Exploring the gospel principles of earth stewardship

LDS Earth Stewardship in February

Our calendar of themes and activities for the next few months will be ready soon. In the meantime, a new month has begun.

We at LDS Earth Stewardship would like to host a physical get together each month. We’re thinking about things like lectures, service projects, nature hikes, and visits to the capitol. But we also want to suggest thematic activities that each of you can do in your own lives and in your own neighborhoods that can help exemplify stewardship principles to improve your experience of living in your community.

This month, one of our board members, Ralf Gruenke from Germany, will be in SLC for work. We’d like to invite any interested stewards to join us at a dinner with him at the Lamb’s Grill on February 15th from 7 to 9 p.m. If you would like to come, you must RSVP so that we can reserve a large enough table for our group.

For the personal activity in February, we would like to focus on the ways our religion can aid us in reducing consumption.  One reason for this theme now is that Lent begins on February 13th. Lent has always been a good time to reevaluate and reset some of the habits we have settled into, habits that may not be bad in and of themselves, but that are more sloppy or wasteful or ungrateful than may be good for us. This year, Lent will last from February 13th to March 30th.

For those latter-day saints who do not observe Lent, my challenge to you is to reconsider your Sabbath day observances. In Utah valley, many businesses still shut down for on Sunday. While some may bemoan the inconvenience, they overlook the great environmental impact such community action has. Just the reduction in cars on the city surface streets because other than church, there are very few places to go to, is good for all of us.

This month, how can you personally reduce some consumption on a Sunday? Will you walk to church? Unplug your flat screen tv and play board games with your kids rather than watching a family movie? Follow the Shabbat prohibition against all electronic devices? That would mean carrying your scriptures to church instead of your phone. Would that be so bad for one month?

I personally will be giving up my car for all of Lent. I’ve been using the time since I announced this resolution to prepare. My husband and I have patched tires. I’ve checked out bike routes for the few places I normally drive to. We’ve warned the children and made plans to get them to extracurricular activities with the use of cars. We’re hoping local air quality is good, but committed to not driving regardless. The only exception I’ve come up against is for medical emergencies. I would break the fast to drive my car for that, which is not an option for the vast majority of the world’s population.

I’ll keep you all posted as the project continues, and I hope you’ll do the same with your February Sabbath/Lent observances.

Best wishes to you all!

Rachel