It has been our custom at The Boy Scout to post a Scouter’s minute each day leading up to Christmas. This year, we decided to try something new. The Christmas messages will focus on the lives of modern-day prophets and times when they exemplified a point of the Scout Law. Come back for the next eleven days to find out how prophets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
Joseph Fielding Smith teaches us to be friendly.
Joseph Fielding Smith—Friend to All
Part of being a Scout is being a friend to those you meet. Those who knew Joseph Fielding Smith spoke of the thoughtful, friendly things he did to show that he cared about those around him. Here are a few of those thoughtful things, taken from the Teachings of Presidents of the Church manual from Joseph Fielding Smith:
“One day at a church conference in the Mormon Tabernacle on Temple Square a 12-year-old boy, excited to be there for the first time, had come early to be sure to get a seat close to the front. … Just before the meeting began, and when all the seats were taken, an usher asked the boy to give up his seat so that a late arriving United States Senator could have it. Meekly the boy complied, and stood in the aisle, disappointed, embarrassed, in tears.” President Joseph Fielding Smith “noticed the youngster and motioned him to come up [on the stand]. When the boy told him what had happened he said, ‘That usher had no right to do that to you. But here, you sit by me,’ and shared his seat with him, in the midst of the apostles of the Church.
“One day as he was interviewing a group of young men leaving on two-year missions for the Church, [he] noticed a farm boy who had been assigned to eastern Canada. ‘Son, it’s cold up there. Do you have a good warm coat?’ ‘No sir, I haven’t.’ He took the boy across the street to [a] department store and bought him the warmest coat in stock.
“The day he was sustained in conference as president of the Church a little girl worked her way through the throng after the meeting and reached for his hand. So touched was he by the gesture that he stooped down and took the child into his arms. He learned that her name was Venus Hobbs, … soon to be four years old. On her birthday Venus received a surprise telephone call: Joseph Fielding Smith and his wife calling long distance to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her.”
These acts of kindness were not isolated occurrences but part of a lifelong pattern. President Smith was “a man of great tenderness and compassion. His life has been one repeated instance after another of giving aid to the needy, comfort to the brokenhearted, counsel to the confused and in exemplifying that charity which is ‘the pure love of Christ.’ [Moroni 7:47.]”
How can you follow President Smith’s example to be more friendly?
Author: Maria Milligan | Chief of Staff, Utah National Parks Council, BSA