Comments about ‘LDS Church, Boy Scouts celebrate 'A Century of Honor'’

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Published: Tuesday, Oct. 29 2013 11:15 p.m. MDT

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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.

Parker, CO

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.

Rocket Science
Brigham City, UT

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.

Rocket Science
Brigham City, UT

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.

Aurora, CO

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......

Provo, UT

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!

Farm Strong
Heber City, UT

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.

Nottingham, MD

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.

Elk Ridge, UT

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.

Dammam, Saudi Arabia

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!"

Wasatch Front, UT

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.

Elk Ridge, UT

@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?

Tiny Tim
Tacoma, WA

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.

Wei Wei O Washte
Orem, UT

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?

Aurora, CO

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.

Saratoga Springs, UT

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

Bob K
porland, OR

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?

G L W8

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!

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