LDS Church to conclude its relationship with BSA at end of 2019

Contributed Photo/Courtesy Mormon Newsroom.org

Announces plan for a worldwide initiative for children and youth

Contributed Article/Courtesy Mormon newsroom.org

SALT LAKE CITY – The following is a joint statement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and The Boy Scouts of America.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Boy Scouts of America have been partners for more than 100 years. The Scouting program has benefited hundreds of thousands of Latter-day Saint boys and young men, and BSA has also been greatly benefited in the process. We jointly express our gratitude to the thousands of scout leaders and volunteers who have selflessly served over the years in church-sponsored scouting units, including local BSA districts and councils. In this century of shared experience, the church has grown from a U.S.-centered institution to a worldwide organization, with a majority of its membership living outside the United States.

That trend is accelerating. The church has increasingly felt the need to create and implement a uniform youth leadership and development program that serves its members globally. In so doing, it will be necessary for the church to discontinue its role as a chartered partner with BSA. We have jointly determined that, effective on Dec. 31, 2019, the church will conclude its relationship as a chartered organization with all scouting programs around the world. Until that date, to allow for an orderly transition, the intention of the church is to remain a fully engaged partner in scouting for boys and young men ages 8–13 and encourages all youth, families, and leaders to continue their active participation and financial support.

While the Church will no longer be a chartered partner of BSA or sponsor Scouting units after Dec. 31, 2019, it continues to support the goals and values reflected in the Scout Oath and Scout Law and expresses its profound desire for Scouting’s continuing and growing success in the years ahead.

The Boy Scouts will now be known as Scouts BSA.

After the statement was released Tuesday, the LDS Church followed it up with this news release.

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

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

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

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

FAQ about the new initiative for children and youth development

Editor’s note: The BSA recently announced it was dropping “Boy” from its name in February 2019 and will now allow girls to join as scouts.

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