If you have been reading my weekly messages and paying attention over the past three weeks you will have noticed a trend in the topics. I have explained who holds the keys of leadership in the Aaronic Priesthood quorums, the importance of adult shadow leadership, and the need to train your boys on how to lead.
Today I wish to address the importance of holding separate quorum meetings on Sunday, even if there is only one deacon, teacher, or priest in the quorum. Typically you also should hold separate Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, or Venturing activities. The reasons for this should be obvious if you see the connection with my previous messages.
The president of the deacons, teachers, and priests quorum (bishop) holds the keys to preside over his respective quorum. The priests quorum first assistant works under the direction of the bishop. One of the purposes of separate quorums is to help a young leader learn how to use and magnify the keys he holds. If the quorums meet collectively, the keys and leadership skills of two presidents are dormant during quorum meetings. Shadow leadership also becomes muddled as a small group of boys is overwhelmed with a preponderance of adult men in combined quorum meetings or Scouting activities.
Separate quorum meetings and Scouting activities also encourage boys to seek out the lost sheep. Most human beings need social interaction. Boys don’t want to be alone in a quorum. After a few weeks of being the lone boy in a Sunday meeting or Scouting activity a young man is more likely to reach out to his friends and less active Church members to get them involved. Perhaps there is no better example of this than expressed in the video on the Church’s website: “Inviting All to Come unto Christ: Sharing the Gospel.”
I can personally testify of the power a small unit has on inspiring a person to reach out and bring others into the fold. When I was in the military in Korea I attended a branch of the Church that had only four active members. Yet there were 104 members on our branch roster. Not being satisfied with how few people were in attendance at our Sunday meetings, I took it upon myself to seek out the one hundred. It was an overwhelmingly spiritual experience as the Lord inspired me in both where to look for, and what to say to, the lost sheep to encourage them to return to the fold. By the time I left Korea a year later I had assisted in activating forty-five of the one hundred. It remains today one of the great joys of my life.
For those of you still holding combined Aaronic Priesthood meetings I encourage you to separate your quorums. I know your quorum attendance will grow and quorum brotherhood will be strengthened when you do. I also encourage you to separate your Scouting units. Your boys will invite their friends to participate when the unit is age-appropriate to their peer group. Don’t let the smallness of your unit influence you to combine your Scouting effort. Seek to grow your units instead. Engage the boys in seeking out the lost sheep. Encourage the boys to reach out to their friends. Pray for the Lord’s help to open the hearts and minds of the all of the young men within the boundaries of your ward and stake.
Take a Moment to Reflect
- Are you holding separate Aaronic Priesthood quorum meetings and Scouting activities?
- Are the youth leaders using their keys to strengthen their priesthood quorum and Scouting unit?
- Are the boys searching out the lost sheep and inviting their friends to attend Church and Scouting activities?
- Do you know who the lost sheep are and where to find them? Have you sought the Lord’s help in bringing them back into the fold?
- Are you actively inviting all boys within your ward boundaries—members and non-members—to participate in your Scouting and priesthood activities.
Turn Your Reflection Into Action
- What will you start doing, stop doing, or do better as a result of your reflection?
“O Lord, wilt thou grant unto [us] that [we] may have success in bringing [the young men] again unto thee in Christ. Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are [our] brethren; therefore, give unto [us], O Lord, power and wisdom that [we] may bring these, [our] brethren, again unto thee.” (Alma 31:34—35).
-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.