Handbook 2:
Administering the Church


11.8 Additional Guidelines and Policies


Men Serving in Primary

When considering members who might serve in the Primary, the bishopric and the Primary presidency should remember the positive influence of worthy men in the ward. Children, especially those who do not have worthy priesthood holders in their homes, need to see examples of righteous, caring priesthood holders. Men may serve as teachers, music leaders, pianists, activity days leaders, and Scout leaders. They may also assist in the nursery. See also 11.8.8.


Baptismal Services for Eight-Year-Old Children of Record

See 20.3.4.


Testimony Bearing in Primary

Parents, Primary leaders, and teachers bear simple and direct testimony when they teach, helping children learn what a testimony is and how to express a testimony.

Testimony meetings are discouraged in Primary. However, parents, Primary leaders, and teachers may provide other opportunities for testimony bearing. For example, children may share their testimonies when they give lessons in family home evening and when they give talks in sharing time. Such opportunities help children prepare to share their testimonies in fast and testimony meeting when they are old enough to do so without assistance from a parent, sibling, or other person.


Encouraging Reverence

Reverence is an expression of love and respect for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Primary leaders and teachers help children understand what reverence is and how to act reverently. They encourage reverence by personal example. They also encourage reverence by coming to church prepared to teach from the scriptures and to use visuals and learning activities that invite the influence of the Holy Ghost.


Portrayals of Deity in Role-Playing Activities

Leaders and teachers carefully maintain reverence when they choose to conduct role-playing activities, especially when people dramatize sacred events. 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. For additional guidelines, see 13.6.15.


Children Who Have Special Needs

When a child has a prolonged illness, a disability, or other special needs, Primary leaders consult with priesthood leaders and the child’s parents to determine ways to help.

Children who have disabilities are normally included in their regular Primary classes. As needed, and where possible, a special teacher may be called to attend class with them or to teach them separately. If an illness or disability requires that a child stay at home, Primary teachers may help members of the child’s family teach Primary lessons to him or her. The child is enrolled in Primary with his or her age-group, and the teacher marks the child present when a lesson is given.

Children with disabilities or other special needs normally advance from Primary when they reach age 12.

For information about understanding, including, and teaching children who have disabilities, see 21.1.26 and disabilities.lds.org.



Activities for all aspects of Primary—including nursery, activity days, and Scouting—are funded from the ward budget. Supplies that are purchased for Primary activities, classes, or meetings belong to the ward. They are not for the personal use of Primary workers or their family members.

If the ward budget does not have sufficient funds to pay for an annual day camp or similar activity for children ages 8 through 11, leaders may ask participants to pay for part or all of it. In no case should the expenses or travel for an annual day camp or similar activity be excessive. Nor should the lack of personal funds prohibit a member from participating.

Church funds may not be used to purchase uniforms for individuals.

For more information about funding for activities, see 13.2.8.


Two Responsible Adults

When adults are teaching children or youth in Church settings, at least two responsible adults should be present at all times. The two adults could be two men, two women, or a married couple. Where it may not be practical to have at least two adults in a classroom, leaders should consider combining classes.