Thursday, June 10, 2010

Seminary Graduation

High-school-age Mormon youth are encouraged to enroll in a four-year course of religious education in addition to their normal school classes.

The classes are typically held before school on weekdays, but in areas with heavy concentrations of Latter-day Saints may be held during the school day.
The aim of the program, known as “seminary,” is to help students become familiar with the scriptures and to apply scriptural principles and lessons in daily living.
The students are taught one-year courses on the following four subjects: Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants (a modern volume of scripture) and Church history. A seminary class usually includes teaching by the instructor and discussions with students.
During 2005, over 363,000 students participated in seminary classes around the world.

Our high school children have graduated another year of seminary , A time honored tradition in both Ian's and my family growing up.

It plays out differently in every home but in ours this is a typical scene at 5:45 every morning
Emma (walking into our bedroom)- "good morning mom it's time to get up!"
Emma turns on the bathroom light and gets herself ready for the day
Jon is next, he heads to the bathroom gets dressed then we all head downstairs for breakfast
Mom makes lunches and we head out the door to pick up a friend of Em's, then off to Seminary!
Arriving most mornings at 6:25.

Growing up in my home in Queensland N.S I can remember waking up with my whole family - my dad and Jon (my oldest brother) would sit at the dining room table and study the scriptures and work out of a seminary home study guide. While my mom ,Dave (my middle brother) and I would sit together in the living room on dad's big comfy chair reading from the scriptures and talking about how these experiences applied to our lives!

As I grew older and the boys left home it was my turn to attend seminary. I remember begging my parents to let me go to early morning seminary with all my friends! I really need to see them in the morning and have the bonus of knowing we were all going out into the world that day but not alone (when you are the only LDS youth in your school you can feel pretty alone!
I was so grateful for my parents sacrifice getting up at 5am leaving the house by 6am so we would get there on time - During grade 9 I was still in Jr High So my seminary teacher would drive me back out 1/2 an hour out and back to drop me off at school (I was able to thank him a few years back,while on a trip to Nova Scotia, I hope he knows how grateful I am for his families sacrifice so I could attend with my friends)
In grade 10 and 11 I made a deal with my parents if i could get my grades up , could I choose the high school I wanted to go to! - By this time I was an only child and our family structure had changed a great deal! (no more goats to feed and milk, no chickens to tend to) My parents both worked in the city at Dalhousie University and held heavy callings in the church that kept them at meetings.
I finally choose a high school that 2 other members would be attending! My cousin and best friend Lis and a young women that I looked up to. I was thrilled! - My parents not so much, There plan was to have me go to a private school, located close to the University; one that held classes on horseback riding etc....(I still wonder why I did not take them up on this offer - except I know I would have stayed in NS when they moved to TO and I would have not met Ian and lived the wonderful life that is now mine!
A lot of wonderful people sacrificed in order for me to attend early morning seminary and to them I will be eternally grateful to Sister Rose, who invited me to sleep in her home on Thursday nights so I did not miss seminary on Friday (held in Bedford with sister Haas) For my Aunt and Uncle who let me stay in there home (my home away from home)and my cousin who didn't get annoyed with the friendly "Good Morning" every morning (Don't worry Lis, Emma has taken over that role!) For my parents who some how had a testimony of a program they were unable to participate in themselves as youth!
I have such a strong testimony of this inspired program...It only makes sense to put on your armor before you go out to battle in this world! To study the scriptures before heading off to school and the temptations of that day!

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