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The Latin Scot

LDS CHURCH ANNOUNCES INDEPENDENT ACTIVITY PROGRAMS BEGINNING 2020

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Well, it looks like our time together is drawing to its close ...

https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/new-program-children-youth?cid=HP_TU-8-5-2018_dPAD_fMNWS_xLIDyL1-B_

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The children and youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worldwide are precious. They represent the future, and ministering to their needs is a significant focus for the Church.

For years, Church leaders have been preparing a new initiative to teach and provide leadership and development opportunities to all children and youth, to support families and to strengthen youth everywhere as they develop faith in the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This new approach is intended to help all girls and boys, young women and young men discover their eternal identity, build character and resilience, develop life skills and fulfill their divine roles as daughters and sons of God. The initiative is designed to allow local leaders, families and even the young people themselves to customize their efforts, while providing service opportunities and activities, fostering healthy relationships and supporting communities. Details will be shared at childrenandyouth.lds.org as the implementation date approaches.

As announced publicly today in a joint statement with the Boy Scouts of America, effective on December 31, 2019, the Church will conclude its relationship as a chartered organization with all Scouting programs around the world. Until then, the intention of the Church is to remain a fully engaged partner in Scouting for boys and young men ages 8–13. All youth, families and leaders are encouraged to continue their active participation and financial support of Scouting until that date. See a list of frequently asked questions.

The Church honors Scouting organizations for their continued goal to develop character and instill values in youth. The lives of hundreds of thousands of young men, along with their families and communities, have been blessed by Scouting organizations worldwide.

And the joint statement from the Church and BSA: https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/multimedia/file/bsa-joint-statement-may-8.pdf

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A Joint Statement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and The Boy Scouts of America

May 8, 2018

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.

 

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Found this (from 2017) - adds a bit more back story (as you likely already know):

https://www.getreligion.org/getreligion/2017/5/15/when-the-latter-day-saints-dump-the-boy-scouts-might-there-be-a-back-story-here

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Actually, it isn't a big surprise. I'm a volunteer BSA Commissioner and the commissioner for the LDS units in our districts let us know LDA was considering this a number of years ago, long before the change in BSA Membership standards 3 years ago.

The primary reason for the LDS change FOR OLDER BOYS ONLY is that LDS has long wanted a teen program they can use worldwide, and obviously the BSA Venturer program is stateside only. And BSA's Venturer program is Co-ed and actually now has about as many girls in it as guys.

The Varsity program mentioned is used by virtually no BSA Chartered organizations except LDS, and was created for them. So it will probably be dropped by BSA.

If this really was about the change in BSA membership standards, don't you think LDS would have also cancelled their participation in the BSA Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs as well?

...

The Church is very interested in keeping its programs uniform and consistent across the entire Church. The problem is scouting is only used in the Church in the US and Canada. More than half of the members of the Church live outside of the US and Canada, which means the majority of the youth in the Church do not participate in Scouting at all. This move brings the young men's organizations in the US and Canada in line with those in the rest of the world. This change has been talked about since I was in Scouting in the 1990's.

 

I'd bet that BSA saw the writing on the wall as it pertains to LDS which might be one of the reasons that this role out of inclusion of girls was so sloppy.

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It is sad for sure.  I know in my district, the LDS units don't really follow the program.  Adults run it more like cub scouting, they don't camp or participate in district activities. Very little of our fundraising comes from those units.  I know this sounds very negative, I am not trying to be.  I have many LDS friends that are scouters and they complain to me about the same things.

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We'll see a couple of units go in our district, but nothing dramatic.

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I wonder how many LDS scouts will remain in BSA after December 2019.  Hopefully many will join other Troops, but I’m not sure if the youth would be interested in both scouting and their own youth organization.

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I do want to share our church's official position of the family, gender roles and other beliefs that will help those here understand better why we cannot continue to support the new BSA program changes. Hopefully it will make it clear why we want boys and girls, young men and young women to have their own programs which will support and nurture their own identities; whether or not you believe as we do, I think it is well to make sure that the separation is amicable, and that the friendships we have established continue to the benefit of our communities and their youth. Understanding where we stand, just as understanding where the BSA now stands, is important. This proclamation of our doctrines on family and the nature of gender should help those who are confused by the Church's new direction:

https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation?lang=eng&old=true

I will try to monitor this thread as frequently as possible for the next few days in case anybody has questions that perhaps I can either answer or at least direct to where answers can be found. And again, I intend to be the most active, loving and engaged Den Leader I possibly can be until precisely 11:59 pm, December 31st, 2019! 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

The BSA has now made a powerful statement - that girls learn just the same as boys, and so they should get to enjoy the same program, which should be made to teach both genders the same. The Church firmly stands by the belief that boys and girls, and men and women, are inherently different from each other, that gender is an eternal part of our divine nature, and that men and women have different needs and learn in different way in order to best fulfil their roles in the family. The Boy Scouts of America has now effectively moved away from this belief which for over a century it fought to protect, and as such, it no longer aligns with what we believe. 

Unless I'm reading it incorrectly, the Church doesn't seem to be saying the things you're saying.  The Church's statements appear to be saying that the reason its program needs to change is because a program that is very US specific simply doesn't work for a now much more global Church membership.  Nowhere in any of the statements I have seen has the Church attributed its pulling out of scouting to be the result of the changes within scouting.

Edited by T2Eagle

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I will miss @The Latin Scot he had a sense of humor, loved scouting, and was a voice of common sense.

You could see this coming a looong way off still a bit of a shock. I can understand their dilemma. I am active in an international religious organization and the very conservative (and growing) members in Africa, South East Asia, and South America are much opposed to  the social policies proposed to appeal to North Americans. You go where the growth is.

But I too am sad that a story rich in Scout history is ending.😢

 

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16 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

Unless I'm reading it incorrectly, the Church doesn't seem to be saying the things you're saying.  The Church's statements appear to be saying that the reason its program needs to change is because a program that is very US specific simply doesn't work for a now much more global Church membership.  Nowhere in any of the statements I have seen has the Church attributed its pulling out of scouting to be the result of the changes within scouting.

I firmly believe that the BSA change regarding girls was not made in a quick decision, and that it has been in the works for some time, probably at least since Stephenson and Surbaugh et al took the reigns.  The LDS would have had that knowledge, and could probably have seen the handwriting on the wall.  The doesn't mean they were not throwing around the idea of a global program, but, then again, isn't Scouting a worldwide program, and isn't Scouting in most other parts of the world fully coed?  Coincidence that they wouldn't be looking to do what they had done here in those areas? I don't think so.

I trust those on this forum from the LDS church on what their position(s) are regarding matters of their faith, as I am not LDS and wouldn't presume to know better than they do.  This is a significant blow, and I personally think you may have a small percent of LDS boys continue on to wrap their Eagle rank, but by 2022 we'll probably be counting LDS youth participation on our fingers and toes.  The differences in program between LDS and non-LDS units wasn't to make the core program intrinsically different, but it was designed to accommodate how their faith integrates into life.  

 

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Posted (edited)

Re: the original post, many thanks to @The Latin Scot for your informative posts.This was something that needed to happen for the Mormons. They have a large community and a perceived mission to the world that BSA could no longer be a part of.  I'm one of those Christians who thinks the LDS is more than a bit heretical, but I applaud their stand on things I have in common with them, and their desire to put their mission first.  I do think that many Mormon youth and adults will continue to participate and support Scouting and I'm glad to share that trail with them.
BSA will pay a price, but I suspect the notion is that since the organization is pretty much free and clear of most every taint of discrimination, that corporate and individual donors will make up the difference.
 

Edited by WAKWIB

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Posted (edited)

How did it unravel so quickly?

This moving video was produced just five years ago to celebrate the 100 year partnership between LDS and BSA.

 

Edited by gblotter
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Posted (edited)

I think J. R. R. Tolkien expressed my feelings best in regards to the coming changes, and my place during and after them:

 “It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.”

I find these words touchingly a propos for me now.

Edited by The Latin Scot
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2 minutes ago, The Latin Scot said:

I find these words touchingly a propos for me now.

Nice use of apropos. I know that is it French. Is it derived from Latin? That would be very apropos coming from The Latin Scot. :)

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