Archive for April 13th, 2008

Adventures in Seminary (part 1)

So many things have happened in seminary this year that I really wish I would have written down somewhere. I am not a good journal-keeper.

My friend Joan said to me at the beginning of the school year that “there is nothing better than a good day at seminary, and nothing worse than a bad day at seminary.” Over the past 7 months, I have found that to be a very true and accurate statement.

I was out of seminary for the first 4 days of April and missed my class like I would have missed my own kids. The next Sunday was General Conference so I didn’t even get to see them that day. By Monday I was ready to hear all about their week and to get back into the swing of things. I got my lesson all prepared and ready for Monday morning, got up and got to the church.

One of the things about seminary is that you can never really be fully prepared for what’s coming – the good or the bad.

The day started as they all do. Our class president asked for someone to lead a hymn and say a prayer. We sang. Someone prayed. Then we talked about the Scripture Mastery for the day, normal so far. Then we had a devotional. Interestingly enough, the girl that gave the devotional shared a scripture that talked about how God doesn’t leave us alone. When she was done sharing the scripture she said that she KNEW that her Heavenly Father loves her and that He will always be there for her, no matter what. Still mostly normal (devotionals bring out the best in them all). Then it was time for the lesson.

I thought that, before we got started, I would ask them about General Conference to find out what their thoughts and feelings were about the things that were said. I don’t know why I was so surprised at what happened next.

Before I get into that, though, I should preface with what happened before we even got started. Every Monday morning we have to set up all of the chairs for class. I try to get there early to do that, but it’s not easy to do. That particular morning I wasn’t early so one of the girls was in the room helping me. Her older sister then walks into the room and loudly proclaims that she KNOWS that President Monson is a true prophet of God. That’s it. No “good morning”, no “hi”, nothing else – just that she KNOWS that President Monson is a true prophet of God. Looking back, this should have been my first clue that this days wasn’t going to be just like any other day.

After I asked about General Conference, there was no way that we were ever going to get to the lesson material that I had prepared. I was so surprised and so thrilled to see how excited every single on of them was about their favorite talk. Some of them watched all four sessions. Most of the boys went to the priesthood session too. There were two themes in the things that they found to be their favorite:

1. Just as the girl had mentioned before class – they know that President Monson is a prophet and that he was called by God.
2. The importance of bearing testimonies and how they should be shared in sacrament meeting.

I thought that the first was a given. Per a previous post, I know that the succession of the Presidency of the Church was talked about repeatedly and in detail. I figured that they would have come up with that. I wasn’t as prepared for the second one. Thanks to the Spirit though we were able to carry on a very good discussion about testimonies. We talked about what Elder Oaks said about testimonies – what is appropriate to share and what is not. We spent a great deal of time talking about it. At the end of class I challenged them all to remember what a testimony is and what a testimony is not and to bear their testimony this week using Elder Oaks’ talk as a guideline.

Needless to say, I was humbled and overjoyed when two of my students bore testimony in Sacrament Meeting today, focusing on the things they’d learned from the Spirit that early Monday morning in seminary.