The Mormon Church, a nickname for the officially designated Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), has had an affiliation with the privately established, and operated, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) since late in the year of 1938, an affiliation hardly known among the American public. The Mormon relationship with the BSA began quite ordinarily in 1913, as it had started with numerous other religious organizations that had sought affiliation with the Boy Scouting movement. Yet, when the first ward, or local congregation, of the Mormon Church requested and obtained a charter from the National Council of the BSA to sponsor a Boy Scout troop in the second decade of the 20th Century, no one had envisioned what that association would become in a span of 25 years. At that time, in 1913, the Salt Lake City Mormon hierarchy had made it an option for wards to obtain troop charters from the BSA, and those wards that had elected to do so admitted boys, in the States of Utah and Idaho, from other different religious sects and denominations to participate equally with the Mormon boys. Catholic, Luthern, Baptist, Methodist, etc. boys could attain, and, over time, hold the various troop leadership positions according to their individually earned merit, in strict accordance with the official scouting rules. These positions currently were, and still are: 1) patrol leader, 2) senior patrol leader, 3) assistant patrol leader, 4) troop guide, 5) quartermaster, 6) scribe, and 7) instructor. The competitive and meritorious attainment of these troop positions, in accordance with National BSA Handbook, continued until around 1938, when the Mormon Church had succeeded in amassing enough corporate financial clout (a net worth of 2.8 billion dollars) and political influence (many Mormons, by that time, had achieved high ranks the federal and State government bureaucracies) to buy-into the BSA with a hardly publicized agreement with its governing National Council. This contractual agreement was unlike any other charter-arrangement with any other social or religious organization. In 1938, there were approximately 11,500 LDS wards and branches around the United States. When the BSA was offered a nation-wide ward/branch charter affiliation by the Mormon Church, plus a generous yearly donation (millions of dollars), the BSA’s National Council very greedily, and quickly, accepted the offer. The secret terms of the agreement between the Mormon Church and the BSA were kept so-secret that very little information about it leaked to the media, and from there to the American people.
Having formerly been a Mormon elder for over 40 years, from 1971 until 2013, and a scoutmaster and scout troop committee chairman in four different LDS wards, at different times, around the nation, I believe that I possess the qualifications to speak objectively about the characteristics of the Mormon scouting program. Most 20th and 21st Century American people, who have not been, and are not currently, affiliated with the Mormon Church, presume that boys, twelve-and-over, of all church affiliations have equal-standing with Mormon boys in Mormon ward scout troops. Well, this is not true, and it hasn’t been true since the turn of the year 1939. The aforementioned agreement that was made in late-1938 between the Mormon Church and the BSA was that, in return for the Mormon Church making the BSA program a requirement in every one of its 11,500 wards ( a total of 36,500 in 2015), and their donating a hefty sum to the BSA every year, the Church was permitted by the BSA to nationally incorporate their ecclesiastical priesthood program into every ward/troop organization.
What this essentially means is that, at the age of twelve-years, every “worthy” Mormon boy (as deemed worthy by a ward bishop) is ordained a deacon in the Mormon Aaronic Priesthood and graduated, by virtue of attaining that Aaronic Priesthood Office of a Deacon, into the ward scouting program. All Mormon boys are currently as expected to enter the Scouting program by the Mormon Church hierarchy as they are to go on 2-year full-time missions after high school graduation. By the Mormon rites of religious passage, the general rules of Boy Scouting were altered to inseparably connect the general scouting ranks attained in the ward troops with the three ascending ranks of the Mormon Aaronic Priesthood, which are 1) deacon, 2) teacher, and 3) priest. This is where the blatant discrimination and inequality occur in Mormon BSA troops, and why you don’t see boys from other churches mingled with the Mormon boys. To illustrate, let’s say that a dynamic and precocious 14 year-old Lutheran boy, who has attained-early the rank of Life-Scout and is eager to become an Eagle Scout, transfers from a Lutheran troop to a Mormon troop. He can’t do this without encountering severe prejudice from the Mormon troop organization. Immediately upon entering such a troop, the Lutheran boy is regarded as inferior to less-qualified Mormon boys of lesser-rank simply because he is not a member of the Mormon Church, and a holder of the Mormon Aaronic Priesthood. Even if he is more eminently qualified than the Mormon scouts, he will not have the opportunity to be an officer of the LDS troop because he is not a Mormon, and a priesthood-holder. Having also seen and compared the achievements of many Mormon scouts with the achievements of other scouts in troops sponsored by other churches, I can say without hesitation that those other scouts are much better qualified and trained than the Mormon scouts. In the Mormon troops that I have mentored as a scoutmaster, in Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, and California, the Mormon parents, and the troop merit badge counselors, don’t require the LDS scouts to be disciplined and individually accountable for demonstrating the strict requirements set-down by Scouting for the merit badges that they routinely receive. In many cases, merit badge counselors in Mormon troops don’t press their boys for full achievement, and the parents do most the work required in typical Eagle projects for their sons, which, instead, should be totally done by the individual scouts for them to be properly credited for the achievements. I have felt sorely at a loss while at Council Courts of Honor, when Mormon Eagle Scouts have been ranked as equal to other non-Mormon Eagle Scouts, when the blatant inequality was staring pointedly at me in the face.
This is, truly, something that the honorable originator of Boy Scouting, Lord Baden-Powell, would have vehemently opposed, if he had lived to see it happen. You see, Lord Baden-Powell was a British Christian, and created the ideology of Boy Scouting under a banner of Judeo-Christian morality and standards. Duty to God was understood by Baden Powell as the predicate for all of the endeavors made and achieved in Boy Scouting. He said, in 1937, “There is no religious “side” of the (Scouting) movement. The whole of it is based on religion, that is, on the realization and service of God.” This idealism that was espoused by Baden-Powell, and bequeathed by him to Scouting, was what made extremely odd the very unethical 1938 agreement negotiated between Mormonism and the Christian-oriented National Council of the BSA. Since its 1830 inception, Mormonism has been regarded by outspoken Christian theologians as un-Christian in theology and doctrine, and I, unfortunately, spent over 30 years of my life in the Mormon Church not fully realizing that it conceals beneath its false Christian facade a polytheistic trheology epitomized by the doctrinal statement made by one of its esteemed prophets, Lorenzo Snow, in the late 19th Century. “As man is God once was, and as God is, man may become.” In other words, the Mormons doctrinally believe that God the Father was once a mortal man, and that all worthy Mormon elders can become father-Gods. The well-known, if not infamous, Mormon Prophet Brigham Young also said in one of the LDS General Conferences in Salt Lake City that “There are as many Gods as there are stars, and as many saviors as there are Gods.” The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has even officially published on its BGEA website that the Mormon Church is not Christian, but a pagan cult. Therefore, if the National Council of the BSA made an agreement with a polytheistic un-Christian religious organization, such as the Mormon Church, just three years before Lord Baden-Powell was laid to rest, in order to give special consideration to Mormonism in exchange for money, they must have realized that they were making a deal with the devil. I know, for a fact, that Lord Baden-Powell was not a pragmatist, and would not have negotiated, and comprised, with evil to any extent; for he was an idealist who believed that there was a right, and a wrong, to every question about life. By not believing, and promoting, that there is a right, and a wrong, to all questions about morality, and life in general, evil compromises, and unholy alliances with evil frequently occur in today’s world; which are abominations in the face of God.
Now comes an expanded discussion about the grave topic of homosexuality in Scouting, the statements and advocations of the pragmatic politician Robert Gates, and a delineation of political correctness and its inherent integration with evil, its only derivative. First-off, Lord Baden-Powell, though a devout Anglican throughout his life, did not base his beliefs about morality on Anglicanism. He, instead, predicated his idealism of universal morality, and of God, on the holy Judea-Christian law, the Ten Commandments. He also said, on several occasions, to his associates, “I’m sure that there were other important commandments that God could have added to the Ten Commandments, but He, no doubt, thought that man would use common sense to avoid committing those sins against nature.” Without a doubt, if Lord-Baden Powell were here today, he would still be a fervent moral idealist, and would regard homosexuality as a sin against nature and as a psycho-sexual disorder, and would endeavor to keep as great a distance between Scouting and homosexuality as possible.
Apparently, the moral idealism embraced by Lord Baden-Powell, and the original Scouting program, was abandoned by Robert Gates during his very questionable ascension in governmental authority and power, after he had earned Scouting’s highest award. When Gates earned the rank of Eagle Scout, he did so in a Lutheran Church troop in Witchita, Kansas, under the moral scrutiny of a kind elderly Lutheran priest. When Gates’s became a Boy Scout, be took the Scout Oath, “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty, to God and my country, and to obey the Scout law; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight,” and he reiterated the oath when he was conferred the Eagle Award. Later, in his university studies at the College of William and Mary, Gates learned the perverse value of pragmatism in what he accepted as the “necessary compromise with evil,” and realized that he could obtain greater personal rewards by making opportunistic deals with the emerging immoral power-structures, and became known to the federal government for his willingness to compromise. His graduate studies at Indiana University and Georgetown University were immersed in the black arts of sophistry and political compromise, and were all about how to succeed in getting unconstitutional and immoral policies pass through compromises with wealthy, powerful, and highly placed people in government. His compromising posture made him a perfect candidate for Secretary of Defense under Obama, and before, during, and after, his control over the CIA, he had acquired a penchant for deceiving people into believing his sophistry, which amounted to an acquired skill of convincing a large portion of the American electorate that what is as dark and malevolent as sin is as white and pure as the driven snow. And now, at 72, as he stands behind a lecturn on national television representing the Boy Scouts of America, and advocates that homosexuals should be allowed to lead scout troops, he is still practicing the black art of sophistry. Moreover, the other BSA National Council leaders, in Irving, Texas, are, for all intents and purposes, apparently in favor of, and are following, the sophistic lead of Robert Gates. My take on the matter is that, if the BSA would have compromised its moral integrity through an immoral long-lasting agreement with the Mormon Church, in 1938, it wouldn’t have any qualms about dispensing completely with the standards of Godly morality by admitting homosexuals to the organization in 2015.