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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : The first day of seminary: just shoot me now. » The first day of seminary: just shoot me now.

The first day of seminary: just shoot me now.

Susan M - September 10, 2007

Now that I’m home fulltime, I’m driving our kids to early-morning semetery, rather than relying on other people to get them there. That means getting up at 5:15, if I want to get dressed before getting in the car. But I don’t, so I get up at 5:30 and walk blindly into the dark morning, figuring no one human is up at that hour, so who cares if I’m in my pajamas?

My daughter is a morning person. No one else in our family is. She can get up at 5am and be happy. It’s like she’s an alien, or something.

She kept chattering at me on the way out the door. I said, “I know you’re talking, but I can’t tell what you’re saying.”

And she laughed.

We went to a fireside last night that they have every year for the kids to find out what semetery class they’re in, who they’re teachers are, etc etc. For some reason they make the fireside last at least an hour with all kinds of people talking. Bad idea, when I’m already grumpy, anticipating getting up at 5:30 the next day. The stake president talked about how he had a wonderful, mean mom who made him go to seminary every morning for four years. How parents have to be mean sometimes and their kids will appreciate it later.

I made my daughter wake me up this morning.

Of course, yesterday I was very ambitious. I tried to think of all the things I could do with that extra hour and a half every morning:

  • Study the scriptures. The house will be silent. Perfect opportunity.
  • Go out and take some sunrise photos. The sun will just be coming up. Perfect opportunity.
  • Take care of some errands that will otherwise take up my afternoon—go to the bank, the grocery store. Perfect opportunity.

What I actually did:

  • Went straight back home and got back into bed.
  • Laid there for 30 minutes thinking about how it’ll take me at least 30 minutes to get back to sleep, and then the alarm will go off for me to go pick the kids up from seminary.
  • Got up 5 minutes before the alarm went off so it wouldn’t wake up my husband and got to the seminary building early, so I played my PSP in the car and listened to Ted Leo. Perfect opportunity!

As we walked back into the house, I asked my son: “It’ll get easier after this, right?” and he looked at me like I was insane.

Best moment of the day so far: My husband getting out of bed at 7am, saying, “Seminary is going to kill me.”

42 Comments »

  1. Haha! I am like your daughter –mornings are best when greeted early. I just wish my 7 month old realized that 2AM is NOT morning.

    Question: Why isn’t hubby taking them? Sounds like he needs to. ;)

    Comment by Cheryl — September 10, 2007 @ 7:43 am

  2. Not an option. Believe me. If he had to drive them, they wouldn’t be going.

    I’m not sure they’re going to be going with me driving!

    Comment by Susan M — September 10, 2007 @ 8:03 am

  3. Well, here’s wishing you luck… though I’m surprised there isn’t some kind of ride share going on. Just too far away for it to be feasible? At least with a rideshare, you’d only be crazy driving once or twice a week.

    : )

    Comment by Silus Grok — September 10, 2007 @ 8:32 am

  4. You know that story floating around Mormon circles about how Spencer W. Kimball’s neighbor tried one week to wake up earlier than Pres. Kimball, but no matter how early, his light was always on?

    It’s a biological fact that old people need less sleep.

    So really, waking up early for them isn’t half so big a deal right?

    Comment by Seth R. — September 10, 2007 @ 8:42 am

  5. How long before you have a 16-year-old in the house? My parents made me drive myself (not that it took much convincing).

    Comment by William Morris — September 10, 2007 @ 8:48 am

  6. Although I think the easiest solution is for you guys to just buy a house within walking distance of the seminary building.

    Comment by William Morris — September 10, 2007 @ 8:48 am

  7. My kids are both old enough to drive, just don’t have their licenses. I was going to make them get jobs and pay for their own drivers ed, but I’m thinking it might be worth it for me to just shell out the dough at this point. But they’re required to have their permits for 6 months!

    The seminary building is within biking distance…but there’s no way I’d make my kids do that. It’s just cruel.

    Most of the people they could get rides from are other kids who drive themselves. My kids are tired of having to bum rides from people. But they may be stuck doing so again!

    Comment by Susan M — September 10, 2007 @ 8:56 am

  8. Although I think the easiest solution is for you guys to just buy a house within walking distance of the seminary building.

    We bought a house within walking distance of the church. After one year, certain ward members with more political clout than me got seminary moved to the teacher’s house, which was more convenient for them. But at least it is closer to school, so they can start later. We’re still getting up at the same time we did last year.

    Comment by Last Lemming — September 10, 2007 @ 9:08 am

  9. You can tell early morning cemetery is a sign of cult-like behavior by virtue of the tentacles that wrap themselves around even those who don’t have to attend.

    Clearly, the parents suffer as much as the pupils, if not more.

    We lived a long way* from church and so for the first couple of years my dad would get up with us every morning, drive us to seminary, wait around till it was over, drop us off at school and only then go on to work. Sheesh. The Lord giveth and Seminary taketh away.

    *As in an unincorporated part of the county.

    Comment by Peter LLC — September 10, 2007 @ 9:33 am

  10. I don’t have a spare $700K to buy a house within walking distance of the seminary building. Besides, that would require changing wards, something my kids are vehemently against!

    Comment by Susan M — September 10, 2007 @ 9:56 am

  11. I didn’t graduate seminary.
    So not a morning person.

    Comment by Summer — September 10, 2007 @ 10:00 am

  12. I’m almost hesitant to admit that I grew up in Southern Idaho where we had release time from school for seminary. Hey, watch what you’re throwing at me!!

    But I dutifully took my four sonsd uring their time in early morning seminary. What a challenge! And I am so impressed by the kids who are willing to do it – even if you have to drag them out of bed.

    When I was 13 we moved to a house where my bedroom was in the basement along with the family room. I learned how cool it was to stay up late watching Carson. Then when I was about 23 and out of college, I discovered how incredible the morning is. So now I do both – stay up late and get up early which gives me between 4 and 5 hours sleep a night. I try to make up for it on the weekends.

    Seth – even though I’m old compared to most of you, I’m not old enough to live on 4 hours sleep a night. I can’t wait for the day!

    Comment by Lamonte — September 10, 2007 @ 12:29 pm

  13. The summer before my sophomore year, a new church building opened across the street from the high school. My mile-and-a-half walk through the cool, dawning desert is a pleasant memory.

    Comment by John Mansfield — September 10, 2007 @ 12:47 pm

  14. What ever happen to seminary home study? Is that still an option? I know I would never have completed seminary if it weren’t for home study. I much preferred getting up early every Saturday morning to getting up at insane hours the other days of the week.

    Comment by endlessnegotiation — September 10, 2007 @ 2:16 pm

  15. In our ward I drove for years, for children not my own.

    But, what other time could I drive down Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn at 60 mph? There were small compensations.

    Comment by Mark B. — September 10, 2007 @ 2:17 pm

  16. In all honesty, I hated seminary and don’t plan on “forcing” my kids when they’re old enough to attend. If they want to, fine. If not, fine. I needed that sleep desperately. I consistently fell asleep in my high school core classes and that extra 1.5 hours would’ve helped tremendously. I couldn’t go to bed earlier because I had track, skiing, home work, job… you name it, I was always very busy. Three hours of church, plus young womens, is a lot more church than almost all other Christian faiths. Add to that a daily hour of seminary? I thought (still do) it was/is overkill. Not only that, most of my teachers were really sub par and I can’t think of much I learned or I got out of it.

    Comment by Lulubelle — September 10, 2007 @ 3:00 pm

  17. I think I will want my daughters to attend early morning seminary but looking back I have to ask – what did I retain from it all? Although it was a hassle for my parents to get me up, I did have excellent attendance and graduated. I don’t remember much at all though – except for my Old Testament teacher instructing us to cross out certain passages. People do crazy things before dawn. Frankly I think its a little too much to ask.

    Comment by cj douglass — September 10, 2007 @ 4:22 pm

  18. In our ward I drove for years, for children not my own.

    Mark,
    Aren’t you translated yet? :)

    Comment by cj douglass — September 10, 2007 @ 4:24 pm

  19. My kids want to go. My daugher actually enjoys it and has gotten a lot out of it. My son has trouble with getting up that early and missed a lot of last year. He purposely tried to get a zero hour class this year to make seminay easier for himself, but they didn’t offer anything he could take.

    Comment by Susan M — September 10, 2007 @ 4:27 pm

  20. We have release time seminary, too. But I’ve got 8 years before I have to worry about it- so by then, maybe we won’t… Being an early riser is just not natural. Can’t do it.

    Comment by tracy m — September 10, 2007 @ 6:13 pm

  21. CJ,
    Well, you could also ask the question, “what did I retain from high school?” Sure there might be few specific sticking points, but it’s the overall learning and growing that’s important. The learning how to learn. The learning how to comment, analyze, compare, write, etc. that we learn in seminary, not just the facts. One of the greatest things about my seminary experience was at the beginning of each class our teacher allowed anyone who wanted could share something interesting they learned in their scripture reading or any spiritual thought. I often took advantage of that time to talk through things I was learning and in retrospect I see that as one of the biggest boosts to my analytical skills and abilities to speak in front of others and teach. I don’t remember a single thing I talked about but I know it’s been a huge blessing to my life.

    Comment by Rusty — September 10, 2007 @ 7:45 pm

  22. Rusty,
    You always got a rebuttal don’t you? :) You have a good point though. The overall commitment and experience of seminary is much more valuable than the day to day facts or lessons. I guess I was pointing mostly to the early morning commitment that seems a bit much. We ask a lot of our youth and I feel like early morning seminary attendance should be viewed as an extraordinary feet. Too often its viewed as an expected duty – recognized only by a cheesy little diploma – if you make it that far.

    Comment by cj douglass — September 10, 2007 @ 9:00 pm

  23. I thought that my first commitment was to get good grades, earn some money to pay for college, and get enough sleep to function. Maybe some seminary teachers are great and they make it worth it. Mine were, well… not great at all. I mean, they were fun at times. There was comraderie to a certain degree. But my learning, either about religion or commitment, did not happen in seminary. Not even a little. I thought scripture chaces were fun but an enormous waste of time. I learned to resent the requirement the church had of us kids. I learned to skip seminary and lie to my parents about it. That’s about it.

    Comment by Lulubelle — September 11, 2007 @ 9:54 am

  24. I am with you Susan on the seminary thing. I was a graduate of released time seminary. Early morning seminary is a BIG sacrifice for the entire family. Because our five kids are so widely spaced, we have something like 18 years of seminary. 4 years down, 13 left to go (sigh). I will be an old woman when our seminary days are finished.

    This year I have so much to be thankful for in the seminary department. I am just so thankful that #2 son has a great seminary teacher this year. I am also grateful for all his wonderful friends in seminary. It has made all the difference for us. I drive him to seminary and walk during his class. Seminary starts at 6AM. I then drive him to school.

    The neighborhood is quiet, lovely and nestled in the woods. I inherited #1 son’s IPOD when he went on his mission. I have enjoyed walking fast up and down hills to the beat of some great rock n’roll. There is a herd of deer that bound thru the neighborhood as I walk. There are two sets of twins (darling!). I can’t believe I feel like this after 4 crappy years with son #1. I love my early morning walk and the time I get just for me.

    Comment by JA Benson — September 11, 2007 @ 10:41 am

  25. Nope, CJ. It was all that breaking the speed limit and pushing yellow lights to the edge of red (plus a whole lot more) that’s kept me here!

    Comment by Mark B. — September 11, 2007 @ 1:39 pm

  26. JA, you inspired me this morning to go out walking while the kids were in class.

    Comment by Susan M — September 12, 2007 @ 7:28 am

  27. I love the gospel, served a mission, have what I consider a firm testimony, and a current recommend. I went to early morning seminary for 4 years. Got top “grades” all the way through.

    And the most lasting legacy for me of early morning seminary is deep resentment of having to get up at such an insanely early hour every single day to sit half-asleep through lectures & presentations on stuff I already knew or could pick up elsewhere. Not a single seminary lesson sticks in memory as having made a significant difference for me. Scripture chases seemed a silly way to fill time for the sake of filling time; we weren’t studying their words or discussing their meanings, just memorizing their locations and improving fine motor skills. Big deal. The “seminary graduation” was a joke; I had a “Seminary 4.0″ even though I’d slept through half of every class after the first year and almost all of them my senior year. If Seminary and its “grades” had been even remotely credible or tied to actual performance, I would have barely passed. And I was considered one of the model kids; president of every Aaronic Priesthood quorum I was in, the whole bit.

    I was a busy high schooler with lots of things already going on at school, church and home other than Seminary, and have learned since then that optimal sleep time for teens is something like 10 hours a night. Knowing how busy LDS teens already are with schoolwork, athletics, YM/YW activities, college prep, and (optimally) family activities and how already sleep-deprived they may be as a result, I think it’s crazy to continue to pressure LDS teens and their parents to subject themselves to Seminary early in the morning. There’s got to be a better way or at least alternatives that should be considered equally acceptable. I would bet serious money there are lots of LDS adults who went through the early morning Seminary wringer and have attitudes similar to mine as the greatest lasting result.

    I don’t buy the “daily inoculation against evil” argument either. I heard the same thing when I was in seminary and don’t recall a single time when going to seminar “that morning” made the difference for me in any choice I made later in the day. Other kids may have been different, and that’s fine for them. Let them go every morning at the crack of dawn if they want. But it seems to me that if a kid is that fragile, then they have larger issues that seminary won’t solve.

    It appears to me that early morning seminary is treated as inflexibly compulsory in too many places far beyond what is healthy or necessary for the kids. At the very least, home study ought to be offered as a “socially acceptable” alternative for anybody that wants to use it. I certainly plan to give my kids that option when they’re old enough.

    Comment by JC — September 12, 2007 @ 9:56 am

  28. The only reason it’s so early for us here is so kids that have zero hour classes can attend. The first year my oldest went, they offered a later class (started at 6:30 rather than 5:30), and he went to that. But the next year the seminary pres said she couldn’t find enough kids that would take a later class to justify having one. Blows my mind.

    Comment by Susan M — September 12, 2007 @ 10:10 am

  29. I hear you JC. The only problem is that you don’t get the choice to home study your seminary kids. It has to be okayed by the Bishop, Stake President and the CES Superintendent. This guy is paid by the Church. Since this is his employment very few kids get to do home study.

    We tried to get #1 Son home study or at least allowed to transfer to another ward’s seminary. We were vetoed and berated at every turn. It blew our minds that the same people who would say in a snotty voice. “Parents are responsible for seeing that their children learn the Gospel, not the seminary teacher” Then veto our request as parents to choose another seminary option. Our ward’s seminary teacher allowed the kids to watch movies (PG13 &R) on their little video TV thingys, swear, make-out, etc… My son said that he heard more vulgarity at seminary than he did all day at the HS.

    As I said before, I am so thankful that things have changed in our neck of the woods.

    Susan M. I think that the walk in the morning thing works so well because I am in too much of a stupor to find reasons why I can’t walk today. Glad to be a good example for something :)

    Comment by JA Benson — September 12, 2007 @ 12:24 pm

  30. JA: My children still being some years away from Seminary age, I didn’t know that three levels of Church bureaucracy had to approve any home study. I will hope that changes before my young ones get there. If it doesn’t, then I will discuss all options with them, and if they want to pursue home study will try to work through channels first. If we end up having your experience, then I’ll go to my Utah friends who work for CES, get the study materials from them, and we’ll do it on our own.

    I will be polite but will not acquiesce to any local leaders who try to prevent me from teaching the gospel to my children in the ways I see fit. Especially if it’s just because a CES administrator’s trying to keep up his customer stats. If we decide that Seminary some other way is better for our kids, then I won’t care if they miss the formalities of “regular attendance” or the charade of “graduation” as a result, and I doubt they will either. I will care about whether they know the gospel and the Scriptures and have testimonies, not about whether they got there by jumping through early morning attendance hoops whose best justification is “that’s just the way we’ve always done it, and besides, CES won’t let us change.”

    Comment by JC — September 12, 2007 @ 1:49 pm

  31. JA Benson: I don’t get it… If you felt that your child should be able to do a home study and didn’t feel regular seminary was something that worked for your child, why did you insist on sending him/her? Isn’t that our right, responsibility, and obligation of parents? To, above all, make decisions we feel are appropriate and best for our kids? Why abdicate that in favor of what your bishop/SP says? If my leadership didn’t work with me on this one, well… so she won’t go. Big deal. We’ll go to church on Sunday and whatever fits into our schedule.

    JC: I couldn’t have said it better myself. I still think that my parents “forcing” seminary on me had a lasting impact on my activity in the church for years to come. I went to BYU and pretty much stopped attending church at all for almost the entire four years. I then graduated and for another 6 years, attended church sporadically. I’m not saying my actions aren’t my own, but the whole seminary thing was just too much.
    \
    It’s true– getting enough sleep is critical to kids’ success. If seminary starts at 5:30 AM, to get 9 hours of sleep, he/she would need to go to bed at about 8:00-ish every night. Since I never got home from track practice or other activities until at least 6:00 PM, spent another hour eating dinner/showering, and another 2-3 hours of homework per night, (not to mention when I had to go to work), there is no way I could go to bed that early. Hence, my routinely falling asleep in my core high school classes. Not good.

    I’m on a tangent now!

    The church expects a LOT of it’s members and when we fail to live up to all those expectations, many of us feel overwhelmed with guilt and anxiety. Some times I think the church needs to back off a bit, give us a list of things we must do (not such a long list), and a huge list of “nice to do’s” and say “do what you can and stop worrying about it if you can’t do it all– no one can.” The church starts this heavy lists of “musts” with kids far too young, in my humble opinion.

    Back to work now!

    Comment by Lulubelle — September 12, 2007 @ 2:33 pm

  32. Susan, my son is a morning person too. He gets that from Mary though. Our oldest daughter inherited my sleeping habits. Maybe when they are teenagers, she and I can stay up late together and Regan and Mary can get up early together. :)

    Re: 11, I was a seminary graduate and I went on a mission, but I am not a morning person. If I knew scripture mastery scriptures would end up being mission scriptures, I would have paid more attention.

    Re: 24, the five of us were four years apart, so seminary was not long at all for my mum. And once I got my license, I drove for 2 of those years. My last 2 years of high school, I walked to seminary.

    Comment by Kim Siever — September 12, 2007 @ 2:35 pm

  33. JA: That’s what I found walking this morning—in too much of a stupor to get bored. Basically did it in my sleep…except it wasn’t sleep that helps my brain cells.

    Kim: My daughter is our lone morning person. Not that the rest of us are night owls—I’m actually not much of an anything-person. Some people call it lazy. I call it low-energy. Or low-maintenance.

    Comment by Susan M — September 12, 2007 @ 4:19 pm

  34. JC I hope it works for you. I have little kids too (9, 7&3) I hope that things change by then as well. Good luck to you.

    To answer both your and Lulubelle’s questions, I hope to not bore everyone to death with too many details. We don’t force our high school teenagers to do anything. By the time a kid is 15-18 years old they are almost a grownup. You really can’t force them to do what they don’t want to do. There isn’t any point in alienating them.

    #1 Son had an okay seminary experience for the first two years OT and D&C. Then his only two LDS friends moved and the Seminary teacher was changed. The last two years NT and BofM were a nightmare. We gave him the option of quitting. He did not want to. He is tenacious kid and had the goal of graduating seminary. He said that no one was taking his goal away from him. He wanted to put on his mission application that he was a seminary graduate. We were polite. Other parents complained about the conditions in seminary. We did not.

    #1 Son read the scriptures all the way through on his own and memorized the missionary scriptures. He also went to a Christian after school Bible study group to discuss the NT. This and taking several difficult AP courses, being a team leader on Raiders (JROTC competitive team) that is ranked in the top 20 in the south. He also served in leadership positions in JROTC. He is an Eagle Scout and was active in the OA.

    You only have to attend a certain number of days to graduate, so he went the minimum number of days and either slept in or went to an early morning physics study group. Often in Seminary he studied or slept.

    The thing is certain parents and kids were gunning for him. He was not the only one who received this treatment. One of his friends who moved was treated like this also. Two other girls were driven into inactivity by this same crowd. We were so proud of that boy. He stood his ground and didn’t let them take away what was his (activity in the Gospel and to graduate Seminary).

    Kim even when they drive I still get up with them and fix breakfast. Once I’m up. I’m up.

    Well it is 8PM. Time for bed. Night ya’ll.

    Comment by JA Benson — September 12, 2007 @ 6:09 pm

  35. JC, your story is an inspiration. My hat’s off to you and to #1 Son. I’m going to keep a copy of this thread and share it with my kids when they’re Seminary age. Hope they will be as inspired as I was by your post.

    Comment by JC — September 12, 2007 @ 6:39 pm

  36. Oops, I meant JA, YOUR story is an inspiration. It’s late for me here too!

    Comment by JC — September 12, 2007 @ 6:39 pm

  37. lulubelle–
    The Church already does have a list of “musts” and “good things”. We, as members, just forget our priorities. It’s not the Church’s fault.

    fwiw–

    I had RT seminary. I loved it and considered it a blessing. However, I was still up by 5:30Am every day to get to band practice. By my senior year in high school, I was taking 5 AP classes, was the drum major of the marching band, taking piano and voice lessons, accompanying all the choirs in my school, involved in 5 after school clubs, in jazz band and percussion ensemble, was the Laurel President, Ward choir accompanist, ward organist, and stake youth choir director. I had a job working after school as a Dental Rover in a dental office. And I graduated with a 3.8 GPA. I graduated from seminary. Oh, and I had plenty of time for dating and friends.

    I thrived, literally thrived on little sleep and plenty of stress. I lived for it.

    But not all kids are the same.

    It doesn’t matter if seminary is early morning or during the day. The choice needs to be made personally with parents and children. If Susan’s kids want to go to seminary early, then more power to them. I’m just tired of reading about how every teenager feels/needs/is the same. I think JA’s comment points that out very well.

    Comment by Cheryl — September 13, 2007 @ 8:56 am

  38. Cheryl,

    Thread jack (sorry, all, but I can’t help it):

    I beg to differ. Sure, we get the mandatories (Sacrament, baptism), but the other “nice to’s” often come across very much as “really need to do’s”. There’s

    *Attend all 3 meetings
    *Magnify your calling (which could mean gazillion other meetings, lesson prep times, trips away from home/family). Oh, and never say “no” to a calling.
    *Regular temple attendance
    *Daily scripture study + study with your family (kids particularly)
    *Family Home Evening
    *Service projects
    *Home teaching
    *Visiting teaching
    *Allowing home teachers into your home
    *Allowing visiting teachers into your home
    *Seminary
    *Regular journaling
    *Genealogy
    *10% tithes
    *Fast offerings
    *Fasting
    *other financial donations (i.e. humanitarian age, mission fund)
    *Serve a mission
    *Clean the chapel/ward house (no more janitors)
    *Live within your budget
    *Have as many kids as you can
    *One parent should stay home to raise them if at all possible
    *Don’t go into debt except for education or to buy a home
    *Don’t put off having children
    *Keep the Sabath day holy
    *Put your famiies first
    *Make sure you magnify your callings
    *Scouting/YM/YW
    *Education
    *Be a functioning member of society (I’ll lump in there all the things we have to do to get by in life, like do the laundry, pay bills, cook, clean, get kids to school, etc).

    While a few of the things up on this list aren’t mandatory, I can tell you that they often are talked about in church/conference as if they are. I’m not saying that all aren’t good, I’m just saying that it’s really tough trying to do it all and not feeling a sense of overwhelming guilt when we don’t.

    Seminary, I feel, was (at least for me) an early huge expectations and sense of “well, I can’t do it all so just nevermind” followed by guilt followed by “oh well, I give up since if I’m not perfect, what’s the point?” Followed by (in my adulthood) “Oh, well, I can only do what I can do and to heck with the rest.”

    Comment by Lulubelle — September 13, 2007 @ 1:05 pm

  39. Well, dang. Perfection is hard, that’s for sure. But I doubt the Church will let up because that’s exactly what Christ is having it (the Gospel) prepare us for.

    I wasn’t implying that seminary should have been your number one priority. I was cringing at your “The Church needs to back off” bit. It’s not personal. I’m sure you’re awesome, and I’m glad you’ve found a way to deal with the guilt that comes with being less than perfect, because we all deal with that. I just have a problem with reading about people deciding what the Church should/shouldn’t do, as if an idiot was running it. Bothers me a lot, and you’re not the first to put a wrench in my chain. So, no worries.

    Comment by Cheryl — September 13, 2007 @ 1:42 pm

  40. I think this is shaving years off my life.

    Comment by Susan M — September 19, 2007 @ 8:55 am

  41. i know this is an old thread. Not really sure how this works but if anyone is still reading this, I would like to add my thoughts. I did home study seminary as a teenager. I am an early morning teacher now. I do not enjoy the early morning but I do think it is a better option than home study.
    I don’t believe home study has anything to do with how much coordinators get paid. I think it is a last resort because it is not the best option. Also – it requires another teacher. It is more rewarding to be in a
    classroom with other kids.

    I know not all experiences are good and there are probably teachers out there who are not great but it is not an easy job and unfortunately sometimes first and second choices refuse to accept the call so third best has to do. The coordinators do the best they can to help us be better teachers but we have to be willing to listen and learn. People are people and some care and some… not so much.

    In my experience, seminary has been a wonderful experience. I have seen miracles happen. the youth I work with are exceptional. They bear their testimonies in class on a regular basis. They are all wonderful speakers and teachers and have taken opportunities to share the gospel with friends and even with strangers. They have learned a lot and grown alot and I wonder if they realize the changes I have seen in them in their time in seminary or if one day they, too, will come on some chat site and complain about what a waste of time seminary was for them, because they are too young to see and understand the good it has done them. I hope not.

    SOmething else that is crucial to a positive seminary experience is the preparation of the student. A kid who willingly attends and participates and wants to learn will have a good experience. The spirit will not force itself on you. You have to seek it.

    Comment by PaulaS — August 21, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

  42. Thanks for stopping by, Paula. I agree with what you say. My sister is an early morning seminary teacher and she has had similar experiences. The dedication required for the kids to attend that early pretty much guarantees that the kids who attend really want to be there. Contrast this with release time where a fair portion of the kids are there just so that they can have a period away from school.

    Which brings me to your last paragraph, which is right on, but we also have to try to reach the kids that are not so prepared or motivated. That’s the hard part.

    Comment by MCQ — August 21, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

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