May’s Small and Simple Stewardship Step: Discover Biodiversity in Your Backyard

Two yellow lilies bloom in a field of flowers Two yellow lilies bloom in a field of flowers Photo by mcruetten on Pixabay
April 30, 2021

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow...”

Matthew 6:28


God has blessed us with a beautiful world teeming with life—and He wants us to learn about it! We live in a difficult time when many of God’s creations are nearing extinction due to habitat loss, pollution, and other environmental problems. In 1913, President David O. McKay, then an Apostle, was concerned about bird species that were threatened with extinction. He taught, “With these startling facts before us, is it not time that something be done by every organization in the world to discountenance extermination and favor protection. . . In all the teaching, the element of love for all of the creatures of the earth can be emphasized, and thus true religion imparted.”

Love for God’s creations starts by learning about them. Do you know how many species live in your backyard, or in your local park? No matter where you live, there is a plant or animal outside your door waiting to be discovered. Get outside, enjoy the spring weather, and discover a new species that you share this planet with.

Our invitation for May is to worship the Creator by learning about the Creation. We provide some resources and ideas in hopes of sparking inspiration, but it’s up to you what small, simple stewardship step you take this month:

  • Read “Becoming Better Stewards of the Earth God Created For Us” by Elder Marcus B. Nash in the March 2021 edition of the Liahona. How do Elder Nash’s teachings inspire you to better understand and care for the Earth and its creatures?
  • Find a field guide for your local flora and fauna and start learning about the biodiversity in your backyard. There are a wide variety of field guides available, but a simple place to start is with the Pocket Naturalist series.
  • Download the ‘iNaturalist’ and ‘Seek’ apps on your phone and use them to identify at least 10 species in your backyard, local park, or along a hiking trail. Share what you’re learning with your friends and family, and invite them to download the apps as well. iNaturalist has a nice online community that helps you learn about the species around you, and the observations you make are incredibly useful to ecologists and conservation scientists.

We hope these invitations help you cultivate a more Creation-friendly lifestyle, line upon line and precept upon precept. As you find your own way to be a better steward, share your inspired actions on social media—don’t forget to tag us and use both #EverySaintASteward and #SmallAndSimpleStewardship!