“Appendix C: For Primary—Instructions for Singing Time and the Children’s Sacrament Meeting Presentation” Come, Follow Me—For Home and Church: Book of Mormon 2024 (2023)
“Appendix C,” Come, Follow Me—For Home and Church: 2024
Primary songs are a powerful tool to help children learn about Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness and the foundational truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As children sing about gospel principles, the Holy Ghost will testify of their truthfulness. The words and music will stay in the children’s minds and hearts throughout their lives.
Seek the help of the Spirit as you prepare to teach the gospel through music. Share your testimony of the truths you sing about. Help the children see how the music relates to what they are learning and experiencing at home and in Primary classes.
With the direction of the bishop, the children’s sacrament meeting presentation is normally held during the fourth quarter of the year. As the Primary presidency and music leader, work with the counselor in the bishopric who oversees Primary to plan the presentation.
The presentation should allow the children to present what they and their families have learned from the Book of Mormon at home and in Primary, including the Primary songs they have sung during the year. As you plan the presentation, think of ways it can help the congregation focus on the Savior and His teachings.
Units with small numbers of children may consider ways in which family members can participate with their children. 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 unnecessary time away from Primary classes or families.
Visuals, costumes, and media presentations are not appropriate for sacrament meeting.
See General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 184.108.40.206.
5 minutes (Primary presidency): Opening prayer, scripture or article of faith, and one talk
20 minutes (music leader): Singing time
The Primary presidency and music leader select songs for each month to reinforce principles the children are learning in their classes and at home. A list of songs that reinforce these principles is included in this guide.
As you teach songs to the children, invite them to share what they have already learned about the stories and doctrinal principles the songs teach. Invite the children to share their thoughts and feelings about the truths found in the songs.
The Children’s Songbook is the basic resource for music in Primary. Hymns from the hymnbook and songs from the Friend are also appropriate. The use of any other music in Primary must be approved by the bishopric (see General Handbook, 12.3.4).
Singing time is intended to help the children learn the truths of the gospel. The following ideas can inspire you as you plan ways to teach the gospel principles found in hymns and Primary songs.
Read related scriptures. For many of the songs in the Children’s Songbook and the hymnbook, references to related scriptures are listed. Help the children read some of these passages, and talk about how the scriptures are related to the song. You could also list a few scripture references on the board and invite the children to match each reference to a song or a verse from a song.
Fill in the blank. Write a verse of the song on the board with several key words missing. Then ask the children to sing the song, listening for the words that fill in the blanks. As they fill in each blank, discuss what gospel principles you learn from the missing words.
Testify. Bear brief testimony to the children of gospel truths found in the Primary song. Help the children understand that singing is one way they can bear testimony and feel the Spirit.
Stand as a witness. Invite children to take turns standing and sharing what they learn from the song they are singing or how they feel about the truths taught in the song. Ask them how they feel as they sing the song, and help them identify the influence of the Holy Ghost.
Use pictures. Ask the children to help you find or create pictures that go with important words or phrases in the song. Invite them to share how the pictures relate to the song and what the song teaches. For example, if you are teaching the song “The Iron Rod” (Hymns, no. 274), you could put pictures throughout the room or under chairs depicting important words from the song (such as iron rod, word of God, guide, temptation, and heaven). Ask the children to gather the pictures and hold them up in the correct order as you sing the song together.
Share an object lesson. You could use an object to inspire discussion about a song. For example, the song “Faith” (Children’s Songbook, 96–97) mentions a little seed. You could show the children a seed and talk about how we show faith when we plant a seed; this could lead to a discussion about ways we show faith in Jesus Christ, as described in the song.
Invite sharing of personal experiences. Help the children connect the principles taught in the song with experiences they have had with these principles. For example, before singing “I Love to See the Temple” (Children’s Songbook, 95), you could ask the children to raise their hands if they have seen a temple. Invite them, as they sing, to think about how they feel when they see a temple.
Ask questions. There are many questions you can ask as you sing songs. For example, you can ask the children what they learn from each verse in the song. You can also ask them to think of questions that the song answers. This can lead to a discussion about the truths taught in the song.
Use simple hand actions. Invite the children to think of simple hand actions to help them remember the words and messages of a song. For example, when you sing the second verse of “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” (Children’s Songbook, 228–29), you could invite the children to point to their eyes, act like butterflies, and cup their hands behind their ears. Ask them to place their hands on their hearts as they sing “Yes, I know Heavenly Father loves me.”