The six years a young man spends in the Aaronic Priesthood and Scouting programs should be a spiritual training camp. During this period the boy should rub shoulders with spiritually tuned parents and mentors, enjoy meaningful outdoor activities, learn practical leadership skills, pray regularly, and thoroughly immerse himself in the “priesthood playbook” (the scriptures). A well-planned, spiritually focused, comprehensive Aaronic Priesthood and Scouting experience can help young men permanently capture their elusive testimonies. It can anchor boys to the saving principles of the gospel.
The Aaronic Priesthood and Scouting experience should be a time of spiritual discovery for your boys. It should be a period in a young priesthood holder’s life when he has several encounters with the whisperings of the Holy Spirit, testifying of Christ. You should view each priesthood quorum and Scouting activity as the “one” chance you may have to change a young man’s life forever. Never miss an opportunity to teach a young man the principles of the gospel. Turn every Aaronic Priesthood and Scouting experience into a teaching moment. Bear your testimony often. Express your love to your boys. Show them through Christlike behaviors what it means to be a man of God.
You cannot lift up your boys unless you are on higher ground. To be a model—a mentor—you must be better than your boys. You must be more spiritually in tune, more obedient, more faithful, more dedicated to doing what is right. To have the Holy Spirit with you, you must be morally clean. You must be reading your scriptures, praying daily, attending all of your Church meetings, and faithfully magnifying your calling in the priesthood. You must be the proof that what you preach is true. You set the tone and invite the Spirit that will enter the souls of your young men. You are the example to whom the boys will look to confirm that the principles being taught in the Church and in Scouting are true.
Brethren, you cannot just be a model of priesthood righteousness—you must be a supermodel. Young, amenable boys are looking up to you. You have the power through your example to guide young men along the path of righteousness that can set a straight course for the rest of their lives. Through your example you can forge the character and values of the future leaders of society and the Church.
I pray that the Lord will bless you with the spiritual strength to stand for truth and righteousness as you guide your boys in their Aaronic Priesthood and Scouting experiences.
Take a Moment to Reflect
- Are you a model of a righteous priesthood leader? Can the boys see God’s image in your countenance? (Alma 5:14).
- Are you doing all you can to invite the Spirit into your priesthood and Scouting activities?
- Are your quorum lessons spiritually meaningful? Do the boys delve into the scriptures during your quorum lessons? Are you teaching and modeling correct principles and behavior?
- Can the boys hear the whisperings of the Spirit and feel the influence of the Holy Ghost during the time they spend with you?
- Do you take time for “reflection” after your priesthood and Scouting experiences so the boys understand the “moral” significance of each experience?
Turn Your Reflection Into Action
- What will you start doing, stop doing, or do better as a result of your reflection?
“And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness. That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day. And again, verily I say unto you, and I say it that you may know the truth, that you may chase darkness from among you.” (D&C 50:23-25).
-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 Evanston, Wyoming.