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Mormons sever ties with Boy Scouts

A visitor looks at the Rockwell exhibition at the Mormon History Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah. Associated Press/Photo by Rick Bowmer (file)

Mormons sever ties with Boy Scouts

Mormon leaders announced late Tuesday their religion will sever all ties with the Boy Scouts, pulling 425,000 boys from its ranks. Mormon youth make up 18.5 percent of the Boy Scouts’ membership. Although not a surprise, the Mormon defection deals a serious blow to the organization roiled by major changes in recent years. In 2015, the Boy Scouts announced it would allow openly homosexual men to serve as troop leaders. That change prompted many religious groups to look for faith-based alternatives, including the Christian Trail Life USA. Earlier this year the Boy Scouts announced it would open its ranks to girls and change its name to Scouts BSA. Mormon leaders initially stuck with Scouting but began mulling over a new program for its young members. The program, still in development, will focus on character development and religious instruction for boys and girls and will launch in both the United States and internationally. More than half of the world’s 16 million Mormons live outside the United States and Canada. Mormon ties with the Boy Scouts date back more than 100 years. Former Mormon President Thomas S. Monson, who died earlier this year, served as a longtime member of the Boy Scouts executive board.

Leigh Jones

Leigh is features editor for WORLD. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate who spent six years as a newspaper reporter in Texas before joining WORLD News Group. Leigh also co-wrote Infinite Monster: Courage, Hope, and Resurrection in the Face of One of America's Largest Hurricanes. She resides with her husband and daughter in Houston, Texas.

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