LDS/BSA Relationship
By Darryl Alder
Aug 09, 2017

LDS Church Leaders Statements On Scouting

A few years back, one of our readers chided us by writing “Don’t use a quote from a GA 40 years ago, that doesn’t count.” For a long time we published just about any quote from the past regarding the LDS Church’s support of Scouting. So just for fun, I took a look at some recent General Authority statements on Scouting, here they are (by the way they are still living)

National President, Boy Scouts of America, Wayne Perry with President Thomas S. Monson, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013 in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City

“The need for strong, capable leadership is critical today, both in Scouting and in the world generally. To be associated in some small way with developing such leadership is humbling indeed.” Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ  of Latter-day Saints, at the groundbreaking for the Thomas S. Monson Leadership Excellence Complex in West Virginia,  June 23, 2016

“May you uphold your promise as a Boy Scout to do your duty to God and your country and serve others at all times. …I love the Boy Scout organization” and “Scouting changes the lives of boys in positive ways”
—President Thomas S. Monson, “A Century of Honor Chronicles Scouting in the Church, October 29, 2013

“Scouting brings out the best in each of us,” President Monson says. “You’ve learned much from Scouting. Live what you’ve learned and will continue to learn. Help others to hike the trails, to keep steadfast in the paths of truth, of honor, of duty, that all of you can soar together on eagles’ wings. You are part of a mighty army of youth, even a royal army, and every organization, to be successful, has an honored tradition to uphold. May you uphold Scouting’s tradition, for it can be as a lighthouse beacon in the world of stormy seas,  it can be a motivation to prepare for your role in life, it can be a yardstick against which you measure your accomplishments.”
—President Thomas S. Monson in a video prepared for 100th anniversary of Scouting in the U.S. in 2010

“Thomas S. Monson … has lived each day of his life in true harmony with the ideals of Scouting. He has truly lived an exemplary life—one boys could pattern their own lives after—a life serving God and his fellowman.” —Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at the groundbreaking for the Thomas S. Monson Leadership Excellence Complex in West Virginia,  June 23, 2016

“God bless you for being who you are and what you are. I’m deeply moved to be here. I’m deeply touched. It brings back wonderful memories for me of my Scouting years and the leaders that I love and experiences like this that they provided. May I be as faithful as I’m asking you to be, to step into the future with a strong back and a square set of shoulders. And we can repeat the Scout Law and the Scout Oath on one hand and we can recite the scriptures of almighty God on the other and in either case we can repledge and rededicate ourselves to the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of His church and the restoration of this gospel.
—Elder Jeffery R. Holland, of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at the National Jamboree, July 23, 2017

“I am reminded that part of my duty to God — and yours — is to help these young men know that they can turn to the Almighty for help and strength and power.”
—Elder Jeffery R. Holland, of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and National Executive Board Member of the Boy Scouts of America who was the Keynote Speaker in San Diego, California, at a breakfast meeting  May 26, 2016

“We can’t fully imagine how many boys owe their lives to Scouting, and how many have made positive contributions to society because of the principles they learned in Scout troops. America is a stronger, better country because dedicated individuals — and that includes you here today — built and sustained the Scouting movement.”—Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at the groundbreaking for the Thomas S. Monson Leadership Excellence Complex in West Virginia, June 23, 2016.

“Speaking on behalf of the organization I represent, … I feel that it is this common belief in duty to God that has forged the iron-strong connection with Boy Scouts of America we have shared over the last 100 years. … Duty to God is where the power lies. Duty to God is what changes lives.”
Bishop Gary E. Stevenson, Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (now member of the Quorum of the Twelve), May 23, 2013


Brother Robert Jones, Sister Joy D. Jones, General Primary President

“In Primary through Scouting we’re seeking to support boys in keeping their baptismal covenants and prepare for the Aaronic Priesthood, and ultimately we see them as righteous husbands and fathers. We hope that when the priesthood leaders walk away they see that whole vision.”
—Joy D. Jones, Primary General President at the Priesthood Leadership Conference on Scouting held at Philmont Scout Ranch July 2016


“In the Book of Mormon, Nephi is commanded to build a ship. There’s a lot that went into it … if we are not thinking clearly and not looking at the right purpose, we may think that building the ship was the goal… The real goal was to build the ship to get to the Promise Land. I want you to think of Scouting in that regard. When we think of Scouting in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Scouting is not ‘it’, Scouting is not ‘the goal’, it’s not ‘the purpose’, it’s only part of the vehicle that helps us to the, so called, Promise Land.”
—Stephen W. Owen, Young Men General President  in an address given at the University of Scouting in Orem UT, February 22, 2016

Author:Darryl Alder |  Strategic Initiatives Director, Utah National Parks Council

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