Brother Owen gave the keynote address at the event held February 18 at the Utah Valley University Institute Building and addressed his comments to Scouters in the Utah National Parks Council. He spoke fondly of his own Scouting experiences and said the thing that mattered most to him as a Scout were the associations he had with other boys and his leaders.
Brother Owen went on to encourage leaders to keep the real purpose of Scouting in mind:
In the Book of Mormon, Nephi is commanded to build a ship. There’s a lot that went into it and I’m not going to go into the whole story, but if we are not thinking clearly and not looking at the right purpose, we may think that building the ship was the goal.
Do you know what it really was? The real goal was to build the ship to get to the Promise Land. I want you to think of Scouting in that regard. When we think of Scouting in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Scouting is not ‘it’, Scouting is not ‘the goal’, it’s not ‘the purpose’, it’s only part of the vehicle that helps us to the, so called, Promise Land.
We understand the purpose of the Aaronic Priesthood, we understand the purpose of the Church and the need in trying to help our young men. We look at it as between the ages of eight and eighteen, what does a boy need to be when he turns eighteen? What does he need to become? We know that we want them to become a Melchizedek Priesthood holder, not just to stay as an Aaronic Priesthood holder. Become a Melchizedek Priesthood holder, endowed in the temple, serve a mission and become a husband and a father. All these wonderful things that come their way in the future are for them, the promise land.
He also addressed the 103-year relationship between the Church and the Boy Scouts of America, referring to the new adult leadership resolution passed by the BSA and statements given from the Church in the past few months that caused concern among many members of both organizations.
Many have expressed concern at the phrase “At this time” in the Church’s statement. Brother Owen said, “‘At this time…,’ that’s a fair and accurate statement. At this time, we as the Young Men General Presidency are in. We need to understand that President Thomas S. Monson is our prophet and when he makes a statement, that’s what we do and we are grateful for that.”
“I love Scouting and I know all of you do. Let’s move forward. Let’s not sit in idle, let’s not sit on the sidelines and worry about it. Let’s move forward and keep going.”
Author: Stephen W. Owen | General Young Men President, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.