“A man seeks employment on a farm. He hands his letter of recommendation to his new employer. It reads simply, ‘He sleeps in a storm.’
The owner is desperate for help, so he hires the man.
Awakened by the swirling rain and howling wind, the owner leaps out of bed. He calls for his new hired hand, but the man is sleeping soundly.
So he dashes off to the barn. He sees, to his amazement, that the animals are secure with plenty of feed.
He runs out to the field. He sees the bales of wheat have been bound and are wrapped in tarpaulins.
He races to the silo. The doors are latched, and the grain is dry.
And then he understands. ‘He sleeps in a storm.'” — Mitch Albom, Have a Little Faith
Each one of us in our lives will face different storms. In order for us to be able to sleep through our storms we must too be prepared. Pillar one of the Six Pillars of Being Prepared states, “Be prepared by developing a testimony of Christ and of the gospel while doing our duty to God and our country.”
While there are many ways to develop a testimony of Christ and of the gospel, Pillar one asks us to develop it ‘while doing our duty to God AND our country.’
Right now in our country we are going through many changes that brings question and uneasiness into the hearts of many. Social media has blown up with stories of the Jade Helm operation, the Charleston church shooting and the very recent speech by BSA President Robert Gates. With all of this happening, how can we do our duty to God and our country? Perhaps we will be forced to choose between the two?
I ponder about LDS pioneers who were driven from state to state. As the country continued to push them from place to place they did not rebel. Instead, they answered with peace and obeyed their country and also continued to obey the Lord. In fact, it was their belief in the Lord that kept them from rebelling against their brothers and sisters. They “laid down the weapons of their rebellion” (Alma 23:7) as did the Anti-Nephi-Lehites in the Book of Mormon.
As with both of these examples, if we remember to do our duty to God, to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to obey his commandments, our duty to our country will always follow. Let us strive to always remember that “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17). So it is in Scouting. Scouting teaches us that we must “Do a Good Turn Daily.” Baden Powell stated, “We must change boys from a ‘what can I get’ to a ‘what can I do’ attitude. Serving others IS the Gospel of Jesus Christ as He served everyone by giving His life.
Our country will always face its own storms. If we are prepared with a strong testimony of Christ and his gospel by serving God and our country, we will always be able to sleep through the storm.
Author: David Peterson | District Director, Zion District, Utah National Parks Council