Notes from Lyle Elmore, Stake President, Syracuse Utah South Stake

BSA/LDS Relationships Conference November 9, 2001 Ogden, Utah
C. Bradford “Brad” Allen Director, LDS Relationships – BSA Former Scout Executive, Trapper Trails Council, Ogden, Utah
♦ 12.2% of all boys in Scouting in the U.S. are served by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. ♦ President Thomas S. Monson is the longest tenured member of the National Executive Committee.

Elder Glenn L. Pace 1 Counselor, General YM Presidency Member of the National Venturing Committee – BSA
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♦ Bishops, please do not ignore the YW. Our YW live in a very difficult atmosphere, regarding some trends in society. They need their fair share of time and resources. ♦ The General YM and YW Presidency have met eight times in the last three months and the General YW Presidency’s input on the Duty to God award has been significant. We sometimes cheat our young women. ♦ How do you make it worthwhile to go to a meeting away from family? The only thing worse than going to a meeting is going to a bad meeting. ♦ A fanatic is one who has lost his sight of the objective and then doubles his efforts. ♦ Our objective with YM is to help them understand what Heavenly Father wants them to do. Prepare for manhood, the temple and marriage. ♦ The relationship of the Presiding Bishopric and the Young Men General Presidency: The Presiding Bishop holds the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood. In the last 12 years the Presiding Bishop has had nothing to do with the General YM Presidency. Twenty years ago the YM responsibilities were taken away from the Presiding Bishop. In the early years of the Church, the Presiding Bishop (Edward Partridge) had nothing to do with youth. He was responsible for welfare. ♦ Scouting is the activity arm of the YM program. Scouting has had more effort and organization go into it. We must combine the elements of Scouting and YM. No longer is it just a Sunday experience and a weekday activity. ♦ We are not doing as well with the youth as we should. We must resurrect Mutual; it is dead. We have been so focused on Sept. 11 that we have missed other revelations. ♦ Two major taps of the pendulum have taken place regarding youth: 1. Activities for the youth were curtailed to give more time to family. Now the pendulum has been tapped in the other direction. President Faust noted that our youth are not always going to home. Therefore, the youth program needs to be strengthened. Big Warning! Beware of the swinging pendulum. Get balance.

Page 2 – November 9, 2001 BSA/LDS Relationships Conference 2. In the new announcement of emphasis on the AP, there is nothing which de-emphasizes Scouting – nothing. It was intended to strengthen the AP side. Boys should get as excited to get the Duty to God as he is to get the Eagle Scout award. The temple, missions, marriage and fatherhood are the goals. Many look at the Eagle badge as an end and say, “OK, I can go back to the streets.” We must prepare our young men for the hand off, deacon to teacher, teacher to priest. In early December we will have the booklets for Scouting and AP to implement in January. You will note that the temple is on the face of each piece of new literature both for YM and YW with the same emphasis. The new Duty to God award is coin size and can be displayed throughout a man’s life. The boys are to do rank advancement, earn merit badges and earn the Eagle Scout award. If you have any thought that the Duty to God emphasis is replacing Scouting, get rid of that thought. The First Presidency has thoroughly visited this issue and it remains solid. Scouting and AP are not only compatible but necessary. The new AP emphasis is not the camel’s nose in the tent. The only way Scouting would go away is if the BSA adopted values not compatible with the Church. The BSA, however, remains steadfast in its defense of correct principles. Scouting is getting hammered not only politically but economically, but they remain steadfast. Many are bowled over because they stick to principles. The BSA has spent thousands of dollars in defense of values. Scouting continues to be the choice for the activity arm of the AP and YM. The Church position on Scouting is to have each Scout leader make sure they mix plenty of testimony and spirituality in their activities. Don’t just tell ghost stories at camp. Your job is to help boys develop testimonies. Bishops, please call Scout leaders that are well rounded. The love of the Lord is more important than the love of the outdoors. Every boy deserves a trained leader. Take advantage of the Basic and Wood Badge training opportunities provided by the BSA. We encourage day camps, overnight campouts, long-term summer camps, and high adventure for the Varsity. Regarding the organizing of your own long-term summer camps: this is a dangerous trail to go down. Why reinvent the wheel? You also leave yourself open to lawsuits. Trust me on this one. The FOS drive: Talk about straining at gnats. How much do Jazz tickets cost? How much does a nice dinner out cost? How much is a boy worth? For members who squawk, just remember when we used to have welfare and building fund assessments. We have forgotten how to sacrifice. It’s time to stop squawking and bellyaching about FOS. Take a page out of President Kimball’s book and just DO IT. The best way to get your program to fail is to change your leaders every six months. Elder Harbertson and I served for four years as Varsity and Venturing leaders. Remember, boys will not let you into their lives the first year. After a trust level, friendship and loyalty are developed. Then they will let you in. President Hinckley is brooding over our youth. How are we doing? There will be more to come. Brothers and Sisters, Joseph Smith was not the last one to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in this dispensation. It still exists today.

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