All posts by kevinthescout

Scouting Author, Blogger, Speaker, Historian, Scouting Veteran, Camp director

Announcing publication of new book: “WRiting the journal of your life”

GREAT NEWS!  NEW BOOK AVAILABLE ON LULU.  “Writing the Journal of Your Life – The How and Why of Journaling” by Kevin V. Hunt.  Available for just two weeks at the pre-publication discounted price of $28.50.  Available at this site: 

For Paperback version:

For e-book Version

The Official Book Description: The How and Why of Journaling …  Kevin took the challenge of a Sunday School teacher almost 50 years ago.  He went home that day and began writing in a small record book. That was May 20, 1973 … And now, he is still writing.  He has written a daily entry for EACH and EVERY DAY since that historical day.  His journals now number over 140 volumes, filling an estimated 40,000 pages!  In these journal pages, he has documented his life, the lives of his wife, his children, and now his forty grandchildren, his hopes and dreams, his comings and goings, and the people and the many activities going on around him.  With a plethora of personal journal entries, Kevin teaches in this book how to create memories of a lifetime, record gratitude for the blessings and good things of life, recognizing divine guidance, writing of and reminiscing the good times – now and forever after.  Most importantly, in the book, Kevin teaches how to develop and maintain the journaling habit and how to write for now and for posterity.  The book shows that your journaling can be your ongoing legacy, a living family treasure.

The back story:

Acting on Inspiration

Sometimes and often in unusual circumstances, I receive flashes of pure inspiration – not of my own self – relative to things that I should do and accomplish.  Often these flashes come in the morning as my mind is fresh and open.  And it is surprising how often these come in the silent moments of my morning shower … when I have nothing on my mind and thus I can hear and feel what comes for me … Often these flashes come with no warning and not even because I have been seeking inspiration on a given subject …  (Kevin Hunt – February 8, 2020)

 October of 2020, I was working on a major journal project.  I had typed journal entries for ten years but had never printed them out.  So, I worked hard to package my weekly entries together into volumes of about 500 pages each – to be printed and bound.

As I worked on this major project, I found some hiccups for records recorded in 2007.  I had experienced a very major trauma with my computer as I was in the process of this project.   And for a while, it seemed that the records for that year had disappeared … literally evaporated from my computer.  Talk about distressing … That was a very big issue.  I was devastated. 

Ultimately, however, and gratefully … I was able to find the files “in the cloud” and was able to restore the files that the system had deleted.  I was ecstatic!  Whew!  I did lose some pages, however, at point where the hiccup occurred.  I did have the printed/bound book and was able to re-type material for about four weeks.

In that process, I came across some great material I had recorded back in 2007.  That was kind of a banner year – with a lot of great wonders and blessings to me/us of The Lord.

I found a journal entry from November of 2007 wherein I recorded my inspiration to write a “how-to book” about how and why to keep a journal.  Reading that entry hit me straight between the eyes.  I realized that I had blown it.  I had not followed through (completely) with the divine inspiration I had received.  I realized that I should get in gear to get this job done.  And that is why this book creation became a higher priority.  And the fact that it is now printed, shows that this time, I did follow the task or dream through to completion. 

My 2020 project took my mind back – through my past journal entries – to bring again to my mind, the special circumstances about this book inspiration.  The  entries from the 2007 journals recorded that I was trying to finalize a variety of book production activities.  I was trying to send several manuscripts simultaneously to the Deseret Book publishing house for their publication consideration.  I was about through with that effort.  Then I had an interesting experience that made me think that I should include one more item with the package for Deseret Book.


“I should have written of an incident that happened to me on Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd …  It was kind of an interesting experience.  I felt specific direction from the Holy Ghost.  It was interesting because I had not sought the inspiration nor was I looking for it.  And it kind of came in an odd place – where I wouldn’t normally plan to receive inspiration.  It kind of came at me and caught me off guard.  I had to think about it until it really sunk in.

“I noted for last Wednesday how pleased I was to complete my self-imposed goals for my book writing projects by my target date of Thanksgiving Day. I rejoiced in the fact that I had them all ready to send to the publisher.  I felt really good as I contemplated the work that had been accomplished and I was excited to get them off in the mail.

          “Anyway, I still remember the circumstances.  I wasn’t even really thinking about the books – believing that I truly was on a “holiday weekend” and that since I had met my goal thus far, I could just relax.  I was in my bedroom and heading into the walk-in closet.  That’s when it came.

          “It came as a very still small voice – an impression.  I heard in my mind, “Why don’t you write a book about journals.”  I kind of answered back as I thought, “What?”  And then a thought came again to me: “Yes, a book on journals.”  Then I thought, “Okay …  a book on journals.”  Then I kind of had to laugh as I thought of my many journals and my commitment to them.  I said, again kind of to myself, “Well, I guess I am kind of qualified to write about that subject.”  I received a few flashes of hints about the book.  Then I said almost out loud, “Okay, good idea!  A book on journals!  That is doable.”

          “Then I began to ponder the possibilities a bit.  No, I hadn’t even considered or ever thought about writing a book about journal keeping.  (I don’t know why!)  I have thought of a lot of books and their possibilities – but strangely, I hadn’t thought about doing that – although it is a subject of which I am very close to and logically should have contemplated.  Yes, I did know a lot about journals and I could probably come up with a book on the subject – with some prayer and contemplation.

          “I thought, “And I thought I was done with the writing project for now …  I thought I was ready to send the manuscripts in.”  I then determined that yes, I really could wait for a few more days to send them in.  After all, it was my own deadline anyway (though I was kind of thinking “Christmas Miracle” previously).

          “So, it was settled.  I would write an additional book about journal keeping.  Then with the decision made, I got excited.  I began to think of what such a book might entail.  Over the next couple of days, I pondered the subject as I went about my daily and usual routine.  I went to the website on the Internet and did some quick research about journals.  I first searched for the talk that I knew that I needed – President’s Kimball’s “The Angels May Quote from It” talk or article from “The New Era”. I then found a lot of other helpful material.  I was off and running.  (And I know the date that I did the computer research – the date at the bottom of the pages specifically says, November 24th – which was Saturday.)

          “Then today, Monday, I got more specific.  I finally had the time to work, specifically on the project.  I followed the pattern which I have discovered to work for me.  After I had been thinking on the subject, I prayed for specific guidance and direction of the Spirit.  Then when I went to get Rusty from work, I arrived there before he got back to the plumbing shop.  That’s when the inspiration came.  I took out one of my 3×5” index cards – which I always carry in my pocket.  I then wrote down the chapter headings or titles for the book.  Back at home, I went to the computer, took the card and with it created the Table of Contents for the book.  The inspiration continued to flow as I was given ideas for material to include in each chapter.

          “I then got the small stack of material that I had printed last Saturday.  I read these over and the material fit perfectly with the chapter headings that I had just created.

          “What a great experience.  I could not believe it.  Actually, I could believe it.  It was not me doing the work. I was just the conduit through whom the material came.  It really was exciting and wonderful.  It truly was a great experience and I rejoiced greatly in the Lord as I pondered the total scenario.  Wow!  Thanks, Heavenly Father!”

          You would think that such an experience would get my attention.  It did … but then life got in the way and I did not fully act in response to the heavenly inspiration.  (More on that later …)

          Receiving this book inspiration on that November Monday in 2007 was amazing and wonderful and I rejoiced in it.  And I look with wonder again as I recall the simple acts of that October day in 2020 – some thirteen years later – when the Lord gently got my attention again and helped me realize that I had not maintained my part of the bargain.  I am glad that He showed me this entry so that I could give the journal “how and why” book renewed attention and focus!  All very interesting!

          Well, that’s how this book came to be.  I hope that you found that experience interesting.  (And know that you can have those same kinds of experiences, too!)  And now that the book is written, I hope that you enjoy it … evidence of some of the benefits of journaling … recording and setting goals and following through, acting upon inspiration, recording blessings, and more …

Now I invite you to order the book. Available for two weeks at a pre-publication author price. Then it will be published to the “world” at a much higher price.



Missionary Methods used by Ammon and His Companions




By Kevin V.  Hunt

                Ammon and the other sons of Mosiah had desires to serve a mission.  They persuaded their father to let them serve among the Lamanites.  They went the extra mile as they served for fourteen years.  As they were returning from their mission they met their good friend, Alma, as he traveled and preached throughout the land.  They rejoiced as they saw each other again.  “And what added more to [their] joy was that they were still … brethren in the Lord.”  (Alma 17:2)

As the missionaries met with Alma on that occasion, they acknowledged the Lord’s blessings unto them.  Through their missionary service, challenges and trials “they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.”  They had learned and applied the Lord’s formula for success.  As they reported their missionary labors, they noted what they had done to be successful missionaries. These principles are detailed in Alma Chapter 17-27 and subsequent chapters.  A careful study of Alma Chapters 17 through 27 provides many insights that teach of what the Lord would have his servants do in the missionary effort.  These same principles are applicable to the missionary labor of today.  If followed, these steps will bring a missionary close to the Lord and will bring success in the Lord’s missionary labor.  They are also applicable to future missionaries who now labor as member missionaries in preparation for full-time service.

Ammon and his brethren were successful because:

  1. They were brethren in the Lord, obedient to the commandments, united in purpose and effort. (Alma 17:2)
  2. [waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth] and developed strong testimonies, which they bore to the people. (Alma 17:2)
  3. They developed a “sound understanding” as they heeded the promptings of the Holy Ghost. (Alma 17:2)
  4. They searched and pondered the scriptures diligently to know the word and will of God. (Alma 17:2)
  5. They “gave themselves” to much prayer. (Alma 17:3)
  6. They fasted for the work. (Alma 17:3,9)
  7. They had the spirit of prophecy and revelation (obtained by scripture study, prayer and fasting). (Alma 17:3)
  8. They taught by the Spirit. (Alma 17:3, 10; Alma 18:35)
  9. They taught with power and authority from God and they used their priesthood to bless the lives of others. (Alma 17:3,18; Alma 18:34)
  10. They made a long-term service commitment (and then served for 14 years). (Alma 17:4)
  11. They worked to bring many to the truth. (Alma 17:4)
  12. Their brought their converts “to the altar of God” (Sacrament table and the Temple) (Alma 17:4)
  13. They taught repentance. (Alma 17:4, 16)
  14. They sacrificed for the work and for the people among whom they served “For they had many afflictions; [and] they did suffer much both in body and in mind, such as hunger, thirst and fatigue,”
  15. They labored “much in the spirit.” (Alma 17:5)
  16. They left behind family and friends to serve. (Alma 17:6)
  17. They sacrificed worldly fame and position in order to serve. (Alma 17:6)
  18. They worked to pay their own way and to provide for themselves while on the mission. (Alma 17:7)
  19. They were desirous to serve even among a foreign people. (Alma 17:8)
  20. They fasted and prayed for the Spirit (Alma 17:9)
  21. They saw themselves as instruments of God and recognized their dependence upon Him.  (Alma 17:9)
  22. They had a desire to share the truth. (Alma 17:9)
  23. They received comfort of the Lord. (Alma 17:10)
  24. After spiritual preparation they heard the voice of the Lord. (Alma 17:10-11)
  25. They went on the Lord’s errand as they heard, “Go Forth and establish my word.”  (Alma 17:11)
  26. They provided a righteous example to those they worked with. (Alma 17:11)
  27. They were patient and long-suffering in their afflictions. (Alma 17:11)
  28. They were instruments in the hands of the Lord unto the salvation of souls. (Alma 17:11)
  29. They went forth with courage. They preached with boldness to           “declare unto them the Word of God” – not going to be preached to.  (Alma 17:12, Alma 18:24)
  30. They went forth to serve in separate areas as assigned. (Alma 17:13)
  31. They trusted in the Lord (Alma 17:13)
  32. They believed in the great work that they had undertaken. (Alma 17:13)  They were able to see the “big picture” of the work and their mission.  (Alma 17:3)
  33. They believed in the Atonement of Christ – that even with gross sins, their potential converts could be forgiven through Christ. (Alma 17:14)
  34. They feared not the people or the political things going on around them. (Alma 17:14)
  35. They trusted in the promises of the Lord as they invited their investigators to repent. (Alma 17:15)
  36. They taught the Plan of Redemption. (Alma 17:16)
  37. They “went forth among them … according to the word and power of God which was given unto [them]”. (Alma 17:17)
  38. They were set apart by their Priesthood leader prior to their service. (Alma 17:18)
  39. They followed the counsel of their leaders who were over them. (Alma 17:18)
  40. They received missionary preparation training prior to their departure. (Alma 17:18)
  41. They received transfers as “they took their several journeys throughout the land.” (Alma 17:18)
  42. Missionaries headed off to their assigned areas. (Alma 17:19)
  43. Ammon found a way to visit with the king of the land. (Alma 17:21)
  44. Ammon desired to live among the people and to be one with the nation. (Alma 17:23)
  45. They looked forward to (and enjoyed) living and being with the people.  (Alma 17:23)
  46. Ammon was gracious and exercised other missionary traits. (Alma 17:24)  (See also D&C 4)
  47. Ammon’s first missionary approach was that of service to the king and to his country and he served for three full days. (Alma 17:25)
  48. Ammon was true and loyal to the local laws and leaders. (Alma 17:27)
  49. Ammon’s “heart was swollen within him with joy” as he labored to win the hearts of those he served.”  (Alma 17:29)  They looked forward to           (and enjoyed) living and being with the people.  (Alma 17:23)
  50. Ammon viewed himself as a “fellow servant” with those whom he labored for. He was not above them.  (Alma 17:29)
  51. Ammon used service as a way to “win the hearts of these” … that “I may lead them to believe in my words.” (Alma 17:29)
  52. Ammon saw all around him “to be his brethren”. (Alma 17:30)
  53. Ammon boosted and inspired the people as he encouraged them “to be of good cheer” and to go forward. (Alma 17:31)
  54. Ammon was a leader and showed others the way. (Alma 17:33)
  55. Ammon set an example of how to come unto Christ as he encircled the flocks round about “that they flee not”. (Alma 17:33)
  56. Parents and others at home prayed for their safety. (Alma 17:35)
  57. “Ammon stood forth … with mighty power”. (Alma 17:36)
  58. Ammon continued his labors undaunted by threats of danger and uprising around him. (Alma 17:36)
  59. Ammon went forward with the protection of the Lord. (Alma 17:37)
  60. People witnessed to others relative to the power and strength of the missionaries. (Alma 18:1)
  61. Ammon was faithful and zealous in the cause of righteousness. (Alma 18:2)
  62. Ammon was protected by the Lord and the people recognized this protecting influence. (Alma 18:3)
  63. They showed genuine friendship and concern for their investigators and all of the people. (Alma 18:3)
  64. Missionaries served in support to, “and as a friend” to local civil authorities.  (Alma 18:3)
  65. The local leaders and people recognized something special in Ammon the missionary. They saw that the Spirit was with Ammon (the missionaries) and felt of this power through Ammon.  (Alma 18:4)
  66. Unbelievers gave harassment but the missionary (Ammon) went forth boldly still committed to his cause. (Alma 18:7)
  67. Ammon was strictly “obedient” in all things. Gave attention to detail in his service.    “He doth remember all my commandments to execute them.”  (Alma 18:9-10)


  1. Ammon reported back to the King – did not forget him after a single visit. (Alma 18:12)
  2. Ammon was a willing servant and looked for continuing ways to be of service as he said, “What wilt though that I should do for thee?” (Alma 18:14)
  3. Ammon was “filled with the Spirit of God, therefore he perceived the thoughts” of those being taught and served. (Alma 18:16)
  4. Ammon looked for creative ways to help and to serve – used his own talents and special abilities. (Alma 18:16)
  5. Ammon was humble and recognized that his power was not of himself – but of God. (Alma 18:17)
  6. Ammon retained the attitude of complete charity as he said, “Whatosoever thou desirest which is right, that will I do.” (Alma 18:17)
  7. Missionaries maintained their personal standards as they taught – maintaining “that which was right”. (Alma 18:17)
  8. Ammon had the gift of discernment. (Alma 18:18)
  9. The investigators felt and saw the results of the goodness of the life of Ammon. (Alma 18:20)
  10. After Ammon provided service, he was invited: “Thou mayest speak boldly”  (Alma 18:20)
  11. Investigator felt of the Spirit through Ammon the missionary and wants to share with him. He said, “Whatsoever thou desirest I will give unto thee”.  (Alma 18:21)
  12. Ammon was “wise, yet harmless”. He had a sincere desire to share his message.  (Alma 18:22)
  13. Ammon wanted nothing but to be able to share the message. (Alma 18:22)
  14. Ammon taught with boldness as he taught discussions by the Spirit. He started with the basics with teaching about God.  (Alma 18:24)
  15. Ammon built upon the current knowledge of his investigator. (Alma 18:25)
  16. Ammon first taught the basic doctrines – The First Principles of faith, repentance, baptism and the need for the Holy Ghost. (Alma 18:28)
  17. Ammon taught that God is the creator of earth and “all things which are in the earth” (Alma 18:29)
  18. Ammon taught that God created all people and that man was created in the image of God. (Alma 18:34)
  19. Ammon admitted that he had been called of God to teach unto the people the true gospel. (Alma 18:34)
  20. Ammon tells investigators that by the Spirit he has been given “knowledge and also power according to his faith and desires which are in God.” (Alma 18:35)
  21. Ammon taught about the creation, the fall of Adam, using the scriptures. (Alma 18:36
  22. Ammon taught current teachings of modern prophets (Alma 18:36)
  23. Ammon taught of incorrect traditions of “the fathers” to bring the people current to the need for the Word of God. (Alma 18:38)
  24. Ammon taught the Plan of Redemption through Christ. (Alma 18:39)
  25. Ammon taught of “all the works of the Lord”. (Alma 18:39)
  26. The King believed the teachings of Ammon and cried unto the Lord for forgiveness and mercy. (Alma 18:41)
  27. The king wrestled long and hard to receive forgiveness of his sins. (Alma 18:43)  Ammon let the power of God work upon the people and did not rush the feelings and the spirit of the moment.
  28. Ammon was ready to teach family members of his investigators. (Alma 19:2-3)
  29. Investigators testified to their friends and family and shared the limited witness they had received. (Alma 19:4)
  30. Ammon let the Lord work his own plan and was patient as that plan unfolded. (Alma 19:5)
  31. Ammon recognized the hand of the Lord in the work and let the investigators bask in the “light of the glory of the Lord”. (Alma 19:6)  Ammon let the power of repentance work upon the investigator.  He supported the investigator in making the necessary commitments.
  32. Ammon continued to be available and came back for additional support visits as necessary. (Alma 19:7)
  33. Ammon made promises in the name of the Lord and had faith that they would come to pass. (Alma 19:8)
  34. Others believe the witness and testimony of those who had been taught previously. (Alma 19:9)
  35. Ammon compliments people for their past faith and their progress with knew knowledge. (Alma 19:10)
  36. Ammon recognized the power of the spirit in answer to his prayers for the investigators. (Alma 19:14)
  37. Ammon prayed for the people as “his brethren”. (Alma 19:14)
  38. Ammon “fell upon his knees, and began to pour out his soul in prayer and thanksgiving to God for what he had done for his brethren”. (Alma 19:14)
  39. Ammon had great joy as he witnesses the effect of the Spirit and the power of God on behalf of the people. (Alma 19:14)
  40. Power of God – the Spirit – was felt by the circle of friends surrounding the investigators. (Alma 19:15)
  41. Less-actives were able to again feel the spirit and had rekindled fire even with minimal effort by the missionaries and soon testified boldly to all of the other people around her. (Alma 19:16)
  42. Non-members murmured and tried to get people unfocused and other non-members spoke up in defense of the missionaries and the message. (Alma 19:21)
  43. Ammon was kept safe and was unharmed because of promises made to Ammon’s father who had “trusted him unto the Lord.” (Alma 19:23)
  44. Less-actives received new courage and went about and helped to lift others. (Alma 19:29)
  45. Convert testifies to his friends and neighbors with boldness. (Alma 19:31)
  46. Ammon continued to administer unto the new converts. (Alma 19:33)
  47. Converts testified of their change of heart. (Alma 19:33)
  48. Angels came to new converts and told them “things of God, and of his righteousness”. (Alma 19:34)
  49. The converts became a righteous people. (Alma 19:35)
  50. The Church was established among the new converts. They became unified with the church.  (Alma 19:35)
  51. The Lord poured out his Spirit “upon them” and his arm was extended to all people. (The gospel is for all people who will repent and believe!) (Alma 19:36)
  52. After the conversion, Ammon remained friends with the convert and continued to spend time with him. (Alma Chapter 20)
  53. Ammon listened to the Spirit relative to what he should do next. (Alma 20:2)
  54. Ammon listened and heard the voice of the Lord and followed the instructions. (Alma 20:3)
  55. Ammon knew of the Spirit of the needs of his companions and how to help them. (Alma 20:3)  He worked to keep his companions safe.
  56. Ammon teaches convert how to recognize revelation when it comes. (Alma 20:5)
  57. Converts go with Ammon the missionary in service to other missionaries. (Alma 20:7)
  58. Converts testify boldly to family and friends without fear of what result may come. (Alma 20:11)
  59. Ammon defends the new convert when pressed upon by unbelieving family members. (Alma 20:17, 18)
  60. Ammon testifies of the changes made by the converts and helps others to see those changes in their family members. (Alma 20:24)
  61. Ammon had an ongoing love for his converts and this love radiated to the converts family members. (Alma 20:25)
  62. Missionaries “were patient in all their sufferings” and continued to preach in faith. (Alma 20:29)
  63. Missionaries went even to the “most hardened” with the hope that they might be changed through the gospel. (Alma 21:3)
  64. Preached in the synagogues of the community. (Alma 21:4)
  65. Aaron opened the scriptures and taught concerning the coming of Christ, the resurrection, and the plan of redemption through the Atonement of Christ. (Alma 21:9)
  66. The missionaries “contended with many about the word”. (Alma 21:11)
  67. The missionaries continued to “preach the word unto many,” even though “few believed on the words which they taught”. (Alma 21:12)
  68. Missionaries fed and clothed and “were delivered”. (Alma 21:14)
  69. In spite of opposition and set-backs, the missionaries “went forth again to declare the word”. (Alma 21:15)
  70. Missionaries “went forth whithersoever they were led by the spirit of the Lord” and preached where they could be admitted. (Alma 21:16)
  71. After much sacrifice, “The Lord began to bless them, insomuch that they brought many to the knowledge of the truth.” (Alma 21:17)
  72. Converts cause synagogues to be built for the preaching of the word by the Elders. (Alma 21:20)
  73. Converted king grant new freedoms to his people. (Alma 21:21)
  74. People were granted religious freedom because of the way Ammon had served and “won over” the heart of the king. (Alma 21:22)
  75. Ammon continued to teach converts new member lessons as he “did exhort them daily, with all diligence.” (Alma 21:23)  He continued to nurture the converts by the Good Word of God.  (As also taught by Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley)
  76. New converts were taught so well and felt the Spirit so strongly that “they were zealous for keeping the commandments of God.” (Alma 21:23)
  77. Aaron led by the spirit to the home where he should teach. (Alma 22:1)
  78. Ammon gave referrals to Aaron for family members of his converts and Aaron began teaching them. (Alma 22:1)
  79. “Generosity and Greatness” – charity and love by Ammon. (Alma 22:3)
  80. Aaron taught king how to feel the Spirit. (Alma 22:5)
  81. Aaron teaches repentance. (Alma 22:6)
  82. Aaron testifies to the king about the nature of God. (Alma 22:8)
  83. Aaron teaches about God and the creation of man, the plan of redemption and the Atonement and resurrection of Christ. (Alma 22:12-14)
  84. Aaron teaches the king of eternal life. (Alma 22:15)
  85. King recognizes the worth of the message taught by Aaron and is willing to give anything that he had to have the joy of the gospel and the opportunity to repent. (Alma 22:15)
  86. Aaron teaches faith, repentance. (Alma 22:16)
  87. Aaron teaches the king how to pray. (Alma 22:16-17)
  88. Aaron extended his hand and lifted up the king. (Alma 22:22)
  89. The king feels the spirit, prays for forgiveness, and then teaches his whole family “insomuch that his whole household were converted unto the Lord.” (Alma 22:23)
  90. Aaron and his brethren stood forth in the midst of the multitude and preached the Word unto the people. (Alma 22:25)
  91. The king sent out a proclamation to all of the people. (Alma 22:27)  King tells his people that the missionaries are to have free access to their houses, and also their temples, and their sanctuaries.  (Alma 23:2)
  92. The converted king testified to all of his household and all of the people and teaches them the commandments he had learned. (Alma 23:3)
  93. Missionaries went forth from city to city, and from one house of worship to another. (Alma 23:4)
  94. New converts are ordained to the Priesthood. (Alma 23:4)
  95. “And thus they began to have great success.” (Alma 23:4)  “And thousands were brought to the knowledge of the Lord.”  (Alma 23:5)
  96. Missionaries teach from the scriptures and the importance of records. (Alma 23:5)
  97. New converts were retained and were totally converted and never did fall away. (Alma 23:6)
  98. Converts who had been a hardened people, became a righteous people. (Alma 23:7)
  99. Entire cities were converted. (Alma 23:8-13)
  100. People are taught about covenants and lay down their weapons of war with a covenant not to fight any more. (Alma 23:13)
  101. Converts were adopted in as if born in the covenant “And the curse of God did no more follow them”. (Alma 23:18)
  102. Converts taught to be industrious and self-reliant. (Alma 23:18)
  103. Converts “opened a correspondence” with other church members. (Alma 23:18)
  104. Converts admitted that the long traditions of their fathers were incorrect. (Alma 24:7)
  105. Sins of the converts were remembered no more by the Lord and the Church. (Alma 24:10)
  106. Converts wanted to remain clean and pure and to sin no more. (Alma 24:13)  They were true to their covenants.
  107. People taught by angels of the plan of salvation. (Alma 24:14)
  108. People make new covenants with the Lord. (Alma 24:15-18)
  109. The converts remained firm in the faith and then became stalwarts in building up the kingdom in their own area and with their own people after the departure of the missionaries. (Alma 24:19)
  110. Missionaries continued in prayer and “The Lord … granted unto them according to their prayers, and … had verified His word unto them in every particular.” (Alma 25:17)
  111. Missionaries rejoiced in the blessing of the Lord and their opportunity to serve. (Alma 26:1-3)
  112. Missionaries were instruments in the hand of God and brought about a great work. (Alma 26:3)
  113. Missionaries did thrust in the sickly and did reap with might. They labored all the day long and rejoiced in their sheaves.  (Alma 26:5)
  114. After the conversions the missionaries trusted their converts unto the Lord of the Harvest. (Alma 26:7)
  115. Missionaries gave thanks to God and recognized Him as the source of their success. (Alma 26:8)  They rejoiced in God and had great joy.  (Alma 26:11-12)
  116. Missionaries wrought many miracles in the land and gave thanks to God for them. (Alma 26:12)
  117. Missionaries ignored the scoffers and had much success. (Alma 26:24)
  118. Missionaries had not the spirit of hate but came with the intent to save souls. (Alma 25:26)
  119. Missionaries were depressed and ready to turn back but were patient in afflictions and success came. (Alma 25:27)
  120. Missionaries had continuing joy throughout their lives because of their missionary labors and the fruits of those labors. (Alma 26:5)
  121. Traveled from house to house relying on the mercies of God. (Alms 26:28)
  122. Entered into houses, taught in the streets, taught on the hills, taught in temples and synagogues. (Alma 26:29)
  123. Suffered for the Word and were delivered. (Alma 26:29)
  124. Missionaries felt great joy with their converts. (Alma 26:31)  They were forever after loved by the people whom they had taught and baptized.
  125. Promises of the Lord fulfilled. (Alma 26:36)
  126. Lord was mindful of them – even as they wandered in a strange land. (Alma 26:36)
  127. God knows his children in all lands and gives them the gospel when they are ready to receive it. (Alma 26:37)
  128. Missionaries treated as angels from heaven because of the work of salvation that they did among the people. (Alma 27:4)
  129. The missionaries returned home and reported their missionary labors and again found great joy in their service. (Alma 27:16-17)
  130. Converts were cleansed by the Holy Ghost, became new creatures and fully committed themselves to the work of the Lord. “They were distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things, and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end”.  (Alma 27:27)
  131. The converts taught their children in the light and truth that they had received – thus creating a very strong 2nd generation of young people in the church – who grew up ready to take on even greater responsibility in the Church and Kingdom (than had their parents). (Alma 53:20-21)
  132. Ammon and his brethren were blessed with great success as they applied the above principles in their missionary labors.  They were able to bring many thousands unto the true gospel of Jesus Christ.  Missionaries today who apply the same principles can expect to likewise be successful in their own missionary labors.s

Compiled by Kevin V. Hunt from the writings of Alma in the Book of Mormon.

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LDS Church Announces new Guidelines for Outgoing Missionaries

Church Releases Standard Missionary Interview Questions

Contributed By Camille West, Church News

  • 20 OCTOBER 2017

A bishop interviews a prospective missionary. The First Presidency has released a set of standard interview questions to help ensure missionaries are worthy and physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared for missionary service.


  • Prospective missionaries can use the questions to gauge their preparedness and have candid talks with their parents and leaders.

The First Presidency has released a set of standard questions for bishops and stake presidents to use while interviewing prospective full-time missionaries.

“Church leaders desire that this sacred time of service be a joyous and faith-building experience for every missionary, from young men and women to senior couples,” according to materials that accompanied the official letter dated October 20 to stake presidents and bishops.

The questions are intended to help prospective full-time missionaries understand and better prepare so they are not only “worthy, but physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared for missionary service.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley emphasized the importance of having good mental and physical health while serving a full-time mission. “[Missionary] work is rigorous,” he said. “It demands strength and vitality. It demands mental sharpness and capacity. … Missionary work is not a rite of passage in the Church. It is a call extended by the President of the Church to those who are worthy and able to accomplish it. Good physical and mental health is vital, … for the work is demanding, the hours are long, and the stress can be heavy” (“Missionary Service,” First Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 2003, 17–18).

Priesthood leaders use standard questions for baptism and temple recommend interviews, but until now, a list of specific questions for interviewing missionary candidates has not existed.

The questions do not indicate a change or addition to the requirements for full-time missionary service. They reflect the same standards found in the scriptures, Church handbooks, and other Church materials.

Those considering missionary service can use the questions to gauge their own preparedness and have meaningful conversations about the qualifications for missionary service with their parents and priesthood leaders.

Parents are encouraged to take an active role in helping children prepare for missionary service by helping them understand the qualifications and live the standards.

According to the Frequently Asked Questions document provided by the Church, information relating to the physical, mental, and emotional preparedness of the missionary candidate will be shared with medical professionals in the Missionary Department and will help in determining the best assignment opportunities for missionaries.

For worthy candidates not eligible for full-time service, priesthood leaders can help identify other appropriate service opportunities, such as serving as a Church-service missionary, volunteer, temple and family history consultant, temple worker, and more.

Parents and leaders can help youth understand that the Lord values all of the ways His children serve Him, share His gospel, and build the kingdom.

“Young men and young women with serious mental, emotional, or physical limitations are excused from full-time missionary service,” Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said. “They shouldn’t feel guilty about that. They are just as precious and important to the Church as if they were able to go into the mission field.

“But while they don’t serve full-time, they can take every opportunity to find and help people join the Church. They can be member missionaries in college, at work, and in their neighborhoods. They ought to go forward, have a wonderful and full life, and help build the kingdom wherever they are” (“How to Prepare to Be a Good Missionary,” New Era, Mar. 2007, 6–11; Liahona, Mar. 2007, 10–15).

Suggestions for priesthood leaders

  • Share interview questions with all prospective full-time missionaries and their parents before the interview and encourage them to review and discuss them.
  • Discuss the interview questions as a ward council.
  • Consider a fifth-Sunday discussion or other forum to share the interview questions with the adults and discuss ways parents can help youth prepare for missionary service.
  • Share the interview questions with young men and young women beginning at an early age to help them understand the standards and qualifications for full-time missionary service.

Suggestions for parents

  • Take an active role in helping your children prepare for missionary service.
  • Share the qualifications for missionary service with your children and help them in their efforts to understand and live the standards.
  • Use interview questions as topics for family home evening lessons and discussions.

Developing Talents and Teaching by the Spirit

In previous blogs I have talked of the Missionary in Training program.  It might be of interest to some to know how this program came into being.  A journal entry from March 6, 2013 talks of the beginning of the program – along with some insights about developing talents through the power of the Holy Ghost.  On that date, I walked from my place of employment to a nearby Deseret Book store – with the plan to buy some “Future Missionary” badges for some grandchildren.

March 6, 2013

“On my way to the store, I received inspiration relative for a Christmas poem for this year – and was surprised that the inspiration came so much before the Christmas season.  I wrote down the ideas that came to me for future reference.  I guess this inspiration came because I earlier read from a Christmas “Church News”.  (I am a bit behind on my reading!)”

On that occasion, the inspiration through the Holy Ghost started to come.  And as it did, I recorded enough notes -and some verses – to be able to tap into the Spirit at a later time to receive the full message.

For 25 years I have written a new song or hymn for each Christmas season.  And over the years, I have learned to request – AND RECEIVE – these by the power of the Holy Ghost.  I have asked for specific help and have been grateful when the help and inspiration has come.  (And I have long hoped and prayed that the Lord would send to me the man who could write the music for all of these.  That is still future tense, however!)

That March morning was kind of “spirit overload” (an interesting challenge) and I couldn’t write all in a few minutes.  But, shortly thereafter, I used my notes, the verses that I had written or had been given to me – and prayed for specific guidance of the Holy Ghost for the poem that I wanted to write – and for the inspiration already given me of the Holy Ghost.  And the words soon flowed.  (And after they did, I gratefully acknowledged the power of the Holy Ghost and thanked Him for the words given to me – acknowledging the true source of that which came – knowing that it wasn’t Kevin Hunt material.  Though I had a part in the process.)

I love the Parable of the Talents!  I am sure that you recall this.  Most folks, when they hear this story, think that it is about putting money in the bank and getting interest – though financial success can be a part of it.  In the day of Christ, “Talents” were/was actually money.  But I love to think of it literally about talents – like writing, song composing, playing a musical instrument, singing, art, taking tests, sports, etc.  The same process applies to teaching a lesson or making a presentation.

The Lord gives each of us talents or gifts (like Gifts of the Spirit).  And he gives us opportunity to learn and to develop these talents for the building up of his kingdom and to share with others.  That is the key!

Some of our talents are given to us because of circumstance or need – and we get them and hardly recognize them as talents of the Lord.  When I was a sixteen, my current Bishop came to me and asked if I would work for him in his flower shop.  I did so.  When i started there, I knew nothing about floral design.  But, I took advantages of opportunities to learn to create.  And over time, and with a lot of practice, I became a skilled creator and designer of flowers – for wedding bouquets, funeral arrangements, corsages and flowers for all occasion.  I have enjoyed this talent through the years.

Another scenario.   When I was a Scout, our Scoutmaster – Mr. Nelson – taught all of us Scouts how to cook in Dutch ovens.   I continued to develop this talent on my own.  Then, over time, and through a lot of practice, I became a rather skilled Dutch oven chef.  And I have very much enjoyed sharing this with family and friends.

Genealogy and family history research is another example.  When I was twelve, I had opportunity to take a genealogy course that lasted just a couple of months.  But, I caught the spirit and with time and a lot of practice, I can now skillfully accomplish research for my and for others.  This has been a great blessing to many people.

I could go on and on … the Lord has been good to me.

Other talents I have asked for and have worked to develop them after being given the talents.

In the Parable of the Talents, it says, “And unto one he gave five talents, to another two and to another one  EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS SEVERAL ABILITY.”  Then he that RECEIVED the five talents went and made them other five talents.  And son on with the one who HAD RECEIVED two talents.   And then there is the case of the guy who had one talent given to him (without him doing anything for it) his his away.   Even though given of the Lord, he did nothing with it.  He did not share it with others.

Then at his coming, the Lord gave the man with five double – and so with the one with two.  But the one that was given one and did nothing with it, his was taken away and given – as a bonus – to the man who had five.  The five and two had learned how to magnify their talents and used them to serve others – rather than keeping them to themselves.

Over time, and through practice, I have come to realize that all talents are given to us through the Holy Ghost.  Not too many people have come to this realization.  Once I came to realize this, some glorious things happened in my life.  The Lord wants us to  have and use many talents.  And as we learn and receive talents by the Holy Ghost and serve others with them, He will magnify them and give us more and more.  It is a pretty exciting concept.

he process is pretty simple:  Pray for help.  But, don’t pray in generalities.  Get real specific.  Say, “Heavenly Father, I am anxious to write a poem about …..  I pray specifically for the Holy Ghost to inspire my thoughts on this subject and give me guidance and direction.”  Then go to work to learn the skill, learn the lesson, study, perfect, etc.  Then after your own extensive preparation, talk again with the Lord.  Thank him and the Holy Ghost for his guidance and help on this ……. poem (ow whatever).  Pray for added help as you perform or do or write – or speak – or whatever it is.   Then do the act … teach the lesson, perform the talent.  And be in tune to the Spirit.  Act upon what you studied and the inspiration gained.  And at the end, pray again in Thanksgiving for the guidance and direction received.  Recognize the Holy Ghost as the source of the talent, ability or knowledge.

We are always told that we are to teach “by the Spirit”.  But no one tells us THE HOW of such a task.  it is always in generalities.  When I was on my mission, it was the same.  We were always told to “teach by the Spirit”.  We were told that time and time again.  It was years later – through time and a lot of practice that the HOW came to me.  And when it hit me, it was glorious indeed.  Fabulous!   Words do not describe the feelings, the results and the exhilaration of having the Spirit with me.  The results were phenomenal!  My capabilities were magnified.  And I was working on the errand of the Lord – not on Kevin Hunt steam.

Of course to have the Spirit – and to develop talents and teach by the Spirit, one has to do the basics:  Keep the commandments, read the scriptures, say regular prayers. And if doing these things, then the Spirit is able to dwell with you.  Then with the Spirit, you can take His help and guidance to the next level by asking for specific help.  It is all kind of exciting!

So, what does this have to do with missionary work and mission preparation?  I believe that it is incumbent upon all of us to develop and use our talents so that we can be prepared to serve as the Lord needs us.  And as we learn to teach by the Spirit, we become servants of the Lord and can become effective teachers.  And in so doing, we can realize that we are on the Lord’s errand and that it is actually the Holy Ghost who is doing the teaching.  A beautiful and wonderful concept for missionary success.

By Kevin V. Hunt

Ideas for Older LDS Scout Advancement

By Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Blogger and author

A couple of weeks ago I blogged  LDS Varsity and Venturing Changes Underscore need for Missionary Training on this site – an article about coming changes in LDS Scout units for older boys.  I commented about the need for even better missionary training at home following these changes.

A couple of readers commented and asked questions, so now I’d like to share some thoughts on Advancement and how that could happen with the changes.  (This article also appeared as a blog Making Older Scout Advancement and Leadership Opportunities Happen on

In the previous article, I talked extensively about the program planning function and how this will ever be key in creating an effective program for our older youth.  I would like to change gears a bit now to talk about how we might all work together to assist boys ages 14-17 still “be Scouts” and how we might help them become Eagle Scouts.   And I apologize that this blog is a bit longer than it maybe should be.  I will soon head to Scout camp for the summer so my blogging time is a bit limited as I anticipate a summer with little or no internet capabilities.  So, bear with me …  (Read it in installments if needed!)

Admittedly, the new look of older Scout programs will be a rather major challenge for us to face.   But, with our united efforts, it will still be possible.

The Original First Presidency Letter stated: “… Young men over the age of 14 who desire to continue to work toward the rank of Eagle Scout … should be encouraged and supported in their efforts and should be properly registered as Scouts.  Adult leaders who are assisting with merit badges or rank advancement with older boys should also be registered and completed required training.”

Following the announced changes, a Questions and Answers section was added on about the upcoming changes.  One question says,

”What if my son is 14 or older and still wants to earn his Eagle Scout? According to LDS Public Affairs, any Latter-day Saint young man over the age of 14 who “desire(s) to continue toward the rank of Eagle will be registered, supported and encouraged.” These young men will need to be registered with the BSA in order to work toward the recognition.”

In the aftermath of the LDS decision about Varsity and Venturing, the Deseret News published statistics that were rather interesting.  These statistical charts showed that the average age of youth achieving the Eagle rank nationally in the BSA is 17.3 years.

The Utah National Parks Council (located in a nearly all LDS Utah council) wrote on this subject and gave other interesting statistics:  “We look forward to providing Scout programs to all interested youth, including those age 14 and older who want to continue participating or are on the trail to Eagle. Of those who earn the Eagle Scout award in our council, 93% complete the requirements at age 14 or older and 67% attain the Eagle rank after age 16.”

Pretty daunting news.  And with the coming changes, this means that we will all have to work harder to make it happen – and probably earlier.  So, what are we to do?  What is to be done?  How can the boys remain as Scouts and how can they achieve their advancement – and particularly the leadership requirements.  All good questions!

Well, I have had a few thoughts on the subject – and which I would like to share with you now.

First …  at the time of the annual BSA rechartering with the Church, the person in charge of completing the charter process should take extra care to contact each and every one of the boys turning 14 after January 1st (and their parents).  (This will be an ongoing question critical in the first year – but to be answered each successive year.)  Each boy should be willing to make a commitment right then about whether or not they want to be Eagle scouts.  And this will be kind of a major decision for them.  Do they want to follow the family and church tradition?  Or are they going to say that they are done and satisfied where they are?  All boys wishing to continue their Scouting connection (and adults who work with them) will still need to recharter with the troop.  That will mean new applications for all older boys.

It is very important that the registration remain current without any break.  If there is a lapse, they may not be able to ensure that they have tenure and leadership for the necessary time.  Boys can’t wait until they are seventeen plus and then suddenly reregister to become a “death-bed eagle” before they turn 18.  One of the saddest days of my life was having to tell a Scout in such a situation that it just was not possible for him to complete his Eagle award requirements before he turned 18.  He was a sad young man.

Another key for the leadership requirement – and tenure – is to remember that the time for these can start as soon as the Scout has earned his Star or Life awards.  Remember too, that a Scout needs to have six months between Star and Life and again from Life to Eagle.  But say a young man gets Life three or four months before his 14th birthday.  That three or four months can count toward the next rank IF the Scout is both registered and in a troop leadership position.  So, it is rather critical to make sure that every young man is in a troop leadership position.   Good record keeping is paramount.

Another key will be working with the council to make sure that all of the current advancement records – from whatever unit – are all transferred to those registered in the troop – after the rechartering decisions.

For many years I have been the advancement chairman for all three units – Scouting, Varsity and Venturing – in my own ward.   And I believe that we have a pretty strong Scouting program and support in our ward.  We have a fabulous 11-year Old Scout leader in Jonathan Nichols.  That guy is a saint!  He has worked overboard to ensure that each boy (who wants to) graduates from his program as a First Class Scout.  And the Scout troop leaders have also been great.  Most of the boys graduate from Deacon/Scouts as Star or Life Scouts.  And then they all struggle to get the other requirements completed.  A few boys get it done about age 15 – which is excellent.  And still, like the National BSA statistics, the majority still get ‘er done when older still.  And this is always a challenge … since by that time, the “fumes” have all kicked in (that’s car fumes and perfumes) and this makes for a major impact on the boys and their advancement.

As I conduct Scout board of reviews for our Scouts, I always ask them two or three questions at the end of each review.  One is “If we pin this badge on you at the court of honor … will you feel that you have EARNED the badge?”  (And discussion follows.)  And the other question (usually just before the “have you earned” question) is “Do YOU WANT to be an Eagle Scout?”  And then there is a follow-up question to that.  It is, “Whose job is it to make you an Eagle Scout?”

This questions kind of shocks some of the newer kids.  We then talk about how parents, leaders, and others can assist them, but in reality, it is their own personal decision to become an Eagle Scout – and it is their own personal duty to take charge and make this happen.

So, in light of the coming changes, it still boils down to this.  Does Johnny, himself, REALLY want to be an Eagle Scout?  And in spite of changes, is he willing to do anything that may be required (even acting independently) to make it happen?  (And we can’t rely simply on over-zealous mothers to make Johnny an Eagle Scout!)

After that decision time, older Scouts can push themselves forward to make it happen.  But, we have seen that often this doesn’t happen on their own.  It will take help from all of us to achieve the goal.

Next then, is that it will probably take a strong advancement person or someone else to help the youth stay on track.  The advancement chair can (as always) continue to encourage and talk with the boys individually in the hall etc. to help motivate and inspire.  Being ready with the updated advancement records of merit badges and rank dates can be very helpful.

That brings us to the subject of how to stay in the troop and how to achieve leadership requirements.

I guess this is a time to share my own personal experience.  I earned my own Eagle Scout award just before I turned age 14 (and so did my four Eagle brothers – and I admit that I didn’t have to be prodded by Mom and others to do it).  As per the church system, I moved up into the next upper level – Venturing Exploring (that was before Varsity Scouting).  In that program we had grandiose plans.  We planned to go to Hawaii.  But, after all of that planning – and a steady diet of basketball – we ultimately didn’t even make it to the giant Arizona metropolis of Sunflower, Arizona.

I lasted only about six months in that do-nothing program.  I then made the choice to go back to the Scout troop and remained there until I went on my mission.  Now, I know that I was a bit unique, but it was a glorious time for me.  I conducted merit badge classes for my younger troop brothers.  I kept the troop records.   I became the troop’s Junior Assistant Scoutmaster – a fabulous title and truly wonderful job for an older Scout.  I served more like an adult in the troop.  I did not report through the SPL but he reported through me to the Scoutmaster.  I have already blogged recently about how I became the catalyst to take our entire troop from Arizona up to the National BSA Jamboree in Farragut, Idaho.  I became the Webelos Leader – and then 11-year old Scout (Blazer) leader when legally too young to do so.  And it was all a grand experience for me – and my fellow Scouts.  I loved the leadership opportunities.

In our upcoming situation, I believe strongly that the Troop Guide position is perfect for some of our LDS older Scouts.  This BSA position counts for Eagle advancement and is actually quite flexible in its job description.  And you can have every boy – if needed – be a Troop Guide.  It is flexible enough that you can use the position – and the boy – to help meet the needs of the older Scout himself – as well as other Scouts in the troop while getting in his own leadership requirement time).

Now you have probably not even heard of this Troop Guide position because it really has not existed in the LDS church – because all of our boys have moved up to Varsity and Venturing at the specific ordination ages – and thus have by-passed the Troop Guide opportunity.

The Troop Guide is a fabulous position but no one knows about it.  The way it works, an older Scout is registered with the troop.  And he is assigned a patrol – either a new-Scout patrol or even an older-boy patrol – or he serves at large in the troop to multiple patrols.  He is an instructor.  He is preassigned specific troop or patrol meetings to teach Scout Skills – or even merit badges.  He does not have to attend every troop meeting but would be there at least once a month – but perhaps more.  (If this is to occur, the troop meetings may need to be on a night other than the Teacher/Priest meetings so that he can go to both – or he would have to miss his Teacher/Priest meetings when assigned as an instructor in the troop.

The Troop Guide can be found with various job descriptions on-line as I found after spending an evening researching it in preparation for this blog.  Again, I believe that it is a flexible position that you can mold any way that you wish.   Here is a description that was written for a Scout with other older Scouts in an older boy patrol.  (And again, every one of the older boys can be Troop Guides and be given specific tasks or roles.)

  • Create activities that are fun and interesting to the older boy patrols.
  • Work with ASM for the Older Boy Program in selecting merit badges to work on at weekend campouts.
  • Attend Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) meetings.
  • Prevent harassment of new Scouts by older Scouts.
  • Refresh older boy patrols in the basic Scout skills.
  • Regularly attends troop meetings, troop campouts, and troop events during his service period.
  • Set a good example.
  • Enthusiastically wear the Scout Uniform correctly.
  • Live by the Scout Oath and Law.
  • Show Scout spirit.

The Troop Guide description for an older boy assigned to a New Scout Patrol is very similar:

  • Help all first year Scouts earn advancement requirements through First Class (serving in a role similar to a Cub Scout Den Chief – but assigned to the 11-Year Old or New Scout Parol
  • Help older boys who have not completed First Class – assigned to help specific Scouts needing his individual help (probably on a hike or a meeting separate from the troop.  (Two older Scouts – Troop Guides – could also be assigned together to one or multiple Scouts interested in advancing)
  • Advise patrol leader on his duties and responsibilities at Patrol Leaders’ Council (PLC) meetings.
  • Attend Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) meetings with the New Scout Patrol Leader.
  • Prevent harassment of new Scouts by older Scouts.
  • Help Assistant Scoutmaster train new Scouts by older Scouts.
  • Guide new Scouts through early troop experiences to help them become comfortable in the troop and the outdoors.
  • Teach basic Scout skills.
  • Regularly attends troop meetings, troop campouts, and troop events during his service period.
  • Set a good example.
  • Enthusiastically wear the Scout Uniform correctly.
  • Live by the Scout Oath and Law.
  • Show Scout spirit.

So, in summary, the Guide would be a leader kind of between the Patrol Leader and the adult leaders.  He could work specifically with the new Scout patrol – and in this role (kind of like a Den Chief – but to older Scouts) he would teach and train Scouts in specific Scout skills.  He could do this with a group or with a couple of boys on their own.  He could be perfect to work with two or three boys who are behind and need some individual attention.  He could be preassigned to teach specific skills at troop meetings or campouts. If on a camp-out, he should not be there to goof off but again to teach specific skills, be the example, wear the uniform, etc.

If you have a group of these older Scouts, they could be their own patrol in troop meetings and on outings.  Of if you have only a couple of them, let them cook and hang out with the adults.  Plan ahead and give them specific leadership tasks.  With advance notice, they can plan ahead and be prepared to be a true teacher and guide.  The Troop Guide is flexible enough for the troop to kind of custom design a role for each young man – with definite things that they should accomplish in their service – new Scout patrol, scout skills training at troop meetings and/or campouts, or by individual assignment to specific Scouts.

Older Scouts can also attend Scout Camp (again not as a goof off – but as a troop leader).  And older Scouts can also be encouraged to attend NYLT and other youth leadership training opportunities through the council and the troop.

Another idea that I have been toying with is to be a catalyst – to start my own “Super High Flyin’ Eagle Battalion troop.  In such a troop, I could invite any and all older boy Scouts (from all around our town) who very seriously have decided they want to become Eagle Scouts.   I am still thinking of this option since it could be real fun with a team of die-hard dads who loved Scouting and want to give their sons the opportunity to also achieve the Eagle Scout Award.  I haven’t committed to this yet, but it is making me think and dream a bit.

I hope that these ideas may be helpful to you.  I would welcome comments about your own thoughts and how to make a success of the coming opportunities.  Let’s all take a personal interest in the older Scouts and give them opportunities to be true leaders – using the skills and training they have already received as Scouts.  Help each young man customize a plan for his leadership requirements and the growth of him and his fellow Scouts.  It could be exciting!

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevinthescoutblogger




Journal Writing can be a Blessing now and Forever

Journal keeping is a sill that all prospective missionaries could or should develop in preparation for a mission.  And a journal as a missionary is a special blessing – both now and forever after.  Journals can bless ourselves and all of our family members – and maybe others too.

I began keeping a journal on May 20, 1973 – when I was age 18.  On that Sunday morning, I was in a young adult Sunday school class taught by a former Bishop, J. Darwin Gunnell.  On that occasion, he taught us from the words of the current prophet – President Spencer W. Kimball.

The Lord Jesus Christ himself emphasized the great importance of record keeping to the Nephites and Lamanites.  “And Jesus said unto them: How be it that ye have not written this thing.”

“I am glad that it was not I who was reprimanded, even though mildly and kindly, for not having fulfilled the obligation to keep my records up to date.

“Early in the American life of the family of Lehi, his son, Nephi, said:

“Having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days. …

“And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge.” (1 Ne. 1:1, 3.)

“This great record included not only the movements of his people but events from his own personal life.

“Accordingly, we urge our young people to begin today to write and keep records of all the important things in their own lives and also the lives of their antecedents in the event that their parents should fail to record all the important incidents in their own lives. Your own private journal should record the way you face up to challenges that beset you. Do not suppose life changes so much that your experiences will not be interesting to your posterity. Experiences of work, relations with people, and an awareness of the rightness and wrongness of actions will always be relevant.”

“No one is commonplace, and I doubt if you can ever read a biography from which you cannot learn something from the difficulties overcome and the struggles made to succeed. These are the measuring rods for the progress of humanity.

“As we read the stories of great men, we discover that they did not become famous overnight nor were they born professionals or skilled craftsmen. The story of how they became what they are may be helpful to us all.

“Your own journal, like most others, will tell of problems as old as the world and how you dealt with them.

“Your journal should contain your true self rather than a picture of you when you are “made up” for a public performance. There is a temptation to paint one’s virtues in rich color and whitewash the vices, but there is also the opposite pitfall of accentuating the negative. The truth should be told, but we should not emphasize the negative.  The good biographer will not depend on passion but on good sense. He will weed out the irrelevant and seek the strong, novel, and interesting.

“Your journal is your autobiography, so it should be kept carefully. You are unique, and there may be incidents in your experience that are more noble and praiseworthy in their way than those recorded in any other life. There may be a flash of illumination here and a story of faithfulness there; you should truthfully record your real self and not what other people may see in you.

“Your story should be written now while it is fresh and while the true details are available.

“A journal is the literature of superiority. Each individual can become superior in his own humble life.

“What could you do better for your children and your children’s children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved?

“Some of what you write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity.”

And then here was the clincher … the challenge from a prophet (and just as good today as it was back then):

“Get a notebook, my young folks, a journal that will last through all time, and maybe the angels may quote from it for eternity. Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events.

So, my friends, I took the challenge from my former Bishop and from the Prophet.  I went home that day and found a little notebook and began writing.  Later I began purchasing nicer journal volumes.  And the truth is that from that day forward – from May 20, 1973, I have literally made a DAILY entry in my journal for EVERY day since that time.  That now equates to over 150 volumes and 30,000 plus pages on my life and those I love or whom I come in contact with.

My first 100 volumes were hand written and I loved handwriting in the journals.  It was fabulous.  Then I started doing weekly packages on the computer.  (And when I get another 200 pages, I print these and put them into a bound volume.)  Now I admit that I have not made the final journal entry for every day of my life.  I now write daily notes at the end of the day – on my characteristic 3×5” index cards.  And then when I get time, I type these up into the full entries (and the notes give me the detail to do so).  This system has worked real well for me.  (When I had missionaries out, I typed the full week’s entry package in time to e-mail to them on their P-Day.)

These journals have been a great blessing to me and to our family.  We are very frequently found researching past volumes and it is amazing and wonderful to read these entries.  There has been much that is mundane that has been recorded but in the process of daily entries, there is much that is fabulous.  The journals show my progress made in life, how the Lord has guided my life and the great blessings given us of the Lord.  And this has been magnificent!

A suggestion for any missionary: …  Keep a detailed journal of your experiences.    Then on your weekly P-day, use your camera or a scanner and take pictures of each journal page.  You can actually do this the night before the P-Day.  You can then send this home as your weekly letter.   (And this will save you time at the computer on your actual P-Day.)  Several of my children did this while on their missions and it worked wonderfully.  (And as Dad, I typed up the entries and sent them out in e-mail messages to a large list of their friends – both family, members and friends (including as many non-members as possible.)  I highly recommend this system to you.

Some suggestions for your journal writing:

  • Decide TODAY to write and to do it each day
  • Develop a set time each day to write and do this religiously – this could be at lunch time, study time, just before dinner, at the end of the day, etc. The key is to be VERY CONSISTENT!
  • Write even when you feel too tired to do so
  • Carry the journal with you everywhere and write whenever you have a few spare minutes (especially as you’re waiting for something or someone)
  • Don’t read past entries until six months or a year has passed … then the trauma will be over and you can see it all in perspective and can recognize the growth, progress, and blessings that have come in that time
  • Keep consistent in the type of books or files that you keep – so that you can keep them together and can research them easily
  • Develop a plan for archiving the records – and giving copies to key people or organizations (children, BYU, Church History Library or whatever)

Well, there you have it!  There is your challenge!  I hope you will take up the journaling challenge (at whatever your age) and that you will find great joy and happiness through the years as you and your posterity reap the blessings of such an effort.

Kevin Hunt


LDS Varsity and Venturing Changes Underscore need for Missionary Training

Today the LDS Church made a historic announcement about its plans to drop the Varsity and Venturing programs previously held in partnership with the Boy Scouts of America.

You can read about these changes on my recent blog as published on (Trapper Trails BSA Council in Ogden, Utah) at this link:  Varsity and Venturing Changes in the Church.  The article also contains some helpful information about program planning – still the heart of programs for church youth – under whatever name or program.  These are still correct and true principles!

The LDS/BSA changes for older boys again underscores the need for home and family missionary training.  This website is dedicated to the principle of home missionary training and specifically the Missionary in Training program.  This program can help parents and families fill in gaps and take more control and management of the training of their/your own missionaries.

I encourage you to take another look at it – and contact with questions about the program opportunities.


Kevin Hunt


Vision of the Missionary in Training Program



 By Kevin Hunt

 It is interesting how the Missionary in Training Program began.  It started in October of 2012 when President Thomas S. Monson announced in the General Church conference that the missionary service age would be lowered to age 18 for young men and to age 19 for young women.  As this announcement was made, it was obvious to all that parents now would need to take a much more pro-active role in the training of their young children to be future missionaries.  Having sent out many children as missionaries, and having served many years in various missionary roles, this subject often presented itself in my mind.   But, no action was taken at that time.

On March 6, 2013, the subject took on a front-burner role with experiences that I had that day.   On that date, I recorded in my journal some things that happened just a few months after President Monson announced the new missionary age.  The entry reads:


“My morning as a school bus driver [in Mesa, Arizona] was rather routine.  I went walking on Date Street, read my Book of Mormon and enjoyed having no kids to drive for one school.  I had a late start for the junior high school so was a half hour later than normal getting back to the bus barn.  I clocked out for a big 45 minutes.

“I decided to walk over to the Deseret Book store – located just over a half mile away.  I had wanted to buy some “future missionary” badges for the children of our daughter, Kaylea and husband, J.D. – since they just bought mission-looking suits for their five boys.

[As I walked into the store to make the purchase, I had no idea of how this little visit to Deseret Book would impact my life in the future.  That impact was not evident but came to light later through subsequent events.]

“As I looked for the badges, I could not see them immediately.  But on another shelf, I saw some badges which said, “Missionary in Training”.  As I read the badges, my mind was instantly inspired to send a “call to serve letter” to the kids along with the badges.  And right behind that thought came a literal flood of inspiration for a much bigger program entitled: “Missionary in Training”.   My mind was enlightened and I became very excited with the thoughts that came.  And for the rest of the afternoon I was flooded with more inspiration.  This proved to be a really cool experience with the Spirit.  Wow!  [So, I began writing, writing as fast as I could and didn’t stop writing for six months.  The information literally flew through my pen to the paper.]

“And as this program and details of it came to me, I realized that it was much bigger than I am.  I realized that God was going to give me something special and that I had a work to do for Him and was grateful that I was found worthy of it.”  [Leaving the journal …]

That moment in Deseret Book was super powerful.  It was as if my head was opened and the whole program poured down into me.  I literally saw a vision of the whole program – with a lot of detail – in just that second.  And then for months I wrote and wrote and wrote.

So, with that revelation of the Spirit, the program (in spite of me – but and only through the Holy Ghost) is very exciting and wonderful.  And I am sure that it needs to be used by families everywhere.  But, like most things that I create – even though they come of the Spirit, I have had difficulty in figuring out what I am to do with it.

I printed seven copies of the book package and had a meeting with seven different families – whom I hand picked (including three of my own children) and none of them ever did anything with the program.  (Though just this week I received a message from a daughter in Ohio – who was before in Germany – saying that they are going to start it with their family.  I believe firmly that it is an inspired program and that it will work miracles for anyone who does it – and am still seeking that special family who will take it and run with it – and then write (or allow me to) their experiences on my Missionary In Training website.

Families can Plan Activities to Promote Family Faith


By Kevin V. Hunt

On this site, I have published material from the Missionary in Training program which I have written.  And there will be more to come.

In our mission preparation of our youth, we – as parents – need to make a conscientious effort to specifically plan and incorporate mission training and faith promoting experiences into our family life.  In doing this, not all mission preparation needs to be scripture reading and church stuff – though that is all important.

One of the great things that Lou and I did for our nine children as they were growing up was to participate in Church pageants.  For many years we were in the cast of the “Jesus the Christ” Easter Pageant at the Mesa Arizona Temple.  This had a major and very wonderful long-term effect of testimony building for the children.  Through our participation, each one has developed a very strong testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ – as our Savior and Redeemer, His life and mission.  This has had a profound effect on each of them individually and together as a family.

Two different times we made the effort and sacrifice to travel to Nauvoo, Illinois to participate in the pageant there.  And of course, the focus of this pageant is Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Gospel.  I could write a lot about our Nauvoo trip – and maybe will – but here is an article about the beginning of our Nauvoo experience and our train trip to get there.
Nauvoo …  Our Adventure begins with a train ride.

A general interest story …  Years ago, our family had a glorious adventure together.  We were able to travel via train to participate as cast members in the pageant held annually in historic Nauvoo, Illinois.  Volumes could be written of that experience, but I’ll begin with a rendition of our train trip back there.

First off, I note that my wife and I have nine children.  So, taking nine children on a train and doing the Pageant was truly an interesting adventure – to say the least.

Prior to the pageant – for almost a year, we worked to build, create, and collect articles for our costumes.  Unlike the Easter Pageant, we had to come up with our own – take photos and submit them for clearance and authorization.  We looked everywhere to collect the many costumes – and especially the accessory items – the hats, the glove, the scarves, the ties, the socks, etc.  This was a major effort. But finally, the big day of departure came.

Going on the train meant that we had to get on it at Flagstaff to go east.  Our journey started as our neighbor drove our big van with all of us to Phoenix.  We thought that we were to go to the Greyhound station in West Phoenix to catch a bus to Flagstaff.  We got there and found a sign that said that the station had recently closed and that we were to meet a shuttle bus (run by the Indians) from the airport.  So, we were now a bit pressed for time but we rushed over there just in time.

At this point I should say that we had 25 pieces of luggage for our crowd.  This included all of our costumes, sleeping bags and bedding for all of us for the three weeks, regular clothes, food chests for two days of travel on the train – for our crowd, etc.  So, Brother Hale helped us get all of that loaded onto the bus and we were soon off on the charter connection.

Upon arrival in Flagstaff, the Indian bus line took us to a bus station – which was across the street from the train station.  He was kind enough to take us also to the train station.  We secured use of a giant old wagon on which we put all of our stuff.  The train folks assured us that we could leave the whole trailer in an open bin of the station – until our departure the next morning.

Another guy in our ward had a cousin in Flagstaff who owned a motel.  When Scott told his cousin of our service trip, he offered to give us two rooms in his motel for free for the night.  (Another great “tender mercy” of the Lord).  The hotel “The Pony Soldier” was located down the road about two miles.  (And our kids ranged in age from 1 1/2 to 17).  We had arranged for two taxis to come for us.  We learned that 5 was the maximum number of people to be in a taxi so that is why we had two.  And learning that there were 11 of us, they almost made us take a third.  But, they decided that the baby could sit on mom’s lap.

So, we had a grand time there in the hotel that night.  This was a first for us and the kids loved it.

Next morning early, the two taxi cabs returned to take us to the train station.  We were told that Flagstaff “law” would only allow any train to stop for a total of six minutes (so as not to hold up traffic – or whatever).   And if this was not met, the train conductor would be arrested and a new conductor would have to be sent to Flagstaff from New Mexico.  (True statement!)  We were told that the off-coming folks would have three minutes to disembark and us on-coming passengers (more than just our crowd) would have three minutes to get on the train with all of our stuff.  We were told that we could just go in as fast as possible, drop our stuff and then go upstairs – and then in a little while, we could return downstairs to the luggage area to organize and store our stuff properly.

We lined up all of our 25 items on the sidewalk and put with each person one – or multiple items – the kids whom we thought could best handle that part of the stuff.  One of the children was to take the baby and others were to have one or more items to be in charge of.  The children were all very psyched up and ready for the challenge.  When the train stopped our adrenilain (however you spell that) was high.  The folks coming off just kind of took their time and the second that they were off, we blew the whistle (not really) and the signal was “Run!”  And it was real crazy.  (There were multiple cars so groups could pick whichever one they thought best – so there were a lot of people lined up on the sidewalk by different cars.)

We somehow managed to get all of the stuff and us into the train – and then it was off full steam ahead.  We went upstairs and found the seats to be giant recliners – like the ultimate in movie theaters or the first class section of a big airplane.  Wow!  We found seats all in the same area – another miracle.  And after a little while, we were able to go down to get our stuff put together.

The ride was absolutely fabulous.  The kids had a grand time going to the dining car (which we could not afford) or to the “recreation room” at the other end of the train.  Our nine-year old son was then into balloon tying (and was excellent at it) and he went up and down the train making balloon creations for young and old).

The train went 72 MPH in the daytime and 90 at night.  And we had to spend a night on the train.  We wished that we had known that the A/C would be blasting full blast or we would have planned and packed better so as to have blankets with us for the ride.  We drove through New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas City and then got off at Fort Madison, Iowa – located up-river about 15 miles from Nauvoo.

It was then that we really wished that we had our big family van.  We had to rent a car and could not afford to rent a big van.  So, we rented a little car.  And somehow we got all eleven of us in the car.  (We left our collection of stuff at the train station – with the promise that we would be back for it soon.  And we then didn’t even know how we would get back for the stuff.  But, we were like Nephi and “went forth with faith”.  We drove in our squished condition to Keokuk, Iowa (because from my Nauvoo mission experience), I wanted to enter Nauvoo from the South.  We went to a fast food joint to eat.  Some folks there – maybe store employees – were shocked as our large crowd came pouring out of the car and into the store.  We were afraid that they were going to report us to authorities or something for child abuse or whatever.  So, we quickly got our food and headed out – across the river and up-river to Nauvoo the beautiful.

We drove to the campground where we were to stay.  This campground – owned then by the RLDS church and rented to our church – had places for RV’s, tents, etc.  We had saved up enough money to rent a single cabin – with bunk beds – for our crowd.  The place also had a dining hall.  It was much like a Scout camp or similar.

We checked in and got our assigned cabin.  We then walked around looking for someone who might have a truck and who could help us.  We knew absolutely no one.  But, we found a couple of trucks and talked to the folks.  It was instant connection – just as it was with everyone in the pageant – and the guys – new friends and brothers – were more than willing to assist us.  (Yet another major tender mercy of the Lord.)

So, I left my wife and most of the kids at the campground and I headed off with my new friends back to Ft. Madison.  We loaded all of the stuff into their vehicles and returned back to Nauvoo.

We got all of the stuff to the cabin and began to take inventory.  To our shock and horror, our main large trunk – that had most of our accessory items (which we had so painstaking worked to but and accumulate) was “missing in action”.  We did not know what to do.  We knelt and prayed as a family.

I went to a pay phone – and after getting a large supply of quarters – began to make phone calls to the train company and everyone else to try to locate our trunk.  I was on the phone literally for about two hours through this process.  With the passage of time, I learned that our trunk had not made it off of our original Indian contract bus that we had taken from Phoenix to Flagstaff.  But, it gets better (or worse) …  The trunk was not discovered by the bus line and it remained on the bus.  And after our departure, it remained on the bus undiscovered and was touring all over Arizona – and had been for three days.

The folks (with my calls) finally located the trunk out in the middle of no-where Arizona somewhere.  They then made the necessary arrangements to get the trunk back to Flagstaff and onto the train.  So, we had to wait another three or four days for it to catch up with us.  Luckily we were just in show practices at that time and didn’t yet need the costume items.

So, can you see the Lord’s hand in all of this?  We certainly did … and with grateful hearts, we gave thanks to the Lord for all of his many tender mercies in our behalf.  We were ready to hit it with the show!