9 comments

  1. I’m not sure why anyone would be upset about this. This is a private church that has the right to decline or accept anyone to serve in it’s church. The LDS reserves the same right. Non Mormons are not allowed to hold callings in the LDS church, so why are these parents upset? Why would anyone be upset?

    It’s pretty simple folks — start your own scout troop in your ward. This church in NC has the right to decline the LDS couple from serving in their church.

  2. When did Scouting become so…sectarian?

    I became an Eagle Scout in the early seventies. My troop, the only one in my hometown, was sponsored by the local Lutheran Church, but there was absolutely nothing sectarian involved, and I don’t think the sponsoring entity had any input whatsoever into who the adult leaders were. Some were Lutheran, some were Roman Catholic, some were Methodist, some were either Christian and Missionary Alliance or Assemblies of God. In short, religious affiliation was simply not an issue.

    Do Mormon ward-sponsored Troops now exclude non-Mormons from adult leadership and/or membership?

  3. I’ve lived in wards where there were non-LDS leaders in the Scout troop. This was usually a non-member spouse who still wanted to be involved in the scouting program where their children were participants. It was not uncommon for our troops would hold joint-activities with troops of other faiths such as camp outs or fundraisers. Faith was typically left out of the discussion. Non-members can also hold callings on activities committees, act as sports coaches, and are welcome to participate in Church social activities.

    At the same time, I can see the perspective of the NC Church which refused to allow an LDS couple to serve in its troop, particularly when the sponsorship of the troop rests in the hands of the Church, which reserves the right to exclude any individuals they feel would misrepresent their sponsorship.

    It surprises me that the ward from which the LDS scouters came from apparently doesn’t have a scouting program. Growing up there were plenty of times where I was the only scout representing our ward at activities. I don’t expect the BSA to do anything….even if the LDS Church constitutes the largest denomination of troops and scouts in the country.

  4. Just some thoughts . . .

    I don’t see why some LDS people get all bent out of shape over this. I clearly don’t.

    Larry is the executive director of the North Caribou District within the Grand Teton Council (The Grand Teton Council covers the geographical area from American Falls in the West to Jackson Hole in the East and from Salmon in the North to Malad in the South.) He is a neat guy. Within this North Caribou District, I believe that there are 64 units. The LDS Church runs 63 of those units. Berean Baptist Church runs the 64th.

    As the Chartered Organizational Representative (COR) of Pack and Troop 370, I have always had the good intentions of meeting the other CORs at the monthly meetings, but it has never been a reality. I understand through our executive director that all the CORs of the North Caribou District are either LDS bishops or stake presidents – I am the only exception.

    I need to meet them all. And I am very glad that the LDS church does not pressure our little pack into having LDS leaders.

  5. The reason the Mormons are upset is because they have an entitlement problem, and think they should automatically be allowed to hold any position they want because “they’re Christian too”. The truth is no non-Mormon would be allowed to be a scout leader in a Pack held in and sponsored by a Mormon Church.

    God’s Word is very clear on matters like this, Christians can’t allow themselves to be unevenly yoked with unbelievers or be partnered with darkness.

  6. Discoveringgrace-

    While I respect your right to express your opinion, the assumption that Mormons have an “entitlement problem” is crossing the line. Its not a matter of “holding any position they want.” Those involved in this case were no doubt aware of the sensitivity of the subject and made a decision based upon the moral and spiritual needs of the troop. Sometimes that means stepping on other people’s toes. It happens in scouting all the time. I respect the right of any Protestant Church that feels Latter-day Saints would not best serve the ideals of their troop funded largely by the support of the congregation.

    Non-Mormons are allowed to serve as leaders in Mormon Scout troops across the country. On matters of civic duty and responsibility, Christians should not feel that they should have to sacrifice any margin of their beliefs in order to promote a common good. However, non-Christians have been a part of this country since it was founded. They’re on school boards, city councils, State and Federal Governments. God’s word is clear. If you’ll remember, Caesar wasn’t a Christian…yet Christ maintained a position of civic responsibility toward Caesar while also rendering what was required of Him to God. On theological matters, mainstream Christians have the right to feel “unevenly yoked” with Latter-day Saints. Being “partnered with darkness” I think is a stretch of the imagination.

  7. Tyler- You said “Non-Mormons are allowed to serve as leaders in Mormon Scout troops across the country.”

    That must be why any positions in the Scouting program held in and sponsored by any Mormon Church I attended were considered a “calling” and the Bishop of the church called a “worthy member” of the church to that position.

    When a group is sponsored or held in a Christian Church they have a right to not allow unbelievers to hold leadership positions within that group, it doesn’t matter if it’s a Scouting, MOPS, or a Homeschooling Co-op. To do so would be partnering with the darkness of Mormonism, and shouldn’t be happening with in the body of Christ.

    However Mormon families should be welcome to join and participate within the group.This will give them the opportunity to hopefully hear the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, and be saved from such an oppressive religion.

  8. Scout Leadership is still considered a calling. As I mentioned before, callings can be and are extended to non-members in positions related to this and other positions.

    I grew up with a Disciples of Christ elder (the spouse of an LDS member) who played a very active role in our troop’s leadership. In addition to this, I’ve had non-Mormon coaches of Church-sponsored sports teams and activity committees.

    There’s not an “entitlement problem.” Its not a desire for Latter-day Saints to be accepted as a mainstream Christian faith. The Protestant Church involved in this case has the right to screen those who they feel don’t best represent their sponsorship, just as Latter-day Saints do. I’m not disagreeing with that. If referring to my faith as the “darkness of Mormonism” and an “oppressive religion” makes you feel good about yourself, you’re more than entitled to have that opinion.

  9. I served as a cub scout leader at a pack in out local Lutheran church. I had a great time there and I’m glad I was able to help the program (our LDS branch is too small to devote the proper resources to scouting). That said, I was upfront about my faith from the beginning and I would have had no hard feelings whatsoever if they decided that my faith would disqualify me from serving.

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