Duty, Love, and Stewardship: Ten Years of Growth

Doing good is a pleasure,

a joy beyond measure, 

a blessing of duty and love.

 LDS ES infographic

The autumn harvest is a time to both savor the fruits of our gardening labors and gratefully marvel at the miraculous processes of nature. In that same spirit, we want to celebrate the remarkable growth of earth stewardship in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over the last decade. Inspired leaders have expounded doctrinal insight, saints have served those suffering from environmental tragedies, and hearts have turned to safeguarding God’s creation for future generations.

Following our Leaders

At the turn of the century, then-apostle Russell M. Nelson exhorted us, “As beneficiaries of the divine Creation, what shall we do? We should care for the earth, be wise stewards over it, and preserve it for future generations.”* Since then, others have shed light onto what that means and how it fits in our doctrine. Elder Marcus B. Nash used scripture to teach the true meaning of righteous dominion.* A Gospel Topics entry explains how stewardship of the earth fits within with the plan of salvation and encourages members to prayerfully seek what they can do.* Last year, the Church clearly established that we honor the Creator when we care for His creation.* Additionally, Elder Steven E. Snow emphasized how urgently we need to practice earth stewardship and suggested 10 concrete actions any saint can take.* These instructive discourses inspire us to put our shoulder to the wheel in the great human effort to care for the earth.

Loving our Neighbor

“For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things,” the Lord tells us in D&C 104:17, but He also says that “the children of men [are] to be agents unto themselves.” Regarding that material responsibility, the Lord counsels in the preceding verse that “it must needs be done in mine own way; and behold this is the way that I, the Lord, have decreed to provide for my saints, that the poor shall be exalted.”* Conscientious stewardship over the earth and its resources go hand-in-hand with caring for our brothers and sisters. We applaud the momentous efforts of organizations like LDS Charities, groups like BYU research teams, and individuals like Clayton Thomas Kearl (Gr3ngasho) who have pursued altruistic projects at the intersection of the environment and the people who rely upon it. We eagerly anticipate hearing Sister Sharon Eubank remark more on this topic at our Fall Forum on October 10th.

Preserving for Posterity

Malachi prophesied that a mutual turning of hearts would transpire between “the fathers” and “the children” in the last days.* The repetition of this revelation throughout the standard works speaks to the magnitude and depth of its meaning. One fulfillment we see is the growing desire to “turn this land over to those who succeed us—not drained of its fertility, but improved in quality, in productivity, and in usefulness for future generations,” as articulated by President Ezra Taft Benson. LDS Earth Stewardship alone has organized 35 service projects to this end, and we recognize that countless saints are actively engaged in cultivating the health of God’s creations. We commend every small change in behavior, lifestyle, and choice that individual saints have made; these are the “small and simple things” by which “great things [are] brought to pass.”*

 

Innumerable hearts, minds, and hands have contributed to the expanded understanding and practice of gospel-centered earth stewardship. Join us in thanking them, and in celebrating the marvelous bloom we have witnessed over the past decade, by adding your name below. By praising this progress we hope to plant the seeds of an abundandantly thriving season of stewardship in the decade ahead.

We invite you to share this with your family and friends. As you do, please use #DutyLoveAndStewardship and #EverySaintASteward.

 

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Patricia Thomas

Jedediah Rogers

Eileen White

Bethany Linton

Peri Cook

Colleen Farmer

Tony Derricott

Jacob Alder

Erika Madrian

Kristen Larson

Erik Johnson

Kacey Sorenson

Erin Jones

Rob Fergus

Shelly Parkin

Amy Christensen

Erik Fronberg

Jordan Hamann

Michaelann Gardner

Darren Hawkins

Jared Meek

Merikay Smith

George Handley

Jim Holtkamp

Lisa Jibson

Jonia Broderick

Scott Martin

David Ryser

Livia DeMartini

Noah Jones

Grace Tueller

Josie Tueller

Gay Lynn Bennion

Arianna Rees

Kristina Christopherson

Sam Jacob

Rachel Darata

Kara Dawson

Megan Thompson

David Reber

Peter Ashcroft

Par Rasmusson

Andrew Carman

Rachel Mabey Whipple 

 

Brian King

John Knotwell

Monica Couvrette

Byron Adams

Madison Daniels

Jonathan Spencer

 Alicia Maruri

Kim Fulcher

Stewart Silver

Alister Huth

Jessica Friedman

Gabriella Lawson

Scott Harris

Ashlyn Bodily

Eric Henricks

Michelle Behrmann

Danny Ferguson

Carlee Reber

Christopher Oscarson

Ben Abbott

Brigham Daniels

Rebecca Bateman