Primary general presidency: Children contributing in and ministering to one another in Primary

Each week in Primary is a sacred opportunity to invite Jesus Christ’s youngest disciples to ‘see,’ ‘feel’ and ‘know’ Him for themselves

In 3 Nephi 11, we learn about our Savior, Jesus Christ’s appearance to the Nephites gathered around the temple in Bountiful. After testifying of His divinity, the Savior straightaway invited the people one by one, including children, to “arise and come forth” so that they could have a very intimate and personal experience with Him (verse 14). 

This experience ultimately allowed them to “hear,” “see,” “feel” and “know” the Savior for themselves, after which the people did “bear record” of Jesus Christ (verse 15). 

As we consider children being gathered in Primaries around the world each week, we have a sacred opportunity to follow the Savior’s pattern that invites Jesus Christ’s youngest disciples to “see,” “feel” and “know” Him for themselves. 

The Primary general presidency: President Susan H. Porter, center, Sister Amy A. Wright, first counselor, left, and Sister Tracy Y. Browning, second counselor, right. | Drake Busath, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

As parents, leaders and teachers minister to and teach children the gospel — inviting children to, in various ways, “bear record” of the Savior — their faith will be strengthened in Him, and they will be better prepared to make and keep covenants made with Him. 

One Sunday, when his Primary pianist unexpectedly wasn’t able to attend singing time, 10-year-old Benji offered to play the piano in her place. While the music leader taught the children some sign language for “I Am a Child of God,” Benji would sit and participate with the children. And then when it was time to sing with the music, he returned to the piano bench to accompany them.

Benji’s prompting to lovingly serve his Primary pianist and his Primary class allowed him to bear record that “we are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth” (President Thomas S. Monson, “What Have I Done for Someone Today?” October 2009 general conference).

In another ward, a Primary member with cerebral palsy loves the music in singing time. While she isn’t able to participate in most activities or sing the words like the other children, she enjoys participating. With each song, the music leader invites one child to sing with her and hold up an object for her to help her participate in a personalized way. This inspired invitation from a Primary leader allowed each child to bear record beautifully of how to minister in the Savior’s way — one by one.

A painting of Jesus Christ with the Nephites as they feel His hands
Christ in the Land Bountiful, by Simon Dewey | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint

Inviting children to be ‘doers of the word’

These experiences are just a few examples of how we see children bearing record of the Savior in their Primary each week. In addition to having children participate during the first five minutes of singing time, you can consider these other ideas of how to invite children to be “doers of the word” (James 1:22):

  • Children bearing testimony or sharing scripture stories with one another in singing time or in classes.
  • Children sharing a “Children’s Songbook” during singing time with a visitor who doesn’t know the words to the songs.
  • Children fulfilling small assignments in planning or carrying out Primary activities.
  • Children inviting their friends to “come and see” (John 1:39) on Sundays or Primary activities.
  • Children preparing to share a story with the other children during class.
  • Children and their families taking handouts to other children who weren’t at church.

What baptized children can do

When children are baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, they are also confirmed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  As Primary presidencies have prayerfully considered what they might consider what baptized children can do, they have shared with us examples: 

  • Older children ministering to younger children by helping them learn the words to a song or helping them learn how to sit still.
  • Children greeting other Primary members at the door when they walk into the room.
  • Children who were recently baptized sharing what they felt about their baptism, and how they are trying to keep their covenants to help the younger children prepare for their own baptism.
  • Children from the oldest Primary classes accompanying Primary presidency members in taking birthday treats to the other children.

As baptized children minister and contribute in Primary singing time, class time and activities, they are helping to fulfill their baptismal covenant and to actively participate as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And children who are not yet baptized are preparing to fulfill that covenant by practicing at younger ages and ministering in meaningful ways. 

Children raise their hands and participate in Primary.
Children participate in Primary. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Children have long been a resource for the Lord to accomplish His work (see, for instance, Mormon 1:2), and we can invite them to do the same in our Primaries. Doing so allows them to enhance their ability to “hear,” “see,” “feel” and “know” the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for themselves and for others as they serve for Them. Doing so can provide early opportunities for them to seek and act on inspiration to know how to minister or fulfill assignments. We can create opportunities for them to feel belonging in the Lord’s Church as they prepare to make and then keep sacred covenants with Him.

We invite you to prayerfully consider ways that you might engage children in helping them contribute and minister in meaningful ways during Primary singing time, classes and activities. 

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