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The Purpose of Seminary

The seminary program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a four-year religious education program for youth. In seminary, hundreds of thousands of students and their teachers meet to study the scriptures, including the Bible (the Old Testament and the New Testament), the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

There are currently over 400,000 seminary students in over 170 countries. Seminary classes begin a new year of study almost every month of the year in countries all over the world. All youth ages 14 to 18, whether members of the LDS faith or not, are invited to participate in this wonderful program.

Consistent attendance, regular participation, and graduation from seminary helps students learn and feel the truthfulness of the gospel and associate with others who uplift and encourage them. A major focus of seminary is that students read daily from the scriptures and read each book of study for that year. Daily personal study of the word of God provides opportunities to learn the gospel, develop testimony, and hear the Lord’s voice. As students come to understand the doctrines and principles contained in the scriptures they are studying, their attitudes and behavior will improve and they will be prepared to share truth with others.

One of the most important things that seminary provides for students is the chance to recognize and follow the Holy Ghost’s promptings. While speaking to a gathering of seminary and institute instructors, President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency said, “Every single student you teach is a beloved child of our Heavenly Father. Each has received the supernal gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, wrought out for them with infinite sacrifice and love.

“Each of them was invited by the living prophet in the true Church of Jesus Christ to trust you as a teacher of eternal truth. You are charged to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ in simplicity and by the power of the Holy Ghost. . . .

“Their future in this world and in the world to come depends on what spirit they will follow. Your power to help them depends upon your capacity to teach them so that they discern and want to follow the Spirit of God” (“To Know and to Love God” [evening with President Henry B. Eyring, Feb. 26, 2010], 7, si.lds.org).

Ultimately, the purpose of seminary is to help students understand and rely upon the teachings and Atonement of Jesus Christ, qualify for the blessings of the temple, and prepare themselves, their families, and others for eternal life with their Father in Heaven (see Gospel Teaching and Learning: A Handbook for Teachers and Leaders in Seminaries and Institutes of Religion [2012], x).