Question: On Primary and handing out candy


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As a mom with kids whom have allergies. I HATE snacks from others period!!! I can't leave ither of my kids in class alone because half our teachers don't show up and my kids are given snacks that not only mess with their bodies but their brains as well. If my one of my kids get dairy or wheat products she starts sluring her speech and looses words. It is REALLY bad. She has EPIC tantrums and will self harm because her skin hurts so bad. The teachers don't see this. But, I always know.... just based on behavior. So, we have to sit in the back of class every week. We have offered to teach just to make sure that nothing is given to our kids. Even tried to talk to our bishop about having nursery snack handed out as the kids are leaving. We were shot down and told we could choose to not bring our kid to nursery. So, we stopped going. One week there were 7 kids in nursery including mine and the teachers handed out 27 packages of fruit snacks to split between them. I let my daughter have one package. So 26 packages between 6 kids. Is CRAZY to me. Then we have sacrament after and all the nursery kids are bouncing off the walls. Well, to many fruit snacks. I get some of you are saying calm down. But once a week my kids getting things they can't have can be days and days of detoxing and for some stuff it is weeks of detoxing before they are back to their normal selves. 


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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/8/2022 at 4:11 PM, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

After reading through this I am now going to increase the times I hand out treats at church.

The first bishop I ever met (a wonderful man, btw) just openly handed me a package of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups at our first meeting. 

To this day I’d still charge a machine gun for that guy. 

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  • 1 year later...

It was in the primary handbook when I was a primary president about 20 or so years ago. It was a separate handbook just for primary and had a lot of detail. Now it has become more simplified in the current handbook with not a lot of do's and don't's . My opinion, though, is there are several reasons for avoiding sweets in primary.

1. It takes the kids' focus away from the real reason for being in primary: to learn the gospel and feel the Spirit testify of its truthfulness. Candy is a distraction from that focus. There is nothing in the scriptures about candy or any parallel in the scriptures that makes a good reason to hand out candy. There is no gospel principle that makes it necessary. It is just a false tradition. In fact, you can argue that the Word of Wisdom discounts putting things into our bodies that are not good for it. We teach good health and that our bodies are temples. Giving candy goes contrary to that gospel principle. 

2. When the kids are used to getting sweets from a teacher each week, or even intermittently, and then in the new year, they move up to a teacher who does not give sweets, they are disappointed with the new teacher and tune him/her out or don't participate fully in the lesson. This puts that teacher at a disadvantage. This is evidence that the candy did not help the kids really pay attention better in class with the previous teacher. In fact, it did the opposite. All it did was set a precedence that treats are expected (not gospel learning), and the kids have learned inadvertently that you only respond to requests that are associated with promises of sweets.

3. This goes contrary to gospel teaching. Jesus taught to do things without any expectation of reward. In fact, when Jesus fed the 5,000, people began following him to see if they could get fed. Jesus caught on to this and said (the next day when there were many following him) "Ye seek me not because ye saw the miracle, but because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled" (John 6:26). He wanted them to be hungry for the gospel, not so much for food (or sweets). He said, "Labor not for meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life..." (verse 27). Giving sweets goes contrary to Jesus' teachings.

4. Many parents cringe when their kids bring home candy or sweets from primary or hear that they were given it. It goes against many family's principles. You don't ever know the whole story behind each child that you give sweets to and the intention behind parents' preferences that their child be given no sweets. Parents might not always voice their views. Parents' preferences for no sweets are often carefully thought out reasons, even backed up by medical professionals. Teachers should value parents' preferences. it is being Christlike to honor family's wishes.

5. Teachers often give out candy to be liked, or as one teacher put it, "to cover up the fact that I am not a great teacher."  I heard of one teacher who went to the store Sunday morning to buy a dozen donuts because, in his words it was, "an apology for not preparing a lesson." It happened to be Fast Sunday, too. 


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Oh wow.  This thread started in 2016, when I cared deeply about the subject.  Now my kiddos are all grown, and the topic now falls squarely into "love thy neighbor" territory for me, but otherwise I couldn't care less!

Yay!  Adult children mean I have different things to fret about!

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