I've been thinking today about something I have often heard about Scouting: "Scouting teaches our young men that they can do hard things."
I think I've even said something like that myself.
But I began wondering today if we aren't missing something. Something so vitally important that I can't believe I hadn't thought about it until today.
Let me share a couple quotations with you. See if you can't figure out what is missing in the statement above.
"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." - Isaiah 41:10Now, some of you may be saying something like "But those are all about getting help with spiritual things. That doesn't apply to hiking."
"My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep." - 2 Nephi 4:20
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." - Philipians 4:13.
"Since the Savior has suffered anything and everything that we could ever feel or experience, He can help the weak to become stronger." - James E. Faust
"And so we see that because of His Atonement, the Savior has the power to succor--to help--every mortal pain and affliction. Sometimes His power heals an infirmity, but the scriptures and our experiences teach that sometimes He succors or helps by giving us the strength or patience to endure our infirmities." - Dallin H. Oaks
"The difference between what I can do and what must be done is accomplished because of the grace of Christ." - H. Burke Petersen
My response is, "Why not?" Don't we sing in our hymns, "I need thee every hour." Don't we believe that Christ, through the power of his atonement, can help us do anything we need to do?
Hopefully all of our young men will be leaving (sooner than they may realize) to go out into the world to teach about Christ and his atoning sacrifice. Shouldn't we help them understand it, by teaching them to rely on the atonement to do all those hard things they have to do in Scouting?
When we hold our reflections after each activity, shouldn't we "talk of Christ... rejoice in Christ... preach of Christ... prophesy of Christ" (2 Nephi 25:26)?
On one activity when I was 16 or 17 years old, I was nervous about participating in a part of the activity. Actually, "nervous" probably doesn't describe my feelings quite as well as "scared." Knowing a little something about me, and what would work for me, my young men's leader asked me to find a scripture that would convince me to do the activity. The scripture that came to mind was one I had recently learned in Seminary:
"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." - Joshua 1:9Knowing that my Savior would be with me, my fear left me and I participated in the activity. I had a great time, and I learned a lesson I have never forgotten.
I'll end this post with one final scripture:
"And now, beloved, marvel not that I tell you these things; for why not speak of the atonement of Christ, and attain to a perfect knowledge of him, as to attain to the knowledge of a resurrection and the world to come?" - Jacob 4:12