Scripture Mastery

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We had the full-time missionaries over for supper a few days ago and the spiritual message they left was the beginning of King Benjamin’s sermon.

And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. (Mosiah 2:17)

Innocent enough.

Yet when the elder was expounding on the words of King Benjamin, he stated something that perked up my ears. He said that this was the first time he had ever come across the passage.

When I was in seminary, this was a “scripture mastery” scripture. Do they not have scripture mastery any more?

12 thoughts on “Scripture Mastery

  1. Scripture mastery is very much alive and is being emphasized even more strongly now with The Current Teaching Emphasis in CES. Don’t know what happened for this Elder. Maybe he was sleeping :-)

    Virtual Theology

  2. Backing up Rusty:

    They don’t ask to see your seminary graduation diploma before you can send in your papers, you know. In fact, I have a little more admiration for a missionary like this, who may not have come from a background where missionary service was always assumed for him.

    Full disclosure: I never graduated from seminary. When I was in the ninth grade, I was the only student of seminary age in my branch — ever. By the time they realized that there was a seminary program and I ought to have it, a whole year had gone by, and by that time the class had doubled — to me and my sister. (Dad was called as our home-study seminary teacher.)

  3. To go on a foreign mission you do not have to have a four year seminary degree. That is a falsehood. Don’t worry yourself about it!

  4. Yes, there are still scripture masteries. They are the same ones as before. I would imagine that this missionary didn’t attend seminary or is a convert or his seminary teacher just didn’t do scripture masteries. Last year the seminary teacher asked the kids if they wanted to do scripture masteries and of course they said no, so they didn’t do them. It’s been a bit of a challenge to do them this year.

  5. We still devote Fridays to scripture mastery, but what we have lost (at least where I live) is the previously extensive award/competition program. We don’t compete with the scriptures except for some mild intramural open-book jeopardy and we really don’t have incentive to learn them, although never having seen them before is pretty weak.

    A missionary told me recently that while seminary graduation was not necessary for a mission, most foreign missions required a four-year diploma. This saddened me as I’m going to finish only three years myself.

  6. Hmm. In regard to #5, I have two points:

    1. There’s no such thing as a typical Provo Mormon family.

    2. Being from a Provo Mormon family obviously doesn’t guarantee that a young man will have learned as much as he should about the scriptures, or that he will have attended or paid any attention in seminary.

  7. OK, then let me rephrase that: the typical Mormon family in the Provo Freedom Stake. That was the bulk of my exposure to Provo Mormon families.

  8. I just think there’s still too much variety in families and individuals to categorize them as “typical.” No big deal, though. I get your point and I don’t think it’s invalid.

  9. Wow, what ever happened to “not judging others”? Who knows why this missionary did not know the scripture, who cares? He knows it now and he is doing exactly what he should be. I feel sorry for those that are sterotyped into the “typical Porvo Mormon family”. Thats a lot of pressure. I’m glad i’m in Florida!

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