LDS Church satisfied with Scouting membership compromise

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  • Kieran B Murrieta, CA
    July 18, 2017 5:06 p.m.

    I love the scouting program and would say that not ever ADULT is suited to be a scout leader that can help the boys get the most out of scouting.

    With the introduction of the most recent Duty to God program - which is separated from scouting- fewer boys are receiving the Duty to God certificates, at least in my stake.

    But we move forward, right.

  • dallas20001 ,
    June 3, 2013 12:48 p.m.

    Dump the scouting program and create a better program that doesn't have to compromise the standards. I believe the church can create a far better program that will prepare youth for the changes that are confronting out youth and families.

  • David Gale Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2013 12:40 a.m.

    I'm shocked to read so many comments from people who have such extreme imaginations about people who are homosexual -

  • ghost 1 BRIGHAM CITY, UT
    May 20, 2013 11:06 p.m.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I've always thought that the BSA was a non-profit, private (not state or federally organized group) so why should they have to bend over to those wanting to compromise their standards?

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    May 4, 2013 10:42 p.m.

    Not all YM are suited for the Scouting program, and the Scouting program is not suited for all YM.

    That being the case, those that want to participate are welcome to do so. Those that don't, don't have to, and shouldn't be shoved into the program where they don't want to belong. Even with those YM who are attracted to other YM should be allowed to chose for themselves what they would like to do, and the YM leaders should also help them have success with lifetime worthwhile skills.

    Just my two cents on the whole dynamic issue of Scouting - straight, gay or otherwise.

  • TA1 Alexandria, VA
    April 30, 2013 5:25 a.m.

    So not "Gay Scout Leaders" but how about adult "Gay Role Models" as leaders so that the young gay Scouts can see that there is a standard that they can live up to in the Scouts just as young gay people can do so now in the Church (finally).

  • statman Lehi, UT
    April 29, 2013 11:30 p.m.

    Jack - I already told you which program - the Church's Duty to God program. It focuses more on religious learning and on many of the practical things that scouting teaches. And let's face it, for about 50% of eagle scouts, scouting taught them to do what they're mother planned for them.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    April 29, 2013 9:26 p.m.

    The lower age for missionaries is EXACTLY why Scouting is in place. What other program teaches young men to be self-reliant, to lead others, to teach others, plan and direct and to "do the hard things" and reflects the values of the Church? The Scout Oath and Law show young men how to live the Gospel, not just learn it in the abstract on Sunday. Scouting grows a young man into a worthy Priesthood holder, a confident missionary and a contributing man in society. It is there to challenge and to reward accomplishment, the way boys learn. Why replace an inspired program? Like any other calling, it takes time, training, and a testimony.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    April 29, 2013 9:13 p.m.

    @ Owen,
    District Commissioners are volunteers. I know the value and have a testimony of Scouting, and from what I can see there are many in this forum who just don't understand it.

    To quote the Bretheren: "Duty to God does not replace Scouting"

  • statman Lehi, UT
    April 29, 2013 7:00 p.m.

    Eastcoastcoug - they already have arogram for YM similar to the YW program. It's called Duty to God, and while every ward we've lived in while our sons were in the YM program played lip service to Duty to God, Scouting always got top billing. As our sons got closer to 18, YM leaders were very concerned about whether they had their Eagle requirements done, none made a peep about Duty to God...

    It wouldn't surprise me if the church dropped scouting because of the lower missionary age. YM need to be better prepared at a younger age, and scouting deflects too much attention to things that aren't as important to the ultimate goals of the YM program.

    The new motto for the YM program sans scouting - "Be (Better) Prepared"

  • ImABeliever Provo, UT
    April 29, 2013 12:58 p.m.

    The title of this article is a misrepresentation of what the L.D.S. church is saying.
    The L.D.S. is NOT and I repeat NOT saying it is satisfied.
    They are taking the same approach as they do with Politics and staying out of the way
    of people.

  • MurrayRep Murray, UT
    April 29, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is central to the idea of accepting those for who they are. The church still stands up for what is true, but that does not mean they can't accept people for who they are. Not having gay leaders is a great idea, because what if the leader who is gay has a gay scout in the troop and they have sexual relations with one another? This program is for the boys, not the leaders. The leaders are only there to guide and direct them. That is why the only needs needed to be met is to the BOY Scouts of America. Not the Woman/Man Scouts of America.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    April 28, 2013 10:54 p.m.

    District Commissioner -- remind me again, what is the salary of a District Commissioner? Your strong advocacy of scouting is well understood.

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    April 28, 2013 1:04 p.m.


    Strange how differently things look from people living in different geographical sections of the country. The scout program still serves us well here in the fly over country. Basic skills still matter. The Scout Oath and Law are still gospel here in the west. Things have not changed that much as far a basic training is concerned. Why try to fix a program that is not broken. It appears to me you do not work with the program. Most who do realize it's core values have not changed. Basic skills and leadership training, still do matter. The LDS church leaders are hanging on to the BSA realizing what it has contributed in the lives of it's youth.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    April 27, 2013 9:33 p.m.

    make no mistake the Church is watching BSA very very closely. There will be no more homosexual creep in to BSA otherwise I have no doubt the Church will pull plug. Also if LDS parents decide to abandon BSA then so will the Church. BSA is walking on thin ice right now and at least for now things will continue as is but don't expect the gay radicals to stop their push for gay scout masters any time soon. This is a very dicey situation and all it will take is a few incidents on camp outs not to the Churches liking and BSA is done. It would be a very easy transition and expansion into the duty to god program if need be.

  • goatesnotes Kamas, UT
    April 27, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    In 2003, I wrote:

    "Perhaps in future years Scouting will join Church basketball as more jetsam and flotsam from the ship of ZION is tossed overboard as it sails on into the darker nights and stormy seas ahead. The key, I believe, is to develop an approach inspiring young men to catch the vision of what the scriptures offer BEFORE they reach the MTC, modeled more closely after what the young women are doing. Cooking, camping and hiking merit badges are often touted as ample justification for mission preparation, so I guess Scouting is tantamount to the only true gospel among its adherents. But after all isn’t it just “another gospel” like Sigma Chi or Pi Kappa Alpha? (Too harsh? Paul didn’t think so – see Galatians 1:6-12). I realize this is something of a paradigm shift, and I suspect it will not occur overnight, but we might someday view it as eliminating a desirable but unnecessary option. Until then, I will pray for more enlightenment on its relevance with the gold standard goal of paving the way toward eternal life."

    This isn't "news" - it's the same ol' same ol'

  • trueamerican Huntsville, AL
    April 27, 2013 8:45 a.m.

    The LDS Church should either move toward their own program, where they are able to 100% control it, or else do what eastcoastcoug says and "fashion a program more like the YW...". The gay agenda will keep pushing and either the LDS Church will become even more gay friendly than they are now or they will draw a line in the sand and say, "No more!"

  • scodyshootfight KC, MO
    April 27, 2013 6:55 a.m.

    Doesn't the scout program in the church feel like being force fed food that you don't like? Seriously, over 90% of people I talk to in the church just don't feel like the benefits are worth all the headaches and sacrifice anymore.

    The purpose of Wednesday nights is to build unity, do service, and provide a chance for those who aren't active or who aren't members to come enjoy some fun and fellowship. If every Wednesday is used for scouting, I feel that we miss out on the other opportunities that Wednesday nights provide.

    I just feel that all the money we pay, all the headaches we endure for training leaders, all the turnover for leaders, all the amazing time sacrifice using the little family vacation we have for scout camp, and all the fundraisers aren't worth the benefits of scouting to most people. Especially when you consider that the missionary age is now 18, that these youth have Duty to God and seminary, and school and their families. This is why the YW program is run so much better than the YM. It's time to leave the BSA in the past

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    April 26, 2013 11:02 p.m.

    You seem to have missed out on the Methods of Scouting. You could easily substitute "Priesthood Quorum" for Scouting. We don't teach boys to tie knots just to teach them how to tie knots or camp or build a fire or any of those things. If all you and your boys did was go through the motions to get that bird on your pocket, you missed the point.

    For all you who think the Church could/should do it's own program, know this: They gave up their own program to affiliate with BSA. If they could, why don't they? Truth is, they can't and won't. BSA is what we need, it's what we have to prepare young men. I will say it again, if the boys lose interest at 14, your program and your leaders aren't doing it correctly. Time spent in training isn't wasted. Take it, enjoy it, implement it.

    District Commissioner

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    April 26, 2013 10:40 p.m.

    I'm stunned. How can you not see the relevance of Scouting? Everything done in Scouting is to help boys learn the way boys learn: in the outdoors, being tested and achieving, conquering themselves and learning to organize, to lead and to do it in a situation that won't be catastrophic if it fails. Listen to Elder Christoferson's (sp) talk from October Priesthood session, that will tell you what you seem to miss about boys. Scouting is exactly what the Lord has given us to prepare young men for missions, family, service. Young Women learn differently and they have a program that serves them. Young men don't learn well in that environment. If your Scouting program only appeals to boys up to 14, your program needs some serious work. The Church came up with Varsity Scouting, check that out. Venture Crews take boys at 14. Scouting takes effort on the part of Scouters to really put it to good work, you can't just "mail it in".

    District Commissioner

  • Ranch Here, UT
    April 26, 2013 8:29 p.m.


    1) I made no "choice" to be gay. I did make a choice to be the real person I am and to stop living a lie. I'm sorry that offends you.

    2) I am as good a role model as any heterosexual male I know. Your kids would do well to get to know me or people just like me. I'm sorry that you are so insular as to fail to realize that your attitude is that of bigotry.

    3) Please stop conflating homosexuality with criminal behavior.


    More nonsense from you. Don't you ever get tired of being wrong? Gay is not a choice. Gay is not something you can "change" at will. Being gay (and in a relationship) is not immoral any more than being straight and in a relationship is immoral. Bigotry is immoral though. Have fun at the judgement bar.


    It says that there are people who are bisexually attracted.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    April 26, 2013 7:29 p.m.

    Re: IT in South Jordan

    "So do any of you want your son or grandson to go to camp with a homosexual boy?"

    I don't take someone's sexual preference into consideration when I send my son on a camping trip anymore than I do the person's ethnicity, gender, religion, nation of origin, financial status, or career choice. There are far more important factors to consider.

  • pburt Logan, UT
    April 26, 2013 6:33 p.m.

    @ IT in South Jordan

    Pretty terrible thing to say about gay young men. If you read what our church leaders are teaching about the whole LGBT set of issues, you would see that you have no right or reason to condemn them as causing "decline and corruption of society morals and values." I do not know what the Lord has in store for us on these topics, but he has been guiding us toward tolerance and acceptance of diversity as fast as we are willing to follow. Sex is not a part of Scouting, so gay scouts and leaders should be welcomed without regard for their sexual orientation. Just loved and fellowshipped, just like you should be.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    April 26, 2013 5:35 p.m.

    Re: bandersen

    "No one fully knows the root causes of same-sex attraction. Each experience is different. Latter-day Saints recognize the enormous complexity of this matter. We simply don’t have all the answers. Attraction to those of the same sex, however, should not be viewed as a disease or illness."

    That comes from the website. You have to scroll past the first sentence in order to find it. Clearly, you chose not to. To be fair, the quote should read "LDS Leaders recognize" as clearly far too many among the LDS membership are not in agreement with their leaders on this issue. Curiously, those same members find no hypocrisy in publicly stating their disagreement on this policy, while condemning LDS members who are Democrats, who support civil rights for LGBT citizens, or who espouse other views that conflict with the dogma from some zealot members.

    On the same note, in 20+ years of Scouting participation, I never recall a single instance where heterosexuality or homosexuality was discussed, brought up, or passingly mentioned. Sounds an awful lot like some choose to invent an "activist" presence where one clearly doesn't exist.

  • IT in South Jordan South Jordan, UT
    April 26, 2013 4:50 p.m.

    So do any of you want your son or grandson to go to camp with a homosexual boy? It used to be that BSA and the LDS Church were bastions against the decline and corruption of society morals and values. I find this very disturbing, disgusting, and sad.

  • Just an Observer Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2013 4:49 p.m.

    With regard to LDS leaders being inspired: Yes, I agree with that. However, noting the personal attitudes of various leaders throughout Church history, and how that has influenced Church policy, also leads me to believe that there is nothing at all wrong with suggesting things might be done differently. Just one of many examples of personal attitude affecting Church policy can be seen in the emphasis given to Native Americans while Spencer W. Kimball was president. How often have we heard any emphasis on them at all in the years since he passed? Likewise, it has been said that the reason the 1978 Priesthood revelation was received by Pres. Kimball was because he asked about it. David O. McKay asked and was told it wasn't time. The two presidents following were much less open to it than he was.

    How does this relate to Scouting? President Monson is a lifelong Utah resident. Loves the outdoors. Loves Scouting. It's entirely possible that President Uchtdorf doesn't have the same zeal for it, yet we sustain him and the other apostles to the same calling. There's nothing wrong with Scouting, but to say it's inspired may be a stretch.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    April 26, 2013 4:10 p.m.

    How interesting to watch those who disagree with this position try to justify their opposition while not flat-out stating they disagree - and how interesting it is to see their absoluteness about the wrongness of such actions when addressing fellow members who try the same thing.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    April 26, 2013 4:05 p.m.

    Claudia: Unless, of course, you don't want a boy to know the truth, you would tell them that 'it is possible that you are gay'. No where on the website you suggested does it say that it is possible that you were born 'gay'. How that is handled is whole other matter. I'm certain I wouldn't handle as well as Jesus, but nevertheless I think that it is crucially important that a 12 year old boy be told the truth. Loving him, despite possibly making that mistake, is of great import and significance. However, there is no where in church doctrine that says that you could possibly be gay. Gay weaknesses, gay thoughts, yes! 'Gay' person now or in the eternities, no.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    April 26, 2013 4:04 p.m.

    Rocket Science -- as a father of five now-adult Eagle Scouts, I can testify that they received far more from the program already developed to replace scouting (Duty to God) than they ever did from scouts. They apply the Duty to God concepts every day, but haven't tied anything other than shoelaces in 15 years.

    We're essentailly abandoning older teens by the way we administer the program. It was an inspired relationship 100 years ago. It has no relevance now. Especially outside the U.S., where the majority of members live. I hope when the inevitable inspiration comes to jump off, you support it.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    April 26, 2013 3:43 p.m.

    "Even though individuals do not choose to have same sex attraction"....... Since when has that become an absolute? There are many people who have "chosen" both ways. What does that say?

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    April 26, 2013 3:28 p.m.

    Re: Mack2828

    "I love the church and love our leaders, but the way they are approaching this in such a nuanced, public relations sensitive way saddens me. Why not just speak the truth boldly and let the consequences fall wherever they may? True prophets have always been hated by those who live after the manner of the world. Why is our church so afraid of offending the world?"

    You seem to reject the possibility that the Church has spoken the truth, and that you simply failed to hear it. True prophets have always been rejected by their own people in their own country.

    Re: bandersen

    "Twyspears: You can still teach a scout that there is no such thing as being 'gay' if in fact you are an LDS troop. The doctrines of the church are quite clear."

    You are correct in your second statement. However, if you believe your first statement is evidence of that doctrine, you are tragically incorrect. I suggest you take more than a cursory glance at the Gays and Mormons website to better understand the doctrinal approach to this issue.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    April 26, 2013 2:57 p.m.

    Twyspears: You can still teach a scout that there is no such thing as being 'gay' if in fact you are an LDS troop. The doctrines of the church are quite clear. However, anybody, any scout, can have 'gay' thoughts, as well as any other immoral thoughts. That's not a problem. It all has to do with action. Clear your thoughts and proper action follows, something the savior taught quite clearly also.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2013 2:44 p.m.

    Meanwhile the Girl Scouts have been getting along just fine while having lesbian leaders.

  • no street BYU, UT
    April 26, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    @UTAHBRUIN: "I don't agree with their "choice" they made in life"

    What "choice" is that?
    Did a person "choose" to be "born gay"?
    The Mormon Church doesn't think so.

    The Mormon Church teaches "Even though individuals do not choose to have such [homosexual/same-sex attractions,..."

  • plainbrownwrapper Nashville, TN
    April 26, 2013 2:12 p.m.

    @Redshirt --

    "Think of it this way, is it more believable to a jury, if a scout claims sexual abuse from a gay man or from a hetersexual man that is married with a family?"

    Seeing as how the most recent -- and, in fact, many other -- BSA abuse incidents were perpetrated by married men, I'd have no trouble declaring the gay man innocent. ;-)

    "Gay" is not another word for "Predator".

  • plainbrownwrapper Nashville, TN
    April 26, 2013 1:55 p.m.

    @UtahBruin --

    "Nobody has judged anyone. Personally, to answer your ignorant question. I am not judging a homosexual man or woman. I don't agree with their "choice" they made in life. Therefore, just as I don't agree with someone who has robbed a store or stolen a car."

    By comparing homosexuals to car thieves, you clearly *have* judged them.

    Even the LDS Church leaders have officially acknowledged that homosexuality is not a choice. The "Mormons and Gays" website specifically says: "individuals do not choose to have such attractions". It also says: "The attraction itself is not a sin".

    Who are you to insist on more purity than the church leaders do themselves??

  • Mack2828 Ft Thomas, KY
    April 26, 2013 1:38 p.m.

    I love the church and love our leaders, but the way they are approaching this in such a nuanced, public relations sensitive way saddens me. Why not just speak the truth boldly and let the consequences fall wherever they may? True prophets have always been hated by those who live after the manner of the world. Why is our church so afraid of offending the world?

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    April 26, 2013 1:31 p.m.

    Boy Scouts is a mission, friending, following, serving, maybe babysitting, and a calling to improve someone's life, even those with whom you serve. For those that are LDS and men, there are other callings that some may covet to have, such as Primary chorister, nursery leader, hymn book passer-outer, ward missionary, early-morning seminary teacher every weekday, cannery/mill/Deseret Industries coordinator and scheduler, meeting house scheduler, and Young Single adult leader that don't involve scouting. However, Scouting involves Primary, Young Men and indirectly Young Women, Aaronic Priesthood and even Seminary indirectly. Elders quorum and High Priests quorums directly as leaders of YM and the Bishopric are all involved and called.

    Everyone in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is involved in scouting and that is what has kept scouting going in the United States of America. It is like a church for some non-LDS living away from Utah. The advancement in scouting is highlighted with service to others and a Duty to God. We should all be thankful for a non-church organization that supports similar ideals for young men. Those young men become the fathers and husbands of generations to come.

  • UtahBruin Saratoga Springs, UT
    April 26, 2013 1:28 p.m.

    @ JCH

    Nobody has judged anyone. Personally, to answer your ignorant question. I am not judging a homosexual man or woman. I don't agree with their "choice" they made in life. Therefore, just as I don't agree with someone who has robbed a store or stolen a car. I choose not to have my kids be taught or around people in either category of being a thief or a homosexual. Why you may ask? I don't want any possible influence rubbing off on my child because of someone else's choice. They made a choice and can be influenctial. Just as I have been a sport coach before, I am an influence to kids who play in the sport I coach, they look at my past and want to be and do the things I accomplished. That is influence, and I choose not to have a gay person, criminal or anyone else who made bad choices affect the rearing of my children. My job as a father is to do the best I can while they are still at home. After that I hope I did a good job that they stay on the right path.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    April 26, 2013 1:13 p.m.

    I am a District BSA trainer,have participated in LDS week at Philmont for Aaronic Priesthood/Scouting training twice in the past few years. I am saddened and disappointed there are some so anxious to throw out a truly inspired program. I ask are you ready to step up and do all the additional work it would take to replicate what we get from BSA?

    You should know, LDS Duty to God does not duplicate what BSA offers, they are complimentary efforts, each significant in a young man’s development. I suggest you dig in to the Duty to God booklet with your sons and find out about it even get a book for yourself and do likewise while you support your sons. The Church is in BSA for the overall development of LDS young men AND all young men of all faiths. The Church entered scouting under the inspiration of Joseph F. Smith 100 years ago. Today we have an inspired Prophet in Thomas Monson and we should have the faith to follow his lead in all things without bemoaning and saying I won’t give. We should say how can I best give and support.

  • no street BYU, UT
    April 26, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    There was no compromise.

    The BSA has not proposed any meaningful change to their policy. The current policy prohibits open homosexuals, the proposed policy prohibits open homosexuals.

    There is nothing noteworthy about the proposed "change". All the BSA has proposed is "new speak" to keep the status quo.

    All this proposed change reinforces is that "closet homosexuals" can join BSA, which under the current policy a "closet homosexual" can join BSA.

  • baggs RIGBY, ID
    April 26, 2013 12:31 p.m.

    Regarding Brent's comments, lets first give these kids a break. They are just trying to figure out their world. Its the adults that are calling them gay. They are still trying to figure out what they are. Heck, I am still trying to figure my self out. We all are.

    But, I have little patience for the group of adults who act as if these kids with inclinations for the same sex, carry little cards in their back pocket that says they are 100% homosexual. They are 100% kids trying to make sense of this world and needs some guidance....preferably by straight leaders and/or those who may struggle but don't come out and promote and live that lifestyle.

  • twspears6007 Bakersfield, CA
    April 26, 2013 12:30 p.m.

    The LDS Church new statement on approving the proposal to lift the ban on Homosexual Scout youth is unnecessary and will be at best controversial and unenforceable for many years to come. We must evaluate this statement for what it is a statement from the LDS Church only. The LDS Church itself will have an effect on homosexual youth in Scouting only if the new proposal passes. The thousands of Councils that represent all Americas Scout Units including LDS will have the final vote in May. I wish the Church leaders would have sought the Scout Leaders concerns before going to the media with their approval. The LDS Church will be faced with the problem along with the BSA of adult homosexuals as Scout leaders if this proposal passes. As a LDS Scoutmaster I felt blindsided by my Church Leaders and I feel the Church should have waited till after the vote before it made a statement. Sincerely, Trenton

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    April 26, 2013 12:12 p.m.

    Don't worry this is in effect a reaffirmation of the Scout Oath & Law and seems to be the best approach. It still does NOT allow for any homosexual conduct but it does acknowledge that there are those who may have a same gender attraction. There should be no discrimination, hazing or harrassment as is presently against BSA policy. There should not be any sexual conduct in scouting of any kind and there should not be any discussion of a sexual nature "around the campfire" or at other activities. It would be inappropriate for boys or adults to discuss sexual experience/preference/etc; BSA has and still will leave discussions concerning such issues to be dealt with the ecclesiastical leader of the boy.

    'National Scouting officials said the resolution reinforces "that Scouting is a youth program and any sexual conduct, wheter heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting" Yes that is a reaffirmation that virtues of the past and present are those of the future for BSA.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 26, 2013 12:10 p.m.

    To those who want gay scout leaders also. What you fail to recognize is that by not allowing gay scout leaders, the BSA is protecting the leaders as much as they are the scouts.

    Think of it this way, is it more believable to a jury, if a scout claims sexual abuse from a gay man or from a hetersexual man that is married with a family?

    Lets look at it from another perspective. Would you make somebody that has struggled with alcholism in the past a bar tender? Who is protected by NOT making them a bar tender?

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    April 26, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    First, it is my desire to follow the prophet (and the leaders). So I'll "obey" and wait for the confirmation of further enlightenment. But this surprised me and confuses me (because I cannot "see" ahead).

    The purpose of scouting in the Church is to train leadership. But as soon as a homosexual boy turns 18 they can no longer participate in scouting -- in leading. Huh? Then we have the whole analysis where we wouldn't allow coed camp-outs, restroom use, showers, etc. Why? If the youth involved are be chaste, what is the issue? Well there is an issue (it seems). So, the status quo where you don't know a scout is gay, at least works in ignorance. Of course there'd be no need for this policy if this were the case. But this allows youth to "come out," albeit as chaste -- but now there is no ignorant bliss and it seems creepy.

    Meanwhile this all seems to validate something that isn't valid. This is very vexing.

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    April 26, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    I feel bad for all of the tightwads that have been looking forward to the end of friends-of-scouting drives. I also feel bad for all those forced grudgingly to put in the time required of scouting leaders.

    As for me, I am thankful for the ongoing support of scouting given by my church. When run properly, scouting works well with the Aaronic priesthood program. It is an inspired program.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    April 26, 2013 12:00 p.m.

    @bandersen & Rick for Truth & MapleDon;
    'Morally straight' does NOT mean heterosexual. It means simply moral. One thing you've all done is to equate "morality" with sex. Morality encompasses so much more than just that.


    We will continue our "activism" until there is no more bigotry to be active against.
    MapleDon says:
    "I'm still disappointed that the Church has found it fitting and appropriate to lower standards."

    --- What is it that makes it "lower standards" about equality?

    @Chris B;

    You are incorrect.


    We don't care about or need "recognition or approval by the LDS church" for our marriages. We just need you to stop being a roadblock.


    Let your "heavy heart" think about the burden that GLBT kids have been carrying around if you think your's is difficult.


    You're just another one equating homosexuality and pedophilia. Are you just uneducated or are you doing it on purpose (in which case beware the commandment about false witness)?

  • byu rugby Crystal Lake, IL
    April 26, 2013 11:52 a.m.

    If this is not the final nail, it is certainly close to it.

    A. The activists are not going to let this stand. Now that the camel has his head in the tent, it will only be a short while until he is all in. "If it is OK for the boys, why not the Men?" Who cares if they are openly gay? As long as they are celibate?

    It is going to be really interesting when some kid shows up at camp (with the egging of activist adults) flying the rainbow flag, making public comments, and generally making a scene. But, it will all be OK, right?

    B. Now that the BSA has caved on this issue, what confidence do members have that it won't cave on every other moral issue it has stood for in the past?

    No since waiting for the inevitable. Donate the uniform and, ask for a calling in the family history library or font filler.

  • tomof12 Provo, UT
    April 26, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    If modeling gender roles had nothing to do with Boy Scouts, there would be no need for the "boy" in Boy Scouts. (Perhaps that is where critics of the present policy should be looking.) And can you really model gender roles without an implicit acceptance of gender complementarity? Does it ultimately make sense? I'm not sure it does. In any case, a heterosexual leader (whose "sex object" is not a male) is a neutral figure in an organization for boys in a way that a homosexual leader (whose "sex object" is a male) could not be. Would you, as a general policy, be willing send a man off backpacking into the wilderness with a group of teenage girls? Would the girls want that? The BSA's policy recommendation is, after all, based in part on interviews with scouts about the issue.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    April 26, 2013 11:40 a.m.


    I agree, I think the church could design a much better program. I am an eagle scout, but I am not particularly fond of scouting. I think it's a bloated over priced and overly bureaucratic program.

    I do however think that the nature experience is very valuable. There are lessons to be learned in the wilderness that I don't think can be learned any other way. I think it's very important for the youth to have those experiences outdoors, because sometimes they won't get them from their families. That said there is no reason that those programs have to be done through the scouting organization.

  • JCH San Diego, CA
    April 26, 2013 11:32 a.m.

    Quick question for all my anti-gay brother and sister commenters on this page: Who, exactly, are you to judge a gay man who wants to be a Scout leader?

    I ask because, as I read your comments, it appears that you believe a gay man cannot be viable candidate simply because he's a homosexual, regardless of any other characteristics he may have. Do I understand that correctly? Amazing...

  • trippinut Draper, UT
    April 26, 2013 11:28 a.m.

    Honest question here....

    I know the church has stated that an open homosexual can be in good standing (hold recommend, priesthood, church calling) if they don't act on their homosexual desires.

    Is anyone aware of a policy or a case where a good standing homosexual male works with children or youth in a church calling? I think this is a better comparison of church policy and scout policy. I really don't know what the church states, just wondering.

    I do know that known predators (like on sex offender list) cannot work with youth, even if they are now in good standing with the church. To be clear, I'm not saying homosexuals are predators...I'm just illustrating that there is a church policy for sexual predators and wondering what the policy/history is for open homosexuals serving in a youth related calling.


  • LDSMOM Perris, CA
    April 26, 2013 11:28 a.m.

    I totally agree with eastcoastcoug, some times they are so focused on Scout stuff than on their Duty to God programs... which I believe it is very important too!
    Local leaders are giving a strong focus in our unit and I encourage my sons at home work on their Youn Men's program too!
    Scouting is very important but we always have to teach with balance, I don't think you will make knots or build fires in the mission field, so yes... I strongly believe there should be a balance and follow what finally our leaders will determine at the end.

  • GDance Independence, MO
    April 26, 2013 11:19 a.m.

    I agree with eastcoastcoug. As a YM's leader and assistant scout master there is a massive burden on the adult leaders that doesn't exist for YW leaders. I just lost a full day of my life attending a BSA required adult leadership training course required to become an assistant scout master. All we did was what a scout has to do to become a 1st class scout. We learned knot tying, selecting a proper camp site, making a foil dinner. I was already a scout and have been to Philmont, yet there was no skipping the class.

    Jim C. is correct in his assessment of the Church's statement. It doesn't actually say "we support this proposal" it simply acknowledges and thanks the BSA for its efforts to consider everyone's input on a very challenging topic.

    If the BSA approves this policy, the Church could leave the BSA without contradicting this press release at all. The Church has said "we have stayed out and not taken sides in the issue". Why would they now, after all this time of not taking sides, come out in support of one view or the other prior to the vote?

  • Universal Truth Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2013 11:17 a.m.

    RanchHand said: "Just like adult heterosexual males are attracted to adult women, homosexuals are attracted to adults of their same gender, not children." By that logic, we should be able to feel safe about adult males sleeping in the same tent as teenage girls.

    Although I can't speak for ALL heterosexual males, I think it's safe to say that there certainly is some attraction to females as soon as they begin to develop the physical attributes that we associate with adulthood--and that can be at quite a young age. Most adult heterosexual men have the good sense to block that attraction as being entirely unacceptable. And most such men, if for some unfathomable reason put into the situation of having to be in the same tent with young women, would do everything in their power to get out of that situation. So why should we not hold adult homosexual men to the same standard with regard to teenage males?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    @Rick for Truth
    "The Boy Scout Motto will need to be rephrased from "morally straight" to "morally straight and sometimes not straight". For the first time in my life I disagree with the Church. I"

    First time? Uh... you do realize your church already allows gay people to be members and in leadership positions as long as they are celibate, right? That's a more liberal position than the Boy Scouts have taken since they don't allow gay leaders, celibate or not.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    April 26, 2013 11:01 a.m.

    Being involved with scouting in many places in and outside of the USA, some of the problems with scouting, just like any business or organization, the parents are so into advancement and push their children way beyond what is normal, and the others in the pack, troop, varsity scouts, etc, with order of the arrow, etc. cause problems for others. The pinewood derby mentality that winning is everything, not about just doing it and time with a father or mother building and making the car.

    Moderation is good. However, some people have become a scout 24/7/365 days a year and breathe and live everything scouts. That is not normal either. Life goes on. At least in the LDS church you have a calling and pass through it once or twice but not involved with just scouts for 40-50 years directly. Some that is their life.

    The Church believes in those principles of scouting as they blend with the overall learning process for a young man. Merit badges, camping, knots, and other things teach something the young man can do in his life, trades, interest, involvement and career, even friends he finds. Role models for leaders is priority.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    April 26, 2013 10:55 a.m.

    I know it. I Live it. I Love it says:

    "At risk scenario for predatory behavior" has no bias. One man may do the wrong thing as much as another. But a straight man is by far less likely to with another male."
    You ARE implying that homosexuals are pedophiles with that comment. It is quite clear. It isn't a homosexual or a heterosexual male who is attracted to children. It is a pedophile; and that pedophile may very well be the straight, married, male supervising your boys. Pedophilia isn't about gender it's about certain aspects of their victim (their level of development or lack of it, i.e. children).

    To make the statement "But a straight man is by far less likely to with another male." implies that the heterosexual man is more likely to "lie with" one of the boys. That is simply NOT TRUE. Just like adult heterosexual males are attracted to adult women, homosexuals are attracted to adults of their same gender, not children.

  • Just an Observer Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    eastcoastcoug: I'm another that completely agrees with you. In fact, I had somewhat been hoping that the BSA would make a decision the Church wouldn't agree with so we would finally disassociate ourselves from them. I know I may well take some flak from fellow LDS who support Scouting, but, it simply isn't for everybody--by a long shot. Some like camping, some do not. Some like tying knots, some do not. Some like going to monthly meetings that look as though they were timewarped out of the early 1900's, and some do not. I would be VERY happy to have the Church design their own program that is more relevant to all youth without emphasizing some aspects that some might not see as relevant to the world in which we currently live.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    April 26, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always practiced, "Come Unto Christ". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is still growing throughout the world as they practice "Come Unto Christ" in everything they do, not just for the young men of the Church. The "Duty to God" award exemplifies the process for young men to follow God's teachings and more young men are even responding to the Church's call to go unto the world. A lot of people hear that message in how we deal with people from all nations, cultures, and languages. The Scout law is appropriate for all people just as the 10 commandments are for all people in their personal lives, government, schools, and even in sports activities. Being honest with all people is the commandment, best principle practice, and good for everyone. Scouting principles are good, along with merit badges, camping, and the advancement process.

    People want to tear down families and good organizations. The media used to show the different activities of scouting in the different and multi-media methods. Now they show every movie actor and all the activities they do. What is beneficial for young men?

  • DHan Syracuse, UT
    April 26, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    This is consistent with Church policy regarding its own members. Why the hand-wringing?

  • twspears6007 Bakersfield, CA
    April 26, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    I for one do not agree with the proposal to lift the ban on Homosexual Youth from the BSA. I believe we have placed a unnecessary burden on the Church Scout leaders and the missionary efforts of the Church. You cannot replace Godly correctness with political correctness I believe that is what the Church has done. I am a LDS and as a Scoutmaster how do I address the subject of a homosexual Scout. If it is brought up at our Scout meeting do I tell the Scout that as long as you do not practice the act of homosexuality you are ok. Is it proper to address the subject with other non-Homosexual Scouts in the Troop? In my many years with the Church I have faithfully followed the doctrine of the Church because it did not conflict with God and his Son Jesus Christ. My heart is heavy with this new burden that has been placed on me and possibly others. It will be a struggle to remain a Scout Leader in my calling and I will pray heavily that this BSA proposal will not become a reality in Scouting. Faithful but challenged. Sincerely, Trenton Spears

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    April 26, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    I'm not surprised by the decision, and I told my fellow Scout leaders that this was coming as a natural progression of the LDS church becoming more "gay friendly". Funny that last week when the article appeared, we had many comments of those who were going to withhold FOS funds and pull their kids out of Scouts. I don't see many of those here today. I don't think this is a big deal. This simply aligns the policy of the church with the BSA. We never kicked a kid out of the Deacons Quorum because he was gay, why would we kick him out of the BSA. Finally, this isn't over. The LGBT crowd is already upset because it continues the ban on gay leaders. Funny how the fight to the supreme court a few years ago against this issue seems like a waste of money. Remember the old group Save our Scouts (SOS) that I think Chris Cannon headed? Wasted time, effort, and money. Civil unions will be next in Utah

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    April 26, 2013 10:04 a.m.

    "Church leaders are such strong boosters of Scouting that the departure would be very reluctant and, I fear, much delayed."

    Yes they are and the inevitable departure has already been delayed for far too long.

    Take it from a former scout leader -- scouting stopped being relevant to anyone but the leaders years ago. And stopped being relevant to older teens decades ago.

    Its more-relevant and effective replacement has already been developed.The time to jump is now.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    April 26, 2013 9:48 a.m.


    It's one thing to allow "gay" men to hold the priesthood and serve in various offices while not participating in sexual activity.

    However, for a young man to come out of the closet, announce that he is gay, acknowledging to his "fellow men" that he is of that orientation, presents a challenge. Such a young man should not be sleeping in the same tent with young men anymore than young women.

    By the way, just to make sure we're all clear, you have been an outspoken supporter of gay marriage. I don't believe your concerns will be resolved until all gay relationships are welcomed and recognized by the LDS Church.

  • amazondoc USA, TN
    April 26, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    @ChrisB --

    "Fact: 100% of men who have abused boys are either homosexual or bisexual.

    This is the very definition of homosexual or bisexual"

    Nope, not a fact at all.

    Once again --

    Pedophilia has nothing to do with one's orientation towards adults.

    From a psychological researcher at UC Davis:

    "The distinction between a victim's gender and a perpetrator's sexual orientation is important because many child molesters don't really have an adult sexual orientation. They have never developed the capacity for mature sexual relationships with other adults, either men or women. Instead, their sexual attractions focus on children – boys, girls, or children of both sexes. "

    "...the important point is that many child molesters cannot be meaningfully described as homosexuals, heterosexuals, or bisexuals...because they are not really capable of a relationship with an adult man or woman. Instead of gender, their sexual attractions are based primarily on age. These individuals – who are often characterized as fixated – are attracted to children, not to men or women. "

    Homosexuality is not the same thing as pedophilia.

    Remember, even the most recent case of abuse within the BSA involved a straight married man.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2013 9:32 a.m.


    100% of men who have abused boys are either homosexual or bisexual.

    This is the very definition of homosexual or bisexual

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2013 9:27 a.m.


    I couldn't agree more. I would have loved if I had such experiences as a youth. I have no doubt they would have helped me through certain challenges I faced. I also don't doubt that it could help many young men today more than I can even imagine. Whether it's the right thing to do or not I cannot know, but I'm on board if it is!

    There are so many problems attacking young men today. Our society has changed dramatically in the past 15 years. The internet has played the biggest part in that. If there is anything that may help counter the negative effects, a spiritual YM camp may just be that. Survival skills are important, but without being spiritually strong not much else matters. 3 Nephi 13:30-34

    I don't expect such a plan to happen, but if it did I would probably jump for joy. :)

  • amazondoc USA, TN
    April 26, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    @MapleDon --

    "The phrase "morally straight" will need to be removed and replaced with "and not discriminate"."


    Even the LDS church acknowledges that same-sex attraction is not a sin, as long as the homosexual person remains celibate. And, since *any* extramarital relations are considered sinful, gay men are in the very same boat as straight ones so far as that is concerned.

    It's perfectly possible for an openly gay man to be a "morally straight" example for boy scouts. He can easily be honest and say "yes, I'm gay," while at the same time honoring the Church's principles of chastity.

    The Church welcomes celibate gay leaders. Why not the Scouts?

  • UU32 Bountiful, UT
    April 26, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    eastcoastcoug - I completely agree.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    April 26, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    @Rick for Truth

    Couldn't agree with you more. We talked about this same issue at the dinner table last night. The phrase "morally straight" will need to be removed and replaced with "and not discriminate".

    I'm reminded of Lot...

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    April 26, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    What really bothers me is the term "avowed homosexual" So once you are out of the closet and are truly being yourself, you become a threat? The LDS position of "you can be gay but don't ACT on it", is quite ridiculous and untenable in the real world. Things are moving in the right direction though.

  • ieatfriedpikmin Houston, TX
    April 26, 2013 8:56 a.m.

    @cougar76, you do realize that openly gay youth and openly gay adult leaders can participate in Duty to God, right? Duty to God is actually more gay friendly than the BSA, which is why the LDS Church will never leave Scouting over this issue. It's not the year 2000 anymore.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    April 26, 2013 8:51 a.m.


    No worries mate! The Church will monitor closely BSA and will stop participation if there is any more homosexual creep into policy. I know alot of people are concerned about allowing the gay movement a foot in the door but in reality the Church already has gay members and so this is nothing new with BSA and their new policy. Gays are welcome in the Church and Elder Holland has made that clear in a recent talk. I think the good influence and example of members will go along way toward helping those who struggle with same sex attraction and will lead some of them out of homosexuality and back to a normal healthy life. The only way to help those who struggle with any addiction or mental illness is to love them and invite them to participate and that is what the Church is doing. Many who are gay had no choice in the matter so it behooves all of us to reach out to them with love and a welcome hand. It may also be that many who are gay will be gay for life and they are still loved by the Lord.

  • Dave D Pocatello, ID
    April 26, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    So a gay scout makes it through the boy scout program, earning his eagle. The day he turns 18, he is no longer allowed to participate in scouting as a leader? This "compromise" does not seem reasonable to me. I think it carries on the untrue stigma that a gay scout leader = a sexual predator. NOT TRUE!

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 26, 2013 8:34 a.m.

    Nobody asked 'em.

  • scottva Woodbridge, VA
    April 26, 2013 8:22 a.m.

    This change is fine on its face, but I can guarantee that gay-rights activists will challenge the status quo by seeking membership in Church-sponsored Scout units. The BSA anti-discrimination policy would seem to preclude denying them membership based on their publically stated sexual orientation. Do we really want openly gay activists meeting and camping with our Aaronic Priesthood young men?

    I agree wholeheartedly with the comment by "eastcoastcoug": "Why not fashion a program more like the YW: more focused on personal growth with a more spiritual and practical 21st century emphasis. I would gladly trade the fire building and knot-tying for something that better prepares boys for life: career, missions, marriage, family, service, etc. I think the YW have the right idea. Plus, scouting only really appeals to boys up to age 13 or 14 at the max." Excellently said.

    In response to the comment by IMAPatriot2 that the Church will leave Scouting when it no longer serves the Church's purposes: I hope you're right, but many Church leaders are such strong boosters of Scouting that the departure would be very reluctant and, I fear, much delayed.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    April 26, 2013 8:12 a.m.

    The principles of the Boy Scout youth from Baden Powell to now have always been the same. The Scout Motto and Law are the same. The statement for boys is the same and that age group from Cub Scouts to graduating from High School are so essential for demonstrating what families of Boy Scouts can do through the various programs. The Boy Scouts have not really changed their beliefs or their intent of the program. For the past 100 years, the young men from 8-18 and their parents need to know they can still trust their leaders. This has sent a message to those who are leaders and want to be leaders that certain expectations are written and agreed to while being a leaders of boys and young men. Any organization with those numbers have to have a mission statement and qualifications for leaders and management with quality standards.

    Having lived around the world and the United States of America, the Church needs their partnership with the Boy Scouts of America in setting the proper example of what leadership and standards are. This program is for all young men around the world and is positive of America and Church.

  • Rick for Truth Provo, UT
    April 26, 2013 8:10 a.m.

    The Boy Scout Motto will need to be rephrased from "morally straight" to "morally straight and sometimes not straight". For the first time in my life I disagree with the Church. I cannot and will not accept any callings in the future involving and requiring me to belong to the Boy Scout's organization. Additionally, I will not send them any of my hard earned $ in their "Friends for Scouting" Champaign. Until the Prophet comes out from the bully pulpit and says we must support the Boy Scouts, I will not accept this edict.

  • ReadMineFirst Ft. Collins, CO
    April 26, 2013 8:07 a.m.

    Eastcoastcoug: You have the right idea. Perhaps then the YM could adopt one of the most important values given to us from our beloved Sister Dalton...Return To VIRTUE!

  • amazondoc USA, TN
    April 26, 2013 8:00 a.m.

    @I know it --

    "But a straight man is by far less likely to with another male."

    That simply isn't true.

    In fact, the most recent case of abuse within the BSA was perpetrated by a straight married man.

    Pedophilia has nothing to do with one's orientation towards adults.

    From a psychological researcher at UC Davis:

    "The distinction between a victim's gender and a perpetrator's sexual orientation is important because many child molesters don't really have an adult sexual orientation. They have never developed the capacity for mature sexual relationships with other adults, either men or women. Instead, their sexual attractions focus on children – boys, girls, or children of both sexes. "

    "....many child molesters cannot be meaningfully described as homosexuals, heterosexuals, or bisexuals...because they are not really capable of a relationship with an adult man or woman. Instead of gender, their sexual attractions are based primarily on age. These individuals – who are often characterized as fixated – are attracted to children, not to men or women. "

    Homosexuality is not the same thing as pedophilia.

    Even the LDS church welcomes celibate gay leaders. Why not the Scouts?

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2013 7:25 a.m.

    The church's compromise is "fair" in exactly the same way that it would be "fair" to say that black kids can sit next to white kids in public school classrooms, but that black kids may not aspire to become public school teachers.

    The church is being short-sighted and wrong, again.

    April 26, 2013 7:02 a.m.

    It is my opinion that the "Church" doesn't need scouting as a program for young men. They have already put in place other options for young men activity and learning. When the BSA changes to the point that they no are no longer contributing to the expected growth of young men, they will not be used by the "Church" to assist in this activity.

    This is a political/social issue that is used by some to promote themselves and/or their lifestyle. Unfortunately, their efforts are distracting and not furthering the effort to strengthen the young men. But that wasn't their intention anyway.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    April 26, 2013 7:00 a.m.

    As much as I love the Scouting program (I'm an Eagle Scout), I have to ask why this program is so relevant to boys (and leaders) in the LDS church today? Why not fashion a program more like the YW: more focused on personal growth with a more spiritual and practical 21st century emphasis. I would gladly trade the fire building and knot-tying for something that better prepares boys for life: career, missions, marriage, family, service, etc. I think the YW have the right idea. Plus, scouting only really appeals to boys up to age 13 or 14 at the max.

    Then there's the burden on BSA leaders who must give up their precious annual family vacation time to spend a Summer week and other weekends (dozens of them) on campouts. It just doesn't seem right and I think we could do much MUCH better. Let's design our own program...

  • cougar76 Raleigh, NC
    April 26, 2013 6:19 a.m.

    The transition is already complete. It is called "Duty to God."

  • germanygator Apo, AE
    April 26, 2013 4:17 a.m.

    This won't work. Homosexual behavior will be just as "naturally" acted upon as heterosexual behavior exhibits itself. This ruling basically says, you're allowed to participate if your gay, just don't be gay at the meetings. No way this doesn't cause issues down the road.

  • rightascension Provo, UT
    April 26, 2013 12:44 a.m.

    This development has less than meets the eye. For a start, Boy Scouts of America have always had boys in the troops who preferred other boys, so that is nothing new per se. Furthermore, at any given point only 3-5% of available men who could be scout leaders have or had same-gender attraction. So over the years, most of the emotional destruction and abuse done in scouting was done by heterosexual leaders.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    April 26, 2013 12:35 a.m.

    Procurador... How can a policy that aligns scouting's policies with "inspired"church policies be,"sad for scouting"? The policy -- celibate gay members allowed -- is the same for both groups. Is it sad for the church? In fact an argument can be made the church's inspired policy is more liberal, since celibate gay members can hold leadership positions.

  • TMR Los Angeles, CA
    April 26, 2013 12:20 a.m.

    To procuradorfiscal: I am not sure I follow your logic. If the Boy Scouts eventually allows gay leaders then why would the church "transition to whatever will succeed Scouting" when a gay priesthood holder can serve in a Bishopric or work in a LDS temple? You also suggest that the National Council will "wimp out" at some point by allowing gay leadership. Does this logic also apply to the church, which allows, as already noted, gay leadership in prominent church leadership positions? If so, then the church, whose leadership you cite as "inspired," has, again using your words, "wimped out." I support the church's position, but just remind you and others to think carefully before extrapolating your own prejudices into the thinking of church leadership.

  • nephiter Phoenix, AZ
    April 25, 2013 11:53 p.m.

    The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

    WE, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

    ALL HUMAN BEINGS;male and female;are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    April 25, 2013 11:19 p.m.

    I'm not surprised by the Church's support, given the Church's efforts in recent years to become gay friendly. I have no doubt the Church was involved in the wording of the BSA's proposed policy change.

    I'm still disappointed that the Church has found it fitting and appropriate to lower standards. We're not talking about young men who have gay inclinations (or a don't ask, don't tell policy). These are young men who know they're gay and are open about it. What's the difference between this and having young women camp with young men?

    Prop 8 was a PR disaster for the Church and I don't think its leaders have the stomach for facing anymore criticism from the LGBT community and supporters/activists.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 25, 2013 10:18 p.m.

    Our leaders know what they're doing. Closely examine the carefully-worded statement. It contains no guarantee of continued Church partnering, or of acceptance of anything other than a proposal that requires literally no change in the way we conduct Scouting.

    As the National Council meets next month, LGBT activists will demand more changes. They'll probably find an ally or two. They may even win.

    If so, we've preserved the running room necessary to withdraw honorably from the partnership. Even if they lose, however, it's just kicking the can down the road a few days, weeks, months. Maybe even a couple years.

    Because activists aren't satisfied. And won't stop. They'll certainly announce, if they haven't already, that this is a "first step," and "much remains to be done." They'll continue to pressure the National Council. It'll continue to wimp out. At a point in the not-too-distant future, it'll crack.

    But, in the meantime, we'll have had additional time to make an orderly transition to whatever will succeed Scouting.

    Inspired leadership! But, still sad for Scouting.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    April 25, 2013 9:45 p.m.

    For gays, the stigma still remains. However, this allows the scouting program to continue as before, since they don't have to concern themselves with anyone but the leaders. Now, the boys can be boys, the men can be men, and the basic virtues of scouting can be perpetuated. 'Morally straight' doesn't have to be defined because some adults aren't sure what it means. Take the high road, Scouts, and let the rest go as they please! Way to go!

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    April 25, 2013 9:26 p.m.

    The BSA didn't do this without knowing ahead of time what its biggest constituents would and would not approve.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Salt Lake City, UT
    April 25, 2013 9:17 p.m.

    I'm happy to know the headline changed. I think it is more clear this way.

    Dear Sentinel,

    I wasn't saying or implying that abuse is exclusive to those attracted to the same gender. We're all aware of the varying problems we deal with in the world. However, you have a life time of experience I don't share and vice versa. I know of plenty of cases where same gender situations have lead to abuse. But even that isn't why I said what I did.

    I do not believe it's appropriate to have a gay scout leader go camping with 15 year old boys.
    I do not believe it's appropriate to have a 20 year old girl go camping with 15 year old boys.

    "At risk scenario for predatory behavior" has no bias. One man may do the wrong thing as much as another. But a straight man is by far less likely to with another male.

    This is so simple. Any amount of confusing this issue only puts youth at risk as more people will not understand. Preventing sexual abuse matters more than pleasing a crowd of adults, even well-intended.

  • DanO Mission Viejo, CA
    April 25, 2013 9:14 p.m.

    Jim Cobabe, the current policy of the Church is that one may identify as gay and be active in the church so long as they don't act upon it. Presumably, this would extend to Scouting as well since Scouts are expected to remain celibate. I've believed all along that the Church would accept the change in Scouting policy because the proposals closely aligns with the Church's own policy.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    April 25, 2013 9:13 p.m.

    Re: Jim

    Is it "misrepresentative" because the Church didn't agree with your opinion on the non-issue?

    You can wait till the cows come home, but it seems pretty clear how the Church feels about this non-issue.

  • Jim Cobabe Provo, UT
    April 25, 2013 8:40 p.m.

    After reading the actual statement from the Church, I think the headline of this article misrepresent what was said, and is misleading. The Church statement suggests nothing about compromising moral standards. It says that the Church is satisfied that an effort has been made to propose solutions for difficult issues. And it states that the BSA is to be commended for the *positive* parts of their proposal. It says nothing about making any committment to future changes in policy or practice, either in the Church or toward the BSA. I will wait with patience to hear what the Church actually plans to do in the future.

  • Montana Mormon Miles City, MT
    April 25, 2013 8:22 p.m.

    @ Sentinel:

    Much needed statement. Predatory behavior is not contingent upon a person's sexual orientation. There are way too many predators, period. And sadly, many predators are heterosexual. It's not fair to stereotype predatory tendencies on the basis of sexual preference.

    This is a very sensitive issue, indeed.People can have and express their opinions without attacking people who have different opinions.

  • Sentinel Ogden, UT
    April 25, 2013 8:05 p.m.

    @ "I know it. I live it. I love it":

    Because someone's sexual orientation is gay does not make him a predator. I do not know how it began, equating homosexuality with predators. But, it is not true. I know people who are gay who have worked with youth for 30-40 years. Not once have they felt the desire to prey on them sexually. Please, let's get away from perpetuating falsehoods just because someone is gay. Homosexuality does NOT equate to predator.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Salt Lake City, UT
    April 25, 2013 6:11 p.m.

    "Welcoming compromise" is a headline that the popular 'trending' crowd will misunderstand. It would have been better if worded differently.

    The LDS Church stated 2 simple things:

    1) 'We've been staying out of it, not pushing the BSA in any direction.'
    2) 'We recognize and are grateful the BSA has been sensitive (as these issues require sensitivity).'

    An additional point was made which I will take some liberty in summarizing. It was clearly made, but I felt the point could have been more clear. Perhaps I'm wrong, but this is what I got from it:

    We feel the BSA's proposal is positive as it...

    1) Adds a layer of fostering tolerance for the boys while...
    2) Continuing to teach them moral values
    3) Continuing to protect boys from scenarios that would increase the likelihood of predatory behavior.

    The point is that it's about the boys and doing what's best for them, not for their scout leader. Fostering tolerance of diversity among the boys, while staying true to the values that scouting represents is the most mutually respectful and honorable answer the BSA could make. Scout leaders really have nothing to do with it.

  • Arizona1 Tucson, AZ
    April 25, 2013 5:48 p.m.

    Well done . . . and well said "Oatmeal". Now if the gay agenda will get out of the way and let the Scouts focus on the youth, maybe there's hope for a country that has been divided on a plethora of social and economic issues over the last decade or so.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    April 25, 2013 5:19 p.m.

    Fair compromise... and it is good for kids. Now let's all hush up and go camping!