Imagine how wonderful it would be if every missionary in the Church lived according to the Scout Law. Imagine how powerful the two years of a young man’s mission would be if he exemplified the values espoused in these Scouting standards. In this week’s blog message I wish to explore how the principles of the Scout Law apply to missionary service.
A missionary is Trustworthy. A mission president can count on the young man to be where he’s supposed to be, doing the things he’s supposed to be doing. A trustworthy missionary keeps the mission rules. He’s honest and accurate when filling out mission reports and in interviews with his mission president and zone leaders. A trustworthy missionary can be trusted to not eat his companion’s food or pull pranks that hurt one’s feelings or harm relationships. He can be trusted to be a true companion to his companions.
A missionary is Loyal. He is loyal to God and does nothing that detracts from the Spirit. He is loyal to his beliefs, values, and standards. He is loyal to the Church and Church leaders. He is loyal to his mission president, to his zone and district leaders, and to his mission companions. And he is loyal to his parents and family who want him to faithfully fulfill his two-year mission.
A missionary is Helpful. Service to others is a significant part of a missionary experience. Missionaries serve God by serving others. He loves those whom he serves. His unselfish desire is for others to have the blessings he has. A helpful missionary willing serves his mission companions. He knows acts of kindness are ways to build strong relationships that last a lifetime.
A missionary is Friendly. Being outgoing and extraverted is expected of missionaries. To be successful, missionaries need to be able to talk to anyone without hesitation or reserve. Energy attracts like energy. When missionaries are friendly, open, and receptive to others, people respond more positively to their message.
A missionary is Courteous. He is polite, considerate, well-mannered, and respectful. He respects the beliefs, customs, cultures, and property of others. He remembers he is a guest in other people’s homes and acts accordingly. He honors his hosts, his parents, his companions, and his priesthood. He listens with real intent to the ideas and philosophies of others. He responds well to questions asked of him. And he treats all people well, including his missionary companions.
A missionary is Kind to his companions, to the members of the Church, and even more so toward those who are not members of the Church. Compassion for others is paramount to loving those whom one serves. Kindness requires action. In entails tender acts of mercy, reaching out to others, and extending oneself through Christ-like attributes of empathy, concern, and care for others. Kindness is key to softening hearts and opening minds to the message of the restored gospel.
A missionary is Obedient. Obedience is active faith. It is critical to a missionary being guided by the Holy Ghost in his ministry. A faithful missionary obeys mission rules. He keeps the commandments. And he does all that is required of him as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. Obedience is the first principle of missionary service. It is the core of practicing what one preaches.
A missionary is Cheerful. He has a positive outlook. He has hope for the future. He’s enthusiastic about the gospel. He knows he cannot uplift others if he is sullen or depressed. His cheerfulness radiates the love of Christ. The sunny disposition of a missionary is part of the light that shines to all the world.
A missionary is Thrifty. He had to be thrifty to prepare for his mission and he continues to be on his mission. He’s thrifty with his money. He’s thrifty in the care of his clothing. He’s thrifty with the miles on his mission vehicle. He’s thrifty in managing his time and the time of others. He’s thrifty in his stewardship over the Lord’s resources. A thrifty missionary knows he has only two years to serve his mission and the rest of his life to reflect upon how he served.
A missionary is Brave. A missionary is brave when he unquestionably serves wherever the Lord sends him. He is brave when he willingly leaves his family and all that is familiar to him to live in a strange place, eat strange food, adjusts to strange customs, and be a stranger in a foreign place. He is brave when he walks down unfamiliar streets, knocks on doors, and talks to people he does not know. He is brave every time he boldly testifies of Christ. He is brave when he is rejected and continues to persevere in difficult situations. He is brave when he presses on and fulfills his duty to God even in extreme conditions.
A missionary is Clean. He is morally straight. He is pure in his thoughts, words, and actions. He is clean in his appearance. He does his laundry and irons his shirts. He takes care of his personal hygiene. He keeps his apartment clean. He realizes he is an ambassador of Christ. The way he looks and acts is a reflection of the Church. The impressions he makes can influence someone’s desire to come unto Christ.
A missionary is Reverent. Above all else a missionary remembers he is a servant of God. He knows why he is on his mission. He knows who he represents. He reveres the Lord Jesus Christ. He testifies of His atoning sacrifice. He brings the hope of the gospel to all the word. And he does nothing that might diminish one’s reverence for that which is sacred and holy. A missionary knows who he is and who he serves!
As a Young Men leader you have six years to help a young man inculcate the values of the Scout Law into his character and personality. You have six years to prepare a boy for the most important two years of his life. You have six years to help him mature into a man of God, capable of doing extraordinary things in extraordinary situations as he faithfully serves a fulltime mission.
Take a Moment to Reflect
- Have you pondered the significance of how inculcating the values of the Scout Law can prepare a young man for missionary service?
- Do you see that the Scout Law reflects the attitude, words, and behaviors the Lord requires of His missionaries?
- Have you helped your boys realize that the Scout Law is more than something they merely recite each week; it is a pledge to acquire the Christ-like attributes expected from a man of God?
- Are you doing all you can to stress the values of the Scout Law in everything you do in Scouting?
- Are you faithfully fulfilling your duty to God by preparing his young men for fulltime missionary service?
Turn Your Reflection Into Action
- What will you start doing, stop doing, or do better as a result of your reflection?
“Give me a young man who has kept himself morally clean and has faithfully attended his Church meetings. Give me a young man who has magnified his priesthood and has earned the Duty to God Award and is an Eagle Scout. Give me a young man who is a seminary graduate and has a burning testimony of the Book of Mormon. Give me such a young man, and I will give you a young man who can perform miracles for the Lord in the mission field and throughout his life” (Ezra Taft, Benson, “To the ‘Youth of the Noble Birthright’,” Ensign, May 1986, 44–45).
-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.