Every morning at 5:55 a.m, high-school age students from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attend seminary, an early-morning class to help students learn more about the gospel. Or that’s the way it was last year.
This year, students have different classes based on their grade level and no seminary on Monday. This four-day schedule is meant to give students a break from having to wake up at 5:00 a.m. or earlier, and give them more time to focus on personal study. According to freshman Jacob Alleweireldt, only going to seminary for four days is not as hard as having to wake up early for the whole week.
“I don’t know what it would be like to go on Monday, but it kind of puts a free day on Monday,” Alleweireldt said. “I guess it would be easier than going all five days.”
Senior Afton Woodard, however, said that the lack of seminary on Monday takes away from a consistent seminary schedule.
“I actually didn’t like it because I’m a schedule-oriented person,” Woodard said. “The whole Monday thing kind of tripped me up. Also, I like seminary.”
Some people do not want to go to seminary simply because it is too early. Skipping seminary, however, means losing an opportunity to apply at church-owned colleges such as Brigham Young University (BYU), BYU-Idaho, BYU-Hawaii or LDS Business College. Seminary studies are essential for applications at these colleges.
“You need seminary credit to get into BYU, it’s one of their requirements,” Woodard said. “It’s a school of the church, so if you’re part of the church, it’s something that should be encouraged.”
BYU requires a record of seminary attendance and a recommendation from the student’s current seminary teacher. According to Greg Garrick, seminary teacher for the senior class, the BYU seminary recommendations are fairly simple.
“The BYU seminary recommendations are easy,” Garrick said. “BYU asks a handful of questions about students and where they rank. Something like does the student demonstrate a willingness to learn the gospel.”
Overall, seminary is an important part of the day for many students. According to Garrick, seminary is essential for several reasons.
“Seminary is a benefit to the students in several ways,” Garrick said. “First, it teaches a great principle of waking up early. Second, it sets the tone for one’s day by starting your day thinking of the Savior and studying the scriptures. Third, it enables one to build or strengthen their testimony of Christ.”
According to Alleweireldt, seminary is important to his day and helps him learn more about the gospel.
“It gives me a reason to read the scriptures more and it encourages me knowing my friends are doing it,” Alleweireldt said. “It’s kind of an extra Sunday School