“Why do I need to go to seminary if I can just study the scriptures on my own?”

You will have the rest of your life to study the scriptures by yourself, so if it is available to you, take advantage of the opportunity in seminary to study the scriptures with excellent teachers and friends now.

Learning and studying under the direction of a good teacher helps you gain new insight about scriptures that you may not have truly understood before. The teacher might also share teachings from prophets and other Church leaders that give you a better understanding of the scriptures.

Also, it’s often more enjoyable to learn with your class. You will have a chance to talk about the things you discover as you read. Your classmates may have had experiences that made certain scriptures their favorites. Hearing their experiences can bring the scriptures to life for you. And because you study the gospel with others, you can enjoy this promised blessing: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, … there will I be in the midst of them” (D&C 6:32).

Seminary also creates a structure for your study. You are motivated to read at a certain rate, which helps you finish each book of scripture. You have the opportunity to discuss and memorize scripture mastery verses. You can be guaranteed to gain more from the scriptures by taking seminary than almost any other way at this time in your life.

New Friends, New Ideas

In seminary you meet new friends, and you become close to each other, like a family. You learn many new things that you would not know on your own. It is fun and very spiritual. It makes sure you start your day off right. If you don’t participate now, start and it will change your life.

Katarina B., age 16, California, USA


Seminary opens up my day. It makes me a happier person and more willing to discuss the gospel with other people. We go more in depth in the scriptures, so I understand more.

Madi S., age 15, Colorado, USA

Perfect Combination

Seminary is an uplifting experience. Sometimes just studying on your own isn’t enough. Personal study and seminary are the perfect combination. The teachers are amazing, and if you have any questions, your teachers and classmates can help you answer them.

Dawson D., age 15, Idaho, USA

More Understanding

When I study the holy scriptures alone, I don’t have as much fun as when I study with others. Plus, we can learn interesting ideas from others when we study the scriptures together. Through seminary I’ve learned about a lot of interesting stories, and I know more about the background of scriptures, which makes the study much more exciting! I am glad I decided to join seminary.

Rebecca M., age 16, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

Stronger Testimony

First, the Lord says that where two or three people gather in His name, He will be with them (see Matthew 18:20; D&C 6:32). Feeling His Spirit can help us ponder what He has done for us. Second, when studying scriptures with others, we can better understand what is written. While listening to each other, we can hear something that we have not noticed ourselves, and the same can happen with others when we share our knowledge. Third, when I go to seminary, my testimony is strengthened. Seminary is an opportunity to share our testimonies and listen to other people’s testimonies. It helps us stay on the right path.

Dmitri G., age 16, Dnipropetrovs’k, Ukraine

Learning from Others

Going to seminary is a must for me. Not only does my devoted teacher teach and explain the truths found in the scriptures, but I also learn so much from our class discussions. Other students share their experiences on things they’ve learned, and they have helped me gain more knowledge about the gospel and the Savior and His Atonement. It is not enough to study on my own, for I have found some of the answers to my problems in class discussions. I can testify that seminary plays a vital part in nourishing my testimony of the true Church of Jesus Christ.

Denzel J., age 15, Western Samoa

Light and Truth

When I go to seminary, I seek light and truth and put on the whole armor of God (see D&C 27:15–18). That armor helps me recognize His voice at all times and in all places. Daily scripture study strengthens my faith and my testimony and helps me be strong in my trials. Attending seminary is one of the best ways to find light and truth and to study the scriptures and meditate.

Nohemi M., age 17, Puebla, Mexico

Three Reasons

First, because I want to serve a mission, I attend seminary. Missionaries need to get up early and study the gospel in the morning. Attending seminary helps me develop the good habit of getting up early. Second, in the morning, we are clearheaded, so we can concentrate on our learning and study. It is wise to use the best hours in a day to learn about God. Third, if I study on my own, I might not have understanding as deep as my teacher does. With her guidance and teaching, I can learn much more than I do by myself.

H. Chen Yuan, age 16, T’ai-chung, Taiwan

Responses are intended for help and perspective, not as official pronouncements of Church doctrine.

Blessings of Seminary

Elder L. Tom Perry

“I know the power that comes from associations in the seminary and institute programs. It has enriched my life, and I know it will do the same for you. It will put a shield of protection around you to keep you free from the temptations and trials of the world. There is a great blessing in having a knowledge of the gospel. And I know of no better place for the young people of the Church to gain a special knowledge of sacred things than in the institute and seminary programs.”

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Receive Truth,” Ensign, Nov. 1997, 61–62.

Next Question

“How do I explain to my friend why breaking the law of chastity is a bad idea?”

Submit your answer by May 15, 2012, at liahona.lds.org, by e-mail to liahona@ldschurch.org, or by mail to:

Liahona, Questions & Answers 5/12
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Salt Lake City, UT 84150-0024, USA

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