President Thomas S. Monson was awarded international Scouting's highest honor, the Bronze Wolf, during the general priesthood session of conference Oct. 2.
The Bronze Wolf is presented by the World Organization of the Scout Movement, headquartered in Geneva at the World Scout Bureau. The award is given for exemplary service to Scouting.A citation and medallion honoring President Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, were presented by Eugene F. "Bud" Reid, member of the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board and immediate past chairman of the World Scouting Committee. BSA Chief Scout Executive Jere B. Ratcliffe spoke and paid tribute to President Monson and to the Church as great friends of Scouting. Also in attendance was C. Michael Hoover, assistant Chief Scout Executive.
"President Monson is one of the Boy Scouts of America's most distinguished friends and the longest-tenured member of our National Executive Board, having begun his service in 1969," said Mr. Ratcliffe. "During that period of time, the Boy Scouts of America and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have enjoyed an unprecedented partnership in the development of young men. . . .
"President Monson has helped the Boy Scouts of America remain very much focused on our mutual basic beliefs. He is an exceptional Scouter who has very much dedicated his life to uphold and to place into practice the teachings of the Church and the mission of the Boy Scouts of America - a mission of teaching values to last a lifetime."
Mr. Reid noted that President Monson has been involved in the activities of Scouting at many levels within the Church - from serving as a merit badge counselor to a member of the BSA National Executive Board.
"In his assignments throughout the world as a leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Monson has worked tirelessly to bring about the advancement of Scouting in many countries," he said. "He has worked closely with the World Organization of the Scout Movement to find ways to strengthen the links between the Church and national Scout associations. He is a committed, solid, hard-working volunteer in the Scout movement. His Scouting leadership has been exemplary."
Speaking to priesthood holders immediately after receiving the award, while wearing the medallion, President Monson expressed his gratitude on behalf of himself and the Church.
"I am humbled by the presentation of the Bronze Wolf award. I know that as you bestow this honor, you are expressing gratitude to the Church and to leaders past and present who have permitted me to serve on the National Executive Board these past 24 years and to follow in the footsteps of President Ezra Taft Benson and President George Albert Smith, who preceded me in this appointment."