One stake leader asked him to consider Section 82:14–16 that shows how building Zion is dependent on generational conversions. His response was: “We’re only strengthened from one generation to the next as young men learn and understand and act on priesthood duties. And I see the correlation in what Scouting can do to help these young men become strong priesthood leaders and strengthen other youth.”
He said, we are all here because we are building upon what others have done before us. This makes our service today a kind of pay-back in a multi-generational base where principles of “priesthood-led Scouting should be founded” to continue building on what those who have gone before us started.
Brother Lund continued: “While we know the powers of darkness seem to thwart the work of God, shall the children of the promise cease to grasp the iron rod? … the forces of the adversary are marshaled and focused and ready as never before. … These young people on their worst day are better than you and I ever were at their age. … I think of what they must have demonstrated to their Heavenly Father in the preexistence that they would be sent to come forth in this day.” Ours is the charge to mentor, teach and to help bring them along and to help them reach their divine potential. Then he asked, “what could be a more sacred charge than to have that opportunity. We stand on sacred ground when in the presence of these young people.”
He reminded us that for youth in difficult family situations might not get righteous traditions in their hearts if we don’t plant them, “The Lord in this day and age has less need of caretakers. He needs leaders that will make a difference in the lives of young men.
He explained that he had recently moved into a ward, where he asked for an assignment to home teach a family where the mom was less active the dad was a nonmember. He visited them “with two of our good full time missionaries to teach a lesson in the home of this couple. Now this missionary didn’t tell me he was an Eagle Scout, but I believe he was, because at the end of our visit he said Brother Jones, I’d like to invite you to offer the closing prayer.
“Brother Jones said ‘Oh no, I don’t pray in front of people, I’ve never prayed, no thank you.’ This missionary said, ‘Brother Jones, I think you can do it. Here are the steps that you follow’
“Brother Jones was very adamant. ‘I do not pray, I do not pray in front of other people.’ And I’m thinking to myself, okay Elder, you did well. You extended the invitation.
“Well this good missionary said, ‘Brother Jones, I’ll help you.’
“Now this was a missionary who was not a caretaker. This was a missionary who made a difference.
“Brother Jones responded, ‘no, I won’t do it . . . Oh, all right.’ And for the first time in his life, he prayed in front of his wife. And he felt something, and we felt something. And the Spirit of the Lord descended in that room in that moment. Because we had a missionary that was doing more than just following a script. He was following the Spirit.
“It is impossible to measure is the great good which has come from this organization during the past century. . . . I believe in Scouting. I believe in the goals of the organization. I believe in the power of Scouting to bless and enrich lives for good.”—President Thomas S. Monson, “President Monson Discusses Strengths of Scouting”
Brother Lund suggest that that is the same opportunity we all have, then he quoted President Monson on the power of Scouting.
He promised that we would be getting inspired guidance during Little Philmont on how to apply Scouting to the doctrine that count. “My prayer has been that with a solid, doctrinal foundation and understanding of true principle, we can have greater earnestness as we learn the application. … We need to begin with doctrine and principle in order for whatever teachings we convey to have staying power.”
He closed with this:
I pray that you will have the blessings promised in the 100th section of the Doctrine & Covenants: that it will be given you in the hour, yea even the very moment what ye should speak. That you can be a force for good; that you can be a reassuring arm, around these noble young men in their struggle to make their way and to return to their Father in Heaven in a day where there is great challenge.
As I think about the promise of these young men, in my mind’s eye I go to that interview that we will all have with our Savior, Jesus Christ. … What could bring you greater joy than to know that with of your influence, the difference that you make, your intervention, your inspired comment, that young man at the conclusion of his visit and his accounting with the Savior, will hear those words “well done thou good and faithful servant”? …
May the linkage of faith be strong between the generations of your own family is my prayer and my witness of the truthfulness of His work, in the name of Jesus Christ.
Steven J Lund | LDS Young Mens General Board Member
excerpts from an address given by him at two Little Philmont Courses in the Fall of 2016 at Mt. Dell Scout Ranch near Mt. Pleasant Ut.