Have you ever seen a ward Scouting activity that seemed disorganized, unplanned, or haphazardly put together at the last minute? Have you ever witnessed an ill-prepared Aaronic priesthood quorum meeting or lesson? At times like these I wonder if some Scouting and Aaronic Priesthood leaders ever call upon the Lord for inspiration and direction in their calling. I wonder if they are fasting and praying to be spiritually guided each week as they nurture the Lord’s young men. Or do they simply view Scouting as a “worldly” program and rely solely on their own understanding as they conduct the affairs of the Scouting unit or priesthood quorum?
A calling in Scouting and the Aaronic Priesthood can be one of the most spiritually rewarding callings in the Church. Working in the Lord’s Young Men program is a stewardship that requires tremendous insight and inspiration in how to foster the Lord’s choice young men. Scouting and Aaronic Priesthood callings should be filled with the strongest spiritual leaders within a ward or stake.
The highest level of support in your Scouting and Aaronic Priesthood role is not the bishop, the stake Young Men president, the stake president, the Area Seventy, the BSA local council, the district, parents, or ward members. The greatest support you have in your calling is the Lord, Jesus Christ. He wants you to succeed in your calling. He wants you to be the best Scouting and priesthood leader you can be. But, like all of the other support resources available to you, the Lord can only help you if you go to Him and ask for His help. The Lord has given you the Holy Ghost as a special gift to ensure your success.
The four greatest resources to help you in your Young Men stewardship are fasting, prayer, scripture study, and temple attendance. Each of these resources can open the door to unlimited inspiration and revelation. They can provide you with the insight, strength, and spiritual motivation to magnify your calling beyond your current aptitude or capabilities. They can give you the physical, emotional, spiritual, and moral support you need to press forward as you face the struggles and challenges in your Scouting and Aaronic Priesthood roles. These sources will always sustain you. They will lighten your burden more than any other resources.
I also testify that there are no greater Scouting support resources than fasting, prayer, scripture study, and temple attendance. No BSA manual or Internet resource can supersede these sources. I promise that if you will carry out your Scouting and Aaronic Priesthood responsibilities the way the Lord intends, He will “bear you up as on eagle’s wings” (D&C 124:18).
I wish I could find the source for the following quote by President Spencer W. Kimball. I copied it from an old Melchizedek Priesthood manual in the 1970s. It is one of my favorite quotes about the priesthood. President Kimball testified, “We tell you once more that to hold the priesthood is a powerful blessing. You can be a poor priesthood member or a very wonderful one. You can, like your Savior, some day say, ‘Peace, be still,’ and the storm will vanish. You can, like the Savior, some day say, ‘Bless this blind eye, this unhearing ear,’ and miracles will happen. O, brethren, our miracles are about as strong as we are.”
O, brethren, the Scouting units and Aaronic Priesthood quorums within your ward are only about as strong as you are. I pray you will call upon the powers of heaven to guide you daily as you strive to faithfully fulfill your stewardship over the Lord’s young men. I call upon you to be strong in magnifying your calling. Seek heavenly support through faithful fasting, prayer, scripture study, and temple attendance. If you do, you will be a powerful influence upon the lives of your boys.
Take a Moment to Reflect
- Are you seeking the Lord’s Spirit daily to guide you in your Scouting and Aaronic Priesthood callings?
- Are you calling upon the resources of the Lord through fasting, prayer, scripture study, and temple attendance?
- Are you ensuring your Scouting and Aaronic Priesthood programs are being delivered the way the Lord intends rather than some other way?
- Is your priesthood as strong as it should be?
Turn Your Reflection Into Action
- What will you start doing, stop doing, or do better as a result of your reflection?
“Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all [young] men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven” (D&C 121:45).
-Mac McIntire is a dedicated Scouter who has blessed many lives through his service and acute understanding of the Scouting program. He currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. The views and opinions expressed in this message are solely those of the author.