Achievement Unlocked: Early Morning Seminary

I never did early morning seminary. For those of you unfamiliar with the practice, Mormon youths age 14-18 go to church every morning from about 6-7am for seminary class. (Well, Mormon youths outside of places with significant Mormon youth populations do. In Utah, seminary is part of the school day, or so I hear.) When I was that age, I did “home study,” which meant I was supposed to do all of the lessons each day on my own, instead of at church. (In practice? It meant I crammed all of the lessons into a space of about 2 weeks, right at the end of the year . . . I was not an excellent example of righteous seminary study.)

This morning, I taught seminary for the first time. That’s right, campers. I’m the part time seminary teacher now at church (for those of you keeping track). When I mentioned this switch to my agent (who actually asked me what my current calling was–he also represents Brandon Sanderson, and so is not unfamiliar with the practice of “callings” at church), he asked what it entailed. Getting up at 5am each weekday to go teach 14-18 year olds for an hour? His response was, and I quote, “I think if someone told me I’d gotten that call, I would have told them they had the wrong number.”

I will admit that I am far from a morning person. In my ideal world, I go to bed around midnight or so, and I get up around 8 hours later. I don’t live in that ideal world, but trying to get myself to go to sleep at nine is just a pipe dream, and I don’t care what time I went to bed, getting up at 5am is just no fun at all. That said, I actually enjoyed the process far more than I should have. The lessons are pretty much planned out for you in advance–all you need to do is read them over and familiarize yourself with the topic. I’ve been studying all things Mormon for decades now, so it’s something I feel confident discussing with teenagers. (If I had to teach about Justin Bieber, I’d be in a much different boat.) The group I teach is a good size–about 12 or so–and they’re a good natured, friendly bunch. Today’s lesson was on Lehi’s vision of the Tree of Life (we’re studying the Book of Mormon this year–it’s on a four year rotation: Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants. And that’s all the explanation I have in me at the moment. If you have specific questions, just ask.) I feel like it went well, and I got to use the phrase, “Great and Spacious Fair,” which likely only makes sense if you’re Mormon and live around here right now.

(But I will say that doing all of this while you’re recovering from being sick does tend to make it a tad more difficult. (Thank goodness the full-time teacher was able to cover for me for the last few days. Today is the first day I feel remotely with it.))

Anyway. I’m off to Augusta for a library meeting this morning, then scrambling around playing catch up on all the work I missed while I was sick in bed. So that’s all you get for today. One more day of teaching seminary tomorrow, and then I’m off for a few more weeks again. Have a great Thursday!

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