这个夏天我花时间在 2017 全国童子军大会在首脑会议上柏克德家庭全国侦察员储备在西弗吉尼亚州举行. 大露营在许多方面令人难以置信的经历. 青年男女不得不令人兴奋和具有挑战性的户外经验. 成人领导人无私和令人惊叹的方式送达. People from across our nation—and the world—came together in fellowship and friendship. A good spirit of Scouting was felt by visitors, 员工, and participants alike.
然而, one of the greatest outcomes of the Jamboree was the relationships that were strengthened. 过度 100 dedicated adult leaders served on our LDS staff, teaching in our Duty to God and Country exhibit, helping with the Genealogy and Family Life merit badges, serving as Chaplains throughout the camp, and ministering, 共享, and exemplifying our beliefs. I observed good people from many different faiths reach out to each other, strengthen each other and seek to understand each other.
One memorable experience was the reading of a letter written by President George Washington in 1790 to the Jewish community of Newport, Rhode Island. National Commissioner Charles Dahlquist was invited by Rabbi Joseph Prouser to read the letter at a formal gathering of over 200 Scouts and leaders. In the letter, President George Washington stated that the United States will assure freedom for all and that “to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”
On Saturday at the Jewish Shabbat Evening Service, Brother Douglas D. 霍姆斯, 1st Counselor in the Young Men General Presidency was invited to read portions of the 1841 prayer offered by Elder Orson Hyde over Jerusalem. What a powerful experience that was to hear one of the general officers of our Church share that historic prayer!
Thousands of visitors came into the Church exhibit with questions about religion. The main focus of our exhibits was the Savior. The Scouts loved the spirit that was felt there. They enjoyed sitting and observing the mural of the Savior. They asked honest and deep questions about God and religion. And they left being touched by what they saw and felt.
A pivotal part of the LDS-BSA partnership is the relationships that are built. The Jamboree exemplifies these relationships. I am grateful for this inspired partnership.
I am frequently asked about the future of the LDS-BSA partnership and the reasons for the new activity program for Young Men ages 14 以上. I don’t know the future but I follow a living prophet, 先见者, and revelator, 主席 Thomas S. 蒙森. I trust his guidance and direction. There are many benefits to the new program. We can and should implement it with our full hearts.
My family has had the opportunity to move to and live in many beautiful places including Santa Clara, 犹他州; 拉斯维加斯, 内华达州; and Casper, 怀俄明州. Each time we move we fix up the house we are in. We paint it, put new carpet in the bedrooms, plant fruit trees and flowers, and do all we can to make a haven where we live. We have a deep love for each house we have owned and each town we have called home.
In the same way, I had a deep love for the Varsity and Venturing programs. Many of us did all we could to implement those programs and many lives were blessed, including the lives of my own sons. 然而, now we have a new program. I will move forward with full purpose of heart, painting new rooms, planting fruit trees, and helping the adults and youth I serve with to thrive as we begin to implement this new program in 2018. I trust our prophet and I know many blessings will come from these changes.
Thank you to the many LDS-BSA Relationships committees across our nation who are building good relationships through our Scouting partnership. You are doing a good and necessary work and are making a difference in the lives of many people. I enjoy working with and serving you and observing the successful endeavors you are engaged in. Please let me know how I can continue to support and assist you.
马克 R. Francis
LDS BSA 的关系主任