It has been our custom at The Boy Scout to post a Scouter’s minute each day leading up to Christmas. This year, we decided to try something new. The Christmas messages will focus on the lives of modern-day prophets and times when they exemplified a point of the Scout Law. Come back for the next eleven days to find out how prophets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
Joseph F. Smith teaches us to be brave.
Brave and Young
Joseph showed bravery while very young.
He was only five years old when his father and uncle sat in a jail cell together, quoting scripture and singing hymns. Then, an angry mob rushed into the building. They shot and murdered his father Hyrum Smith. Then, they killed his uncle Joseph as well.
He, himself, recalled the mobs forcing them to leave town only a short time later. They boarded a ferry. He heard heavy gunshots in town as he camped under trees by the boat, according to the Teachings of the Prophets manual.
His father and uncle dead, possessions left behind, and city under attack—it would make sense that such a young child would be in a state of panic. Yet, years later he said, “I felt just as certain in my mind then—as certain as a child could feel—that all was right, that the Lord’s hand was in it, as I do today.”
He continued to be brave.
When he was just nine, he lead a team of oxen across the western plains into Salt Lake City, Utah.
When he was just thirteen, his mother died, leaving him an orphan. Then, according to Mormon Historical Studies, he received an unexpected call to serve as a missionary a year and a half later.
He bravely committed to the mission call and went to Hawaii for the next four years, though he was severely ill within the first month of leaving.
His courage continued throughout his life. He passed his attitude of endurance on to his children.
His daughter Marjorie was frightened of thunder and lightning, according to an article in Ensign. She cried, so her dad came to her room, dressed in robe and slippers. He walked with her to the veranda. He comforted her by explaining that rain made everything beautiful.
“From that day to this I have never been frightened of a thunderstorm,” said Marjorie.
We can be Brave while Young too
He was a fifteen-year-old missionary, a nine-year-old pioneer, and a five-year-old survivor. Yet he continued forward with faith in Christ and determination.
Brave means to be “ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.” Joseph F. Smith certainly did that.
Whether you are a ten-year-old Cub Scout or an eighteen-year-old who just received your Eagle, you can be brave in the face of adversity.
Scouting is a great way to acquire bravery. You step out of your comfort zone and learn new things. You camp in the freezing moments of winter. You face crazy heights when zip lining or rock climbing.
All sorts of crazy moments will come your way in Scouting, which will help you face those moments in life.
You will have tough times in your life, and you will have to make the decision to face those times bravely. Like Joseph F. Smith did while only five, be willing to think:
“All is right, and the Lord’s hand is in it.”
Author: Michelle Carpenter | Marketing Associate, Utah National Parks Council.