Thursday, January 19, 2012

SEMINARY is AWESOME!!! Happy 100 years!!!

It never ceases to amaze me what a WONDERFUL blessing and opportunity seminary is EVERY DAY!!!! I am in awe of the whole thing. It is such a powerful force for good in each of our lives - students and teachers! I am overwhelmed so many times with admiration for these 17 or so youth (ages 14-18) that wake up earlier than 5 am to be to class at 6 am.
So many days & nights I do not know how I will have the material prepared for the next day, but through the miraculous blessings of the Lord, His completely inspired program, the support of my wonderful husband & literally relying on the Lord's power to make my weak offering enough, I come away uplifted and grateful every single morning! Hoping the students do too! ;)

Studying the Old Testament this year has been an amazing eye opener for me. I've been so surprised, again and again, to find the roots and reasons of everything our religion practices - it's all in there - from temple worship (which begins with Adam building an alter and offering prayer, to Jacob's temple in the wilderness "Beth-el", to the tabernacle used by the children of Israel in the wilderness those 40 years, and continues on to Solomon's Temple and to the Temples of the New Testament, to the Temples of our day -about 150 worldwide and counting!) All for the same purpose & all with the same reminders of who we are, why we came, where we are going, all with the same opportunity to make sacred covenants with the Lord! - to the call of the Seventy (the Lord directed Moses to call the Seventy when his responsibilities became to great, in the New Testament Jesus refers to the Seventy of His day and today the Seventy in our church have the same role - to do what the first presidency and twelve apostles need them to do in order to fulfill their great, even overwhelming responsibilities). Our prophets and apostles and bishops are all called in the same way Joshua was called when Moses' mission was complete - the same way Christ called and set apart the apostles of His day -by revelation from God and by the laying on of hands the Lord 'gives him of that same spirit'. So neat to see the patterns of the Lord's dealings with the children of men from the beginning of the Bible to the Book of Mormon of our day. I LOVE it!!!

Through seminary we also get the benefits of consistent scripture study. The students are challenged to read on their own at home but we spend our hour at 6 am together studying the scriptures also and WOW!- the results are real and more desirable than anything else. They let us feel the Love of God. Here are some of those benefits we found as we studied this week: "Power to Prosper! (Josh 1:8),Power to overcome evil (1 Nephi 15:24), Power to live righteously (Alma 4:18), Power to teach convincingly (Alma 17:2-3), Power to call down the powers of heaven (Jacob 4:6), Power to change the heart and disposition (Helaman 15:7), Increased hope and joy (Romans 15:4), Increased spirituality (Alma 31:5) Increased knowledge and understanding (2 Nephi 32:3), Increased power of discernment (Helaman 3:29) Increased testimony (D&C 18:36), and a light to see clearly our way(Ps 119:105). The list goes on and on!

I've been reading "Fire in His Bones" by Michael Wilcox thanks to my sister who shared it with me over New Years. It has left me even more in awe of the wonderful work of God. I am grateful beyond words for the men and women who were willing to put everything else, including their lives, at stake (many times literally burned there) so that we can have the word of God in front of us to study, use, REMEMBER, drink from daily.

The blessing of strength, joy, guidance and refuge that studying the scriptures in seminary is for our teenagers now is AWESOME. I stand all amazed! We are lovin' seminary every day! Happy 100 years to the seminary program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!!!!!

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