Humanity's Dominion and Stewardship

"We should love the earth—we should love the works which God has made. This is correct; but we should love them in the Lord."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 11:112
"Let me love the world as He loves it, to make it beautiful, and glorify the name of my Father in heaven. It does not matter whether I or anybody else owns it, if we only work to beautify it and make it glorious, it is all right."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 2:308
"They [the pioneers] loved this land. It was at once their refuge, their home and their destiny. They called it Zion because that word most nearly characterized the Utopia of safety, peace, progress and achievement which they sought to establish."
Church Leaders
Stephen L. Richards
General Authorities
April 1940 General Conference
"Man has been entrusted with sovereignty over the animal kingdom (Genesis 1:21), that he may learn to govern, as God rules, by the power of love and justice, and become fit for his eternal destiny as a ruler of worlds. A tyrant who has learned nothing but selfishness and cruelty can hope for no position of trust hereafter in the kingdom of the Father."
Hyrum Mack Smith
Other Writings of Mormons
Doctrine and Covenants Commentary (1972); introduction and historical and exegetical notes by Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl
"There is a forgotten teaching of the early Jews and Christians that the dominion that God gave to Adam in Eden over his other creatures was nothing less than the holy priesthood, the power to act in God’s stead. In making his covenant with Abraham, God is represented as saying to him, 'When God created Adam, he blessed him, and man lived in this blessing, until the generation of the Flood came and destroyed that blessing. When Noah came forth from the ark God saw that the world was bereft of any blessing and blessed them anew through Noah. This blessing continued until Abraham came and increased it still more.' To Adam he said, 'From now on it is all given over into your hand, and they [the creatures] will fear you as they fear me.' Accordingly, Adam enjoys God’s authority only insofar as he exercises it as God himself would, with perfect love and understanding."
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
"Brigham Young on the Environment," from Hugh Nibley's Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints; printed in Truman Madsen and Charles D. Tate, eds., To the Glory of God: Mormon Essays on Great Issues—Environment, Commitment, Love, Peace, Youth, Man (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1972), 3—29.
"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."
Other Sources
Aldo Leopold
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
A Sand County Almanac, and Sketches Here and There (1949), viii.
"That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics. That land yields a cultural harvest is a fact long known, but latterly often forgotten."
Other Sources
Aldo Leopold
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
A Sand County Almanac, and Sketches Here and There (1949), viii-ix.
And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
New Testament
10-12 12
Matthew
Matthew 12:10-12
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
New Testament
29-31 10
Matthew
Matthew 10:29-31
"If, in common with men, animals and plants were created spiritually, it may not be an idle speculation that the lower forms of life will advance, in their respective fields, as man advances in his. However, a statement in the above quotation must not be overlooked, 'It remaineth in the sphere in which I, God, created it.' This would preclude any notion that by endless development a plant may become an animal, or that one of the lower classes of animals become a high animal, or a man. Is not this the place where, perhaps, the evolution of science has failed? All things advance, but each order of creation within its own sphere. There is no jumping from order to order. The limits of these orders are yet to be found."
Church Leaders
John A. Widtsoe
General Authorities
The Improvement Era, April 1904, pg. 408.
"There is a spirit among the trees—are they not living souls? And, even more so for me above the timberline, amongst the mountain tops, where I feel a closeness to God. I love to sit or stand under the sky where heaven and earth meet, the high alpine peaks around me and to gaze at the stars at night, trying—always unsuccessfully—to wrap my mind around the eternity within my gaze, an eternity of both time and space (imagine, for example, the hundreds, or millions of light years it took for some of the light of the stars to reach this earth). Yet, I always marvel at the quiet knowledge that settles upon me in those solitary moments of tranquility that, despite the vastness of the cosmos, the Lord of the universe knows puny me."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"I do not think that many ever suppose that animals are going to be resurrected. When God touched Elijah's eyes, and he looked on the mountain, he saw chariots and horses, and men by thousands and millions. Where did they come from? There is nothing on this earth but what came from heaven, and it grew and was created before it grew on this earth: the Bible says so . . . [E]verything that is upon the earth grew before it came here; it was transported from heaven to earth."
Church Leaders
Heber C. Kimball
General Authorities
Journal of Discourses 5:137, Aug. 2, 1857
"Do you remember the first time you knew there was a God and could feel His love? As a boy, I used to gaze into the starry sky and ponder and feel His presence. I thrilled to explore the magnificent beauties of God’s creations—from tiny insects to towering trees. As I recognized the beauty of this earth, I knew that Heavenly Father loved me. I knew that I was a literal spiritual offspring, that we are all sons and daughters of God."
Church Leaders
Robert D. Hales
General Authorities
"Eternal Life—to Know Our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ," Oct. 2014
"Apparently wise and powerful people blame poverty and famine on there being too many people in some parts of the earth or in all the earth. With great passion they argue for limiting births, as if that would produce human happiness . . . Heavenly Father would not command men and women to marry and to multiply and replenish the earth if the children they invited into mortality would deplete the earth. Since there is enough and to spare, the enemy of human happiness as well as the cause of poverty and starvation is not the birth of children. It is the failure of people to do with the earth what God could teach them to do if only they would ask and then obey, for they are agents unto themselves."
Church Leaders
Henry B. Eyring
General Authorities
"The Family," Ensign, February 1998, 15.
"How is the time to come when enmity between man and beast shall cease, when a little child shall be safe in playing with and leading the most savage animal—how is the world to reach an era of universal peace, if man, the superior animal, does not himself take the first steps toward it by getting rid of his blood-thirstiness and by regarding all life as sacred!"
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 34:493, Aug. 15, 1899
"Throughout history an indispensable fixture of royalty has everywhere been the great animal park, paradise, or royal forest in which majesty could display itself in the role of God on earth, parent of the human race, and patron and protector of all lesser beings. In a word, the concept of man's dominion as a holy calling and high responsibility has been the common heritage of the human race throughout history."
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
"Man's Dominion," New Era, January 1981
"God set the earth up so that it would provide abundantly for all His children who were to come here, if we fulfilled our stewardships properly. However, if we disregard His instructions concerning the earth's resources, we cannot expect the promised abundance for all. The Lord gave us our agency, and we, through wickedness, have crippled the earth in its ability to provide and have, through selfishness, misused that which it does provide. If there is scarcity, it is because we have not used our agency to do things in the Lord's way."
Other Sources
Alisse Garner Metge
Other Writings of Mormons
“Conservation through Consecration,” in Stewardship and the Creation: LDS Perspectives on the Environment, eds. George B. Handley, Terry B. Ball, and Steven L. Peck (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center), 109–19.
"Animals do have spirits and will be resurrected. We will be accountable for our treatment of animals and indeed may be able to communicate better with them about that judgment in the next life. Inordinate time, money, or energy should not be spent on animals to the detriment of our fellow humans. On the other hand, our attitude of gratitude towards animals will usually affect the way we treat all living creatures, including other people. There seems to be strong evidence that cruelty to animals can prepare for cruelty or unkindness to people. It is our responsibility to help bring peace to the earth and all of its living inhabitants. Our loving actions will affect animals and people alike to return and reflect that love to all. Our Father in Heaven indicates He would be very pleased with such actions and attitudes."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 90.]
"Since my original research on the topic many years ago, my perception has not changed much. I still feel that the prophets and scriptures teach that people should treat animals kindly. However, people are more important than animals and it seems clear that men can use animals for assistance in travel, food, protection, and companionship. When necessary animals may be killed to protect people from their attacks. They may also be killed for food, but the scriptures implore us [end of 89] not to unless necessary to sustain our lives."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 89-90.]
"The most official statement of the Church, outside of the accepted books of scripture, concerning animals was a statement during the administration of Joseph F. Smith over the signatures of the First Presidency. The Presidency in the official declaration stated that God [end of 65] 'made the tadpole and the ape, the lion and the elephant; but He did not make them in His image, nor endow them with Godlike reason and intelligence. Nevertheless, the whole animal creation will be perfected and perpetuated in the Hereafter, each class in its 'distinct order or sphere,' and will enjoy 'eternal felicity.' That fact has been made plain in this dispensation (Doctrine and Covenants 77:3).'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 65-6, footnote: 'The Origin of Man,' Improvement Era, XIII (November, 1909), 81.]
"Editorially, President Cannon continued to write on zoophilic topics. One editorial decried the 'far too general' disposition of Latter-day Saints to 'kill wild animals and birds, and every insect with crosses their path.' He asked, 'Why there should be such eagerness to kill these creatures.' If men hunted game 'because they have pleasure in taking their lives,' President Cannon suggested the hunter imagine himself in the position of the hunted. The editor admitted a 'great difference between animals and human beings,' but declared all were given life by God and so should be respected and treated with kindness. Animals were meant to be used by man for food, according to Cannon, but only with 'prudence and thanksgiving and not wastefully.' He contended that too often animals' lives were 'very much wasted to gratify the hunting propensity of some men.' He explained that if humans needed animals for food the 'Lord is not displeased if they kill it.' On the other hand, Cannon emphasized, if people hunted for the 'mere pleasure of killing' then sin was committed. Cannon then referred to prophecies concerning the time when 'wild and ferocious' animals would dwell together in kindness. But, Cannon warned, before that day would come, men must 'cease their war upon the animals, the reptiles and the insects.' In the peaceful state looked for in the future, Cannon promised that animals would be harmless and 'universal peace will prevail.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 50, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, XXIV (December 1, 1889), 548-9]
"LDS scriptures clearly announce the centrality of human beings as God’s offspring and declare that all of creation was provided for human enjoyment and use. Significantly, however, this human-centered view does not justify abuse of nature; enjoyment and appreciation come before use."
Other Sources
George Handley
Other Writings of Mormons
"LDS Belief and the Environment" on Save Our Canyons website
"Humans have a particular obligation to ensure they act in behalf of the well-being of all forms of life since they alone have the power and opportunity to do so."
Gary C. Bryner
Other Writings of Mormons
"Theology and Ecology: Religious Belief and Environmental Stewardship," in BYU Studies 49, no. 3 (2010)
3. Freedom and reason make us men; Take these away, what are we then? Mere animals, and just as well The beasts may think of heav'n or hell.
Other Sources
Anon. Anonymous
Other Writings of Mormons
"Know This, That Every Soul is Free," LDS Hymnal, #240
"We are the most dangerous species of life on the planet, and every other species, even the earth itself, has cause to fear our power to exterminate. But we are also the only species which, when it chooses to do so, will go to great effort to save what it might destroy."
Other Sources
Wallace Stegner
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
This is Dinosaur (1955)
"Just what is the relationship between men and animals? Men are children of God. Animals are for the benefit of man. This does not mean, however, that man is not to have a concern for this part of his stewardship. The prophets in all ages have indicated that man will be accountable for his treatment of animals and that justice and mercy should be exercised concerning them. Alma encourages us to pray over our flocks. (Alma 34:20, 25.) There are numerous examples in Church history of animals being administered to by the anointing of oil and their resultant healing. In the best-known incident, Mary Fielding Smith’s oxen were spared to bring her pioneer family, including a future President of the Church, Joseph F. Smith, to Utah."
Other Sources
Preston Nibley
Church Magazines
"I Have a Question - Where do animals fit in the eternal plan of things?" in March 1977 Ensign.
"Every year, my husband assigns his junior high school social science students to write an essay entitled 'What Is Man?' Their responses are dismal. They paint man as a terrible monster who has no place in nature and no capacity except to destroy. As a child matures with such negative values and attitudes, how does he feel about himself? About his family and society? About man’s ability to solve ecological, social, and political problems? Indeed, what would motivate him even to try? How receptive is he to the gospel of repentance and eternal progression?"
Sharon Dequer
Church Magazines
"Discovering Nature" in June 1977 Ensign.
"The eye of the carnal man is limited. He wants to possess things in order to enjoy them. To profit from them, he thinks, they have to be his own. But there is a beauty in everyday life that outshines man-made beauty, a beauty that evaporates when someone tries to own it. If you want to possess it, it’s gone. You can't buy it for money. All things are the Lord’s, and we inherit them only by entering the celestial kingdom."
Other Sources
Anselm Spring
Church Magazines
"The Meadow" in April 1985 New Era.
“'Mormons, of all people, should be nonmaterialistic,' Dr. Murphy suggested. 'But concern about ecology in the Church is not new. All of our theology indicates that the earth is a very important place, spiritually and temporally.' To the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord revealed: 'Yea, all things which come of the earth . . . are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the hear . . . tfor taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.'” (D&C 59:18–19.)
Other Sources
Richard Olsen
Church Magazines
"Ecology, Pollution, and Consumerism," in Sept 1971 New Era.
"Centuries later, after the waters of the flood had receded, the Lord instructed Noah concerning the conservation of animal life. This was a subject of great importance at a time when the only available animal life was that which had been preserved in the ark. The scripture says that all life upon the earth was delivered into the hand of man, and that the Lord placed man in charge of all things, both moving creatures and green herbs. (Gen. 9:2–3.) These verses signify a reaffirmation and renewal unto Noah of the environmental responsibility that had been placed upon Adam and his posterity."
Other Sources
Robert J. Matthews
Church Magazines
"What the Scriptures Say About: Ecology" in March 1972 New Era.
"When I carefully scan the subject, we can not, neither in this time nor in the spirit world, possess the least particle of element nor our own beings and call them ours, until we pass the ordeals the Gods have passed and are crowned with crowns of glory, immortality and eternal lives. And when we pass through the spirit world and hear the trump of Gabriel sound, and our bodies rise from the dust and again clothe our spirits, even then we are not our own. We have not passed through all the ordeals until the Father crowns a son and says, 'you have passed so far in the progression of perfection that you can now become independent, and I will give you power to control, and organize, and govern, and dictate the elements of eternities. There is a vast eternity stretched out before you, now organize as you will.' Not until then will we possess one particle that is really our own, and yet we see people clinging to the earth."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:342
"What do we see? All the elements that we have any knowledge of are the handy-work of our Father in heaven, and then you seer poor, pusillanimous man rise up—a worm of the earth whose breath is in his nostrils, and if God should say the word and withdraw his supporting hand, he is no more—and says, 'this is mine.' He has a purse obtained through the blessings of God, and says, 'this is mine.' He has a sack of silver, and says, 'this is mine.' He builds a house, and calls it his house. He makes a farm, and says, 'this is mine.' This poor, weak man does, who is not capable of making a single spear of grass. He cannot sustain his own existence on moment, without being dependent upon God for the next breath, and yet he says, 'these possessions are mine,' and he clings to them with the tenacity of death. This you see in mankind; they hold to the earth as though it was their all. You see this, every day of your lives."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:341
"What a sin it is to the Latter-day Saints, if they did but know it, to abuse their stock—their cattle, milk cows and horses! Through the summer they will work and use them, and in the winter turn them out to live or die as they can, taking no care of that which God has given them. Were it not for the ignorance of the people, the Lord would curse them for such things."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 15:227
"Our religion is founded upon the Priesthood of the Son of God—it is incorporated within this Priesthood. We frequently hear people inquire what the Priesthood is; it is a pure and holy system of government. It is the law that governs and controls all things, and will eventually govern and control the earth and the inhabitants that dwell upon it and all things pertaining to it. The enemy and opposer of Jesus—the accuser of the brethren—called Satan, never owned the earth; he never made a particle of it; his labor is not to create, but to destroy; while, on the other hand, the labor of the Son of God is to create, preserve, purify, build up, and exalt all things—the earth and its fulness—to his standard of greatness and perfection; to restore all things to their paradisiacal state and make them glorious. The work of the one is to preserve and sanctify, the work of the other is to waste away, deface, and destroy; and the time will come when it will be manifest to all that the Evil One is an usurper, also that all governments, nations, kingdoms, and people upon the face of this earth, that are opposed to the Government of the Son of God, are usurpations and usurpers of the rights and possessions of Him whose right it is to reign."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 10:320
"No element that we see, no part of the earth, no part or portion of the starry Heavens, or of the deep above or below, but what is God’s creation, he organized it. Do we realize this, that every element that now is in existence, that we have any knowledge of, that we can conceive of, is organized by our Father in Heaven, and is his property? It is his in time and in eternity. The earth and its fullness are his and the Heavens are his; the height, the depth, the length, and the breadth all are his. Every capacity that the children of men possess is the gift of God."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:341
"Man cannot control the heavens; he cannot control the earth, nor the elements; he can fertilize and prepare the ground for the reception of seed; he can plant, water, till, and reap, . . . but, until his mind is opened by the Spirit of God, he cannot see that it is by a superior power that corn, wheat, and every kind of vegetation spring into life, and ripen for the sustenance of man and beast."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 3:119.
"[L]et all learn that the earth is not ours."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:342
[Hugh Nibley writes:] "All who attended, at President Young’s invitation, the great 24th of July celebrations at Brighton 'were requested to show their tickets at the gate' to the canyon road. The tickets were free, and on them was printed: 'All persons are forbidden to make or kindle fires at any place in the kanyon, except on the camp ground.' A hundred years later people in Utah still resent limitations on campfires as an infringement on their God-given freedom. The prophet ended his 24th of July speech with a ritual admonition 'to put out their fires and vacate this ground, for I intend to tarry . . . until the rest are gone, and see that the fires are all well put out.' The event at Brighton was magnificent enough to get coverage in the eminent New York Herald, and the reporter who described the doings in the year 1860 tells how at dawn of the following day, after all the wagons had gone home and the dust had settled on the canyon road, he beheld a singular spectacle: 'By nine o’clock the last team had left the camping-ground'; but one man remained behind 'to see that all fires were extinguished.' And who should that man be but Brigham Young: ‘The Prophet’ left the last, satisfied that all was right, and that his disciples had enjoyed themselves to their hearts’ content; and thus ended the great celebration of 1860.”
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
"Brigham Young on the Environment," from Hugh Nibley's Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints; printed in Truman Madsen and Charles D. Tate, eds., To the Glory of God: Mormon Essays on Great Issues—Environment, Commitment, Love, Peace, Youth, Man (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1972), 3-29.
“The riches of the world are natural, and common to the human family, but who governs and controls them?”
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 1:268
“Every man and woman has got to feel that not one farthing of anything in their possession is rightfully theirs.”
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 4:29
"[This people] say they are willing to do anything for salvation, to build up the kingdom of God on the earth. They are willing to forego everything they can and undergo all that is possible, to save themselves and the children of men, and bring the day of peace and righteousness upon the earth. Then let all learn that the earth is not ours. Let us learn that these elements are put into our possession to work with and improve, and to determine whether we know how to improve upon them. We wish to see Zion built up, the earth beautified and prepared for the coming of the Son of Man. We are looking forth to the day when Zion will spring into existence, and stand forth like a bride prepared to meet her husband, with all the beauty and glory that belong to the kingdom of God on the earth. We shall then see Zion in its beauty. We are looking for this. We look forward to the day when the Lord will prepare for the building of the New Jerusalem, preparatory to the city of Enoch’s going to be joined with it when it is built upon this earth. We are anticipating to enjoy that day, whether we sleep in death previous to that, or not."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:342 "Duties of the Saints"
"We should waste nothing, but make everything in some way or other minister to our wants and independence. Everything which we use to feed the life of man or beast, not a grain of it should be permitted to go to waste, but should be made to pass through the stomach of some animal; everything, also, which will fertilize our gardens and our fields should be sedulously saved and wisely husbanded, that nothing may be lost which contains the elements of food and raiment for man and sustenance for beast."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 11:129-130
"We are not our own, we are bought with a price; we are the Lord's; our time, our talents, our gold and silver, our wheat and fine flour, our wine and our oil, our cattle, and all there is on this earth that we have in our possession is the Lord's . . . [T]hese mountains are His; the valleys, the timber, the water, the soil; in fine, the earth and its fulness."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1997), 156, 160.
"The very object of our existence here is to handle the temporal elements of this world and subdue the earth, multiplying those organisms of plants and animals God has designed shall dwell upon it."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 9:168
"The coat I have on my back is not mine, and never was; the Lord put it in my possession honorably, and I wear it; but if he wishes for it, and all there is under it, he is welcome to the whole. I do not own a house, or a single farm of land, a horse, mule, carriage, or wagon . . . but what the Lord gave me, and if he wants them, he can take them at his pleasure, whether he speaks for them, or takes them without speaking."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1997), 156-157.
"Not one particle of all that comprises this vast creation of God is our own. Everything we have has been bestowed upon us for our action, to see what we would do with it—whether we would use it for eternal life and exaltation, or for eternal death and degradation"
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:67
"Did you ever organize a tree, gold, silver, or any other kind of metal, or any other natural production? No, you have not yet attained to that power, and it will be ages before you do. Who owns all the elements with which we are commanded and permitted to operate? The Lord, and we are stewards over them."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 4:29
[Thomas G. Alexander writes:] "President Smith was alarmed over the damage to mountain watersheds by unrestricted logging and grazing. In a special general priesthood meeting held on April 7, 1902, he put before the body of the priesthood a vote to withdraw all public lands above Utah towns in or to protect them from damage."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
“Stewardship and Enterprise: The LDS Church and the Wasatch Oasis Environment, 1847–1930,” in Stewardship and the Creation: LDS Perspectives on the Environment, eds. George B. Handley, Terry B. Ball, and Steven L. Peck (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center), 15–32.
“Wisdom and virtue come from the animal and vegetable worlds which carries with it a spiritual as well as a material blessing. Nature helps us to see and understand God. To all His creations we owe an allegiance of service and profound admiration.”
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor, 53:182-83, April 1918.
“Man in his wanton disregard of his sacred duty has been reckless of life. He has destroyed it with an indifference to the evil results it would entail upon the earth . . . The unnecessary destruction of life begets a spirit of destruction which grows within the soul . . . [and] is a distinct spiritual loss to the human family. Men cannot worship the Creator and look with careless indifference upon his creations."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor 53:182-83, April 1918.
“If we could understand all the purposes of God in His wonderful creations, we would avoid diligently the dangers of disturbing the balance in the distribution of life which God so wonderfully ordained.”
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor, 50:373, June 1915.
"This earth is his creation. When we make it ugly, we offend him. Our bodies are the work of our Creator. When we abuse them, we abuse him."
Church Leaders
Gordon B. Hinckley
Presidents of the Church
"What Shall I Do Then With Jesus Which is Called Christ?" April 1984
“Surely you can see the inconsistency in the individual who insists that we be good stewards and not pollute our environment, and yet who is unscrupulous in his personal life. Again, physical and spiritual laws are interrelated. Pollution of one's environment and moral impurity both rest on a life-style which partakes of a philosophy of ‘eat, drink, and be merry’—gouge and grab now, without regard to the consequences. Both violate the spirit of stewardship for which we will stand accountable.”
Church Leaders
Ezra Taft Benson
Presidents of the Church
The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [1988], 644.
“Stewardship in the Church is a very important matter. The Lord has mentioned it in the revelations. (See D&C 59; 104.) We are stewards over these earthly blessings which the Lord has provided, those of us who have this soil and this water. We have no moral latitude, it seems to me. In fact, we are morally obligated 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.”
Church Leaders
Ezra Taft Benson
Presidents of the Church
The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 645.
"Sinning against the land is as much a sin as many of those we talk most about. I have been tempted for some time to make a similar theme my own at one of the general conferences. Our people need to know it."
Church Leaders
John A. Widtsoe
General Authorities
"John A. Widtsoe" Facebook page, from the research of Ardis E. Parshall.
“Our generation, more than any other, has the ability to irretrievably change the land.  Financial rewards provide tremendous pressure to unleash our technology to reinvent our surroundings.  There will be growth; change will come. But failure to care for the land on which we live means turning our backs on a heritage laid down carefully and at such great cost by our forefathers—and will leave us immeasurably poorer.”
Church Leaders
Steven E. Snow
General Authorities
“Skipping the Grand Canyon,” in New Genesis: A Mormon Reader on Land and Community (ed. Terry Tempest Williams, William B. Smart, Gibbs M. Smith eds. 1998).
"We as a church believe and so declare that in the end the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. When this is done it will be beautiful and glorious beyond finite conception. This being our doctrine, do you think it becoming in God's children to deface the earth while we sojourn here? Being the stewards and custodians of the resources which are committed to us, have we not an obligation to use them, preserve them and return them in the best possible condition of which our circumstances will permit? I think upon reflection you will say that we have such an obligation and that it is very definitely our task to make God's footstool as beautiful as we may. For 'the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof,' and the righteous 'and their generations shall inherit the earth from generation to generation forever and forever.' What a delightful abode for men this good earth could be if men would but make it so!"
Church Leaders
Stephen L. Richards
General Authorities
April 1940 General Conference
“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."
Church Leaders
Russell M. Nelson
General Authorities
“The Creation,” Ensign (May 2000), 84.
"The LDS Church continues to seek to care for this earth and judiciously utilize its resources. In so doing, the LDS Church makes real effort to conduct itself by what it should do, not just what is legally required."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"So, how we care for the earth, how we utilize and share in its bounty, and how we treat all life that has been provided for our benefit and use is part of our test in mortality. Thus, when God gave unto man 'dominion over the fish of the sea, and over fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth,' it was not without boundaries or limits. He intends man’s dominion to be a righteous dominion, meaning one that is guided, curbed, and enlightened by the doctrine of His gospel—a gospel defined by God’s love for us and our love for Him and his works. The unbridled, voracious consumer is not consistent with God’s plan of happiness, which calls for humility, gratitude, and mutual respect."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"Our test on this earth is whether we will choose wisely and follow God, treat His creations with respect, and use them to bless our fellow man and woman. The better we care for this world and all in it, the better it will sustain, inspire, strengthen, enliven, and gladden our hearts and spirits—and prepare us to dwell with our Heavenly Father with our families in a Celestial sphere, which members of the LDS Church believe will be the very earth upon which we stand today, but in a glorified state."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"Nevertheless, LDS doctrine is clear: all humankind are stewards over this earth and its bounty—not owners—and will be accountable to God for what we do with regard to His creation."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"In other words, as stewards over the earth and all life thereon, we are to gratefully make use of that which the Lord has provided, avoid wasting life and resources, and use the bounty of the earth to care for the poor."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ teaches us to live lives of internal consistency, true to God, true to his present and yet-to-be born children, and true to the purpose of his creations. To the degree that it enlarges our understanding of who we are, why this earth was created, and inspires us to respect this earth as the handiwork of God and to think of others (including future generations), religion can change how we will treat the earth and all things thereon."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"When He [Christ] interviews us, I feel certain that one of His questions will, in essence, be the following: 'What have you done with the earth which my Father and I gave you as a home? Have you cherished and protected it? Have you dressed it and kept it, as your father Adam was commanded to do? Or have you laid waste to it, defiled its waters, destroyed its fertile lands, befouled its life-giving air?' To those questions, I fear there are many, even among those who aspire to become a Zion people, who will hang their heads in shame. The earth groans under the insults inflicted upon it."
Church Leaders
Alexander B. Morrison
General Authorities
Visions of Zion, p. 77
“A variation of the ‘I-can-do-as-I-please’ school of thought is the notion that it doesn't matter how badly we treat the earth because Jesus will return soon anyway and make everything right. That, too, is a spurious and specious argument . . . First of all, the scriptures make it clear that no one knows the time of the Second Coming. Why should we live in a sewer while awaiting Christ’s return? Second, does a child have the right to burn down the family home just because his parents possess the ability to rebuild it?”
Church Leaders
Alexander B. Morrison
General Authorities
Visions of Zion, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1993), 88.
“[H]umanity’s dominion is a call to stewardship, not a license to pillage.”
Church Leaders
Alexander B. Morrison
General Authorities
Visions of Zion, 88.
“The instructions to Adam and Eve about the garden earth . . . have not been rescinded. They were, and we are, to dress it—not destroy it. They were to take good care of it instead of abusing it. Our increasing interdependence on this planet makes some forms of individual selfishness the equivalent of a runaway personal bulldozer. If we have no concern for the generations to follow, the means are at hand to tear up the terrain much more than was ever possible anciently.”
Church Leaders
Neal A. Maxwell
General Authorities
That Ye May Believe (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1992), 75.
"True disciples [of Christ] . . . would be consistent environmentalists—caring both about maintaining the spiritual health of a marriage and preserving a rain forest; caring about preserving the nutrient capacity of a family as well as providing a healthy supply of air and water . . . Adam and Eve were to 'dress the garden,' not exploit it. Like them, we are to keep the commandments, so that we can enjoy all the resources God has given us, resources described as 'enough and to spare' (D&C 104:17), if we use and husband them wisely."
Church Leaders
Neal A. Maxwell
General Authorities
A Wonderful Flood of Light (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1990), 103.
"This concern with man's developing a more harmonious relationship with nature by abiding by its physical laws is timely and legitimate. When we interrupt or destroy the larger ecology of man's relationship to God and to his fellowmen, we are violating transcendental laws that are as immutable and as inevitable as those breached laws of nature for which we are now beginning to pay a terrible price. (Later installments will be even more severe.) That we do not fully understand these transcendental spiritual laws neither excuses us from learning of them, nor excuses us from their harsh consequences when we violate them."
Church Leaders
Neal A. Maxwell
General Authorities
For the Power Is in Them (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1970), 10.
"Brigham Young was speaking of the earth and telling us that we should be cautious how we use it, for it is our mother, and the man that will disgrace his mother is unworthy of her fostering care."
Church Leaders
Heber C. Kimball
General Authorities
Journal of Discourses, 9:336, April 27, 1862.
“'It’s about creating a place of worship that works in harmony with the environment,' said H. David Burton, Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and responsible for the physical facilities of the Church. 'For decades we have looked for innovative ways to use natural resources in our meetinghouses that reflect our commitment as wise stewards of God’s creations.'”
Church Leaders
Presiding Bishop H. David Burton
General Authorities
"Solar-Powered Construction Design Gets 'Green' Light from Church Leaders," Mormon Newsroom, 27 April 2010.
“As the Church continues to grow globally, and there is a greater demand for meetinghouses, more than ever we need to engage in wise construction practices to benefit both the environment and our members.”
Church Leaders
Presiding Bishop H. David Burton
General Authorities
"Solar-Powered Construction Design Gets 'Green' Light from Church Leaders," Mormon Newsroom, 27 April 2010.
And it came to pass that after I, the Lord God, had driven them out, that Adam began to till the earth, and to have dominion over all the beasts of the field, and to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow
1 5
Moses
Moses 5:1
And I, God, blessed them, and said unto them: Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Pearl of Great Price
28 2
Moses
Moses 2:28
And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so. And I, God, said: Let them have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Pearl of Great Price
26 2
Moses
Moses 2:26
"As we consciously endeavor to be responsible stewards, we will be blessed, and we will bless our families and communities. We will bless the earth by being a peculiar, green people. This is our only hope if we want God to judge us as he did Creation, saying, 'It is good.'”
Other Sources
Rachel Mabey Whipple
Other Writings of Mormons
"Practicing Stewardship in a Consumer Culture," Sunstone 167, 25 June 2012.
"In every aspect of our lives, I want us to magnify our stewardship—so closely linked to the covenant of consecration."
Other Sources
Rachel Mabey Whipple
Other Writings of Mormons
"Practicing Stewardship in a Consumer Culture," Sunstone 167, 25 June 2012.
"We believe that we are God’s stewards on this earth and that we will be held accountable for our actions during this time of our probation. This accounting will include the part of the Lord’s creation that we have been entrusted with during our lives."
Rachel Mabey Whipple
Other Writings of Mormons
"Practicing Stewardship in a Consumer Culture," Sunstone 167, 25 June 2012.
"We believe that we are God’s stewards on this earth and that we will be held accountable for our actions during this time of our probation. This accounting will include the part of the Lord’s creation that we have been entrusted with during our lives."
Other Sources
Rachel Mabey Whipple
Other Writings of Mormons
"Practicing Stewardship in a Consumer Culture," Sunstone 167, 25 June 2012.
"Indeed, at some point in the quest for perfection, you will cross the line of virtuous balance and lose your efficiency as a steward. Once any activity required for daily living is no longer practical, your practice of it is no longer virtuous and requires reexamination."
Other Sources
Rachel Mabey Whipple
Other Writings of Mormons
"Practicing Stewardship in a Consumer Culture," Sunstone 167, 25 June 2012.
"I’m calling for us to examine some of the ways we choose to spend our time and money. Are we making the best use of the resources we have been entrusted with? Specifically, I want to talk about ways to be a virtuous housewife—as that is my current field of expertise—and how, by being virtuous, we can be responsible stewards of our own personal and family resources, as well as the land we have been given for our inheritance."
Other Sources
Rachel Mabey Whipple
Other Writings of Mormons
"Practicing Stewardship in a Consumer Culture," Sunstone 167, 25 June 2012.
"If all creation testifies of God, then all our actions should testify that we believe in that same Creator and that we accept our roles as stewards of this creation, starting with our bodies, our families, our homes, and personal property."
Other Sources
Rachel Mabey Whipple
Other Writings of Mormons
"Practicing Stewardship in a Consumer Culture," Sunstone 167, 25 June 2012.
Church spokesman Scott Trotter explained the symbolism behind turning off the exterior lights on the Salt Lake Temple at the designated hour: "Prudent stewardship and wise use of resources are principles that church leaders have emphasized throughout the history of the church . . . The church encourages its members to join with their fellow citizens in supporting worthy programs that will make their communities better places to live and raise their families.”
Other Sources
Scott Trotter
Other Writings of Mormons
"Some buildings in S.L. to dim for Earth Hour" by Scott Taylor, Deseret News (Mar. 29, 2009)
“[I]f we choose to defile the earth, we must live with the stench, sickness, death, and ugliness of a ravaged environment, and will answer to the creator for desecrating his property. The Lord does not interrupt free agency, and he suspends the consequences of poor exercise of agency only for the repentant. Again our options narrow down to either desecration or consecration. If we choose consecration, the fullness of a renewed, paradisiacal earth will be ours, and we will inherit all the Father has. If we choose desecration, we will remain under degraded conditions, and the Lord will weep over our loss.”
Other Sources
Larry L. St Clair
Other Writings of Mormons
“Consecration, Stewardship, and Accountability: Remedy for a Dying Planet,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 28, no. 2 (Summer 1995): 95-96.
"Man has been entrusted with sovereignty over the animal kingdom (Genesis 1:21), that he may learn to govern, as God rules, by the power of love and justice, and become fit for his eternal destiny as a ruler of worlds. A tyrant who has learned nothing but selfishness and cruelty can hope for no position of trust hereafter in the kingdom of the Father."
Other Sources
Hyrum Mack Smith
Other Writings of Mormons
Doctrine and Covenants Commentary (1972); introduction and historical and exegetical notes by Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl
"These also are God's creation and, along with that strength I have left to enjoy them, his gifts. I am given stewardship for them; so are we all. We can't escape it, and Mormon scripture makes clear that God will hold us accountable for our performance. That's sobering enough. But my grandchildren and their grandchildren will also hold me accountable. Loving them as I do and praying them for enjoy in nature such beauty, peace, solitude, and soul-renewal as that with which the earth has blessed me, how can I fail to do my best?"
Other Sources
William B. Smart
Other Writings of Mormons
"The Making of an Activist" in New Genesis: A Mormon Reader on Land and Community
“'Man by his sovereignty over nature resembles God,' says an early Christian writing, 'but he enjoys that authority only as long as he behaves in a godlike manner.'”
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
"Brigham Young on the Environment," from Hugh Nibley's Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints; printed in Truman Madsen and Charles D. Tate, eds., To the Glory of God: Mormon Essays on Great Issues—Environment, Commitment, Love, Peace, Youth, Man (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1972), 3-29.
"There is a forgotten teaching of the early Jews and Christians that the dominion that God gave to Adam in Eden over his other creatures was nothing less than the holy priesthood, the power to act in God’s stead. In making his covenant with Abraham, God is represented as saying to him, 'When God created Adam, he blessed him, and man lived in this blessing, until the generation of the Flood came and destroyed that blessing. When Noah came forth from the ark God saw that the world was bereft of any blessing and blessed them anew through Noah. This blessing continued until Abraham came and increased it still more.' To Adam he said, 'From now on it is all given over into your hand, and they [the creatures] will fear you as they fear me.' Accordingly, Adam enjoys God’s authority only insofar as he exercises it as God himself would, with perfect love and understanding."
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
"Brigham Young on the Environment," from Hugh Nibley's Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints; printed in Truman Madsen and Charles D. Tate, eds., To the Glory of God: Mormon Essays on Great Issues—Environment, Commitment, Love, Peace, Youth, Man (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1972), 3—29.
"Adam’s dominion was a charge to see to it that all went well with God’s creatures; it was not a license to exterminate them:"
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
"Brigham Young on the Environment," from Hugh Nibley's Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints; printed in Truman Madsen and Charles D. Tate, eds., To the Glory of God: Mormon Essays on Great Issues—Environment, Commitment, Love, Peace, Youth, Man (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1972), 3-29.
"We may take all we need, because it is the Lord’s, but wo to him who dares to take more—for it is the Lord’s! This is the exact reverse of the world’s economy."
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
"Brigham Young on the Environment," from Hugh Nibley's Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints; printed in Truman Madsen and Charles D. Tate, eds., To the Glory of God: Mormon Essays on Great Issues—Environment, Commitment, Love, Peace, Youth, Man (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1972), 3-29.
"Not only have we no right to rifle the treasury that God has laid up for coming generations on the earth, but we can never justify such plunder on the plea of necessity."
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
"Brigham Young on the Environment," from Hugh Nibley's Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints; printed in Truman Madsen and Charles D. Tate, eds., To the Glory of God: Mormon Essays on Great Issues—Environment, Commitment, Love, Peace, Youth, Man (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1972), 3-29.
"Those who insist on 'clinging to the earth' as if they owned it have forever disqualified themselves from receiving hereafter the mandate: 'There is a vast eternity stretched out before you; now organize as you will.' We are placed in the position of a lover who is engaged to be married; if he cannot wait until he is properly wed, or if he displays an arrogant and brutal nature toward his promised bride, then the wedding had best be called off—he is not worthy of the prize."
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
"Brigham Young on the Environment," from Hugh Nibley's Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints; printed in Truman Madsen and Charles D. Tate, eds., To the Glory of God: Mormon Essays on Great Issues—Environment, Commitment, Love, Peace, Youth, Man (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1972), 3-29.
"We are being tested to demonstrate to the heavens, to ourselves, and to our fellows just how we would treat the things of a glorious and beautiful world if they were given to us as our very own."
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
"Brigham Young on the Environment," from Hugh Nibley's Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints; printed in Truman Madsen and Charles D. Tate, eds., To the Glory of God: Mormon Essays on Great Issues—Environment, Commitment, Love, Peace, Youth, Man (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1972), 3-29.
"In commanding Adam to 'be fruitful, and multiply,' God also informed him that he had given the identical command to all his other creatures, and furthermore, that he was putting Adam in charge of things to see to it that his purposes were fulfilled. Specifically, he was to 'replenish the earth, and subdue it, and to have dominion over' every living thing in the biosphere (Abraham 4:28). There are two clearly marked departments—the earth itself as a storehouse and source of life, which Adam is to keep replenished (filled is the word), and the creatures that move about on and over the earth, over which he is to have dominion. As Brigham Young explains it, while 'subduing the earth' we must be about 'multiplying those organisms of plants and animals God has designed shall dwell upon it,' namely, 'all forms of life,' each to multiply in its sphere and element and have joy therein."
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
“Subduing the Earth” in Nibley on the Timely and Timeless (Provo: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1978).
“A favorite theme of Brigham Young was that the dominion God gives man is designed to test him, to enable him to show to himself, his fellows, and all the heavens just how he would act if entrusted with God’s own power; if he does not act in a godlike manner, he will never be entrusted with a creation of his own worlds without end. ”
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Church Magazines
"Man's Dominion," New Era, January 1981
"The ancients taught that Adam's dominion [over the earth] was nothing less than the priesthood, the power to act for God and in his place . . . "
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
“Subduing the Earth” in Nibley on the Timely and Timeless (Provo: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1978).
"[God made Adam] lord over the whole earth and [gave] him dominion over everything on the face of the earth. Lordship and dominion are the same. The word lord is the usual English slurring of hlaf-weard, hlaford, the loaf-ward or keeper of the bread, because according to the Oxford English Dictionary, 'in its original sense the word (absent from other Teutonic languages) denotes the head of a household in his relation to the servants and dependents who 'eat his bread' . . . the development of sense has been largely influenced by the adoption of the word as the customary rendering of the Latin dominus. Which brings us in the dictionary to 'dominion,' derivative of domini-um, property, ownership, from dominus, lord, specifically 'the lord of the household,' in his capacity of generous host, 'pater familias and owner of the house' [domus]. The title of dominus designated the Roman Emperor himself as the common benefactor of mankind inviting all the world to feast at his board. In short, lordship and dominion are the same thing, the responsibility of the master for the comfort and well-being of his dependents and guests; he is the generous host, the kind pater familias to whom all look for support. He is the lord who provides bread for all . . . "
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
“Subduing the Earth” in Nibley on the Timely and Timeless (Provo: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1978).
"Man's dominion is a call to service, not a license to exterminate."
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
“Subduing the Earth” in Nibley on the Timely and Timeless (Provo: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1978).
"And what is dominion? After commanding every form of life to multiply for the express purpose of having joy, God gave the identical command to Adam, at the same time putting him in charge of the whole operation, making him lord over the whole earth and giving him dominion over everything on the face of the earth."
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
“Subduing the Earth” in Nibley on the Timely and Timeless (Provo: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1978).
“Because God created the earth for these eternal purposes, Latter-day Saints view its natural resources and life forms as a sacred stewardship to be used in ways that will ensure their availability for all succeeding generations.”
Other Sources
Daniel H. Ludlow
Other Writings of Mormons
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.2, “Earth”.
"As we progress in incorporating gospel culture more fully in our lives, a deep sense of incongruence with physical surroundings that are ugly, polluted, and deprived of life grows within us. We are familiar with the many ecological promises God has made, such as the declaration in our tenth article of faith that the 'earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.' We wonder how we can participate with other like-minded people, including those not of our faith, in helping such promises be fulfilled, for we find them to be motivating, ennobling, and harmonious with what we know about the eternal nature of all mankind. We do not want to repeat past mistakes in our actions toward the Creation. Rather, it is our hope that the ebb and flow of intelligent, faith-directed action toward the Creation will give way to sustained improvement in attitudes and behaviors that are consistent with the eternal value of the Creation and its integral role in our own development."
Other Sources
Aaron Kelson
Other Writings of Mormons
“The Hope for Extraordinary Ecological Improvement,” in Stewardship and the Creation: LDS Perspectives on the Environment, eds. George B. Handley, Terry B. Ball, and Steven L. Peck (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center), 89–95.
"The article was introduced by a phrase from a popular commentary on a Church scripture: 'Man has been entrusted with sovereignty over the animal kingdom, that he may learn to govern, as God rules, by the power of love and justice.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 80, footnote: Lawrence, 154.]
"No man or woman, no boy or girl, who has any kind feelings will inflict unnecessary pain upon any creature. Such persons will not hurt a worm. Animals feel pain very acutely. They know when they are treated kindly and when they are abused. God has given them this feeling, and if men or boys abuse them, He will condemn and punish them for so doing. They prove themselves unworthy of the power they have, and, by their cruelty, they sink beneath the brute." [Page 44, footnote: George Q. Cannon, "Editorial Thoughts," The Juvenile Instructor, III (September 1, 1868), 132.]
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
"Editorial Thoughts," Juvenile Instructor 3, no. 17 (1868): 132.
"Saving species is more than just giving primacy to plants or animals over the uses of man. It's about functioning, viable ecosystems . . . the effort to protect endangered, threatened, and sensitive species is also an effort to protect the rivers, lakes, air, and land for all its uses, including our own . . . the balancing of resource use with environmental protection is stewardship."
Other Sources
Reed E. Harris
Other Writings of Mormons
“'Oh Say, What Is Truth?',” in Stewardship and the Creation: LDS Perspectives on the Environment, eds. George B. Handley, Terry B. Ball, and Steven L. Peck (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center), 73–9.
"The Church does not need to take a position on environmental protection. Individual Church members, however, do need to become involved in local, state, and national environmental issues and exercise their agency as stewards . . . Isn't it possible that the Lord will need to know how we took care of our little stewardship in this life if He is going to trust us with creations of our own?"
Other Sources
Reed E. Harris
Other Writings of Mormons
“'Oh Say, What Is Truth?',” in Stewardship and the Creation: LDS Perspectives on the Environment, eds. George B. Handley, Terry B. Ball, and Steven L. Peck (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center), 73–9.
"As such, from both a scientific and spiritual perspective, environmental science and LDS theology both teach that if we live and consume with no respect for earth's delicate balance, we endanger the earth and ourselves."
Other Sources
Craig Galli
Other Writings of Mormons
"Enoch’s Vision and Gaia: An LDS Perspective on Environmental Stewardship" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 44, no.2 (Summer 2011)
"While sustainability is clearly compatible with the idea of self-interest, especially our interest in ensuring a healthy environment for our own future, it is much more dependent on an ethic of caring for others and accepting the responsibility for how our actions limit or expand the choices of not only those with whom we share the planet now but also those who come after us."
Other Sources
Gary C. Bryner
Other Writings of Mormons
"Theology and Ecology: Religious Belief and Environmental Stewardship," in BYU Studies 49, no. 3 (2010), p. 32
"The idea of a sacred stewardship for the earth that enables succeeding generations to enjoy the same resources and opportunities our generation enjoys should resonate with Mormons, who see themselves inextricably linked to their progenitors and descendants. For many the connection between environmental stewardship and genealogy may seem tenuous, but in reality they both reflect a way in which we can become more linked across the generations."
Other Sources
Gary C. Bryner
Other Writings of Mormons
"Theology and Ecology: Religious Belief and Environmental Stewardship," in BYU Studies 49, no. 3 (2010)
"Old Testament scriptures taught that the earth is the Lord’s (Psalms 24:1), that the land was to rest every seven years (Leviticus 25), and that all humankind and animals were to rest on the Sabbath. New Testament teachings emphasized the Lord as a good shepherd who watched over his flocks (John 10) and a worker who tended the vineyards (John 15)."
Other Sources
Gary C. Bryner
Other Writings of Mormons
"Theology and Ecology: Religious Belief and Environmental Stewardship," in BYU Studies 49, no. 3 (2010)
"Humans have a particular obligation to ensure they act in behalf of the well-being of all forms of life since they alone have the power and opportunity to do so."
Other Sources
Gary C. Bryner
Other Writings of Mormons
"Theology and Ecology: Religious Belief and Environmental Stewardship," in BYU Studies 49, no. 3 (2010)
"Of all these principles, stewardship seems to be mentioned most often by essayists who write about how their theology informs their views on environmentalism. Why is this such an important concept to Mormons? One reason might be their belief that, as Eugene England put it, 'all God’s creations—including animals, plants, even, it seems, the rocks themselves—have a spiritual existence and identity that can be loved and must be respected.' As Adam and Eve were instructed in the creation story, humankind received the charge to care for all of creation. A second reason may lie in Mormonism’s agrarian roots and the way in which early members of the Church were so intimately connected to the land. They knew firsthand the importance of stewardship for their personal survival."
Other Sources
Gary C. Bryner
Other Writings of Mormons
"Theology and Ecology: Religious Belief and Environmental Stewardship," in BYU Studies 49, no. 3 (2010)
"Stewardship emphasizes God's goodness in creating the world. Because human beings benefit from that goodness, we are obliged to make prudent and wise use of its bounty and to safeguard human health."
Other Sources
Jason M. Brown
Other Writings of Mormons
"Whither Mormon Environmental Theology?" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011)
"While Genesis speaks of 'subduing' the earth (1:28) and exercising 'dominion' over its creatures (1:26), Genesis 2:15 speaks of 'dressing' and 'keeping the Lord's garden.'"
Other Sources
Jason M. Brown
Other Writings of Mormons
"Whither Mormon Environmental Theology?" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011)
"Mormons, along with the rest of Western civilization, are beginning to engage in a serious reflection on what our tradition has to say about the earth and our moral responsibilities toward it and its creatures."
Other Sources
Jason M. Brown
Other Writings of Mormons
"Whither Mormon Environmental Theology?" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011)
"We must restore the earth-teachings and orthopraxy that morally connect us to the earth and its creatures, in addition to repairing and healing the damage we have done to Enoch's Mother Earth so that her pain will be assuaged and we can move through the eternities together in mutually enhancing symbiotic exaltation."
Other Sources
Jason M. Brown
Other Writings of Mormons
"Whither Mormon Environmental Theology?" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011)
"The Lord gave humans dominion over the animals, just as He gives parents dominion over their children. We are blessed with this opportunity, and we are privileged to act in the place of God to serve those weaker than ourselves. This is a sacred stewardship for which we will be held accountable."
Other Sources
Jane Birch
Other Writings of Mormons
Discovering the Word of Wisdom, pg 83
"God has given us rich abundance, but He also has commanded us to be wise stewards. He has ordained the use of animals to sustain our lives in times of need, but we are told to use judgment and to not shed blood when there is no need. Furthermore, this injunction is not just a modern commandment. In the beginning, God gave our first parents a diet of plants. In the Bible account, consuming the flesh of animals is introduced only after the flood destroyed the vegetation on the earth."
Other Sources
Jane Birch
Other Writings of Mormons
Discovering the Word of Wisdom, pg 82
"However, just as God ordained these creatures for our use, He makes it plain what the boundaries of that use are. Continuing from the above verses we read: 'But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin. And wo be unto man sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need' (D&C 49:20-21)."
Other Sources
Jane Birch
Other Writings of Mormons
Discovering the Word of Wisdom, pg 82
"The Bible speaks of man having dominion over the earth (Psalm 8:4), but the scriptures also warn us to be wise in how we exercise that dominion. It is no small thing to be made the caretaker of the Lord's house and overseer of His creations. We may not be doing very well in that regard. Last month, a thousand scientists from more than 50 countries produced a Global Biodiversity Assessment. It concluded that at least 4,000 plants and 5,400 animals are now threatened with extinction, and the rate of extinction in recent years is 50 to 100 times that of the past."
Other Sources
Church News
Other Writings of Mormons
"Dominion Over the Earth," Church News Archive, February 17, 1996, p. 16.
"It is obvious that Latter-day Saints have ample precedence in the ecology thing. Our whole doctrine is based on giving man joy and upgrading his personality talents, traits, and environment. Latter-day Saints have special values to offer to any discussion or action dealing with these themes."
Other Sources
Richard Olsen
Church Magazines
"Ecology, Pollution, and Consumerism," in Sept 1971 New Era.
"He explains, 'I believe that we live in a beautiful painting, a masterpiece, and that if we love the artist we should not slash the painting.'”
Other Sources
Anne Billings
Church Magazines
"Paul Cox—Preserving God’s Creations" in Nov 1998 Liahona.
"Brother Cox has a deeper motivation for saving forests than finding new types of medicine. He believes taking care of the earth shows respect for 'that . . . God who created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are'" (Morm. 9:11).
Other Sources
Anne Billings
Church Magazines
"Paul Cox—Preserving God’s Creations" in Nov 1998 Liahona.
"An awareness of the relationship between God and humankind brings a fuller sense of the importance of the relationship between human beings and the natural environment, which is God's creation and which God entrusted to us to guard with wisdom and love."
Other Sources
Orthodox Church Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew & Pope John Paul II
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
"Steering the Earth Toward Our Children's Future," in Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, ed. Kathleen Dean Moore and Michael P. Nelson, pg. 52.
"The Eleventh Commandment: 'Thou shalt inherit the Holy Earth as a faithful steward, conserving its resources and productivity from generation to generation. Thou shalt safeguard thy fields from soil erosion, thy living waters from drying up, thy forests from desolation, and protect thy hills from overgrazing by thy herds, that thy descendants may have abundance forever. If any fail in this stewardship of the land thy fruitful fields shall become sterile stony ground and wasting gullies, and thy descendants shall decrease and live in poverty or perish from off the face of the earth.'"
Other Sources
Walter Clay Lowdermilk
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
W. C. Lowdermilk, Conquest of the Land through 7,000 years, U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service: Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 99 (Washington DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1994), 30.
"The destruction of the human environment is extremely serious, not only because God has entrusted the world to us men and women, but because human life is itself a gift which must be defended from various forms of debasement."
Other Sources
Pope Francis
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Encyclical Letter Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home (24 May 2015)
"The ecological teaching of the Bible is simply inescapable: God made the world because He wanted it made. He thinks the world is good, and He loves it. It is His world; He has never relinquished title to it. And He has never revoked the conditions, bearing on His gift to us of the use of it, that oblige us to take excellent care of it."
Other Sources
Wendell Berry
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
What Are People For? (1990), pg. 98.
"[T]he care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope."
Other Sources
Wendell Berry
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
The Unsettling of America, pg 14
"The image [of God] refers, above all, to the God-given commission to 'image' God on earth, that is, to be the agents who represent and realize God's benevolent and peaceful sway on earth."
Other Sources
Bernhard Anderson
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Anderson, From Creation to New Creation, 108.
"Thoughtful, righteous dominion is what God expects of us; any other kind of dominion is likely to cause shortages and suffering among mankind."
Other Sources
Mark J. Nielsen
Church Magazines
"The Wonder of Creation," March 2004 Ensign.
"Words that come to mind from the story of the Creation in Genesis chapter 1 are dominion and subdue. Sometimes these words conjure up images of an ultimate rule over powerless subjects. But no gift or station granted to us by God comes without responsibilities and expectations. Proper dominion over nature requires us to use the earth’s resources wisely."
Other Sources
Mark J. Nielsen
Church Magazines
"The Wonder of Creation," March 2004 Ensign.
"At the Creation of the world God placed Adam and Eve as caretakers, with dominion over 'every living thing that moveth upon the earth,' and gave them instructions to 'replenish the earth, and subdue it' (Abr. 4:28). The earth, then, was created for us and given into our care. It is within our power to do with it what we like, but since it is God who entrusted it to us, it is to Him we shall answer for what we choose to do."
Other Sources
Mark J. Nielsen
Church Magazines
"The Wonder of Creation," March 2004 Ensign.
"It seems to me that by virtue of living upon the earth we shoulder two responsibilities. The first is to care for our beautiful home."
Other Sources
Mark J. Nielsen
Church Magazines
"The Wonder of Creation," March 2004 Ensign.
"We have behaved as though we have some sort of divinely provided right to despoil the physical world. In a very real sense I believe this reflects a misinterpretation by conventional Judeo-Christian philosophers of God’s injunction to Adam about subduing the earth."
Other Sources
A.B. Morrison
Church Magazines
"Our Deteriorating Environment" in Aug 1971 Ensign.
"We know that each of us is a child of God, that the earth is our stewardship as well as proving ground. Yet our children are being exposed to views of man as a beast, of pollution as inevitable and irreversible, of cooperation as futile. Will they be prepared to refute those influences, not necessarily with the knowledge of a scientist, but with the testimony of the Spirit, acquired through personal, significant involvement with the Lord and his creations?"
Other Sources
Sharon Dequer
Church Magazines
"Discovering Nature" in June 1977 Ensign.
"Every year, my husband assigns his junior high school social science students to write an essay entitled 'What Is Man?' Their responses are dismal. They paint man as a terrible monster who has no place in nature and no capacity except to destroy. As a child matures with such negative values and attitudes, how does he feel about himself? About his family and society? About man’s ability to solve ecological, social, and political problems? Indeed, what would motivate him even to try? How receptive is he to the gospel of repentance and eternal progression?"
Other Sources
Sharon Dequer
Church Magazines
"Discovering Nature" in June 1977 Ensign.
"Can Heavenly Father be any less pleased with this willful destruction of nature than when we break the Word of Wisdom? Certainly, if we are to become like him, we must begin to master the skills necessary to preserve and encourage the processes of life. It seems to me that part of our responsibility as caretakers for the earth is to learn about those processes and take advantage of opportunities to protect our world’s resources."
Other Sources
G. Michael Alder
Church Magazines
"Earth—A Gift of Gladness" in July 1991 Ensign.
"Too often, wise dominion conflicts with convenience, and usually it is convenience that prevails."
Other Sources
G. Michael Alder
Church Magazines
"Earth—A Gift of Gladness" in July 1991 Ensign.
"The Lord is an ample provider—but he did not plan that we waste the gifts he has given us. The scriptures make it clear that we have dominion over the earth, but they also make it clear what that dominion means: We are to care for our planetary home and use its resources wisely. It was never intended that we abuse it."
Other Sources
G. Michael Alder
Church Magazines
"Earth—A Gift of Gladness" in July 1991 Ensign.
"At one time, there may have been reason to be skeptical about the idea that we are damaging the earth on a global scale. But no longer. The evidence is mounting that we are doing ourselves and our mortal home serious damage."
Other Sources
G. Michael Alder
Church Magazines
"Earth—A Gift of Gladness" in July 1991 Ensign.
"God has made us responsible for the earth and all living things. How well are we doing?"
Other Sources
G. Michael Alder
Church Magazines
"Earth—A Gift of Gladness" in July 1991 Ensign.
“If you fail in your duty,” God tells Adam, “the beasts over which you ruled shall rise up against you, for you have not kept my commandment;”
Old Testament- Apocrypha
4 24
Book of Adam and Eve
Book of Adam and Eve 24:4
The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.
Old Testament
16 115
Psalms
Psalms 115:16
Thou madest [man] to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
Old Testament
6-8 8
Psalms
Psalms 8:6-8
And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth;
Old Testament
21 2
Hosea
Hosea 2:21
The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.
Old Testament
3-4 23
2 Samuel
2 Samuel 23:3-4
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
New Testament
1 15
Romans
Romans 15:1
For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
New Testament
14-30 25
Matthew
Matthew 25:14-30
But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
New Testament
26-28 20
Matthew
Matthew 20:26-28
[H]e that is the greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
New Testament
26 22
Luke
Luke 22:26
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
New Testament
10 16
Luke
Luke 16:10
For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
New Testament
48 12
Luke
Luke 12:48
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
New Testament
14 13
John
John 13:14
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
New Testament
11 10
John
John 10:11
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
New Testament
6 9
2 Corinthians
2 Corinthians 9:6
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
New Testament
19-20 6
1 Corinthians
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
New Testament
16-17 3
1 Corinthians
1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Thou shalt be diligent in preserving what thou hast, that thou mayest be a wise steward; for it is the free gift of the Lord thy God, and thou art his steward.
Doctrine and Covenants
27 136
D&C
D&C 136:27
I, the Lord, stretched out the heavens, and built the earth, my very handiwork; and all things therein are mine.
Doctrine and Covenants
14 104
D&C
D&C 104:14
For it is expedient that I, the Lord, should make every man accountable, as a steward over earthly blessings, which I have made and prepared for my creatures.
Doctrine and Covenants
13 104
D&C
D&C 104:13
And he that is a faithful and wise steward shall inherit all things. Amen.
Doctrine and Covenants
22 78
D&C
D&C 78:22
And verily in this thing ye have done wisely, for it is required of the Lord, at the hand of every steward, to render an account of his stewardship, both in time and in eternity.
Doctrine and Covenants
3 72
D&C
D&C 72:3
And the hour and the day is not given unto them, wherefore let them act upon this land as for years, and this shall turn unto them for their good. Behold, this shall be an example unto my servant Edward Partridge, in other places, in all churches.
Doctrine and Covenants
17-18 51
D&C
D&C 51:17-18
And whoso is found a faithful, a just, and a wise steward shall enter into the joy of his Lord, and shall inherit eternal life.
Doctrine and Covenants
19 51
D&C
D&C 51:19
That they should let no pride nor haughtiness disturb their peace; that every man should esteem his neighbor as himself, laboring with their own hands for their support.
Book of Mormon
4 27
Mosiah
Mosiah 27:4
For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?
Book of Mormon
19 4
Mosiah
Mosiah 4:19
Wherefore, go to, and call servants, that we may labor diligently with our might in the vineyard, that we may prepare the way, that I may bring forth again the natural fruit, which natural fruit is good and the most precious above all other fruit.
61 5
Jacob
Jacob 5:61
And it came to pass that after I, the Lord God, had driven them out, that Adam began to till the earth, and to have dominion over all the beasts of the field, and to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow
Pearl of Great Price
1 5
Moses
Moses 5:1
Wherefore, go to, and call servants, that we may labor diligently with our might in the vineyard, that we may prepare the way, that I may bring forth again the natural fruit, which natural fruit is good and the most precious above all other fruit.
Book of Mormon
61 5
Jacob
Jacob 5:61
And the Lord of the vineyard caused that it should be digged about, and pruned, and nourished, saying unto his servant: It grieveth me that I should lose this tree; wherefore, that perhaps I might preserve the roots thereof that they perish not, that I might preserve them unto myself, I have done this thing.
Book of Mormon
11 5
Jacob
Jacob 5:11
For behold, thus saith the Lord, I will liken thee, O house of Israel, like unto a tame olive-tree, which a man took and nourished in his vineyard; and it grew, and waxed old, and began to decay.
Book of Mormon
3 5
Jacob
Jacob 5:3
But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.
Book of Mormon
41 32
Alma
Alma 32:41
And this they did, it being in their view a testimony to God, and also to men, that they never would use weapons again for the shedding of man’s blood; and this they did, vouching and covenanting with God, that rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would give up their own lives; and rather than take away from a brother they would give unto him; and rather than spend their days in idleness they would labor abundantly with their hands.
Book of Mormon
18 24
Alma
Alma 24:18
Behold, the Lord hath created the earth that it should be inhabited; and he hath created his children that they should possess it.
Book of Mormon
36 17
1 Nephi
1 Nephi 17:36