Primary Memories - Mormon Children's Program

Primary has changed through out the years. Post your memories and comments in the text box below.

The Museum of Church History and Art on Temple Square remembers 125 years of Primary

The Salamander Society thanks the MOCHA for access to these displays.

Official All Time Favorite Primary Songs
Listed in The Museum of Church History & Art

1. I am a child of God

2. I love to see the temple

3. A child's prayer

4. Book of Mormon stories

5. Army of Helaman

6. Popcorn popping on the apricot tree

7. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

8. I like to look for rainbows

9. Nephi's courage

10. Follow the prophet

11. Families can be together forever

12. Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam

Does anyone remember "Pennies by the Inch"

10/22/2013 - from

Funny story I heard from folks in my last ward: there is a disabled (physically & mentally) fellow who, for years, has always taken it upon himself to write up elaborate Elder's Qurorum bulletins. He is none too good of a speller, and he called the program "penis by the inch". - jazzskeeter


I think penis by the inch would be better. Perhaps they could do an auction where the women would have to pick their husbands. I bet almost every woman would FAIL. - the master


When I was young 1940's there was the primary penny song to start the money hustle young.

Five pennies make a nickle
Two nickles make a dime
Ten dimes will make a dollar
How we'll mak it shine
It's for the crippled children who cannot walk or run
Who have to lie in bed all day and connot join the fun
So let us be unselfish and bring our pennies here
To help the crippled children become better year by year.

We marched around the chapel and kicked in one penny for each year of our age. - thedesertrat1

I miss that kid!

03/30/2009 - by dafushpu

I had to subsitute teach a Primary class one day. There was a child whose parents converted and took him out of his Baptist church where he already had lots of friends and most of his classmates there.

He was acting up and being increasingly disruptive, so I called him out and asked what his problem was.


I miss that kid.

Guantanamo Primary Torture

03/16/2009 - by Queen Benjamin

I was raised in the church and believed wholeheartedly for most of my life, but I despised every moment of primary. I know most little kids enjoy singing songs and looking at brightly colored visual aids, but those things held absolutely no interest for me. I honestly can't remember a single positive memory about my Primary experience. I remember hearing my elderly great aunt talk about the woman who started the primary program back in the day (can't remember her name), and I wished I could go back in time and punch her for creating this painfully boring program that I got stuck sitting through.

Years later, while driving to church, my stepmother used to play tapes of little kids shouting out primary songs in a vaguely tuneful manner. For someone who is trained as a classical musician and literally cannot switch off my awareness of sound, this is torture. I swore in my wrath that such nonmusical crap would never be played in my house or car.

If I were sent to Guantanamo for interrogation, they wouldn't have to resort to waterboarding. 30 seconds of those primary song tapes and I'd be begging them to let me spill my secrets. If there is a hell, I know what is playing nonstop on the radio in my room...

2005 Primary Outline - Proposed Ammendments

03/27/2005 - by Ghoulslime

Theme: I am a child of dogma
Song: I know my father is a figment of my imagination

Theme: Profit margins are central to heavenly father’s plan
Song: Cash is spoken here

Theme: I know who I am – but where the fuck am I?
Song: He sent confusion

Theme: Families can be happy when they follow like mindless drones
Song: I felt my cousin’s love (But he told me not to tell anybody about it)

Theme: Family members have a lot of shit to do
Song: Happy pills

Theme: Heavenly Father teaches me how to mind-rape my family
Song: Home can be heaven on earth, but not without serious medication

Theme: Temples waste our goddamn time
Song: Families can be forever in the temple wasting our goddamn time

Theme: Faith, prayer, repentance, and forgiveness can really make you feel guilty
Song: I pray in faith, but I still feel really guilty

Theme: Wholesome recreation is fine, but wouldn’t you really rather have a gangbang?
Song: Our house becomes an orgy

Theme: Prophets teach me how to keep my mouth shut
Song: The family, keep your mouth shut or we will take yours away

Theme: Keeping the Sabbath day to the bare minimum
Song: Saturday is a special day - It’s a whole lot better than Sunday

Theme: My family is a mess because we believed in Jesus
Song: Tell me some more stories, JESUS!


Primary Teachers - 02/18/2008 by Crathes

After many years of church participation, my wife and I are slowing opening our eyes and starting to disengage. I am a bit ahead at this point, but my wife seems to be catching up. We both teach primary classes, she a younger class, and I a class in senior primary, which allows us to keep peace in the family, without being too dishonest in our beliefs. So, yesterday, while driving home, my wife noted that they had sung "Once there was a Snowman" during singing time. She commented that that song reflects her current theology and level of belief in religion.


Jingle Bells - 02/18/2008 by Emalee

I remember when I was 5 years old asking the primary chorister if we could sing Jingle Bells. She told me it wasn't in the songbook, so we weren't aloud to sing it. I remember thinking this was crazy and I asked her why we were able to sing Once there was a Snowman, but we weren't allowed to sing Jingle Bells. She told me that our church leaders put a lot of thought and prayer into these things and that if it wasn't in there it was for a reason.

So, I think Once there was a Snowman is a very inspired song, and you should use it to help you through this time of doubt.

Comment Section

Wow. I'm surprised at how negative this stream of comments is. No person, church or childhood is perfect, but way to hang on to all of the angst! Maybe someone could admit that someone did something nice for them in primary. I guess it's easier to hang on to anger and play the victim instead of realizing that people are people and forgiving them for their weaknesses. - 12/29/2008 - concerned

If you are in any way questioning the need to be released from primary! Parents are counting on you to teach the gospel to their children! I feel really sorry for all of know the truth yet you deny it! - 12/28/2008 - sadforyou

Primary freakin rocks the shit out of church. I LOVE IT. i am a teacher for the 6-7 year olds. Great stuff. im teaching them that they SHOULD ALWAYS be a friend to EVERY ONE not just MORMONS. Just becasue someone drinks and smokes doesnt mean we have to shun them or be mean to them. Just becasue they slept around and got pregnant by the age of 14 doesnt mean to hate them and call them a sinner. What you should do is help them. Be nice to them and let them no you can be there friend. EVERY ONE NEEDS friends. I mean seriously, WWJD. I personally think he would want me to be nice to every one. So i teach my kids that. Yeah go ahead and flame me for teaching my opinions. But being nice to EVERY ONE is a universal principal. - 03/18/2008 - LT

You people have problems- I feel sorry for you that you are not happy with your childhood. I love the Gospel and am glad that I was able to raise my children in the Church. I wish I had been in Primary as a child and had all the great memories. - 12/17/2007 - anon

I was talking too much in during Primary during the lesson, and the teacher called me up to read a passage in the bible for punishment. I looked at my mom -a primary teacher- and she just looked at me with an upset face to got up!

Later in Sacrament, I let her have it with the guilt trip! I really was crying, but she was sorry! I was pissed as hell, and I let her know it! - 10/29/2007 - anon

CTR! And the whole time being molested! Good times! - 04/15/2007 - anon

"Popcorn popping on the apricot tree", I hated that song, because it got me hungry in primary! - 09/10/2006 - Jay Kamisese

Why isn't "Once there was a Snowman" in the top 12? Or was that a regional thing?

My snowman always grew instead of melted in the sun... Or the primary welcome song where we divided the primary in two and sang "Hello...(other side) Hello!, we welcome you today..." It was rather repetitive and always ended with the whole primary screaming HELLO!!! at the top of our little lungs. At least until they made us stop singing it because people could hear us from the other side of the ward building....**sigh** Those were the days... - 08/19/2006 - phoenix rising

Southern Baptists actually had "Sunbeams" before the mormon church took the name. It was back in the 30's and 40's and it was their program for girls in 1st thru 6th grades. They studied about missionaries around the world. They still have the same program only now it is called Girls in Action or GA's. Just another thing the Morg has assimilated and tried to make us think was always theirs. - 04/30/2004 - from IMXLDS2

Thank God Jesus never wanted me for a sunbeam. - 04/27/2004 - anon

OK, what happened to "Give Said the Little Stream?" That should be in the top 5. - 11/23/2003 - gregp1962

I hear ya, Cricket--sometimes the nostalgia hits me and it certainly did when I saw your salt-dough bible village. Those days when we went to Primary after school on Wednesdays and did creative things were some of the few good memories I have of my Moism days, but also hate what the brainwashing did to my later life.

But where are the Lihoma pictures (LIttle HOme MAkers)? Remember the Gaynotes, Firelights and Merrihands and our cute little bandalos? I still have mine and it isn't missing a jewel. I just might have to make a trip to the museum for a little time traveling. - 11/14/2003 - from Merilynn

That is just wretched of you dear! Talk about FlashBackCity! Now I have that damn Targeteer song playing in my head. - 11/13/2003 - Sus I/S

I remember when I was twelve, I went with my friend to her little brother's baseball game. One of my Primary Leaders was keeping score. My friend and I noticed that she was cheating! We started keeping track. Everytime they'd score a point, she'd jot down two or three. Sometimes when the other team scored, she wouldn't record it. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! (and also that she didn't notice us watching her) She didn't seem to realize that the other team was also keeping score. When the game was over, we asked her what the score was.

THIS is probably when she realized that the other team had a scorekeeper, also. She said, "Uh... I think I made some mistakes." We about died! And of course, this is the lady that would drill 'honesty' (among other things) into our heads every Sunday! Maybe she was keeping score by the spirit. - 11/12/2003 - from MySongAngel

Primary parades around the Ward House, Primary penny drives, Play-doe covered milk carton Bible villages, pinewood derbies, reverence, fasting (not many children smile while fasting), bandelos and Cub Scouts (of course no Girl Scouts). Lots of good memories, but lots of regrets about the brain washing and blind obedience. Mostly memorizing and "not thinking" was encouraged.

Of all the callings in the ward, of course, Jesus would want to be Nursery Leader.

I couldn't believe "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam" was only ranked 12th in the all time favorite list. - 11/12/2003 - cricket


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