(Salt Lake City, Utah, March 17, 2023) – Latter-day Saint Earth Stewardship (LDSES) celebrates today’s address from Bishop W. Christopher Waddell of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Presiding Bishopric at the University of Utah Stegner Symposium on the Future of the Great Salt Lake. Bishop Waddell stated, “As a church, we are committed to being part of the solution to help the Great Salt Lake.”.
This commitment falls squarely in line with Latter-day Saint teachings and practices. The commitment is demonstrated by the many water conservation efforts Bishop Waddell shared, including the March 15, 2023 announcement that the Church would permanently donate water shares representing an annual 20,000 acre-feet of water to the Great Salt Lake. The donation of water shares is an important example of the Church’s continuing effort to promote positive earth stewardship practices, based on Latter-day Saint doctrine.
In the address, Bishop Waddell reminded us that in addition to prayer, we must engage in works to demonstrate faith. He said, “we invite others to join us in reducing water use wherever possible. As the Apostle James teaches us, we must show our faith by our works, for ‘Faith without works is dead’ (James 2:26).”
Bishop Waddell also invited church members to reduce individual water consumption and support legislative changes to preserve the Great Salt Lake, in addition to prayer and fasting.
“I celebrate the Church’s leadership and guidance on the central importance of stewardship of natural resources, especially water. Their generosity in announcing the donation of significant water rights to the Great Salt Lake shows the way. I embrace Bishop Waddell’s call for all members to do what we can to reduce water consumption,” said George Handley, a Latter-day Saint Earth Stewardship founder and Advisory Board Member.
LDSES accepts the invitation to follow the Church’s example and guidance. We will engage our membership and our communities in activities to restore the Great Salt Lake. In addition to prayer, other specific actions include upcoming Earth Day service activities, discussions on water stewardship in our ongoing “In the Company of Sewards” webcast series, and our Y-Talk campaign to promote one-on-one conversations. In addition, we encourage our members to act as voices for water conservation to our church congregations, friends, neighbors, and elected civic leaders.