Women’s OrganizationsPrimary


Women’s Organizations Research Guide

Aurelia Spencer Rogers, 1st Primary President.

The first Primary was organized on Sunday, August 25, 1878, in Farmington, Utah. Aurelia Spencer Rogers is recognized as the founder and served as the first president. She got the idea for a children’s organization from the rambunctious boys in her neighborhood who needed guidance and gospel instruction. The original Primary served children ages 4 through 14 and had only 224 members. Today it serves over 1 million children all around the world.

Online Resources:

Farmington Ward Primary Association minutes and records, 1878-1949

This collection contains the minutes of the Farmington Ward Primary, the first Primary organization of the Church, which was started by Aurelia Spencer Rogers. In addition to containing meeting minutes, the records document the organization of classes, donation collections, activities, and attendance lists, and the organization of classes. Part of this collection is currently on display in the Foundations of Faith exhibit at the Church History Library.

Textual Resources:

Primary Association annual history: reports 1980-1994

This is an annual history of the Primary, written by the Primary Association. The reports provide an account of presidency and general board decisions and activities during the presidencies of Dwan J. Young and Michaelene P. Grassli.

Primary Association history 1999

This record gives a summary overview of the history of the activities, curriculum, leadership, and achievements of the general Primary Association from 1994 to 1999, as written by the Primary Association.

Primary Association Scrapbooks

The Primary Association has created many scrapbooks documenting the history of the organization. While many of these scrapbooks are open to research, some may be closed to protect the privacy of living individuals. To see if a specific scrapbook is available, check our catalog under the call number CR 16.

Sisters and Little Saints: One Hundred Years of Primary (1979)

Written by Carol Cornwall Madsen and Susan Staker Oman, this book tells the story of the history, growth, and development of the Primary Association. The appendixes include a list of the General Presidents, counselors, board members, and priesthood advisers from 1880 to 1978, as well as the development of class names, emblems, colors, and mottos.

The Children’s Friend: Primary Presidents and Their Lives of Service

This is a history of the Primary Association from the presidencies of Louie B. Felt to Patricia Pinegar. The appendix includes a time line of significant events and developments in the Primary. It was written by Janet Peterson and LaRene Gaunt and published in 1996.

Life Sketches of Orson Spencer and Others, and History of Primary Work

Originally published in 1898 by Aurelia Spencer Rogers, this volume consists of two parts. The first part is an account of the life of Aurelia Rogers and of her father, Orson Spencer. Part two gives an account of the formation and growth of the Primary Association, in which the author played a leading role.