A Deacon’s Dilemma: White Shirt vs. Scout Shirt?

This Sunday, the boys in our ward scout troops will have their Board of Review, which is the meeting in which advancement is discussed with those on the board. The meeting will be held immediately after church, and each boy is required to wear his scout shirt.

Which creates a dilemma – can the boys pass the sacrament wearing a scout shirt?

Unfortunately, somebody in the ward feels they cannot. The leader of the deacon’s quorum came into Elder’s quorum on Sunday and asked for volunteers for passing the sacrament. This boy, who is stalwart and wise beyond his years, seemed a bit confused by the whole thing. One of the fellas in the quorum spoke up and told the boy several things:

1.In certain very poor areas of the world, the requirement is “a clean shirt.” Color made no difference.
2.That priesthood can be utilized and carried regardless of how one dresses for church, so long as ample effort was made to appear neat and clean.
3.That wearing a scout shirt is an honor, and to preclude a boy from passing the sacrament because of a scout shirt is teaching the wrong thing about priesthood (and, by extension, scouting).

Should they pass the sacrament, or defer the honor to others wearing white shirts?

14 Replies to “A Deacon’s Dilemma: White Shirt vs. Scout Shirt?”

  1. See, this is the thing about scouts that alienates even those who want to be supportive. You’re right, boys can pass the sacrament wearing any color of shirt, but why can’t boys wear a white shirt to a board of review? While you are correct to wonder why why the ward can’t make an exception, why can’t the scoutmaster make an exception, too, and allow shite shirts? How come the scouting tail always wags the church dog?

  2. Scouting can be irritating but in this case
    I’d LOVE to see the deacons administering the Lord’s Supper in their uniforms. Maybe not every week, or as an excuse, but once in awhile seems fine.

  3. In my ward growing up, there was one Sunday each year when all the Scouts wore their uniforms to church (can’t remember the exact nature of the occasion). Nobody objected to us passing the sacrament in our scout uniforms. I would consider the scout uniform similar to a military uniform in that respect; it is appropriate church attire when occasion warrants. Clearly, the final decision rests with the Bishop, as the president of the Aaronic Priesthood.

    By the same token, I would see no problem with the boy attending the Board of Review in his church clothes. However, older “scouters”, such as those who might be involved in the Board of Review, might not agree with this and I could easily see the scoutmaster getting lectured for such a decision.

    Perhaps the easiest solution would be to have the boy wear a white shirt for church, but bring his scout shirt with him for a quick change immediately after the meeting. He could store it in the Bishop’s office or something.

  4. One of the fellas in the quorum spoke up and told the boy several things

    If the high priests group leader comes in looking for help with a temple assignment because of some conflicts tying up members of his group, does he get told several things too?

  5. Just a quick couple of points:

    1. LDS Scouts, including priests, teachers and deacons, prepared, passed and blessed the sacrament at the Scout Jamboree this last summer. There were approximately 5000 scouts and leaders were present, in uniform, presided over by Pres. Monson of the First Presidency.

    2. When I was a scout, decades ago, not only did we attend scout camp on Sunday, we had an approved sacrament meeting where we administered the sacrament with local leaders, in uniform.

    3. Wearing a uniform is an important part (not the only part) of scouting. Wearing it to a board of review is better practice than not wearing the uniform.

    4. My own personal opinon is that it is fine to encourage white shirts and ties on most occasions for blessing and passing the sacrament. But, its truly a myth to suggest it has to be this way. There would be nothing wrong for the young men to wear their uniform passing and blessing the sacrament.

  6. On Scout Sunday, which was a once a year occasion, everyone involved in scouting would wear their uniforms to church. This included members of the bishopric, den mothers, and of course the deacons. It was made very clear to us that given the church support of the scout program the uniform of that program was appropriate attire for church and that it was equivalent to Sunday best. We always passed (and prepared and blessed) the sacrament in our uniforms on Scout Sunday.

  7. Growing up on military bases, I’ve seen plenty of occasions when people passed the sacrament in their army or air force uniforms since they were coming straight from a shift on duty. I can’t remember this ever being a problem.

  8. Maybe it’s my Englishness coming through but it’s gotta be a white shirt surely!?

    Although I grew up in America and have photographic evidence that yes, I once was a scout, unfortunately I dont remember enough to understand why this is even an issue.

    These aren’t boys that are too poor to buy a nice white shirt, which I would have plenty of sympathy for – this is an actual choice to not bother. I think a great lesson could be taught by having the boys change after church, to emphasise the importance of a white shirt where possible (which in this case it certainly is!).

    Serious question – is there any reason why a scouts uniform is more acceptable than a soccer jersey (assuming the young man takes just as much pride in playing soccer as being a scout)?

    I just think a white shirt is kind of the unwritten order of things isn’t it.

  9. well, as a boy scout, i figure I should weigh in.

    I’m not certain of the official church position on this, but I will look it up.

    My personal opinon is that the Boy Scout, Full Class-A uniform.
    (Tan shirt w/ decorations and insignia, Green Dress pants, etc.) Minus the hat, is 100 percent apropriate church attire on Scout Sunday.

    The Boy Scouts has a long tradition of moral values, and teaching all of its members to fear God. This tradition, I believe, has converted the scout Class-A into a symbol of riecheous behavior, and piety before God.

    In additon i would like to make a comment about the whole “White Shirt” issue. Yes in my opinon the White shirt is the Uniform of the Priesthood outside of the temple. However it is not a strict rule. If someone does not have a white shirt, or has forgoten to wear one, it should not restrict him from preforming sacred ordinances. God does not care. He probably would prefer that you wore nice cloathing, and a White Shirt is nice, but if all you could wear was some paint stained jeans, and a sweatshirt, I don’t think God would look down upon you for administering the sacrament in such attire.

  10. ok, here’s the offical chruch positon

    i found it on:

    it is a direct quote from the the church scouting handbook.

    Scouting Month

    February has traditionally been designated Scouting Month in the United States. Leaders of Church-sponsored Scouting units may plan and carry out approved activities to recognize this tradition. However, in keeping with the purposes of sacrament meeting, wards should not combine observances of Scouting Month and Scouting Sunday with sacrament meeting. Boys do not wear their Scout uniforms while administering and passing the sacrament.

    I of course support the church’s decition on this.
    however this does not change my mind that the Class-A is still elegant and reverent clothing. Though should not be worn while passing the sacrament at church.

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