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Like Jabari Parker, Thousands of Mormon Youth Attend Seminary

Seminary students b file photo

This week’s Sports Illustrated cover story features Jabari Parker, a 17-year-old basketball player from Chicago who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon).

The article’s epigraph says Parker is the “best high school basketball player since LeBron James, but there's something more important to him than instant NBA stardom: his faith.”

The story behind Parker’s devotion to his religion is familiar to Mormons. “Jabari wakes up each morning at five and says a simple prayer,” the article says, “thanking God for another day. By 5:30 three days a week he's off to church for Bible study.”

Like thousands of Latter-day Saint youth in more than 140 countries, Parker attends the Church’s seminary program. High school students learn about religious history and the scriptures in seminary. Courses of study include the Bible’s Old and New Testaments and the Book of Mormon, among others.

Several other aspects of Mormonism are also fairly addressed in the article, including the fact that Mormons come from many different backgrounds and that the Church does not have a professional clergy.

Read the entire article at

Related stories: Seminary Program Celebrates Century of Teaching Mormon Teens

The New York Times: The Prayerful Young Man Can Also Nail a Jumper

Sports Illustrated: Chicago's Jabari Parker balances faith, fierceness on the court

ABC: Future NBA Prospect on His Game, Mormonism


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