Duty to God Award
|Duty to God Award|
|Presented by||LDS Church|
The Duty to God Award honor is presented to young men who participate in the Aaronic Priesthood training within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The Duty to God program for young men is roughly equivalent to the Personal Progress program for young women in the LDS Church.
Prior to 2002, the award was presented to young male LDS Church members in recognition of their fulfillment of religious duties. Although the award did not require participation in the Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the BSA recognized it as evidence of a Scout's commitment to Scouting principles. The concept of the current award was first introduced by F. Melvin Hammond at the church's October 2001 general conference. "Young men who have achieved this new Duty to God Award will be better prepared than ever to go to the temple, serve missions, marry in the temple and become good husbands and fathers,' said Hammond in announcing the program. "They will be better prepared to serve their families, their Church and their community."
The current award program officially began in January 2002. Aaronic Priesthood candidates qualify for the Duty to God Award after completing specific requirements regarding priesthood duties. These were defined as involvement in family activities, participation in the church’s quorum activities, the successful completion of a Duty to God service project, and reaching personal goals relating to education, spiritual and physical development, and social interactions.
Award name and design
The award and its qualifying program is named from a passage in the Book of Mormon: "I have said these things unto you that I might awaken you to a sense of your duty to God, that ye may walk blameless before him, that ye may walk after the holy order of God" (Alma 7:22). The award, a circular medallion, was designed by Douglas Coy Miles. Before 2002, the award was a buffalo skull-shaped medal designed by Avard Fairbanks.
In the United States, some questions were raised as to whether or not the Duty to God program was created by the LDS Church to replace the focus on the Boy Scout program, especially if Scouting were ever to embrace the changes advocated by gay and atheist activist groups. The LDS Church leadership has stated that the church enjoys a good relationship with the Boy Scouts of America and has no plans to discontinue its use in the activities of the young men organization.
- "Program ‘will improve their lives,’" Deseret News, October 27, 2001 (fee-based article)
- "Young Men Learn Their Duty," MormonTimes.com/Deseret News
- "Obit: Douglas Coy Miles helped create CTR ring and other famous LDS artifacts," The Salt Lake Tribune, July 10, 2008
- Lewis, Robert. "Couldn't Duty to God replace the older boy programs, Varsity and Venturing, as the activity arms of the Teachers and Priests quorums? Do the Church leaders approve of this?". LDSScouting.org. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
- "Church News: Interview of Elder F. Melvin Hammond". LDS Church. Retrieved 2008-08-08.