LDS Church Releases Brilliant Statement in Response BSA Proposal

In a very surprising move, probably to most, the Mormon Newsroom released an official statement today from leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in response to the Boy Scouts of America's highly controversial proposal to include openly gay youth in the program, that no doubt has set off, already, more than a few camp fires!

From the Mormon Newsroom:

"For 100 years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has enjoyed a strong, rewarding relationship with Boy Scouts of America (BSA).
Recently, BSA has been reviewing a possible policy change in its standards for membership and leadership. Now that BSA has finished its review process and has proposed a resolution for consideration, the Church has issued the following statement: 
“Over the past several weeks BSA has undertaken the difficult task of reviewing its membership standards policy. In their own words, this undertaking has been 'the most comprehensive listening exercise in its history.' 
"While the Church has not launched any campaign either to effect or prevent a policy change we have followed the discussion and are satisfied that BSA has made a thoughtful, good-faith effort to address issues that, as they have said, remain 'among the most complex and challenging issues facing the BSA and society today.' 
"The current BSA proposal constructively addresses a number of important issues that have been part of the on-going dialogue including consistent standards for all BSA partners, recognition that Scouting exists to serve and benefit youth rather than Scout leaders, a single standard of moral purity for youth in the program, and a renewed emphasis for Scouts to honor their duty to God. 
"We are grateful to BSA for their careful consideration of these issues. We appreciate the positive things contained in this current proposal that will help build and strengthen the moral character and leadership skills of youth as we work together in the future.”

To those who regularly read this blog, it is doubtful that I need to say much about how I feel right now, as I went out on a limb only a few days ago, and basically said that I prayed that this would be the direction that the Church would take, and why.  Needless to say, I am so pleased with this decision, as it is consistent with not only the current outreach to our gay brothers and sisters, but it is, in my opinion, how the Savior also would have responded.

Kathryn Skaggs

WBMW: Boy Scouts of America Propose Brilliant Plan: Upset Pretty Much Everyone

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  1. I posted this on the Facebook newsroom announcement. However, they seem to think my comment is unfitting as it has been deleted multiple times.

    I agree with the church's and BSA's decision. Scouting is a great program to develop life skills and socialize young men. When I was a scout it would not have bothered me to have a gay scout in the troop. I'm not going to catch it from being in contact with it.

    As Christians we should be welcoming and invite those who need our influence to participate in activities with us. Did Jesus not seek out the sick, afflicted, social outcasts, sinners to heal them? We should welcome those who need our help and aid them along their journey in life as best we can so that they can progress. Is that not the plan of salvation?

    1. Why on Earth would this comment be deleted?! I have to say, that is discouraging. :(

      But thanks for posting it here, blackrock.

    2. blackrock,

      I'm certain you did not intend your comment to come out this way, and frankly Chase, you must be in a very good mood, as you didn't pick up on this yourself, but here is why I think your comment was not posted..

      The way you worded your comment assumes that people who are gay are sinners, afflicted, social outcasts and need to be healed; and that it is our job, as Christians, to include them along their journey in life so as to help them along their way.

      Now, is this what you meant? Of course not. And I imagine whoever moderates over on the Newsroom knows that, and was protecting you. Too bad you don't know who to thank. ; )

      Of course, I am only taking an 'educated' guess. I could be wrong. I say educated, because I've had to learn myself, how I sound or write (right Chase?) as I've been learning how to communicate in this arena over the last few years. So, hang in there. If we are patient with one another, we will get this right.

      Bottom line, I know what you're saying... this is the right thing, and it is Christlike. : )

    3. You are correct that is not what I meant. However, there are much more small minded comments on that thread that are overt in their attack.

      However, in our faith we do consider them sinners. But that shouldn't matter when deciding to include someone. Are we not all sinners. Just different vices for each of us and how open we are open about admitting them.

    4. No, no, no, blackrock. Again, you are making an assumption. Please allow me, respectfully, if I may...

      Especially "in our faith" currently, today, when an active member refers to themselves as "gay" it does NOT necessarily mean that they engage in homosexual behavior; making them a sinner. In fact, most often when an active member of the LDS Church refers to themselves as "gay" they are faithful, thus you are going to be hearing the description, "faithful gay Mormon" much more often in the future.

      Outside of the Church, it is pretty certain that a person who is gay is "gay" as you are accustomed to thinking, but that general rule does not work in the Church. I know this is a bit confusing, but you'll get the hang of it.

      Anyway, we need to be very careful not to create a "them" and "us" mentality, because as you point out, we are all sinners. As far as the scouting program is concerned, I would hope that those involved can look at each other, at least in the Church, as simply a child of God.

  2. Kudos to you Kathryn, for having the courage to speak your truth even when many of your own peers were critical. I am delighted to see this response from the church; I wonder what the reaction will be of many other Latter-day Saints who rather boldly disagreed with you with the apparent assumption that the church would be behind them. It doesn't really matter, of course; this news is good for gay scouts, for everyone else, it really oughtn't matter, except as an opportunity to practice the charity and compassion the Saviour taught.

    1. And you, Chase, when many of your gay friends are willing to throw the baby out with the bath water. I told someone close to me just a few nights ago at dinner, quite emotional I might add, how much it would mean if this all came out as I hope it will; and look at this! My conviction came because I felt so deeply that this is Christ's Church, and because of that, this had to be the outcome; and is why I decided to speak out. So, I suppose what I'm saying is, it does matter, because we can trust Him that He is Who He says He is, and His principles of love are unfailing; even though we fail so incredibly short and mess things up so terribly.

      Geez, Chase, we gotta knock this off! I'm about to sing another round of Kumbayah!

  3. I read this earlier today and thought it was great. It's so hard because this is such a touchy subject and I have varying opinions from even some of my close member friends. I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion :)

    1. You're right, Brooklyn, in that "everyone" is entitled to their own opinion. However, personally, I give strong consideration when leaders of the LDS Church give their opinion on an issue; considering myself a faithful member.

  4. With all respect to your opinion, I think that you and the media are misinterpreting what the news release says. Read the last paragraph again. Pay special attention to this sentence, "We appreciate the positive things contained in this current proposal that will help build and strengthen the moral character and leadership skills of youth as we work together in the future." It does not say they appreciate the proposal. It does not say that the proposal is positive. They say that the appreciate the things in the proposal they feel are positive. And then they go on to define positive as things that help build and strengthen the moral character and leadership skills of youth. This is not an approval of the proposal in any way, and the media should be ashamed that they are misreporting it as such.

    1. There has never been a statement come through the Mormon Newsroom that has not been dissected by those who don't like what they say. And yet, I have also never seen those who speculate their theories be right. Therefore, I am going to rest on my first simple impressions and if it happens to turn out that I am wrong, then so be it.

      I've never felt that it is the Newsroom's intent to send forth mixed messages in order to confuse; in order to then have everyone guessing what the Church really means; but somehow that seems to be a favorite pastime of so many when these statements are issued.

    2. Yes! That's exactly what I thought. When I read the statement (which was before I read any media reaction to it; I found it on the LDS website first), I didn't feel it was clear to which side the chuch was leaning. Honestly, the first thought I had is that the statement was purely political. The church has not outright said they will (or will not) continue to support BSA, and I don't think they will make their decision clear until after the BSA vote in May, as they don't want to influence the BSA's decision. It's not up to the LDS church to decide/influence BSA policy, and I think we can all agree on that. They will wait until BSA has made a decision, then either continue to support BSA, or withdraw. But no decision has been made, no line has yet been drawn by BSA. The LDS church cant' come down on either side of a line that has not yet been drawn.

      And when it comes down to it, each person/family involved in BSA can make their own choice as to whether to continue on, or withdraw their support. We are each allowed that decision as individuals, regardless of our religious affiliation. In the end, we all have the power to make the choice for ourselves.

    3. I don't think that this was written to confuse. I think that it is quite clear. They like the positive. And then they define what is positive. Pretty clear to me.

    4. The New York Times reported today:

      "In a somewhat vague statement issued Thursday, the Mormon Church praised the Boy Scouts for a “thoughtful” approach to this “complex” issue and said the new proposals contained “positive things.” A spokesman for the church confirmed on Friday that the church would support the change and expected to continue its close relationship with the Boy Scouts."