A Boy Scout Uniform with Merit BadgesThe Boy Scouts of America, recently rebranded Scouts BSA, are about to hobble into a new decade short more than 400,000 young Mormon troops.

A great ally for nearly a century now, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has decided to abandon an organization already struggling with declining membership and shepherd its young followers into a new, more religion-centric global program of its own.

The 18% drop in Boy Scout youth membership expected from that decision will only compound decades of dwindling numbers due to everything from alluring video games and youth sports leagues to a new rash of sex abuse lawsuits, potentially forcing many regional councils in the western U.S. to lay off employees and sell some camps, and pushing the Boy Scouts ever closer to the brink of bankruptcy.

Last year marked the first time since the Second World War that the number of Scouts countrywide fell below 2 million, less than half its 1970s peak.

Who Left Whom?

But while the church's new youth program will look to weave in camping and other outdoor activities wherever feasible, the fact that the uniforms, the diverse merit badges and the coveted Eagle Scout rank will now be exchanged for rings, medallions and pendants inscribed with images of church temples means young churchgoers will eventually find their way back - at least as far as current Mormon member of the Boy Scouts of America national board Wayne Perry is concerned.

"One of the advantages we always had with Scouting is that it wasn't 'churchy.' They were getting the Scout oath and the Scout law, which are incredibly compatible with the church's philosophies and views, but they weren't reading out of the Book of Mormon. I think there will be a boomerang effect as parents see that there is still a place for Scouting," he added.

Less compatible, of course, was the Scouts BSA decision to open its arms to openly gay youth members and adult volunteers, as well as girls and transgender boys. "The reality there is we didn't really leave them; they kind of left us," declared high-ranking church leader M. Russell Ballard, despite the great lengths the Scouts went to ensure robust religious liberty protections were preserved.

Scouts Look to the Future

Wayne Perry said rather than having Mormon congregations automatically sign up their troops, the organization will now have to pitch the benefits of Boy Scouts to church members in Utah, Idaho and Arizona. "We're going to have to earn our kids."

But the lineage of Scouting runs deep in many Mormon families, and not all of them are willing to give up a family legacy. Some Mormons, like Nettie Francis, are preparing for double duty, and have already launched a new Boy Scout troop to carry on the tradition once the church alliance ends.

"This is like any other extracurricular activity,” she said. “We make time for things that are important to us. For our family, the skills and the leadership opportunities that Scouting offers are just tremendous."

And her husband Mark says that the Scouts “will be smaller, but stronger.”

Faithful Findings

The LDS Church hasn’t given many details on what their new program will look like, other than in a few press releases. But what they’ve revealed so far sounds an awful lot like the Boy Scouts… with more God.

Indeed, the Church is going out of its way to assure wary parents that outdoor activities and camping will still be a pillar of their new program. One release read: “Weekday activities, outdoor adventures, and youth conferences will continue as a vital part of helping children and youth learn, develop friendships, serve and strengthen faith in Jesus Christ.”

Mormon children, however, may be the ultimate losers of the LDS Church’s new program.

Attaining the rank of Eagle Scout is a prestigious honor, one that the hundreds of thousands of Mormon children will no longer be eligible for. And the rank isn’t simply for bragging rights: Many college scholarships are only available to Eagle Scouts, and the U.S. military permits Eagle Scouts to enlist at a higher rank and pay grade

In 2018, 6.5% of Scouts attained the rank of Eagle Scout. But for Mormon youths, that percentage is much higher. Nearly 90% of Mormon boys who enroll in the Scouts will attain the Eagle rank. And Utah had the highest number of Eagle Scouts in 2018, accounting for nearly 10% of that year’s Eagle Scouts. 

That’s a big leg up that won’t necessarily be available for participants in the new Mormon program.

What do you think? Is it fair for the Mormon Church to pull so many children from the Boy Scouts over the Scouts’ recent acceptance of LGBT people?

Is this really in the best interest of the children?

50 comments

  1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

    🤣🤣 As pointed out in the article, there's nothing stopping mormons from joining the Scouts. Or Scouts from being mormon. 400,000 mormon kids pulled out of Scouts? 🤪 Right, and the moon is made of green cheese. Being gay, LBT, or any other letter of the gender alphabet, does not make a person a pedophile. Or even a bad person.

    As a former scout leader, I can attest to the lack of morals of a big chunk of the organization. Remember, one's gender identity is not a moral issue. But, most of them are christians who pick and choose which biblical teachings they obey.

    On balance, though, Scouting is a better program for kids than any religious program.

    1. Stoodie Baker's Avatar Stoodie Baker

      Right! Gender identity is not a moral issue, just a mental health issue.

  1. Wen's Avatar Wen

    Thank you for clarifying that being gay has nothing to do with being a pedophile Mike. In my experience, the boy scouts failed to properly vet and supervise their volunteer leaders. In addition, when an allegation surfaced, the organization was slow to act or even respond. Pedophiles exist in all religious persuasions. Even the Mormons. There are many boys who learned to be responsible, humane, honest and hardworking thanks to the scouting organization.

  1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

    The real issue here is the continued existence of the mormon cult. Less then 2 centuries ago this cult took root, and used armed force to secure their seats of power in remote regions like warlords of old. They used a strict patriarchy and marrying little girls to old men as a means of rewarding devout service and turning the girls into breeding fodder and slaves.

    They committed violent attacks upon wagon trains of settlers, kidnapping girls and small children, raping the women old enough to resist and then killing them alongside the men. And these actions continued and occurred more recently then we practiced slavery in this country. Even now in many states the age of maraaige without the minors consent, only the parents and local judges, can force children as young as 12 in some states into sexual slavery. Mormons are one of the main abusers of these lingering boils on our nations older laws.

    We see the indoctrination. We know well about the abuse of women and children within their communities, yet we let it continue because we call it a religion rather then the cult it is. Because they have amassed wealth and have numbers enough to push back politically. They are a cult, founded by a warlord. They are basically like the snake cult in the old conan movie.

    1. June Tanner's Avatar June Tanner

      Here here! Someone else who has done their homework. Proud of ya.

  1. David Arthur Lewis's Avatar David Arthur Lewis

    Magic underwear. Just sayin'.

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Which is the death knell for the Boy Scouts as the Mormons were the major contributors to this group, and since they started to let in homosexuals as group leaders (like letting the fox guard the hen house) then it is not surprising to me in the least that the Mormons are pulling their support.

    1. June Tanner's Avatar June Tanner

      Now that is just a plain ignorant statement (letting the fox guard the hen house). Just because a man is gay doesn't mean he's a pedafile any more than all heterosexual men are pedafiles. Geeze Louise, what an ill informed bigot you are.

  1. Minister Carlos Ricardo Walls's Avatar Minister Carlos Ricardo Walls

    I recall my short lived days in the Boy Scouts.I told the leader of the troop I visit family out of state every year.The leader said if I go again I was out of the troop.Well suffice it is to say I was out of the Scouts.

  1. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

    It seems Mormon leadership take seriously the Boy Scout Oath even if BSA leadership do not. Good for them.

  1. Keoni Ronald May's Avatar Keoni Ronald May

    It is the Morrnon's 'right of association', 'parental rights', and 'religious beliefs' that are under attack.

  1. Molly Silfies's Avatar Molly Silfies

    Not surprising at all!! As an active member of the LDS faith, I desire and intend that my 14 living grandchildren are openly taught that the only lifestyle acceptable here in our Church is the most divine one. And the Church will never remit. That isn't possible, because our #1 priority, ALWAYS, is to teach our children Biblical ethics and Godly values. This comes directly down to one of the most important things to us; living the most divine values ourselves, we teach our children by example to live the most divine values as well!!! Although the Choice is ultimately theirs, we teach them Godly, divine values while they are still at home. So…right off hand, may I say, the split is forever and cannot be mended. Are you asking or expecting us to change our stand to be popular or worldly? LDS people are very, very special. We have already made lifetime, eternal commitments with much consideration and forethought.These decisions are already made.  All at an appropriate age. We never baptize babies. 

    1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

      "LDS people are very, very special." Ain't that the truth. 🤣

    2. JKM's Avatar JKM

      And that’s your choice. If the Mormon lifestyle doesn’t align with the changes in the BSA, then it would make sense for you to part ways.

  1. Rod Gesner's Avatar Rod Gesner

    My Family chose not to allow us to join scouts because their attitudes and Programming was seen to be Paramilitary.. My sister got to join the Campfire girls Though.

    1. Dr. Darryl G Dykes's Avatar Dr. Darryl G Dykes

      Rod, I don't know how old you are so I'm thinking 40 or younger. I am 58 when I joined the Scouts and almost all the Scout age kid. Our parents wanted us to have the paramilitary discipline and fellowship with boys in our nieghborhood, fortunately for us none no one asualted any of us.

  1. Dr Asha Sharma's Avatar Dr Asha Sharma

    This is a personal church philosophy The one almighty omnipresent God does not discriminate people who are thinking they are above The word of The one almighty omnipresent

    1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

      Not trying to start an argument, but I have a question no one else has been able to answer with any certainty. Hope you don't mind.

      Which god is "The one almighty omnipresent God", and what verifiable evidence is there your answer is correct?

      1. June Tanner's Avatar June Tanner

        Hahahahaha. Which brings me to another disclaimer. Anyone who has ever studied historical theology and the history of world religions knows the backgound of ol' Joe Smith, founder of the Mormon cult. He was an extremely charismatic, pathelogical liar, over-sexed, megamaniac much like our modern day Charlie Manson. Always has me wondering how soooooo many people continue to follow this cult.

        As far as which god? Isn't the Great Spirit all the same with a multitude of different cultural names?

        1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

          "Isn't the Great Spirit all the same with a multitude of different cultural names?"

          No.

  1. Molly Silfies's Avatar Molly Silfies

    Truly, I receive more pleasure & greater spiritual benefit from scripture study than from this blog!!! As an active Mormon, I attempted to point out the ways in which Mormon families teach their children, literally from conception and planning/praying as a couple to conceive. My time is better spent in scripture study than the arguments on this blog, where only arguments get attention.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      As an ex High Priest in the Mormon faith for many years, I found that reading the scriptures was the best way to becoming an atheist, so go for it.

      As you read them, try doing so with logic and reason in your mind. You’ll soon come to the obvious conclusion that much if what you read is a load of fallacious mythical rubbish.

      1. June Tanner's Avatar June Tanner

        Right. Especially since Mormon scriptures are the fantasy creation of Joseph Smith. I always wondered what he was smoking. LOL.

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          With 2 of his 49 wives being 14 years of age (which is never discussed in any Sunday school class) I'm sure he needed something to to deal with the stress of it all.

    2. Molly Silfies's Avatar Molly Silfies

      Truly, I receive more pleasure and greater spiritual benefit from scripture study than from spending my time on this blog!!! As an active Mormon, I attempted to point out the ways in which Mormon families teach their children, literally from conception and planning/praying as a couple to conceive. My time is better spent in scripture study than the arguments on this blog, where only arguments and anger receive attention.What I meant was, Mormon families who are active temple goers, plan ahead, to have children and how to best teach those children. The children are not left to chance and are considered even from pre-conception prior to entering their mothers' wombs. DIFFERENT PLANNING, BETTER RESULTS!!!

      1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

        And, yet, here you are - arguing and even shouting at participants. Working hard to get that attention, aren't you?

        Different planning does not produce better results - just different results. Sometimes. I've known mormons who were raised in lock-step with the religion and, once they learned to think with their god-given minds, saw the fallacies, inconsistencies, and BS for what it is and walked away.

    3. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

      If what you said truly reflects your beliefs and views on society, why do you view these discussions/arguments? Why not spend more time studying scripture and less time reading a making posts that open you up to different opinions?

      I'm not starting an argument. I'm curious as to why anyone would come here, read the posts, respond to them and, thereby, open themselves up to criticism and arguments rather than doing the things they claim are better for their time? Why? Unless they are the ones who want to start arguments.

      Oh, and what does your remark have to do with the blog article?

  1. Robert Walters's Avatar Robert Walters

    I'd like to contribute but it seems quite strait forward. The Mormon's don't believe the current Boys Scouts policies line up with their values. Thus, it would seem they may be justified to pull out. The provided data also seems to indicate that members can make a choice, unless I read that wrong.

    Per usual, however, I remain disappointed that many who chime in, only seem to do so to promote their non related perspectives.

    1. June Tanner's Avatar June Tanner

      And that is what has me aghast. BSA are a wholesome organization teaching young boys life skills that many parents no longer teach their children. How can the Mormon cult disagree with that?

      Hemmm, boy scouts don't proselytize multiple wives, they don't teach the boys to marry underage girls, they certainly don't teach the boys to follow any one religion, and they definitely don't tell children of color they will turn into white children if they follow the Mormon teachings.

      Hahahaha. Maybe that's the problem with the Mormons vs BSA.

    2. JKM's Avatar JKM

      Exactly. No controversy here. The Mormon lifestyle is not no longer compatible with the BSA. So they left. Their choice. End of story.

  1. Woodrow's Avatar Woodrow

    This article is written about the BSA and the decline in their members and they are facing becoming bankrupt except, for the last part which brings in acceptance of LGBT. This article is written to cause people resentment which is sin. Define resentment in webster's and you will see.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Define sin in Webster’s and you will see it’s fallacy!

      1. Woodrow's Avatar Woodrow

        Define resentment in Webster's and you will see it's sin!!

        1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

          One brother and I were Cub scouts, and our mother was our den mother, for our troop from St. Mary's elementary school, in Galveston. I was also a cadet in J.R.O.T.C. at Ball High School. However, my stepfather and youngest brother were boy scouts, and neither one of them turned out bad. Of course, us boys and our mother were all raised Catholic, my stepfather's relatives are all Disciples Of Christ, and half of my father's side of the family is Lutheran, which could all contribute to why I don't side with the Mormon's.

  1. Molly Silfies's Avatar Molly Silfies

    Not surprising at all!! As an active member of the LDS faith, I desire and intend that my 14 living grandchildren are openly taught that the only lifestyle acceptable here in our Church is the most divine one. And the Church will never remit. That isn't possible, because our #1 priority, ALWAYS, is to teach our children Biblical ethics and Godly values. This comes directly down to one of the most important things to us; living the most divine values ourselves, we teach our children by example to live the most divine values as well!!! Although the Choice is ultimately theirs, we teach them Godly, divine values while they are still at home. So…right off hand, may I say, the split is forever and cannot be mended. Are you asking or expecting us to change our stand to be popular or worldly? LDS people are very, very special. We have already made lifetime, eternal commitments with much consideration and forethought.Choices already made, at an appropriate age, we do not baptize babies, just those who can consciously make a valid choice, CONSCIOUS CHOICE.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Sadly, the conscious choice of children at the age oof 8 (baptism age) is based upon the indoctrination by all involved with that child. So, in reality, the mind of a child to choose baptism is the choice of immaturity. That choice is not based on logic and reason by the child. The parents of that child have that responsibility to indoctrinate him/her to help with that decision. Many eventually choose to leave the LDS church once they have matured and have been educated and become truly capable of real conscious choice.

  1. Molly Silfies's Avatar Molly Silfies

    Not surprising at all!! As an active member of the LDS faith, I desire and intend that my 14 living grandchildren are openly taught that the only lifestyle acceptable here in our Church is the most divine one. And the Church will never remit. That isn't possible, because our #1 priority, ALWAYS, is to teach our children Biblical ethics and Godly values. This comes directly down to one of the most important things to us; living the most divine values ourselves, we teach our children by example to live the most divine values as well!!! Although the Choice is ultimately theirs, we teach them Godly, divine values while they are still at home. So…right off hand, may I say, the split is forever and cannot be mended. Are you asking or expecting us to change our stand to be popular or worldly? LDS people are very, very special. We have already made lifetime, eternal commitments with much consideration and forethought.Choices already made, at an appropriate age,  we do not baptize babies, just those who can consciously make a valid choice, CONSCIOUS CHOICE. 

    1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

      Repeating the same lie over and over does not make it fact or even truth.

      1. June Tanner's Avatar June Tanner

        Gotta agree again.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    Webster defines sin as " missing the Mark". Webster apparently didn't belong to the same A.A. group as me, or he would have learned a whole lot more about resentment. Similar things can be said about many of his definitions, and definitions and words have been known to change over time. Art thou listening?

    1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

      Not so much. The current Merriam-Webster dictionary has several definitions for "sin", and none of them include "missing the mark". The phrase "missing the mark" is not presented as a synonym or even a term associated with "sin". https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/sin

      Art thou reading or just writing anything that pops into your head?

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    About what we discuss on this blog. In every good meeting I've attended, following Robert's Rules Of Order, like an addict, one thing leads to another. And then there are those too, who have a tendency to ramble on, who are cut short by moderation, by the good ol' ULC (which makes this one of the best meetings I've ever attended. And I've attended many thousands of them, and have been the chairman of at least a thousand of them, too.).

  1. Woodrow's Avatar Woodrow

    Resentment is defined as sin,extreme ill will,malignity, malignancy,malevolent, and other causes of disease, synonym is SIN.

    1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

      According to Merriem-Webster there are three definitions for "resentment", and none of them include "sin". Nor does the entry include "sin" as a synonym or even a work related to "resentment". In fact, none of the terms you claim are the definition/synonym of "resentment" are listed in any dictionary I have access to. ( https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/resentment )

      What dictionary are you using? 🤣

  1. David Shawn Taylor's Avatar David Shawn Taylor

    The Mormon church is encouraging their young men to join other troops if they want to continue in scouting. Their are some of the scouting leaders in the local units that are actually starting troops to help the young men achieve their goal of eagle rank. I have worked with them for several years and they have done a lot of good. Their new program is striving for more spiritual growth in young men and women as the prepare for adulthood.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      It's sad they don't have a policy to strive for more spiritual growth, and the maturity of adulthood, before anyone can be baptised. Presumably if they did the baptism rate would be lower, and I'm sure they know that.

  1. Vern Dee Wall's Avatar Vern Dee Wall

    It's very simple: BSA lowered their standards and LDS didn't.

    1. June Tanner's Avatar June Tanner

      Yea right. And if you believe that I have some ocean front land for sale in Arizona.

  1. John Joseph Dawber's Avatar John Joseph Dawber

    THE MORMONS AND THEIR STATE HAS ALWAYS BEEN SEPERATE-I WISH THEM GOD- SPEED IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE REST OF THE COUNTRY-JOHN JOSEPH DAWBER

  1. John Joseph Dawber's Avatar John Joseph Dawber

    THE MORMONS AND THEIR STATE HAS ALWAYS BEEN SEPERATE-I WISH THEM GOD- SPEED IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE REST OF THE COUNTRY-JOHN JOSEPH DAWBER

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