Little Philmont

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Little Philmont. How do we teach boys to recognize the spirit and gain testimonies?. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Little Philmont

How do we teach boys to recognize the spirit and gain testimonies?The six years a young man spends in the Aaronic Priesthood program should be a spiritual training campcomplete with spiritually tuned parents and mentors, outdoor experiences, practical leadership experiences, twice daily prayer, and daily readings from the playbook (scriptures). A comprehensive, spiritually focused Aaronic Priesthood experience can help young men recapture their elusive testimonies. On the other hand, an unstructured, casual approacha focus on programs instead of people, a focus on checking off boxes instead of feeding their spiritscan contribute to the spiritual erosion of many young men.Bradley D. Harris Trails to Testimony p.14

There is something else to learn. A testimony is not thrust upon you; a testimony grows. We become taller in testimony like we grow taller in physical stature; we hardly know it happens because it comes by growth.You cannot force spiritual things. Such words as compel, coerce, constrain, pressure, and demand do not describe our privileges with the Spirit.

You can no more force the Spirit to respond than you can force a bean to sprout or an egg to hatch before its time. You can create a climate to foster growth, nourish, and protect; but you cannot force or compel: you must await the growth.Do not be impatient to gain great spiritual knowledge. Let it grow, help it grow, but do not force it or you will open the way to be misled.Boyd K. Packer, "The Quest for Spiritual Knowledge", New Era, Jan. 2007, 27

Third, create an environment in your family in which spiritual experiences can occur Give them an opportunity to share their feelings about the gospel. Help them to learn to recognize when they feel the presence of the Spirit.

Joe J. Christensen"Rearing Children in a Polluted Environment," , (October 2, 1993)

Our Job as Scout and Priesthood Leaders is two fold: 1. To create an environment where the spirit can be felt and have influence on our Young Men.2. And to give our boys an opportunity to share their feelings about the gospel thus strengthening their testimonies.

Research by the church concluded; for a boy to stay active past Deacon age, he must feel the spirit at least once every day.The Lord has built this opportunity into their lives.

Family Home Evening Family Scripture StudyFamily Prayer twice a daySeminaryYoung Mens (week night)Sacrament meetingSunday schoolPriesthood Quorum meeting (Sunday)Personal prayer and scripture study

The Young Mens program is an important part of that structure. Do your boys feel the spirit when they are with you?1. First lets talk about Environment.The environment young men live in is either void of the spirit or drowning out the spirit. Thats why outdoor adventures work so well.A. Get your young men away from their phones, their music, the TV, Facebook, video games etc.All these things are calculated to stir young a mans emotions, or block him from hearing the spirit.Even if he could recognize the spirit he would probably never hear it.B. We must teach them what the spirit feels like and how to recognize it. Then when we get them out of their spiritually deafening world and create an environment where the spirit is present they recognize it and grow in testimony.

So, get them away from their phones, their music, the clamor of the world to:A cabinA campfireHikingFishingHuntingCavingRepellingMountain bikingGeo cashing Swimming

Elder Packer said: In your emotions, the spirit and the body come closest to being one. Personal Revelation Ensign Nov.1994

So when our spirit feels the Spirit, it often expresses itself with the feelings of an emotion.

The Media, advertising, pornography, video games, or any kind of physical intimacy also stirs emotion. If the spirit wasnt hard enough to detect, now our youth have the challenge of trying to decide, Am I feeling the spirit or is that just me? Is this hormones, excitement, adrenalin or spiritual prompting? Satan is constantly trying to muddy the spiritual waters of a young mans life.

The more time our young men spend away from the clamor of the world, the more they will learn to recognize and be lead by the spirit.

2. Second lets talk about having the young men share their feelings. Then we will put number one and number two together with ideas on how to do both.Why do we want them to share their feeling?

When you encourage Students to raise their hand to respond to a question, they signify to the Holy Spirit their willingness to learn. That use of moral agency will allow the Spirit to motivate and give them more powerful guidance . . . - Elder Richard G. Scott

Participation allows individuals to experience being led by the Spirit. They learn to recognizeand feel whatspiritualguidance is.- Elder Richard G. Scott

Learning by faithrequires spiritual,mental, and physical exertion and not just passive reception

- Elder David A. BednarHow?Questions are a perfect way to help young men share feelings.Learn the art of asking good questions.

How?Questions are a great way to stimulate discussion.Ask questions:About their lives and their families (be personal)About when they have felt the spirit the strongest, or where they feel it the mostAbout when they have seen the priesthood manifest in their life or in the life of their familyAsk them who their heroes are and whyAbout what they re learning in seminaryAbout things they have learned from hard knocks, from the scriptures, from their grandparents, the prophet or apostles, from teachers at school, coaches, sports, etc.About why we live the way we do as members About examples of those who have not done so well because they didnt live the gospel

Ask questions:About the stars, Gods creations and your surroundingsAbout the plan of salvation or doctrinal principles like where we go after we die, who goes to what kingdomAsk them what they know about the second coming, missionary work, experiences of their dads/moms /brothers/sisters missions, the prophet Joseph Smith, the temple, the word of wisdom, etc.Ask them how they know that God loves them. Or how they know their family loves themAlways be prepared to answer any question you ask them. (I dont know but Ill find out is an answer) These are great teaching moments, milk them.How?Tell them faith building stories:From your missionFrom Conference talksFrom the New EraFrom your life or the lives of family, friends or ancestorsFrom the ScripturesFrom Church HistoryThen have them tell stories from their lives.

Then ask more questions.

When you go on a high adventure there are some important things that you must plan and do to make the trip successful.Need to go shopping for foodNeed to have permission slips and a tour permitNeed transportationNeed a prepared lesson or fireside talk for every night your gone. This is more important than all the above.

Its not just about survival, camping or lighting fires its about gospel principles. Find principles in every scouting activity.Principle:

If you dont plan something to bring the spirit into the boys lives it seldom happens on it own.In fact, if there is nothing planned, what they do will degrade to play time, pranks, practical jokes or worse.

Remember:You dont have to sneak up on them. Tell them you want to be serious.Tell them its scout master minute time then get serious. Teach them. They will love it.

When I began my teaching career, President J. Reuben Clark Jr., the First Counselor in the First Presidency, had spoken to teachers President Clark described youth as hungry for things of the Spirit [and] eager to learn the gospel. He said: They want it straight, undiluted. They want to know...about our beliefs; they want to gain testimonies of their truth. They are not now doubters but inquirers, seekers after truth.

You do not have to sneak up behind this spiritually experienced youth and whisper religion in [their] ears; you can come right out, face to face, and talk with [them]....You can bring these truths to [them] openly....There is no need for gradual approaches.

Counsel to Young Men President Boyd K. Packer Ensign May 2009

Dont be afraid to teach them spiritual things. Later in life they will look back to those moments as course corrections, and they will love you.We are prompted by the Holy Ghost every day to do ordinary and simple things. For example, we are prompted to say our personal prayers every morning and every night. We are prompted to study the scriptures. We are prompted to keep the commitments we madeTo the degree that we heed these simple prompting, then our capacity to recognize and respond to the Holy Ghost is increased. To the degree that we do not heed these simple prompting, then our capacity to recognize and respond to the Holy Ghost is decreased. We are either progressing or regressing in our ability to recognize and respond to the Holy Ghost. There is no neutral ground, there is no standing still.

Elder Bednar BYUI Aug. 31, 1999

The standard is clear. If something we think, see, hear, or do distances us from the Holy Ghost, then we should stop thinking, seeing, hearing, or doing that thing. If that which is intended to entertain, for example, alienates us from the Holy Spirit, then certainly that type of entertainment is not for us. Because the Spirit cannot abide that which is vulgar, crude, or immodest, then clearly such things are not for us. Because we estrange the Spirit of the Lord when we engage in activities we know we should shun, then such things definitely are not for us.David A. Bednar Ensign May 2006 p.

Do you want to know how to get the most benefit from this time together? Write down the impressions you feelspiritual moment in life often come wh