Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Seminary or Campout?

What a great and unusual seminary we had today! As the first drizzles of our rainy day began, Evan and I arrived at the church building to set up and go through the usual routine. Just as the youth were beginning to arrive...zap...all the lights went out. We had a quick return of electricity and then everything went black for the rest of the morning. What a nice thing to have emergency lighting in the building! In the foyer and the hall there are very dim lights that allow you to at least see enough not to step on something, or in our case somebody. What to do?! Everyone gathered in the foyer talking about the lightening they had seen on their way and the stop lights that were not working. The best part was that nobody was sleeping! So Linda and I had a quick conference and thought that we could go over scripture mastery and try to keep them occupied. Seth Olson led the opening song "Shall the Youth of Zion Falter" and everybody sang. It was a bit emotional for me hearing them sing "while the enemy assaileth, shall we shrink or shun the fight?" in the dark, realizing that they live in a world with so much darkness, yet they each are truly such beautiful lights. Erika gave a very nice prayer and Luke did an exceptional job with his devotional, which he volunteered to give. I was so proud of him having a verse from the 4th section of the Doctrine and Covenants memorized. His act of memorization was a great service to all of us, as he brought the spirit of the Savior into our midst. Scripture mastery was put away as we were impressed to highlight the lesson material. Together, Linda and I began to tell about the incredible things that are found in 2 Nephi chapter 2. Lehi, in his final words to his children, recounts the creation, the fall and the atonement; the three pillars of the plan of happiness. As we discussed each thing and shared how they had affected our lives, the students asked wonderful questions and shared their own insights in such a personal and caring way. The question was asked, "What does the Savior offer that is most appealing or important to you?" Happiness, salvation, mercy, forgiveness, eternal life, peace- were a few of the answers. It is a question I need to ask myself more often, because answering it helped me to put things in my life back into perspective. All too soon the time was gone, and Ellis closed our "campfire" with prayer. As the kids left, all were abuzz about how fun that was and that we should do it all the time. Even though I don't think Edison or Zeus will be so obliging again, it was an exceptional experience being with forty of the greatest teens on the earth, in the dark, at 5:50am, building testimonies and faith.


  1. Sometimes the strangest things can give you beautiful experiences. Thanks for sharing.