they have a break and go to their classes.
- Option 3: All the children go to their classes first. Then they have a break and meet together for sharing time.
During sharing time, there is prayer, music and gospel instruction. Primary leaders follow the annual Outline for Sharing Time developed by Church headquarters. This includes the year’s theme, music, art and other instructions on what leaders should present to the children.
Children are assigned a class, based on their age. Lesson manuals for each age are provided by the Church.
Faith in God for Girls and Faith in God for Boys allow children to achieve gospel goals, and increase their gospel knowledge, through an individualized achievement program. These achievements are attained at home and through Activity Days for Girls and Scouting events for boys, usually held no more than twice per month.
Scouting in Primary is dually administered by local leaders and those empowered by the Boy Scouts of America, where the Scouting program exists. The Church does not authorize the Tiger program in the United States or the Beaver program in Canada.
Every year the Primary is responsible for the Children’s Sacrament Meeting Presentation on one Sunday, usually during the last half of the year, using a guide provided by the Church. Children sing songs and present gospel concepts they have learned.
Every year a Priesthood Preview meeting is held for 11 year old boys and their parents. This helps them transition into the Priesthood and a priesthood quorum when they turn 12.