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Some notes from a talk that I gave in Church today (I didn't include my knot tying, nor the information from the Boy Scout book) --and I only really had time to present a few of these quotes, but wanted to include them on my blog, because scouting is awesome!!
President Gordon B. Hinckley, during the February 1985 Diamond Jubilee of Scouting in America, said:
“What a wonderful thing it is to plant in the heart of a boy the compelling axiom—‘Be prepared.’ Be prepared for what? For tieing knots, yes. Knot tieing is Tenderfoot duty, but it is important. In one sense this whole business of living and doing is one of tieing knots, the kind of knots that will hold and not give under stress and strain. We see all around us the evidence of failure, of knots that slipped when they should have held. They are evident in career failures, in business failures, in professional failures, in marriage failures. To be able to tie the right knot for the right reason, for the right occasion, and to have it hold against every stress is a part of the process of being prepared” (Boy Scouts Program, 10 Feb. 1985).
"[Scouting's] purpose is:
1-Character building—to help to fill the need for men of shining honor.
2-Citizenship training—to help young men to develop an uncompromising love for America and its great concepts and institutions; to develop a strong attitude and determination of self reliance.
3-Leadership development—to help to answer the great need of leaders of capacity with high ideals.
4-Physical fitness—to help to beat down the tendency, if there is one, of physical deterioration.
5-Spiritual growth—American foundations and spiritual perpetuation of America are assured with spiritually inclined citizenry" ("Scouting: A Great American Partnership," Improvement Era, Feb. 1964, 101).
President Gordon B. Hinckley
"I love the Scouting movement. The promise of the Scout Oath and the twelve points of the Scout Law point young men along the path of being prepared for the 21st century. They provide a solid and powerful magnetic force toward development of a well-rounded and noteworthy character that counts. This program builds boys, builds their futures, leads them on the right path so they can make something of their lives. Every man or woman who helps a boy along the road of life not only does a great thing for him but does a great thing for society as a whole. If every boy in America knew and observed the Scout Oath, we would do away with most of the jails and prisons in this country. If each of us would live up to those few words, 'On my honor, I will do my best,' whether it be in school, whether it be in our social life, whether it be in our business or professional life, if I will do my very best, success and happiness will be mine" (Boy Scout Jamboral, Fillmore, Utah, Sept. 27, 1996).
Thomas S. Monson, “‘Called to Serve’,” Ensign, Nov 1991, 46
Brethren, if ever there were a time when the principles of Scouting were vitally needed—that time is now. If ever there were a generation who would benefit by keeping physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight—that generation is the present generation.
Ezra Taft Benson, “Scouting Builds Men,” New Era, Feb 1975, 14
As Latter-day Saints we have a priceless legacy—a legacy based on the solid truth that character is the one thing we develop in this world that we take with us into the next. This is a heritage that one cannot buy. It is a fountain of continuing strength for coping successfully with life’s problems.
You young men and women are our greatest assets.
One of the joys of working with boys is the fact that you do get your pay as you go along. You have an opportunity to observe the results of your leadership daily as you work with them through the years and watch them grow into stalwart manhood, accepting eagerly its challenges and responsibilities.
Such satisfaction cannot be purchased at any price; it must be earned through service and devotion. What a glorious thing it is to have even a small part in helping to build boys into men, real men. And that is the purpose of Scouting—to build men.
I would to God that every boy of Boy Scout age could have the benefits and the blessings of the great Boy Scout program. It is truly a noble program; it is a builder of character, not only in the boys, but also in the men who provide the leadership. And character, after all, is the priceless thing you build in this life and take with you into the next. I have often said that Scouting is essentially a spiritual program, a builder of men. It is established upon a deeply spiritual foundation.
In the first part of the Boy Scout Oath we declare, “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.” Scouting emphasizes duty to God, reverence for sacred things, observance of the Sabbath, maintenance of the standards of the Church with which the boy is affiliated. As each boy repeats that pledge, usually at every Scout meeting or function, he says aloud in the presence of those whose friendship he values most highly, “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God.” It cannot help but make a deep and lasting impression upon him. It becomes the foundation upon which a noble character is built. The oath also pledges duty to country, and that too is basically spiritual.
Scouting stresses service to others, and again this has a spiritual base. The Scout pledges to help other people at all times. Was it not the Master who said, “Whosoever will be chief among you; let him be your servant?” The slogan “Do a Good Turn Daily” has become emblazoned upon men’s lives far beyond its place of origin in the Boy Scout movement. Scouting also emphasizes duty to self. How charged with spiritual meaning are the words “to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight!”
There is a tendency to think of fitness solely in terms of the physical, in terms of bodily strength. But to be truly fit, truly equal to the demands of life, requires much more than bodily strength. It involves the mind and the training of the mind, the emotions and their use and control. Yes, and it involves the soul and the spiritual growth too. And that is why Scouting challenges our youth to be physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
It seems to me that the most successful program of complete youth fitness ever known to man was described in 14 words. They are the words of the beloved disciple Luke in the New Testament. He uses just one sentence to cover a period of 18 years—the 18 years in which the Savior of the world, after returning to Nazareth from Jerusalem, prepared himself for his public life: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” There is the ideal of any program of youth fitness, to help our youth increase in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. It covers everything: physical fitness, mental fitness, social fitness, emotional fitness, spiritual fitness.
The Scout Law is fundamentally spiritual. The points of the law are expressions of virtues, of ideals; they are the basis of sound character. These virtues of trustworthiness, loyalty, bravery, helpfulness, kindness, obedience, cleanliness, reverence, and all the rest are what the past progress of the world is built upon.
...Bravery, trustworthiness, and faith will be needed in our time by those who will explore the space age. Scouting teaches these virtues. “A Scout is kind: A Scout is helpful.” Do we ourselves sometimes forget what these virtues have meant to all mankind?
We need to develop qualities of leadership. Young people need to learn the value of staying power—stick-to-itiveness. You need to learn devotion to duty—the devotion to duty that keeps a good doctor on the job right around the clock in an emergency—the devotion to duty that leads a scientist or a teacher to persevere in a low paying position in the public service because that is where his or her maximum contribution can be made.
You need to learn to be tolerant of people, but intolerant of untruth, of laziness, of immorality. There is a type of broadmindedness prevalent today that tolerates just about anything short of outright murder. It isn’t broadmindedness at all—it’s moral apathy, or maybe moral cowardice.
...Whether one studies the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout Motto, or the Scout Slogan, “Do a Good Turn Daily,” they all add up to our finest character-building program.
How fortunate are those who may participate in it and have their lives enriched thereby—boys and men alike. The boys and men with whom Scouting is concerned are made of eternal stuff; theirs is a divine destiny. Godlike men, men of character, men of truth, men of courage, men of goodwill—there, then, is our challenge.
Lord Baden-Powell wrote what he called his farewell message to Scouts of the world:
“If you have ever seen the play ‘Peter Pan,’ you will remember how the pirate chief was always making his dying speech because he was afraid that possibly when the time came for him to die he might not have time to get it off his chest. It is much the same with me, and so, although I am not at this moment dying, I shall be doing so one of these days and I want to send you a parting word of good-bye.
“Remember, it is the last you will ever hear from me, so think it over.
“I have had a most happy life and I want each one of you to have as happy a life, too.
“I believe that God put us in this jolly world to be happy and to enjoy life. Happiness doesn’t come from being rich, nor merely from being successful in your career, nor by self-indulgence. One step towards happiness is to make yourself healthy and strong while you are a boy, so that you can be useful and so can enjoy life when you are a man.
“Nature study will show you how full of beautiful and wonderful things God has made the world for you to enjoy. Be contented with what you have got and make the best of it. Look on the bright side of things instead of the gloomy one.
“But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people. Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best. ‘Be prepared’ in this way to live happy and to die happy—stick to your Scout Promise always—even after you have ceased to be a boy—and God help you to do it. Your friend, Baden-Powell”
Vicki H. Budge, “Scouting, Family-Style,” Ensign, Sept. 1992, 60–61
Is your Cub or Boy Scout an enthusiastic go-getter? Or do you struggle with motivation—his as well as your own? [Here are]...eight ways to help keep Scouting exciting for you and your son.
1. Read the section on advancement from the Scout manual and talk about it with your son. Many different activities can fill merit badge requirements. Look through the possibilities for Scout achievements and help your son choose the ones that interest him. Then post lists of requirements around the house so that your family won’t overlook opportunities to help your Scout fulfill them.
2. Plan family activities around Scout requirements. Visits to museums, state capitols, dams, fish hatcheries, police and fire stations, parks, beaches, and many more places can help fulfill requirements. Family home evening activities can also double as Scout achievement activities. If your boy needs more hiking time, plan for the family to go on a hike for home evening. If he needs more outdoor cooking time, go to a park and barbecue some hamburgers. Look through his requirements for fun things that the family can do together.
Plan to fulfill some requirements during your family vacation. One family set a goal to help their son complete the bird study merit badge on their summer trip. Together they watched birds on the desert and in the mountains.
3. Involve relatives and family friends. If your son is going to spend time with grandparents, cousins, or family friends, look for an appropriate achievement he can work on while he’s there. Send a copy of the requirements with him...
4. Use the buddy system. Scout projects are more fun when two brothers or two friends work together. [Maybe] When [you are] going to work on Scouting requirements, [you can] say to [your] son, “Why don’t you call Donny and see if he wants to come over and work on the physical fitness [merit badge]?”—or whatever achievement [your son is working on]. He [will] scramble to make the call because the activity [will be more] fun [if he is doing it with his friend or friends].
5. Use Sundays and sick days to work together on written reports and to discuss Scout projects... it [also] helps to have a notebook or folder just for Scouting. That way, it’s easy for the boys to pull it out and work on achievements; and the written reports, clippings, maps, and other things they need to show merit badge counselors are all in the same place.
6. Work on at least two achievements at the same time—a fun one and a harder one. That way you can say, “Do this report and then we’ll go out and work on archery or look at the stars.”
7. Make a chart that shows your boy’s Scouting progress. Put his picture on it and post it where he can see it. The recognition and pride of accomplishment will mean everything to him. Take pictures of him in his uniform or with something related to a project he’s worked hard on.
8. Remember the old saying “Make hay while the sun shines.” Help your boy set goals and accomplish as much as possible while he is a young Scout. While he is excited, everything seems to be fun. But don’t become too pushy or start comparing your son or yourself to anyone else. Enjoy the values Scouting teaches and the closeness it can bring to your family.—Vicki H. Budge, Bend, Oregon
President Thomas S. Monson
"Youth need fewer critics and more models. One wise builder of faith counseled, 'It does not pay to scold. I believe you can get people to do anything, if you can get them to do it at all, by loving them into doing it.' . . .
"We are builders of boys and menders of men. In doing so, we remember that the greatest verb in the vocabulary is to love; the second is to help.
"It is the mission of the Boy Scouts of America to serve others by helping to instill values in young people and, in other ways, to prepare them to make ethical choices over their lifetime in achieving their full potential.
President Ezra Taft Benson, 13th President of the Church
"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" (Ensign, May 1986, 44–45).
Elder F. Melvin Hammond, Former Young Men General President
"Scouting has been adopted as the activity arm of the Aaronic Priesthood in the United States of America. It is a marvelous program of adventure and learning. In Scouting boys learn outdoor skills, they acquire leadership abilities, they endure physical challenges, and they build within themselves strong and noble character traits. We want every young man from the age of eight, when he becomes a Cub Scout, to the age of sixteen to be enrolled in Scouting, and we encourage those boys sixteen through seventeen to be involved in Venturing. Their goal should be to earn the coveted Eagle Scout Award" (Area Auxiliary Training, Oct. 8, 2003).
"Every seminary and institute student should come to understand that doctrinal knowledge of the gospel, when accompanied by the Spirit of Truth and total commitment, will change their lives and prompt them to . . . complete their Duty to God and, where Scouting is available, achieve the top award. Too many teachers fail to see the link between these inspired programs and spiritual living" (CES Satellite Training Broadcast, Aug. 2003).
"The Scouting program of the Church with its wonderful activities has strengthened our young men. As they advance from a Tenderfoot Scout through the various ranks, until they achieve their Eagle Scout Award, they grow in stature and in spirit. Their bodies are developed physically. They learn outdoor skills that test their character and their intellect. Every boy, whether he enjoys athletics or literature, can find a welcome niche in Scouting.
"If someone questions the position of the Church in Scouting, I always remind them of these words, 'On my honor I will do my duty to God and my country. . . ." Once again duty becomes paramount. A commitment is made by each Scout; he has given his word of honor, that he will do all in his power to uphold Heavenly Father and keep His commandments. A love of country, with a desire to maintain freedom and liberty, is established in a boy's mind, and it never leaves him during the course of his life. I thank God for Scouting" ("Fulfilling Our Duty to God" [unpublished], Jan. 2002).
Elder Jack H. Goaslind, Former Young Men General President
"We encourage our leaders to put their energies into using Scouting to help accomplish the purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood, and in being positive in their support of all young men. The Scout Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan complement the achievement of the Aaronic Priesthood purposes we feel are so important in the lives of the young men."
Elder Robert L. Backman, Former Young Men General President
"The bishop's most positive impact on youth comes in informal settings, activities, Scouting, service projects, athletics—real life settings where they get to know him as a man. . . .
". . . Scouting provides a tested, proven program for us to use in holding our young men close to the Church. It appeals to boys. Its trail to the Eagle rank helps a young man set worthwhile goals, then realize them. For some reason there is a direct correlation between young men who achieve the Eagle rank and those who serve missions. . . .
"Its camping, hiking, and high adventure provide marvelous opportunities for our young men to enjoy a man's experience with men, building wholesome relationships between youth and adult leaders, something that happens too seldom in our day. Becoming a man is more than chronological. It involves proving the young man's manhood, testing his mettle, challenging the world, demonstrating he can accomplish more than he thought he was capable of. That's what builds character and manliness" (Ensign, Nov. 1982, 39–40).
Elder Robert K. Dellenbach, Former Young Men General President
"In the Scout Oath, we pledge our 'Duty to God.' All Latter day Saint Scouters, whether young or old, have a duty and a responsibility to defend the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, we are taught that our duty to God supersedes everything else. Through Scouting we learn to be honest, morally clean, trustworthy, and dependable. ... How grateful I am that this wonderful organization of Scouting has a strong commitment to the values and principles taught to us by the Savior, Jesus Christ.
"May we always be ready to do our duty to God and keep the commandments in our Scouting and in our everyday life. . . .
"One of the major reasons why the Church accepts the Scouting program as part of the activity program for the Aaronic Priesthood quorums is that it provides so many marvelous opportunities to learn and do things. The whole design of getting merit badges and your Eagle Award is to help you grow both in knowledge and in the proper character development" (National Jamboree, Fort A. P. Hill, Virginia, July 29, 2001).
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