Teenagers are invited to attend The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s seminary program. Students attend a daily scripture class focusing on a book of scripture each year. Attending seminary requires sacrifices of time and commitment, and often sleep.
Opportunities to learn about Jesus Christ and His gospel offer any individual profound spiritual blessings. But I’m always interested to hear a teenager’s takeaway.
This awesome freshman, Connor Bushman, shared some of his thoughts about seminary, promised blessings for attending seminary, and lessons he personally learned by attending his first year of seminary.
Connor Bushman’s Blessings of Attending Seminary
My name is Connor Bushman. I am a freshman at Mountain Ridge Junior High. I was asked to share how seminary has blessed my life. This is my first year attending seminary, and I can already see that it has blessed me in so many ways.
Three Powerful Things Seminary Can Do
President Henry B. Eyring said,
There are three powerful things seminary can do. First, it puts young people together who share the same values. Youth like to be with others who share their faith and who love the scriptures. Second, it puts youth together with a teacher who has a testimony, and they can feel the fire of it when it is borne. Third, seminary gets young people into the scriptures.
Seminary has blessed my life this year by helping me learn more of the doctrine and principles of Christ and his church as we studied the Doctrine and Covenants. The Doctrine and Covenants is the only book of scripture that we have where the Lord gives the preface for the book.
In Doctrine and Covenants 1:1, the Lord calls upon us to “Hearken” and “listen together.” In seminary, just as President Eyring said, we are able to hearken to the words the Lord has given to us in our day and listen together in our classes with peers who share our same values.
Christ tells us in verse 12 “prepare ye, prepare ye, for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh.”
I know that as I have attended my seminary classes, I have been able to listen and understand what the Lord is telling me and it has helped me prepare for that which is to come by strengthening my testimony and faith, even as I feel the testimonies and faith of my teacher and classmates.
In verse 21, the Lord promises that if we give heed to his words, “faith also might increase in the earth.” We all know that the earth and those living on it could use more faith!
What You Take From Seminary Depends on Your Attitude
President Thomas S Monson said of seminary,
When you have the chance to be involved in seminary, whether in the early morning or in released-time classes, take advantage of that opportunity. As with anything in life, much of what you take from your seminary experience depends on your attitude and your willingness to be taught. May your attitude be one of humility and a desire to learn.
How grateful I am for the opportunity I had as a teenager to attend early-morning seminary, for it played a vital role in my development and the development of my testimony. Young people, I ask you to participate in seminary. Study your scriptures daily. Listen to your teachers carefully. Apply what you learn prayerfully. Seminary can change lives.
This year I was able to read the entire Doctrine and Covenants for the first time! As President Monson stated, I was able to study the scriptures daily and learn about the restoration of the Church, the restored gospel, and about Joseph Smith and his growth and role in the reorganization of the church.
I learned that not only did Joseph Smith have a lot of challenges and trials, but almost all of the early saints had trials they had to overcome and face with faith and their testimonies. They were prepared for that time and that challenge. Learning about their struggles has made it easier for me to go through my trials by knowing that I can trust in the Lord and have faith that His purposes will be done.
Each of us has struggles and trials. I learned about the early saints, how they were tested and persecuted, and how much they believed Jesus Christ, the gospel, and the Book of Mormon.
I learned about Elizabeth Panting and how she left everything she had and traveled to be with the Saints in Zion. She was blessed by Wilford Woodruff that she and her two kids would be able to make it through the journey, and she did. The blessings of tithing helped her make the trip because she had to leave everything behind. I hope I can have faith like her.
The Sacrifices Are Worth the Effort
Sister Brittany Beattie said,
Attending seminary requires sacrifice, but youth throughout the world are finding that seminary participation is worth every effort. And those who participate have something in common: their seminary experience brings them closer to the Savior and to our Heavenly Father.
She went on to say that latter-day prophets have promised those who attend seminary will receive many blessings, some of which are:
It “becomes a godsend for the salvation of modern Israel in a most challenging hour.”
It “will prepare you to present the message of the restored gospel to those you have opportunity to meet.”
It helps you “gain vital understanding of truth.”
Seminary “provides wonderful opportunities to learn the doctrines that will make you happy. It provides wonderful opportunities for socializing with those who share your beliefs.”
“Your knowledge of the gospel will be increased, your faith will be strengthened, and you will develop wonderful associations and friendships.”
“It yields … spiritual enrichment, moral strength to resist the evil that is all about us, as well as a tremendous increase in gospel scholarship.”
It is “one of the best preparations for a mission.”
Become Acquainted with the Gospel
Seminary has blessed me in knowing how to learn more from the scriptures. Being able to read the scriptures is a start, but being able to comprehend and understand what they mean for me, has been the real blessing.
President Gordon B Hinckley said,
I hope every one of you goes to seminary. I am glad you do. It is good for you. Go there to learn and become acquainted with the gospel. Someday every one of you is going to have to defend this Church, to explain it to others. Now is the time to prepare.
I am grateful that I have the opportunity to attend seminary to strengthen my testimony and to prepare myself for my mission and defending Christ and His Church. I know the gospel that I am learning about is true and will help me in my daily life and prepare me for my future life as well.
I am thankful for the Savior and all He has done for me. I love Him and love to learn more about Him.
As Jesus Christ said in Doctrine and Covenants 1:37, “Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.” I believe Christ and know that what He has said is true.