Five students attend Early Morning Seminary every morning before school starts for religious education.
Early Morning Seminary is a four-year program for youth to receive education about their religion. Occurring each morning before school, students who are part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or the outdated term, Mormon, wake before 6:10 a.m. to head to Early Morning Seminary. “Each year, we study a different section of the scriptures and learn how to apply the doctrine to our daily life,” sophomore Cade Christensen said.
They usually meet in the chapel of the Kentlands Ward but it is being repaired. For now, they meet in a member’s house.
Currently, there are three teachers who are part of this ward. They rotate weekly.
As any other religion, it is important for a member to explore their faith and learn more about it. “[The purpose is] to come closer to Jesus Christ, study our Christian religion in more depth and to start the day on a positive note before students head to school,” parent and Seminary teacher Lisa Opfar said.
A downside to Early Morning Seminary is waking up earlier than most students. This gives the possibility of not obtaining enough sleep. “I usually wake up at around 4:45, get ready and get out of the house by 5:50 or 6,” sophomore Camden Opfar said.
Even though waking up early can be hard, there is still the positive experience of being surrounded by people who appreciate and love to learn about their religion. Since they meet almost every morning, they are able to build strong relationships with one another. This opportunity also gives time for the students to dedicate time to express their faith.
There are many misconceptions about their religion, and what they believe and don’t believe. “We don’t go by Mormons, we go by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Yes, we do not drink alcohol, consume tobacco, drink coffee, green or black tea, (or any highly caffeinated drinks). We are not polygamists. We do believe in modern medicine and highly support education, in fact many members of the church are doctors and our prophet was a heart surgeon. We also believe that families can be together forever. We do identify as Christian, and believe in both the Bible and Book of Mormon,” sophomore Camden Opfar said.