Kindness to Animals

"Let the people be holy, and the earth under their feet will be holy. Let the people be holy, and filled with the Spirit of God, and every animal and creeping thing will be filled with peace; the soil of the earth will bring forth in its strength, and the fruits thereof will be meat for man. The more purity that exists, the less is the strife; the more kind we are to our animals, the more will peace increase, and the savage nature of the brute creation vanish away. If the people will not serve the Devil another moment whilst they live, if this congregation is possessed of that spirit and resolution, here in this house is the Millennium. Let the inhabitants of this city be possessed of that spirit, let the people of the territory be possessed of that spirit, and here is the Millennium. Let the whole people . . . be possessed of that spirit and here is the Millennium, and so will it spread over all the world."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 1:203
"In this dispensation the keys that were committed to the father Adam will be restored, and we are to return into the favor and presence of the Lord. If we cease hostility, with the serpents and lay aside all enmity and treat all animals kindly, being humble and faithful with long suffering and forbearance no man need ever have a horse or a cow bitten by a snake. The serpents would soon become perfectly harmless, so that they could be handled without danger, children could play with them without receiving harm."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
The Journal of Brigham: Brigham Young's Own Story in His Own Words, comp. Lee Nelson, pg. 152.
“We crossed the Embarras river and encamped on a small branch of the same about one mile west. In pitching my tent we found three massasaugas or prairie rattlesnakes, which the brethren were about to kill, but I said, ‘Let them alone—don’t hurt them! How will the serpent ever lose his venom, while the servants of God possess the same disposition and continue to make war upon it? Men must become harmless, before the brute creation; and when men lose their vicious dispositions and cease to destroy the animal race, the lion and the lamb can dwell together, and the sucking child can play with the serpent in safety.’ The brethren took the serpents carefully on sticks and carried them across the creek. I exhorted the brethren not to kill a serpent, bird, or an animal of any kind during our journey unless it became necessary in order to preserve ourselves from hunger.”
Church Leaders
Joseph Smith, Jr.
Presidents of the Church
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 71.
"What did Isaiah say [Isaiah 65:21-25]? Before you get through asking, I will answer. The lion, as well as the lamb, these animals that now are so filled with vicious habits will then be at peace, and so it says here there will be no enmity between man and beast, and we will not delight to go off and kill deer when that time comes."
Church Leaders
Joseph Fielding Smith
Presidents of the Church
The Signs of the Times, p. 36
"Love begets love in all creation, and nature responds bounteously to the tender treatment of man."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor 53:182-183, April 1918
"Having restored the earth to the same glorious state in which it first existed—leveling the mountains, exalting the valleys, smoothing the rough places, making the desert fruitful, and bringing all the continents and islands together, causing the curse to be taken off, that noxious weeds, thorns, and thistles shall no longer be produced—the next thing is to regulate and restore the brute creation to their former state of peace and glory, causing enmity to cease from off the earth. But this will never be done until there is a general destruction poured out upon man, which will entirely cleanse the earth and sweep all wickedness from its face. This will be done by the rod of His mouth, and by the breath of His lips; or in other words, by fire as universal as the flood . . . Thus having cleansed the earth and glorified it with the knowledge of God, as the waters cover the sea, and having poured out his Spirit upon all flesh, both man and beast becoming perfectly harmless as they were in the beginning, and feeding on vegetable food only, while nothing is left to hurt or destroy in all the vast creation."
Church Leaders
Parley P. Pratt
General Authorities
A Voice of Warning, and Instruction to All People: Or An Introduction to the Faith and Doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints, pg 106.
"The time will come when man and animals which are now wild and ferocious will dwell together without hurting each other. The prophets have foretold this with great plainness. But before this day comes men will have to cease their war upon the animals, the reptiles and the insects. At the present time every one of these flee from his presence with fear; they feel that if he can reach them by his weapons, he will kill them. The Lord gives them knowledge enough to take care of the lives which He has given them, and He, doubtless, teaches them to shun man. But when man becomes their true friend, they will learn to love and not to fear him. The Spirit of the Lord which will rest upon man will also be given to the animal creation—man will not hurt nor destroy, not even tigers and lions and wolves and snakes, and they will not harm him—and universal peace will prevail."
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 24:549, Dec. 1, 1889
"On June 4, 1864, Young blamed human beings for the 'savage and destructive nature' of animals, but also argued that humans, with the help of divine powers and through the 'law of the Holy Priesthood,' had the capacity to 'remove the curse and its consequences from earth,' to 'say to the raging and contending elements, ‘peace, be still’ and extract the poison from the reptile’s tooth.' Young described this effort as 'the great work of sanctifying [humankind] and the earth for final glorification in its paradisiacal state.' [Journal of Discourses 10:301–2.] He thus shifted the rhetorical (if not theological) focus of Joseph Smith’s Tenth Article of Faith ('We believe . . . that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory'), placing the emphasis as much on human effort as on Christ’s return and other forms of divine intervention."
Other Sources
Bart H. Welling
Other Writings of Mormons
“'The Blood of Every Beast': Mormonism and the Question of the Animal" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011).
"When several of the Zion’s Camp men found a rattlesnake coiled up near the sleeping Solomon Humphrey’s head, Humphrey stopped them from killing it with the words 'No! I'll protect him, you shan[’]t hurt him for he and I have had a good nap together.'”
Other Sources
Bart H. Welling
Other Writings of Mormons
“'The Blood of Every Beast': Mormonism and the Question of the Animal" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011).
"President Joseph F Smith wrote, 'where the use of guns and other deadly weapons is prohibited by law . . . the animals and birds are becoming as tame and fearless of human beings, their deadliest foes, as domestic animals and barnyard fowls . . . The birds do not fly away with fright at the approach of men; even the brown, cinnamon and grizzly bears are friendly, some of them so tame as to take their food from the hands of men—all because, for a few years, they have not been hunted, shot at and slaughtered by the lords of creation.' Thus it may be seen, in harmony with the sentiments expressed by the Prophet Joseph Smith, that if man did right, were humane and merciful toward animals, they would, in time, lose their fear and dread of him, and would also lose many, if not all, of their own bad traits."
Bart H. Welling
Other Writings of Mormons
“'The Blood of Every Beast': Mormonism and the Question of the Animal" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011).
"Paul, Amulek, and other prophets had taught that Jesus Christ’s atonement had ended the need for animal sacrifice, but Joseph Smith’s Abrahamic test of his followers exemplifies, along with an unerring feel for what it takes to destabilize ossified ways of knowing and perceiving the world, a mature understanding of the deeply entrenched role of violence toward animals in human culture: an awareness that, in practice, animal sacrifice has never ended, and that the Millennium will not come to pass unless we confront our tendency to 'make war upon . . . the brute creation' as directly as possible."
Other Sources
Bart H. Welling
Other Writings of Mormons
“'The Blood of Every Beast': Mormonism and the Question of the Animal" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011).
"All creatures exist in their own particular spheres . . . We feel a kinship with the animals—and we should. We are going to live with them in the eternities. We should love the critters, and they will learn to love us."
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
Of All Things! Classic Quotations from Hugh Nibley, compiled by Gary P. Gillum
"Also during Joseph F. Smith's time as Church President, superintendent of the Sunday Schools, and editor of the Juvenile Instructor, a special editorial on 'Humane Day' was published. Signatures accompanying the editorial were of the Sunday School superintendency, which included the future President of the Church, David O. McKay, and Stephen L. Richards, later counselor in the First Presidency to David O. McKay. "This same editorial was repeated by Heber J. Grant, successor to Joseph F. Smith as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and editor of the Juvenile Instructor. Thus three Presidents of the Church gave their endorsement and published this important statement on zoophily in the Church. Because of its unique status this document is also reproduced in full. "'What is it to be humane to the beasts of the fields and the birds of the air? It is more than to be considerate of the animal life entrusted to our care. It is a grateful appreciation of God's creations. It is the lesson of divine law. To Him all life is a sacred creation for the use of His children. Do we stand beside Him in our tender regard for life? "Our sense of appreciation should be quickened by a desire to understand divine purposes, and to keep the balance of animal life adjusted to the needs of creation. Man in his wanton disregard of r a sacred duty has been reckless of life. He has destroyed it with an indifference to the evil results it would entail upon the earth. Birds have been uselessly slaughtered, and pests have sprung up as a consequence to plague the people of the world. We are a part of all life and should study carefully our relationship to it. We should be in sympathy with it, and not allow our prejudices to create a desire for its destruction. The unnecessary destruction of life begets a spirit of destruction which grows within the soul. It lives by what it feeds upon and robs man of the love that he should have for the works of God. It hardens the heart of man and makes him prey upon the social welfare which he should feel for the happiness and advancement of his fellow man. "The unnecessary destruction of life is a distinct spiritual loss to the human family. Men cannot worship the Creator and look with careless indifference upon his creation. The love of all life helps man to the enjoyment of a better life. It exalts the spiritual nature of those in need of divine favor. The wanton destruction of life reacts upon the human family. There is something of the law of compensation which makes criminals injure and destroy life. Men who are unsympathetic toward the life of domestic animals entrusted to them usually receive the reward of the cruelty by the dumb animals which they maltreat. Love begets love in all creation, and nature responds bounteously to the tender treatment of man. "Men learn more easily in sympathetic relationships of all life than they do in the seclusion of human interest. Their minds are more open to the manifestations of that inspiration which all nature gives to those who lovingly enjoy her. Wisdom and virtue come from the animal and vegetable world 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 a profound admiration. Man should be kind to the animals which serve him both directly and indirectly. An angry word or a brutal blow wounds the heart from which it comes. Love of nature is akin to the love of God; the two are inseparable.'"
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Pages 64-5, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, LIII (April, 1918), 182-3; Juvenile Instructor, LXII (April, 1927), 190-1.]
"Another contributor of humanitarianism, J.H. Parry, quoted Isaiah 11:6 concerning the wolf dwelling peacefully with the lamb. Parry stated that the animal world was at peace before sin entered the world with the fall of Adam and Eve. He contended that much was to 'be done to educate mankind to acts of love and kindness' before the millennial state would bring back the condition of love and harmony with the brute creation. Because man was 'the first who sinned,' man was to 'take the first step towards restoring the earth to its primeval state of happiness.' First man must 'learn to be kind to the animal creation' about them, wrote Parry, and then the animals would reciprocate. Commenting specifically about the snake, Parry said that men seem to desire to kill snakes immediately at the sight of them. But, he wrote, all animals contain 'a certain degree of intelligence,' therefore they deserve kind treatment. He wrote that 'kindness to the animal creation is a principle of the gospel we have to learn.' Indeed, thought Parry, it was to be the efforts of the Saints in living the principles of kindness that would bring about the millennial reign of peace spoken of by the prophet Isaiah."
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Pages 48-9, footnote: J.H. Parry, "Kindness to Animals," Juvenile Instructor, XV (January, 1880), 2-3.]
"[I]f humans obeyed the divine law of mercy all would be peace, harmony, and love. Men would become merciful; Savage Brutes, would become tame; and the tame Brutes would no more groan under the lash . . . [A]ll, both Men and Brutes, would experience the blessing of the renovating change.”
Other Sources
Humphry Primatt
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Quoted in Tristram Stuart's The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern Times (New York: W. W. Norton, 2007), 87–88.
"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
“The Spirit of the Lord and keys of the priesthood hold power over all animated beings. When Father Adam transgressed the law, he did not fall at once from the presence of the Lord . . . Men continued to sin and degenerate from generation to generation . . . During this time the earth and all creation groaned in sin, and enmity increased, and the lives of men and beasts decreased . . . In this dispensation the keys . . . will be restored, and we are to return into the favor and presence of the Lord . . . Cease hostility with the serpents and lay aside all enmity and treat all animals kindly.”
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
The Journal of Brigham: Brigham Young's Own Story in His Own Words, comp. Lee Nelson, pg. 152.
"There is a grievous sin upon this people for neglecting their stock and letting them perish; turning their sheep on to the range for a few hours, and bringing them up and penning them twenty hours out of the twenty-four, until they become diseased and sickly. If the people could see as an angel sees, they would behold a great sin in neglecting the stock."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 12:218
"If we maltreat our animals, or each other, the spirit within us, our traditions, and the Bible, all agree in declaring it is wrong."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 1:337
"According to present appearances, we may expect grasshoppers to eat up nearly all our crops. But if we have provisions enough to last us another year, we can say to the grasshoppers—these creatures of God—you are welcome. I have never yet had a feeling to drive them from one plant in my garden; but I look upon them as the armies of the Lord."
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 12:121
“We have no right to slay animals or fowls except from necessity, for they have spirits which may someday rise up and accuse or condemn us.”
Church Leaders
Lorenzo Snow
Presidents of the Church
Horne, Journals of Abraham H. Cannon, 424.
"In Adam-ondi-Ahman, while gradually recovering from the effects of a malignant fever which had detained me a fortnight in Far West, under the constant and skilful nursing of my sister Eliza, for some time I was unable to either do, or read much. One day, to while away the slowly passing hours, I took my gun with the intention of indulging in a little amusement in hunting turkeys, with which that section of the country abounded. From boyhood I had been particularly, and I may say strangely attached to a gun. Hunting, in the forests of Ohio, was a pastime that to me possessed the most fascinating attractions. It never occurred to my mind that it was wrong—that indulging in ‘what was sport to me was death to them; that in shooting turkeys, squirrels, etc., I was taking life that I could not give; therefore I indulged in the murderous sport without the least compunction of conscience. But at this time a change came over me. While moving slowly forward in pursuit of something to kill, my mind was arrested with the reflection on the nature of my pursuit—that of amusing myself by giving pain and death to harmless, innocent creatures that perhaps had as much right to life and enjoyment as myself. I realized that such indulgence was without any justification, and feeling condemned, I laid my gun on my shoulder, returned home, and from that time to this have felt no inclination for that murderous amusement."
Church Leaders
Lorenzo Snow
Presidents of the Church
Eliza R. Snow's Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Company, 1884), 27.
"I had frequently spoken on this subject, when on a certain occasion I came up to the brethren who were watching a squirrel on a tree, and to prove them and to know if they would heed my counsel, I took one of their guns, shot the squirrel and passed on, leaving the squirrel on the ground. Brother Orson Hyde, who was just behind, picked up the squirrel, and said, 'We will cook this, that nothing may be lost.' I perceived that the brethren understood what I did it for, and in their practice gave more heed to my precept than to my example, which was right."
Church Leaders
Joseph Smith, Jr.
Presidents of the Church
History of the Church, 2:71–72
"John saw curious looking beasts in heaven, he saw every creature that was in heaven, all the beasts, fowls, & fish in heaven, actually there, giving glory to God. I suppose John saw beings there, that had been saved from ten thousand times ten thousand earths like this, strange beasts of which we have no conception all might be seen in heaven. John learned that God glorified himself by saving all that his hands had made whether beasts, fowl fishes or man, and He will glorify Himself with them."
Church Leaders
Joseph Smith, Jr.
Presidents of the Church
The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph, 185.
“It is a grievous sin in the sight of God to kill merely for sport. Such a thing shows a weakness of spiritual character of the individual . . . Only for food, and then sparingly, should flesh be eaten, for all life is from God and is eternal.”
Joseph Fielding Smith
Presidents of the Church
Church History and Modern Revelation, 210.
“Although there was no sin in the shedding of their blood when required for food . . . to take the life of these creatures wantonly is a sin before the Lord. It is easy to destroy life, but who can restore it when it is taken?”
Church Leaders
Joseph Fielding Smith
Presidents of the Church
“Is It a Sin to Kill Animals Wantonly?” Improvement Era (August 1961): 568.
[expounding on JST Gen 9:11] “The inference in this interpretation is that the use of the flesh of living creatures should be indulged in sparingly although there is no sin in the shedding of their blood when required for food. There is no inference in the scriptures that it is the privilege of men to slay birds or beasts or to catch fish wantonly.”
Church Leaders
Joseph Fielding Smith
Presidents of the Church
“Is It a Sin to Kill Animals Wantonly?” Improvement Era (August 1961): 568.
"We do not take the view that animals have no reason, and cannot think. We have divine knowledge that each possesses a spirit in the likeness of its body, and that each was created spiritually before it was naturally, or given a body on the earth. Naturally, then, there is some measure of intelligence in members of the animal kingdom."
Church Leaders
Joseph Fielding Smith
Presidents of the Church
Man, His Origin and Destiny (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1954), 194.
"[T]he Lord does not require of them [animals] repentance from sin, for they do not sin. It requires intelligence and a knowledge of right and wrong, in order for a man to sin. While animals prey on each other there is no violation of conscience, for they have not the gift of conscience. There is no moral obligation for a lion or a bear, or any other carnivorous animal to kill and prey on other animals, for the Lord did not give to them the light of truth . . . There is no moral question troubling them. They have no moral sense, of understanding of justice, right, or wrong."
Church Leaders
Joseph Fielding Smith
Presidents of the Church
Man: His Origin and Destiny (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954), 205.
“When I visited, a few years ago, the Yellowstone National Park, and saw in the streams and the beautiful lakes, birds swimming quite fearless of man, allowing passers-by to approach them as closely almost as tame birds, and apprehending no fear of them, and when I saw droves of beautiful deer [feeding] along the side of the road, as fearless of the presence of men as any domestic animal, it filled my heart with a degree of peace and joy that seemed to be almost a foretaste of that period hoped for when there shall be none to hurt and none to molest in all the land, especially among all the inhabitants of Zion. These same birds, if they were to visit other regions, inhabited by man, would, on account of their tameness, doubtless become more easily a prey to the gunner. The same may be said of those beautiful creatures—the deer and the antelope. If they should wander out of the park, beyond the protection that is established there for these animals, they would become, of course, an easy prey to those who were seeking their lives. I never could see why a man should be imbued with a blood-thirsty desire to kill and destroy animal life. I have known men—and they still exist among us—who enjoy what is, to them, the ‘sport’ of hunting birds and slaying them by the hundreds, and who will come in after a day’s sport, boasting of how many harmless birds they have had the skill to slaughter, and day after day, during the season when it is lawful for men to hunt and kill (the birds having had a season of protection and not apprehending danger) go out by scores or hundreds, and you may hear their guns early in the morning on the day of the opening, as if great armies had met in battle; and the terrible work of slaughtering the innocent birds goes on. I do not believe any man should kill animals or birds unless he needs them for food, and then he should not kill innocent little birds that are not intended for food for man. I think it is wicked for men to thirst in their souls to kill almost everything which possesses animal life. It is wrong, and I have been surprised at prominent men whom I have seen whose very souls seemed to be athirst for the shedding of animal blood.”
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1939, pp. 265–66.
"Thus it may be seen, in harmony with the sentiments expressed by the Prophet Joseph Smith, that if man did right, were humane and merciful toward animals, they would, in time, lose their fear and dread of him, and would also lose many, if not all, of their own bad traits. Animals are not cruel and vicious just for the fun of it, as is too often the case with man, but generally they are prone to destroy life only to appease their own hunger. It will be a blessed day when mankind shall accept and abide by the Christlike sentiment expressed by one of the poets in the following words: 'Take not away the life you cannot give, For all things have an equal right to live.'"
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
"Kindness to Animals," Juvenile Instructor (February, 1912), 78-9.
"The Latter-day Saints have always taught kindness to animals."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
"Humane Day," Juvenile Instructor 51, no. 2 (Feb 1916): 93.
"Kindness to the whole animal creation and especially to all domestic animals, is not only a virtue that should be developed, but is the absolute duty of mankind. Children should be taught that Nature in all her forms is our Heavenly Father's great book of life. Furthermore, he who treats in a brutal manner a poor, dumb animal at that moment disqualifies himself for the companionship of the Spirit; for the Lord will not sanction an unrighteous act, and it is an unrighteous thing to treat any creature cruelly."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
"Kindness to Animals," Juvenile Instructor (February, 1912), 78-9.
"Kindness to animals and to all living things is one good way of expressing true religion. Cruelty to the dumb creation always shows an absence of the true religious spirit; and in most cases, is simply barbarous."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor 50:375, June 1915
"Kindness begets kindness and brings results . . . Love, intelligently and humanely applied, has not only produced gentleness in the horse, but has contributed to the intelligence of the animal. And why does kindness contribute to intelligence? Because kindness is an attribute of intelligence. And like begets like. We know that restraint and self-control are necessary to the possession of the spirit of kindness, and these command the attention and submission of all domestic animals . . . [W]hy have the words of Jesus of Nazareth moved men to work and suffer, to think and feel as the words of no other man have done? It is the love, the intelligence, as well as the authority in which they were spoken. All nature responds to love. From love comes contentment, and the highest form of service."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor 48:84-85, Feb 1913
"I never could see why a man should be imbued with a blood-thirsty desire to kill and destroy animal life. I have known men—and they still exist among us—who enjoy what is, to them, the ‘sport’ of hunting birds and slaying them by the hundreds, and who will come in after a day’s sport, boasting of how many harmless birds they have had the skill to slaughter, and day after day, during the season when it is lawful for men to hunt and kill (the birds having had a season of protection and not apprehending danger) go out by scores or hundreds, and you may hear their guns early in the morning on the day of the opening, as if great armies had met in battle; and the terrible work of slaughtering the innocent birds goes on . . . I do not believe any man should kill animals or birds unless he needs them for food, and then he should not kill innocent little birds that are not intended for food for man. I think it is wicked for men to thirst in their souls to kill almost everything which possesses animal life. It is wrong, and I have been surprised at prominent men whom I have seen whose very souls seemed to be athirst for the shedding of animal blood."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1939, pp. 265–66
"Habits of kindness bring joy to the heart and home of man as well as kindness and comfort to the animal world, even when practiced towards the lowest of creatures. The results of kindness come back to us as rewards of increased love and freedom from fear of man on the part of the animal world as well as from our own improved conditions of thought and feeling."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor 48:84-85, Feb 1913
"Doing wrong to animals is but a stepping stone to the doing of wrong to our fellowmen."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor 42:97, Feb. 15, 1907
"Animals also possess degrees of love; some greater love, perhaps, than intelligence. Some animals are remarkable indeed for the wonderful development of love and devotion they possess and show towards men. They are so acute in the sense of their affections that they seem to perceive the feelings of their master in advance of his expressions."
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor 48:84-85, Feb 1913
“Prof. Pauls tells us . . . that 'six species of American birds are already extinct; fourteen other species are apparently doomed. Here are the next candidates for early extinction in this country: Trumpeter swan, whooping crane, roseate spoonbill, redbreasted sandpiper, sandpiper, bartramia, sandpiper, golden plover, dowitcher, willet, American egret, snowy egret, wood duck, sage grouse, prairie sharp-tailed grouse, pinnated grouse.' 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 of feathered beauties. . . . In all the teaching, the element of love for all of the creatures of the earth can be emphasized, and thus true religion imparted. ”
Church Leaders
David O. McKay
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor, Vol. 48 (May 1913), 311.
“A true Latter-day Saint is kind to animals, is kind to every created thing, for God created all.”
Church Leaders
David O. McKay
Presidents of the Church
Conference Report (Priesthood), October 1951, p. 180
“In modern revelation the Lord told us more about . . . the light which was to shine, which was to enlighten our understanding, and was to give light and intelligence to all mankind; it was to be in the light of the sun, the moon and the stars; indeed, we may say this light [the light of Christ] was to constitute the reason in man and the instinct in animal life.”
Church Leaders
Harold B. Lee
Presidents of the Church
Conference Report, October 1944, 74.
"I think that another reason why I have very splendid strength for an old man is that during the years we have had a cafeteria in the Utah Hotel I have not, with the exception of not more than a dozen time, ordered meat of any kind. On those special occasion I have mentioned, I have perhaps had a small, tender lamb chop. I have endeavored to live the Word of Wisdom, and that in my opinion, is the one reason for my good health."
Church Leaders
Heber J. Grant
Presidents of the Church
Conference Report (April, 1937), p. 15.
[In reference to sound stewardship practice on Church-owned lands:] "And may I remind you that it generally takes several times as much land to produce a given amount of food when grains are fed to livestock and we consume the meat. Let us be careful not to overdo beef cattle and other livestock projects on our welfare farms."
Church Leaders
Ezra Taft Benson
Presidents of the Church
"Prepare Ye," Ensign, January 1974, 69.
"A priesthood holder is kind. One who is kind is sympathetic and gentle with others. He is considerate of others' feelings and courteous in his behavior. He has a helpful nature. Kindness pardons others' weaknesses and faults. Kindness is extended to all—to the aged and the young, to animals, to those of low station as well as the high. These are the true attributes of the divine nature."
Church Leaders
Ezra Taft Benson
Presidents of the Church
Ensign, p. 47, Nov. 1986
"Animals do have souls—that is to say, each animal is a spirit and a body, these together constituting the soul; and the same is true of the trees, plants and flowers. They were not formed for any merely temporary purpose, and are to be eternally perpetuated."
Church Leaders
Orson F. Whitney
General Authorities
Improvement Era 30:844, Aug. 1927
"[God] knows what course to pursue to restore mankind to their pristine excellency and primitive vigor, and health; and he has appointed the word of wisdom as one of the engines to bring about this thing, to remove the beastly appetites, the murderous disposition and the vitiated taste of man; to restore his body to health, and vigour, promote peace between him and the brute creation. . . .Let men attend to [the Word of Wisdom], let them use the things ordained of God; let them be sparing of the life of animals; ‘it is pleasing saith the Lord that flesh be used only in times of winter, or of famine’—and why to be used in famine? because all domesticated animals would naturally die, and may as well be made use of by man, as not."
Church Leaders
Hyrum Smith
General Authorities
Times and Seasons 3, no. 1 (June 1, 1842): 799-801.
"'A righteous man is merciful to animals.' This should be taught to the children in the Sabbath schools, that the children of the Latter-day Saints may be known for their kindness to animals."
Church Leaders
Karl G. Maeser
General Authorities
Conference Report, p. 76, April 9, 1899
“Those who live upon this land, or any other that God gives to His people, have peculiar promises made to them. Then do not pollute this land, nor pollute yourselves or your fellow creatures, but let us keep ourselves pure and clean.”
Church Leaders
Heber C. Kimball
General Authorities
Journal of Discourses, 3:262, June 10, 1855.
“Let [the animals] rest: they are as good as we are in their sphere of action; they honor their calling, and we do not, when we abuse them: they have the same life in them that you have, and we should not hurt them. It hurts them to whip them, as bad as it does you; and when they are drawing as though their daylights would fly out of them, you must whip, whip, whip. Is there religion in that? No; it is an abuse of God's creation that he has created for us.”
Church Leaders
Heber C. Kimball
General Authorities
Journal of Discourses 5:137, Aug. 2, 1857
"Our religion and the spirit of Christ would teach us to be kind to them [animals], to encourage them by . . . nourishing them."
Heber C. Kimball
General Authorities
Journal of Discourses 9:336, April 27, 1862
"Look at the animal creation, they were all created by law, and will fulfill that law by which they were created. But see the feeling and disposition that we have in our hearts to be cruel towards animals, and that same passion that we cultivate towards the brute creation, mankind by-and-by will have towards one another. Reflect upon the experience of the past and you will find it so."
Church Leaders
Heber C. Kimball
General Authorities
Journal of Discourses 9:336, April 27, 1862
"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."
Church Leaders
Heber C. Kimball
General Authorities
Journal of Discourses 5:137, Aug. 2, 1857
"In verse 11 of 2 Nephi 5, Nephi also records, 'We began to raise flocks, and herds, and animals of every kind.' This is an element of a happy life to which many will readily relate. Animals—be they horses, cats, dogs, hamsters, or turtles—touch us deeply and promote our emotional well-being. Given affection and care, they return affection and care generously and consistently. People whose lives include relationships with animals are usually happier. For me at least, heaven will not be heaven unless the animals kingdom is part of God's kingdom."
Church Leaders
Marlin K. Jensen
General Authorities
"Living After the Manner of Happiness," Ensign, Dec. 2002.
"Be kind . . . to all the creatures around. Do not hurt them without a just cause. Ask yourself how you would like a person who had you in his power to treat you, and then treat animals which you have in charge accordingly."
Sylvester Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Quoted in Thomas G. Alexander's “Sylvester Q. Cannon and the Revival of Environmental Consciousness in the Mormon Community," Environmental History, Vol. 3, No. 4 (Oct. 1998), pp. 488-507.
"Our Great Creator . . . has bestowed life upon man, and upon beasts, birds, fishes and insects, and no one has the right to take that life, except in the way and under the conditions which the Lord prescribes."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
“Wanton Killing,” Juvenile Instructor 24, no. 23 (December 1, 1889): 548–549.
“Children who are trained to respect the rights of the lower animals will . . . respect human rights and become good citizens.”
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 35 (Feb. 15, 1900), 124.
"Where we treat our animals in an inhuman manner we not only displease the Lord and are guilty of sin toward the animal creation, but we also set an exceedingly bad example to the rising generation, one which is very likely to have a bad effect on their whole character. Such examples harden the hearts of the children, and stifle the feeling of kindness and mercy that ought to be cultivated."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 34:113, Feb. 15, 1899
"We say again such cruelty as many boys and men practice towards animals, is very sinful, and they ought to be ashamed of their conduct. Will a man or boy who has the Spirit of God be cruel or unkind to dumb creatures because they are in his power? No, for the Spirit of God fills men and boys with love and compassion, and they would as soon think of abusing their companions as they would of abusing a horse, ox, or any other animal."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 6:76, May 13, 1871
"The time will come when man and animals which are now wild and ferocious will dwell together without hurting each other. The prophets have foretold this with great plainness. But before this day comes men will have to cease their war upon the animals, the reptiles and the insects. At the present time every one of these flee from his presence with fear; they feel that if he can reach them by his weapons, he will kill them. The Lord gives them knowledge enough to take care of the lives which He has given them, and He, doubtless, teaches them to shun man. But when man becomes their true friend, they will learn to love and not to fear him. The Spirit of the Lord which will rest upon man will also be given to the animal creation—man will not hurt nor destroy, not even tigers and lions and wolves and snakes, and they will not harm him—and universal peace will prevail."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 24:549, Dec. 1, 1889
"The Lord has given animals, fowls and fish to man for his use. They are placed under man's control, to be used for food with prudence and thanksgiving and not wastefully. But we have heard of animal life being very much wasted to gratify the hunting propensity of some men. This is wrong. When people can use game of any kind for food, and they stand in need of it, the Lord is not displeased if they kill it. When, however, they hunt it for the mere pleasure of killing, then sin is committed."
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Quoted in Richard D. Stratton, ed., Kindness to Animals and Caring for the Earth: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Latter-day Saint Church Leaders (Portland, Ore.: Inkwater Press, 2004), 31.
"The disposition of men and boys to kill wild animals and birds, and even every insect which crosses their path, is very general—far too general among Latter-day Saints. Why should there be such eagerness to kill these creatures?"
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
"Revelation—Wanton Killing," Juvenile Instructor 24, no. 23 (Dec 1, 1889): 548.
"The coyote has few friends, a good word is hardly ever said for him, and every man's hand is against him."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
"Why Continually Want to Kill, Kill, Kill!" Juvenile Instructor 34, no. 16 (Aug 15, 1899): 492.
"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 . . . [Those who do so] prove themselves unworthy of the power they have, and, by their cruelty, they sink beneath the brute."
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
"Editorial Thoughts," Juvenile Instructor 3, no. 17 (1868): 132.
"It [is] a sin in the sight of God to waste flesh."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
"Hunting Buffalo," Juvenile Instructor 4, no. 20 (Sep 20, 1869): 157.
"Be kind . . . to all the creatures around. Do not hurt them without a just cause. Ask yourself how you would like a person who had you in his power to treat you, and then treat animals which you have in charge accordingly."
Church Leaders
Sylvester Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Quoted in Thomas G. Alexander's “Sylvester Q. Cannon and the Revival of Environmental Consciousness in the Mormon Community," Environmental History, Vol. 3, No. 4 (Oct. 1998), pp. 488-507.
"[We] should be kind to others, and to animals, and birds, and creeping things, because it is right to be kind."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
"Don't Be Cruel," Juvenile Instructor 4, no. 25 (Dec 3, 1869): 197.
“The practice of hunting and killing game merely for sport should be frowned upon and not encouraged among us.”
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 31:218-19 (April 1896).
“It is not the design of the Lord that men should prey upon animal creation and destroy them, beyond that which is necessary to sustain their lives.”
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 28:712-13, November 15, 1893.
"We should by every means in our power impress upon the rising generation the value of life, and how dreadful a sin it is to take life. The lives of animals even should be held far more sacred than they are. Young people should be taught to be very merciful to the brute creation and not to take life wantonly or for sport. The practice of hunting and killing game merely for sport should be frowned upon and not encouraged among us. God has created the fowls and the beasts for man's convenience and comfort, and for his consumption at proper times and under proper circumstances; but he does not justify men in wantonly killing those creatures which He has made and with which He has supplied the earth."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 31:218-219, April 1, 1896
"There can be no doubt in the mind of any person who believes in the God of heaven that He will hold man accountable for any ill treatment of the creatures He was placed under his control, and those who misuse or treat them with cruelty will be called to an account for such acts. It is not our acts to our fellow man alone that we shall be called to an account for, but our acts to the creations of our Father in heaven. These animals are His, He created them, and they are not outside of the reach of His love and care, and they cannot be badly treated with impunity. This is the lesson that should be impressed deeply upon the minds of the young, and when they are awakened to realize this they will be more humane to the animals they have in their keeping and be more likely to treat them with consideration and kindness."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor, XXIX (January 15, 1897), 59.
"The question which every sportsman should ask himself is, Have I need? Am I or my family hungry? If so, of course man is justified in killing animals or birds to satisfy his or his family's hunger. But if he has not any want of meat he 'shedded blood,' and he exposes himself to this wo which the Lord has pronounced . . . but, while this cannot be condemned without qualification, it is the spirit of destruction that we deplore and that we wish to call attention to—the disposition to destroy life and to slaughter the creatures which God has created, for the sake of sport. This is not right."
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 34:592, Oct. 1, 1899
"The Lord has given animals, fowls and fish to man for his use. They are placed under man's control, to be used for food with prudence and thanksgiving and not wastefully. But we have heard of animal life being very much wasted to gratify the hunting propensity of some men. This is wrong. When people can use game of any kind for food, and they stand in need of it, the Lord is not displeased if they kill it. When, however, they hunt it for the mere pleasure of killing, then sin is committed."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Quoted in Richard D. Stratton, ed., Kindness to Animals and Caring for the Earth: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Latter-day Saint Church Leaders (Portland, Ore.: Inkwater Press, 2004), 31.
"Our religion and the spirit of Christ would teach us to be kind to them [animals], to encourage them by . . . nourishing them."
Church Leaders
Heber C. Kimball
General Authorities
Journal of Discourses 9:336, April 27, 1862
"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
"Every child that is brought into contact with animals should be taught, by parents and by all who attempt to instruct the young, that it is a very great sin in the sight of the Almighty for the dumb creation to be treated with cruelty or even with neglect. A merciful man is merciful to his beast."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 34:113, Feb 15, 1899
"Cruelty to animals is always the sign of a weak and little mind, whereas we invariably find really great men distinguished by their humanity."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 4:108, July 3, 1869
"Children should be taught that it is a duty to protect and care for the creatures that are in their charge; to see that they are fed and watered and housed, so that they will not suffer. They should not be overworked. They should not be beaten improperly or abused; but should be treated with kindness. A child that is cruel to an animal exhibits a bad disposition. He will be apt to grow up to be an unfeeling, cruel man. Therefore children should be taught to be merciful to the brute creation."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 26:443, July 15, 1891
"But it is not only the shedding of human blood which children should be taught to avoid; they should be impressed with the value of animal life. No animal should be killed except to supply food for the sustenance of human beings."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 26:443, July 15, 1891
"A man who is cruel to a helpless, dumb creature like a horse or an ox, which cannot complain of him, has cruelty in his nature; and when he gets a child or a woman in his power, he will be unkind to her; he is not fit to be a husband or a father, and ought to be shunned."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor, VI (May 13, 1871), 76.
"How many nonhuman living souls would be allowed to live out their natural life spans if the 'forgotten verses' of Doctrine and Covenants 89 were restored to prominence, and how would the economies and ecologies of Mormon-populated areas adapt? How will Mormon animal theology and policy themselves adapt to pressures from within and without, including the rising financial, ecological, social, medical, and climate change-related costs of raising animals for food according to the factory farm and industrial slaughterhouse paradigm of meat production and consumption? What about the increasingly complex ethical challenges posed by animal testing, xenotransplantation of body parts from animals to humans, genetic engineering and plastic surgery resulting in human/animal hybrids, and eye-opening scientific discoveries in the fields of animal communication, culture, and emotion? Finally, to return to one of this essay’s central concerns, is the ideal of the peaceable kingdom worth reviving as we work to prevent another era of 'hideous mistakes,' to borrow George Q. Cannon’s term—namely, cataclysmic extinctions?"
Other Sources
Bart H. Welling
Other Writings of Mormons
“'The Blood of Every Beast': Mormonism and the Question of the Animal" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011).
"Then again, it is undoubtedly misleading to draw too sharp a divide between human self-interest and compassion for animals, in light not just of modern ecology but of Joseph Smith’s revelations on the materiality of spirit (D&C 131:7) and on the ways in which the fates of all living souls on earth are bound together, from creation to millennium to exaltation and beyond. Joseph Smith’s animal teachings, not excluding the killing of the squirrel, look remarkably consistent and even biocentric when compared with those of René Descartes, whose theories on the soullessness and a-rational status of animals (or 'beast-machines,' as he styled them) have authorized innumerable horrific acts of cruelty in the vivisection chamber and the animal testing lab, but who preferred keeping to a vegetarian diet for the sake of his own health."
Other Sources
Bart H. Welling
Other Writings of Mormons
“'The Blood of Every Beast': Mormonism and the Question of the Animal" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011).
"If carnivory among animals is not seen as part of the natural order but is considered as one of the 'bad traits' (Joseph F. Smith) introduced to the world by human wickedness, then well-intentioned humans motivated by this view may actually exacerbate rather than abolish the 'war' between humans and animals, predators and prey."
Other Sources
Bart H. Welling
Other Writings of Mormons
“'The Blood of Every Beast': Mormonism and the Question of the Animal" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011).
"President Joseph F Smith wrote, 'where the use of guns and other deadly weapons is prohibited by law . . . the animals and birds are becoming as tame and fearless of human beings, their deadliest foes, as domestic animals and barnyard fowls . . . The birds do not fly away with fright at the approach of men; even the brown, cinnamon and grizzly bears are friendly, some of them so tame as to take their food from the hands of men—all because, for a few years, they have not been hunted, shot at and slaughtered by the lords of creation.' Thus it may be seen, in harmony with the sentiments expressed by the Prophet Joseph Smith, that if man did right, were humane and merciful toward animals, they would, in time, lose their fear and dread of him, and would also lose many, if not all, of their own bad traits."
Other Sources
Bart H. Welling
Other Writings of Mormons
“'The Blood of Every Beast': Mormonism and the Question of the Animal" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011).
"Numerous accounts of Zion’s Camp demonstrate that one or both sides of the lesson—the millennial and the extortionary— bore immediate fruit in Joseph Smith’s colleagues’ improved treatment of animals. Echoes of the lesson can also be heard many years later in statements by Brigham Young, as well as by leaders who did not participate in Zion’s Camp, such as Joseph F. Smith and George Q. Cannon. In fact Cannon, a first counselor to Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and Lorenzo Snow, was instrumental in advocating the humane treatment of animals and promoting a 'Humane Day' that was observed in LDS Sunday Schools every spring from 1897 to 1918. Cannon was interested in more than emulating non-LDS groups like the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; as Aaron R. Kelson notes (quoting Cannon), his efforts were rooted in the millennial conviction that 'the time will come when man and animals which are now wild and ferocious will dwell together without hurting each other . . . But before this day comes men will have to cease their war upon the animals, the reptiles and the insects . . . When man becomes their true friend, they will learn to love and not to fear him. The Spirit of the Lord which will rest upon man will also be given to the animal creation—man will not hurt nor destroy, not even tigers and lions and wolves and snakes, and they will not harm him—and universal peace will prevail.”
Other Sources
Bart H. Welling
Other Writings of Mormons
“'The Blood of Every Beast': Mormonism and the Question of the Animal" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011).
"Without question, the animals that Lehi’s family eats have been 'ordained [by God] for the use of man'; eating meat saves Lehi’s family from 'famine and excess of hunger,' and they use meat 'sparingly' as well as 'with thanksgiving' (D&C 89:15, 12). Nephi undoubtedly goes about killing the animals 'with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion' (D&C 59:20). Nephi’s unusual use of the word 'sweet' for the meat seems to indicate that, when the time comes for God to 'require' the blood of the animals at the family’s hands (JST Gen. 9:5), he will hold them as blameless as if they had eaten fruit. The adjective 'sweet' also calls to mind, perhaps deliberately, the verses in the King James translation of Genesis 1 where God articulates what animal theologian Andrew Linzey calls his 'original will for creation,' instructing Adam and Eve that they are to share fruit and other plant foods with animals as their only 'meat' (Gen. 1:29, 30)."
Other Sources
Bart H. Welling
Other Writings of Mormons
“'The Blood of Every Beast': Mormonism and the Question of the Animal" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011).
"Nephi represents the animals he has killed in the desert as earthly blessings contingent on his family’s obedience; he is directed to them by the Liahona and, in a direct reenactment of stories recorded in Exodus, God himself blesses the meat so that it, like manna, becomes 'sweet' and does not need to be cooked (1 Ne. 17:12). Enos lays down his bow to pray when his spirit begins to hunger more for eternal life than his belly hungers for meat."
Other Sources
Bart H. Welling
Other Writings of Mormons
“'The Blood of Every Beast': Mormonism and the Question of the Animal" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011).
"As the Book of Mormon continues, the Lamanites’ violations of the Mosaic proscriptions against eating predators and consuming blood and meat that had not been prepared correctly, to say nothing of the unwritten cannibalism taboo, represent less a conscious rejection of Nephite faith traditions than an instinctual and progressively expanding taste for flesh. Again and again the Book of Mormon demonstrates that the interlinked and often coterminous boundaries between humans and beasts, Nephites and Lamanites, and sinners and saints are actually, in the American Promised Land, frighteningly porous liminal spaces that must be watched and guarded with great care."
Other Sources
Bart H. Welling
Other Writings of Mormons
“'The Blood of Every Beast': Mormonism and the Question of the Animal" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011).
"Similarly, we seem to have little to say in the Church about the worldwide extinction crisis, despite our doctrinal mandate to care for the nonhuman creatures which, like us, were designed to 'fi[ll] the measure of [their] creation' (D&C 88:19) and that also received God’s blessing/commandment to 'be fruitful, and multiply' (Moses 2:22)."
Other Sources
Bart H. Welling
Other Writings of Mormons
“'The Blood of Every Beast': Mormonism and the Question of the Animal" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011).
"LDS scripture clearly teaches that animals are 'living souls" (Moses 3:19) who existed before this earthly life and will be resurrected after death; as such, they should be killed only in situations where human survival depends on it."
Other Sources
Bart H. Welling
Other Writings of Mormons
“'The Blood of Every Beast': Mormonism and the Question of the Animal" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011).
"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
"He [Brigham Young] laid special emphasis on the importance of human esteem for the animal world, for one of the peculiar doctrines of the Latter-day Saints is that animals are living souls destined to participate in the resurrection as they did in the premortal existence."
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.
"All creatures exist in their own particular spheres . . . We feel a kinship with the animals—and we should. We are going to live with them in the eternities. We should love the critters, and they will learn to love us."
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
Of All Things! Classic Quotations from Hugh Nibley, compiled by Gary P. Gillum
"There always has been [a philosophy of hunting particular to the Latter-day Saints]. It's a frontier attitude, conquering the West, as it were. But of course the presidency of the Church has consistently bucked that attitude. Brigham Young, Joseph F. Smith, and then President Kimball have all talked against it. Joseph Smith said never carry anything larger than a pen knife. He who carries a gun will surely regret it. Brigham Young said if the Mormon people weren't so ignorant, they'd be damned for their treatment of the creatures. President Kimball's bicentennial talk against hunting was very exciting but it had almost no effect whatsoever. They swept it under the rug. We say a prophet is a prophet and then freely interpret how we want."
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
The Sunstone Review, p. 12, Nov.-Dec. 1983
"President [George] Cannon was concerned that bounty laws were just an added enticement for people to participate in the spirit of destruction. In opposition, he defended many of the animals targeted by bounty laws."
Other Sources
Aaron Kelson
Other Writings of Mormons
"A Plea for the Horse": George Q. Cannon's Concern for Animal Welfare in Nineteenth Century America, BYU Studies Quarterly, Vol. 38, Issue 3, Article 4. p. 52
"Individual decisions on euthanasia for animals, neutering, or otherwise physically changing an animal should be thoughtfully done. Prayer, conscience, the Spirit, and advice from others should all be factors in making such decisions."
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 not to unless necessary to sustain our lives."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Pages 89-90.]
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been in the forefront of a spiritual concern for the environment and especially the treatment of animals and birds. There have been sporadic bursts of official concern and prophetic counsel for members to treat all living creatures with kindness. This has been in stark contrast to much of the traditional Christian world, where animals are not considered to have spirits nor will they be resurrected. There have been individual religious people who have held otherwise, but in every church they are in the minority and have strong theological opposition from their leadership. Of course in the Latter-day Saint community there is not strong support for the official position. There is still a lot of ignorance on what the position of the scriptures and the prophets is on the subject of animals."
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 89.]
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been in the forefront of a spiritual concern for the environment and especially the treatment of animals and birds. There have been sporadic bursts of official concern and prophetic counsel for members to treat all living creatures with kindness. This has been in stark contrast to much of the traditional Christian world, where animals are not considered to have spirits nor will they be resurrected. There have been individual religious people who have held otherwise, but in every church they are in the minority and have strong theological opposition from their leadership. Of course in the Latter-day Saint community there is not strong support for the official position. There is still a lot of ignorance on what the position of the scriptures and the prophets is on the subject of animals."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 89.]
"After quoting Joseph Smith's instructions concerning snakes on the Zion's Camp march, a lesson for the Melchizedek Priesthood in 1929 referred to Doctrine and Covenants 49:21 and gave a lengthy quote from 'Taoist Teachings' on animals. The lesson concluded with the Taoist remark that, 'in mind and understanding,' there was no 'wide gulf between any of the living species endowed with blood and breath, and, therefore, knowing this was so . . . the Taoist taught the animals wisdom.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 86, footnote: In the Realm of Quorum Activity Suggestions for Quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood (Independence, Mo.: Zion's Printing and Publishing Co., 1929), 78-9.]
"There have been infrequent articles on zoophily in the Improvement Era, which was the official publication of the Young Men's and Young Women's Mutual Improvement Associations of the Church until 1971. Two articles in 1920 and four in 1921 was the most concentrated coverage during the Era's history. The sentiment expressed in a short paragraph dealing with animals was that the time would come when 'the nation's thinkers' would see that the only way 'under heaven' to teach men to be merciful would be to do 'kind acts a hundred times a day to the dumb creatures' that surround them."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 84, footnote: Improvement Era, XXIII (February, 1920), 331.]
"An important program sponsored by the Primary organization in the Children's Friend was called the 'Kindness to Animals Club,' referred to frequently in the publication as 'KTA.' The announcement inviting Primary children to join the club was in the January, 1952 issue. On the top half of the page was a banner headline inviting all children to join: 'KINDNESS TO ANIMALS CLUB A BRAND NEW CLUB FOR ALL BOYS AND GIRLS, WILL YOU BE AN ACTIVE, LIVEWIRE MEMBER?' The invitation continued by asking: 'There are all kinds of clubs, but what could be more fun than to share in doing good and being kind to all animal life?' The instructions for joining the club were listed. A creed consisted of three promises to be pledged by each applicant: '1. I will feed my pets and take care of them as I should. 2. I will be kind to all animal life. 3. I will try to get others to do the same.' The KTA program gradually faded from notice after a full year of monthly attention. The last invitation to join was in the December, 1956, issue."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 83, footnote: The Children's Friend, LI (January, 1952), 22.]
"A lesson for the Primary given in 1907 related the Joseph Smith incident with rattlesnakes on the Zion's Camp expedition. References were made in the article about Henry Burgh, Abraham Lincoln, and others who were examples of kindness to animals. The article stated that 'every boy and girl can help in the good work of helping animals and make the world better and happier by being kind to them and persuading other boys and girls to be fair to them.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 81, footnote: The Children's Friend, VI, (January, 1907), 23-9.]
"'Reverence for Life' was an article published to be used by teachers of three different courses of the Sunday School in 1960. The name of Albert Schweitzer is prominent in the article, first by a sketch of his activity in a hospital. The caption of the sketch of Schweitzer stressed his concept of 'reverence for life.' The editor's preface to the article stated that 'an attitude of respect or reverence for life is one thing that will help a person to exercise self-control in human relations.' The article reminds the youth that God 'does not want man to hurt and kill animals and people needlessly,' He would rather have youth 'show respect for life as [did] Albert Schweitzer.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 80, footnote: Bennion, 164-5.]
"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.]
"From five to sixteen pages of zoophilic material were produced to serve as supplementary information for local Sunday School officers and teachers, as well as for general readership from 1902 to 1918."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Pages 78-9.]
"The announcement [of Humane Day] read: 'The Deseret Sunday School Union Board have discussed the propriety of doing something in the direction of impressing the children with lessons concerning the proper treatment of animals, and have appointed Sunday, February 28th, as HUMANE DAY. In appointing this as Humane Day it is the design to have the usual services and lessons taken upon that day in the Sunday School, in their regular order; but that in addition to these, addresses be given by persons selected for this purpose, which will set forth in as forcible a manner as possible the propriety of being kind and considerate to the animal creation, especially those domestic animals with which children are most closely brought in contact. The object of these addresses will be to teach the children kindness, mercy, forbearance and love toward all the living creations of God.'"
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Pages 77-8, footnote: George Q. Cannon, "Topics for the Times," The Juvenile Instructor, XXIX (January15, 1897), 59.]
"Though not equaling in quantity the amount of zoophilic material published by President Joseph F. Smith, his successors as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have all indicated they were in harmony with his teachings. No written record has indicated any opposition in any way, and indeed, Presidents David O. McKay, Joseph Fielding Smith, and Spencer W. Kimball have repeated his concerns for animal life."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 75.]
"During that period President [David O.] McKay wrote a lengthy article for the 'Superintendent's Department' of the Juvenile Instructor, which served as the official publication for the Sunday School. Decrying the use of bird feathers for women's millinery, he wrote that 'greed and vanity combine to destroy . . . some of the most beautiful of God's creatures.' Referring to the 'murder' of birds, he said the fate of the egret was 'tragic.' Appealing to the sensitiveness of his readers, President McKay portrayed 'the suffering of these helpless fledglings slowly dying, and calling in vain for the mother that never returns.' He then proposed that it was time that 'every organization in the world' should act to protect birds. 'True religion [is] imparted' by exercising 'love for all the creatures of the earth,' emphasized President McKay."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 68, footnote: David O. McKay, "Protect the Birds," Juvenile Instructor XLVIII (May, 1913), 310-1.]
"Also during Joseph F. Smith's time as Church President, superintendent of the Sunday Schools, and editor of the Juvenile Instructor, a special editorial on 'Humane Day' was published. Signatures accompanying the editorial were of the Sunday School superintendency, which included the future President of the Church, David O. McKay, and Stephen L. Richards, later counselor in the First Presidency to David O. McKay. "This same editorial was repeated by Heber J. Grant, successor to Joseph F. Smith as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and editor of the Juvenile Instructor. Thus three Presidents of the Church gave their endorsement and published this important statement on zoophily in the Church. Because of its unique status this document is also reproduced in full. "'What is it to be humane to the beasts of the fields and the birds of the air? It is more than to be considerate of the animal life entrusted to our care. It is a grateful appreciation of God's creations. It is the lesson of divine law. To Him all life is a sacred creation for the use of His children. Do we stand beside Him in our tender regard for life? "Our sense of appreciation should be quickened by a desire to understand divine purposes, and to keep the balance of animal life adjusted to the needs of creation. Man in his wanton disregard of r a sacred duty has been reckless of life. He has destroyed it with an indifference to the evil results it would entail upon the earth. Birds have been uselessly slaughtered, and pests have sprung up as a consequence to plague the people of the world. We are a part of all life and should study carefully our relationship to it. We should be in sympathy with it, and not allow our prejudices to create a desire for its destruction. The unnecessary destruction of life begets a spirit of destruction which grows within the soul. It lives by what it feeds upon and robs man of the love that he should have for the works of God. It hardens the heart of man and makes him prey upon the social welfare which he should feel for the happiness and advancement of his fellow man. "The unnecessary destruction of life is a distinct spiritual loss to the human family. Men cannot worship the Creator and look with careless indifference upon his creation. The love of all life helps man to the enjoyment of a better life. It exalts the spiritual nature of those in need of divine favor. The wanton destruction of life reacts upon the human family. There is something of the law of compensation which makes criminals injure and destroy life. Men who are unsympathetic toward the life of domestic animals entrusted to them usually receive the reward of the cruelty by the dumb animals which they maltreat. Love begets love in all creation, and nature responds bounteously to the tender treatment of man. "Men learn more easily in sympathetic relationships of all life than they do in the seclusion of human interest. Their minds are more open to the manifestations of that inspiration which all nature gives to those who lovingly enjoy her. Wisdom and virtue come from the animal and vegetable world 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 a profound admiration. Man should be kind to the animals which serve him both directly and indirectly. An angry word or a brutal blow wounds the heart from which it comes. Love of nature is akin to the love of God; the two are inseparable.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Pages 64-5, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, LIII (April, 1918), 182-3; Juvenile Instructor, LXII (April, 1927), 190-1.]
"The announcement [of Humane Day] read: 'The Deseret Sunday School Union Board have discussed the propriety of doing something in the direction of impressing the children with lessons concerning the proper treatment of animals, and have appointed Sunday, February 28th, as HUMANE DAY. In appointing this as Humane Day it is the design to have the usual services and lessons taken upon that day in the Sunday School, in their regular order; but that in addition to these, addresses be given by persons selected for this purpose, which will set forth in as forcible a manner as possible the propriety of being kind and considerate to the animal creation, especially those domestic animals with which children are most closely brought in contact. The object of these addresses will be to teach the children kindness, mercy, forbearance and love toward all the living creations of God.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Pages 77-8, footnote: George Q. Cannon, "Topics for the Times," The Juvenile Instructor, XXIX (January15, 1897), 59.]
"The editorial stated that 'God in His wisdom has established a wonderful economic balance in the distribution of His creations' and man suffers whenever the balance is disturbed. Admitting that birds may eat fruit and grain, the writer held that 'the laborer is worthy of his hire.' Birds labored for the grower earlier in the spring by devouring insects, the writer commented, and if they ate some fruit for their sustenance, 'they are surely entitled to it.' The ecological concern of the writer was summarized by his statement: 'If we could understand all the purposes of God in His Wonderful creations, we could avoid diligently the dangers of disturbing the balance in the distribution of life which God has so wonderfully ordained.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 63, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, L (June, 1915), 372-3.]
"Animals also possess degrees of love; some greater love, perhaps, than intelligence. Some animals are remarkable indeed for the wonderful development of love and devotion they possess and show towards men. They are so acute in the sense of their affections that they seem to perceive the feelings of their master in advance of his expressions."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor 48:84-85, Feb 1913
"President [Joseph F.] Smith proposed that the Percheron horse was both kinder and more intelligent than other animals as a result of the kind treatment of its trainers. Asking why kindness contributed to intelligence, President Smith answered his own question by saying it was because 'kindness is an attribute of intelligence.'"
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 61, footnote: Joseph F. Smith, "The Love of Animals," Juvenile Instructor, XLVIII (February, 1913), 84.]
"President [Joseph F.] Smith proposed that the Percheron horse was both kinder and more intelligent than other animals as a result of the kind treatment of its trainers. Asking why kindness contributed to intelligence, President Smith answered his own question by saying it was because 'kindness is an attribute of intelligence.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 61, footnote: Joseph F. Smith, "The Love of Animals," Juvenile Instructor, XLVIII (February, 1913), 84.]
"A short announcement of Humane Day in 1911 commented favorably on recent legislation to protect animals in the United States. However, the 'editorial thought' was that while the passage of laws was helpful, education was the more effective approach to avoid cruelty to animals. It was stated that kindness to animals should be 'a matter of principle, not law.' The editor suggested that children 'be taught from infancy to be kind and tender' to the animals under human care. Further, he stated: 'When every soul gets into the condition of mind that he will go out of his way to ease the suffering of a dumb animal, then many of the cruelties now complained of will disappear from the earth forever.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 60, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, XLVI (February, 1911), 83.]
"Referring to the female readers, the writer said they were naturally more tender than boys but that they also were often cruel. The reason for cruelty by women was given to be a 'lack of sympathy; and that women often considered an animal as a 'mere machine'.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 60, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, XLII (February 15, 1907), 98.]
"The responsibility to punish animals was discussed. It was suggested by the anonymous writer that punishment of animals should be done with consideration of their 'intelligence and the real necessities of the case.' Considered more important that the cruelty done to animals was the effect the cruelty had upon the human being administering the cruelty. The explanation was that 'doing wrong to animals' was a 'stepping stone to the doing of wrong to our fellow men.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 59, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, XLII (February 15, 1907), 97.]
"Because of President [Joseph F.] Smith's trio of duties it was evident that the emphasis on Humane Day and the publication of articles supporting it were the desire of President Smith, the man accepted as the spokesman for God on earth by members of the Church."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 58.]
"It was in his role as editor of the then official Sunday School magazine, the Juvenile Instructor, that President [Joseph F.] Smith most frequently spoke on the subject of kindness to animals."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 57 or 58]
"As President [Joseph F.] Smith related the incident to the membership of the Church in general conference, he recalled the time of his baptism when a feeling of pure peace and love came over him. He added that he 'felt as though I wanted to do good everywhere to everybody and to everything,' In fact, he stated that he felt he 'would not injure the smallest insect' beneath his feet."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 58, footnote: Conference Report (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1898), 66.]
"During the twentieth century all of the Presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have made statements relating to zoophily."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 57.]
"At the age of seventy-two and after having served as a counselor to three Presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, George Q. Cannon was still writing about the humane treatment of animals. One of his last editorials began with an expressed doubt as to the success or usefulness of bounties on predators. He specifically attacked the hunting of hawks . . . The crow and the coyote were likewise defended by editor Cannon. Basically his argument in the editorial was that 'efforts to destroy the equilibrium [of nature] are generally disastrous.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 54, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, (1899), 492-3.]
"One year after the first Humane Day the general superintendency of the Sunday School, composed of George Q. Cannon, superintendent, and counselors George Goddard and Karl G. Maeser, spoke of the day as 'Mercy Day.' The purpose of the day according [to] the superintendency, was to 'inspire in the hearts of our young people a love for all the creations of our Heavenly Father' because 'He commands kindness and consideration in their behalf.' Scriptural references were given to the readers for aid in presenting the principle of mercy to animals. The article closed with a favorable report of the treatment of animals in India."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 53, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, XXXIII (January 15, 1898), 69-70.]
"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 which 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.]
"Another contributor of humanitarianism, J.H. Parry, quoted Isaiah 11:6 concerning the wolf dwelling peacefully with the lamb. Parry stated that the animal world was at peace before sin entered the world with the fall of Adam and Eve. He contended that much was to 'be done to educate mankind to acts of love and kindness' before the millennial state would bring back the condition of love and harmony with the brute creation. Because man was 'the first who sinned,' man was to 'take the first step towards restoring the earth to its primeval state of happiness.' First man must 'learn to be kind to the animal creation' about them, wrote Parry, and then the animals would reciprocate. Commenting specifically about the snake, Parry said that men seem to desire to kill snakes immediately at the sight of them. But, he wrote, all animals contain 'a certain degree of intelligence,' therefore they deserve kind treatment. He wrote that 'kindness to the animal creation is a principle of the gospel we have to learn.' Indeed, thought Parry, it was to be the efforts of the Saints in living the principles of kindness that would bring about the millennial reign of peace spoken of by the prophet Isaiah."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Pages 48-9, footnote: J.H. Parry, "Kindness to Animals," Juvenile Instructor, XV (January, 1880), 2-3.]
"Elder Cannon emphasized judgment by God in the same editorial when he commented that God had made the beasts and put men in charge of them. Thus, Cannon reasoned, God would 'call us to judgment for all our acts' in relation to animals. If man was cruel to animals it indicated he was 'a coward and a tyrant.' As a result of man's misuse of his power over animals, it would be taken from him in the hereafter. On the other hand, Cannon proposed, if man exercised his power over animals with kindness, more power would be given to him after the resurrection. The editorial advocate for kindness to animals suggested men decide how they would like to be treated by others who held power over them, and then to treat animals as they would have themselves treated. He expressed his sentiments with the phrase, 'Be kind, therefore, to all the creatures round.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 46, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, VI (May 13, 1871), 76.]
"[George Q.] Cannon explained that the only successful technique to catch the wild horses was by the lasso rope. But, he said, 'this is a very cruel way of catching horses, and ought never to be practiced by people like us.' President Cannon contended that lassoing horses was 'fit only for savages' and a 'rude, barbarous people, like the Californians were when we settled this valley.' The practice was further criticized in the editorial because the horses were 'ruined' by the operation. The use of spurs on the horses was also condemned because it was 'very cruel.' Expressing disgust with the use of spurs, George Q. Cannon stated, 'They treated the poor dumb creatures, which God had given them as though they had no feeling.' 'Such conduct is brutal and sinful,' the editorial continued, 'and punishment in some form will fall upon those who indulge in it.' Further developing the concept that man would be held accountable by God for his treatment of animals, Cannon said cruelty to animals was 'very sinful.' He asked the question, 'Will a man who has the Spirit of God be cruel or unkind to dumb creatures because they are in his power?' He answered with an emphatic 'No.' Indeed, he wrote, 'the spirit of God fills men and boys with love and compassion' and thus they would no sooner hurt an animal than they would a human companion."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 45, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, VI (May 13, 1871), 76.]
"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 . . . [Those who do so] prove themselves unworthy of the power they have, and, by their cruelty, they sink beneath the brute."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
"Editorial Thoughts," Juvenile Instructor 3, no. 17 (1868): 132.
"That the Mormon pioneers were generally kind to their animals is attested to by Colonel Thomas L. Kane. A non-Mormon, Kane had befriended the persecuted Saints and pleaded their cause to the federal government during the days of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. A close friend of Brigham Young, Kane was impressed with a 'strong trait' of the Mormons being 'their kindness to their brute dependents, and particularly to their beasts of draught.' Kane recalled the Latter-day Saint pioneers had given the animals a Sabbath holiday and expressed his personal belief that they would have washed the horses with wine, if they had any, they exhibited such concern for the animals."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Pages 40-1, footnote: William Mulder and Russell Mortenson, Among the Mormons (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985), 205.]
"George A. Smith, counselor to Brigham Young, felt inclined to take the whip to a man who was abusing his defenseless oxen. Smith maintained, 'Every man in Israel is responsible as to how he uses his cattle.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 40, footnote: Journal of Discourses, II, 367.]
"[Orson Pratt] stated that there exists only 'small glimmerings of light' in the brute creation. He did admit, however, that animals 'have some degree of information and knowledge that man is not in possession of.' Though some of this was regarded as the instinct of animals, Pratt did point out that the behavior of animals during Noah's day and the Biblical account of the Flood was quite unusual in that the animals' behavior exhibited more than instinct. Pratt commented: 'The beasts of the field—that appeared to have more inspiration than the men and women of that age, began to come from the forests towards the ark, and finally the door was closed. They must have been prophetic beasts, beasts that had revelations, beasts that were able to judge far better than the world of mankind in that age.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Pages 38-9, footnote: Journal of Discourses, XXI, 174-5.]
"In the present condition of the ranges, we cannot indulge in the hope of raising such large herds of stock as we have done heretofore; but we have got to keep about what will serve us, and take care of them well; then we can enjoy ourselves, and we are not the authors of misery to any part of creation."
Church Leaders
Orson Hyde
General Authorities
Journal of Discourses 11:150
"A story relating to Heber C. Kimball's concern for animals was told to the general Sunday School conference of the Latter-day Saints in an effort to motivate Church members to be more humane in their treatment of animals. Kimball reportedly was walking down a Salt Lake City street when he viewed a man abusing a horse. Turning to his companions Kimball said, 'That horse will demand justice of that man some time and will get it.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Pages 37-8, footnote: Conference Report (April, 1899), 76-77.]
"To support his [Kimball's] view that animals do live a celestial life he referred to Elijah's vision of horses pulling war chariots. Asking, 'Where did they come from?' he answered his own question by referring to the doctrine of eternal existence for animal life and stated they were 'created before' in heaven. Concluding his remarks on animals, Kimball admonished all to 'let us be merciful to the brute creation.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 37, footnote: Journal of Discourses, V, 137-8.]
"[1st Counselor Jedediah] Grant claimed that he 'never misused a beast.' He declared in a sermon that people who 'beat, and kick, and pound their cattle, horses' are exhibiting 'nonsense.' He then declared: 'Do right, be kind and gentle.' Grant recalled as a young boy his brother had asked if there were quails in heaven. Jedediah meditated on the subject and felt there was a positive answer. He read John Wesley's views on animal life in heaven and was confirmed in his convictions. Upon joining the Mormons, Grant read Joseph Smith's views in the Doctrine and Covenants and said the teaching of animals existing in the hereafter gave him 'great joy and satisfaction.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Pages 35-6.]
"Next to the scriptures, the most important pronouncements from prophets to the Latter-day Saints are statements signed by the First Presidency of the Church. During Brigham Young's term as President two such statements contained references to animals. The first was written 'To the Saints in Utah' by Brigham Young and his two counselors, Heber C. Kimball and Jedediah M. Grant. It was dated September 14, 1854, and referred to people with a cantankerous attitude. They claimed that such 'a person becomes disagreeable to himself, to his family . . . to his animals for they have reason, and in short to all the true intelligences around him.' The second statement was signed by Brigham Young and a new pair of counselors, George A. Smith and Daniel H. Wells. Concerning those living a new type of economic order, the official statement gave advice to provide adequate food and shelter for 'humanely caring for stock during winter.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 35, footnote: James R. Clark, ed., Messages of the First Presidency (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965), II, 150, 262-63.]
"President Young complained that often sheep were huddled too close in filthy pens for too long a period of time, and 'for this you will be called to judgment,' he warned."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 32, footnote: Journal of Discourses, X, 201-2.]
"The principles behind Young's zoophilic tendencies are found in his sermons as being related to man's responsibility for bringing about peace with animals and preparing for the millennial reign pictured by Isaiah. For example, Young held that the people should be holy and when the Spirit of God was peaceful, according to President Young, then all animal life would also be filled with peace. He taught that 'the more kind we are to our animals, the more will peace increase and the savage nature of the brute creation will vanish away.' Young claimed it was man's fault strife existed on the earth and it was therefore up to man to 'remove the foul blot.' In order to 'restore all things to their primeval purity and innocence' man must have the help of God and live His laws. Bringing it to a personal level, Young argued that 'each people belonging to the human family' has a responsibility in 'removing the curse' from all creatures on earth. As for himself, Brigham Young stated if he saw an animal in the mud he made it his business to stop and help get it out. Even the lowly grasshopper was not driven from the garden of Brigham Young, but rather he would say they were welcome, 'these creatures of God.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Pages 31-2.]
"Animals were even accorded the blessings of the priesthood by being administered to when will by the sacred ritual of anointing with consecrated olive oil. Elders would lay their hands upon the head of the afflicted animal and a prayer would be offered that the beast be healed of its malady. In one instance the justification was that Joel had prophesied in the Old Testament that 'in the latter day the Lord would pour out his spirit upon all flesh.' Since the horse qualified by having flesh, it was administered to by some priesthood holders and the result was that it 'rolled twice over in great distress, sprang to his feet, squared, vomited and purged, and the next morning was harnessed,' able to pull a heavy load as usual."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 30, footnote: Elden Watson (ed.), Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1846-1847 (Salt Lake City: Elden Watson, 1971), 84. Also see Preston Nibley, Presidents of the Church (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1959), 235, concerning Hyrum Smith's widow and her oxen.]
"This attitude was again evident in September 1845, when [Brigham Young] spoke to the Nauvoo legion saying 'horses have feelings the same as he' and wanted 'every man to be tender to his horse.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 29, footnote: Juanita Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1844-1861 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1964), 1, 67.]
"While marching, as the story went, a dog had growled menacingly at Sylvester [Smith]. Reportedly he had threatened, 'If that dog bites me, I'll kill him.' Heber C. Kimball recorded that Joseph Smith turned to the angry Sylvester and said, 'If you kill that dog, I'll whip you.' The Prophet, according to Kimball, showed 'the brethren how wicked and unchristian like such conduct appeared before the eyes of truth and justice.' Commenting further upon the incident, Joseph Smith said that men should be ashamed of such a spirit of contention and 'ought never to place themselves on a level with the beasts; but be possessed of a more noble disposition.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 23, footnote: Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. B.H. Roberts (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1959), II, 83, 156.]
"Brigham Young acted as a captain during the expedition to Missouri, and when some men were going to kill a rattlesnake found in Young's tent, he exercised his authority and told them not to harm the snake. It is reported a Brother Carpenter took the snake 'in his hands' and after taking it 'beyond all danger' told the snake 'not to return.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 24, footnote: Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. B.H. Roberts (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1959), II, 102.]
"Within these passages of section 77:2-3 of the Doctrine and Covenants is found the basis of Mormon zoophilia. Animals are given an eternal existence. In Latter-day Saint terminology, this means animals have always existed in the past as spiritual beings in heaven before their existence on earth and will continue to exist after this mortal life."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 21.]
"[C]omment on Gen 9:5 JST - 'The concept that man would be accountable to God for every animal he killed indicated animals were important to God for every animal he killed indiscriminately. The phrase 'to save your lives' limited the need for killing animals to the serious choice between human and animal life, in which case animal life was to be sacrificed to save mankind.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 20.]
"[Agnes] Carr was critical of traditional Christian churches when she stated 'the churches must bear the terrible responsibility for their lack of interest in the dear silent creatures of God's household.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 17]
"For centuries theologians have taught that animals had a God-given right to live upon the earth and man had a moral obligation to avoid taking their life unnecessarily. The Hebrews of the Old Testament period cited biblical references for kindness to animals. The term Tsa'ar ba'ale hayim referred to the obligation Jews had to prevent cruelty to animals. Also included was the idea that God would hold man accountable for his actions towards animals."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 12]
"According to present appearances, we may expect grasshoppers to eat up nearly all our crops. But if we have provisions enough to last us another year, we can say to the grasshoppers—these creatures of God—you are welcome. I have never yet had a feeling to drive them from one plant in my garden; but I look upon them as the armies of the Lord."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 12:121
"I was surprised to find that Joseph Smith taught that humans should be kind to the animal world. One famous incident was when a group of men known as Zion's Camp were going from Ohio to Missouri to help alleviate the persecution of the Church members. En route they found some rattlesnakes and were about to kill them when Joseph stopped them with the injunction not to kill any living creature unless necessary to protect human life. The snakes could be avoided and removed without harming them and so that is what was done. He further implied that the peaceful millennial reign of Christ could not take place until people learned to be kind to all living creatures first. There was a direct implication that Isaiah's prophecy in Isaiah 11:6-9 and 65:25 was partly humanity's responsibility to set the moral climate for this peace between animals and humans and each other. One of the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 77, stated that animals have spirits and will be resurrected. This, of course, is a radical departure from traditional Christian church views. It was another reason for me to rethink my views of life."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) (Page vi)
"The Instructor, the magazine for Church teachers, ran its final article relating to animals in the August, 1970, issue. It concerned anointing for healing of pioneer oxen."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 74, footnote: Marie Felt, "With Oxcart and Courage to Salt Lake Valley," The Instructor (Aug. 1970), 294.]
"If geophysics and astronomy were the lead sciences in the Creation, then surely restoration ecology will play a leading role in the Millennium. It seems to me that Latter-day Saints, of all people, should be conservationists—protecting the world's wild places, animals, and plants, while doing everything we can to beautify our own homes and communities."
Other Sources
Paul Cox
Other Writings of Mormons
“Paley's Stone, Creationism, and Conservation,” 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), 33–42.
"One reason Church leaders may have felt so strongly about this issue is that the Latter-day Saint view on animals is fairly unique among Christians. We believe animals, like humans, are eternal beings (see D&C 77:2–3); that they are 'living souls' (Moses 3:19) who will be 'resurrected and glorified' in God’s presence; and that we are accountable to God for our stewardship over them (see JST Genesis 9:5 and D&C 104:11–14)."
Other Sources
Jane Birch
Other Writings of Mormons
Discovering the Word of Wisdom, pg 87-88
"I believe that ceasing enmity toward animals will lead to a greater depth of spirituality, sensitivity, and charity in the hearts of the Latter-day Saints and help prepare the earth for the Millennium. We must change for harmony to exist in the world of nature and things. Only then can we be fully at peace with each other and with all of God’s creatures."
Other Sources
Jane Birch
Other Writings of Mormons
Discovering the Word of Wisdom, pg 86
"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
"We are told several times that they [animals] are ordained for our use, but that does not mean they are ordained for our abuse."
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
"The thrust of this passage [Deut 22:26-7] is that the mother bird should be left free to produce more young; that is, one should not destroy the breeding stock. The counsel to preserve bird life carries the observation, 'that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days.' The inference is that prolonging human life on a long-term basis requires wise management of the available resources of the land."
Other Sources
Robert J. Matthews
Church Magazines
"What the Scriptures Say About: Ecology" in March 1972 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.
“If we are respectful of the planet, the creation, if we have a humble and a meek attitude toward the creations of our Heavenly Father, each of us in some way can indeed make a difference. That may mean doing something as simple as turning off a water tap that’s running, or cleaning our home and property so it’s pleasant and beautiful, or being careful in how we use energy so we Don't waste resources. It may mean treating domestic animals with kindness and compassion, or doing what we can to pick up litter and clean up local areas. I think the issue is not what we do; it’s that we do something, and that we do it with an attitude of praise.”
Other Sources
Paul Cox
Church Magazines
"Paul Cox—Preserving God’s Creations" in Nov 1998 Liahona.
"Today Brother Cox tries to teach his own family the same love of the gospel, love of the earth, and love for all people that he learned from his parents. 'Our children pray for the forests and the animals,' he says. 'It’s sort of a family mission we have—to do what we can to help protect the planet. Our children all have a deep love for nature and a deep appreciation for cultural differences'"
Other Sources
Anne Billings
Church Magazines
"Paul Cox—Preserving God’s Creations" in Nov 1998 Liahona.
"Men will turn again with renewed interest to the animal world. In these disordered days a stupid, uncontrollable massacre of animal species goes on—from certain angles of vision it is a thing almost more tragic than human miseries; in the nineteenth century dozens of animal species, and some of them very interesting species, were exterminated; but one of the first fruits of an effective world state would be the better protection of what are now wild beasts. It is a strange thing in human history to note how little has been done since the Bronze Age in taming, using, befriending, and appreciating the animal life about us. But that mere witless killing which is called sport to-day, would inevitably give place in a better educated world community to a modification of the primitive instincts that find expression in this way, changing them into an interest not in the deaths, but in the lives of beasts, and leading to fresh and perhaps very strange and beautiful attempts to befriend these pathetic, kindred lower creatures we no longer fear as enemies, hate as rivals, or need as slaves. And a world state and universal justice does not mean the imprisonment of our race in any bleak institutional orderliness. There will still be mountains and the sea, there will be jungles and great forests, cared for indeed and treasured and protected; the great plains will still spread before us and the wild winds blow. But men will not hate so much, fear so much, nor cheat so desperately—and they will keep their minds and bodies cleaner."
Other Sources
H.G. Wells
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
The Outline of History: Being a Plain History of Life and Mankind, pg. 1098
"For God's sake and thy own, have some compassion upon these poor beasts . . . I give thee fair warning, that a worse punishment waits for thee in the next; and that damnation will certainly come, according to thy call . . . I advise thee to fall upon thy knees, and ask God forgiveness for the cruelty."
Other Sources
Reverend James Granger
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Humanity to Animals the Christian's Duty; A Discourse by William Hamilton Drummond, pg 43
"Moreover, when our hearts are authentically open to universal communion, this sense of fraternity excludes nothing and no one. It follows that our indifference or cruelty towards fellow creatures of this world sooner or later affects the treatment we mete out to other human beings. We have only one heart, and the same wretchedness which leads us to mistreat an animal will not be long in showing itself in our relationships with other people. Every act of cruelty towards any creature is 'contrary to human dignity'"
Other Sources
Pope Francis
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Encyclical Letter Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home (24 May 2015)
"The question which every sportsman should ask himself is, Have I need? Am I or my family hungry? If so, of course man is justified in killing animals or birds to satisfy his or his family's hunger. But if he has not any want of meat he 'shedded blood,' and he exposes himself to this wo which the Lord has pronounced . . . but, while this cannot be condemned without qualification, it is the spirit of destruction that we deplore and that we wish to call attention to—the disposition to destroy life and to slaughter the creatures which God has created, for the sake of sport. This is not right."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 34:592, Oct. 1, 1899
“[God] made the tadpole and the ape, the lion and the elephant . . . 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.”
Other Sources
First Presidency
Improvement Era
Improvement Era, Nov 1909, pg 81
"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.
"An editorial published in the Juvenile Instructor in April 1918 was considered of such significance that it was repeated in April 1927. It stated: 'What is it to be humane to the beasts of the fields and birds of the air? It is more than to be considerate of the animal life entrusted to our care. It is a grateful appreciation of God’s creations. It is the lesson of divine love. To Him all life is a sacred creation for the use of His children. Do we stand beside Him in our tender regard for life?' 'Our sense of appreciation should be quickened by a desire to understand divine purposes, and to keep the balance of animal life adjusted to the needs of creation. Man in his wanton disregard of a sacred duty has been reckless of life. He has destroyed it with an indifference to the evil results it would entail upon the earth. Birds have been uselessly slaughtered, and pests have sprung up as a consequence to plague the people of the world. Animals in the providence of the creation have been intended as a prey upon one another. They preserve a safe balance for the benefit of man.' ' . . . The unnecessary destruction of life is a distinct spiritual loss to the human family. Men cannot worship the Creator and look with careless indifference upon his creations. The love of all life helps man to the enjoyment of a better life. It exalts the spiritual nature of those in need of divine favor.' 'The wanton destruction of life reacts upon the human family. There is something in the law of compensation which makes criminals injure and destroy life. Men who are unsympathetic toward the life of domestic animals entrusted to them usually receive the reward of their cruelty by the dumb animals which they maltreat. Love begets love in all creation, and nature responds bounteously to the tender treatment of man.' ' . . . Nature helps us to see and understand God. To all His creations we owe an allegiance of service and a profound admiration. Man should be kind to the animals which serve him both directly and indirectly. An angry word or a brutal blow wounds the heart from which it comes. Love of nature is akin to the love of God; the two are inseparable.'”
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Church Magazines
"The Gospel and Animals" in Aug 1972 Ensign.
"That the brethren implemented the Prophet’s teachings is indicated in two events that occurred about a month later on the trip: 'As Hyrum Stratton and his companion were taking up their blankets this morning, they discovered two prairie rattlesnakes quietly sleeping under them, which they carefully carried out of the camp.' And again, 'While the brethren were making their beds in Captain Brigham Young’s tent, one of them discovered a very musical rattlesnake which they were about to kill. Captain Young told them not to hurt him but carry him out of the tent, whereupon Brother Carpenter took him in his hands, carried him beyond all danger, and left him to enjoy his liberty, telling him not to return.' (DHC, vol. 2, pp. 101–102.)"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Church Magazines
"The Gospel and Animals" in Aug 1972 Ensign.
"The Lord instructed the Hebrews to help the overburdened animal, even if it belonged to an enemy. (Ex. 23:4–5.) Even animals were to be spared labor on the Sabbath. (Ex. 20:10.) A proverb observed that 'a righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.' (Prov. 12:10.)"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Church Magazines
"The Gospel and Animals" in Aug 1972 Ensign.
"That animals are to be treated with kindness is indicated in the law of Moses. The Lord enjoined the Israelites to show kindness to the ox by not muzzling it when it was treading the corn during the harvest threshing. (Deut. 25:4.) Undue strain on unequally yoked animals was forbidden as well. (Deut. 22:10.) The ancient Israelites were also to avoid destroying birds’ nests while working in their fields. (Deut. 22:6–7.)"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Church Magazines
"The Gospel and Animals" in Aug 1972 Ensign.
"To what degree of glory do animals go? The scriptures speak only of animals being in the celestial kingdom. Whether they go to other kingdoms is a matter of conjecture. Elder Joseph Fielding Smith on one occasion said the distribution of animals into all three degrees of glory is 'very probable' (Improvement Era, Jan. 1958, pp. 16–17.) To my knowledge, no other prophet has published an opinion on the subject."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Church Magazines
"I Have a Question - Where do animals fit in the eternal plan of things?" in March 1977 Ensign.
"Though the prophets have spoken frequently about man’s responsibility to show proper treatment to animals in this world, very little detail is known about the states of animals in the eternities. Greater emphasis is rightly placed upon man’s need to live the gospel and be worthy to return to his Heavenly Father where he will then learn the answers to such questions. Quoting again from the editorial cited at the beginning of this article: 'Men cannot worship the Creator and look with careless indifference upon his creations. The love of all life helps man to the enjoyment of a better life. It exalts the spiritual nature of those in need of divine favor.'”
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Church Magazines
"I Have a Question - Where do animals fit in the eternal plan of things?" in March 1977 Ensign.
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
A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
Old Testament
10 12
Proverbs
Proverbs 12:10
And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
Old Testament
2 9
Genesis
Genesis 9:2
For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
Old Testament
19 3
Ecclesiastes
Ecclesiastes 3:19
For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
New Testament
19 8
Romans
Romans 8:19
For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
New Testament
4 4
1 Timothy
1 Timothy 4:4
For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
New Testament
9 9
1 Corinthians
1 Corinthians 9:9
And surely, blood shall not be shed, only for meat, to save your lives; and the blood of every beast will I require at your hands.
11 9
Genesis
Genesis 9:11
And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger
Doctrine and Covenants
15 89
D&C
D&C 89:15
and it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.
Doctrine and Covenants
13 89
D&C
D&C 89:13
Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be use sparingly;
Doctrine and Covenants
12 89
D&C
D&C 89:12
And wo be unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need.
Doctrine and Covenants
21 49
D&C
D&C 49:21
I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.
Book of Mormon
11 50
Psalms
Psalms 50:11
For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
Book of Mormon
10 50
Psalms
Psalms 50:10
And they were scattered upon much of the face of the land, and the Lamanites also. And they were exceedingly more numerous than were they of the Nephites; and they loved murder and would drink the blood of beasts.
Book of Mormon
6 1
Jarom
Jarom 1:6
And they also had horses, and asses, and there were elephants and cureloms and cumoms; all of which were useful unto man, and more especially the elephants and cureloms and cumoms.
Book of Mormon
19 9
Ether
Ether 9:19
And also all manner of cattle, of oxen, and cows, and of sheep, and of swine, and of goats, and also many other kinds of animals which were useful for the food of man.
Book of Mormon
18 9
Ether
Ether 9:18
And they did also carry with them deseret, which, by interpretation, is a honey bee; and thus they did carry with them swarms of bees, and all manner of that which was upon the face of the land, seeds of every kind.
3 2
Ether
Ether 2:3
And they did also carry with them deseret, which, by interpretation, is a honey bee; and thus they did carry with them swarms of bees, and all manner of that which was upon the face of the land, seeds of every kind.
Book of Mormon
3 2
Ether
Ether 2:3
Go to and gather together thy flocks, both male and female, of every kind; and also of the seed of the earth of every kind; and thy families; and also Jared thy brother and his family; and also thy friends and their families, and the friends of Jared and their families.
Book of Mormon
41 1
Ether
Ether 1:41
And I bear record that the people of Nephi did seek diligently to restore the Lamanites unto the true faith in God. But our labors were vain; their hatred was fixed, and they were led by their evil nature that they became wild, and ferocious, and a blood-thirsty people, full of idolatry and filthiness; feeding upon beasts of prey; dwelling in tents, and wandering about in the wilderness with a short skin girdle about their loins and their heads shaven; and their skill was in the bow, and in the cimeter, and the ax. And many of them did eat nothing save it was raw meat; and they were continually seeking to destroy us.
Book of Mormon
20 1
Enos
Enos 1:20
And twice were they cast into a den of wild beasts; and behold they did play with the beasts as a child with a suckling lamb, and received no harm.
Book of Mormon
22 28
3 Nephi
3 Nephi 28:22
And it came to pass that we did find upon the land of promise, as we journeyed in the wilderness, that there were beasts in the forests of every kind, both the cow and the ox, and the ass and the horse, and the goat and the wild goat, and all manner of wild animals, which were for the use of men. And we did find all manner of ore, both of gold, and of silver, and of copper.
Book of Mormon
25 18
1 Nephi
1 Nephi 18:25
“It is a grievous sin in the sight of God to kill merely for sport. Such a thing shows a weakness of spiritual character of the individual . . . Only for food, and then sparingly, should flesh be eaten, for all life is from God and is eternal.”
Church Leaders
Joseph Fielding Smith
Presidents of the Church
Church History and Modern Revelation, 210.