A Major Doctrinal Shift in the 2010 CHI

January 2, 2011    By: Matt W. @ 9:18 am   Category: Uncategorized

While many posts have been dedicated to the new CHI, I am quite surprised that this major doctrinal shift has been overlooked. To my mind, this is probably the most important “micro-mormon” (Thanks, Scott B.) level change to occur in the handbook.

So here it is-

The 1998/2006 Handbook said regarding food in primary:

“The only times food should be provided during Sunday Primay is when it is included as part of a lesson or as a snack for the
children in the nursery class. If teachers provide food, they should first consult with the parents of each child about any
dietary restrictions that may be caused by conditions such as diabeties or allergies.”
-Church handbook of instructions (book2) page 239

It now says ” ” regarding this topic.

You’re Welcome.


  1. Yeah, that part about the food allergies could be important. I just had a friend end up in the emergency room because someone in the ward gave out food containing nuts. (You couldn’t see the nuts because they weren’t on top but in the middle.)

    And she was an adult and so knew she immediately needed to go to the hospital and made it just in time before it became too serious. But little kids who don’t know better may not fair so well.

    It’s actually to bad nut allergies are not specifically waned against if the Church is trying to be specific enough to be practical.

    Comment by Joseph Smidt — January 2, 2011 @ 10:21 am

  2. I, for one, HATE food at Church and dearly hope we have broken the cycle and shall not return to the days of snacks as rewards and bribes. My building is pretty filthy as it is, adding food to the mix would be pretty revolting.

    Comment by ESO — January 2, 2011 @ 10:36 am

  3. If you have a nut allergy severe enough that you could die from eating nuts, shouldn’t you always ask?

    I love food at church! I would bring some healthy snacks for my kids in primary because a lot of them were pretty fat! Like grapes or celery and peanut butter. One large 5 year-old girl brought a box of powdered donuts for her breakfast- gross!

    Comment by Merkat — January 2, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

  4. I always, always, always bring food for my Sunbeams. The only way to stop me would be to release me from my calling. It isn’t a reward or a bribe, it is sustenance. 3 year-olds need that. Clearly, whoever wrote the offending food restriction in the old handbook was an uninspired child of hell. Thank goodness that has been corrected! Not that it makes any difference as far as what I do.

    Comment by E — January 2, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

  5. In the 1990s I was made Sunday School President and given three tasks make classes end on time, stop the large scale walking/talking in the hallways by those expressing their agency and not going to class, and stop the giant buffet served by one teacher. The first two were easy, the last took some effort.

    We had one sister that spent countless hours preparing her lesson (and cooking for her class) Unfortunately, she was both a great teacher and a great cook. Kids were cutting other classes to go get “carbed up” in hers. The look on her face when
    I told her food was alright occasionally and for the purpose of the lesson, but that 3-4 desserts every week was too much, was near devastating. However, after explaining the problems and ill will it was causing, she relented.

    This did cause one problem for me–my vanillaholc daughter found out I was the cause of her not “consuming in mass quantities” of her favorite cake each sunday. It was a might chilly around our house for a few days.

    Comment by Stan Beale — January 2, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

  6. Am I reading this incorrectly, or is the point of the post that the new handbook says NOTHING about food in primary ??

    Comment by Hemi — January 2, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

  7. There is no way to survive being a primary leader in the 11-2 time slot without offering food. The children simply cannot humanely be expected to go from breakfast to almost dinner without some sustenance. Sunbeams need a small snack regardless of time slot.

    Candy is not sustenance, and not the wisest choice of routine reward either, imho, though sparingly is fine.

    Interesting that the new handbook doesn’t seem to have anything to say on this topic. I wonder if there is a general no-food instruction elsewhere, instead of specifically under the Primary heading? Are break-the-fast dinners and linger-longers still banned?

    Comment by sister blah 2 — January 2, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

  8. Mrs. Blah 2- here is every statement from the handbook regarding food, so nope,not there.

    Comment by Matt W. — January 2, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

  9. With regard to a “children’s classes” held during on non-Sunday Relief Society meetings:

    If food is provided in the children’s class, leaders first consult with the parents of each child about any dietary restrictions due to conditions such as diabetes or allergies.

    See here.

    Comment by Mark D. — January 2, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

  10. Mark D.- I saw that, but it is not a restriction, just a helpful tip.

    Comment by Matt W. — January 2, 2011 @ 10:19 pm

  11. Matt W, I would say more a guideline than a helpful tip. I just thought it would be good to know that part hasn’t really gone away.

    The restriction that has gone away was probably a bit too hard and fast, in my opinion. I think it is a good change. Iron clad rules deserve ample justification, so as to avoid quenching reasonable liberties and making people feel like they live in a police state.

    When someone says, no you cannot process tithing without a member of the bishopric in the room, I say no problem. When they say you cannot have a treat in Primary under nearly any circumstances, I think what kind of cruel hearted soul dreamt that rule up?

    Comment by Mark D. — January 2, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

  12. Mark D.- Whole-heartedly agree. In my ward at least, it was also annoying because I brought food for the YM every week, and the primary rule was perpetually brought up.

    Comment by Matt W. — January 3, 2011 @ 8:17 am

  13. I don’t think anyone in my ward ever noticed the previous counsel in the handbook.

    Comment by Jacob J — January 3, 2011 @ 10:09 am

  14. Yeah, as choir director, I think we’re gonna have to have a snack before choir practice fer-shure, being as Ward council starts at 9:30, Sacrament at 11:00, and Choir at 2:15. But then again, I see ward choir as being a variety of ward activity anyway.

    Comment by Coffinberry — January 3, 2011 @ 10:21 am

  15. I’m surprised about one thing regarding food: that it doesn’t mention red drinks being verboten in Church buildings, or that you can’t hang anything up on the walls, or…. They obviously did not have any of our Nazi FHM group giving guidance on that portion of the handbook.

    Comment by Rameumptom — January 3, 2011 @ 11:05 am

  16. …no way to survive being a primary leader in the 11-2 time slot without offering food. The children simply cannot humanely be expected…

    Seriously? I mean, surely you say that with a hefty dose of hyperbole.

    Comment by BrianJ — January 3, 2011 @ 11:58 am

  17. Allergies are important. My kids have a horrible milk allergy and nearly all snacks well meaning teachers bring include milk. We try and be pro-active and talk to new teachers for them. But well intentioned substitutes can cause no end of headache.

    Comment by Clark — January 3, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

  18. …no way to survive being a primary leader in the 11-2 time slot without offering food. The children simply cannot humanely be expected…

    Seriously? I mean, surely you say that with a hefty dose of hyperbole.

    I certainly hope that there was a large dose of hyperbole! My wife and I were Primary teachers for the first two years of our marriage, and the only time we brought in treats was before Christmas and when it actually fit in well with the lesson. None of our students ever died or accused us of being inhumane.

    Comment by Alex T. Valencic — January 3, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

  19. For the record, I have never brought a treat in all my years of teaching primary and sunday school. Also, I don’t let them play hangman.

    Comment by Jacob J — January 3, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

  20. When teaching the older kids in Primary, I’ve gone so far as to bring gold paper wrapped Rolo’s “buried” in rice krispy boxes. And Kirtland Temple shaped sugar cookies. We smashed hard candy and sprinkled it on them. But now I’m not sure if that broken dishes for the temple story is really true or not. . .

    Comment by C Jones — January 3, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

  21. Phew…I’m so relieved that we’re finally past the ol’ Israelite mentality of requiring God to command us in all things.

    My wife and I spoil our 12-15 year olds with Candy bars or gummy worms every week and I don’t mind one bit if some of the “overcompensatingly” pious (I’m pretending that’s a word) are bugged because 1, many of the kids in our ward probably never get them due to their parents economic situations and 2, it’s really helped them open up to us and participate in the lessons. The funny thing is, it’s never our kids parents or Leadership who care but concerned bystanders.

    Comment by Riley — January 3, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

  22. What’s with all the talk of bringing candy? Do no teachers bring their Sunbeams bacon?!

    Comment by BrianJ — January 3, 2011 @ 10:53 pm

  23. Heck, I bring food for the high priests once a month …

    Comment by Stephen M (Ethesis) — January 4, 2011 @ 6:13 am

  24. When I was teaching Primary, I always brought treats–usually homemade cookies. However, those treats came with strings attached. If they were acting up, and I didn’t finish the lesson, then there were no treats–I took them home and ate them myself.

    It only took a couple of times that they didn’t get the treats that I brought, and the kids were magically relatively quiet for the lesson. I don’t know if they were paying better attention, or had the mindset that they would do anything for a cookie.

    Comment by CS Eric — January 4, 2011 @ 10:49 am

  25. This is a great example of the fact that no one really pays much attention to the handbook.

    Comment by Don Johnson — January 4, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

  26. BrianJ, great idea. This Sunday it will be bacon. :)

    Comment by E — January 4, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

  27. My daughter has a pretty serious tree nut allergy so we’re used to checking labels on food. Our Sunbeam class never gets anything with nuts, milk or gluten. It lowers the options, but we still find plenty of tasty healthy stuff to bring. I haven’t tried bacon yet because I’m sure the delicious aroma would interrupt EQ which is just across the hall.

    Watching those five kids listen carefully as they chew on their snacks and swing their legs in the too-large chairs is awesome.

    Comment by jjohnsen — January 4, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

  28. I know a Bishop who passes out candy & fruit snacks (is there really a difference?) after the block of mtgs. to Primary kids if they can tell him what good thing they have done that day. It’s not unheard of to find a RS sister in the line.

    Comment by mondo cool — January 4, 2011 @ 9:37 pm

  29. How many of the commenters who are so enamored of bringing food to church for themselves or the children actually have the decency to clean up the messes that are left?

    As a Family History Center Director who has been told I must allow my Center to be used as an overflow classroom on Sundays for the two wards in the building, I get so tired of cleaning up after the “wonderful” primary teachers and sunday school teachers who think nothing of shutting off the lights and leaving the room after the mess is made.

    I find it highly amusing how you all take pride in ignoring the handbook or find it ridiculous that children are expected to go three hours without food (heaven forbid!) but would take incredible offense if anyone approached you about cleaning up the mess your actions cause.

    Comment by Michael — January 5, 2011 @ 9:40 am

  30. Assuming a lot there aren’t you Michael? No one I know would be insulted if they were asked to clean up after themselves.

    I have to admit that I do take pride in ignoring the handbook (I’m a rebel like that), but I always clean up my messes. Just the other day I disposed of the body of a drug dealer I gunned down. No one will find any crumbs on my floor.

    Comment by Don Johnson — January 5, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

  31. How did you get the blood out of the carpet?

    Comment by Michael — January 5, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

  32. I haven’t seen a single poster saying they want to bring food but get offended when someone asks them to clean up. Who exactly are you talking about?

    Comment by jjohnsen — January 5, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

  33. I’ve never once seen messes left behind in classrooms after Nursery, Primary, Sunday School, etc. There is a notice in our building reminding members that we are responsible for keeping the building clean.

    If it is such a problem where you are, Michael, just approach the bishops of the wards and ask them to make an announcement about it.

    Comment by Alex T. Valencic — January 7, 2011 @ 7:38 am

  34. I let my primary kids have a treat after primary every week except fast Sunday if they would sing a program song. They could sing alone or as a group. I had 11 year old boys singing at the top of their lungs. That, my friends, is the miracle of chocolate.

    Comment by KJ — January 8, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

  35. Policy, sure, but doctrine?????

    Comment by Glenn Smith — January 8, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

  36. Hmmm.. seems there are more important things to worry about than whether people bring food to primary?

    D&C 58: 26-27:
    26For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.

    27Verily I say, men should be aanxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;

    Comment by Michael Walker — January 25, 2011 @ 6:20 pm