Updated 4/17/16 NEW items in red.
“Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence. ” (Doctrine & Covenants 107:99)
This page contains summary information and resources that are available to Young Men Presidencies and Assistant Advisors serving in the Young Men organization. This includes scoutmasters, varsity coaches, venture crew leaders, counselors to YM president, and all assistant scout or priesthood advisors. Scouting program resources are available on the Troop, Varisty and Venture pages within this website.
On this page you’ll find:
- Timely Information
- Newly Called
- Key Duties
- Tips and Best Practices: Aaronic Priesthood
- Tips and Best Practices: Scouting
- Helpful Resources
- 2016 Mutual Theme Resources: Click HERE for videos and articles to help emphasize the principles taught in this year’s theme.
Congratulations! Serving with the young men in your ward can change your life, the lives of others, and provide you with experiences you wouldn’t otherwise receive. As a young men advisor and scout leader you have the opportunity to influence the lives of many young men in ways you may not always immediately see or appreciate. Your goals are simple: to help prepare young men to serve full-time missions, to attend the temple, to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and to become worthy husbands and fathers. You have many tools to assist you in the process, including the families of the boys, the Duty to God program, the Come Follow Me teaching method for quorum instruction, and a BSA scouting unit. We encourage you to learn your duties, to get trained, and to get excited about the opportunities that wait you.
New Leader Orientation: Anybody called to serve in the young men organization should attend a new leader orientation offered by the stake young men presidency. A summary outline of that orientation, with a suggested timeline for completion, can be found on the New Advisor page within this website. It details Aaronic Priesthood review materials and BSA training you’ll need to take. It contains relevant links and valuable resources that will assist you in learning your duty to the young men of your ward.
BSA Training: To be considered Trained in your BSA position you must take some minimal training, but there is more training–some of it required–depending on the type of activity you are planning. This summary sheet details all training, where to find it, and when to take it. Refer to the Training tab on this website for training dates and additional details.
- Section 8.3.4 of the Church Handbook of Instructions Book 2 outlines the primary duties of Young Men Presidencies, which are primarily:
- as member of PEC and Ward Council, young men presidents help Bishopric build and strengthen individuals and families
- as Advisors you help the young men learn and fulfill their Aaronic Priesthood responsibilities (section 8.1.3 lists the purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood).
- get to know each young man individually and find ways to strengthen each one
- help young men set and achieve goals in the Duty to God program
- counsel with parents to best help each young man
- teach gospel lessons during Sunday quorum meeting
- attend quorum presidency meetings and provide guidance as needed
- work with quorum presidency to plan quorum activities
- help build quorum unity
- hold regular Young Men Presidency meetings
- serve as scout leaders or assistant scout leaders
- When considering each of these duties individually, and expanding on the implication of each, there are many things that young men presidencies and assistant advisors can and should do. Prayerfully consider together the meaning behind each of these duties and how to properly fulfill each of them.
- A reminder that the young men presidency has stewardship for entire Young Men organization in your ward, and this includes scouting for each quorum. Your leadership largely influences the successful spiritual and temporal growth of young men in your ward. Young men are to learn the gospel, how to communicate, how to lead, how to conduct a meeting, how to create an agenda, etc. and your involvement is key to this process.
- One way to think of your role is that you act as the bumpers on bowling lane–you keep the boys pointed in the right direction, providing guidance to prevent them from falling into the gutter and missing their target. Coach them enough so they stay pointed down the lane, making steady progress.
- The Young Men president oversees quorum instruction, Duty to God progress, activities, scouting, personal development and all other matters for all 3 quorums. It’s tempting to only focus on the priest quorum but the other 2 quorums need visibility from the president as well. Also, work closely with your counselors to know that the Teachers and Deacons quorums are also functioning correctly.
- Much of what you do is to help boys see real growth in their testimonies, ability to lead, and to achieve the purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood.
Tips and Best Practices: Aaronic Priesthood
- become familiar with your duties and stewardships as outlined in church resources described above. It’s best to not rely on what you’ve seen others do or what you remember from your youth but to understand from the source what is expected of your particular calling.
- have your own regular presidency meeting (text and email are not sufficient). You can coordinate details through text and email but you really need to meet in person to discuss and report on goals, objectives, individuals, quality of quorum instruction, Duty to God, and meatier matters. This is the time to train each other and see that all things are being done correctly. You can identify young men not attending, changes in behavior, and how to work with quorum presidencies on all of these topics.
- continue to train yourself in Aaronic Priesthood matters of all kind. Read and re-read the relevant sections of the Handbook of Instructions Book 2, watch videos produced by the church, read inspirational talks and other resources that will continually help you become a better advisor. Many of these resources are accessible further down this page.
- focus Sunday quorum meeting on quality gospel instruction and principles from the Duty to God program. See that correct doctrine is being taught, that the young men have time to ponder and reflect on key questions, and then share their impressions. (Yes, that was Learn Act Share in a nutshell!) Follow this LINK for further information and resources on Duty to God.
- if you want the young men and their parents to get excited about Duty to God, that enthusiasm will likely begin with you. Create a plan to complete the Duty to God program with the young men and see if that helps!
- see that Sunday quorum instruction follows the Come Follow Me program. Follow this LINK for further information and resources.
- weekly mutual activities should focus on personal growth, teaching gospel principles, leadership, outdoor experiences, camping and other high adventure types of activities that will challenge the young men in various way sand provide them with opportunities for real growth. After each activity spend a few minutes with the boys reflecting on the gospel principal taught and/or learned during the activity.
- a suggestion to hold a ward missionary prep class for seniors or all priests & laurels to supplement other efforts in the ward and quorum. You may also consider Melchizedek Priesthood and Temple preparation courses as appropriate for the, typically, seniors in the priest quorum. Northridge ward has an interesting approach to their mission prep course that may be worth investigating.
Tips and Best Practices: Scouting
- capture the vision of how priesthood and scouting are connected. Refer to the Scouting and Priesthood tab in this website for some thoughts. Prayerfully consider & gain a testimony of why scouting is such an integral part of the Aaronic Priesthood.
- take the basic BSA training courses for your particular position, and continue to take additional training courses as needed and also to further your growth and understanding of the scouting unit you’re involved in. The boys will realize you’re taking it seriously, and they probably will too!
- work to create properly functioning scouting units. A properly functioning scouting unit provides young men with the foundation for real growth and success . Scouting units that are not functioning properly can be frustrating to youth, parents and adult advisors who don’t feel they are getting the most of the scouting. Additionally, there is no need to reinvent the scouting wheel! Following the structure provided by BSA for Troops, Teams, and Crews gives you and your young men the best chance of having a great program. Read these encouraging words about following the BSA structure, then try the way it’s designed and see what the results are!
- for weekly activities the young men should be properly organized as outlined in their respective scouting programs (troop, team, crew) and encouraged to function as a leadership group. The young men should lead out with guidance from the adults. If your ward does not have scouting in all 3 quorums use the stake YM presidency as a resource and jump in!
- each member of YM presidency should regularly attend scout committee meetings and be familiar with church and BSA policies for safety, fund raising, travel, etc.
- a suggestion to meet with youth leadership in Patrol Leaders Council to plan scouting activities, and separately as a quorum presidency to plan and discuss quorum matters (individuals, etc.). It’s possible to discuss both in a single meeting, but you may find that separate meetings work better for you.
- look to the Unit Commissioner in your ward for assistance with scouting matters–training opportunities, recording completed training in your scouting profile (my.scouting.org), roster checks, recharter, registering new adult leaders and youth, and any other scouting related issue or question. Click HERE for a more detailed description of Unit Commissioners.
- help your scout committee chair organize a fully staffed committee to relieve administrative burdens from the scout leaders. This can add years to your scouting life!
- one of your key responsibilities is to teach. This occurs in many forms and situations, not just in quorum meetings. Reference this inspiring talk from Vaughn J. Featherstone to better understand how you can be an Impact Teacher.
- LDS BSA Relationships page for Young Men Presidency which outlines specific duties from the Church Handbooks.
- Teaching resources are primarily sourced from Come Follow Me. Additionally, the following Leadership Resources are available at the church website:
- Handbook 2: Administering the Church
- Fulfilling My Duty to God: to help young men develop spiritual habits and characteristics
- Preach My Gospel: to help young men articulate gospel principles
- Green Scouting Handbook: resource for adults that outlines church scouting duties and policies. The church supports scouting to help the young men develop desired character traits, self-confidence, and leadership skills.
- For the Strength of Youth: to help young men understand standards to live by
- quorum presidency duties and resources available to them are accessible from this website by clicking HERE.
- Most of what you need can be found on the Aaronic Priesthood portal at the church website. The videos and outlines are very helpful and include:
- Worldwide Leadership Training videos on a variety of topics, many of which apply to priesthood, families, fellowshipping, etc. Click on each year’s training to see which topics apply to your needs.
- Duties of Young Men Presidency as described in Handbook 2 along with videos and other resources to assist in holding presidency meetings, assisting youth in their quorum and presidency meetings, guiding young men to missions and to the temple, and in scouting.
- Duties of Advisors as described in Handbook 2
- Duties of the Bishopric: It’s helpful to understand the bishopric’s role so you can work better together and divide responsibilities appropriately.
- Link to LDS-BSA pages for:
- link to True to the Faith, a book with simple and clear explanations of gospel doctrine and principles
- Link to For the Strength of Youth
- Portal to the LDS Youth website with resources specific to youth including media, talks and other material focused on the youth, and other content you may find helpful in lesson preparation or other needs.
- Church and BSA safety and training Policies
- the stake’s Melchizedek Priesthood preparation packet is located under the Newsletters section of your lds.org account. It has references and resources that the stake would like a young man to have reviewed before coming in for an interview. Also, the Westridge ward has an effective approach to their Melchizedek Priesthood preparation “course” that would be worth investigating.