Keep the seminary fire burning all summer with these simple ideas

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(Image of seminary class courtesy Mormon Newsroom.)

(Image of seminary class courtesy Mormon Newsroom)

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, teenagers learn important gospel principles in daily seminary classes — during the school year. But what happens during the summer?

Though most places don’t hold seminary classes during the summer months, families can work together to keep the gospel fire that seminary ignites burning all summer long. Here are five ideas to help you keep the seminary firing burning.

1. Set a goal

In seminary, youth learn to follow through on spiritual goals, like daily scripture study and memorizing certain scriptures. Parents can help their children focus on spiritual things by choosing gospel-centered goals with their teenagers and working together to reach them.

One goal you might set is to take Elder Neil Andersen’s temple challenge to “prepare as many names for the temple as baptisms you perform in the temple, and help someone else to do the same.”

2. Stay in the scriptures

Many families’ daily schedules change dramatically during the summer when kids don’t spend a majority of their days at school. However, difficult as it is, keeping kids in the scriptures is a great way to teach consistency and to keep the Spirit in your home. Elder Richard G. Scott said, “If you want your children to recognize, understand, and act on the promptings of the Spirit, you must study the scriptures with them.”

3. Invite youth to teach

After observing excellent teaching from skilled seminary teachers all year, many youth know what quality gospel learning and teaching look like. Invite youth to teach family home evening lessons on the topics they learned in seminary. As they do so, they will better remember the lessons they learned and invite the Spirit to testify of these truths to other members of the family.

4. Make the gospel part of family vacations

In seminary, youth learn to make spiritual things part of their daily routines. Parents can emulate this teaching by keeping the gospel at the heart of our days — even on family vacations.

If you’re planning to visit Disneyland, for example, stop by the temples in Los Angeles, Las Vegas or Newport Beach. If you plan to visit the East Coast, see if you can make it to Palmyra or a local temple. If you can, attend church meetings wherever you are and keep up with family scripture study (even if it means reading in the car). Your kids will learn from your example how to live what they’ve learned in seminary.

5. Study next year’s material

With so many resources available online, parents can use the summer months to prepare for the coming year of seminary. Parents and youth can access seminary manuals, curriculum, scripture mastery and more online at Seminary.LDS.org. Parents and youth can study these materials together, even if it’s only occasionally, so seminary is never far from teenagers’ minds.

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Breanna Olaveson worked in the magazine industry before taking her writing from full-time to nap time with the birth of her first daughter. Her work has appeared in the Ensign, Liahona and New Era magazines, as well as Utah Valley Magazine, Utah Valley BusinessQ, Utah Valley Bride and the Provo Daily Herald. She lives in Utah county with her husband and three children. She blogs at www.breannaolaveson.com.

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