Milton Reis of Portugal goes to the local chapel. Frazer Cluff of Tasmania, Australia, attends at home with his mum as his teacher. Lauren Homer of Utah, USA, walks across the street to attend during second period of high school every other day; Ben Gilbert of Vermont, USA, participates weekly, right before Mutual; and in Alabama, USA, McKenzie Morrill attends daily via web conference. Daun Park of Korea participates at 10:00 p.m., while Jamie Greenwood of New Mexico, USA, gets up at 4:00 a.m. to be able to get to her 5:15 a.m. class on time.
All of these teens—and nearly 370,000 others like them—are following prophetic counsel to make seminary a priority in their lives.
The seminary program, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, has been implemented differently over time, and even today individual needs and local circumstances often necessitate adaptation. But across time and distance, one thing remains the same: gospel study is helping anchor teens in their testimonies of the Savior and His gospel.
When Milton Reis, 17, or Portugal, first began participating in seminary, a small group of youth met together each Saturday because many of them participated in sports and other extracurriculuar activities that required training and other events daily.
Now, however, Milton attends seminary during the week—sometimes before school and sometimes after. For Milton that means waking up earlier, and in some cases giving up social opportunities in the evenings in order to attend class.
Even so, Milton doesn’t see seminary as a sacrifice. “It’s more like a privilege,” he said. Milton hopes to follow in the footsteps of his sister, who is currently serving a mission, and seminary is one of the ways he is preparing. “Through all of these challenges, I know it is worth it,” he said.
Dia Lacno, 18, of the Philippines, was baptized at age 14 and began attending seminary soon after. She expected class to be like a typical school course, where she had homework, lectures, and the pressure that accompanies them. Instead, she said, “seminary gives me the strength to overcome all those loads that I get from school. Whenever I attend seminary, I feel replenished and at ease.”
To read of the sacrifices and successes of seminary students around the world, search “Seminary Program Anchors Students in the Gospel” at news.lds.org.