The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced that it will discontinue its association with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) effective December 19, 2019. The LDS church and the BSA released the following statement:
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 December 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 December 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.
Concurrent with the announcement that the LDS church will pull out of scouting, the church announced a new Children and Youth Development Initiative coming January 2020. Announcement on lds.org reads: “The needs of all children and youth of our faith worldwide are the primary consideration for our youth initiatives. For years, Church leaders have focused on creating ways to minister to the needs of young people around the world. A new initiative, coming January 2020, is designed to support families as they seek to develop faith in Jesus Christ and build character and capacity. Testing and refinement is in progress and more details will be shared as we near implementation.”