Duty to God: A brother's example prompts daily scripture study
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Sometimes a young man can best realize his personal duty to the Lord by following the choice example of another.
For Scott Sweeten, a 16-year-old from Layton, Utah, such an example was found inside the walls of his own home. Scott quietly watched his older brother, Robbie, faithfully read his scriptures each day. It was a pattern the younger brother decided to follow as part of his Duty to God program.
So every morning, Scott, a priest from the Forest Hills Ward, Layton Utah Valley View Stake, opens his Bible and reads from the Old Testament to follow this year's lesson schedule in seminary. Then in the evening he studies the Book of Mormon.
Scripture study has become one of Scott's top priorities. He reads the Book of Mormon before starting on his homework and has begun keeping a study journal.
"I'll write in it my impressions that I feel or what I feel is important [and] take different things out of the scriptures that are for me and how I was feeling," Scott wrote.
Sometimes a passage of scripture will resonate with Scott and he will record his thoughts in his scripture journal. Recently he read Alma 46:21 and was inspired by the account of the Lord's followers who "came running" to take upon them the name of Christ.
"They didn't doubt, pause, debate or even second-guess," wrote Scott. "What would my life be like if I, in theory, came running every time Heavenly Father called me? I pray that I can become a trusted servant in God's hands."
Brother David L. Beck, Young Men general president, knows sacred power can be discovered in keeping a journal.
"Duty to God encourages priesthood men as they study the scriptures to record thoughts and feelings in a study journal," he said. "Young men who do this consistently can open up a powerful channel of revelation. They can know through personal experience of the edifying power of the scriptures to invite and motivate. They will seek to better know the Savior and to follow Him."
Spending time each day with the scriptures and working with the Duty to God program has brought Scott closer to the Savior.
"I can see a big difference in how I handle things throughout the school day. I just feel happy and I feel clean and pure. It gives me more assurance that I'm doing the right thing."
Scott is appreciative of the example his older brother, Robbie, has been to him. He's hoping to continue that pattern and become a faithful example to his younger brother, 12-year-old Josh.
In Scott-like fashion, Josh has set a plan in his Duty to God efforts to read the scriptures each day and keep a journal. Such family examples can make the difference in a young man's journey to become a priesthood man.
"Wise parents will make time for informal religious conversations with their sons," said Brother Beck. "Young men will be strengthened greatly as they share — and their family will be strengthened by them."