HONORING THE PRIESTHOOD AS A
Boy Scouts of America
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updated 09/12/15
 As you know, we are vitally concerned about our youth and feel that with the proper attention we can save many more than we are doing at the present time. I am convinced that Scouting is a mighty activity arm to hold these boys close while they learn to appreciate the honor of holding the priesthood of God.

The thing that concerns me, brethren, is that we must have a goal, and that goal must be eternal salvation for every boy. Scouting can help us move along that pathway to eternal life in a glorious way, in making a boy a whole boy, a whole man. But, unless we keep our eye on the goal, we are not achieving what is expected of us. If we do all else and lose the young man, we have failed in our sacred stewardship. We must not allow a separation of priesthood, Scouting, or athletics.

I hope our bishops will call mature men to these positions and let them serve for a few years. I see no reason why a man in his forties, fifties or even sixties could not serve as an Advisor/Scoutmaster, Adviser/Coach or Advisor/Venturer leader. If I were a Bishop, I would no more consider not having a team or crew than I would think of not having a teachers quorum or a priests quorum. Every phase of the Scouting program should help young men and their leaders understand that Scouting activities are carried out to accomplish priesthood purposes. 

President Robert L. Backman
Young Men General President (November 1982)
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