One and done would have been my preference. I don’t much care for falling apart and she caused trouble for me again on Sunday. As a Latter-day Saint; Sundays, Spirituality, and being a discipline of Jesus Christ are high priorities. High school age members are invited to participate in the Seminary Program of the Church Education System. This boils down to a period a day of scripture studies. If high school is in session, so are Seminary classes and that means they will meet before their 1st period bell rings. It is standard practice to start between 6 – 6:15 am. Maybe not a big deal for an ag area and this time of year with the sun being up, but it is noticeably dark with the time change. I have lent a deaf ear to an awful amount of whining about it. She didn’t have the privilege of a given class time. Her experience was four years of online lessons (ya gotta love the tech!). Where she found the time will always amaze me.
Utah has release time. In a nutshell, Utahns get to use one of their class periods during the day to accomplish their Seminary study. Even if you don’t believe in a higher being, you would be hard pressed to win a debate with me on the merits of Judeo-Christian ideals. Think what life would be like if we all honored the “Golden Rule?” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin reminds us that we are spiritual beings immersed in a human experience.
I lost it again as I watched her graduate from Seminary. The veil between my earthly existence and our heavenly sphere was extremely thin. It was another gift of a ‘Tender Mercy’ to me provided by the Lord. I have found that including God in my day in a consistent fashion adds to the frequency of these visits. It is as easy as being grateful and giving thanks. There were not as many this time when compared to Pierce Class of 2019 and this I lament. An Eternal Father is in the details. Our forefathers came to this land for religious freedom and today we try our damnedest to take God out of everything. This has and will continue to cost us.
My daughter has plans. She is pretty much all grown up now and they are of her own free will. I realized early on that I would have very little success forcing her to do anything. I can hear her grandmother, “She is her father’s daughter.” I don’t have to cut the cord just yet. She plans on attending Woodland JC and letting the state pay her 1st year’s tuition. That keeps her under my roof. A larger part of California’s Junior Colleges is participating in the California College Promise program, AB 19, this year. She plans to receive an associate degree in two years’ time and then put the Seminary education to use by servicing a full-time, nineteen-month mission for her Church. She can legally preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in most parts of the world because she has a Seminary education. I feel, and she seems to accord, that more people should proclaim the ‘Tender Mercies’ of the Savior of the world. ■
— Scott Arens is a lifelong resident of Arbuckle. To contact Scott email firstname.lastname@example.org