The Mormon church announced on May 8 that it will dissociate itself from the Boy Scouts of America in order to focus on its own religious youth group.
This exodus comes in the wake of the Boy Scouts of America decision to drop “Boy” from its name, after major changes were made to the organization. In 2015, the BSA decided to allow gay troop leaders. In 2017, they opened their membership to girls, as well. Either of these decisions may have come into direct conflict with the traditionally conservative views of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In an official press release, the church announced its intent to focus its efforts on a “worldwide initiative for children and youth” that their leadership has been preparing “for years.” And so, “effective on December 31, 2019, the Church will conclude its relationship as a chartered organization with all Scouting programs around the world.”
According to the statement, their own organization intends 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.”
Individual Mormons who wish to remain part of the Scouts will simply be integrated into regular troops. This move could have major ramifications for the organization. Until now, Mormons have made up about 19 percent of their membership.