Mac’s Message #36: Strengthen the Testimonies of Your Young Men

Mac McIntire

Mac McIntire

I marvel at the brilliance of the structure of the Duty to God process. Each step of the learn, act, and share method is designed to help a young man feel and recognize the influence of the Holy Ghost. Each step builds upon itself and ends in a spiritual crescendo of a boy bearing solemn witness of how the Lord directed and blessed him as he fulfilled his duty to God.

There is great power and purpose in bearing one’s testimony. Not only does sharing one’s testimony strengthen those who hear it; it also strengthens the one who is bearing witness. A young man is blessed with the Spirit while he learns about his priesthood and Scouting duties. He again is blessed spiritually when he implements his plan and acts upon what he has learned. The solidifying testament occurs as he shares his experience with others and stands as a witness of what God can do through the priesthood power of a young man. It is in sharing that a young man’s testimony becomes firmly anchored in his soul.

I hope you are providing your young men with numerous opportunities to share their spiritual insights. Encourage your boys to talk about what they are learning in their daily scripture study and personal prayer. Allow time in quorum meetings for boys to report on their Duty to God efforts. On Fast Sunday you may want to use your quorum meetings as an opportunity to hear the personal testimonies of each boy in your quorum. Talk with parents of your youth to urge them to listen to their son report on his priesthood stewardship. Encourage your boys to share their spiritual experiences when they are assigned to speak in sacrament meetings, Mutual opening exercises, and other meetings where they can testify of their good works. Use the campfire setting on your monthly Scouting outings as a place where boys can share their stories of how the Spirit has guided them in their lives. Solicit personal experiences and testimony from your boys during moments of reflection after Scouting and priesthood activities. Draw out the testimonies of your boys so they will regularly feel the wondrous power of the Holy Ghost testifying of the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives.

Imagine how powerful a young man’s testimony will be on his mission if he has strengthened his witness during six years of ministering and testifying in the Aaronic Priesthood. Imagine how easy it will be for him to stand up on his mission and bear fervent witness that Jesus is the Christ when he has always had His Spirit to be with him during his Aaronic Priesthood years. This is the real purpose of the Duty to God process. As I have said many times, as Scouting and Aaronic Priesthood leaders you are in the business of saving boys. You save a young man when his testimony is firmly planted within his heart, mind, and soul.

I testify that Scouting is an inspired program. I testify that God wants his young Aaronic Priesthood boys to learn their duty to God. He wants them to live the Scout Oath and Law. He wants his precious sons to become strong men of character. I bear solemn witness that you have been called to a high and holy calling as an Aaronic Priesthood leader. I hope you will magnify your calling and do all you can to raise up righteous young men, for “I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them” (2 Nephi 33:3).

 

Take a Moment to Reflect

  • Are you providing your young men with many opportunities to return and report on their stewardship and share their experiences in fulfilling their duty to God?
  • Are you allowing the boys to be strengthened by each other as they hear one another’s experiences in serving the Lord?
  • Are you teaching your boys to boldly testify of the Lord Jesus Christ?
  • Do you bear your testimony often so your boys can learn from your example? Is your testimony firmly rooted in the foundation principles of the gospel?
  • Do you have a testimony of Scouting and the Aaronic Priesthood? Do you do all you can to magnify your calling?

 

Turn Your Reflection Into Action

  • What will you start doing, stop doing, or do better as a result of your reflection?

 

“And there began to be [young] men inspired from heaven and sent forth, standing among the people in all the land, preaching and testifying boldly of the sins and iniquities of the people, and testifying unto them concerning the redemption which the Lord would make for his people, or in other words, the resurrection of Christ; and they did testify boldly of his death and sufferings” (3 Nephi 6:20).

 

-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.

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  1. Mac McIntire says:

    I thought I would share an interesting experience I had regarding testimonies. I once lived in a ward that had many inactive members, perhaps like most wards. Because I was the Elders Quorum president, I felt a personal responsibility to go visit every inactive member in the ward. As I visited these families with one of my counselors as my companion, I asked these members how long it had been since they had been active in the Church. I then asked them if, when they were active, did they have a testimony of the gospel. Most of them told me they used to believe the Church was true. I then asked them to bear to me the testimony they USED to have. In almost every case an interesting thing happened. Their eyes would tear up as they shared what they USED to believe. And, as they did so, they once again felt the spirit of the Holy Ghost witnessing to them what they once knew. This then gave me the opportunity to invite them to return to church where they could once again feel the Lord’s Spirit regularly in their life. This taught me that, even though we may think people have rejected the Lord, His Spirit still remains with them. We just need to give people an opportunity to bear their witness.

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