“Find Them and Bring Them Back,” New Era, Apr. 2014, 24–26
Imagine you’re with a group of youth in a remote wilderness. The forest is thick—easy to lose your bearings in—and there are hidden dangers all around. Now imagine that one of the youth has gone missing and is lost in this wilderness. What would happen next? What would the rest of you do?
That’s easy—every last one of you would go looking for the one who was lost, and the search wouldn’t end until he or she had been found. No other response is imaginable in such a situation.
Now, imagine that lost young person is a friend living in your ward who, rather than straying into a thick forest wilderness, is wandering spiritually, living without the benefit of the gospel and Church of Jesus Christ. How do you and your fellow youth rescue that person?
Opportunities to help someone come unto Christ are all around you, both in your quorum or class and in your wider circle of friends, family members, and acquaintances. Here are a couple of examples of simple things young people did in order to reach out to others and help them come a step closer to the Savior.
As the youth of a branch in Samoa planned a combined Aaronic Priesthood/Young Women activity, they decided to make a special effort to invite other youth who were not active in the Church or were not members of the Church to this activity. They would have a brief fun run followed by food and entertainment, and each young man and young woman was encouraged to bring someone with them. They referred to the activity as “saving the one.”
The day of the activity came, and one by one the youth arrived, accompanied by less-active and nonmember friends. Before the opening exercises began, someone looked around and asked, “Where’s Alex?”
Alex and his mother had been baptized some time before, but they both had not attended church in quite a while. But all of the youth remembered him and started asking, “Where’s Alex?” They wondered if anyone knew his address. One of the leaders told them that Alex lived up the hill not far away. Then the young men sprang into action.
Three priests and one of their leaders ran up the hill to get Alex. Minutes later, the rest of the assembled youth could hear sounds of joy and laughter coming down the hill. The priests were returning—with Alex.
As the evening went on, Alex and the others laughed and had fun together, and they also prayed together as things drew to a close. When they parted, they said their good-byes, adding, “Until Sunday.”
When Sunday morning came, Alex was at the leader’s doorstep, ready and excited to go to church. When he arrived at church, he was greeted warmly by everyone, especially his fellow quorum members, who were very happy to see him there. Their seemingly small and simple efforts to “save the one” had had a great effect on Alex, who then attended church and was able to feel the Spirit more strongly.
In Nevada, USA, at a Boy Scout board of review for an Eagle Scout award, one young man made quite an impression. It wasn’t because of his achievements as a Scout. They were impressive, of course, but that’s what the men on the board of review expect of someone who has come that far in Scouting. No, it was something else that stood out—something that was missing.
One of the reviewers looked at this young man’s record and noticed that there was a three-year gap between his last rank advancement and his Eagle Scout board of review. He asked the young man what had happened.
The young man paused for a moment and then explained that shortly after he had received his Life Scout rank, his sister had died. In their grief, his family had drifted away from activity in the Church, and he had stopped participating in Scouts as well.
Taken off-guard by the young man’s straightforward answer, the reviewer then asked what had changed to make him so fully active today. The man almost cried when he heard the response.
“The guys came and got me.”
That was all. It was that simple.
The other members of his priests quorum had started visiting him at home and talking to him at school, asking him to come back and join with them. The young man said he could tell that they cared about him, and he felt good when he was with them.
So he had decided to come back.
Sitting in that board of review, this young man expressed gratitude that his quorum had not forgotten him and had gone out of their way to bring him back. They had even pushed him to complete his Eagle Scout project. Now he wanted to give back by helping and serving them too.
This young man was now on the path to receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood, receiving his temple endowment, and serving a full-time mission.
All because “the guys came and got me.”