In our church, the youth have an opportunity to attend what is called Seminary. It's a four year program that coincides with their school year. The are released from the school for one class period to receive religious instruction. They start in 9th grade and then complete it their Senior year.
For those of us in Utah, the release time is during the school day, and again is for one class period. They generally walk across the school parking lot to the seminary building which is NOT a part of the school. They do not earn school credit for this time, so they generally have to stay right on top of their other grades in order to reach all the credits necessary for school graduation. In other areas of the country, and the world for that matter, they don't have the luxury of the release time during the school day, so Seminary is taught early in the morning before school begins. Either way, it is a sacrifice for the youth to do these classes. They either lose sleep or miss out on other credits they could be taking to further their education.
My boys all went through the program. In his Senior year, my oldest decided he didn't want to attend anymore, dropped out of the program and went on work release for his school credits instead.
At that time, Splenda and I decided maybe we wanted to add some incentive (or bribery if you must) for our boys to complete the program. We feel strongly that their religious education is every bit as important as their secular education. It's free, it's easily accessible, and we wanted them to accomplish this goal. Our
When they graduate, we treat them to dinner at The Roof. I've mentioned this restaurant before. It's beautiful, expensive and a rare treat.
This was hard for Tuffy. First off, school is NOT his forte. It's just not. He's never liked it, never found it to come easy and has had to work harder than his brothers did. He found himself short on credits late in his Sophomore year. The only way for him to be able to graduate both high school and seminary would be to take early morning seminary for the last two years of school. That sucks. Being at the school and in his seat at Seminary by 6:30 am every morning. I honestly didn't think he would do it. But he proved me wrong.
And might I add, I never had to go wake him up to go. He did it all on his own. Both years. Every morning. He missed a few times, when he had worked the night before, but overall, the boy did it and did it himself.
Thursday night was the commencement exercise for Seminary. They do a short program most of which consists if inviting the graduates to bear their testimonies of their seminary experiences. Cold.Turkey. No warning.
Let me set the stage a little bit. Tuffy is a very quiet kid. Never likes the spotlight. When he was little we couldn't even LOOK at him during a school program or he would burst into tears of embarrassment. He's ever spoken in public before. And most certainly never bore his testimony in public.
Who gets called? You guessed it. The one boy who would rather eat his own head than speak in front of a group of people. Let alone share something so personal and spiritual like his testimony of Seminary and of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
My heart started pounding for him. I think I was just as nervous as if it would have been me called. His GF sitting next to me, began wildly tapping her fingers out of nervousness for him.
He killed it. He didn't even SEEM nervous. He brought a sweet spirit to the meeting. Shared his heartfelt feelings, talked about how hard it was, but that he was able to stick it out and see it through. I was proud of him for his clarity of mind and speech even though he was fighting back his emotions. Certainly, was a moment that I will remember forever.
After the program, we grabbed a few quick pics out front, then headed to Cold Stone for some ice cream.
Tuffy and 'antanna
Grandma Sue, Grandpa John thanks for coming and supporting us. Especially with the late notice!
Friday night, our reservations were for 8pm. We got there a little early, and the sun was beginning to set. They put at us the perfect table!
We enjoyed some fabulous food and watched the sun set behind the Salt Lake Temple with Angel Moroni glistening in the evening sun. Once the lights of the Temple came on, the view was even more beautiful.
The boy and his besties!
Seriously? 60 shrimp? Well done BB!
Besties in front of the temple, just can't see the spires so well
Pose like you are looking at the temple. 'Antanna's kind of sneaking her way out of the picture there on the left
And flop yourselves across the sofa like you've never seen soft velvet before
So, now that's it. My youngest. No more Seminary graduations. I'll have to wait for my grandkids to be old enough to I can offer the
And to my Tuffy - I know it was hard. I know it sucked getting up early. It's not easy to be asked to read your scriptures, and even share in class. But you did it. And you did it all on your own. I hope that you are as proud of yourself as I am!
xoxoxo - ILYPI