The Utah Area Presidency shared the following message with Church leaders in Utah on February 12, 2021. The letter offers recommendations for Primary leaders, parents, and children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In consultation with the Primary General Presidency of the Church, we have become increasingly concerned about our children who have been unable to attend Primary for almost a year. We are truly thankful for the efforts of Primary leaders and parents who provide a home-centered gospel learning experience and other activities with the support of Church leaders and resources. Until we can return to in-person second-hour classes, including Primary classes and activities, we offer the following recommendations for Primary leaders, parents, and children:
- Baptisms: Stake and Ward leaders should increase the focus on preparing children for baptism soon after their 8th birthday. Under the direction of a member of the bishopric, baptismal services will likely be limited to family and close friends, with a focus on the simplicity and purity of the ordinance. Others may view baptismal services remotely using technology.
- Home-centered Primary: Parents and family members should be encouraged to provide home-centered gospel learning activities with the support of Primary leaders. Church resources include: The Friend magazine; Come, Follow Me—for Primary; Children’s Songbook; and activity ideas from Children and Youth program. We ask leaders to pay close attention to children whose parents struggle with temporal and spiritual challenges. Leaders and parents with their children should watch the General Primary Presidency message.
- Stay connected: Primary leaders and teachers should remain connected with all Primary children by creatively utilizing available options—virtual contact, letters, text messages, home deliveries, and in-person visits where safety protocols can be maintained. Leaders should counsel together and ask what they can do, rather than what they cannot do in these circumstances.
- Current options: We encourage stake and ward leaders to counsel together, under the direction of stake presidents and bishops, and seek new options and times (including weekdays) to conduct virtual or in-person Primary classes, singing times, and activities where local conditions and health guidelines permit, while maintaining all appropriate safety protocols (e.g., masking, social distancing, etc.).
We express gratitude for your attentive care and dedicated service. As we continue to counsel with senior leaders of the Church and as conditions in the Utah Area improve, we will continue to support your efforts with additional modifications to these and other guidelines.
The Utah Area Presidency