“Be it known to all that we are Boy Scouts . . . and bearers of the Aaronic Priesthood of God. We pledge our allegiance to the values and principles that guided the men of the Mormon Battalion and the Latter-day Saint Pioneer men and women who helped establish this state of California. As their grateful sons, we rejoice in our heritage of service. On this 18th day of July 1998 we pledge to become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We will study the scriptures. We will pray for strength to obey. We will work. We will strive with all our hearts to follow the example of Jesus. We will magnify the priesthood we have been given by serving other people. We will keep ourselves worthy to administer the sacrament of the Lord’s supper. Wherever there is a need for help, like our forefathers, we will step forward. We will prove ourselves worthy of the greater, Melchizedek Priesthood. We commit ourselves to the Lord’s army and will go forth as full-time missionaries to invite all to come unto Christ. We are young men of the covenant. We will prepare ourselves to receive the covenant of eternal marriage. We pray for righteous wives and children whom we will honor and protect with our own lives. Be it known that whatever the risks, whatever the temptations, whatever the state of the world around us, as our forefathers were faithful, so we will be. Like those who have gone before, we will turn away from self-aggrandizement and set aside personal gain in order to build a peaceful society, governed by God. At all times and in all places, we will be true to our pledge.” I compliment every boy who signed this pledge. I pray that not one will ever default on the promises he has made to himself, to the Church, and to the Lord. What a different world this would be if every young man could and would sign such a statement of promise. There would be no lives wasted with drugs. There would be no gangs with children killing children and young men headed either for prison or death. Education would become a prize worth working for. Service in the Church would become an opportunity to be cherished. There would be greater peace and love in the homes of the people. There would be no viewing of pornography, no reading of sleazy literature. You would honor and respect the girls with whom you associate, and they would never have any fear about being alone with you in any set of circumstances. It would be as if the stripling warriors of Helaman had recruited the youth of the world to their way of living.