Instructions for Sharing Time and the Children’s Sacrament Meeting Program

“Instructions for Sharing Time and the Children’s Sacrament Meeting Program,” 2017 Outline for Sharing Time: Choose the Right (2017), ii–1

“Instructions,” 2017 Outline for Sharing Time, ii–1

Instructions for Sharing Time and the Children’s Sacrament Meeting Presentation

Dear Primary Presidencies and Music Leaders,

This year you have the opportunity to teach the children the importance of choosing the right. Learning to make good choices is an important part of our Heavenly Father’s plan for us and will bring many blessings. Seek to invite the Lord’s Spirit as you prayerfully teach the lessons included in this outline. As you do so, the children will learn that they can receive help in making choices by following the example of Jesus Christ, living gospel principles, and heeding the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Choosing the right will help children stay on the path back to our Heavenly Father.

We appreciate your faithful service as you love and teach the precious children of your Primary. We pray for you and know that the Lord will bless you as you serve in this important calling.

The Primary General Presidency

Instructions for Sharing Time

Gospel Instruction

Use this booklet as you prepare to teach a 15-minute lesson each week during sharing time. You may supplement the weekly lessons with other Church-approved materials, such as the Friend or the Liahona. The following guidelines will help you plan and present lessons.

Love Those You Teach. Show your love for the children by learning their names and being aware of their interests, talents, and needs.

Teach the Doctrine by the Spirit. As you prepare lessons, pray for guidance and strive to strengthen your testimony of the principles you will teach. This will help you teach by the Spirit.

Invite Learning. This booklet is designed to help you know not only what to teach but also how to teach and invite learning. You will teach the doctrine more effectively as you do the following three things in every lesson:

  1. Identify the doctrine. Clearly introduce the doctrine that the children will be learning. Consider ways to do this verbally and visually. (For some examples, see the lessons for the third week in May and the second week in August.)

  2. Encourage understanding. Ensure that the children gain a deeper understanding of the doctrine through a variety of teaching methods that engage them in learning, such as singing songs, role-playing, and reading scriptures.

  3. Encourage application. Give the children opportunities to apply the doctrine in their lives. Consider how they can express feelings about or set a goal related to the doctrine.

This booklet provides complete lessons for some of the weeks in the year. Ideas, but not complete lessons, are included for the other weeks. Supplement those ideas with some of your own. You can get ideas by reading other lessons in this booklet. When there is a fifth Sunday, use this time to review previous lessons. The Spirit can guide you as you plan and prepare activities for lessons.

Work with the music leader as you prepare your lessons. Singing songs will help reinforce the doctrines you are teaching. Occasionally you may invite teachers and their classes to help you with parts of the gospel instruction.

Some lessons suggest inviting guest speakers to participate in Primary. You should get the approval of your bishop or branch president before inviting these individuals to participate.

Accompanying the lessons are several teaching tips that will help you improve your ability to teach. The lessons also include pictures that will help you see what an activity looks like. Although developing teaching skills is important, your own spiritual preparation and testimony are what will invite the Spirit to confirm these doctrines in the hearts of the children.

Singing Time

Music in Primary should establish a reverent atmosphere, teach the gospel, and help children feel the influence of the Holy Ghost and the joy that comes through singing. A 20-minute segment of sharing time should be devoted to singing and teaching music. This will ensure that you have enough time to teach new music and to help the children enjoy singing.

This booklet includes a new song for the children to learn this year (see page 28). It also includes a section titled “How to Use Music in Primary” (see pages 26–27) and additional ideas for teaching songs to children (see pages 9, 17).

Guidelines for the Sacrament Meeting Presentation

Under the direction of the bishop or branch president, the children’s sacrament meeting presentation is normally given during the fourth quarter of the year. Meet with the counselor in the bishopric or branch presidency who oversees Primary early in the year to discuss preliminary plans. Obtain his approval when the plans are completed.

Plan for the children to present the program based on the monthly sharing time themes. Throughout the year, keep notes of children’s talks and personal experiences for possible use in the presentation. As you plan for the children to share what they have learned about this year’s theme, think of ways they can help the congregation focus on the gospel doctrines they are teaching. A member of the bishopric may conclude the meeting with brief remarks.

As you prepare the presentation, remember the following guidelines:

  • Practices should not take time away from classes or families unnecessarily.

  • Visuals, costumes, and media presentations are not appropriate for sacrament meeting.

children singing

Resources Used in This Booklet

The following abbreviations are used throughout the booklet:

CSChildren’s Songbook

TNGCTeaching, No Greater Call

Many lessons include suggestions for using pictures. You can find pictures in the Gospel Art Book, the Gospel Art Picture Kit, Primary manual picture packets, and Church magazines and online at