News Release

A Seminary Teacher's Experience

After overcoming her initial apprehension Peggy Joines accepted an assignment to become a Seminary Teacher for two congregations, Peckham and Kennington, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in South London.  She eventually taught daily for nearly ten years from 2005 to 2014.

Seminary is a religious education programme designed for young members of the church aged between 14-18 years.  From small beginnings approximately 100 years ago this programme is now taught to thousands of students in the Church throughout the world.  The lessons are taught by volunteer teachers, such as, Peggy Joines.  Each year students study one book of scripture:  Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon or Doctrine and Covenants.  At the end of each year a graduation ceremony is held and each student receives a course completion certificate.  At the end of the four years they receive a certificate in recognition of their hard work in completing the entire programme.  Often lessons take place early morning four days per week before school and this was so in Peggy’s case.

Peggy explained that initially she felt very overwhelmed by the significant responsibility of imparting spiritual education to young minds.    However, the more she taught and interacted with her students and felt of their enthusiasm, her own knowledge, skill and confidence grew. Peggy remarked that the students inspired her enormously, adding “when I saw them come each day I knew that I had a responsibility to give them the best. I could not teach and testify of gospel doctrines and principles unless I knew them myself”.  She, therefore, immersed herself in scripture study.  She used a range of teaching methods to capture her student’s imagination, interest and, ultimately, helped them to develop a love of the scriptures. 

Over the years Peggy has tracked the progress of her former students and believes that, through their sacrifice to attend Seminary daily, they have all been blessed with doing well academically and in their church service.  Completing the four-year curriculum requires diligence and commitment and so, understandably, Peggy feels very proud of the achievements of her former students.  In turn they are not short of praise for her enthusiasm, diligence, creativity and hard work in teaching them gospel doctrines and principles; helping them to develop a greater understanding of their relationship with God and the Saviour.

After teaching Seminary for nearly ten years Peggy feels that she has gained an increased testimony of the Saviour and His Atonement, as well as, a habit of more structured and productive scripture study.  Of her students she remarked, “If my students of past years have come to love the scriptures and have built a personal relationship with the Lord and an understanding of the Atonement then I feel content.”

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