Friday, October 3, 2008

Scoutmaster Mike: The Importance of Being Prepared

As I am actively involved in both Scouting and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it should come as no surprise that I look forward to reading words of encouragement and inspiration from Charles W. Dahlquist II, more often referred to as "President Dahlquist" by me and many others, as befits his role as the general Young Men's President of the Church. In addition to that role, he is also a member of the National Boy Scouts of America Executive Board, thus he combines two areas I care about greatly. This is a long winded way of saying "when President Dahlquist talks, I tend to listen!"

President Dahlquist gave an address at LDS Business College regarding the Importance of Being Prepared. Needless to say, as a good Boy Scout, I tend to enjoy my favorite outdoor organization's motto get repeated often and publicly. I particularly enjoyed the areas that he focused on for this talk. His notions of preparation covered a number of different areas, and in this particular devotional, he made a point to address spiritual preparation along with temporal preparation.

This quote struck a chord in me, and I want to share it here:

“Do we wait until challenges come along to become prepared?” President Dahlquist asked. He cited Alma 34:32, “For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.”

He then gives five challenges:

1. Remember you are a child of God, in all times and at all points and walks of life.

2. Stand in holy places, or "being where we ought to be".

3. Learn to control your thoughts:

Mosiah 4:30: “…if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.”

4. Learn to do things that are hard to do. “Don’t just scoot by. Stand up. Do things that are hard!”

5. Give service. “Service is not a project; it’s a way of life,” said President Dahlquist.

I feel impressed that, in these challenging times we are currently facing, these are words that all of us could put to good use. I certainly will give it my best shot :).

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