After more than a century-long partnership, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the Boy Scouts of America are going their separate ways.
In the last couple years, the boy scouts have opened their doors to welcome a more diverse group into the program. That includes gay and transgender scouts and more recently girls.
In a statement on Tuesday, the church thanked the scouts for their many years together but announced it would develop its own global youth leadership and development program.
"I can't say I was surprised because we've known for a long time that the church, as an international church that most of the membership is outside of the United States, and they were looking for a worldwide program that is the same in Salt Lake City as it is in Paris or Nairobi. So, we knew it was coming, we just didn't know the timing," said Mark Griffin, Great Salt Lake Scouting Council.
The changes will take effect on December 31, 2019. According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints website.
"Until then, the intention of the church is to remain a fully engaged partner in scouting for boys and young men ages 8-13. All youth, families, and leaders are encouraged to continue their active participation and financial support of scouting until that date. "
The LDS church will develop their own program which is set to launch in 2020. The program will be centered on outdoor activities and character building sessions similar to boy scouts but be tailored to the church's doctrine and designed for members. The 425,000 Mormon boys represent about 18.5 percent of 2.3 million youth in the boy scouts.
The church honors scouting organizations for their continued goal to develop character and instill values in youth.