Top 12 Merit Badges for LDS Boy Scouts
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    The Boy Scouts of America has produced fun and exciting program activity guides for 135+ Merit Badges. However, there are 12 of peculiar interest to the youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    LDS Trails to Testimony Trails to Testimony
    Bringing Young Men to Christ via LDS Scouting

    For Parents / AP Leaders / Bishoprics / Stake Leaders

    Earlier this morning I finished one of the finest Scouting books I have ever read! Brother Harris, in just over a 100 pages, shares so many great insights and strong stories to really bring home the crucial points to doing Scouting right in an LDS Church setting.

    Trails to Testimony - order via Amazon - (2009) by Bradley Harris.

    On My Honor - by Thane J Packer (1998) a Guide to Scouting in the LDS Church

    LDS Duty to God Award
    In order to prepare the youth of The Church to fulfill the various declared goals thereof, it is highly expected that they become well versed in the subjects listed below. Again one of the best resources for this can be the appropriate BSA Merit Badge Program. When done right they can be very fun and educational!

    Every LDS Youth deserves a well planned program to help him or her to properly prepare to perform their duty as a disciple of Jesus Christ. On multiple occassions we have used material from the BSA Merit Badge Pamphlets to expand and expound upon principles we were teaching the youth in their sunday meetings. Listed below are the top 12 LDS Merit Badges!

    LDS Duty to God Temple Directory

    1. American Heritage

    Attending a few church history classes covers several of the requirements in this merit badge. Take a field trip or family a relevant pioneer heritage site.

      "The passage of time dims our memories and diminishes our appreciation for those who walked the path of pain, leaving behind a tear-marked trail of nameless graves. But what of today’s challenge? Are there no rocky roads to travel, no rugged mountains to climb, no chasms to cross, no trails to blaze, no rivers to ford? Or is there a very present need for that pioneer spirit to guide us away from the dangers that threaten to engulf us, and lead us to a Zion of safety?" by Thomas S. Monson

    2. Citizenship in the Community

    How often are the Aaronic Priesthood boys taught that they have a priesthood duty to serve everyone inside their ward boundaries, member and non-member alike? Yet it is usually through scouting activities that this is concept is carried out. This merit badge will help them get started. You could say this the #2 Commandment in the LDS Church:

      Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” - Matthew 22:36-40 - New International Version.

    3. Citizenship in the Nation

    LDS Prophets and Apostles have taught the United States Declaration of Independence and Constitution were both divinely inspired documents of great importance to the restoration of the true church in the last days. This merit badge will help you appreciate why that is.

      If there is trouble in the country, neither I nor my people made it, and all that we have ever done, after much endurance on our part, is to maintain and uphold the constitution and institutions of our country, and to protect an injured, innocent, and persecuted people against misrule and mob violence. - Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith 385-86

      We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. - LDS 12th Article of Faith.

    4. Citizenship in the World

    It is expected the young men and young women of the church will carry the ensign of the restored church into all the world. Through the modern miracle of the internet we now communicate more freely and more directly with people in far off places. Furthermore, you will find that many foreign born immigrants and their children have come to our country and now reside in our own neighborhoods to partake of the many blessings found here. It is important to be keenly aware of cultural and traditional differences that exist different peoples.

      Our missionaries are going forth to different nations, and in Germany, Palestine, New Holland, Australia, the East Indies, and other places, the Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear; till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done. - Joseph Smith, Wentworth Letter - 1842.


    The LDS Church is a Missionary Church with a big emphasis on effectively communicating its message of the restored gosple truths to the whole world. This merit badge will young people learn messages generate meanings within and across various contexts, cultures, channels, and media.

      I would say to each mother, each father be a good listener. Communication is so vital today in our fast-paced world. Take time to listen. - Thomas S. Monson

    6. Emergency Preparedness

    There is a lot more to being prepared than just having a 72-hour kit tucked away in storage. For example, would your family have survived Hurricane Katrina and being cut off for a whole week with no safe food, running water, and emminent flooding?

      “Maintain a year’s supply. The Lord has urged that his people save for the rainy days, prepare for the difficult times, and put away for emergencies, a year’s supply or more of bare necessities so that when comes the flood, the earthquake, the famine, the hurricane, the storms of life, our families can be sustained through the dark days. – The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.375

    7. Family Life



    8. Gardening



    9. Genealogy

    The advent of the Internet Age in the last 10 years has wrought a big revolution in the world of Genealogy. Doing genealogy today is dramatically different than it was when I earned this merit badge as a young second class scout and had to fill out a giant worksheet by hand in pencil. Now there are many powerful software tools, websites, and online databases that can instantly create fancy presentations for you.

      When the Roadkill Patrol announced they were working on the Genealogy Merit Badge it was awesome to see a large number of parents show up, curious to see what family gems we would uncover. This became a fun family activity of mystery and discovery. Anyone wanting to be a research detective will have a blast on this one!

    10. Music



    11. Reading

    Light and truth are intelligence. The best source of knowledge is by reading good books.

      And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith. - Doctrine & Covenants 88:118.

    12. Personal Fitness

    Latter-day Saint youth are taught that their body is a Temple of God. But there is a lot more to that concept than just not smoking dope.

    There are three more related merit badges - Cycling, Hiking and Swimming. Learn more about how to achieve the scriptorial promise of a healthy and happy life.

      18. And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
      19. And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
      20. And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
      21. And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen. - Doctrine & Covenants 89:18-21

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