Seminary is so hard - conversation with my daughter

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
Posts: 120
Joined: 02 Sep 2013, 01:12

Re: Seminary is so hard - conversation with my daughter

Post by Harmony » 05 Dec 2013, 10:31

This is kind of a sore subject for me, and it became a big source of contention with my kids. My last kid is in seminary. The teacher is a great person but doesn't relate well to kids, so it isn't a great atmosphere. My youngest was excited to start, and after one month was begging me to stop. It was tiring, it was a negative environment, they had stomachaches every day, and they lasted all day.

I mentioned the BYU requirement, which they didn't believe, so I let them look it up. My child and I decided they would attend 1/2 time, and they have until high school graduation to make up the days that they miss. I'm hoping the teacher next year will be more in tune with the kids, and it won't be an issue, but this way they still have their foot in the door in case BYU is where they decide to go. This has helped alleviate the overall tiredness factor, as they aren't doing it every day.

The most positive aspect of early morning seminary, IMHO, is that they get to spend a little time with their church friends in the morning and all head off to school together. That is a plus as long as they get along with their church peers. It does give them a little sense of camaraderie in that they are all in this early morning club together. The tiredness factor is a huge negative.

I think it is really hard for anyone to really focus and learn much that early in the morning.

Posts: 6187
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Seminary is so hard - conversation with my daughter

Post by Roy » 05 Dec 2013, 11:05

hawkgrrrl wrote:I HATE it
Please Hawk, don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel. :D

I didn't do seminary very well.

I found much more fulfillment in institute and did graduate while attending my state college.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Posts: 890
Joined: 25 Sep 2012, 15:17

Re: Seminary is so hard - conversation with my daughter

Post by Roadrunner » 05 Dec 2013, 11:26

I have one child in early morning seminary. She loves it and I do not like it at all. In my opinion it deprives kids of sleep and takes time from learning more important things like core subjects of math, science, language, etc. My stake has an online version which have to get permission from the stake president to do, which is difficult. I personally know youth in my ward who change their sports activities because they have to attend seminary (cannot participate in early morning track practices so they don't go out for sports for example).

That being said, my daughter loves it and I have never fought her to attend. In fact sometimes I'll tell her she should not attend so that she gets more sleep before an exam or something and she ignores me.

To clarify one thing in this thread. Seminary is not a "hard and fast" requirement for BYU admission, but a very high percentage of students do graduate from seminary, something like 80% plus. It's a de facto requirement for admission but there may be mitigating circumstances.

Leaving my daughter and her lack of sleep out of it, it negatively impacts me. I drive my daughter to seminary twice a week and one those days I find suffering from inadequate sleep. I also get migraines brought on for lack of sleep, and seminary contributes to negative health consequences for me. It also negatively impacts my relationship with my wife (yes think intimacy here) because she drives the other half of the week and one of us is always tired at night.

If I had a say, I'd offer online seminary much more freely.
Last edited by Roadrunner on 29 Apr 2014, 16:11, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 3537
Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 16:27

Re: Seminary is so hard - conversation with my daughter

Post by hawkgrrrl » 05 Dec 2013, 11:35

Just one more thing to add. The people who are called to teach early morning seminary are true saints. I honestly couldn't get up that early every single day and try to bring the spirit to a room full of sleepy teens. Yes, they are often cheesy, sometimes ill-informed (one went on an anti-evolution rant that my son was upset about), but they do this with no pay day in and day out. God bless them.

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 7219
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: Seminary is so hard - conversation with my daughter

Post by Heber13 » 05 Dec 2013, 12:11

God bless them. I've substituted a time or two, and trying to do it every day would be hard.

The experience for the kids is so highly dependent on the teacher, and there are some good ones. Some make the kids feel good about themselves.

I wish they had release time where we are. But they don't.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Posts: 2576
Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: Seminary is so hard - conversation with my daughter

Post by Ann » 05 Dec 2013, 21:52

SilentDawning wrote:Thought I would share the reaction of my daughter when I told her that seminary graduation is a requirement for BYU admission...her eyes bugged out of her head. I think it strengthened her commitment to go to Seminary. She started nodding her head and said that it was another reason to go.

Funny how no one plugs the "get into BYU" reason in my state (far removed from Utah). Thanks everyone for enlightening me on this one.
I'm glad to hear this, because the "get into BYU" motivation in my area is strong. Some hard feelings develop when one year a student with very sketchy attendance is allowed to make up tons of work (or not!) and still graduate. Different year, different bishop, different student - and the standards aren't the same.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

User avatar
Posts: 7343
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Seminary is so hard - conversation with my daughter

Post by SilentDawning » 06 Dec 2013, 03:33

I can imagine how some who graduate from Seminary, and who don't get into BYU must feel -- highly ticked off.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

User avatar
Posts: 7272
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Seminary is so hard - conversation with my daughter

Post by DarkJedi » 06 Dec 2013, 04:39

SilentDawning wrote:I can imagine how some who graduate from Seminary, and who don't get into BYU must feel -- highly ticked off.
I'm sure that's true. Seminary does weigh heavily, but it's not the only criteria, just like grades and ACT score are not the only criteria. FWIW, they also appear to look closely at what people do besides church (really) and/or related to church, especially related to service and leadership.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

User avatar
Posts: 231
Joined: 04 Apr 2013, 19:12

Re: Seminary is so hard - conversation with my daughter

Post by journeygirl » 06 Dec 2013, 14:01

I just want to say that I think Seminary is ridiculous. Kids already go to church on Sundays, FHE on Mondays, mutual during the week, maybe a second weeknight for church sports, and they are suppose to do personal scripture study every day. Isn't that enough? If the church is true, wouldn't that be enough to keep them with it? I am guessing that the purpose of seminary is to keep them active with the church, but maybe there is another reason.

My personal experience with seminary was awful. I did release time for a few years when I lived in Idaho, and then early morning seminary in Nevada. I had to get up at 4:30 for that one! I went to bed at 9pm most nights to survive it and sometimes took naps after school too. But besides the sleep issue, I always had seminary teachers who said completely untrue outrageous things, or were openly embarrassing me for being quiet in class (when I was new and didn't know anyone). I went to BYU and the seminary teacher who filled out my papers said something along the lines that she didn't think I would get in or something like that (I guess I've blocked the details out of my memory). Anyway, my point is that I will be totally fine if my kids don't want to go!

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16844
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Seminary is so hard - conversation with my daughter

Post by Curt Sunshine » 06 Dec 2013, 14:35

To be fair, the Church gets criticized for not teaching its members enough about its history. Take away Seminary, and what's left? Less than one hour each week dedicated primarily to doctrine and history. Right now, according to a recent Pew Forum study, Mormons know the Bible better than any other Christians. Do we really want to take that away and leave it up to Sunday School teachers alone to cover all the material we want our kids to study - especially in situations where they don't have solid support and/or understanding at home, which is becoming more and more of an issue as the Church spreads into other countries.

All issues aside, just like so many other things that bother us, our complaints are coming from a position of relative luxury. We can complain about it if it doesn't / didn't work for us and/or our children, but there are many students for whom it is vital - and many others who absolutely love it.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Post Reply