The Mormon Church and the Boy Scouts of America formed a partnership years ago based on shared beliefs in God, country and the necessity of teaching morals and responsibility to boys. The groups became so intertwined that one of every five Boy Scouts in the United States is Mormon, and all Mormon boys were expected to participate in scouting. Now that arrangement is coming to an end. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Tuesday that it was severing ties with the Boy Scouts and would design its own youth programs that could be implemented in its congregations around the world.
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I spent the last two days trying to figure that out. To understand the significance of all this, you first have to understand how intertwined the two organizations currently are. Historically, that number has reached as high as one-third. The BSA has historically been the official youth development program for boys in the Mormon church, but it will be replaced in by a new program the church is developing that will place a greater emphasis on religion, rather than outdoor experiences. Church members will be free to participate in scouts, but they will no longer be compelled to do so. The way the BSA organizes its individual troops allows for unique arrangements like that, serving local needs. The national organization sets direction, then chartering organizations—churches, community centers, and such—sponsor individual troops that are naturally attuned to the needs of local communities.
The decision marks the end of a year-old tradition that stated any boy in a Mormon congregation automatically became a Boy Scouts member. The Mormon Church said it severed ties with the Scouts because it hopes to create its own global youth programme. The church's decision follows a marked shift towards inclusivity in recent years by the Boy Scouts. At the time, the Church said sexual orientation was not "a disqualifying factor" and that they were satisfied with the "thoughtful, good-faith effort" by the Scouts to address "complex and challenging issues".
But on Jan. This Latter-day Saint-based Boy Scouts troop in Kaysville, though, formed outside the church structure and plans to stick with the Boy Scouts after the church ends its longtime alliance at the end of Donate to the newsroom now.