11.4 Sunday Primary
Sunday Primary is normally held for 1 hour and 40 minutes while adults and youth attend priesthood meetings, Relief Society meeting, Young Women classes, and Sunday School.
Children in the nursery stay in their nursery class for the entire time, as outlined in the nursery manual, Behold Your Little Ones. 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. During this break, they prepare for the next session. Children may use the restroom or get a drink of water. Teachers supervise the children throughout the break.
The following charts show three options for scheduling Sunday Primary. When considering which option to follow, Primary leaders ensure that the older children attend sharing time at the same time as Aaronic Priesthood quorum meetings and Young Women classes. This will allow for a smooth transition for children when they reach age 12.
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.
Sharing time provides opportunities for children to learn the gospel of Jesus Christ and feel the influence of the Holy Ghost. The Primary presidency follows the outline for sharing time, which is sent to the ward each year. Additional copies are available from Church Distribution Services and under “Primary” in the Serving in the Church section of LDS.org.
Members of the presidency take turns conducting sharing time. This time normally includes the following elements:
As shown in the following guidelines, children are normally grouped in Primary classes according to their ages.
Parents, leaders, and teachers encourage older children to bring their personal copies of the scriptures to church where possible.
For information about adapting classes to local needs, see 11.7.
Children may begin attending the nursery class as soon as they reach the age of 18 months. They continue attending nursery until they are eligible to attend the Sunbeam class, as shown in the chart under the next heading.
Children begin attending a new Primary class on the first Sunday of each calendar year. They are normally divided into classes based on their age on January 1, as shown in the following chart.
Children Age 12
Children advance from Primary when they reach age 12. Leaders may give them a certificate of advancement.
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. As these leaders counsel together, they consider the needs of the children and the times of the year when individual children will reach age 12. Their decision applies to all young men and women who reach age 12 that year.