Welcome Sons of Caleb!

This blog is the landing page for updates and information regarding the Beaverton West stake young men summer encampment. Feel free to comment on any post with thoughts or questions you have.

From now until the commencement of the encampment on August 1st you will see, in addition to the informative posts, specific 'episode' postings. These episodes draw on gospel truths and from the Old Testament story of Caleb. They offer insight to help learn and live the gospel in daily life. Episodes are designed to provoke the mind to thought. Please feel most welcome to share your experiences and ideas in the comments section.

What made Caleb unique was his strong spirit. Each of us has a journey. If we can develop strength of spirit as did Caleb then the blessing he received will be open to us. Of Caleb the Lord said “he has followed me fully” (Numbers 14:24). I know great blessings come to those who will hear and act on a call from the Lord. This is what made Caleb strong, so strong that when he saw what he wanted most he declared “Give me this Mountain!” May we learn these truths by the power of the Holy Ghost. Then we will be ready to conquer our mountains when they come.

The first episode is at the bottom of the page.

Episode 3 : What is a whole soul experience ?

I bring your attention to warriors in Alma chapter 56. When you read about these armies understand that these men had come to a point that they were clinging to survival. By day they engaged it hand to hand combat and by night toiled to build fortifications. They were “determined to conquer it that place or die” ( Alma 56:16,17 ).  Their example has been an inspiration to me because they gave so much. God did not leave them alone but consecrated their experience to lift up their souls in the joy of deliverance. Do you think these men were ever the same again? This is the power of a whole soul experience.

Alma 58:10&11:

10 Therefore we did pour out our souls in prayer to God, that he would strengthen us and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, yea, and also give us strength that we might retain our cities, and our lands, and our possessions, for the support   of our people.

11 Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him.

I believe that deliverance is in Christ because he has the truth. I believe that getting the most out of existence runs parallel to getting whole soul experiences. The Book of Mormon is a gateway to this kind of experience because it has the truth in Christ. Millions have passed the portal in Moroni 10:3. Read it right now and see that the first invitation is to remember. To remember is more than to put in memory once and have knowledge. We are invited to ponder in our heart, to experience something divine. Whole soul experience sometimes comes in all at once but when building a foundation on Christ it is more common to build up slowly over time through consistent searching, pondering, and work.

Brothers in the Aaronic priesthood you Sons of Caleb that read these words; God is trying to get into you experience that will stay with you and lift up your souls ere unto eternity. Take great care of  your summer as precious time to commune with your maker. Commit now to meet the Lord on the Mountain encampment. The day may soon come when your spiritual survival depends on remembering what God has done for you. 

4-17-2013 : 8:48am
The below information is from our stake patriarch Brother Haroldsen please respond to him via the supplied phone or email if you are interested.
Hi Brethren,

Five of you Aaronic Priesthood brethren are needed to work with me to determine content for each of five devotionals that will be presented at the upcoming "Give Me This Mountain" Encampment on August 1,2,and 3. 

You will need to attend one (1) organizing meeting within the next 2 weeks and then meet me for individualized presentation progress check-ups as needed.  Your individual assignment after the organizing meeting will be to select an appropriate, theme based, short video from the hundreds of "I'm a Mormon" Youth videos now available on the internet and then show the video and lead a brief discussion about the video.  Total time for each devotional will be 10 minutes or less. 

In order to participate in this project, you will STILL need to be an Aaronic Priesthood bearer and be at be least 14 years old at the time of the encampment.

Please e-mail or call to indicate your interest in serving on this committee.


Brother Haroldsen

Episode 2 : Who am I?

All stories can be boiled down into just one story: it is the story that answers who am I.

We test the strength of a wind not by giving in but by standing up to it. “The man who gives in after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later.”   C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity. The man who holds on is not the same man who gives up. We know ourselves best when we are tested. We do not go seeking trials but it is the test that proves the stuff we are made of.

In the case of Israelites the stuff inside was lacking. They were waiting to enter the promised land. Spies had been sent to scout the land.  What was their report? It was a truly promised land as it flowed with milk and honey, “nevertheless the people be strong that dwell therein” ( Numbers 14: 26-28 ).

In the modern world we may or may not care much for milk and honey but in the ancient world they were the signs of an abundant life. From butter other livestock could be fattened to enjoy excellent meat. In a time where refined sugar was impossible, honey’s sweetness would be without equal. If the land was so great what stopped them from going after the promises? The children of Israel were afraid.

As we discover the story in each of us, at some point we will be confronted with fear. Giving into fear greatly increases it’s power over us.

But Caleb stilled the fear in the people when he said “let us go up at once” and possess it ( Numbers 14: 29). Think now on this phrase “at once” meaning immediately, it is a powerful thought. If we are confronted with fear or temptation let us train ourselves to “at once” resist that we may overcome our enemy  If confronted with pornography “at once” look away. Caleb believed “we be able” but there will always be others around that daunt us and say we “be not able”. They did not know or had forgotten that with God nothing is impossible.

We have a choice to go with God in our daily walk of life, or we can try to do it on our own. If we go with God nothing is impossible. Trust that God can make more out of you than you trying to make it on your own. The concept of the self-made man is a lie. Only the man of God is made to last.

Episode 1: What we want most

How will we be led to the Mountain of the Lord?

Deliverance and discovery
The children of Israel were bred by the Egyptians as slaves. On the back of the Hebrew the empire was built. However, in process of time God called Moses to deliver the people. Each of us can if we have desire search out and discover Heavenly Father. I know that a sincere prayer offered up to God will not be turned away. I know this because “he loveth those who will have him to be their God. Behold, he loved our fathers, and he covenanted with them…” ( 1 Nephi 17:40 ).

If he delivered the Israelites and kept a covenant with them do you think he would forsake you? When we experience his deliverance then we carry with us a testimony that he will support us no matter what trials we face. God is strong and his ways are proven. The promises of God lead to deliverance and will set us free from captivity.

The gate of baptism by water
As with most deliveries the way appeared unexpectedly for Israel, Moses led them to the Red Sea. Have you ever been led to deliverance when it appeared there was no way out? We all face the deceptions and captivity of sin, but the gateways of the gospel will appear in time.

Sometimes the window opens just in time, and in such a way that we can be sure it came from God. Be ready to make your choice and move.  Baptism is the gate of first deliverance. We renew our baptism by repenting and partaking of the sacrament. The ordinances of the gospel are true because they are saving. What is the next ordinance of which you can partake? God’s gospel is the same for all people. The Israelites were immersed in the Red Sea and came out again on dry land. Their immersion in the seas was symbolic of the baptismal ordinance performed today.

The baptism by fire to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost
Walking through the sea on dry ground they came up and out. There trials were far from over. They were in the wilderness. The wilderness was far reaching and they would be there for a very long time. Each of us have wilderness to endure in life. There appeared a column of fire to lead the way. To show the way in our wilderness Heavenly Father offers a supernal gift. The gift of the Holy Ghost is our guide that we will not walk alone and a comforter to help stay the course.

The mountain of the Lord
Where does it all lead? The children of Israel were led to the mountain. The same holds in our day listen for a call. It may only come as a whisper but as you heed it the call will be strong in your heart. The call is to come up to the mountain of the Lord. The holy temple is His mountain. The temple in our day performs the same function as the mount to which the Israelites were called. God calls up a people in all ages if they will hear and come to Him. It is Heavenly Father's work to prepare us to dwell with Him. The temple is a high and spiritually holy place to commune with Heavenly Father. Once we have been to the mountain of the Lord we will have a great vision for what lies beyond. The challenge for the Israelites is the same challenges for us: to see beyond and go into the promised land. Don't give up! Keep climbing and the Lord will lead you up. He is a promise keeper. Even if we cannot see the promises now, He will deliver. The blessings of our Heavenly Father are what we want most. Of all His gifts none are greater than the gift of eternal life.

What do you want most?