Students attend Mormon seminary

Unknown to most, five Lampeter-Strasburg High School students attend an early morning seminary every Monday through Friday before school – an incredible feat, considering many of us have a hard time getting up at even a normal time.

The seminary begins at 6 o’clock in the morning at the teacher’s home. The youth are members of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints.

Lea Butcher, a junior at L-S, is one of the five students who attend. She comments that she “is guilty of not having a commitment as strong as the others who attend.” While she doesn’t always go to the seminary, she finds a sense of clarity and comfort when she does.

Students are able to attend early morning seminary once they reach high school. Though her parents did not decide for her, Butcher chose to attend the seminary her freshman year, in order to strengthen her faith.

Each day typically starts out with a prayer and a hymn. Then they study one of four books: the New Testament, the Old Testament, the Book of Mormon (which sometimes includes a subtitle "Another Testament of Jesus Christ"), or the Doctrine and Covenants. Each year, they study a different book, which is set on a rotation so that students should study each throughout their high school career. The students also memorize scriptures.
Students who attend the Mormon seminary include Ethan Knarr,
Leanna Butcher, Connor Brown, Mason Knarr, and Alex Knarr
Patti Henry, the seminary’s volunteer teacher since 2014, explains that the group is currently studying the Old Testament. 

She says she “loves the youth and sees the struggles that they face every day, just trying to live the teachings of our Savior Jesus Christ. To be a true disciple of Christ is a hard thing to do in this world today with so many things influencing you every minute.” 

Although leading the seminary is a large commitment, Henry feels the time and effort is worth it in order to serve the youth.

Ethan Knarr is a sophomore who has been attending since his freshman year as well. He says attending early morning seminary can be a burden and a struggle, but he feels it is the right thing to do. He attends on his own volition, not by parental requirement. He feels going to seminary impacts his day positively, and he is grateful for the experience.

Other students who attend are seniors Connor Brown, Alex Knarr, and freshman Mason Knarr. Both Brown and Knarr have been attending since their freshman year, and Brown is currently at one hundred percent attendance.

The church provides a sort of graduation at the end of the four years for students who attended at least seventy-five percent of the meetings. After graduating, students can choose to go to the Institute of Religion, which allows students to continue their study of the gospel.

--Alyssa Van Lenten, Local Editor

Edited: BP

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