From the Church

Seminary program celebrates century of teaching Mormon teens

In 1912, adjacent to Granite High School in Salt Lake City, Utah, Thomas J. Yates assumed the challenging task of organizing and teaching the first seminary class of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon). Yates, a Cornell University trained engineer and a power plant employee, rode his horse at midday from his full-time job to teach the 70 students enrolled in the fledgling program.Yates recognized the demanding nature of the new educational pursuit. “This was a new venture,” he stated in his autobiography. “It had never been tried before. We could see wonderful possibilities; if it were successful it would mean a complete change for the Church.”

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