You see, when all the kids my age started Seminary, I was not there. I had absolutely no intention of attending seminary and frankly was quite content to stay as far away from Seminary as I could. But that was not what happened...
My parents were going through some things and they had been somewhat inactive at that time in my life. One day my father was asked to meet with the Stake President. He went alone to our Stake Presidents office and I recall him being gone for a long time. His appointment was on a Sunday afternoon. When my father returned I remember that there was a huge discussion between my mother and father about what came up in the appointment. Eventually I remember my father turning to me and telling me that the Stake President also discussed me. At that point I did not understand why on earth this man would want to discuss anything to do with me. I hadn't been in any trouble and I certainly was not top on his list for speakers at Stake Conference.
The Stake President asked why I was not attending Seminary. He said I know Seminary started about a month ago and Sondra has missed more than the alotted days for the entire 4 years she will attend Seminary (just in one month!), but I have an idea. He said, he would arrange a ride for me and if I would agree to go to Seminary he would "wipe-the-slate-clean" so it would be as if I never missed a day. To this day I still cannot believe that I did not refuse. Not even a look of total rebellion on my face!
Now there have been a very few times that my father or mother had asked me to do certain things, that I did not complain, talk back, or give them a dozen reasons why I could not do whatever it was they wanted me to do. However, this was one of those times. I just agreed to go and that was it.
Then next morning I woke up around 4 or 5am, got a ride from our Bishop's wife to the church building downtown, and walked into the Seminary room for the first time ever. You see, the kids that attended our church building attended seminary together. Seminary was divided between the Freshman-Sophomores in one room and the Junior-Seniors in another. Our seminary teachers name was Brother Chubbs. We met in the old Junior Sunday School room. To this day I still remember how the light was shinnig in from the two tall skinny windows on either side of the little pulpit that first day. And the way I felt that morning! I knew without a doubt that I was in the right place. Never again, did the light shine in that room the way it did my first day of Seminary. The spirit was so strong that day.....unlike any other day after, EVER! And Seminary was one of my favorite places to feel the spirit for all the years I went to Seminary.
I am so glad I obeyed my parents and took our Stake Presidents challenge! I learned to LOVE Seminary and eventually I became the Junior Seminary President in that area. I attended early morning Seminary for three of my high school years. Then my parents moved us from California to Arizona the summer between my Junior and Senior year of high school. (another one of those moments I went along with their decision) When we moved here to Arizona I attended two seminary classes and also became the seminary class president my Senior Year of high school. I would probably still attend Seminary if I could. LOL Imagine that, some 46 year old lady in the back of your Seminary Class....how weird would that be???
So, if you are thinking about NOT attending Seminary, I suggest you think long and hard about it, because Seminary is the best decision I made that Freshman year of high school. I know that by making the right decision to attend Seminary......AND early morning Seminary, I might add, I have received many blessings I never would have received. I got to know the kids in my ward and in the other wards around us better. Some of them are still my friends and I talk with them all the time on facebook. I also know that by choosing to attend Seminary I was protected in some ways I know about and in some ways I will not know about until after this life. I also know that the Spirit was there with me as I made that courageous decision (and I will be honest, I was a little scared to walk into that room) to start going to Seminary. I am still in awe of the way the Holy Ghost made sure I knew that my decision was right and also made sure it was something I would never forget. It is moments likes these that I cherish and want to have as often as I can because I love that feeling. I love that witness that comes through the gift of the Holy Ghost. What a blessing it is to have the gift of the Holy Ghost in my life. Enough said.