This is an article that was in the Orange County Register about early morning seminary. My old bishop is quoted in it.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Mission Viejo students take religious classes before school Mormon high school students take early morning religious classes before school.
By AMANDA GLOWISH
Julia Knecht sets several alarm clocks before she goes to bed.
The 17-year-old wants to make sure she gets up in time for seminary class at 5:30 in the morning.
Knecht is among 200 high school students in south Orange County who attend religious classes every morning before school at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The program is run by the Church Educational System. Mormon students are enrolled from their freshman through senior year.
"I get a good feeling starting out my day here," said Knecht, a senior at Capistrano Valley High School. "If I ever miss a class I feel different; a little emptier."
The students are taught four, one-year courses on the Old and New Testament, Book of Mormon and church history. The teens are commended on their dedication to the program and their time management skills, said Kip Sheppard, seminary supervisor for the Mission Viejo LDS church.
"I admire them for getting out of bed so early every morning," Sheppard said. "I was 15 once. I remember those days."
It seems as though more students want to be a part of the early-morning ritual. Sheppard has seen enrollment for the Mission Viejo classes increase by about 40 percent over the past four years. There are almost 4,000 students across Orange County who are now enrolled in the religious program.
Seminary classes are held in Mission Viejo at an LDS church on Marguerite Parkway and one on Los Alisos Boulevard. The 12 teachers who instruct the classes are asked by the church to volunteer their time.
"Teaching these classes is one of the most difficult assignments in the church," said Greg Briggs, former seminary supervisor. "It's a tremendous amount of work and sacrifice. We love those that can connect with the youth."
Some students plan on taking what they're learning to teach others. Dallin Chambers, a senior in the program, wants to go on a mission when he graduates.
"It's (seminary) another thing you can say that you accomplished for four years of your life," Chambers said. "At 19 years old we can go and teach the gospel. Seminary is preparing me for that."
On the Run
2 years ago