“I have Seminary.”
You may have heard this phrase somewhere. Maybe you heard it when you asked your Mormon friend why he looked drowsy. Maybe he’s said this a couple times when you asked him if he wants to do something after school. You might have questions about this unfamiliar word, but don’t worry! Here are some answers to your questions.

“What Is Seminary?”

The Seminary program is a religious education class for youth all over the world. A four-year program, each year focuses on the study of a specific book of Holy Scripture: the Bible (Old and then New Testament), the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon. Hundreds and thousands of teachers and students meet each weekday during the school year to participate and learn more about the Gospel.
Typically, it is held early in the morning before school, but some students and teachers opt for a class after school to fit their schedule. That might be why your friend has drowsy eyes. I have them, and quite possibly, all the 390,000 seminary students in over 170 countries have them too!
But even though it’s often early in the morning, seminary is fun and exciting. During class, we feel the Holy Ghost, and are inspired and motivated to be the best person we can be. The instructors teach the holy scriptures in lessons that will give you a deeper understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

“Why Do Mormon Teens Go?

I often get asked this question, and our prophet, President Thomas S. Monson has provided the perfect answer. “The world around you is not equipped to provide the help you need to make it through this often-treacherous journey.”
Despite the struggle to wake up early in the morning or go to seminary after school instead of other places, seminary students like me are blessed with the opportunity to gain a knowledge of the Gospel that will strengthen us for the rest of our day. It acts as spiritual armor, helping us get through the difficult teenage years, especially in this world full of challenges.
Seminary has taught me that I can withstand the strong currents of adversity, and become the best version of myself as a child of God. It is the reason I go every day. Learning from the scriptures gives me a broader vision of the world and helps me navigate the difficulties of life.

“Can I Participate In This Program?”

Absolutely! Youth ages 14-18, whether members of the LDS faith or not, are welcome to join this wonderful program. You can ask your Mormon friends about attending seminary in your area or you can learn more about seminary at seminary.lds.org.
Seminary changes lives for the better. It has changed mine. It can change yours. It will be challenging, but the wisdom you acquire through attending seminary can become a guiding beacon in this life. Like President Monson said, “Effort is required, but it is effort you will never, ever regret.”