We studied a different book each year: one year was Old Testament, the next New Testament, then The Book of Mormon, and then Doctrine and Covenants or church history. Us Mormons go to church on Sunday for 3 hours. Everyone goes to Sunday School, no matter what your age. We can always be learning about the Savior and his gospel. The church also encourages personal and family scripture study daily. So why the focus so early in the morning? We were getting it in Sunday school. During the teenage years your growing and need your sleep. Why would they take sleep from us?
I've come up with six reasons why "Seminary" is so important. They are: 1. It taught us to sacrifice things of the world for the things of God. 2.It taught us spirit over body. 3. It helped us learn the gospel and the scriptures. 4. It helped us to fight for our testimonies, when they would be challenged and the world would try to invade our thinking. 5. It armed us with the armour of righteousness and the spirit before we entered the great and spacious building. 6. It taught us that the gospel comes first- literally- before the world, before secular education.
It was first in our day and should be first in our lives.
Spencer W. Kimball said this: "... the seminary courses should be given even preferential attention over the high school subject...the study of the scriptures ahead of the study of the man written texts." " Only an education which educates for eternity has the wholeness which humans need."
Boyd K. Packer said: "Spiritual Development is tied very closely to a knowledge of the scriptures, where the doctrines are found." "The percent of temple marriages among the graduates of seminaries and institutes is more than double the church average"
Henry B. Eyring who served as Commissioner of Church Education for years gave these reasons why Seminary is important. 1. It puts young people together who share the same values. 2. it puts youth together with a teacher who has a testimony, and they can feel the fire of it when it is borne. 3. Seminary gets young people into the scriptures. There should never be a conscious choice to let the spiritual become secondary as a pattern in our lives. Never. That will lead to tragedy.
My personal favorite by John A. Widstoe:
"It is a paradox that men will gladly devote time every day for many years to learn a science or an art; yet will expect to win a knowledge of the gospel, which comprehends all sciences and arts, through perfunctory glances at books or occasional listening to sermons. The gospel should be studied more intensively than any school or college subject. They who pass opinion on the gospel without having given it intimate and careful study are not lovers of truth, and their opinions are worthless."
I'm so grateful that I went to seminary those early mornings. My graduation from that meant more to me than my graduation from high school. I went on to college religion classes at Ricks where it was for secular credit and I loved those classes too. I also went to institute at Utah State and loved those classes. Those experiences have helped shaped me into the person I am today. They have changed the way I study the scriptures. They have helped me to get closer to being steadfast and immovable when it comes to my testimony of the truthfulness of the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.