1.14.2014

Programs of the LDS Church: Primary

I've felt lately that I'd like to share more about my beliefs and my church with others, and what better way to do that than here, on my blog. I don't think I can effectively communicate well with others through speech, at least, not about things that are rather broad topics and not about things that are broad AND matter to me quite a bit. Here on my blog I can really say what I want to say in a way that I think I want to say it. So here goes.

Now, my system of beliefs, and my church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, has quite a bit of detail to it. So I'll start off basic. I'll tell you about the programs of my church. There are oh so many, so this will be done in installments. And I hope, that as you read what I have to say, you'll share your thoughts on it, whatever they may be. Perhaps we can have a conversation on this.

To start off, let's go to the youngest. Not the youngest, I guess, that's Nursery, and I don't remember my time in nursery enough to talk about it. So let's start with Primary.

Primary is a program created for young children, ages 4-11. In Primary, you're organized into classes based on age. For one hour, those classes meet individually and you have your traditional Sunday School. For the other hour, ages 4-7 meet together, and ages 8-11 meet together. That's called Singing/Sharing time. Children share talks, scriptures, a lesson is prepared for the whole group, and a lot of time is spent singing.

Now for my experiences in Primary. When I was a young'un, I'll be completely honest, Primary was kinda like brushing my teeth. I didn't hate it, but it felt really routine. I was that Hermione Granger kid who would answer every question and volunteer for everything. I felt like all the stuff I was learning there, I'd already learned at home, only now I had to learn it with a bunch of boys who wouldn't sit still.

I remember clearly the day that changed. We were speaking of the Second Coming, when Jesus would come to Earth again. Up until that point, this topic terrified me. I was so afraid of this, because when learning about this, we'd learn a lot about the tragedy that would precede the event.

That day though, my teacher asked "What do you think of this? Of the Second Coming?"

I shrunk in my seat and my face turned red. I thought about how in Heaven we don't have anything temporal with us, and so I wouldn't get to take my stuffed puppy with me.

A girl named Hannah raised her hand "I'm so excited for that day."

I sat up immediately and blurted "WHY?"

A boy named Johnny raised his hand. "We will get to see Jesus again. We will be able to thank him for all he has done for us. And we will get to be with all our family members who died, we'll see them again."

And that day, Primary changed. I realized that maybe I wasn't there to learn from the teacher, I was there to learn from my classmates. And maybe the teacher was there to learn from us.

That thought solidified when I became a Primary teacher myself. I remember a member of the Bishopric calling Joe and I into his office and calling Joe to be a Scout leader, and me to be a Primary teacher. My head felt light. I was with kids every day, every week. Church was the time where I got to be with adults, why were they calling me to be with a bunch of kids all the time? How was that fair?

I struggled a lot with the calling up front. The teaching style of Primary is different than preschool. For one, the kids don't listen to me as easily, they only see me once a week. I ran into lesson planning full of excitement and lost momentum really quick for some reason.

But one day, I asked one of my Primary kids what he thought about his mom being pregnant. He said he was excited, and just couldn't believe how lucky he was that there were more people in Heaven who wanted to be a part of his family.

Ah. So there I was again. I was there to learn from the kids. And I learned a lot from them. Now, I'll be leaving  this calling soon and who knows when I'll work in Primary again. Am I excited to be with the adults again? Oh yes. But those kids have such a sweet and beautiful spirit. They know "good" better than anyone I know. They know about treating everyone around you with love, no matter what. And they live it.


So those are my experiences with Primary.

No comments: