If it’s been a while since you’ve been in Seminary, or if you joined the church after your teens and never attended, here’s an explanation. Those in the Church leadership that oversee the Seminary Program and its curriculum choose 100 passages, 25 from each of the standard works (The Old Testament, The New Testament, The Book of Mormon, and The Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, combined). The Seminary students spend each year learning about and even memorizing the 25 scriptures that are part of that year’s curriculum. After the four years of High School, each student should, in theory, have a good command of all 100 passages.
Now, since the entire first set of Chapter and Verse cards is all based on the 100 scriptures of the Scripture Mastery set. And suddenly, that was changing! I got a copy of the new lists from the Church’s website at LDS.org, and I set myself to revising.
Several things happened:
One, most of the verses remained unchanged. A few were lengthened, others were added, and some were removed, so that the final tally would still be 25 per course.
Two, I really liked a lot of the cards that were now no longer a part of the Scripture Mastery List. Faced with the idea of removing them, I decided to keep them in the set as sort of “Legacy” cards. So, I added in new cards, and new verse rules for all of the additions.
Three, since I was taking so much time to revise add in so many cards, I was going to use this as an opportunity to revise the entire set in a few ways. One was that I wanted to add a sixth theme icon: Life (Things dealing with the earth, nature, and the practicalities of temporal existence). As I read through the new verses, there were lots of opportunities for that.
Also, the themes were way out of balance in the original set. There were almost twice as many “Wisdom” verses, for example, as “Histories”. I went through and counted each icon and each marker, and did some thematic revisions to even the numbers out some. They are still not exactly equal, but they are much more so than before.
So, the current themes are:
1 - Strength: Represented currently by a Red Shield. This is the theme of action, of doing, of taking a stand, of holding fast to your beliefs.
2 - Wisdom: A glowing Yellow Candle. The theme of knowledge, of doctrine, of understanding, and of living in accord with that knowledge.
3 - Faith: Represented by the Blue Eye of Faith, spoken of by Alma. When we look to the Heavens and believe, our lives are full and complete.
4 - Histories: A White Page, with writing. The scriptures are full of stories and characters, teaching us by example how to choose the right.
5 - Trials: Represented by a Struggling Fist, surrounded by Dark Purple. All may seem to be black as we face our difficulties, but as we overcome them, and the dawn comes, the darkness starts to fade.
6 - Life: a Green Leaf. This is the theme of our home, our earth. We are born to it, live in it daily, and will eventually return our bodies to it.
All of the verse cards relate in some way to one or more of these themes, and that’s how the verses are added into chapters and eventually into books! That’s how you become a Master of Chapter and Verse!
Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including MarkHansenMusic.com and his Dutch Oven blog.