SOUTH OGDEN, Utah Perhaps President Thomas S. Monson felt a moment of Scouting deja vu recently when he stood on the steps of the remodeled Ogden Scout Service Center, taking in the view of the Great Salt Lake and its surrounding greenery.
Almost 37 years ago President Monson then a junior member of the Quorum of the Twelve stood near that same spot to dedicate the original service center. The Church leader returned June 3 to dedicate a renovated, upgraded building that will serve thousands of Scouts and their leaders from the Trapper Trails Council.
Participating in the service center dedication once again, said President Monson, "is a tender moment for me." The first counselor in the First Presidency read a passage from his journal that he wrote after dedicating that original building. The Frank M. Browning Service Center was opened Oct. 24, 1966, at a cost of $100,000.
That first building served Scouts in Northern Utah and parts of Wyoming well for decades. But over time the structure became outdated, could not adequately meet the needs of the Trapper Trails Council and needed to be renovated. The building's refurbished interior will house the council's administrative offices, along with a first-rate commissary and training facilities. The facade was also rebuilt.
But President Monson reminded those who gathered for the June 3 dedication that the new and improved service center "is more than a structure" it's a place to build boys into men. In his comments, President Monson repeated the Boy Scout Motto: Be Prepared.
He also quoted the Scout slogan to do a good turn daily. "What more can we ask?" he said.
President Monson told the experience of his nephew who saved the life of a drowning brother by enlisting the skills he mastered to earn the Lifesaving merit badge. "Is Scouting relevant?" President Monson asked. It was certainly relevant to the family of that Scout-trained lifeguard, he answered.
He recalled meeting a young Scout who walked on two artificial legs. Despite his disability, the boy was participating fully in the Scouting program. The resilient young man's attitude deepened President Monson's appreciation for the benefits of Scouting.
In his dedicatory prayer, President Monson called the service center "a lovely building," then asked that the center be made a place where the future men and women of America would be taught, led and trained.
David Ross, the assistant chief Scout executive of the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, noted that the Church and Scouting are celebrating 90 years together. Mr. Ross said Scouting is helping young men prepare for missions and future priesthood and civic duties.
Prior to President Monson's comments, Robert Godfrey accepted Scouting's National Lifesaving Honor Medal With Crossed Palms award on behalf of his late brother, Nathan Scott Godfrey.
Elder Nathan Scott Godfrey, an Eagle Scout from Kaysville, Utah, was serving in the Argentina Rosario Mission when he was killed March 9 while trying to save the life of a drowning teen. President Monson presented Robert Godfrey with his brother's award.
The Rev. Monsignor L.P. Sweeney of the Our Holy Family Catholic Church in South Ogden offered the opening prayer at the dedication ceremony, then assisted President Monson and Scout leaders in the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Council leaders also unveiled a life-size statue of the "Unknown Scout" an anonymous English Boy Scout who embodied the Scouting philosophy of helping others. That statue stands outside the service center entrance.
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