Exploring the gospel principles of earth stewardship

A Culture of Stewardship

Stewardship questionEarth stewardship has an unfortunate place in our society. On the one hand, it’s a value that most people claim to embrace. One survey of active LDS respondents found that 90 percent of self-identified conservatives and 98 percent of self-identified liberals agreed with the statement that “Stewardship for the earth is a gospel principle.”

The recent Environmental Stewardship and Conservation addition to the Mormon Newsroom website makes it clear that stewardship isn‘t merely a value shared by members; the Church itself has formally declared its importance. (If you haven’t visited the Mormon Newsroom website yet, please visit it now, and leave feedback explaining how much you appreciate the Environmental Stewardship page.) A key portion of the Newsroom page says (emphasis added):

Approaches to the environment must be prudent, realistic, balanced and consistent with the needs of the earth and of current and future generations

Does any aspect of how we live today do justice to the needs of future generations? Will our water be as clean and plentiful for future generations as they were for ours? Will our jungles and forests be as rich and diverse for future generations as they were for ours? Will our oceans be as healthy, will they teem with whales and sharks and sea turtles for our children as they did for for us? Will our natural resources be as plentiful? Sadly, the answer to all those questions must be no.

LDS Earth Stewardship can begin to turn the tide in two important ways.

  1. As a moral principle, earth stewardship is “below the fold” for too many people. In other words, it’s peripheral. It takes a back seat to pressing daily concerns like paying the mortgage and getting the kids to school on time. LDS Earth Stewardship raises earth stewardship out of the noise of day-to-day distractions. We do this by providing an online and in-person community from which we can draw inspiration and support. Our next in-person meeting will be our February 1 retreat in Provo. Please join us, even if only for part of the morning.

  2. Practicing earth stewardship can be complicated. Biology, chemistry, hydrology, ecology, and other sciences can be complicated. Economics can be complicated, Global supply chains mean that environmental impacts of our consumer choices might be felt thousands of miles away. LDS Earth Stewardship cuts through the confusion with education. It supports individuals with information they can use to be better stewards. For example, the LDS Earth Stewardship Google group and Facebook group are open forums for exchanging constructive ideas and information.

Our mission is to change the way people think, to inspire, educate, and provide tools to build a culture of earth stewardship in a world of competing forces. Your support can make a difference. For the sake of future generations, please join us today. Thanks.

 

  • avatar Soren Simonsen says:

    Well said Peter. Thanks for eloquently capturing what so many believe, and underscoring how vital it is to ACT on those beliefs.

  • avatar Brook_Trout says:

    I just heard a scholar from Stanford on the BYU campus cite the statistic that 76% of Utahns, for example, believe that climate change is real, but when they are polled on their support for any serious measures that might be taken to reduce carbon emissions, they are in the 5%-15% range. There’s a real disconnect. Thanks for this, Peter.