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The Whole Year Through: Gaynotes, 1959-1968

By: Ardis E. Parshall - October 14, 2009

The name for the Primary class for 9-year-old girls, from 1959 to 1968 was – you know it – “Gaynotes.” As with all Primary classes in those pre-Correlation days, the class plan included far more than a lesson manual.There were class officers, class songs, class parties, the first year awards for the wonderful bandlo, a New Testament printed especially for this class, red pencils for scripture marking, and a sense that the girls were growing up, entering, as they were, their first girls’-only church class, maturing, as they thought, from mere childhood when they had mingled with the little boys.

This post outlines the lessons for the Gaynote year, together with some of the frills that made Primary so much fun.

The Gaynote Code

“I will bring the light of the gospel into my home by greeting the day with a song.”

The Bandlo

Home emblem: Awarded for learning three ways in which a girl can bring the light of the gospel into her home.

Note emblem: Class symbol, awarded after a girl practices for one week being cheerful in the home.

1-4: Awarded for memorizing the first four Articles of Faith.

Jewels:
Under the home emblem, for memorizing the names of the books of the New Testament.
Diagonal line, right side: Awarded for memorizing at least 12 assigned verses from the New Testament.
Diagonal line, left side: Awarded for attending three out of four Primary classes each month.
On note emblem: Awarded for attending Primary at least 43 times during the year.
In window of home: Awarded for completing cross-stitch summer project.

Praying girl: The round circle on the drawing designates the placement of a picture of a girl praying set under glass, awarded for opening or closing a class meeting with prayer, using prayer language.

Class Officers

Hostess: Leads girls to classroom; calls class to order; watches prayer chart to see that each girl has equal turns to pray; leads class in repeating the code; helps clean up room after class; assists teacher as requested.

Co-hostess: Takes the place of the absent hostess; keeps roll under teacher’s supervision; telephones or mails cards, or visits, girls who are absent; runs errands for teacher; helps to clean up the room after class.

LESSON SCHEDULE

1. Let’s Get Acquainted

Purpose: To help the girls become acquainted with the plans for the year.

2. The Gaynote Code

Purpose: to inspire the girls to bring the light of the gospel into their homes.

3. The Gaynote Emblem

Purpose: To help the girls to be Gaynotes.

4. The New Testament

Purpose: To give the girls a desire to know and love the New Testament.

5. Prayer

Purpose: To teach the girls how to open and close a meeting with prayer.

6. Our Articles of Faith

Purpose: To give the girls a desire to study the Articles of Faith.

7. Framing the Articles of Faith Card

Purpose: To inspire the girls to memorize the Articles of Faith.

8. A Gay Day with Gay Notes

Purpose: To teach the girls that in singing we get a feeling from the music and a message from the words.

9. Planning the Parent Demonstration

Purpose: To plan a demonstration that will acquaint parents with the Gaynote program.

10. Preparing the Parent Demonstration

Purpose: To prepare the parent demonstration.

11. First Article of Faith – God, the Father

Purpose: To teach the girls that God, the Eternal Father, is a personal God.

12. First Article of Faith – Jesus Christ

Purpose: To teach that Jesus is a God, the Son of our Eternal Father.

13. Preparing the Christmas Gift

Purpose: To help the girls plan and prepare their family Christmas gift.

14. Presenting the Christmas Gift

Purpose: To inspire the girls to share a priceless gift with their families.

15. Primary Christmas Party, or A Christmas Kindness

(To be either a whole-Primary party, or letters written by the girls to the bishopric, Primary presidency, or others in the ward.)

16. First Article of Faith – Godhead

Purpose: To help the girls to understand that the Godhead is made up of three separate Personages.

17. Preparing for the Daddy Date

Purpose: To create interest in and prepare for the Daddy-date party.

18. Prayer Language

Purpose: To teach the girls to use correct language when they pray.

19. Second Article of Faith – Free Agency

Purpose: To help each girl to know that our Heavenly Father gave us free agency – the right to choose.

20. Second Article of Faith – Punishment for Sins

Purpose: To teach each girl that she will be punished for her own wrong-doings.

21. Second Article of Faith – Adam’s Transgression

Purpose: To teach the girls that they are here on earth to prove whether they will follow Jesus and resist Satan.

22. Third Article of Faith – Atonement

Purpose: To show the girls that because Christ loved us enough to die for us, we will all be resurrected.

23. Third Article of Faith – Obedience

Purpose: To teach the girls that to live with heavenly Father they must obey the laws and ordinances of the gospel.

24. A Gay Day with Games

Purpose: To share a happy experience in [scripture] memorization.

25. Easter

Purpose: To help the girls to realize the true significance of the Easter story.

26. Fourth Article of Faith – Faith

Purpose: To teach the girls that if they have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, they will receive great blessings from God.

27. Fourth Article of Faith – Repentance

Purpose: to help the girls to know they must repent and be forgiven to enter the kingdom of God.

Fourth Article of Faith – Baptism

Purpose: To teach the girls that baptism by immersion is necessary for everyone to live again with Heavenly Father.

29. Fourth Article of Faith – Gift of the Holy Ghost

Purpose: To help the girls to understand that through the gift of the Holy Ghost they can again live with Heavenly Father.

30-31. Primary Sunday Service Practice

32. Love at Home

Purpose: To help each girl to know that by being a good Gaynote she will bring the light of the gospel into her home.

33. Pray with Faith

Purpose: To make prayer more meaningful in the life of each girl.

34. Gay Day Inventory

Purpose: To take inventory in order to give girls an opportunity to achieve and receive awards on their bandlos.

35. Summer Secrets

Purpose: To create interest in the summer lessons and activity.

36. The Gaynote Sampler

Purpose: To create interest in the Gaynote Sampler [the summer cross-stitch project].

37. Dress Up Your Manners

Purpose: To teach girls good manners to be used especially at the Home Builder Holiday.

38. Stitch and Make Invitations

Purpose: To make invitations for the Home Builder Holiday and to work on samplers.

39. Early-Morning Breakfast Gay Day

Purpose: To share the thrill of an early morning meal together.

40. Stitch and Dance Gay Day

Purpose: To continue our handiwork and to have a gay time learning a dance.

41. Stitch and Dance Gay Day

Purpose: To finish embroidering the sampler and to share a period of dancing together.

42. A Gay Day in the Kitchen

Purpose: To help the girls learn to enjoy preparing food.

43. Completing the Sampler

Purpose: To help the girls complete their samplers.

44. Review and Practice

Purpose: To check graduation requirements and awards earned. To practice for the Home Builder Holiday.

45. Final Preparation and Practice

Purpose: To make final preparation for the Home Builder Holiday.

Home Builder Holiday: A party with the girls, teachers, and mothers, advancing the Gaynotes to their next Primary class, and welcoming a new class of younger girls into the Homebuilder program.

Gaynote Class Song

My Code

The first thing in the morning and all day long
I shall be a Gaynote and sing a happy song;
I shall greet the new day and all it brings
With a cheerful face and a heart that sings.

Scripture Verses to Be Memorized by Gaynotes:

James 1:5: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Matthew 18:20: For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

John 7:17: If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

I Corinthians 8:6: But to us there is but one God, the Father …

Luke 2:10-11: … Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

I John 5:7: For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Matthew 6:9:13: … Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Colossians 2:6: As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.

Galatians 6:7: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

II Corinthians 5:10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

I Corinthians 15:22: For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Matthew 7:21: Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Luke 17:4: And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turns again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

Matthew 3:16: And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.

John 3:5: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Ephesians 6:1: Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

I John 5:14: And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.

Books of the New Testament (memorization aid, sung to tune of “Praise to the Man”)

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, the Acts and the Romans,
First and Second Corinthians,
Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians,
First and Second Thessalonians.

(Chorus:) Timothy, Timothy, Titus, Philemon,
To the Hebrews, Epistle of James,
Peter, Peter, John, John, John, Jude, Revelation,
These are the Books of the New Testament.



41 Comments »

  1. Ah, what memories this stirs! Even before I got all the way down to the “Gaynote Song” I had that tune running through my head–must have been your title “The Whole Year Through” that triggered my memory of “all day long.” Of course, I also remember the teasing which my brother and I aimed at our older sisters as they failed to be “gaynotes” through the end of breakfast, much less all day long. We got pretty good at singing the first line, at least, when one of the girls was having a crabby day.

    Comment by Mark B. — October 14, 2009 @ 6:38 am

  2. Wonderful. I wonder if we don’t ask enough of the children these days. I wish I had a program like this in the early 90’s.

    Comment by kew — October 14, 2009 @ 7:59 am

  3. Ok, just to clarify for those of us who joined the church latter, Primary used to be segregated by gender?

    Comment by Matt W. — October 14, 2009 @ 8:51 am

  4. How interesting. Just yesterday I was having a discussion with a colleague a propos to this. We were talking about the effect of how the Church “downsized” during the 1970s (correlation, as well as the consolidated meeting schedule), but while maintaining the Boy Scout program for the boys (and of course within the all-male priesthood structure), the effect was to leave the young women and young girls a little “out in the cold.”

    We talked about how we were pleased to see the advent of the newer Activity Days program in Primary to hopefully fill in the vacuum a bit. That and a beefed-up Personal Progress program, too.

    Thanks for this timely post.

    Comment by Hunter — October 14, 2009 @ 8:57 am

  5. Matt, the last three years of Primary were segregated — the girls were in the Lihoma (“LIttle HOmeMAker”) program, and the boys were in the Trekker Trail Builder program. (Younger than that, boys and girls were in the same classes.)

    Without wanting to spark a battle over gender in the church, my personal opinion after reading the manuals for both groups, is that the boys’ program was very much aimed toward preparing the boys to receive the priesthood at age 12; the girls’ program didn’t have quite such a fixed, immediate goal, but did respond to [stereo]typically girlish aspirations and behaviors.

    [Edited from “Trekker” to “Trail Builder” after seeing Curt’s comment below. Of course he’s right — momentary brain cramp on my part.]

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 14, 2009 @ 9:03 am

  6. Ardis, you are right about the boys’ program being a preparation for becoming a deacon. The program was called “Trail Builders” with Blazers, Trekkers and Guides for 9, 10 and 11 year-olds, respectively. This is from a recollection of seventy years ago but it doesn’t seem that long. I remember being scared that I would pass the sacrament and being clumsy I would maybe drop the tray with all the little glass cups scattering on the floor.

    Comment by Curt A. — October 14, 2009 @ 9:40 am

  7. Thanks Ardis- this is really interesting. Someone should do a big book with color photos on the evolution of church programs. I’d buy at least two copies.

    Comment by Matt W. — October 14, 2009 @ 9:51 am

  8. dear oh dear how has our language changed. I actually tittered when I read the title.

    Comment by JonW — October 14, 2009 @ 10:11 am

  9. And I giggled when I saw your “tittered.”

    Thanks for getting that out in the open, JonW — it was something that needed to be acknowledged, but now we can move on.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 14, 2009 @ 10:17 am

  10. The other thing that the last two boys’ classes focused on was scouting. The ten year old boys in the Trekkers spent time learning the knots, and the scout oath, law, motto and slogan so they would be ready to become Tenderfoot scouts when they turned 11. And the Guide Patrol (its name by the mid-1960s) had activities to complete the 2nd class scout requirements by the time a boy turned 12 and left the Primary.

    There were some interesting consequences: the women who taught the Trekkers had to learn the knots (square knot, sheet bend, two half hitches, clove hitch–I think those were all) so they could teach them to the boys. But the women teachers in the Guide Patrol had a male assistant (when I was 11, the assistant was a 18-year-old college student) who accompanied us on some of the outdoor activities.

    Comment by Mark B. — October 14, 2009 @ 10:24 am

  11. Before the Gaynotes class, the counterpart to the Trail Builders was the Home Builders, with Larks, Bluebirds, and Seagulls. I still have my books for those years, as well as my Home Builders bandlo. My husband has his Trail Builders bandlo. I was talking about this just last week with my cousin, who remarked that she was in one of the first Gaynotes class.

    Comment by Maurine — October 14, 2009 @ 11:51 am

  12. Dweeb that I am, I liked the bandlo and all the projects to earn jewels and trinkets for it. That stuff stuck with me too; surprisingly, I still remember nearly all of the scriptures I memorized so many years ago.

    On the down side, I absolutely HATED the cross stitch project. I wanted something much more challenging and independently creative. In retaliation, I used the palest pinks I could find to register a kind of invisible protest.

    I’m happy I got to experience the pre-correlation version of Primary and (part of) M.!.A. It left me with a lot of fond memories even though I no longer am a member.

    Are you going to detail the Firelights and the Merrihands? And what about that book idea of Matt W’s? I’d love to see it!

    Comment by Mina — October 14, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

  13. p.s. Just read your earlier entry on the evolution of the bandlo (and for the record, we pronounced it with three syllables in Holladay, too).

    What a delight your blog is!

    Comment by Mina — October 14, 2009 @ 2:47 pm

  14. Mina, :)

    If I live long enough, I hope to cover all the Primary and Mutual groups from way back to near present. I don’t know whether it would amount to a book, but we’ll have fun along the way.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 14, 2009 @ 3:52 pm

  15. 10.
    Mark B. — ah, yes, the Guide Patrol. Good memories there. I recall Sister Ostler holding Rand C. upside down by the ankles to shake out the weekly scout dues he had in his pocket but wouldn’t fork over.

    Comment by manaen — October 14, 2009 @ 4:03 pm

  16. After visiting the bandlo post, I finally–after 20 years–understand why my mother insisted on referring to my BSA merit badge sash as a “band-a-low” (as she pronounced it). Yet another gem of enlightenment I’ve learned from this blog. Thanks Ardis!

    Comment by Clark — October 14, 2009 @ 5:12 pm

  17. Didn’t the cross stitch project read: “I will bring the light of the gospel into my home”?

    Mina’s crabbing about it must have spurred my memory.

    That too, hung in some conspicuous place on the wall, provided additional fodder for little brothers to harass big sisters. :-)

    Comment by Mark B. — October 14, 2009 @ 7:56 pm

  18. Ardis:

    Book.

    ..bruce..

    Comment by bfwebster — October 15, 2009 @ 11:00 am

  19. Three syllables in Downey, California. Where did that word come from? I never realized that it’s spelled without a middle “a”.

    Memories of the smell of melted plastic in the wardhouse kitchen when the primary teachers were affixing new little dodads to the, ahem, bandlos, using a butterknife heated on the stove.

    Comment by S. Taylor — October 16, 2009 @ 12:15 am

  20. I’ll on record for at least 2 copies of whatever book Ardis writes…

    Comment by queuno — October 16, 2009 @ 6:15 pm

  21. Help! I have been going crazy trying to remember the entire theme for Gaynotes, Firelights and Merrihands – part of the Primary program in the late 50’s and 60’s. I have the cross-stitched sampler on my family room wall – a dear reminder of three of the most wonderful years in my life, with teachers I shall always cherish and admire.

    Although the sampler reads: “I will bring the light of the Gospel into my home,” I seem to remember two more phrases – one of which I cannot (or anyone else) remember. Here is my recollection with the missing phrase:

    “I will bring the light of the Gospel into my home by………………………., and greeting the day with a song.”

    Does anyone recall the missing phrase, or am I simply remembering it incorrectly? Please let me know if you recall. This is driving me nuts!

    Jane

    Comment by Jane Taylor — August 22, 2010 @ 7:26 pm

  22. Jane, the complete Lihoma motto was: “I will bring the light of the Gospel into my home by greeting the day with a song, by giving joy to others, and by serving gladly.” (Each of the last three phrases was associated with one particular year — Gaynotes, Firelights, or Merrihands.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 23, 2010 @ 11:10 am

  23. I wonder if the pattern for the Gaynote code stitchery is available anywhere?

    Comment by Heidi — January 9, 2012 @ 11:31 pm

  24. Heidi, I don’t think you could find an actual pattern anywhere, because the linen came prestamped for embroidery (not like today’s usual counted cross stitch).

    However, I might be able to find a picture or at least a sketch that you would show you the lettering style and the placement of the words that would enable you to duplicate it. I’ll put that on my to-do list.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — January 10, 2012 @ 7:37 am

  25. Thank you for the information on the complete Lihoma code. I was a Merrihand teacher for several years and taught my girls to crochet. The Lihoma program was so special.

    Comment by Ruby Denton — March 5, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

  26. Our cross-stich was a little more crude. We didn’t have pre-stamped ones. We had to figure it out. Some were probably more interesting than others. I still have mine, I have a gramddaughter being baptized this month, I think I am going to give it to here along with the whole “motto”. I have had this hanging on my wall for all of the years since I made it. It has done a lot of moving. I hope she takes care of it, I know I am going to miss it.

    Comment by Carla Eidemiller — March 5, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

  27. I still have my ban-da-low though not much left on it due to me lending it to someone years ago and their kids pulling most of my hard earned and loved awards off.I also have my x stitch too.I loved the old Primary and though different love still to teach….. in Primary off and on now for about 43 years.

    Comment by Mary-Anne Bell — December 30, 2012 @ 8:48 am

  28. I too made one of I Will Bring The Light of the Gospel Into My Home many many years ago! I am now in young womens and we would love to make one of these. Does anyone have a pattern to follow…in cross stitch or any other way? I would love it if you would share!
    Thank you!

    Comment by Laurie Kohler — January 9, 2013 @ 1:50 pm

  29. I have copied the cross-stitch, that I made in primary years ago, onto grid paper. Then I made a new one on counted cross-stitch fabric (aida). It turned out great. If you have your old one you can just count the stitches and use it as a pattern too. I would put my pattern here if I knew how.

    Comment by Anne Judd — April 25, 2013 @ 1:48 pm

  30. Anne, if you can make a scan of your pattern, I’d be happy to publish it as a guest post from you. The material on old Primary memories are very popular and I know you’d please quite a few old-time Gaynotes who might like to reconstruct their lost samplers.

    My email address is AEParshall [at symbol] aol [dot] com

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 25, 2013 @ 1:57 pm

  31. I was wondering if you were able to get the pattern for the cross stitch, I am an activity leader and we want our 10-11 year old girls to learn how to cross-stitch.

    Comment by Kathy King — August 7, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

  32. Kathy King, I have scanned the cross stitch pattern and emailed it to Ardis E. Parshall. I am an Activity Day leader also and we are having our girls do this saying.

    Comment by Anne Judd — August 22, 2013 @ 8:36 pm

  33. Kathy King if you want to email me I will send the Cross stitch pattern for “I will bring the light of the gospel into my home” to you.

    My email is: april_enchanted[at symbol]aol[dot]com
    in other words april_enchanted@aol.com

    Hope this helps you. Anne

    Comment by Anne Judd — August 22, 2013 @ 8:55 pm

  34. Could I also get a copy of the sampler “I Will Bring the Light of the Gospel into My Home”. Thanks so much.
    Gwen Cannon

    Comment by Gwen Cannon — September 2, 2013 @ 7:46 pm

  35. I delayed posting Anne’s pattern because I wanted to look up what the old Gaynote manuals said about the sampler — I’ll do my best to look that up tomorrow and post the pattern this week.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 2, 2013 @ 7:50 pm

  36. Our Activity Day girls got the option of stitching the sampler words with 2 or 3 colors and they picked what colors they wanted to stitch the house (door, window, walls). If 2 colors option then they picked a color for the word ‘gospel’ and another color for the rest of the words. If 3 colors option; one color for the word ‘gospel’ one color for the word ‘light’ and another color for the rest of the words. We then made up a color coded copy of the pattern for them with their colors. We used white 11 count Aida cloth from Hobby Lobby, the fabric was 30 x 36 inches, we cut 9 pieces that were 11 x 10 inches. Normal cost $11.99 but we had a 40 % off coupon. We bought needles and hoops for each girl and precut the chosen colors into workable lengths. Our girls are 8 thru 9 yrs so we also used thread to mark the middle. Hope this helps.

    Comment by Anne Judd — September 3, 2013 @ 3:19 am

  37. Does anyone have a pattern for the cross stitch sampler , ” I will bring the light of the Gospel into my home” ?

    Comment by Paulette — February 28, 2014 @ 8:48 am

  38. I have a pattern that I created for the cross-stitch sampler and I have sent it to Ardis, for posting.
    But if you need it sooner you can contact me and I will be glad to e-mail it to you. My OLD e-mail was april_enchanted@aol.com but I have changed it to a NEW one it is: elegyanne@aol.com.

    Comment by Anne Judd — February 28, 2014 @ 9:31 pm

  39. Does anyone remember the words and the melody for the primary girls called Lahoma? Where can I find the song? Does anyone have the teaching manual? Maybe the song could be located in the back of it?

    Lihoma lahoma we are of noble birth
    Lahoma lahoma its Gods plan we came to earth
    Lahoma lahoma our mission is divine

    As we gather round the campfire with our loved ones kind and dear

    Thanks.
    Peg

    Comment by Peg — October 11, 2014 @ 6:53 pm

  40. Peg, “Lihoma” was the name for all the girls classes as a group — “LIttle HOme MAkers.” The song “My Code” (words and music here) had a verse for each of the three classes — is it by chance the one you are looking for?

    (Edited:) Sorry, I was reading your comment from a backdoor screen and didn’t see the whole thing. I don’t recognize that song at all, but will look for it.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 11, 2014 @ 8:14 pm

  41. I was just facsinated with the acronym Lihoma for Little Home Makers. My name is George Lihoma and in my dialect of Lhomwe,it means ‘piercing’ like with a knife.
    Hope the song will found by the time you read my letter-comment.

    Greetings from Malawi,Africa.

    George Lihoma.

    Comment by George Lihoma — November 9, 2014 @ 5:52 am

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