Times were different in the 1960s and 1970s. America was
brushing off the façade of the 1950s where life was seen through a glass
darkly. The world of Leave to Beaver,
The Dick Van Dyke Show, and the simplicity
of Lassie was over.
These weekly television classics gave way to The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, and All
in the Family.
I had the occasion to spend some time with Dad recently to
get his input on the connection the Heiss family has with scouting. I knew it
started with Opa, but I didn’t know how or why.
When Dad was about to turn 12, the bishop of the ward asked
Opa to serve as Scout Master. Now, Opa had no experience with scouting. In
fact, he didn’t know the first thing about the organization or the history the
church had with this program. But the calling came as a perfect storm.
I will not try to recite the long history the Church has had
with scouting. It is has been a 100 year relationship.
To be fair, scouting advocates many positive things – faith,
loyalty, honesty, service, and so on. So it made sense that a Church, trying to
find a vehicle to engage its young men that was positive and exciting, turned
Scouting had its heyday in the church up until about the
1960s. But from the 1960s to the 1980s, the nation’s attention towards scouting
as well as that of the young men of the Church began to wane. Life changed and
scouting fell behind. That is not to say the values of scouting were any less
important. These are still great values.
The Heiss family has a rich and lengthy tradition when it
comes to scouting. But I have a feeling this tradition will end in the next
generation. To be honest, I don’t think that will be a bad thing. I feel that Church
has outgrown its need for scouting and in the years to come, I hope we will
wean the North American Church from chokehold of this antiquated programs.
So, if we have such a familial connection to scouting, why
am I such an advocate for abolishing this vestige of the past? First, I feel scouting
takes a lot of church, resources in time, manpower, and money, to support this
program with a very small return on this investment.
Now that I have completed my posts about the bishops in my
life, I can return to the chaotic ramblings of my history. As you may have
noticed by now, I do not do to well in sequentially presenting events in my
life. That is why I chose to use this blog. I feel this blogging medium is a
forum that is open to the chronological as well as the immediate posts.
To that end, I am now including a post about an experience I
had with a young, sick boy named Tanner Larsen. First, let me provide you some background.
I realize this blog is
dedicated to Heiss History, but in this fast-paced world, sometimes history
Here is a portion of an article published in
the New York Times about young women,
Jessica Sagers, who was recently accepted for a PhD program at Harvard.
Jessica was in my BYU Singles Ward for a year
as I served as bishop. She was interview by the Times as part of an article to help paint a picture of the changing
role of Mormon women. Here is what the Times wrote: