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'Concern for the one' made for a memorable seminary experience

Published: Thursday, Jan. 19 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

Rhett Wilkinson, a college student who is grateful for the personal concern of Seminary teachers.

Rhett Wilkinson

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Editor's note: With the upcoming 100-year celebration of the LDS Church's seminary program, Mormon Times is sharing experiences and blessings from those who participated in the program.

I bet the teachers don’t even realize that I still remember.

I always felt like seminary teachers were there to be a source of solitude for me during days in which I wasn’t always just quite able to get my sometimes-awkward, always-teenage self to pull it completely together. Perhaps some seminary highlights of my own Viewmont High School career reflect the sentiments of many readers.

Freshman year: When Brother Tew asked guys to tell him what they liked in girls and vice versa, as a part of a lesson about roles of men and women, it was both embarrassing and eventually, surprisingly, quite spiritual. When he took 15 minutes to sit me in his office and talk with him about the Utah Jazz-Portland Trail Blazers basketball game, he became one of my best friends of that year.

Sophomore year: When Brother Olsen followed his unique goose honk by placing me next to the girl I really liked for a "pair and share" activity, I was elated both times (perhaps more nervous for the latter). When he placed me before the class to ask what they thought about me as a priesthood holder, or when he said to me “I miss you” one day while visiting his class — he taught me for just one semester — I more fully understood my own worth.

Junior year: I couldn’t get over how cool I thought it was that Brother Chang used classic films, including some from Disney and the original Star Wars trilogy, to demonstrate “opposition in all things.” But when he asked me to say in front of the class how I was doing in the varsity basketball team tryouts, he won me over.

Senior year: I could expect to get out of my seat, like the rest of the class, each morning to carefully examine a quote from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland about the importance of holding a scripture up to the figurative light in order to find all the “gems” found in it. But when Brother Caldwell let me forgive him for living in the Davis High School boundaries, I was prepared to gain a greater perspective from him about how I could more fully appreciate the power of the Savior’s unadulterated words in 3 Nephi.

Both fun and spiritual times fill my seminary-attending landscape. But the personal moments with each teacher — an extension of the concern for the one that the Savior taught, that President Thomas S. Monson has lived, that we have the opportunity to practice daily — only added to my desire to walk through the seminary building doors day after day.

Rhett Wilkinson is a journalism and speech communications major at Utah State University. He has previously been an intern for the Deseret News. He can be reached at rhett.wilkinson@yahoo.com or at Twitter: wilklogan

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