I’ve been asked to write a weekly column for the LDS-BSA Relationships Blog because of my love for Scouting and the Young Men program in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My intention is to provide spiritual direction and instruction targeted specifically toward stake presidencies, bishoprics, and Young Men leaders to help you see the divinely inspired relationship between the Aaronic Priesthood and Scouting programs.
I have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s restored church upon this earth. I know that God’s holy priesthood has been given to each of us to bless His children and carry out His work upon the earth. I know He loves his children.
Because of His love, He has called you as a shepherd over His “little ones”—the young men in the Aaronic Priesthood. Since God cannot put His arms around these boys or gently teach them eye-to-eye, you stand in His place and represent Him as you guide the fledgling Aaronic Priesthood youth over whom you hold stewardship.
It is my sincere desire that, through this column, you will gain an expanded vision and renewed resolve to magnify your calling as a leader in the Aaronic Priesthood and in Scouting. I hope by reading these messages, and through sincere prayer and diligent seeking, you will know the will of the Lord regarding his young men and will have the strength and diligence to fulfill the Lord’s purposes. I know you can eternally touch the heart of each and every boy, active and inactive, if you will let the Lord guide you as you serve over your little flock.
A few years ago I served as a stake Young Men president. In that calling I had a sacred responsibility to “instruct and advise ward Young Men presidencies.” At that same time I also served on the stake high council with responsibility over the Aaronic Priesthood. As such I was directed to “provide ongoing encouragement, support, and instruction” to the Young Men leaders in the wards. And as an assistant district commissioner in the Scouting program I was tasked with helping units succeed by “offering encouragement and support; helping the leader to see new opportunities for improvement.” In other words, I had been directed not once, not twice, but three times to magnify my callings by doing all I could to help the Young Men leaders in my stake to succeed in their callings.
Now, with this column, and under the influence of the Holy Spirit, I wish to continue in that role by sharing with you weekly messages of spiritual direction and instruction regarding your calling as an Aaronic Priesthood and Scout leader. Each week I will add to this Blog a brief, inspirational thought designed to stimulate additional insight regarding your priesthood and Scout calling. It is my sincere hope that you will find these messages helpful as you strive to diligently serve the young men in your ward or stake. May the Lord’s choicest blessings be poured out upon you as you faithfully represent Him as an Aaronic Priesthood and Scout leader.
“For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.” (Ezekiel 34: 11 — 12).
-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.