The LDS Earth Stewardship Board of Directors is excited to introduce two new board members. Here’s an introduction to one of them, Darren Hawkins, in his own words—and pictures! Stay tuned for the other announcement soon.
Mountain biking last night, my friend and I rounded a bend in an aspen grove, emerged in a meadow and encountered a moose just off the trail. The moose and my friend were equally startled; we retreated back to the aspens while the moose resumed its grazing. We took pictures and marveled at the beauty as evening turned toward dusk. As I split off from my friend to get better light for photos, the moose stared me down: You may enjoy a friendly encounter but you may not threaten me by surrounding me. We rejoined. At first we thought he would move off the trail edge, but he then made it clear he had no such intention: You may build these trails and ride them, but you do not truly own them. We walked our bikes the long way round through the aspens.
This encounter with the moose reflects my larger approach to earth stewardship. We share this land; it is not truly ours. We are travelers, making transitory trails subject to change, enjoying the land and its inhabitants, without threat, yielding to others as helpful to maintain harmony. In turn, we are blessed by joy and by God’s peace. I view this as a covenant that God offers us, if we only accept.
I am pleased to be invited to serve on LDS Earth Stewardship’s board and am excited to contribute to the mission in my small ways. My understanding of the gospel and of myself have been deepened through my association with this organization and its members.
I can frequently be found mountain biking, canyoneering, hiking, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing (cross-country and downhill), and enjoying the abundance of natural beauty that blesses our lives. Such activities are as essential to me as air, water, and blood, though I did not fully realize this until the last few years. When not reveling in nature, I teach and research in the political science department at Brigham Young University. I work mostly on international development issues, foreign aid, and international institutions.
When asked about my vision for this organization, I think of the possibilities for a shared journey of learning and deeper understanding of the natural world and the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe in learning by doing to deepen friendships and insights, and so look forward to real-world activities in addition to our virtual interactions. Anyone interested in a bike ride, hike, or rappel?