Frequently Asked Questions

This section provides answers to some frequently asked questions. Leaders who have other questions or need other information or direction should study chapter 11 of Handbook 2: Administering the Church (2010) and consult with their local priesthood leaders. The new handbook overrides all previous Primary publications.


Activity Days

Faith in God Program

Do we still hold activity days?

Where practical, the Primary may hold activity days for boys and girls ages 8 through 11. Counsel with your priesthood leader for direction. (See Handbook 2, 11.5.2.)

Do we still have quarterly activity days?

No. The quarterly activity days referred to on page 18 in the Faith in God guidebooks are no longer a part of the program.


What are the changes for Faith in God requirements?

To align the Faith in God program with the new Handbook 2, a few of the requirements have been omitted or revised:

Faith in God for Girls

  • Page 9, bullet 8: Omit (quarterly activities are no longer held).
  • Page 18, paragraph 2: Omit (quarterly activities are no longer held).

Faith in God for Boys

  • Page 9, bullet 7: Read the twelfth article of faith. Discuss what it means to be a good citizen and how your actions can affect others.
  • Page 9, bullet 8: Omit (quarterly activities are no longer held).
  • Page 12, bullet 2: Read D&C 20:57–60 and Fulfilling My Duty to God for Aaronic Priesthood Holders: Your Duty to God, page 7.
  • Page 18, paragraph 2: Omit (quarterly activities are no longer held).

What recognition and awards do children receive for the Faith in God program?

“At least twice a year, a Primary activity day (or a Cub Scout Pack meeting) should include opportunities for the children to share what they have learned and accomplished.

“When all required activities are completed, the Primary president and the bishop or branch president sign the Faith in God Award certificate on the last page of this [Faith in God] guidebook. A member of the bishopric, branch presidency, or Primary presidency recognizes the child’s accomplishment in Primary.

“Parents and leaders should help the children understand that the joy of living the gospel is the most important reward” (Faith in God guidebook [2003], 19).

Who keeps track of the requirements for the Faith in God program?

The children with the help of their parents (see Faith in God for Boys, 19; Faith in God for Girls, 18).

Who oversees the Faith in God program?

The Primary presidency ensures the program is running correctly. Under their direction, a Primary teacher or other worthy adult serves as the activity days leader. (See Faith in God guidebook, 18.)

Can the Faith in God program be completed in one year?

No. Children need to complete two activities in each of the three areas listed in the Faith in God guidebook each year. The Faith in God Award is given after the child turns 11 years old and has completed all the requirements in the Faith in God guidebook. (See Faith in God guidebook, 4–5, 6, 8, 10, 12.)

Can girls have an overnight activity for activity days?

It is not recommended. Counsel with your priesthood leaders for direction. Note that the Church’s Scouting Handbook states, “No Scout-sponsored overnight camping should be planned for boys under age eleven” (p. 4; 1997 edition).

Quarterly Activity Days

Do we still have quarterly activity days?

No. They are no longer part of the program.


Certificate of Advancement

Do we still use the Certificate of Advancement?

Yes. Children advance from Primary when they reach age 12. Leaders may give them a certificate of advancement (see Handbook 2, 11.4.3).

How do I print the Certificate of Advancement?

The certificate is available through the Member and Leader Services (MLS) system, accessible only to specific ward leaders.  Have your ward clerk click on Reports/Forms from the MLS menu bar, and then click Certificates.


Classes and Teachers

When children turn 12 years old, what class should they attend?

The Primary schedule should be arranged so sharing time is held at the same time as Young Women classes and Aaronic Priesthood quorum meetings. During sharing time, new 12-year-olds attend their Aaronic Priesthood quorum meeting or Young Women class.

During Primary class time, new 12-year-olds normally attend their Valiant 11 Primary class until the end of the year. However, the bishop and the presidents of the Primary, Young Men, Young Women, and Sunday School may counsel together to determine if these 12-year-olds would benefit more from attending the Sunday School class for 12- and 13-year-olds. (See Handbook 2, 11.4.3.)

What are the guidelines for a man serving in Primary?

“At least two teachers should be called for each nursery class. If the teachers are not husband and wife, they should be the same gender. Both teachers should be in the class during the entire Primary time” (Primary 1 [2000], ix).

When men are assigned to teach children, at least two responsible adults should be present at all times. The two adults could be two men, a husband and wife, or two members of the same family. In small branches, if it is not practical to have two teachers in a classroom, a member of the Primary presidency frequently visits and monitors each class that a man teaches alone. (See Handbook 2, 11.8.1.)

We have only two girls and one boy in our 11-year-old class. Can we combine them with the 10-year-old class?

Yes, since they are taught from the same lesson manual.

What Primary manuals should we use for the year?

They are listed in “Instructions for Curriculum 2014”. You may obtain a copy from your stake or ward clerk.


Food in Primary

What is the policy for food in Primary?

Counsel with your priesthood leader for direction.


Primary Leadership Meetings

How often do we hold stake Primary leadership meeting?

Once a year (see Handbook 2, 11.3.4 and 18.3.11).

Do we still hold ward Primary leadership meetings?

No.


Outline for Sharing Time

The 2014 Outline for Sharing Time: Families Are Forever is available on LDS.org.

What do we do for sharing time for the fifth Sunday of the month?

“When there is a fifth Sunday, use this time to review previous lessons” (2014 Outline for Sharing Time, inside front cover).

How should we divide up sharing time and singing time?

Fifteen minutes should be for gospel teaching and twenty minutes for teaching music (see 2014 Outline for Sharing Time, 1).

Can we use pictures in the sacrament meeting presentation?

“Visuals, costumes, and media presentations are not appropriate for sacrament meeting” (see 2014 Outline for Sharing Time, 1; see also Handbook 2, 11.5.4).

The outline indicates curriculum for 2014 is either “General Curriculum” or “Basic Curriculum” (2014 Outline for Sharing Time, 1). What is the difference?

Basic curriculum is used where the Church has been recently organized or where general curriculum materials are not available. General curriculum is used where the Church is well established.


Portrayal of Deity

What is the policy on the portrayal of Deity?

God the Father and the Holy Ghost are not to be portrayed in any way. The Savior should not be portrayed by children except in a nativity scene. (See Handbook 2, 11.8.5; see also 13.6.15.)


Priesthood Preview

Do we still hold Priesthood Preview?

Yes. A meeting called Priesthood Preview is held each year for 11-year-old boys and their parents. The purpose of this meeting is to help boys understand the priesthood and strengthen their commitment to prepare to receive it. (See Handbook 2, 11.5.5; see also Faith in God for Boys, 18-19.)


Primary Materials

Can supplemental books and pictures from bookstores and the Internet be used in Primary?

Counsel with your priesthood leader.


Primary Schedule

How has the Primary schedule changed?

Sunday Primary is normally held for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Children in the nursery stay in their nursery class for the entire time. The other children attend two sessions. In one session, children meet together for 50 minutes for sharing time. In the other session, they divide into smaller classes for 40-minute lessons taught by their Primary teachers. The children and teachers who attend sharing time and classes have a 10-minute break between the two sessions. (See Handbook 2, 11.4.1 and 11.4.2.)


Restroom Needs

What is the policy regarding taking children to the restroom?

The nursery manual, Behold Your Little Ones, states: “Take care of your child’s restroom and feeding needs before taking him or her to the nursery class. A child who needs a diaper change will be taken to a parent” (7). Counsel with your priesthood leader for guidelines in taking other children to the restroom.


Scouting

Can a Webelos Cub Scout earn the Arrow of Light Award without an overnight camp?

Yes. The Cub Scout Webelos Handbook states that one of the Arrow of Light Award requirements is to “participate in a Webelos overnight campout or day hike” (64; italics added).

What Is the Cub Scout Leader's Responsibility for the Faith in God Award?

Where Scouting is authorized by the Church, Scout activities take the place of activity days for boys ages 8 through 11 (see Handbook 2,11.5.3). Find ways to combine activities in the Faith in God guidebook with Cub Scout and eleven-year old Scout activities. Many activities fulfill requirements in both programs.

How Does a Boy Earn the Religious Square Knot Patch?

He fulfills the Basic Requirements in the Faith in God for Boys guidebook.

He completes all seven activities marked with the square knot icon in the Faith in God for Boys guidebook. (Note: The second square knot icon on page 9 has been omitted and replaced by the activity immediately preceding it: Read the twelfth article of faith. Discuss what it means to be a good citizen and how your actions can affect others.)

The religious square knot must be earned before a boy turns 11 years old. It is recommended that it be earned in the Bear or Webelos years.

The square knot is usually awarded in a pack meeting.

What are the changes for Faith in God requirements?

To align the Faith in God program with the new Handbook 2, a few of the requirements have been omitted or revised:

Faith in God for Boys

  • Page 9, bullet 7: Read the twelfth article of faith. Discuss what it means to be a good citizen and how your actions can affect others.
  • Page 9, bullet 8: Omit (quarterly activities are no longer held).
  • Page 12, bullet 2: Read D&C 20:57–60 and Fulfilling My Duty to God for Aaronic Priesthood Holders: Your Duty to God, page 7.
  • Page 18, paragraph 2: Omit (quarterly activities are no longer held).

Testimony Meeting in Primary

Can the Primary hold a testimony meeting?

Testimony meetings are discouraged in Primary (see Handbook 2, 11.8.3).