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He said that led to disenchantment for both the teens and adults.“A 14-year-old isn’t the same as an 18-year-old,” he said.

“But we found as the participation circles got smaller, they were all being grouped together.

Given that the Mormon-dominated state of Utah now ranks fifth in the United States for cases of child abuse—and the highest of any state for child sexual abuse—it’s clear that there is a real dilemma here. This man fled Louisiana in 1979 when officials there had a warrant for his arrest on charges of child sexual abuse.

I’m not sure how the LDS Church in California could be expected to know this man’s history and discipline him for it, since he changed his name and forged an entirely new identity after fleeing Louisiana.

I don’t think it’s really fair to accuse the Church of mishandling this.

The decision, according to church officials, was unrelated to the Boy Scouts’ decision two years ago to allow gay and transgender people lead troops or its recent consideration of admitting girls.“This decision is not an indictment of Boy Scouts,” church spokesman Douglas Andersen said.

“There are a lot things competing for a teenager’s attention.

The Varsity program centers more on sports, including soccer, swimming and camping.

Michael Clara, who led Boy Scouts in his ward in Salt Lake City, said that the structure of the programs required high levels of adult involvement, and as interest diminished among teens, age groups got lumped together to do similar activities.

Mormon officials and those involved with the Boy Scouts said if Thursday’s decision to end church affiliation with the Varsity and Venturing programs was related to those issues, the church could have chosen to do this sooner.

A statement on the Mormon Church’s website said the move was strictly about youth engagement, not sexual identity.“The BSA has always allowed the church to operate its programs in ways that are consistent with our standards and beliefs, and they have been very supportive,” the statement read.

The Mormon Church and the Boy Scouts have been intertwined for decades, dating back to the nonprofit organization’s beginnings about a century ago.“Although thousands of youth and leaders who participate in Venturing crews nationwide embrace and support the program, we recognize that not all programs are a perfect fit for all partners,” read a statement by the Boy Scouts.

“The BSA values our ongoing partnership with the LDS Church in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts programming and look forward to our continued efforts to extend the benefits of Scouting to as many youth and families as possible.”Both the church and Boy Scouts said they’re committed to each other through the Cub Scouts and a letter from the First Presidency, the church’s governing body, said those boys who want to continue on and achieve Eagle Scout status should be encouraged to accomplish that goal.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints saw this trend as well and announced Thursday it was extracting itself from the Boy Scouts of America’s Varsity and Venturing programs beginning in 2018.