Exploring the gospel principles of earth stewardship

A Quote from President Monson

In the spirit of “recycling” I’ll be posting quotes on this blog that I collected while writing for a previous blog.  Here is a quote from President Monson:

“Does the world in which we live stand in need of the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Almost everywhere one looks there appears an erosion not only of the environment but, even more seriously, an erosion of spirituality and of compliance with eternal commandments. One sees a blatant disregard for the precious souls of mankind.” (Italics added)

Reference: That All May Hear, Ensign Magazine, May 1995, Thomas S. Monson.


  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the quote, Brandon. Because of it, I’ve been thinking about erosion off and on all day. 

    There is erosion as a natural process, with the denuding of one place balanced by deposition in another, downstream. In that case, the amount of soil, of material is constant, it’s just shifted locations. Here is the West, it’s easy to see work of wind and water on the bare rocks. It is beautiful.

    But I think Monson is using a different sense of the word erosion, that is “a gradual decline of something” (WordBook app definition #3). I can see that, as we have been slacking in our stewardship responsibilities, the environments immediately around us have been declining. Our cities have areas consigned to industrial parks, since abandoned as manufacturing has declined. Our roadways are littered with junky big box stores and chains selling junky food, so what we see of the environment as we drive is the unlovely disposable convenience economy of our own making.

    What Monson’s metaphor lacks is the essential connection between our spirituality and our environment. Because if we were serious about complying with eternal commands, it would be apparent in property we own and the land we love.

  • Brandon says:

    RR:  Thanks for your thoughtful comments.  Your thoughts are much deeper than mine!

    I agree that “erosion” in the quote is not a direct metaphor for the process we see in nature.  I also agree with the connection you mention between physical environment and spirituality.  The Word of Wisdom seems to be built on a similar idea.

    The quote is significant to me in that environmental degradation was acknowledged in General Conference.  Also, I think that it puts concern for the environment in the correct place as a subordinate of spirituality.