Monday, March 19, 2012

When Properly Carried Out

"Scouting has evolved into an important component of the Church’s youth programs. When properly carried out under the direction of priesthood leaders, Scouting supplements activities of boys and young men ages eight to eighteen. Scouting also assists in accomplishing the eternal purposes of the priesthood and families."

From the publication, "Scouting and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", p.3, published by LDS-BSA Relations, Salt Lake City. emphasis added.

for the entire publication, click here.

2 comments:

tberde35 said...

Thank you for creating this blog. I just came across it and really enjoy it. I have a question for you. I'm struggling with the concept of two separate types of AP activities. When is it scouting and when is it Mutual and so forth. So my loaded question is, HOw do you see scouting as a SUPPLEMENT to boys activities?

Eric the Half-bee said...

Tberde, I’m glad you’ve found my ranting useful.

I’ll try to be brief in answering your question. You asked essentially what differentiates Scouting from Aaronic Priesthood activities? My short answer is that if properly carried out, there is no difference; the two should come together seamlessly. I know that there are as many answers to this question as there are Scoutmasters and bishops, but in my ideal world, it would be what Elder Holland described:

“When I was a deacon, it didn’t matter if we were working on merit badges, doing a service project, or collecting fast offerings, it was all priesthood. It is with this vision that we need to utilize Scouting and the priesthood to help our young men reach their potential by learning NOW to do hard things!”

The Church’s position is that in the US, Canada, and a few other countries, Scouting is the Mutual activity program for young men. It supplements Duty to God and other “churchy” things in that it provides a minimal risk lab where boys can practice and internalize the lessons and skills they will need in our grown-up world. It’s a place where they can have experiences that teach temporal and spiritual lessons in a way far superior to any stifling (from a teen’s perspective) Sunday School class. It’s a ten-year process, beginning with a Bobcat badge, and ending with, not an Eagle badge, but a young man who is able and willing to care for himself and others.