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Primary general presidency: Preparing our children for a lifetime of covenant keeping


President Russell M. Nelson has taught: “Now, to each member of the Church I say, keep on the covenant path. Your commitment to follow the Savior by making covenants with Him and then keeping those covenants will open the door to every spiritual blessing and privilege available to men, women and children everywhere. … Our Father in Heaven cherishes His children, and He wants each of us to return home to Him. This is a grand goal of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — to help each of us to come back home” (President Nelson, “As We Go Forward Together,” Liahona, April 2018).

The Primary general presidency: President Camille N. Johnson, center; Sister Susan H. Porter, first counselor, left; and Sister Amy A. Wright, second counselor.

The Primary general presidency is President Camille N. Johnson, center; Sister Susan H. Porter, first counselor, left; and Sister Amy A. Wright, second counselor.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

With that reminder of the importance of helping children make and keep covenants, we are delighted to let you know of a recent change to the General Handbook, particularly in relation to the counselors in a ward Primary presidency. Section 12.3.2 now states, in part:

“The Primary presidency helps parents prepare children to enter and progress along the covenant path. This is one of their most important responsibilities.

“To accomplish this, the Primary president may assign a member of the presidency to help parents prepare their children to be baptized and confirmed. The Primary president may assign another presidency member to help parents with temple and priesthood preparation for their children.”

Helping children enter, progress and stay on the covenant path is one of a parent’s most important responsibilities. It is also a key focus of how ward Primaries can support parents. When we help children prepare for baptism and confirmation or for priesthood ordination and temple service, we are helping them prepare for more than an event. We are teaching them to understand priesthood power and blessings for boys and girls, and we are preparing them for a lifetime of covenant keeping, service and discipleship. This will require ongoing teaching, love and ministering, one by one.

As Primary presidencies prayerfully ponder how to provide support for parents and their children, we cannot forget Primary teachers and ministering brothers and sisters. They are a valuable resource to parents and their children in preparing children for covenant making and keeping. Everything we do — including singing time, class time, Primary activities and ministering — can help children understand, make and keep sacred covenants with God.

A young man in Madagascar is baptized.

A young man in Madagascar is baptized.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Children and Youth program “points our children to heaven,” as Primary General President Camille N. Johnson has taught. And it “encourages children and youth to involve the Lord in their daily efforts, whether they be spiritual, social, physical or intellectual” (“Supporting Children and Youth: A Broadcast for Parents and Leaders,” June 6, 2021).

As we help children make and keep covenants early in their lives, we are helping them know they are disciples of Christ and how to follow Him. We are helping them draw closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ (see 2 Nephi 25:26).

We hope and trust that our Primary presidencies will apply these changes for their local circumstances as inspired by the Spirit as they counsel together. May we continue to take the necessary steps to help our children make and keep sacred covenants, “to strengthen [their] personal spiritual foundations … [and] built upon the rock of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.” President Nelson has said that is imperative for our day (“The Temple and Your Spiritual Foundation,” October 2021 general conference).

A family walks on the temple grounds.

A family walks on the temple grounds.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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