The New Era, February 1975, published some thoughts of Ezra Taft Benson, entitled “Scouting Builds Men.” As president of the Quorum of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he recalled his Scouting experiences from 50 years earlier, when he was an assistant Scoutmaster in a tiny community in southern Idaho. In the middle of his message is this fine little Scoutmaster’s minute that seems appropriate for a Columbus Day:
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.
Sometimes we forget this great truth in the hurly-burly of living. Let us recall a few historic instances showing the importance of the virtues exemplified in the Scout Law. There are many others. I have selected only three or four [We have only included one, but you can read the rest here].
Four hundred and eighty-three years ago, Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain in three small ships with 87 men. For 70 days they sailed across the uncharted sea. As early as the 17th day the men began to murmur in fear. From the 20th day on, Columbus was hard put to restrain them from mutiny, but when we read the log that Columbus kept, we are struck by the force of three words appearing again and again at the end of the day’s events; these are the words: “We sailed on.” What courage, what trustworthiness, what faith these words reveal!
What thoughts would you share with your Scouts on this 524th Anniversary of Columbus landing in the Americas?
Author: Darryl Alder | Director of Strategic Initiatives, Utah National Parks Council, BSA