Not too long ago, the local CES guy came out to the branch I attended at the time to talk up Seminary and Institute. During his 5th Sunday joint RS/PH presentation he asked for a show of hands of those in the branch who had graduated from Seminary. As I looked around, I was interested to note that everyone with their hand in the air was a returned missionary. In fact, every returned missionary in that unit was a Seminary graduate.

I had not previously thought of a correlation, but I suspect there is one. Not causation, I don’t think–I know many people who graduated from seminary with me who did not serve. But I had very few missionary companions who did not attend seminary–and all of those were adult converts.

Personally, I had a wonderful Seminary experience. I was a total nerd: I had 100% attendance at early-morning Seminary all four years. I am personally predisposed to attending Seminary, but I know many good people who let it slide, whether to participate in the swim team (early morning model), or to take an extra AP class (release time model), or because the home study program is just so tedious. And there are other families who decide that Church on Sundays and Scouts is enough Church, or just that they don’t want another thing to fight with their teenagers about. I sympathize.

But I am curious: do you think there is a strong correlation between Seminary completion and missionary service? Do you think, if people realized there was a correlation, there would be more emphasis on Seminary participation?