Monday, February 7, 2011

Early Morning Seminary!

That's my new calling, teaching the scriptures at 6 in the morning to a group of (enthusiastic?) 10-graders. This year's course of study is church history and Doctrine and Covenants. I will team-teach with one of the best seminary teachers in the stake, Sister Bray. We have enough kids and teachers to have four classes with two teachers each, plus a super-early class and an after-school class. I am excited and nervous.

I love the gospel and I love the youth. I am a bit nervous about the boys though . . . I've heard from a few people that they are a handful. I know a few of them and I do like them. But as you know, it only takes one ringleader to turn nice kids into mischievous toadies. If I can keep them busy maybe they'll forget to be bored . . . well, I hope that's the case. But at least they're there. If they can feel something positive at least some of the time then I will be happy.

I also find it daunting to be up, nicely dressed, and ready to teach so early in the morning. Right now I walk with Carmen at 6 but I just roll out of bed and go. It will probably be fine, especially when the sunrise comes earlier. It is hard to drag myself out of bed when it looks like it's the middle of the night.

Did you go to early morning seminary? My very first teacher was my own mom, the same course of study we're on this year. I think that was the most rowdy class I've ever had! But we had so much fun. I totally remember my first scripture mastery verse, which my mom helped us memorize (Doctrine and Covenants 1:38). One scripture that I thought of over and over in my youth was Doctrine and Covenants 8:2-3:

Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.

Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.

I can see my mom doing the hand motions as we recited, "throoooooo the Red Sea oooooooon dry ground." She was my first seminary teacher and I am grateful for that introduction into scripture study. (And for the wild McDonald's runs after class!)

The next two years I had the most amazing teacher, Sister Cindy Hill. I loved her class so much that I couldn't be there I sent a tape recorder so I could hear it later. She was amazing--more than being knowledgeable she lived her life the way I hoped to live mine--with integrity, compassion, and with the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit. But she was amazingly intelligent regarding the gospel and I learned so much. In that class the Spirit truly was the teacher and I was definitely a better person for having gone.

When we moved from San Antonio to Kingwood I had a wonderful man teach our class, Brother Reg Slocombe. I regret that I did not pay attention they way I should have. I thought the class lacked the "oomph" I was used to and so I found it hard not to close my eyes and daydream (or full-on fall asleep . . . embarrassing). But our teacher was well-prepared and I wish I'd been more grateful and respectful for his knowledge and willingness to teach. One thing that stuck with me is that he was friends with Spencer Kinard, the former announcer for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

I love the seminary program. I believe it is so good for young people to sacrifice their time (and sleep) in the pursuit of higher learning. When they start the day with prayer and scripture study I have to think that it's not only good for the student, but good for the school. I hope I can teach with the Spirit so that one day they will look back on seminary and think, "I can't remember my teacher's name but I had a great experience and I'm glad I went."

That is my hope, my prayer, and my greatest desire.


Dad77345 said...

Rebie- You'll be a great seminary teacher. I can't think of anyone better qualified for this calling.

Ezekiel 38:7
'Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.'

Rebecca and Co. said...

Aw, Dad, you are the best. Thank you. I love you!