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.
To put it as plainly as I possibly can, seminary truly has helped me to be where I am today. Although we may have called it "cemetery" a few times because getting up so early made you feel like you were dying, seminary is a life-changing program.
I love telling others, especially the youths, that I attended four years of early morning seminary. Some want an autograph and others look at me with renewed hope that they just might be able to make it. No matter what, when they see how it has influenced me, there is no arguing the fact that this is an inspired program.
I can remember one experience in seminary that as I write this makes me a bit emotional because I feel this was a trigger moment for my testimony of the Book of Mormon. It was one of the first seminary days of the year. That morning, it was a bit chilly and dark, and the thought of getting ready, driving to my teacher's house and then sitting there for a lesson just did not sound fun. I had hit the snooze button a "few" times but I knew I needed to go. So I got ready and headed over to my teacher's home.
When I arrived, there were other students there but they were outside. I was told our lesson was going to be outside this morning. Remember, it was chilly and dark — and did I mention chilly? Well, our teacher asked us to join her in a tent that was set up in the front yard, so we did. We all sat there with our scriptures open as a candle burned. Our inspired teacher then taught us about Lehi and Sariah. I will never forget the feeling that came to my heart as I thought about them sending their sons to go and retrieve the plates. It was at that moment that my testimony was taken to a new level — a level that would eventually get me on a mission, married in the temple and now to serve as branch president.
Seminary is one of the greatest blessings that has ever entered my life, and I am forever thankful for each of the teachers that I had. They are truly saints.
Seth Saunders is currently branch president of the Pembroke Branch (Spanish) and a founding board member of the Pink Shoe Hero Foundation. Seth has been married 15 years to his amazing wife Amber and is the proud father of three wonderful sons.
Copyright 2017, Deseret News Publishing Company