Mormon church severs ties with Boy Scouts after 105 years

Mormon church to cut ties with Scouts and start its own gospel-driven youth program

Boy Scouts of America and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints jointly declared that they intend to end their long-time partnership on December 31, 2019, Deseret News reports.

This week, the organization announced it would admit girls to the traditional boy-oriented program and change its name to Scouts BSA.

The news comes days after the Scouts announced it is changing its name to Scouts BSA to reflect its decision to allow girls to join. The church has expanded worldwide and says it wants to create and implement a youth program that serves its members globally. But the two don't seem to be connected: In a statement Tuesday night, Mormon leaders said the LDS Church would be launching its own youth program for both boys and girls.

"In the new experience, children and youth will be encouraged to focus on setting and achieving goals to develop spiritually, socially, physically, and intellectually as they seek to follow Jesus Christ", the Mormon Church said in a statement.

Others lambasted controversial histories of the Mormon Church, such as its opposition to same-sex marriage, and its patriarchal roots asserting dominance over Mormon women.

"Since its inception, Girl Scouts has been about putting girls front and center, ensuring that everything we do is with their best interests in mind and equips girls to be fearless leaders and change-makers".

Mormon Scouts and their families can choose to continue to be in scouting, but the church will stop sponsoring units at the end of 2019.

Larry Abbott, Scout executive and CEO of Boy Scouts of America - Grand Canyon Council, doesn't think it'll make a short-term impact.

The Grand Teton Council of the Boy Scouts of America could lose 19,000 members in the next two years due to the LDS church's exit, according to Grand Teton Council Scout Executive Clarke Farrer. Any boy who is part of a Mormon congregation automatically becomes part of the Boy Scouts.

"The church took the Boy Scout program and decided its values and mission aligned closely enough with that of the church's program for young men that they just wholesale adopted it", Monson told NPR in 2015. One by one, they declared that they were joining Pack 212 in northwestern Wisconsin and put on their new Cub Scout hats. What's more, the program will begin allowing girls beginning next year.

Conservative radio and television talk show host Glenn Beck, a member of the Mormon Church, thought the withdrawal of support from the religious group will spell the "collapse" of the Boy Scouts. The church reportedly paid the same annual lump sum it paid to the BSA in 2017 to tiresome the impact of such a major loss of revenue, Deseret News reported.

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