Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Mission Primary Leaflets: How to Organize and Operate A Primary in the Mission Field, circa 1950

Mission Primary Leaflets: How to Organize and Operate A Primary in the Mission Field, circa 1950

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 16, 2011

We’re probably all familiar with the practice – beginning in the earliest days of the Church and continuing to a much lesser extent through today – of missionaries serving as branch presidents in the smallest, most isolated units of the Church. And even if you haven’t consciously picked up the awareness, you have seen pictures in the Latter-day Saint Images series of missionaries – both elders and sisters – who organized and ran Sunday Schools, MIAs and Primaries. I am not aware that missionaries ever conducted Relief Societies, but it is possible that they did – anyone have specific information?

For much of the 20th century, missionaries received training during their time in the Missionary Home on the purposes of the auxiliaries and how to organize and operate them in the mission field. The printed program for the Missionary Home in 1946, for instance, lists times for General Board members of the Primary, Sunday School, and MIA to instruct the missionaries on those auxiliaries.

The Primary (and perhaps the other auxiliaries; I’m still looking for examples) also provided the missionaries with instructional leaflets intended to be carried in their discussion notebooks with detailed outlines of mission Primary work. The text of those leaflets (circa 1950) is reproduced below. It makes for a long blog post, but one easily skimmed for an impression of the program. I was especially interested in the different types of Primaries (district [i.e., ward], home, neighborhood, and institutional), the emphasis on filing regular reports, and the useful illustrations in “Helps for Teaching” (the “blue pages”).

[seal of The Primary Association]

Mission Primary Leaflets

A thorough study of the white leaflet herein will give you an over-all picture of the Primary Organization: types, how to conduct, necessary equipment, reports, etc.

The colored sheets give more detailed information. It is important that each leaflet be read and studied.

– General Board of Primary Association

[white pages:]


I. The Primary Association

A. What It Is

A week-day (not Sunday) religious organization for boys and girls between ages of 4 and 11, inclusive.

B. Purpose

“And they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.” D. & C. 68:28

1. To teach faith in God.2. To teach faith in the gospel as taught by Jesus Christ.

3. To create and foster a love for and practice of worthy habits of life and love for others.

4. To create happy experiences.

5. To provide opportunities for self-expression and activity.

Mission Primaries are organized with two purposes in mind: (1) To teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Latter-day Saint Children and (2) To teach non-Mormon children Christian ideals building toward Latter-day Saint principles.

Very often a little child carrying to his home a lovely thought from a Primary lesson will be the means of awakening a desire in the hearts of his parents to know more about the gospel. Conversions of entire families have been made through children attending Primary. As a means of presenting the gospel message to the world, the lessons and activities of the Primary Association are most important. Every missionary should be encouraged to use this agency to help the children and contact the parents.

II. Kinds of Mission Primary Associations

(For detailed organization see yellow section herein.)

A. Four types of Primaries found useful in missions of the Church are:

1. The Branch Primary

a. May be a completely organized Primary where the number of children warrant it.

b. Functions where local members of Church can be used as officers and teachers.

2. The Home Primary

a. May be only one group held in home.

b. Functions in scattered communities where children cannot attend either the neighborhood or branch Primary.

3. The Neighborhood Primary

a. May be two or more groups held in home or hall.

b. functions where it is impossible to organize a branch Primary.

4. The Institutional Primary

a. Held in orphanages and other kinds of children’s homes.


(1) Under the direction of the mission president and his wife, the mission Primary supervisor has charge of all Primaries in the mission.

(2) the Primary president conducts her work under the direction of the branch president and district Primary supervisor (if one has been appointed in the district.)

(3) In places where there are no organized branches the mother in charge of home or neighborhood Primaries does her work under the direction of missionaries, supervised by the mission Primary supervisor.

(4) District Primary supervisor is comparable to a stake Primary president in organized wards and stakes.

III. How to Organize and Where to Hold Primaries

A. Obtain approval and support from proper authority.

1. If a branch – from the branch presidency.

2. Missionaries – from district president (supervising elder.)

3. Isolated home and neighborhood Primaries – from mission Primary supervisor.

B. Survey each section to ascertain possibilities of organizing Primaries.

C. Communicate with mission Primary supervisor at mission headquarters for detailed instructions.

D. Study program carefully and locate place in which to hold meetings.

1. Branch meeting house.

2. Home of member of the Church.

3. Home of an investigator or friend.

4. Out-of-doors. In parks or in shady, grassy spots.

5. School buildings after school hours.

6. Rented halls.

E. Plan definite time each week to hold meetings.

1. Primaries are usually held after school but Saturday morning has been very successful in some locations.

F. Provide competent leadership and teachers.

1. Capable and worthy.

2. Having a genuine love for and sympathetic understanding of boys and girls.

3. Having a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

G. Publicize Primary for purpose of enlisting members. (Use “Invitation Pamphlets” listed under “Materials and Supplies for Mission Primaries” herein.)

H. Hold officers and teachers meetings for purpose of planning and preparing work.

NOTE. Send monthly report to your supervising officer. (See “Reports” herein.)

Note to Missionaries:

Prepare a local woman to continue the Primary work in case of your transfer or release, or instruct your successor so he can carry on without a break. This is very important.

IV. How to Build Membership

A. Do door to door tracting.

B. Seek cooperation of parents.

1. Use Primary ‘Invitation Pamphlets” listed under “Materials and Supplies for Mission Primaries” herein.

2. Leave copy of The Children’s Friend magazine wherever possible.

C. Interest the children in the Primary program.

D. Encourage children to bring friends.

E. Invite parents, friends and investigators to visit Primary.

F. Make friends with all children.

V. Courses of Study for Mission Primaries

A. Lessons for Small Primaries.

1. Lessons on Christian virtues prepared each year by the General Board of Primary association, for specific use in Mission Primaries are published in The Children’s Friend magazine two months in advance of the time they are to be used.

a. Prepared for two age levels:

(1) Children four to eight years of age, inclusive.

(2) Boys and girls nine to eleven years of age, inclusive.

B. Lessons for Large Branch Primaries (chiefly L.D.S. children).

1. Prepared in ten lesson books (same as those used in wards) published by the General Board of Primary Association.

Note: Every lesson in the lesson books and in the mission lessons published in The Children’s Friend has a stated objective, with suggested stories, poems, songs and pictures for its development. Visual Aid sets are obtainable at the General board of Primary Association Office for a nominal fee. (See “Materials and Supplies …” herein for address.)

VI. Reports

The General Board asks that every Primary fill in a report at the close of each month. Necessary forms are obtainable at your mission headquarters from the mission Primary supervisor.

1. Branch Primaries in an Organized District.

Prepare report in triplicate, retaining one copy for your information, sending one to your district Primary supervisor and one to your branch priesthood president.

2. Branch Primaries Not in an Organized District

Prepare report in triplicate, retaining one copy for your information, sending one to your mission Primary supervisor and one to your branch priesthood president.

3. Home, Neighborhood and Institutional Primaries

Prepare report in triplicate, retaining one copy for your information, sending one to the mission Primary supervisor and one to the missionary district president (supervising elder).

4. District Reports

See detailed leaflet herein (pink) for district Primary supervisors (local women).

5. Mission Reports (Primary Supervisor)

See detailed leaflet herein (gray) for mission Primary supervisors.

Note: A copy of your report is sent to the priesthood representatives mentioned to give them a picture of your Primary accomplishments.

VII. Materials and Supplies for Mission Primaries

A. Send for following supplies to general Board of Primary, 39 Bishop’s Building, Salt Lake City 1, Utah. (Price lists and order blanks upon request.)

1. THE CHILDREN’S FRIEND, a magazine for children containing stories, poems, songs, cutouts and pictures intended not only to interest children but to raise their standards of thinking and doing. It also has valuable helps for teachers in all departments, as well as the lessons for mission Primaries. (The Children’s Friend should be ordered on The Children’s Friend order blank only and not on the order blank for supplies.)

Note: If your mission requests that individual subscriptions be ordered through mission headquarters, please comply.

2. Lesson books for larger Primaries (same as used in wards).

3. Visual Aid sets.

4. Primary song books.

5. Primary handbook.

6. Instructions for making Hectograph (no charge)

7. Instructions for making Flannel board (no charge)

8. Instructions for making Grooved Blocks (no charge)

(6, 7 and 8 are Teaching Aids.)

B. Send to your mission headquarters for the following supplies:

1. Report blanks – district and individual Primary monthly reports.

2. Record books

3. Roll cards

4. Invitation pamphlets, “Of Special Interest to Parents”

5. Mission Primary leaflets

Note: C.O.D. orders are not permissible.

VIII. Suggestive Plan for the Primary Meeting

A. One hour is the time suggested for the exercises of the Primary Association.

Opening Exercises(approximately 15 minutes.)

a. Greeting: Your approach will have much to do with your discipline for the hour. Let the children feel your friendliness. Interested children are orderly, and order and reverence are necessary to a profitable Primary hour.

b. Devotional Music: If there is no piano, all sing quietly some song which will create the desired atmosphere, or groups of children may be assigned to sing for that part of the program.

c. Song: Use Primary songs; they are beautiful. Help the children to learn the words and to get the spirit of them.

d. Prayer: Be sure that each child learns to pray in Primary. Teach the child to pray in a simple and natural manner. Teachers should help those who have never prayed in public.

e. Song Practice.

2. Group Exercises (approximately 40 minutes.) At this time, if there is more than one group, separate into classes for lesson presentation and class activities.

a. Each class period is opened with prayer.

b. Every lesson should include opportunities for self-expression.

c. Keep in mind that you are teaching children, not lessons. The child is the only true measure of your success.

3. Closing prayer from groups.

Note: Monthly Union Meetings are conducted following this general plan.

[yellow pages:]


The Branch Primary

The Branch Primary is part of the branch organization under the direction of the branch president and should be conducted by members of the branch. A completely organized Primary Association consists of:

(1) President
(2) 1st Counselor
(3) 2nd Counselor (who is also the Teacher Trainer)
(4) Secretary-Treasurer
(5) Chorister
(6) Organist
(7) Class teachers. (As many as work requires.)

(In smaller Primaries the executives may also be organist, chorister and teachers.)

As the need arises groups may be organized according to ages as follows:

Younger Groups

Group One: 4 and 5 years of age
Group Two: 6 years of age
Zion’s Boys and Girls (1st Year): 7 years of age’
Zion’s Boys and Girls 92nd year): 8 years of age

Older groups

Home Builder Girls

Larks: 9 years of age
Bluebirds: 10 years of age
Seagulls: 11 years of age

Trail Builder Boys

Blazers: 9 years of age
Trekkers: 10 years of age
Guides: 11 years of age


A. Teachers

Before the opening of Primary competent Latter-day Saint teachers should be appointed for each class. Before a new teacher begins her work, the member of the Primary presidency in charge of her class should explain the work to her, help her, and make sure she has all the necessary supplies. She must know just what she is expected to do before she begins.,/em> Make her welcome and let her know she is appreciated. many wonderful teachers have dropped out because they were not started right.

Special Note: If it is impossible for a teacher to be present at Primary, she should notify her Primary president and arrange for a substitute so that the regular lesson may be given as outlined.

B. Children

Before Primary begins in the fall, the name, age, and address of every Latter-day Saint child in the branch should be written down. Each teacher should be given a list of names and addresses of all children who should be in her class. A very desirable plan would be for the teachers to call on the mothers of the children who should be in her class, takign with her the class book and explaining the program.

Special Note: Teachers should:

1. Keep a private roll and check it each week.
2. Visit absent children, or
3. Telephone them, or
4. Send postcards expressing regret for their absence.
5. keep in touch with children who are absent because of prolonged illness, and help them with their work, thus keeping them interested in Primary.

C. Reports

The General Board of Primary asks that a report be prepared each month. See white leaflet herein under “reports” for details.


(1) See white leaflet herein for details regarding how to organize, course of study, necessary supplies, reports, etc.
(2) Branch Primary officers and teachers should study the Primary handbook.

The Home Primary

“And they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.” Doctrine and Covenants 68:28

Where is the Mormon mother who does not hold the fulfillment of this command as her greatest responsibility? Who would not avail herself of any opportunity to help her children, to interest and train them in the faith that is so dear to her? The Primary organization has worked out a plan and provided a program which any mother can carry out in her home, so that all Latter-day Saint children who cannot attend a regularly organized Primary need not be denied this priceless training.

Every mother who will conscientiously carry out this program should be able:

1. To help her children with their little everyday problems.
2. Establish a new bond of love between herself and her children.
3. Inspire them with a desire to live the Gospel and learn more about it.
4. Build faith and love in the family.

The inspiration and approval of our heavenly Father will rest upon every mother who will do this.

Mothers who desire to organize a home Primary should contact the Primary supervisor at mission headquarters.

Follow the plan as outlined in white leaflet herein.

Reports: The general Board of Primary asks that a report be prepared each month. See white leaflet herein under “Reports” for details.

Note:See white leaflet herein for details regarding how to organize, course of study, necessary supplies, reports, etc.

The Neighborhood Primary

It may be that two or more Latter-day Saint mothers living near each other would like to plan together for a weekly religious meeting for their children.

The plan for the neighborhood Primary is the same as that of the home Primary only that the neighborhood children are invited to join the group.

The lessons in The Children’s Friend deal with Christian virtues and are suitable for neighborhood groups where non-Latter-day Saint children attend.

Sometimes a neighborhood group may include children from four to eleven years, inclusive, and they could be grouped in two classes. Each month in The Children’s Friend, lessons are printed for the younger group (from four to eight years of age) and lessons for the older group (from nine to eleven years of age, inclusive.)

Reports: The General Board of Primary asks that a report be prepared each month. See white leaflet herein under “Reports” for details.


(1) See white leaflet herein for details regarding how to organize, course of study, necessary supplies, reports, etc.

(2) In non-Mormon Primaries organized for the purpose of proselyting it might be wisdom not to enroll children below six years of age.

The Institutional Primary

In some missions, Primaries held in orphanages and other kinds of children’s homes have proved very successful.

Where such homes are in a district, it would be helpful if the missionary district president (or supervising elder, as the case may be) would contact the person in charge and ask for permission to present the Primary program to him or to the Board of the Institution which handles programs other than those regularly carried on at the home.

The course of study used is printed in The Children’s Friend and the missionary making the arrangements should be thoroughly familiar with it. It should be emphasized that the lessons are on Christian principles.

The work can be carried on by missionaries aided by the local members wherever possible.

The class divisions will depend upon the number of children to be taught and the number of teachers available. The lessons in The Children’s Friend are adequate for these classes.

Reports: The General Board of Primary asks that a report be prepared each month. See white leaflet herein under “Reports” for details.

Note: See white leaflet herein for details regarding how to organize, course of study, necessary supplies, reports, etc.

[blue pages:]


Aids for Maintaining Order

You cannot have a good Primary if the children are disorderly.

1. Have soft, quiet preliminary music.

2. Greet children as they come in.

3. Maintain a quiet, reverent attitude.

4. Have day thoroughly planned, lessons well prepared. Do not waste time. When you stop to read, or find, or arrange material you lose the class.

5. Secure order before you begin.

How to Hold Interest

1. Sincerely love the children.

2. Be so well prepared you can talk in an interesting manner without the book. You cannot interest the children by reading the lesson.

3. have some group activity related to the lesson every time: singing, dramatization, discussion, drawing, coloring, cutting, games, retold stories, etc. (Children learn more from doing than from listening.)

4. Use visual aids: pictures, objects, posters, blackboards, flannel boards, grooved blocks. (hectographs are useful in the preparation of class materials.)

Be sure that these help to bring out the objective of the lesson. Do not use too many visual aids at a time.

Note: Instructions for making the flannel board, grooved blocks and hectograph may be obtained upon request (no charge) from the General Board of Primary Office, 39 Bishop’s Building, Salt Lake City 1, Utah.

How to Teach a Song

Introduce the song in such a way that the children will want to hear it. To illustrate: If the song is “I Thank Thee, Dear Father,” Page 81 in the Primary Song Book, it might be introduced with, “I have a new song to sing to you today. It is a prayer song.” (You might use a lovely prayer picture here and ask, “What is a prayer?” “To whom do we pray?” etc. “Can you tell me why this is called a prayer song?” “Listen!”) Sing the song through to them. let them give the answers.

“Let’s sing it again.” Repetition will help fix both words and music. It is often wise to have some reason for listening so you might add, “How does a prayer start?”

“Yes, and our song starts by speaking to our Father in Heaven.” (Sing the line: “I Thank thee Dear Father in Heaven Above.”)

“See if you can tell me what we thank him for.”

1. Goodness and mercy.
2. Kindness and love.
3. Home, friends, and parents.
4. Every blessing.

Sing the rest of the first verse.

“Would you like to sing that with me?”

“Shall we sing it again? I think you nearly know it.”

“Would you like me to sing the second verse? It tells what I want Heavenly Father to do for me; and then closes like a prayer.”

Sing the second verse. “Next week we shall learn this verse also.”

How to Tell a Story

A story is first of all intimate, so bring the children close to you and ee that they are comfortable. Tell your story in a quiet conversational manner that is cheerful or sad as the mood of the story would indicate. Make it dramatic enough to make the characters alive, but avoid over-dramatization; it is too stimulating. But above all else, love your story. Be yourself, and develop your own style. the use of conversation makes a story alive. If you are not in the habit of telling stories, it might be helpful to make a simple outline to impress the order of events in your mind. Then tell the story to yourself and give up the outlines before going before the children. You will improve with practice. (Use pictures.)

How to Teach Children to Pray

Help them to make a simple outline for a prayer such as:

When we pray, we pray to our Father in Heaven.

We thank him for things he has given us. (Let the children list some of the things he has given us.)

We ask him to help us and give us things we need. (Let the children list some of the things we need.)

We always ask for our blessings in the name of Jesus Christ.

Prayer Language

Say “thee” and “Thou” instead of “you.”

When praying in a group say “We ask” instead of “I ask.”

Pray for “Thy spirit” and not “a portion of.”

Repeat “Amen” after the prayer.

[pink pages:]


If you as a district president will make yourself familiar with the Primary program by reading the entire set of mission Primary leaflets herein, you will see the importance of promoting Primary work throughout your district and the method of procedure. Any other necessary information or equipment for the work is available through the mission Primary supervisor.

How to Organize Primaries

When possible in organized branches, branch Primaries, using the regular Primary lessons (as outlined for the wards in the stakes) are advisable. Isolated Latter-day Saint families in outlying sections will need home or neighborhood organizations.

Make the Latter-day Saint women of your district aware of the importance, value and joy of teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to their children in Primary. Call them together in a meeting to discuss the importance of organizing Primaries. Whenever the mission Primary supervisor visits, see that a meeting is called for all Primary officers and teachers in your district.

See that each group has the necessary materials with which to organize Primary: Mission leaflets, record book, lesson books, monthly report blanks, roll cards, song books, handbook, etc. (see white leaflet). Encourage them to subscribe for The Children’s Friend magazine.

When you have a number of Primaries functioning, you may find it advisable to appoint a district Primary supervisor, chosen from among your Primary workers, to relieve you of the district responsibility of supervising Primaries.

The success of the Primaries in your district, however, will depend on your own enthusiasm and the inspirational encouragement you give.

At the end of each month Primaries in your district are required to prepare a report of their activities. Individual primaries report to your district Primary supervisor. She compiles these reports on a district form, retaining one copy, sending you a copy, and sending a copy to the mission Primary supervisor. if you have no district supervisor, Primaries report direct to the mission Primary supervisor.


(Local Woman)

Reading the pink leaflet will give you some idea of the responsibility the local district president wishes you to assume. Work under the direction of your district president. Discuss with him the possibility of organizing new Primaries as the fist step in that direction. With his permission, and perhaps assistance, it would be helpful if you visit each branch. Meet with the mothers to remind them of the responsibilities connected with teaching the gospel to their children. Present the values, he possibilities, and the plan of the Primary, and enlist the aid of the mothers in carrying out its program. Visit these Primary mothers often to encourage and give assistance to them. Plan a special meeting with them either preceding or following the branch or district conference. Help them to obtain the necessary materials to carry forward the Primary work. (See white leaflet.) Make sure you have the names and addresses of all Primary presidents in your district so that you can communicate with them.

When Primaries are organized, seek the cooperation of the branch presidency (through the district presidency) to have the officers set apart.

Each Primary must send to you at the close of every month, a report of the month’s Primaries. It is your responsibility to compile these on a district report. Make three copies, one for your own future reference, one to be sent to the mission Primary supervisor at mission headquarters, and one to be sent to your local district president to give him a picture of your results. Reports must be compiled accurately and promptly. Send to the mission Primary supervisor for forms she wishes you to use for your individual Primaries, and for your compiled district report.

You will need to meet your Primary workers periodically in union meetings to discuss policies and problems and to preview the coming month’s work, activities, etc. To conduct these meetings effectively know before hand exactly what you plan to do. (Follow suggestive plan for the Primary meeting on white leaflet. Also see Primary Handbook.) Check with the people taking part to make sure they are there and ready. Stand before the group until order prevails before beginning the meeting. Preliminary music helps. Make a short, simple greeting expressing appreciation for the attendance. (It indicates that the women are interested in doing the work of the Lord in the best possible way.) In conducting, give the necessary information briefly; speak loudly enough to be heard by all.

Invite the member of the district presidency who has charge of Primary work to attend your meetings. The priesthood can give great inspiration and help to the meeting.

Study the Primary Handbook. It will be of assistance to you, as you are comparable to a stake Primary president in the organized stakes of the Church. Other Primary district officers to assist you may be advisable. Study all Primary mission leaflets herein and keep in close touch with the mission Primary supervisor.


(Supervising Elder)

Through Primary you can make some of your best contacts in missionary work. It has been said that when you take a child by the hand you take his mother by the heart.

Working with little children and learning to love them develops your finer instincts, draws you closer to God and makes you a stronger missionary.

For the most part, your Primaries will be run by missionaries for non-Mormon children.

How to Organize Primaries

Study all the Primary leaflets.

Write to mission Primary supervisor for further instructions.

Acquaint missionaries with your plans, making them aware of the possibilities in Primary work in the mission field.

Have missionaries survey each section to ascertain possibilities of organizing Primaries.

In tracting they should use the invitation, “Of Special Interest to Parents.”

Instruct each missionary to order the necessary materials to organize Primaries: Record books, report blanks, roll cards, The Children’s Friend, Primary Song Book.

(Missionaries have already been provided with mission Primary leaflets.)

Instruct missionaries to make friends of the parents of their Primary children.

Do not let good Primaries die when missionaries in charge are transferred. If possible, appoint local women to direct the Primaries.

Special efforts should be made in these Primaries to give entertainments in which the children take part and to which the parents are invited.

the person in charge of each Primary should make out a monthly report in triplicate, keeping one copy, sending one copy to you to give you a picture of what has been accomplished, and sending one copy to the mission Primary supervisor at headquarters, who must have the information to compile her report.

(Branch Primaries are not ordinarily under your jurisdiction.)

[gray pages:]


Supervising the Primary work of the mission is a most important calling. Be sure to get instructions from the supervisor you are succeeding. Become thoroughly familiar with the organization and program of the Primary Association. To do this, study until you know completely the material in all the Primary Mission Leaflets. Know the Primary Handbook also.

Your Responsibilities

1. Be familiar with all types of mission Primaries so you will know which to recommend under varying conditions.

2. Convince all district presidents, missionaries, and Primary workers that the Primary is one of the best proselyting agents the church has, and that the local sisters and mothers can carry on much of the work.

3. Convince these local women that they are needed in this great work.

4. Make an effort through the missionary district president (supervising elder) when missionaries are transferred, to have Primaries affected by such transfers continue on as before.

5. Keep in close touch with your Primary workers by frequent correspondence.

6. Send to the workers each month a letter giving helps on how to adapt the current lessons and activities in The Children’s Friend. You may also include an exchange of ideas that have been successful in other Primaries. Occasionally a comparative report of your mission Primaries may prove stimulating.

7. Whenever and wherever possible, make a personal visit. Practical help and inspiration can best be given this way.

8. Encourage the organization of new Primaries and continued efforts to increase the membership of Primaries already functioning.

9. Instruct new missionaries as they come through mission headquarters. The most important thin for them to know is that they are to get in touch with you when planning to start a Primary. Some of the Primary information previously given them does not stay with them because they have felt no need for it. When they know they are actually going to work in Primary, they are apt to get a feeling of bewilderment, and write a frantic letter to you for materials. This does not mean that you should send them vast supplies which would probably further confuse rather than clarify their problem. All they actually need to start Primaries are the Primary leaflets, which they should have already, and The Children’s Friend carrying the current lessons. Besides the lessons. The Children’s Friend can meet their demands in great part for activities. When they know the information in these two sources they are ready to start Primaries.

10. Know where all your Primaries are by instructing missionaries to write you reporting all Primaries organized, giving name and address of the person in charge, material and courses being used, and the type of Primary being organized. Keep this information on file. Keep a complete record of all Primaries in your mission.

11. Some districts well organized with primaries have appointed a district Primary supervisor, a local woman. When such an officer has been appointed, work through her rather than through the individual Primaries. Keep in close touch with her, or with your branches, where district Primary supervisors are not appointed to act as “mediators.”

12. Every Primary in the mission is to make out a monthly report. In districts where there is a district Primary supervisor the reports are sent to her. She compiles them and sends the compiled report to you. The salmon colored monthly report blanks prepared at the Primary General Office may be used, or some of your own making, if they better fit your needs. You may wish to use different report forms for each type of Primary in your mission. It is advisable for every Primary to fill out reports in triplicatetriplicate; keeps one, sends one to the mission Primary supervisor, and one to the local district president. The General Board does not print a district report blank because of the lack of uniformity in procedure in the various missions. It is therefore suggested that district report forms meeting your requirements be mimeographed in your office for distribution to district supervisors. Upon request a sample form which has proved successful in some missions will be sent by the general Board. Missionaries should report directly to the mission Primary supervisors.

Insist on every Primary reporting promptly at the end of each month. Set a deadline when reports must be in. If they are not in, write to the Primaries or districts not reporting. (District Primary supervisor compiles her report for you from the monthly reports she receives.)

13. As Mission Primary supervisor it is your responsibility to send quarterly reports (compiled form individual and district reports received) to the General Board of Primary, 39 Bishop’s Building, Salt Lake City 1, Utah. These are to be prepared in duplicate, retaining one copy for your files and sending the original to the General Office. Dates reports are due: December 15 (Fall Quarter); March 15 (Winter Quarter); June 15 (Spring Quarter); and September 15 (Summer Quarter).

14. Obtain and keep on hand the necessary Primary supplies to keep your organization equipped. (For list of supplies see white leaflet herein.)

a. There should be enough copies of The Children’s Friend to supply each pair of missionaries holding Primaries with a copy each month. Lessons for missions are printed each month in this magazine two months in advance of the time they are to be used. Mothers conducting home and neighborhood Primaries should be encouraged to subscribe for The Children’s Friend. It si the Church magazine for children and will be a blessing in any home.

If you wish individual subscriptions to come through mission headquarters please instruct your people to this effect.

b. In addition to the monthly blanks you will need the mission quarterly report blanks (available at General Office, Salt Lake City.)

c. You will need a supply of these mission Primary leaflets to be given to local district presidents and to local women working in Primary, as well as to missionaries who have somehow missed getting them at the mission home.

d. When you need to renew your supply of the Primary invitations send to Zion’s Printing and Publishing Co., Independence, Missouri. There is no charge for these, and it is recommended that your order for them be included with your mission president’s order for supplies from there.

15. You are responsible for the care of mission Primary material.

a. File all correspondence from the Primary General Office.

b. Keep a complete set of material suggested in the white leaflet in a convenient place for reference by missionaries or local Primary workers who may visit the office.

c. File in good order all reports from your mission Primaries.

d. Leave all mission Primary material in the mission office for your successor when you are released from your position.

16. Please give the new supervisor detailed instructions before leaving.

17. Collection of the regular Primary fund of ten cents from each child and officer is optional in the mission field. (This is referred to as the “General Fund” in the wards and stakes and is collected in November. See Handbook.) If collected it may be used in the mission to defray Primary expenses. It is not to be forwarded to the General Office.

18. the Primary Children’s Hospital birthday “penny appeal” is also optional. those missions desiring to do so may collect for the Hospital. The annual appeal is made in February so that the money can be presented to the Hospital as a Valentine gift. Envelopes for this collection are available at the General Office upon request. Encourage all Primaries wishing to contribute to send their contributions to mission headquarters with checks or money orders made out to the mission office. You in turn will draw one check to cover the full amount, forwarding it to the General Office.

19. Rely upon the inspiration of our Father in Heaven to help you magnify this most important calling.


Thanks to Diana and Lonn for the loan of this material.




  1. Seems to me there’s nothing as organized as this now, or at least no one has let me know about a mission or area Primary supervisor. I’d like to have one, if only to connect my home Primary kids with others.

    The idea of institutional Primaries and door-to-door tracting for neighborhood Primaries is interesting, and the mission Primary supervisor has some unique responsibilities. In fact, I find this entire leaflet fascinating in many ways.

    Comment by Amira — December 16, 2011 @ 7:07 am

  2. I just can’t resist the temptation to post something I just put up on Facebook:

    “I don’t give a hoot in Hell how you do it, you just get me to the Primary, ya hear!”

    Discuss. (Or, Ardis, delete, if this is too much of a threadjack.)

    Comment by Mark B. — December 16, 2011 @ 9:10 am

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