By Paul Tikalsky
Mar 03, 2017

How Seven Merit Badges Prepare Future Missionaries

The end of high school often marks a drastic transition for LDS boys. After tricky tests and part-time employment, the boy accepts his biggest job yet, working for God himself as a missionary.  

Some parents may question: “Is my boy really ready? Has he been adequately prepared?”

While I can’t answer that for you, I do believe Scouting is a great tool to prepare young men for the mission field. The merit badge program can and should be part of that preparation. Let’s look at how some of the merit badges will help your son in his personal preparedness:

1- Cooking

If a boy can cook over a bed of coals, he can cook in his apartment.

2-Public Speaking

If he earns this merit badge and takes the opportunity to speak in a church setting, teaching lessons in the mission field will be easy.

3-Reading

It’s a core skill in most everything we do. By passing off this merit badge, as he reads the scriptures and other good books, he will be ready to study in the mission field. 

4- Personal Fitness

Just think if an elder started good habits of exercise and eating at age 12. He will be better prepared for the demanding physical exertion of a mission. 

5-Music

Can your son lead music? He will be able to after this merit badge. This will allow him to use these skills to assist the ward and encourage participation. 

6-Personal Management

This merit badge will help your boy know how to use a check book, debit card, etc. He’ll better understand budgeting. For many missionaries, improper budgeting can mean running out of funds at the end of the month. He can learn proper skills to overcome that issue with this merit badge. 

7-Genealogy

They say genealogy is one of the best missionary tools. But, a boy has to understand it to teach it to others. This merit badge will help him make connections with investigators and better understand the work of salvation. 

“We’re at a time in the Church’s history when young men and young women all over the world need to rise up and serve as missionaries,” said Elder Ballard. Help your boy prepare now to serve a mission. When he is better prepared, he will be more enabled and empowered to transform individuals’ lives in the mission field. 

Paul Tikalsky

 

Author: Paul Tikalsky | Director of Development, Utah National Parks Council, BSA

 

 

This is part of a series designed to help parents and Scout leaders know what merit badges can help their Scouts as they transition into missionary service. This article focuses on missionary prep. 

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