Aurelia Rogers

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“The inspiration for a children’s class came to Aurelia Rogers of Farmington, Utah, one hundred years ago. There was a need to teach children the principles of the gospel in children’s language along with good manners and dress…

“In March 1878, Eliza R. Snow and others attended a Relief Society conference in Farmington. Aurelia Rogers later wrote:

“ ‘After the meeting, … when on their way to the depot, these sisters … stopped at my home. … The topic of our conversation was the young people, and the rough, careless ways of many of the young men and boys. … I asked the question, ‘What will our girls do for good husbands, if this state of things continues? … Could there not be an organization for little boys, and have them trained to make better men?’ ‘

“Eliza R. Snow seemed deeply impressed with the question and indicated she would speak to the Brethren…

“Aurelia wrote that in contemplating the possibility of an organization for boys, ‘A fire seemed to burn within me. … The query then arose in my mind could there not be an organization for little boys wherein they could be taught everything good, and how to behave.’

“Up until that time little girls had never been mentioned, but Aurelia felt the class would not be complete without them. The name Primarywas suggested as ‘the first’ or ‘original.’

“On August 11, 1878, Aurelia Spencer Rogers was set apart to preside over that first Primary Association by Bishop [John W. ] Hess. At his suggestion, Aurelia Rogers and her new counselors, Louisa Haight and Helen Miller, visited all the homes to secure the names of the children and to see if their parents were willing to send them to Primary. Following this careful preparation, 115 boys and 100 girls came to the stone chapel on August 25, 1878, for the first meeting. Citizens passing the meetinghouse that eventful day heard the children’s voices singing:

In our lovely Deseret,
Where the Saints of God have met
There’s a multitude of children all around;
They are generous and brave,
They have precious souls to save,
They must listen and obey the gospel’s sound.
Hark! hark! hark, ’tis children’s music,
Children’s voices, O how sweet,
When in innocence and love
Like the angels up above,
They with happy hearts and cheerful faces meet.

“Today the Church honors a faithful and distinguished pioneer woman. Aurelia Spencer Rogers—a child of adversity, testing, determination, and love, who built her faith event by event, challenge by challenge.”

David B. Haight, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Primary Enriches the Lives of Children,” April 1978 General Conference

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“Aurelia Rogers was a daughter of the refiner’s fire. Mosiah’s counsel to ‘not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked, … transgress the laws of God, … but … teach them to walk in … ways of truth, … love one another, and serve one another’ was part of her life. (Mosiah 4:14–15.)”

David B. Haight, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Primary Enriches the Lives of Children,” April 1978 General Conference

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“Aurelia wrote: ‘Why should anything be allowed to come before the most sacred duty of parentage, that of looking after the spiritual welfare of the children? was the question which burdened my mind.’ ”

David B. Haight, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Primary Enriches the Lives of Children,” April 1978 General Conference

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“Today we not only honor Aurelia Rogers but all the Primary leaders and teachers who during the first one hundred years have trained us. Her motto was:

Our children are our jewels.
We have counted well the cost.
May the angels ever guard them,
And not one child be lost.’ ”

David B. Haight, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Primary Enriches the Lives of Children,” April 1978 General Conference

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