Mormon church severs ties with Boy Scouts after 105 years

Mormon church severs ties with Boy Scouts after 105 years
Image source: TheBlaze

The Mormon church will no longer be affiliated with the Boy Scouts, ending a century-old partnership, according to a Tuesday statement.

What was in the statement?

The church and Boy Scouts issued a joint statement, a portion of which read, “We have jointly determined that, effective on December 31, 2019, the church will conclude its relationship as a chartered organization with all Scouting programs around the world.”

Here is the full statement:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Boy Scouts of America have been partners for more than 100 years. The Scouting program has benefited hundreds of thousands of Latter-day Saint boys and young men, and BSA has also been greatly benefited in the process. We jointly express our gratitude to the thousands of Scout leaders and volunteers who have selflessly served over the years in Church-sponsored Scouting units, including local BSA districts and councils.

In this century of shared experience, the Church has grown from a U.S.-centered institution to a worldwide organization, with a majority of its membership living outside the United States. That trend is accelerating. The Church has increasingly felt the need to create and implement a uniform youth leadership and development program that serves its members globally. In so doing, it will be necessary for the Church to discontinue its role as a chartered partner with BSA.

We have jointly determined that, effective on December 31, 2019, the Church will conclude its relationship as a chartered organization with all Scouting programs around the world. Until that date, to allow for an orderly transition, the intention of the Church is to remain a fully engaged partner in Scouting for boys and young men ages 8–13 and encourages all youth, families, and leaders to continue their active participation and financial support.

While the Church will no longer be a chartered partner of BSA or sponsor Scouting units after December 31, 2019, it continues to support the goals and values reflected in the Scout Oath and Scout Law and expresses its profound desire for Scouting’s continuing and growing success in the years ahead.

So why is this happening?

The Mormon church decided to break ties with the Boy Scouts in order to more effectively explore and implement new, gospel-centric youth programs outside of the U.S. to better serve international members, according to church officials.

The Mormon church, which has had a formal relationship with the Scouts since 1913, has long been one of the Boy Scouts’ biggest sponsors.

According to CBS News, Mormon boys who will be leaving the Boy Scouts represent approximately 18.5 percent of the 2.3 million young boys enrolled in the organization.

Anything else?

In November, the Mormons made an announcement proclaiming that the church’s teens ages 14 to 18  would no longer take part in the Boy Scouts’ programs as of January 2018, and instead would implement their own program for older boys.

The move was said to put more focus on “spiritual, social, physical, and intellectual goals outlined by the church.”

In 2015, the Boy Scouts of America opted to permit openly gay troop leaders. The Mormon church, vocally opposed to gay marriage like many other religions, responded by noting that the church was “deeply troubled” by the move.

The Boy Scouts has also come under fire in recent months after announcing that girls would be permitted to join their ranks and that the organization would be officially changing its name from Boy Scouts of America to, simply, Scouts BSA.