“There is no more significant work in this world than the preparation of boys to become men of capacity, of strength, of integrity, who are qualified to live productive and meaningful lives.” (President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, April 1985, p. 76)
You have been called to an holy calling—to serve as an Aaronic Priesthood leader. Through your calling you are in a position to influence for good the future missionaries, husbands, fathers, and leaders of the Church. You can ignite the spark of testimony within a young man that will light his path for the rest of his life. Your righteous influence can be felt for generations. Many people will be blessed when you magnify your calling in the Aaronic Priesthood.
When properly cultivated, you have within you two immense powers that can soften every heart, uplift every soul, and enlighten every mind of the young men under your stewardship. When it comes to working with your boys these powers will help you see what otherwise you may not have seen, hear what you may not have heard, and know what you would not have known without these gifts.
Through the Gift of the Holy Ghost you can discern the individual needs of your young men. Like the Savior, you can know how to touch a young man with just the right allegory, parable, or message as “teaching moments” crop up in your relationship. You can be inspired to plan meaningful activities that will pique the individual interest of the boys and ensure their long-term commitment to the Church.
Through the Gift of Charity you can learn to love the boys with Christlike love. You can see in the boys what God sees in them. You can love them as He loves them. Love is a much stronger motivation than duty. To work effectively with young men you must serve out of love. Your young men will know if you really care for them or are merely serving in your calling out of duty.
It has been my experience that when you truly love the boys they will do anything for you. When young men trust and respect you as a leader they will listen to your counsel and heed your advice. They will follow you anywhere. And, perhaps most important, they will love you back. The Lord promises that when you exude charity—the pure love of Christ—you will always succeed in your role; for “charity never faileth.”
Take a Moment to Reflect
Do you love each of the young men under your stewardship, active and inactive, and can they feel your love for them?
- Do your boys look up to you as a spiritual leader? Do they consider you to be a role model?
- Do your young men trust and respect you?
- Do your boys want to be around you and enjoy doing so?
- Do your young men confide in you?
Turn Your Reflection Into Action
- What will you start doing, stop doing, or do better as a result of your reflection?
“Behold, . . . the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing. Wherefore, if they should have charity they would not suffer the [young men] in Zion to perish.” (2 Nephi 26:30)
-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.