FYI: For Your Info


Top Ten Reasons to Take Seminary

by Darrin Lythgoe

No doubt about it, seminary should be an important part of your education. But why? You might consider the following:

  1. 10.

    You can participate in religious discussions with your peers and ask questions you may have been afraid to ask before.

  2. 9.

    You will learn about subjects you may not have thought about on your own.

  3. 8.

    You get to know other LDS youth in your area.

  4. 7.

    It will give you motivation to read the scriptures.

  5. 6.

    It’s great preparation for a mission.

  6. 5.

    It gives you a spiritual foundation you can build on for the rest of your life.

  7. 4.

    It adds needed perspective to the rest of your education.

  8. 3.

    The knowledge you gain will come in handy when friends ask you gospel questions or challenge your beliefs.

  9. 2.

    It will help you develop your own testimony.

  10. 1.

    Your Heavenly Father wants you to.

Right Said

Everybody, sooner or later, has to give an oral presentation, talk, or speech. If you really want to get your message across and earn a top grade, you’ll want to use the right words. Here are some common conversational mistakes to avoid:

  • Use the verb said instead of “He goes,” “She’s like,” or “I’m all.” You might use them with your friends, but such phrasing doesn’t go over very well in a formal setting.

  • If you really don’t care, you want to say, “I couldn’t care less.” If you say “I could care less,” it means that it could be slightly important to you.

  • If you say “I feel nauseous,” that means you feel you’re making everyone sick. What you want to say is “I feel nauseated.

  • Cut out the last two words of the phrase, “I thought to myself.” Who else is going to hear your thoughts? “To myself” is unnecessary.

  • There’s no such word as irregardless. Regardless is the correct word.

  • If you’re “eager” about something, it means you’re looking forward to it. If you’re “anxious” about something, it means you’re worried about it. To remember the difference, remind yourself that anxious and anxiety have the same root.

After School Dos and Don’ts

Don’t

  • Raid the kitchen for junk food.

  • Leave your backpack, books, etc., in the middle of the floor, on the kitchen table, or anywhere else they don’t belong.

  • Immediately turn on the TV and veg.

  • Procrastinate your homework, chores, or anything else that has to get done.

  • Take out your frustrations on your little sister, dog, or any other innocent being.

  • Lock yourself in your room for the rest of the night. Give yourself a break now and then—socialize with your family.

  • Monopolize the telephone with two-hour calls to friends.

Do

  • Take a few minutes to relax and collect your thoughts.

  • Thank Heavenly Father for a good, safe day.

  • Do any jobs or chores you’re responsible for.

  • Do your homework early, so you can have more free time later and not worry.

  • Read the newspaper.

  • Take some time to talk to your family when they ask you about your day.

  • Get some exercise.

  • Go the extra mile by doing some laundry, starting dinner, or doing something nice for someone.

  • Reward yourself once you get everything done and have some spare time left. Read something fun, spend time with friends, work on a hobby, or do anything else that floats your boat.

Divine Ideas

College

If you’re planning on going away to college, there are a number of things you’ll probably want to take with you. If you start accumulating them now, it could save you a lot of time and money at the last minute.

  • Laundry bag or basket

  • Toiletries, including blow dryer and curling iron if that’s your style, razor, combs, brushes, etc.

  • Luggage

  • Comfortable, indestructible shoes

  • Scriptures

  • Backpack

  • Dictionary

  • Thesaurus

  • Alarm clock

  • Nice clothes, for church, dances, and other formal occasions

  • Clothes to match the climate—if your school has cold winters, bring a warm coat, etc.

  • Calculator

  • Favorite easy and inexpensive recipes.—Ask your parents to help you learn how to make your favorite foods. Even if you’re living in the dorms, you never know when you’ll need cooking skills.

  • Pictures of your family, friends, pets, favorite places, etc.

  • Sewing kit

  • First-aid kit, which includes bandages and remedies for headaches, stomachaches, and colds.

  • Posters, pictures, or other things to hang on your walls.

  • Desk lamp

  • Extra glasses or contacts if you wear them, or at least your prescription

  • A certified copy of your birth certificate

  • Addresses—so you can easily write to all your favorite people

  • A few favorite books—you might need quotes from them, or re-reading them might feel like visiting an old friend.

  • Sports or recreational equipment, like jogging shoes, tennis racquet, Frisbee, football, bat, ball, glove, etc.

  • Camera

  • Journal or diary

Stay in Shape

You think better when you feel good. To stay healthy and energetic while you’re in school, don’t just pay attention to your mind, pay attention to your body too. The following tips might help:

  • Participate in some kind of physical activity or sport, whether it’s at the individual, intramural, ward, or varsity level.

  • Become familiar with sound principles of nutrition, including current food groups, and eat a variety of healthy foods.

  • Pick healthy foods for lunch at school, and don’t go to the candy or soft drink machines for snacks.

  • Drink lots of water. It’s good for your kidneys, and the rest of your body, which is about 70 percent water, will thank you.

  • Give your heart a break. When you can, use your own personal power to get places; for example, walk to your friend’s house, or take the stairs rather than the elevator in a public building.

  • Be active, don’t loaf, in your physical education classes.

  • Take advantage of your school’s sports and recreation facilities, like the track, weight room, ball courts, etc.

  • Be good to your eyes—make sure you always study with sufficient light.

  • Make sure you get enough sleep. If you feel tired during the day, that might be a sign you’re not sleeping enough at night.

But Wait … There’s More!

Just because you graduate from seminary doesn’t mean you have to give up taking religion classes. The Church sponsors a massive institute program, with more than 1,273 institutes serving 1,711 universities in 62 countries.

Last year more than 136,383 students took advantage of the religious classes the institutes offer, ranging from courses on the scriptures, to missionary and marriage preparation. They also offer other classes as the needs dictate locally. Depending on the university, the religious courses can sometimes transfer over for college credit, usually in the humanities.

Eighty percent of the institutes also sponsor a Latter-day Saint Student Association (LDSSA), which is a group organized to provide religious, social, and service opportunities for its members.

If you’d like to find out more about the institute programs in your area, you can either ask a leader in your stake who the Church Education System local director is, or you can write to—

Church Educational System
attn: Manager of Reports and Records
50 East North Temple Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84150

[photos] Photography by Matt Reier