By Mac McIntire
Nov 30, 2014

Mac’s Message #12: Examples of Strong Men of Character

You need go no further than the scriptures and Church history to learn what manner of men your young men ought to be. The Bible and the Book of Mormon are full of examples of men who exemplify the Scout Oath and Law. Pioneer stories also show the amazing impact a man of faith can have when he magnifies his priesthood calling and does his best.

Captain MoroniCaptain Moroni was the ultimate Boy Scout. He did his duty to God and country. His “soul did joy in the liberty and freedom of his country.” He was “a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people . . . he had sworn with an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his religion, even to the loss of his blood.” (Alma 48:11-13). The Book of Mormon states that “if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.” (Alma 48:17). Imagine your Aaronic Priesthood boys becoming men like Moroni.

Jacob Hamblin was a missionary and friend to the Indians in Southern Utah in the late 1800s. He created eight rules—or values—to live by when interacting with the Indians. He was a great influence for peace because he lived by his principles. One man said “no braver man ever lived” than Hamblin. (Letter to the Pioche Nevada Register dated Feb. 5, 1874, submitted by Mr. J. E. Smith). Imagine your young men bravely going on missions to areas of the world deemed “hostile territory” and being an influence for peace because they live the Scout Oath and Law.

Handcart in winterImagine the impact you can have around a campfire as you tell stories about men of faith from the scriptures and Church history. You can raise a winter campout experience to a higher spiritual level by helping your boys visualize the suffering of the trapped Saints at Martin’s Cove. While on a strenuous ten-mile hike you can teach your boys about the obedience of the brethren who served faithfully while marching with Zion’s Camp. Lessons on following the prophet can be taught from the examples of early Utah pioneers who often were asked to uproot from their homes to establish another community in the west. Hundreds of examples of great men of character can be found in the scriptures and in Church history.

Before you can tell inspiring stories about others you must learn about them. Read your scriptures. Read with the purpose of finding stories to which your boys can relate. Read books about men of character, particularly men in the early history of the Church. Study the lives of the prophets. Look for examples in the lives of people you know—even examples from your own life.

There are scores of stories you can tell to your boys that will inspire them to be better. One of your roles as an Aaronic Priesthood and Scouting leader is that of a storyteller. The stories you tell inculcate the principles of Scouting and the Aaronic Priesthood into the hearts, minds, and souls of your young men. They make the values of the Scout Oath and Law come alive. Through the constant telling of faith-promoting, character-building stories you slowly build the framework that will help boys become strong men of character. **

Take a Moment to Reflect

  • Are you searching your scriptures daily for stories you can use to touch the hearts of your boys?
  • How often do you use examples from the scriptures as you teach your young men?
  • What books do you read to uplift and inspire you?
  • Do you share stories from these books with your boys?
  • Do you purposefully seek “teaching moment” opportunities to share your insights with your young men?

Turn Your Reflection Into Action

What will you start doing, stop doing, or do better as a result of your reflection?

“Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand . . . That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the (Young Men) calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you.” (D&C 88:78, 80).

** In the reply section below, please feel free to share any character-building stories you’ve told to your boys to inspire them to fulfill their Aaronic Priesthood and Scouting duties

Mac McIntire
Author: Mac McIntire blogs for LDS BSA Relationships. He is a dedicated Scouter who lives in Evanston, Wyoming.

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One thought on “Mac’s Message #12: Examples of Strong Men of Character

  1. AvatarMaloree Anderson

    This article reminded me of my cousin and his use of the priesthood. A few years back, my family and I were camping at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes just north of Kanab, Utah. We were on the farthest end of the dunes, a long ways away from the camp ground and ranger station. We were finding our way back towards the camp ground, going up and down the easiest dunes. My mother, the leader of the group of quads, went up a particularly steep dune. It was my and my cousin’s turn next, then my aunt and her passenger, and then my sister. As I gassed it to get the speed I needed, I decided last second to not go up this dune. As I circled around back to try again, my aunt with her passenger went. My cousin and I watched in horror as the quad got stuck in wet sand and flipped backwards. The riders and the quad rolled down the hill. We all rushed to them. My aunt was in extreme pain and couldn’t move her leg. She believe she tore the tendons. After we assessed the situation, we realized the only thing left to do was to leave her behind with her friend, my cousin, and my sister and my mother and I was race back to the campground, (Which was about 30-45 minutes away), and get the medic buggy. So we rode as fast as we could. It was getting dark and cold. We made it to the ranger station and got the ranger. I rode in the dune jeep with the ranger and my mother lead the way to the accident. We made it back just in time. My aunt was put on a stretcher and hoisted into the jeep which took her to the awaiting ambulance a few miles away on a dirt road. During all this commotion, I heard my aunt say, “Hunter (my cousin) gave a wonderful prayer. My little priesthood holder.” Though I was not there for that prayer, I knew it had an impact on everyone who heard. It even had an impact on me. My aunt believed so much in the priesthood, that she knew she would be safe and cared for during this incident. My cousin, who held true to his priesthood was able to practice and care for those who need it. I think about those words all the time and how great it is to have the priesthood in my life.

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