President Monson: Scouting helps boys walk priesthood path uprightly

"Scouting helps our boys to walk uprightly the priesthood path to exaltation," said President Thomas S. Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, as

he reaffirmed at the priesthood session the Church's endorsement of Scouting."In this world where some misguided men and women strive to tear down and destroy great movements such as Scouting, I am pleased to stand firm for an organization that teaches duty to God and country, that embraces the Scout Law," he said. "Yes, an organization whose motto is Be prepared,' and whose slogan isDo a good turn daily.' "

Before President Monson addressed the session Saturday evening, he was presented the Bronze Wolf award by the World Organization of the Scout Movement. (See separate article on page 15.)

He explained that the Aaronic Priesthood prepares boys for manhood and the weightier duties of the the Melchizedek Priesthood, and Scouting helps boys walk the priesthood path.

"Along that path there will be turns and detours, requiring decisions of the utmost importance. Heavenly inspiration will provide a road map that will ensure the accuracy of our choices. There comes a time in the life of every young man for serious contemplation and wise evaluation concerning his future - for decisions determine destiny."

As youth contemplate these momentous decisions, "men of experience and faith are needed as examples for those who look to them for guidance and safety. Brethren," he asked, "are we prepared for our leadership opportunity - even our lifesaving privilege? The need for our help is here and now."

He promised youth leaders of quorums that as they magnify their callings to aid those over whom they preside, "heavenly help will be forthcoming. Remember that throughout the ages of time our Heavenly Father has shown His confidence to those of tender years."

He recounted the biblical accounts of the boy prophet Samuel and the Savior in the temple as a youth, and the more modern calling of Joseph Smith.

"I mention these powerful examples that every young man within the sound of my voice may know for himself his own strength when God is with him."

As young men realize their potential and what Heavenly Father expects of them, and determine to live proper standards to be true to one's best self and act "in accordance with a high sense of true values, there will follow incomparable joy and lasting peace," President Monson declared.

He recommended a four-point plan to help focus on such a goal:

Be where we ought to be. "A wise father counseled his son, `If you ever find yourself where you shouldn't be, then get out.' Choose your friends carefully, for you will tend to be like them and be found where they choose to go."

Say what we ought to say. "What we say and how we say it tend to reflect what we are. The words we utter will reflect the feelings of our hearts, the strength of our character, and the depth of our testimonies."

Do what we ought to do. "It is only when we take charge of our actions that we direct them in the proper course."

Be what we ought to be. "The Master's own voice queried: `What manner of men ought ye to be? Verily, I say unto you, even as I am.' " (3 Ne. 27:27.)

President Monson counseled young men that to live up to their full potential, they should "look to God and live." (Alma 37:47.)

He concluded with a touching account of a devoted Cub Scout who suffered from cancer. The night after the boy received his long-awaited Bear badge, he fell into a deep sleep and slept most of the time until his passing shortly afterward. He was buried in his Cub Scout shirt, the awards sewn on front. "Many were present at his funeral, for he had made so many friends in the community.

"Such was the influence of an inspired program in the life of a tiny boy and his family," President Monson said.

He concluded by saying, "To all the Aaronic Priesthood assembled tonight with your fathers and your leaders, the priesthood program of the Church, with its accompanying activities, including Scouting, will help and not hinder you as you journey through life."

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