LDS Church, Boy Scouts celebrate 'A Century of Honor'


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    Nov. 4, 2013 8:50 a.m.

    I'm not sure I could add anything to those supporting scouting or to dismiss the rancor that is obvious in many of the comments. I can only say that, after 50+ years experience in scouting, plus other years in public school, in business, as a citizen, and a life-long member of the LDS Church, that the same patterns occur in all aspects of life as are current in scouting and yes, in the LDS membership. Those involved consist of dedicated, effective leaders, teachers, politicians, government employees, businessmen, etc., but also consist of those who slack, avoid training, don't relate well to others, or for whatever reason, reflect varying degrees of incompetence. There are also those who want to make a contribution, but are brand-new at the job, or just learning by a type of on-the-job training. What is needed here is a little patience, forgiveness, and encouragement to those with weaknesses. We all have them!

  • Bob K porland, OR
    Nov. 2, 2013 4:32 a.m.

    If the purpose of Scouting, to lds people, is to keep boys focused on the priesthood and lds values, while letting the basic precepts of Scouting fall to the side...

    Guess what?

  • TheWalker Saratoga Springs, UT
    Nov. 1, 2013 8:39 a.m.

    More like 99 years of honor and 1 year of shame.
    And counting.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Oct. 31, 2013 8:10 p.m.

    I see that you are suffering from what I described in my last post. It is obvious that what you have experienced is the counterfeit program, not what the LDS Church and BSA intend. Please find and watch the last YM training from the General YM Presidency last May. "We don't need another program than Scouting" to prepare our future missionaries, is what they said. I agree. My solution for you is training, go to training. Get your other YM advisors/Scouters to training. Start training your young men to run their program like it is supposed to be run, then facilitate their growth. You will see how they mature, spiritually and emotionally and then you will see what Scouting is supposed to do. What you are doing on Sunday is developing and teaching them to plan and set goals, ( or should be)and that is sacred too. Raising the next generation to serve and function is a sacred calling, not an interruption of it. Scouting is the vehicle,learn to drive.

  • Wei Wei O Washte Orem, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 3:39 p.m.

    Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson,
    I would to God that every boy of Boy Scout age in America could have the benefits and the blessings of the great Boy Scout program. It is truly a noble program; it is a builder of character, not only in the boys, but also in the men who provide the leadership. I have often said that Scouting is essentially a spiritual program, a builder of men. It is established, as is our government and its Constitution, upon a deeply spiritual foundation. (So Shall Ye Reap, p. 138.)

    "Scouting is an integral part of the Church program for young men and complements Aaronic Priesthood quorum work. Where programs for Scout troops are available, please understand it is not an optional program"

    Gordon B. Hinckley
    "I love the Scouting movement. The promise of the Scout Oath and the twelve points of the Scout Law point young men along the path of being prepared for the 21st century. They provide a solid and powerful magnetic force toward development of a well-rounded and noteworthy character that counts..."

    President Monson is a long time supporter of Scouting. Enough said?

  • Tiny Tim Tacoma, WA
    Oct. 31, 2013 1:23 p.m.

    In our area there is no honor. Our only son was abused at camp at the age of 12 and from there it has been heartache and sorrow watching our son go downhill. After 25 years of drugs and booze he has finally become sober now for two years so far. I tried as a parent to get other ways to keep our son active along with boys who had no interest in scouting but was shut down. I still think that there should be something else other than scouting to keep boys active in church.

  • mgreen Elk Ridge, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 12:54 p.m.

    @inspectorC Thank you for the your comments.

    I do not believe members of the church have ever been told to "get in line" behind any one or thing. We are asked to search, ponder, and pray then act as moved by the spirit.

    I disagree with your statement that "Scouting IS the best method available to develop the spirtual side of YM". I've been in YM programs for many years and have watched many YM lose their way heading into their adult years because Sunday priesthood meetings turn into a scout meeting rather than a lesson focused on spiritual development. They lose interest.

    At its core, Scouting is all of those things, spiritual, physical, mental development. However, because of how its currently administered, those fundamentals never reach the boys the way they could if it was a separate program. Just my opinion. I'm certainly not saying we should do away with the BSA, I just think it should be separate.

    The last statement was a broad association, my fault. I meant that at least here in Utah, the Scout program, in large part, is facilitated by called church members.

    What could happen if the were separate?

  • InspectorC Wasatch Front, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 12:18 p.m.

    TO: mgreen at 9:50 am --

    Wow... I'm confused by these kinds of attitudes and theories. If we're LDS, then we all need to get in line with the Prophet and support Church policies and programs full-heartedly (incl. Scouting, no picking and choosing).

    Church members are called into ALL callings in the Church, "whether they have passion for the program or not." We are expected to give 100%, to be faithful and obedient, and to GROW into our callings. Should we not expect the same in Scouting callings?

    We are totally missing the essence of Scouting in the Church if we think that camping and Courts of Honor have nothing to do with a boy's "spiritual development". Scouting IS the best method available to develop the spirtual side of YM. That's WHY the Church uses these programs. Scouting, at its core, IS a religious movement.

    If you hate sitting in troop committee meetings on Sundays, then may I suggest that you just don't hold your mtgs then. Simple solution.

    BSA IS an independent program, and the church does not "run" Scouting. Your claims are without basis.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Oct. 31, 2013 10:12 a.m.

    I went to a joint US boy scout / Saudi Arabia boy scout jamboree. There were two totally different cultures at play. The US boy scouts were being tested on knots and the Saudi scout leaders were looking surprised at the skill in knots and the Saudi scouts were doing military marches and drills.

    Then they had a singing fest with Moslem ballads. There was a Saudi MC who was a black guy with a prominent gold tooth. He looked a lot like a rapper. But he was speaking in Arabic and introducing people by saying like Ed Mcmahon would introduce Johnny Carson, "Heeere's Johnneeee!" But he would say, "(something in Arabic) . . . Abuuuuu Baaaakkeerrrr!"

  • mgreen Elk Ridge, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    I don't understand why the church and BSA separation can't be a good thing for both organizations.

    In my view, both suffer by the current arrangement. The scouting program suffers because adult leaders are "called" into a scouting position whether they have passion for the program or not. Because of that you get a mediocre experience at best for the boys and the leaders. If you separated the programs, so that those who LOVED scouting were the ones involved with it, and nobody was forced or compelled to be involved, than I believe the experience would be much better for the boys and leaders alike.

    In addition, my Sundays are important to me. Sacred even. So why have a sat through hours of meetings about a campout or organizing a court of honor, rather than focusing on the spiritual development of the young men in my ward? Isn't that what I'm supposed to be focused on?

    If the BSA was an independent program that was endorsed by the church, rather than run by the church, the BSA could do what they do best, and the Church could do what it does best.

  • Don37 Nottingham, MD
    Oct. 31, 2013 8:02 a.m.

    One of the comments included a line that he could not imagine anything which could change him. I had a department head in the office next to me who decided he was gay at the age of 5. At that time, virtually all gay's kept their status hidden. Th come out was to be bullied. At the time I retired, he had lived in a monogamous relationship for 30 years. He was responsible for pushing the paperwork through to fire a heterosexual teacher who had relations with a female student in a rehearsal room under the stage. Unless you were to judge him solely on his relationship of 30 years, you would see an ideal teacher of your youth.
    Why are you so quick to violate your teachings such as D&C 64:10? Do those young men who are gay not deserve a shot at the leadership and other training that the BSA offers? Do you judge all gay men and women as child abusers?
    It is time for some retrospection.

  • Farm Strong Heber City, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 5:05 a.m.

    Agree with Rocket Science. Someone please explain how the policies of the Young Men's program of the church widely different than what the BSA adopted. Pre-decision, I can see people having mixed emotions. Post-decision, it's your opportunity to listen to the prophet and pray about the matter. Tuesday night was as strong of an endorsement and commitment that you will find by the Church to the BSA.

  • southmtnman Provo, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 4:41 a.m.

    I agree with Jack and others. I have seen the LDS version of Scouting as well as the non-LDS version, and the difference is stark. In my experience, the LDS version of Scouting is a waste of time, generally speaking. Neither the leaders nor the young men (and women) are dedicated, properly trained, and "get it". Everything from uniforms to merit badges to the size and composition of troops and leadership training are a joke. Outside of the Church they do Scouting right and it is a remarkable, life-changing program for thousands of youth around the world, both young men and young women as well as leaders. In the Church, Scouting is a half-hearted, pathetic chimera of what it is supposed to be. It has probably been responsible for more people disliking Scouting than it has helped. My first exposure to pornography was on an LDS Scouting activity that was poorly executed by lazy, untrained leaders who did the minimum necessary because it was a Church calling they felt obligated to accept. When my family moved away from Utah, I saw what Scouting was supposed to be and it was amazing!

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Oct. 30, 2013 10:12 p.m.

    From what I can see, it is those who have not had the exposure to BSA outside of the LDS Church who have the ax to grind. Think about it....what you have the heartburn over is not BSA, but what some in the LDS Church have tried to twist it into. Once you see a boy-run/led troop, a healthy outdoor program, advancement that means something and the product they turn out, you get the real picture of what Scouting is. What I see folks are complaining about is the counterfeit version. The adult run, merit badge mill with no real program, ignoring the Methods of Scouting-type that seems to be the mistake that keeps on giving. It isn't BSA's fault if your adults don't want to get trained, or follow the program, or are too lazy to do what it takes to run a good program. Think about it.

    Oh, and Duty to God DOES NOT replace Scouting, per the Brethren. It's also a Sunday program, not to replace Scouting on activity night. We use Scouting in the US and Canada for a reason......

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 10:01 p.m.

    Those who say Duty to God program should replace scouting either haven't bothered to look at both in depth or have not understood the programs.

    Parents who do not regularly sit down with their sons and look at their Duty-to-God efforts are missing a tremendous opportunity. If you don't know your sons efforts, if you don't invite him to regularly share at FHE or at the dinner table or when gathering the family for prayer you don't understand and you do not assist as significantly as you could in your son's effort to become a Priesthood Man.

    Both programs are divinely inspired, they compliment, not duplicate each other. DTG is structured primarily to be an individual effort wherein the Young man Learns the doctrine, Acts in the Doctrine and then Shares (gives testimony of) the doctrine and faith building experiences he has had in living the doctrine. This Program focuses on the Spiritual and should be in everything we do. It is not a once a month or even once a week Mutual night activity.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 9:54 p.m.

    Those who want to criticize the BSA on the Policy Clarification that came out in May should be aware that the statement was essentially from the LDS church. For LDS units this was really no change at all, Young Men and Leaders are expected to to live morally clean lives.

    While last nights program was more than a year in the making, few are aware that plans were "put on hold" for a while until after the BSA policy statement was decided on and came forth.

    Someone referred to last night as a PR stunt by the BSA to keep LDS support. If you witnessed what occurred it was an LDS Church statement that the Church intends to stay in partnership with the BSA for a very long long time.

  • johnpack Parker, CO
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:44 p.m.

    The broadcast was not about controversial issues. So let them rest for a while. The broadcast was about honoring a program that has meant a lot to many people and helped many young men develop and grow.

    The biggest problems with scouting in the church is the over-emphasis on advancement, the lack of youth leadership, and the failure to implement Varsity and Venturing fully. That's not the BSA's fault (overpaid as some are) -- but a failure to commit fully on the part of called LDS leaders.

  • pogo8702 SOUTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 5:12 p.m.

    Growing up, scouting was big and all of us boys were in it. Today I can see all the BSA problems, read American Patriot's comments and clearly understand. Serving in stake and ward leadership assignments, I have seen the bloated carcass BSA has become.

    however.... Last summer I did a few days at camp with our ward contingent. Tired of the BSA, I was walking back to my camp, frustrated. Met a young man almost in tears who was lost. He asked if I would help him find his camp. I did...took 20 minutes out of my day and that was that.

    And that's the point. In my heart I felt a mild rebuke and the point driven home. It's not about me, the BSA or what I think is better, PR issues, etc. It's about the boys. President Monson can see it, he's no fool. We can put up with the BSA issues and get the job done. It's not about skills it's about leadership and character development and helping the one who is lost, find his way back to 'the camp.'

    Think about it.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Oct. 30, 2013 4:50 p.m.

    The thing is that the more the leaders and parents are involved the more the young men will be enthused. The Duty to God is not a scouting thing at all. It is the same as the Personal Progress and does not substitute Scouting in the least. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is led by a Prophet of God who gives insight and revelations pertaining to the whole church. Since, President Joseph Fielding Smith through President Thomas Spencer Monson the Scouting Program is at the fore front of the Young Men program. It is time for many of you to get on board with this and see the good it does for all boys whether they are members of the LDS Church or not. Our scouting program is also a missionary tool as we should have in our troops both LDS and non-LDS young men. We are allowed to go out and recruit boys from outside our own circle. If this is done not only will scouting be in effect when the Savior comes but the lives of boys every where will be blessed. GET ON BOARD.

  • Carol P. Warnick Ephraim, Utah
    Oct. 30, 2013 3:44 p.m.

    A wonderful presentation that truly depicts what Scouting is to young men. My husband and I have been involved in Scouting for many years and we have seen the results of this program in the lives of boys and men. May the Scouting program ever stay strong in it's purpose.

  • Kaladin Greeley, CO
    Oct. 30, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    Scouting was great when I was a youth. So many great memories camping, hiking, serving. I am an Eagle Scout. I spent my teenage summers working at a camp for boy scouts. It was the best thing I could have done. Unfortunately, there have been many changes to scouting since then - most of them not for the better. I don't know what is best now. I don't have any scouting age children yet, so I will have to wait and see how things are being run by then. For some scouting is and was a great experience. For others, not so much. A lot of this has to do with how many boys are in their area and how much effort the leaders put into the program.

  • John20000 Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 2:39 p.m.

    Didn't see the broadcast. Probably won't. That said, when my church youth leaders ran scouting on our activity night (when I was a youth), we did all kinds of things I still remember like first aid, sculpture, fingerprinting, service projects, and outdoors stuff. When I had leaders that didn't run scouting on our activity night, we played basketball. I experienced both.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 2:24 p.m.

    When my Scout master brought a plug-in neon fire to the Stake Center and plugged it in and turned off the lights and asked that we sit around it and tell stories, it dawned on me that Scouting wasn't for me.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 2:22 p.m.


    Thank you for sharing that experience! I think many of us want to hear more experiences like yours so we all can really have a better understanding of SSA.

  • MatchboxWhistler Atlanta, GA
    Oct. 30, 2013 2:19 p.m.

    Scouting is primarily for US boys. Since there are now more members outside of the US than in it, is this conversation even relevant any longer?

  • greatbam22 andrews afb, MD
    Oct. 30, 2013 2:00 p.m.

    All you posters need to remember the scripture 1 Nephi 2:15 and it's correlation to scouting! :)

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Oct. 30, 2013 1:54 p.m.

    I'm saddened by the numerous comments that the Church will only keep Scouting until Pres. Monson dies. That could have been said about the last 9 prophets. Folks, the Church will keep supporting Scouting as long as the Lord wants it to.

    We keep saying that the Church could put on a better program on its own, and that may be true. However, the Lord encourages Scouting because it is a program that also positively affects many millions of boys who aren't members of the Church.

    The Lord directs us to promote worthy causes and to do much good on their own. The Welfare Program isn't just for Saints; we try to help Tsunami and Earthquake victims no matter what church, if any, they belong to.

    Finally, for those who worry about last year's decision by Scouting, I affirm that it was a good one. Why not let young men with Same Sex Attraction be in contact with "normal" boys. These SSA boys are in a period when they are pondering their identity, and it is good for them to not be isolated from their peers.

  • Vernal Mom Vernal, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 1:43 p.m.

    @ TX VET:

    Thank you for your remarks. You are spot on.
    It's about the boys I serve, and the values I try to teach them.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Oct. 30, 2013 1:02 p.m.


    Thanks for the response, how did you get onto "limited government" based on my question to you?

    You said that the goal of the scouting change is to make scouts gay.
    How would that be accomplished?

    Do you believe that you could be "made" to change sexual orientation? If so, how?

  • UtahBruin Saratoga Springs, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 12:53 p.m.

    @Wei Wei O Washte

    "To all naysayers I say are you going to follow the Prophet or not?"

    @That's A Good One

    "Apples and oranges. I never heard a prophet declare, on behalf of the church, that fishing is a church sanctioned program... To compare scouting with fishing is disingenuous."

    @Glenn L

    "members...sustain President Thomas S. Monson as their Prophet, i.e., God's spokesman to all mankind, they consider the decisions led by him....to be both reasoned and inspired.

    It is not disingenuous. Doesn't mean I don't follow the prophet. Inspiration doesn't make it prophecy. To sanction or support something is one thing. I have heard a prophet declare how much he likes fishing and would promote it as a good activity also. Doesn't mean I have to do it.

    With that said, I have never heard a prophet say I was not following him because I don't care for scouting. I have also never heard a prophet say I can't have a temple recommend because I don't agree with scouting. I have also never heard a prophet say that being part of scouting was from revelation. Never!

  • Mom of 8 Hyrum, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 12:53 p.m.

    There's a simple alternative to BSA already in place: Duty to God. Some here have expressed dismay that if the church severed ties with BSA nothing would be left for the boys. But there is, and we can create a YM's camp just as we do with YW.

    I've known of wards where the traditional boy scout camp was replaced with a camp based on the scriptures. Bows and arrows taught the boys about Nephi; trail blazing became a lesson in the Israelites in the wilderness or Zion's Camp. And one creative ward even did rope tying as a parallel to when Nephi's brothers tied him on the mast of the ship!

    Not only can we replace BSA, I'm confident we in the church can create experiences that are far more enlightening and less restrictive than Scouting. You know, not every boy likes to camp.

    The costs would also decrease dramatically. Each little merit badge, made of thread and glue, that the boys earn cost an average of $2.50. Courts of Honor costs literally hundreds of dollars for those little patches made in China (yes--China).

    Oh, we can do so much better!

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Oct. 30, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    To those who fail to see the good of scouting then let me put it this way. There are many who put sports and other things above the boy. Money generally is the reason for this. Yet, out of all those who do sports, less than 1% ever will. Sports and others avenues teaches the youth to work hard to get where they want to go. Funny but Scouting does the same identical thing. Scouting is the activity arm of the Aaronic Priesthood and the Young Men Program. Those of you who disagree need to take a step back and understand the Church tried something similar to scouting before it came along. For 100 years it has been a great program and it will continue to be as long as there are leaders and parents willing to do so. The Duty to God will never replace what scouting does. If you don't like camping then you need to see what nature actually is for.

    Read the Ensign article this month and you will understand where Scouting came from and where it is going.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 12:48 p.m.

    This event was a celebration of 100 years of Scouting in the LDS Church. It was an excellent production. I am dissapointed to see that so many who did not even see the event or went to it with their preconceived notions express hatred for movement that has blessed and strengthened so many for so long.

    Many profess to sustain their Prophet but turn around and essentially deride him for the direction take, even expressing hatred for the programs of the Church.

    I wish all could attend LDS week at Philmont and see the vision of the Leadership of the LDS Church. The LDS Church's affiliation is not just for LDS young men and boys it is for all.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 12:27 p.m.

    Joeblow: Life is a choice and so are your actions. I can't help how you think, feel, or speak. That is your domain, between you and God or whomever you direct your thought. We have lost the art of working things out alone in this country. People want to drag everyone into their challenges, whatever those are. Everyone has challenges. They are best left between you and God. To say that I don't care is a stretch. I believe you need to live your life with the grand opportunity to live it as you see fit, without my assistance or deference. This is just another reason why I see limited government as the only answer to allow everyone the same opportunity and only gives the government the power to defend me in those rights specifically mentioned in the Constitution. Liberty can make people more miserable or happier, but it also insures my agency, something that is in great retreat today!

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 11:58 a.m.

    I think it's shortsighted to suggest the LDS Church just throw away Scouting. This is much bigger than all that. Boys have a precious 10 years from the time they start Cub Scouts until they're eligible for Missionary service; having a program built and dedicated for much of the prime learning ages of these boys not easily created. Scouting teaches values and if it is solely focused on merit badges then the leaders are letting the boys down and wasting some of that precious time.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Oct. 30, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    Wow, there is a lot of hatred towards scouting. It sure sounds like there are a lot of people out there that missed the who point of the Scout program.

    Earning badges is only secondary. Its main purpose is to build young men into honorable men that are united in a common cause.

    You can take an LDS Scout from the midwest and put them with a Baptist Scout from New York city, and they already share a common bond through the scout program.

    Within the LDS church, the Scout program has been a great tool to maintain contact with inactive families that want their kids to be Scouts.

    The question to you nay-sayers that hate scouting is what organization out there can bring people of different religions and cultures together like scouting?

  • Just an Observer Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 11:16 a.m.

    While their is no official directive to go fishing in the Church, the pressure to send boys out camping is very real, and I do think it is based on cultural influences of top leadership. My son has no interest in going camping, yet that is a central focus for his age group. Since I doubt that would be the case if the Church had ended up being headquartered in many other areas of the world, including in the US, I don't know why we have to assume camping (or Scouting) is part and parcel of living the gospel. I am grateful that the Church has programs for kids, to be sure. But, quite frankly, show me a boy with involved parents, who plays a sport and a musical instrument, and I'll show you a kid who will end up much better rounded and prepared for adulthood than a boy without those things who does a checklist of items to get merit badges and rankings. No, they aren't without value, but I think the Church can do considerably better than focusing exclusively on one type of experience that doesn't appeal to all.

  • Glenn L Nauvoo, IL
    Oct. 30, 2013 11:02 a.m.

    When members of the LDS Church sustain President Thomas S. Monson as their Prophet, i.e., God's spokesman to all mankind, they consider the decisions led by him in conjunction with those in the presiding counsels of the Church (First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve, Presiding Bishopric) to be both reasoned and inspired. For me, it's not what I "like" or "agree with," that's important, but what God's Prophet supports and promotes. Maybe we should look for a deeper meaning in the Church's decision to support the inclusion of young men who have same-sex attraction who also agree to abide by God's laws pertaining to sexual morality, i.e., laws of sexual restraint and purity. I believe a review of the Church position at its new Church-sponsored website helps us understand this position and why it's being taken. Understanding is always a good thing. And Our Savior showed us by his reaching out to sinners, publicans, Samaritans, and lepers we're not to exclude those who are different from us from our world in hopes we might be able to bless them with His Gospel by what we say and do.

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    Oct. 30, 2013 11:01 a.m.

    I'd just like to see a Ward or Stake actually try the program. When I hear people attribute Scouting only to seeking merit badges, rank advancement and outdoor skills, they are seriously missing the boat. Do they honestly believe that the reason the LDS church selected Scouting as a significant portion of the actual ministry of Aaronic Priesthood is this? Hardly....
    Stop pretending that Scouting is an adult led activity program focused on seeking the honors of men and start trying to figure out if what you're implementing matches what you profess as LDS.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    If the church is artificially propping up scouting numbers then maybe it's time for scouting to move on and leave the church where it is. BSA should be independent and it's a relationship that never should have been in the first place.

  • alphus1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 10:43 a.m.

    I am a Scout volunteer a the Stake level. I write a $25 to $40 check once a year to Friends of Scouting without regret. One check a year is not a big deal. $600 million on a web site that doesn't work, is a big deal. A $16(or is it 17?)trillion debt is a big deal. The angst is truly disproportionate. The money goes to the Council entirely. If the Church did scouting they would have to buy and maintain the same infrastructure that the council does: oversight, camps, insurance, material, etc. I don't think the boys nor their scout leaders should have to solicit FOS funds - there are plenty of adults like me willing to do that that don't bear the burden of a Scoutmaster. I don't recall Pres Monson ever asking us to support fishing. Yet I suppose that if enough members agitate long enough the Church will cut loose and Scouting will quickly become as vacuous as Girl Scouting and the Church more insular. I used to think like the naysayers but a decade out where the rubber meets the road has moderated my views - a common occurrence.

    Oct. 30, 2013 10:36 a.m.

    @ JoeBlow: I would agree that no one makes a conscious decision to be gay. However, I do not believe it to be a genetic trait, or unchangeable.

    In my teenage years, I struggled with sale-sex attraction. I did not necessarily choose that, but it developed somehow. Yet I felt it was wrong due to my understanding of God and the purpose of the powers of reproduction, so I never acted out with anyone on those desires. Over time, I lost the attraction.

    To me, there is a difference in having SSA and being gay. Anyone can choose their behavior. I chose to not act on those impulses, and they eventually went away. Those who choose to act on their SSA become gay. I am not judging anyone, just stating my experience. I do not believe that homosexuality is unchageable because I changed.

    I did not "deny my real self"; I am becoming who my God and Creator wants me to be....

  • That's A Good One Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    "So it has been said that the Church and the Prophet support scouting. The prophet also likes fishing also, it doesn't mean I have to like fishing because the prophet does."

    That's apples and oranges. I've never heard any prophet publicly declare, on behalf of the church, that fishing is a church sanctioned program, with a handbook of instructions. To compare scouting with fishing is just disingenuous. Nobody said you have to like scouting. Your opinion is valuable, but scouting is a church sponsored program and as long as it is I'll continue soliciting and making Friends of Scouting donations as long as I'm asked to do so, regardless of how uncomfortable I might be asking already cash strapped families to donate to this worthwhile program.

    The sheer number of young men who have been positively influenced by scouting (myself and my sons included) dwarf the number of disgruntled participants. That's good enough for me.

  • Justmythoughts Provo, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    I thought last night's production was way overblown. It was almost embarrassing. It was clear to me however, that scouting will remain an important part of the LDS church as long as President Monson is our prophet. That point was made very clear.

  • Wei Wei O Washte Orem, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    As a Scout and Scouter with over 40 yrs of association with BSA, I am obviously biased. No, I did not like the decision made last year, but I have seen the fruits of the Scouting program. You do not need to earn your Eagle to benefit either. Our job description as Scouters is really to help save the boys from the evils of the world, teach them how to make good decisions, and prepare them to be good citizens, missionaries, fathers, patriots, and leaders. As to last years decision by the Church, the way I see it, the local Ward leaders (Bishops) are the ones to handle issues with each young man. He still has control of participation. To all you naysayers I say are you going to follow the Prophet or not? I loved last nights celebration, which is what it was. I thought it was great! I look forward to my continued association with the BSA.

  • sally Kearns, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    I agree scouting can be a great learning experience for the boys and the leaders. When I compare my experience with cub scouting from back in the early 1980's and today there is a world of difference. Back in the 80's, parents ran the program including committee chairman and committee members (included pack and den). Today, in three areas of the U.S. I have done cub scouting this is not the situation. I am seeing more and more older parents and grandparent age (already raised their children) being asked to help out. Many of the parents expect the leaders to provide all the awards and badges for their son. It has become an entitlement program rather than a family program. One recent development in the LDS church in our area has been to have one week set aside for Faith in God only projects, no scouting allowed. So, those who are scout leaders need to run two separate programs and keep records of both. I think it is time to choose where the priorities will be, Faith in God or scouting.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Oct. 30, 2013 9:12 a.m.

    While this was going on last night, the scouts in my neighborhood were going door-to-door soliciting donations for Friends of Scouting. These donations pay the bloated salaries of professional scouters, the same ones who were warm and comfortable inside the conference center. Unfortunately, scouting has been reduced to three things: Summer camp, watered-down merit badges, and fundraising.

    The LDS Church needs to break from scouting and do their own program. It will never happen while President Monson is alive, but after he is gone it needs to happen.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Oct. 30, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    Generally speaking, I cannot understand how someone would choose to be gay. It just makes no logical sense. So, I come from the position that most gay people are born that way. My conclusion is not based on religion or politics.

    I had a conversation with couple of scout parents in our troop. They were very upset with the BSA, like many on this board, concerning the recent change.

    They were adamantly opposed to the change and very outspoken concerning homosexuality in general.

    These are men who love their children deeply.

    I could not help to think about people like that whose children just might be gay. These children certainly see the disdain. What would it be like for them? How would they feel knowing how disappointed their dad would be if he knew?

    Are these the kids who might commit suicide?

    Unless you believe that being Gay is just an arbitrary choice, consider the impact of your displeasure on your kid, who just might be gay.

    If you think that it would be impossible for you to ever have a gay kid, think again.

  • UtahBruin Saratoga Springs, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    So it has been said that the Church and the Prophet support scouting. The prophet also likes fishing also, it doesn't mean I have to like fishing because the prophet does.

    In a way, I agree with TXAfghanVEt, to a degree. First, I hate scouting, I think the program is a racket and a farse. I do not support it at all. However, I have a scout calling in church. I accepted the calling because I was asked to do it. And while I am with these young men and their leaders, I support them and encourage them to do and be there best. I do that for the leaders I work with and the boys. But I still will never support this organization.

    It was also said that "What other program is there that can take a young man away from the internet and the soft core pornography on the media?" Pretty simple actually, any other program a young man can be involved with, football, baseball, band, etc. If the internet is an issue, maybe you need to teach this in your own home and don't leave it up to the BS to raise your kid.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:43 a.m.

    "The brouhaha last year was an effort to make these boys into something they are not, gay."


    Could you please give me a few examples as to how someone would go about making YOU gay?

    For me personally, I cannot imagine how I could be "turned"

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    Those people that feel that the LDS church and scouting should part ways are mistaken. Scouting provides a solid program to help young men become decent, law abiding men and fathers. What other program is there that can take a young man away from the internet and the soft core pornography of the media? Yes, shirts and badges cost money and the paid administrators are not perfect but Scouting is a program that meshes well with what a Christian church should espouse. Just my opinion.

  • alphus1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    I must say, I object. While I understand the basis for some criticism, last night was delivering a big message mostly to members of the Church that 1) the Church and its Prophet support Scouting 2) Scouting is needed more now than ever 3) it has been a powerfully positive movement for a very long time and those kinds of foundational pillars should not be lightly abandoned. The BSA is better for the Church's involvement and the Church has been blessed by Scouting. Not every connection the Church has need pass a 100% philosophical purity test for the Church to maintain its outreach and cooperation. Let the baby and bath water be, for heaven's sake!

  • TXAfghanVet Dallas, TX
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    Years ago, as member of the National Guard, I became discouraged with things and some of the decisions that I saw officers make. My options were limited. Endure the status quo, quit, or make the hard choice, seek a commission and try to make changes within my sphere. I made the hard choice. I did not change the world, but I had many enlisted come and thank me for my efforts on their behalf.
    I’m at a similar crossroads with my affiliation in Scouting. There have been things recently done that I might not agree with. But then I look at the faces of the Scouts in my troop. I can endure the status quo, quit, or make the hard choice, roll up my sleeves and do everything in my power to make sure that these Scouts have the best experience possible, and to influence things within my sphere. I made the hard choice.
    For those of you ready to abandon Scouting, I challenge you to look at the good the organization has done for over 100 years. Then look into the faces of those young men. You have a choice to make.
    Yours in Scouting

  • elsmere241 Elsmere, DE
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    I agree with most of what AmericanPatriot said here. Paying for Scouting at the local Church level has become nothing less than a boondoggle. Meanwhile Salt Lake gives a blank check to Walnut Hill Lane (which gets supplemented by the United Way) for the right to tweak and water-down the program.

    My generation was told in the Church that Eagle Scout was the important thing, and so many finished Eagle but never really came out to church again, and there were some like me who fell short and were all but ostracized for it. I did figure out on my mission that in the eternal scheme of things, it didn't matter that I didn't finish Eagle. So why the big push for it?)

    I like what I see with the programs the Church has rolled out recently, such as Duty to God and Come, Follow Me. But Eagle Scout and Scout fundraising still get the big push.

    In some ways, I see last night's program as sort of a "last hurrah" for the relationship between LDS and BSA. Maintaining the status quo long-term is untenable, especially since it serves at best 40% of Church membership.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 7:53 a.m.

    Scouting will endure on the values for which it has always stood! The brouhaha last year was an effort to make these boys into something they are not, gay. It was a blatant attempt by the gay community and the media (always in consort)to stir things up (literally) that aren't relevant to its message or to young men. BSA will continue stronger than ever, if only by the LDS church's support, as has been said.

  • Mom of 8 Hyrum, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 7:22 a.m.

    American Patriot, I have to agree, on all points. My sons watched last night's broadcast and commented that, when it wasn't an uncomfortable musical about scouting, it felt like a blatant PR stunt. BSA is desperate to keep the Church on its side. I'm ready for the church to make a break instead. We can do much better without the bloated finances and misdirected values of BSA.

  • generalM Frannie, WY
    Oct. 30, 2013 5:52 a.m.

    A stirring salute to the values that make boys and men--and all of us--strong and capable people. May American Scouting always keep "duty to God," the most important value, as the center of its oath.

  • American Patriot Eagle Mountain, UT
    Oct. 29, 2013 11:44 p.m.

    As a former Assistant Council Commissioner the BSA has become nothing more than a very big disappointment. The only reason that individuals are getting 'medals' is because if the LDS Church dropped Scouting the whole organization would crumble. Sounds to me as if this PR stunt is nothing more than a drive to keep the LDS Church in the BSA. By the way, the Chief Scout Executive makes about 1.2 million a year while most everyone else is a volunteer and spending some serious bucks on uniforms and much, much more. Forget scouting and spend your money and time preparing for things that are more important as a family. Fathers, mothers, and other significant males can teach all the needed skills to any young man with a little study and field application. Even a friend who is a veteran can easily help teach any young man all types of skills. We don't need Scouting any longer especially with the compromise the BSA entered into. That send the wrong message to young men.