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Primary Is First

Primary means "1. first or highest in rank or importance; chief; principal; 2. first in order in any series, sequence, etc; 3. first in time; earliest; primitive." When we think of the Church Primary program, we think it so named because of definitions 2 and 3. But I believe the first definition is most accurate of the Primary program.

Primary children, including those in Nursery, are building the foundation of their testimonies now. The experiences they have at church while young will affect their attitude toward church when they are older. The Nursery manual states,
The purpose of the nursery class is to help children learn the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and live it. The nursery class should help the children increase their understanding of and love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, have positive experiences in a Church setting, and grow in feelings of self-worth.
This statement applies to all ages of Primary. The other Primary manuals also share the goals and purpose for their age groups (preparing for baptism for CTR classes and keeping covenants and preparing for Young Men/Women for Valiant classes). Each stage of Primary is a step leading toward the ultimate goal: the temple.

We Primary leaders and teachers must recognize the absolute importance of our callings. We are teaching the future leaders of the Church. We are guiding future priesthood holders, missionaries, teachers, mothers, and fathers. We have so much influence over these children's growth in the gospel and their testimonies. Let us treat our callings as such, especially Nursery leaders. Nursery is not a daycare, but an optional Sunday school to prepare children for Primary. Once we truly understand the purpose of Primary, we will be able to magnify our callings.

Challenge: Be a better Primary teacher or leader by loving and praying for your children. If you are a parent, support and appreciate the people involved with your children. If you are not associated with Primary in any way, do not belittle those who are.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Mom and I are both grateful for the primary service we just were released from- we went to 3 baptisms in the last two Saturdays for kids of our class. -DAD
Anonymous said…
I substituted in our former class on Sunday. I still miss the children and primary.
Mom

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