Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Birthday BSA!

On February 8, 1910 the Boy Scouts of America was officially born. We all know the story of William D. Boyce, lost in a London fog, who received help from a young man who refused a tip for his service. From that simple Good Turn, the great Scouting movement was brought to America. Since then, millions of boys and their adult leaders have been blessed by the simple idea that any boy, from any background, can become a man of noble character.

I'm proud to be able to be a part of this movement. It has been a great blessing to me, both as a boy and as an adult.

On Sunday, churches across the country will celebrate Scout Sunday. Traditionally, this is held the first Sunday following February 8. This has been done because Scouting promotes duty to, and reverence toward, God. Many LDS wards have kept this tradition, asking youth and leaders to wear their uniforms to church. Our ward was going to do the same, and our Bishop requested all the young men wear their uniforms on Sunday.

Then I showed him the handbook. From page 6 of the LDS Scouting Handbook:
"February has traditionally been Scouting Month in the United States. Leaders of Scouting units chartered by the Church may plan and carry out approved activities during the week to recognize this tradition. However, in keeping with the purposes of Sabbath observance, boys and leaders do not wear their uniforms to regular Sunday meetings or while administering and passing the sacrament" (emphasis added).
I don't mean to put a damper on anyone's Scout Sunday celebrations, but we do need to follow the guidelines the Church has given.

I love Scouting. I love that the Church has, almost since the beginning, sponsored troops, teams, and crews in local wards. It has been a great blessing to me and many others. Let's celebrate that. But let's not let Scouting become more important than the Sabbath. I don't think that was ever the intent.

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