Mormons Severing All Ties with Boy Scouts, Ending Long Bond
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Mormon church said Tuesday it will sever all ties with the Boy Scouts of America at the end of next year and place its remaining 425,000 boys into a gospel-focused youth program it is developing. The move ends a nearly century-old relationship that was based on their shared values. The announcement by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Boy Scouts didn't come as a complete surprise after the religion last year removed 185,000 boys between the ages of 14 and 18, signaling that an end to the long-time alliance was near. Joining the Boy Scouts is practically automatic among Mormon boys, and the religion has long been the biggest sponsor of Boy Scout troops in the United States. The Mormon boys who will be leaving represent about 18.5 percent of the 2.3 million youth in the organization. The Mormon church said in a statement that the move is about creating its own youth program that it can use for its increasingly global membership, but the two organizations' values clearly have been diverging in recent years.