“As leaders of young men, our purpose may be summarized in this way: Help young men become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and fulfill their divine roles. To assist in achieving that purpose, we invite you to consider the three principles…always looking to the example of the Savior.”
– General Young Men Presidency, Training 2017
“Be With Them” means just that. Your job as a leader of young men is to promote trusting relationships that will anchor young men to the gospel.
Brother Stephen W. Owen, Young Men General President, explained it this way: “If you teach or lead youth, look for ways to be with them—in all kinds of settings, not just during an hour at church. This is how you will find your most meaningful teaching opportunities. Take an interest in them and in their lives. Show them that you notice their good qualities. Help them feel that you are a fellow laborer, a fellow traveler on the path back to the Savior.”
The following video “Just Take Some Time” was released in conjunction with these three principles:
“Boys need lots of heroes… But they also need to have some heroes close by. The need to know some man of towering strength and basic integrity, personally. They need to meet them on the street, to hike and camp with them, to see them close-to-home, everyday, down-to-earth situations; and to feel close enough to them to ask questions and to talk things over man-to-man with them.”
-President Spencer W. Kimball, General Conference, April 1976
Being with them means playing with them at mutual, going on activities, attending church with them, taking them outdoors for adventure and more. When you are with them, your love for them, your confidence in them, your encouragement to them and your shared testimony will rub off on them, exposing them to the gospel in action in your life.
Advisers can help with another important factor affecting the young men, the “estrangement/ integration” factor. This is the degree to which the young man feels he belongs, or fits into his quorum. One of the surprising things about this factor is that a feeling of belonging is more a function of a youth’s association with you, his advisor, than it is with his peer group.
Do we take advantage of the time we get with our youth? What are some ways we can “just take some time” and be with them? Let us know in the comments.
For more training on this principles from the Young Men General Presidency, click here.
Author: Melany Gardner | “The Boy Scout” Editor and Marketing Specialist, Utah National Parks Council