Boy Scouts and the LDS Church: “A Century of Honor”

By Markus Weinzinger
Last Tuesday, a spectacular event was held at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. The program marked the centennial anniversary of the first adoption of the Boy Scouts of America by a church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or LDS for short. The National Anthem was given by a high-ranked Boy Scout who was joined by a myriad of younger Cub Scouts and the audience.

The opening speakers were senior officers of the LDS church, David L. Beck (Young Men General President) and Rosemary Wixon (Primary General President). The opening prayer was given by a Baptist reverend. The audience was asked to text “BSA” to the number 537898 to get an idea of how many attended the event; the total came to over 2 million.

Following the introduction, the program continued with reenactments, songs sung by a choir of Scouts, and more. Accounts were given by elderly former Scouts, who shared the good times and adventures. The audience then joined in singing a whimsical song devoted to the mothers of Scouts, the “true recipients of the Eagle Award”.

After the manner, a devotional slideshow presentation was given to the Scoutmasters, enhancing their position and purpose in Scouting. Scouts from amateur Wolf rank to grand Eagle displayed unique Scouting skills, acting along to another song. A campfire testimony cut began with accounts of Scouts and the uplifting sensation of being near a campfire. The halfway point was marked by a song about building bridges and the positive results that follow.

Wayne Perry, BSA (Boy Scouts of America) National President, came forth with his remarks on the occasion. Following him came Thomas S. Monson, the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, with a speech on Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts. Next, people shared their thoughts on Monson in the Scouting program (he served for nearly half a century!). In honor of Thomas S. Monson’s service and duty in Scouting, a speaker announced the Leadership Excellence Complex in West Virginia would be renamed the Thomas S. Monson Leadership Excellence Complex. Monson expressed his gratitude in his later remarks.

In the closing section of the program, a grand appearance was made by the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir, who sang “This Land was Made for You and Me”, “God Bless America”, and “Battle Hymn of the Republic”. A combined force of the choir and Boy Scouts sang the concluding song, and with that, the program closed. The final tally of people who tuned in to the event after the three-day broadcast came to over 2 million! A program like one would have to see to believe. The event can be found on YouTube and deseretnews.com.

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