Tag Archives: seminary

Making the transition from seminary to institute

One of my responsibilities in our stake is to work with the young single adults, our YSA branch presidency, and the Institute Teacher. One of our biggest challenges is in getting the YSA to attend institute.

When you are a youth in the Church, it is generally expected that you will attend seminary. Not everyone goes, but there is definitely that expectation. If you are from an active family and plan on serving a mission (male or female), you are almost definitely going to attend seminary. However, in our area, Institute is just not a big thing. We want it to be, but when there isn’t that “critical mass” of YSA in one area, there just isn’t that momentum.

Anyway, that is just background as to why I’m sharing this article. The Deseret News recently had a nice article about making the transition from seminary to institute.

As an 18-year-old freshman at Utah State University, Bradon Capener registered for classes at the Logan Institute of Religion for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but he admits he didn’t see the value and rarely attended.

It wasn’t until Capener returned from serving a Mormon mission a few years later and “decided to get involved” that he realized what he had been missing.

It’s a good read…

Youth Chosen Topic – Participation in Church

A while back I posted some notes from a discussion we had with the youth about the Word of Wisdom. We had asked them what topics they wanted to discuss, and along with Word of Wisdom, they had general questions about why they need to sing, go to seminary, etc. We combined all of those things into a topic about participation. We were going to be addressing this topic at some point, but weren’t sure when. Since I am no longer the YM President, I won’t have an opportunity to discuss this with the youth, but I figured I’d still share my notes. Remember, these are just notes. I’m sure I wasn’t going to share everything, and I would have allowed the youth to direct the discussion in a certain way if it was going well.

From the youth topic survey, people wanted to discuss:

  • skipping classes
  • getting up for seminary
  • singing in Church
    • See D&C 25:12 – the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me
      For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.
    • See Mark 14:26 – Jesus and his disciples sang
      And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.
  • false ideology
    • people focus too much on one thing but not another
  • what if you don’t know the church is true
    • not exactly participation, but we figured that we could cover this as part of this topic since participation is a result of and leads to stronger testimonies

What is the purpose of the Church?

  • Mosiah 18: 8-9
    And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
    Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—
  • Mosiah 18: 19-21
    And he commanded them that they should teach nothing save it were the things which he had taught, and which had been spoken by the mouth of the holy prophets.
    Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people.
    And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another.
  • 4 Nephi 1: 12
    And they did not walk any more after the performances and ordinances of the law of Moses; but they did walk after the commandments which they had received from their Lord and their God, continuing in fasting and prayer, and in meeting together oft both to pray and to hear the word of the Lord.
  • Moroni 6: 5-6
    And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls.
    And they did meet together oft to partake of bread and wine, in remembrance of the Lord Jesus.
  • D&C 20: 75
    It is expedient that the church meet together often to partake of bread and wine in the remembrance of the Lord Jesus
  • D&C 43: 8
    And now, behold, I give unto you a commandment, that when ye are assembled together ye shall instruct and edify each other, that ye may know how to act and direct my church, how to act upon the points of my law and commandments, which I have given.

3 main purposes of coming to Church

  1. Partake of the Sacrament
  2. Learn the Gospel
  3. Help others

Parking of the Sacrament

  • The bread and water help us to remember Jesus
  • We take upon ourselves His name
  • It helps us to remember Him
  • We commit to follow Him
  • Sacrament prayers are located in D&C 20: 77, 79
    O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.
    O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.

Learn the Gospel

  • Listen to talks
  • Prepare for lessons
  • Be open to the Spirit
  • Don’t disrupt others
  • Even principles we’ve heard before can be interesting if we have the right attitude
  • Classes are as good as you make them
  • We should be edified together
    • See D&C 50: 17-25
      Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?
      And if it be by some other way it is not of God.
      And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?
      If it be some other way it is not of God.
      Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and know, that he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the Spirit of truth?
      Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.
      And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness.
      That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.
      And again, verily I say unto you, and I say it that you may know the truth, that you may chase darkness from among you;

Help Others

  • Hymn 270 – I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go
    • Perhaps there are things we need to do and say that will help others
  • What we say/do, how we act, and our body language has a profound impact on others

Marking my scriptures

Entitled to Revelation had a posting earlier this week about colour-coding your scriptures. That has prompted me to share how I’ve marked my scriptures in the past.

I attended Seminary when I was in high school. I had a set of scriptures that I used. They were the less expensive kind, so the quality of the binding wasn’t great. After 4 years of study, they were falling apart. Around when I turned 18 I got a new set of scriptures. They were beautiful! Unfortunately, they didn’t have any of my markings in them. That was less beautiful 🙁

I spent the next year copying over my markings, and then starting new ones. At the time, I decided on a colour coding system. I can’t remember all of them, but this is generally how it worked:

  • Blue – rightesouness
  • Orange – wickedness
  • Burgundy – prophecy
  • Green – general
  • Yellow – commandments

There may have been more, but that is what I can remember off the top of my head. Here is a page showing some of the colours.

Here I am 18 years later, and I am so grateful I marked them that way. At a glance I can see what the page is about. It also helps me look things up as I generally know where things are, and I know the type of scripture it is, so I can focus on a colour when I’m searching.

I don’t mark with colour any more. I generally underline in pen and/or make notes in the margins. But I love my work from before my mission. It has served me well!

Teaching the Doctrine of the Family by Julie B Beck

Back in 2009, Sister Julie B Beck (the RS General President at the time) spoke to seminary and institute teachers. Her talk was called Teaching the Doctrine of the Family. I watched the video for the first time the other day, and have since skimmed over the talk. I need to make some more thorough notes, but here is what I have so far (I used my notes to find the exact quotes in the talk):

  • When we speak of qualifying for the blessings of eternal life, we mean qualifying for the blessings of eternal families. This was Christ’s doctrine, and this is some of what was restored that had been lost—understanding and clarity about family. Without these blessings, the earth is wasted…
    The promises of the children made to the fathers was that their hearts would turn to their fathers. Their hearts would be turned to the blessings of eternal life that they could have. This is talking about temple blessings—temple ordinances and covenants without which “the whole earth [is] utterly wasted.”
    So, if we teach about what is in every section of the Doctrine and Covenants, if we teach so that our students know all the rivers in the Book of Mormon, if they can name all the prophets of the Old Testament, if they can describe to you the pioneer trek and the history of the Latter-day Saints in the restored times but they don’t understand the promises made to the fathers and their part in it, it is “utterly wasted.” I would submit that all of our teaching is utterly wasted if they don’t understand the context that all of this is taught within.
  • Korihor was an anti-Christ. Anti-Christ is antifamily. Any doctrine or principle our youth hear from the world that is antifamily is also anti-Christ. It’s that clear. They need to know
    that if it’s antifamily, it’s anti-Christ. An anti- Christ is antifamily.
  • Teach the students so that they don’t misunderstand (3 times she used the phrase)
    1. Let’s go to the question “What is it we hope this rising generation will understand and do because of what you will teach them?” Teach so they don’t misunderstand that every doctrine, every principle, everything you’re teaching leads them to the fulness of the gospel.
    2. So, what I submit to you as one of your responsibilities—besides teaching those doctrines so your students don’t misunderstand
    3. Your role in this is to teach them so they don’t misunderstand, to be very clear on key points of doctrine, which you find in the proclamation on the family.
  • When speaking of Isaac and Rebekah, she said: She needed to see that her righteous son got the blessings. Rebekah used her influence to see that the priesthood blessings and keys passed to the righteous son. It’s a perfect example of the man who has the keys and the woman who has the influence working together to ensure their blessings.

Powerful, but great, stuff!

Note: If you would like to read the talk, you can download a PDF of the talk here.

Seminary and Institute sub-domains at LDS.org

The LDS Media Talk blog recently posted about some excellent Flash-based scripture mastery pages. I assumed this would be on the LDS-CES.org site. I As I followed the link, I found that it had its own Seminary.LDS.org sub-domain. Not only is there information about scripture mastery, but there are links to the manuals, scriptures, and even some of the songs.

I naturally tried Institute.LDS.org, and sure enough, it exists as well with comparable information for the YSA crowd.

I’ve added both of these to the Official web sites of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints page…