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Church announces changes for seminary in 2021

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During a devotional at the Mesa Arizona Red Mountain Institute on Oct. 17, Elder Ulisses Soares encouraged young adults to stay close to the Lord through prayer, scripture study and service.

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Seminary and Institutes of Religion of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced changes for seminary in 2021, including a further alignment with “Come, Follow Me” and a new reading requirement for seminary course credit.

Further alignment with ‘Come, Follow Me’

A Dec. 15 notice states that starting Jan. 1, 2021, rather than following a nine-month study schedule for each seminary course, students will study the same course of study as “Come, Follow Me” for the entire year. In 2021, seminary students will study the Doctrine and Covenants, along with the rest of the Church.

Teachers will use the existing Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Manual for lesson materials. Students will not receive every lesson from the teacher manual in class, especially those lessons when school is not in session.

Reading requirement changes

Also beginning Jan. 1, 2021, in order to get seminary course credit, students will need to read in that year’s book of scripture at least 75% of the semester calendar days.

“This change emphasizes the importance for students to develop a habit of daily scripture study to help deepen their understanding and reliance on Jesus Christ, His teachings and His Atonement,” the notice states.

President Russell M. Nelson taught, “As we seek to be disciples of Jesus Christ, our efforts to hear Him need to be ever more intentional. It takes conscious and consistent effort to fill our daily lives with His words, His teachings, His truths. … Daily immersion in the word of God is crucial for spiritual survival, especially in these days of increasing upheaval. As we feast on the words of Christ daily, the words of Christ will tell us how to respond to difficulties we never thought we would face” (“Hear Him,” April 2020 general conference).

How parents can help

Parents can help support their children who are taking seminary by:

  • Helping them set and maintain daily scripture appropriate and meaningful study goals that are tailored to their needs and abilities.
  • Regularly asking them about their experiences with their scripture study.
  • Providing opportunities where you, your child and other family members can testify of what you are learning and feeling about Jesus Christ and His gospel.
  • Encouraging them to be accountable by tracking their daily personal scripture study in the Seminary and Institute app (Google or iOS) or other recording method.

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