Most of you were taught the truths of the gospel from the time you were a toddler. You were taught by loving parents and caring teachers. Soon you entered that period some have labeled "the terrible teens." I prefer "the terrific teens." What a time of opportunity, a season of growth, a semester of development--marked by the acquisition of knowledge and the quest for truth.

No one has described the teenage years as being easy. They're often years of insecurity, of feeling as though you just don't measure up, of trying to find your place with your peers, of trying to fit in. Oh, there'll be times when you'll face challenges which might jeopardize your testimony. You may neglect it as you pursue other interests. I plead with you to keep it strong.

The world around you is not equipped to provide the help you need to make it through this often-treacherous journey. Some years ago I was on a board of directors with a fine man who'd been extremely successful in life. I was impressed with his integrity and his loyalty to the Church. I learned that he had gained a testimony and had joined the Church because of seminary. When he married his wife, who'd been a lifelong member of the Church, he belonged to no church. Through the years and despite her efforts, he showed no interest in attending church with his wife and children.

He began driving two of his daughters to early-morning seminary. He would remain in the car while they had their class, then drive them to school. One day it was raining, and one of his daughters said, "Come in, Dad. You can sit in the hall." He accepted the invitation. The door to the classroom was open, and he began to listen.

His heart was touched. For the rest of that school year, he attended seminary with his daughters, which led eventually to his membership and a lifetime of activity in the Church. Let seminary help build and strengthen your testimony. It is up to you to keep that testimony alive. As with the flame of a brightly burning fire, your testimony--if not continually fed--will fade to glowing embers and then cool completely. You must not let this happen. When you have the chance to be involved in seminary, take advantage of that opportunity. How grateful I am for the opportunity I had as a teenager to attend early-morning seminary, for it played a vital role in my development and the development of my testimony. Seminary can change lives. As with anything in life, much of what you take from your seminary experience depends on your attitude and your willingness to be taught. May your attitude be one of humility and a desire to learn. Effort is required, but it is effort you will never, ever regret.

Seminary Can Change Lives

President Thomas S. Monson teaches how seminary can help you build and strengthen your testimony. "Effort is required," he says. "But it is effort you will never, ever regret."

Related Collections