Monday, September 05, 2005

"Let's Do It!" Read The Book of Mormon Weekend

I teach Seminary. Seminary is a religious education class for high school age students run by the Church Educational System of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I [mostly] enjoy teaching and right now I have a great group of students. Our class meets from 6 - 6:50 A.M. I've been teaching Seminary off and on (mostly on) now for 6 years...I think.

Anyway, this year our course of study is The Book of Mormon. All summer I'd been thinking that it would be good for the class to read the whole book early in the course and in a short period of time to give us a framework to use as a point of reference in the class. I have 24 students this year. Some of the students are new members who are not familiar with the book and some have been raised in the Church, but still are not very familiar with it.

So, over Labor Day weekend we had our reading. We started at 4 P.M. on Friday afternoon and read until 10:30 P.M. The branch provided dinner for us that night. The next morning we started again at 6 A.M. and read, once again, until 10:30 that night. One student's family had volunteered to bring in food for us for lunch and we started fasting right after we had eaten. On Friday night we had 25 - 30 participate--several Institute students joined us. On Saturday, we had 20 (10 young women, 10 young men--that was a first!). By the time we left on Saturday night we were pretty beat and we still had 2 books to go; I wondered if anyone would show up for the finish on Sunday morning.

We had agreed to meet Sunday at 7:00 A.M. and I was a little late because I had to take all of my family with me. I had a call right before I left that one of the girls I was supposed to pick up had just gotten up and would get there when she could. Hmmmmm.... I was glad (and relieved) to find that there were already a half dozen students there by the time I arrived. We didn't have as many--only 11 showed up that morning--but we did finish before Sacrament Meeting and several of the students who didn't make it to the finish with the group did read the last two books on their own.

We read so fast that I started worrying that the kids wouldn't get anything out of this activity, but it hasn't turned out that way at all. Several of them bore their testimonies of the Book of Mormon that day, and since then I have heard them on a few different occasions refer to things we read (i.e., "I think Lamanites had leather armor." "No, remember? It said they were naked.").

We just had so much support from the branch and the parents, Sister Benson (our Institute teacher) and especially from each other. I'm glad we did it--it was a great weekend.

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