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BSA and the Priesthood

How Boy Scouts prepare young men

I spent most of the week reminiscing of the experiences I had in scouts. I was amazed at how much I remembered. The camp outs, service projects, eagle projects, Philmont, hiking and rock climbing. These are experiences that I will remember for a lifetime.

The church continues to follow the programs of the BSA to help it's young men magnify their callings in the priesthood and become successful in life.

A quote from the church website:
"Scouting helps young men develop desirable traits, citizenship, and physical and mental fitness. The Scouting program teaches young men how to rely on themselves, serve and lead others, prepare for emergencies, conserve natural resources, and become actively involved in the community, school, and church service projects."

SERVICE
Speaking of service, service is a very important aspect of scouting. In fact, in order to advance ranks in scouts, you are required to have a certain number of hours of service to advance. Service is also a very important aspect of the teachings of this church. Jesus Christ spent his life performing acts of service to whomever he passed. Like Christ, we are to be of service to those whom we pass. Our scouts are taught that to really do service, we must do it because we desire to truly help the people around us. You'd be amazed at the relationships and friendships that can be formed and bonded by simple acts of service.

As a kid, I used to dig around in our front yard. I had a bit of a green thumb but when there wasn't anything to plant, I'd still just dig. You can imagine how much my parents loved that. Well one day, I saw my next door neighbor outside planting a tree in his front yard. I went over and asked if he needed any help. He said sure. Well, this simple decision to say hi and offer my help resulted in an occation Saturday morning tradition. He would wake me up and take me with him to go get donuts and me and him would sit in his backyard and admire whatever gardening work we had done the previous week sometimes just talk. Maybe all those Saturday morning donuts explains why this uniform doesn't quite fit the same anymore.

The traits of a young man in the Aaronic priesthood and traits of a young man in the Boy Scouts are very similar. As an example, I am going to have Ben read the Scout Law, Oath, Slogan, and motto and I want you to actually hear the what these boy scouts stand for and how it does nothing but strengthen them as young men and as priesthood holders.

Scout Motto: Be Prepared. We've heard of miracles that happen when our father's have used the the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood to heal someone in immediate danger. As young men, they are expected to be prepared for spiritual dangers and know how to respond to those situations. Scouting teaches the these boys to be prepared, in physical and spiritual matters.

We were on a camp out at Mt. Magazine. There is a rather long trail that winds around Cove Lake and up and down some pretty steep hills and we had peaked one of these hills when I felt something slap against my leg. It was just a quick sting and I didn't think much of it until I looked down and saw two blood spots on my leg. I immediately called Halt and had my scoutmaster come take a look. I knew that if I had just been bitten by a snake, I had to stay calm. If I panicked, the venom would take the express lane to my heart and brain. The same result would happen if I continued hiking and got my heart rate up. My scoutmaster couldn't determine if it was an actual snakebite or not so he knew we needed to get back to camp. He actually picked me up and carried me almost all the way down near the bottom of the hill. After we got there, we checked on my wounds again and they weren't swollen, they weren't turning colors or anything. We determined that I had just been slapped by a briar limb. I started laughing because I got a piggyback ride all the way down the hill. But thats not the point. If we hadn't been prepared, I would have most likely panicked. My scoutmaster wouldn't have known that I shouldn't just be running down the hill and scream for help the whole way. We were prepared for the situation and knew what we needed to do it make sure nothing bad happened to me.

Scout Slogan: Do a good turn daily. This really goes back to service. I can't help but think how this simple concept could literally change the world and it's attitude. Every time I perform some random act of kindness, I'm always amazed at how much people appreciate me taking that minute or two of time and giving it to them. I've continued a tradition that my mom has. On Christmas day, we traveled to Tulsa to visit my Dad. On our way back, we went thru the toll gate and I gave the lady a $5 bill and asked her to pay for the person behind me and just tell them Merry Christmas. Simple acts can really make a difference.

Scout Oath: On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my country, and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times, To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
He promised to do his best. He promised to do his duty to God and country. He promised to obey the Scout Law. He promised to help other people at all times, not just sometimes. And he promises to keep himself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. It's a promise to himself that he will do all of those things because doing so not only makes him a good scout, it makes him a good person.

Scout Law: The Scout Law is kind of like the Articles of Faith for the Boy Scouts. It is a declaration of what the Boy Scouts stand for.

A Scout is...
TRUSTWORTHY
LOYAL
HELPFUL
FRIENDLY
COURTEOUS
KIND
OBEDIENT
CHEERFUL
THRIFTY
BRAVE
CLEAN
and
REVERENT

Being in the boy scouts has been such a blessing in my life. It's not just ourdoorsmanship or knowing what kind of tree that is in the front yard. It's main purpose is to build strong men and give them standards to live by. I know that I have been strengthened by my experiences. I learned to love the outdoors and I learned survival skills, but more importantly, scouts helped me build character. And that is not something that just happens. That is something that you have to earn.

I encourage you all to support your local troop. We are working so hard to get things rolling in the right direction and teach these boys valuable life lessons that they will remember forever.

I challenge you all, male and female, young and not as young, to follow the Scout Slogan and Do a good turn daily. We can certainly make positive strides in our community by doing this.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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My name is Chris. I live in Broken Arrow, OK. I am a husband. I'm a proud father of two boys. I'm a Mormon. Boomer Sooner.

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