A Scoutmaster’s Prayer
January 2017

“A Scoutmaster’s Prayer,” Ensign, January 2017

Latter-day Saint Voices

A Scoutmaster’s Prayer

Scout leader kneeling in prayer

Illustration by Allen Garns

I was a Scoutmaster leading 20 young men and two leaders on an activity trip in southern Utah, USA.

When we got to the turnoff that would take us to the campsite, I stopped and surveyed the desert in front of me. I had made this trip many times, but for some reason, I couldn’t see anything that I recognized. I scanned left and right, looking for something familiar.

No matter how many roads I turned onto, they were all dead ends.

It was getting dark. Finally, I stopped and told everyone to stay put. I grabbed a flashlight and told them that I’d find the road on foot and signal to them once I had found the way.

What I actually did was kneel down and beg Heavenly Father to help us out of this awkward situation. I poured my heart out to Him, detailing my preparedness, my love for the boys, my gratitude for the fathers who had come with us, and my absolute faith that He would answer my prayer quickly. I finished my prayer and stood up. I expected to get up off my knees, point my flashlight out into the darkness, and have the beam immediately fall upon the right road.

But nothing happened.

I silently scanned the horizon as far as my beam would reach.

Still nothing.

I couldn’t believe it. I knew that as soon as I stood up, I would see the road. I knew that the Lord would not let me down, especially with so many people depending on me.

I now had to face two frustrated fathers and their vans full of rowdy, anxious young men, all of them asking, “Are we there yet?”

I apologized and assured them that I had made this trip 20 times in my life and that I knew the road was there. I just couldn’t see it.

Finally, we decided to drive into town and rent two motel rooms. We would start out fresh on Saturday morning.

Since we couldn’t build fires to cook the campfire dinners we brought, we went to the local pizza place we’d seen at the end of town.

The pizza was delicious and the boys were happy, but I still felt guilty about the motel and dinner bills.

As we ate, I wondered why Heavenly Father hadn’t answered my prayer, when suddenly I heard a loud boom.

I got up, swung open the door of the pizza place, and saw the biggest downpour of rain I had ever seen. There were lightning bolts to the northwest—right toward where I had been praying for an answer not an hour earlier. At that moment, the Spirit came over me, and I realized that the Lord had answered my prayer!

The next morning, the sky was blue, and as we headed back into the maze of dirt roads, I drove straight to the exact turnoff I had been searching for the night before. I know now how prayers are sometimes answered with a no, but they are always answered.