LDS Church to cut ties with Boy Scouts of America

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The 100-plus-year relationship won't come to an end until Dec. 31, 2019. (Source: CNN) The 100-plus-year relationship won't come to an end until Dec. 31, 2019. (Source: CNN)
The church has used Boy Scouts of America as the main activity program for boys. (Source: 123RF Stock Photo) The church has used Boy Scouts of America as the main activity program for boys. (Source: 123RF Stock Photo)
Larry Abbott said there are a total of 42,000 scouts within the Grand Canyon Council boundaries which excludes Southern Arizona, Lake Havasu and Kingman. (Source: CNN) Larry Abbott said there are a total of 42,000 scouts within the Grand Canyon Council boundaries which excludes Southern Arizona, Lake Havasu and Kingman. (Source: CNN)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Tuesday it's cutting ties with the Boy Scouts of America.

However, the 100-plus-year relationship won't come to an end until Dec. 31, 2019. 

A joint statement read in part, "The Church has increasingly felt the need to create and implement a uniform youth leadership and development program that serves its members globally."

The church has used Boy Scouts of America as the main activity program for boys.

[READ MORE: Mormon church to end 105-year relationship with the Boy Scouts]

New on Wednesday, Arizona's Family asked local scout leadership how this will impact scouting programs in Arizona.

Larry Abbott, Scout executive and CEO of Boy Scouts of America - Grand Canyon Council, doesn't think it'll make a short-term impact.

“Long term, it could affect us financially," he explained. "At this point, we’re not looking at cutting programs, especially our outreach programs."

Right now, there's uncertainty, but he's committed to "figuring it out."

"So as funding becomes more difficult, what we’ll do is reach out to other friends in the community to try to underwrite those programs," said Abbott. 

Abbott said there are a total of 42,000 scouts within the Grand Canyon Council boundaries which excludes Southern Arizona, Lake Havasu and Kingman.

He explained roughly 55 percent of the Scouts are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"That’s a big deal!" he exclaimed.

However, he doesn't want any scouts to panic. He predicts not all Mormons will quit scouting.

"This is my opinion, but I don't think they will totally leave the Boy Scouts of America because this is a generational program," he said. "A lot of our Mormon families, that’s been an on-going tradition."

He explained it'll now be up to LDS families to decide if they'll continue the program outside the church.

"Some will leave and I think a number will stay," said Abbott. "And a lot of it is too premature to come up with any statistics since it just happened yesterday."

However, he said some LDS families have already reached out to him saying "we love the Boy Scouts and we plan on continuing."

Arizona's Family reached out to LDS leadership in Mesa, but was referred to church's online statement which called the move a "new approach intended to help all girls and boys, young women and young men discover their eternal identity, build character and resilience, develop life skills and fulfill their divine rolls as daughters and sons of God."

See the full post here: https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/new-program-children-youth

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