Perhaps one of the greatest weaknesses in the Aaronic Priesthood program is the assumption (or desire) by some Young Men adult leaders that their calling is only temporary. A man who believes he will only be in his position a short time typically does not commit to run the Aaronic Priesthood and Scouting programs as designed. He also fails to become proficiently trained in his position, and he avoids getting to know the boys sufficiently enough to become a major influence in their lives.
You should not equate a call as an adviser in the Aaronic Priesthood or as a Scout Leader with the thought of limited service. The Spirit will not work with you if you are negative or approach your calling with the wrong motivation. There is no better calling in the Church than that of a Young Men leader. Repeatedly the prophets have counseled bishops to call the best brethren in a ward as Young Men leaders. Hopefully you are committed to serve where the Lord has called you to serve.
Former Young Men General President Charles W. Dahlquist referred to Elder Vaughn Featherstone’s well-known statement that to become effective, Young Men leaders need four things: testimony, training, tenure, and time. Regarding tenure in your Aaronic Priesthood position, Brother Dahlquist spelled it T-E-N-Y-E-A-R. That’s how long he said it takes before you can truly magnify your calling and embrace the mantle of a Scout and priesthood leader. Imagine the influence you could have in creating wonderful future missionaries, fathers, husbands, and priesthood leaders if you planned on serving faithfully in your position for ten years.
I hope you view your calling as a long-term commitment. When you approach your calling with that perspective it makes sense to obtain as much Scouting training as possible, particularly Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills, and Wood Badge training. When you have a long-term view you’re more inclined to learn everything you can about the Scouting and Aaronic Priesthood programs. It motivates you to search the scriptures that deal with the priesthood, to immerse yourself in personally fulfilling your Duty to God, and to thoroughly study the handbook for Scout, Varsity, or Venturing leaders. When you are a dedicated leader you willingly purchase the Scout uniform because you will wear it for many years to come.
I testify that your boys will become committed to the Aaronic Priesthood and Scouting programs to the extent they believe you are committed to these programs.
Take a Moment to Reflect
- How strongly are you committed to the Aaronic Priesthood and Scouting programs?
- Is there tangible proof of your commitment, such as you wearing a Scout uniform and acquiring the necessary manuals for your priesthood and Scouting responsibilities?
- Are you truly magnifying your calling in the Aaronic Priesthood and Scouting programs?
- If you knew you had ten more years before you’d be released from your Young Men or Scouting calling, what would you do differently?
Turn Your Reflection Into Action
- What will you start doing, stop doing, or do better as a result of your reflection?
“And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the [young men] upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless at the last day.”(Jacob 1:19).
-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 opinions and viewpoints expressed in this blog are the sole reflection of the author.