Taking Care of the Earth

"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."
Robert J. Matthews

"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."
Robert J. Matthews

"What the Scriptures Say About: Ecology" in March 1972 New Era.
"Our religion is founded upon the Priesthood of the Son of God—it is incorporated within this Priesthood. We frequently hear people inquire what the Priesthood is; it is a pure and holy system of government. It is the law that governs and controls all things, and will eventually govern and control the earth and the inhabitants that dwell upon it and all things pertaining to it. The enemy and opposer of Jesus—the accuser of the brethren—called Satan, never owned the earth; he never made a particle of it; his labor is not to create, but to destroy; while, on the other hand, the labor of the Son of God is to create, preserve, purify, build up, and exalt all things—the earth and its fulness—to his standard of greatness and perfection; to restore all things to their paradisiacal state and make them glorious. The work of the one is to preserve and sanctify, the work of the other is to waste away, deface, and destroy; and the time will come when it will be manifest to all that the Evil One is an usurper, also that all governments, nations, kingdoms, and people upon the face of this earth, that are opposed to the Government of the Son of God, are usurpations and usurpers of the rights and possessions of Him whose right it is to reign."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 10:320
"We should take a course to preserve our lives and the lives of the animals committed to our care. We should refrain from using swine's flesh. We should breathe the pure mountain air in our bedrooms."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 12:218
"But whence comes evil? It comes when we make an evil of a good. Speaking of the elements and the creation of God, in their nature they are as pure as the Heavens. When we see the vanity that is around us, the magnanimity of the Deity, and contemplate the extent of his knowledge, we can enjoy him as Supreme in every act, in every path of life, in every portion of life that belongs to the children of men, if we can understand things as they are. Was there ever a spear of grass or a single grain upon this earth, or in any other kingdom, but what was produced by that beneficent Being? Not one. Behold the vanity and extent of His knowledge in the creation of the elements! Every element is His. 'The gold?' Yes, he organized and made it, is a common term used. 'The silver?' Yes, he made it. 'The diamond?' Yes. 'And every other precious stone?' Yes. 'The rude rock?' Yes. The land and all are His. The earth that we walk upon, the air we breathe, and the water we drink, are His creation. He organized them and placed them here for our good. Take all the elements that God has created, and do you think we use them and not abuse them?"
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:341
"The earthly means which we have been enabled to gather around us is not ours, it is the Lord's, and he has placed it in our hands for the building up of his kingdom and to extend our ability and resources for reaching after the poor in other lands."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 10:222-223
"Never let anything go to waste . . . And what you get more than you can take care of yourselves, ask your neighbors to help you consume . . . If a man is worth millions of bushels of wheat and corn, he is not wealthy enough to . . . sweep a single kernel of it into the fire; let it be eaten by something and pass again into the earth, and thus fulfill the purpose for which it grew."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1997), 229.
"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
"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
“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.
“Everything that God gives us is lawful and right; and it is proper that we should enjoy His gifts and blessings whenever and wherever He is disposed to bestow; but if we should seize upon those same blessings and enjoyments without law, without revelation, without commandment, those blessings and enjoyments would prove cursings and vexations in the end, and we should have to lie down in sorrow and wailings of everlasting regret.”
Church Leaders
Joseph Smith, Jr.
Presidents of the Church
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 256.
“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?”
Joseph Fielding Smith
Presidents of the Church
“Is It a Sin to Kill Animals Wantonly?” Improvement Era (August 1961): 568.
[Thomas G. Alexander writes:] "President Smith was alarmed over the damage to mountain watersheds by unrestricted logging and grazing. In a special general priesthood meeting held on April 7, 1902, he put before the body of the priesthood a vote to withdraw all public lands above Utah towns in or to protect them from damage.
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
“Stewardship and Enterprise: The LDS Church and the Wasatch Oasis Environment, 1847–1930,” in Stewardship and the Creation: LDS Perspectives on the Environment, eds. George B. Handley, Terry B. Ball, and Steven L. Peck (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center), 15–32.
[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.
"[W]e are morally obligated to turn this land over to those who succeed us—not drained of its fertility, but improved in quality, in productivity, and in usefulness for future generations. I am sure our Heavenly Father expects us to use these precious natural resources wisely, unselfishly, and effectively—both our soil and our water."
Church Leaders
Ezra Taft Benson
Presidents of the Church
Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, Inc. 1988), 645.
"It is terribly important that we preserve and improve the great natural resources with which the God of heaven has so richly blessed us, that we may not follow the experience of some other nations that have come and gone because of the mismanagement of their natural and God-given resources."
Church Leaders
Ezra Taft Benson
Presidents of the Church
The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 645.
[Thomas G. Alexander writes:] "President Smith was alarmed over the damage to mountain watersheds by unrestricted logging and grazing. In a special general priesthood meeting held on April 7, 1902, he put before the body of the priesthood a vote to withdraw all public lands above Utah towns in or to protect them from damage.
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
“Stewardship and Enterprise: The LDS Church and the Wasatch Oasis Environment, 1847–1930,” in Stewardship and the Creation: LDS Perspectives on the Environment, eds. George B. Handley, Terry B. Ball, and Steven L. Peck (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center), 15–32.
"This country was beautiful when the Pioneers first came. It was virgin territory. The hills, the streams, the forests and the plains were lovely, just as nature always is until marred by the hand of man."
Church Leaders
Stephen L. Richards
General Authorities
April 1940 General Conference
“As beneficiaries of the divine Creation, what shall we do? We should care for the earth, be wise stewards over it, and preserve it for future generations."
Church Leaders
Russell M. Nelson
General Authorities
“The Creation, The Creation,” Ensign (May 2000), 84.
"Yes, we have been provided this beautiful and bountiful world, teeming with life and resources to bless and strengthen and enliven mankind, and we are to use them joyfully—but we must do so as careful, grateful stewards over God’s handiwork. We are to use these resources with judgment, gratitude, prudence, and with an eye to bless our fellow man and woman and those of future generations, and in that way help Him to accomplish His purpose to help humankind progress, improve, and receive His blessings in time and eternity."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"Yes, as we have already discussed, the Lord gave to men and women agency, or the capacity to choose; however, we must bear in mind that he cares deeply for all life and especially for His children, and will hold us accountable for what we choose to do (or not do) with the bounties of His creation."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"The LDS Church continues to seek to care for this earth and judiciously utilize its resources. In so doing, the LDS Church makes real effort to conduct itself by what it should do, not just what is legally required."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints desires to do what is right in its temporal affairs including environmental practices—even if it is something more than the requirements of the law."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"So, how we care for the earth, how we utilize and share in its bounty, and how we treat all life that has been provided for our benefit and use is part of our test in mortality. Thus, when God gave unto man 'dominion over the fish of the sea, and over fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth,' it was not without boundaries or limits. He intends man’s dominion to be a righteous dominion, meaning one that is guided, curbed, and enlightened by the doctrine of His gospel—a gospel defined by God’s love for us and our love for Him and his works. The unbridled, voracious consumer is not consistent with God’s plan of happiness, which calls for humility, gratitude, and mutual respect."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"As we have discussed, according to LDS doctrine, this earth, as well as the plant and animal life thereon, were provided for the use of man. However, we believe that God has commanded that the earth and all things thereon be utilized responsibly to abundantly sustain the human family."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"[T]he earth and all life thereon are much more than items to be consumed and/or conserved; some parts and portions thereof are also to be preserved! As we nurture and appreciate nature, we will become better acquainted with our God, for unspoiled nature is designed to inspire and uplift humankind. Nature in its pristine state brings us closer to God, clears the mind and heart of the noise and distractions of materialism, lifts us to a higher, more exalted sphere, and helps us to better know our God."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"I will not try to unravel these complexities, but they do help us to remember that our approach to the environment must be prudent, realistic, balanced, and consistent with the needs of the earth and of current and future generations. In an effort to go to the root of the issue (no pun intended), I suggest, 1. that it cannot be reasonably disputed that we depend upon this earth to sustain life, and 2. that the quality of the earth and its environment will directly affect the quality of our life—and that of future generations."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
“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.
"Brigham Young was speaking of the earth and telling us that we should be cautious how we use it, for it is our mother, and the man that will disgrace his mother is unworthy of her fostering care."
Church Leaders
Heber C. Kimball
General Authorities
Journal of Discourses, 9:336, April 27, 1862.
"Apparently wise and powerful people blame poverty and famine on there being too many people in some parts of the earth or in all the earth. With great passion they argue for limiting births, as if that would produce human happiness . . . Heavenly Father would not command men and women to marry and to multiply and replenish the earth if the children they invited into mortality would deplete the earth. Since there is enough and to spare, the enemy of human happiness as well as the cause of poverty and starvation is not the birth of children. It is the failure of people to do with the earth what God could teach them to do if only they would ask and then obey, for they are agents unto themselves."
Church Leaders
Henry B. Eyring
General Authorities
"The Family," Ensign, February 1998, 15.
“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.
"Trees are more precious than gold . . . I consider the life of a tree so sacred that I am reluctant to destroy it, even when the tree is no longer useful where it is, and even when it is in the way of a better improvement . . . I would like to see our children taught to respect tree life as they do bird life and animal life and human life. All are parts of the great creation of our Father—and none of the workmanship of His hands should we presume to tamper with, wreck or destroy, except as our needs may justify or our intelligence suggest as necessary for the welfare of those concerned."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 34:266, May 1, 1899
"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
“It’s about creating a place of worship that works in harmony with the environment,” said H. David Burton, Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and responsible for the physical facilities of the Church. “For decades we have looked for innovative ways to use natural resources in our meetinghouses that reflect our commitment as wise stewards of God’s creations.”
Church Leaders
Presiding Bishop H. David Burton
General Authorities
"Solar-Powered Construction Design Gets 'Green' Light from Church Leaders," Mormon Newsroom, 27 April 2010.
"A sustainable relationship with the Earth nurtures a sustainable relationship with God, because we acknowledge and honor the power of reciprocity, that there are in fact limits and consequences of what we desire. If we act on the premise that we are not alone, that other individuals and creatures have wants and needs, that our definition of community is not just human-centered but Creation-centered, then we begin to engage in a spiritual economics that promises to be more unselfish than our present relationship to others. We cannot continue to simply take from the Earth without giving back something in return, even if that means drawing on principles of restraint, generosity, gratitude, and compassion."
Other Sources
Terry Tempest Williams
Other Writings of Mormons
"West of Eden" in New Genesis: A Mormon Reader on Land and Community
"I’m calling for us to examine some of the ways we choose to spend our time and money. Are we making the best use of the resources we have been entrusted with? Specifically, I want to talk about ways to be a virtuous housewife—as that is my current field of expertise—and how, by being virtuous, we can be responsible stewards of our own personal and family resources, as well as the land we have been given for our inheritance."
Other Sources
Rachel Mabey Whipple
Other Writings of Mormons
"Practicing Stewardship in a Consumer Culture," Sunstone 167, 25 June 2012.
"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).
"Editorially, President Cannon continued to write on zoophilic topics. One editorial decried the 'far too general' disposition of Latter-day Saints to 'kill wild animals and birds, and every insect with crosses their path.' He asked, 'Why there should be such eagerness to kill these creatures.' If men hunted game 'because they have pleasure in taking their lives,' President Cannon suggested the hunter imagine himself in the position of the hunted. The editor admitted a 'great difference between animals and human beings,' but declared all were given life by God and so should be respected and treated with kindness. Animals were meant to be used by man for food, according to Cannon, but only with 'prudence and thanksgiving and not wastefully.' He contended that too often animals' lives were 'very much wasted to gratify the hunting propensity of some men.' He explained that if humans needed animals for food the 'Lord is not displeased if they kill it.' On the other hand, Cannon emphasized, if people hunted for the 'mere pleasure of killing' then sin was committed. Cannon then referred to prophecies concerning the time when 'wild and ferocious' animals would dwell together in kindness. But, Cannon warned, before that day would come, men must 'cease their war upon the animals, the reptiles and the insects.' In the peaceful state looked for in the future, Cannon promised that animals would be harmless and 'universal peace will prevail.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 50, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, XXIV (December 1, 1889), 548-9]
"It is not enough to take pleasure and show respect for nature; Latter-day Saint scripture requires us to use its resources wisely and justly."
Other Sources
George Handley
Other Writings of Mormons
“The Environmental Ethics of Mormon Belief,” BYU Studies, 40, no. 2 (2001): 201.
"The Book of Mormon includes a brief account of imprudent use of natural resources. The people of Nephi migrated northward to the land 'Desolate, so called because 'of the greatness of the destruction of the people who had before inhabited the land' and had harvested all available timber. In contrast to their irresponsible predecessors, the people of Nephi became 'expert in the working of cement' and 'did suffer whatsoever tree should spring up upon the face of the land that it should grow up, that in time they might have timber to build their houses, yea, their cities, and their temples, and their synagogues, and their sanctuaries, and all manner of their buildings.' UCLA professor Jared Diamond suggests in Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed that poor environmental stewardship accounts for the decline of many civilizations. He attributes the decline of the early Mayan civilization to warfare, and failure to adequately manage available resources, specifically the effects of 'deforestation and hillside erosion, which caused a decrease in the amount of useable farmland at a time when more rather than less farmland was needed.'"
Other Sources
Craig Galli
Other Writings of Mormons
"Study Guide: LDS Perspectives on Environmental Stewardship," Section B, pg 5
"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."
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.
"These principles have been well developed in the literature and are only summarized briefly here. First, the earth and all creation belong to God; they witness, bear record of, and reflect his power and love for humankind. The earth’s resources are to be used not just to meet human needs but also to elevate the human spirit. All forms of life have intrinsic value. All are creations of God. All living things have a spiritual as well as an earthly dimension, and all were created spiritually before being placed on the earth physically (see Moses 3:5; D&C 59:18). Second, our use of resources should be guided by principles of equity, conservation, and minimal waste; consumption that meets our needs; and restraint that encourages spiritual values (D&C 49:19–20; 70:14; 104:14–17). Third, materialism and overconsumption are threats to environmental and spiritual well-being. The biblical injunction of Luke 12:15, 'Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth,' is repeated in Mormon scriptures where members are urged to seek first the kingdom of God and to trust not in the things of the world (see Jacob 2:18–19; D&C 121:35). Fourth, humans have a sacred stewardship to protect and preserve creation for themselves and for succeeding generations (D&C 104:11–17)."
Other Sources
Gary C. Bryner
Other Writings of Mormons
"Theology and Ecology: Religious Belief and Environmental Stewardship," in BYU Studies 49, no. 3 (2010)
"The livestock industry is 'by far the single largest anthropogenic user of land,' a leading contributor to deforestation and land degradation, and a major factor in the reduction of biodiversity. And livestock produce 130 times more waste in the US than humans do, leading to widespread pollution of land and water."
Other Sources
Jane Birch
Other Writings of Mormons
Discovering the Word of Wisdom, pg 85
"According to a careful study done at the University of Chicago, people who consume animal foods are responsible for an extra ton and a half of CO2 equivalent per person per year, as compared to people who consume no animal foods. As a consequence, a person who changes from an animal-based diet to a plant-based diet would save more greenhouse emissions per year than switching from a Toyota Camry to a hybrid Toyota Prius (at much less cost!). If everyone on the planet switched to a low-meat diet, such a transition would dramatically impact our ability to resolve environmental issues that now appear intractable. One estimate suggests such a global change 'would reduce the mitigation costs to achieve a 450 ppm CO2 -eq. stabilization target by about 50 percent in 2050.'”
Other Sources
Jane Birch
Other Writings of Mormons
Discovering the Word of Wisdom, pg 85
"Furthermore, we all know how vulnerable we are due to the volatile supply of readily available fossil fuels. We are also increasingly aware of the environmental impact of how we use these fuels, which disproportionately affects the poor of the world. We use an enormous amount of energy to fuel our cars, trucks, airplanes, buses, and motorcycles, and the chemical gases they emit may be wreaking havoc on the environment worldwide. Yet, livestock production produces more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation combined. While I struggle to imagine our modern world functioning without modern transportation, what would we lose by giving up meat, dairy, and eggs?"
Other Sources
Jane Birch
Other Writings of Mormons
Discovering the Word of Wisdom, pg 85
"Raising animals for food is a highly inefficient use of resources . . . We could instead directly consume the food we feed the animals with much less cost to the environment and to our health (not to mention the health of the animals!). Not only could we feed ourselves, we'd have enough food left over to feed all of the world's poor."
Other Sources
Jane Birch
Other Writings of Mormons
Discovering the Word of Wisdom, pg 84
"It is not widely understood how much more energy, land, water, and other resources are required to produce animal foods versus plant foods. In California, for example, it takes roughly 25 gallons of water to produce a pound of lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes or wheat; 49 gallons for apples; 815 gallons for chicken; 1,630 gallons for pork; and a whopping 5,214 gallons of water for a pound of beef. You would save more water by not eating one pound of California beef than you would by not showering for six months."
Other Sources
Jane Birch
Other Writings of Mormons
Discovering the Word of Wisdom, pg 84
"A type of conservation is described among the Nephites when those living in the land of Desolation took great pains to 'suffer whatsoever tree should spring up upon the face of the land that it should grow up, that in time they might have timber to build their houses . . . and all manner of their buildings.' (Hel. 3:9.) Earlier there had been timber, but much of the area had been rendered desolate and without timber 'because of the many inhabitants who had before inherited the land.' (Hel. 3:5.) It appears that the earlier inhabitants had not practiced proper environmental science."
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.”
Paul Cox
Church Magazines
"Paul Cox—Preserving God’s Creations" in Nov 1998 Liahona.
"Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it."
Other Sources
Henry David Thoreau
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
The Maine Woods, pg 62.
“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”
Other Sources
Theodore Roosevelt
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
"The Eleventh Commandment: 'Thou shalt inherit the Holy Earth as a faithful steward, conserving its resources and productivity from generation to generation. Thou shalt safeguard thy fields from soil erosion, thy living waters from drying up, thy forests from desolation, and protect thy hills from overgrazing by thy herds, that thy descendants may have abundance forever. If any fail in this stewardship of the land thy fruitful fields shall become sterile stony ground and wasting gullies, and thy descendants shall decrease and live in poverty or perish from off the face of the earth.'"
Other Sources
Walter Clay Lowdermilk
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Conquest of the Land through 7,000 years, U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service: Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 99 (Washington DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1994), 30.
"Conservation is sometimes perceived as stopping everything cold, as holding whooping cranes in higher esteem than people. It is up to science to spread the understanding that the choice is not between wild places or people, it is between a rich or an impoverished existence for Man."
Other Sources
Thomas Lovejoy
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Quoted in Kathryn A. Kohm, ed. Balancing on the Brink of Extinction (Washington DC: Island Press, 1991), 225.
"[T]he human necessity is not just to know, but also to cherish and protect the things that are known, and to know the things that can only be known by cherishing. If we are to protect the world's multitude of places and creatures, then we must know them, not just conceptually but imaginatively as well. They must be pictured in the mind and in memory; they must be known with affection, 'by heart,' so that in seeing or remembering them the heart may be said to 'sing,' to make music peculiar to its recognition of each particular place or creature that it knows well . . . To know imaginatively is to know intimately, particularly, precisely, gratefully, reverently, and with affection."
Other Sources
Wendell Berry
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Life is a Miracle, 137-138
"The Creation is a unique, irreplaceable gift, therefore to be used with humility, respect, and skill."
Other Sources
Wendell Berry
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture
"Humanity as a whole is doing a poor job of caring for the earth. Individually, we can do better. We can, of course, not litter. In fact, we can help pick up after those who do. We can practice conservation of resources where possible. All of our actions can display respect for the creations of God."
Other Sources
Mark J. Nielsen
Church Magazines
"The Wonder of Creation" in March 2004 Ensign.
But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of they people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with they oliveyard.
Old Testament
11 23
Exodus
Exodus 23:11
If a bird’s nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young: But thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, and take the young to thee; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days.
Old Testament
6 22
Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy 22:6
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
Pray always, and I will pour out my Spirit upon you, and great shall be your blessing—yea, even more than if you should obtain treasures of earth and corruptibleness to the extent thereof.
Doctrine and Covenants
38 19
D&C
D&C 19:38
And we multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceedingly rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war—yea, the sharp pointed arrow, and the quiver, and the dart, and the javelin, and all preparations for war.
Book of Mormon
8 1
Jarom
Jarom 1:8
And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.
Book of Mormon
19 2
Jacob
Jacob 2:19
And now behold, my brethren, this is the word which I declare unto you, that many of you have begun to search for gold, and for silver, and for all manner of precious ores, in the which this land, which is a land of promise unto you and to your seed, doth abound most plentifully.
Book of Mormon
12 2
Jacob
Jacob 2:12
Yea, and they also began to search much gold and silver, and began to be lifted up somewhat in pride.
Book of Mormon
16 1
Jacob
Jacob 1:16
Ye do not remember the Lord your God in the things with which he hath blessed you, but ye do always remember your riches, not to thank the Lord your God for them; yea, your hearts are not drawn out unto the Lord, but they do swell with great pride, unto boasting, and unto great swelling, envyings, strifes, malice, persecutions, and murders, and all manner of iniquities. For this cause hath the Lord God caused that a curse should come upon the land, and also upon your riches, and this because of your iniquities.
Book of Mormon
22-23 13
Helaman
Helaman 13:22-23
They did raise grain in abundance, both in the north and in the south; and they did flourish exceedingly, both in the north and in the south. And they did multiply and wax exceedingly strong in the land. And they did raise many flocks and herds, yea, many fatlings.
Book of Mormon
12 6
Helaman
Helaman 6:12
And behold, there was all manner of gold in both these lands, and of silver, and of precious ore of every kind; and there were also curious workmen, who did work all kinds of ore and did refine it; and thus they did become rich.
Book of Mormon
11 6
Helaman
Helaman 6:11
And the people who were in the land northward did dwell in tents, and in houses of cement, and they did suffer whatsoever tree should spring up upon the face of the land that it should grow up, that in time they might have timber to build their houses, yea, their cities, and their temples, and their synagogues, and their sanctuaries, and all manner of their buildings.
Book of Mormon
9 3
Helaman
Helaman 3:9
And there being but little timber upon the face of the land, nevertheless the people who went forth became exceedingly expert in the working of cement; therefore they did build houses of cement, in the which they did dwell.
Book of Mormon
7 3
Helaman
Helaman 3:7
And now no part of the land was desolate, save it were for timber; but because of the greatness of the destruction of the people who had before inhabited the land it was called desolate.
Book of Mormon
6 3
Helaman
Helaman 3:6
Yea, and even they did spread forth into all parts of the land, into whatever parts it had not been rendered desolate and without timber, because of the many inhabitants who had before inherited the land.
Book of Mormon
5 3
Helaman
Helaman 3:5
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 I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.
15 5
2 Nephi
2 Nephi 5:15
"It is obvious that Latter-day Saints have ample precedence in the ecology thing. Our whole doctrine is based on giving man joy and upgrading his personality talents, traits, and environment. Latter-day Saints have special values to offer to any discussion or action dealing with these themes."
Richard Olsen

"Ecology, Pollution, and Consumerism," in Sept 1971 New Era.
“We are for the kingdom of God, and are not going to the moon, nor to any other planet pertaining to this solar system . . . This earth is the home he has prepared for us, and we are to prepare ourselves and our habitations for the celestial glory in store for the faithful."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:294
“The riches of the kingdom or nation do not consist so much in the fulness of its treasury as in the fertility of the soil and the industry of its people.”
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 10:266
"There is a great work for the Saints to do. Progress, and improve upon, and make beautiful everything around you. Cultivate the earth and cultivate your minds. Build cities, adorn your habitations, make gardens, orchards, and vineyards, and render the earth so pleasant that when you look upon your labours you may do so with pleasure, and that angels may delight to come and visit your beautiful locations."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:83, June 12, 1860.
"Let me love the world as He loves it, to make it beautiful, and glorify the name of my Father in heaven. It does not matter whether I or anybody else owns it, if we only work to beautify it and make it glorious, it is all right."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 2:308
"The Church has urged its members to be efficient users of our resources and to avoid waste and pollution, and to clean up their own immediate environment, or that over which they have control . . . We have made an appeal to all Church members to clean up their premises, to plant gardens and trees, and then to use efficiently what they can grow. We have found that Church members have responded well to this appeal, thus becoming more self-reliant and responsibly concerned for their neighbors and their environment."
Church Leaders
Ezra Taft Benson
Presidents of the Church
This Nation Shall Endure, p. 79 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1977), 79.
"We as a church believe and so declare that in the end the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. When this is done it will be beautiful and glorious beyond finite conception. This being our doctrine, do you think it becoming in God's children to deface the earth while we sojourn here? Being the stewards and custodians of the resources which are committed to us, have we not an obligation to use them, preserve them and return them in the best possible condition of which our circumstances will permit? I think upon reflection you will say that we have such an obligation and that it is very definitely our task to make God's footstool as beautiful as we may. For 'the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof,' and the righteous 'and their generations shall inherit the earth from generation to generation forever and forever.' What a delightful abode for men this good earth could be if men would but make it so!"
Church Leaders
Stephen L. Richards
General Authorities
April 1940 General Conference
"To the lover of nature, every landscape, even the desert and waste places, has charm and attraction until man digs a hole, builds a shack, erects a telegraph pole or a smokestack. But civilization need not and should not be ugly. Man's construction can beautify rather than deface nature if there is the will, the energy and the art to make it so."
Church Leaders
Stephen L. Richards
General Authorities
April 1940 General Conference
"Need I say more to persuade us that every consideration,—business, esthetic and religious,—constrains our people to take the lead in this worthy cause of beautifying the land?"
Church Leaders
Stephen L. Richards
General Authorities
April 1940 General Conference
“The instructions to Adam and Eve about the garden earth . . . have not been rescinded. They were, and we are, to dress it—not destroy it. They were to take good care of it instead of abusing it. Our increasing interdependence on this planet makes some forms of individual selfishness the equivalent of a runaway personal bulldozer. If we have no concern for the generations to follow, the means are at hand to tear up the terrain much more than was ever possible anciently.”
Church Leaders
Neal A. Maxwell
General Authorities
That Ye May Believe (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1992), 75.
"True disciples [of Christ] . . . would be consistent environmentalists—caring both about maintaining the spiritual health of a marriage and preserving a rain forest; caring about preserving the nutrient capacity of a family as well as providing a healthy supply of air and water . . . Adam and Eve were to 'dress the garden,' not exploit it. Like them, we are to keep the commandments, so that we can enjoy all the resources God has given us, resources described as 'enough and to spare' (D&C 104:17), if we use and husband them wisely."
Church Leaders
Neal A. Maxwell
General Authorities
A Wonderful Flood of Light (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1990), 103.
"But if the work has already been done, all the physical arrangements completed, and the vessel a model of perfection at the time we set foot on the deck, what remains for us to do on it and with it? That is for us to find out first of all, according to Brigham, examining the structure with care, studying its nature and possibilities meticulously, considering well before we lay about us with gun, fire, and plow."
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.
"Specifically, the one way man can leave his mark on the whole face of nature without damage is to plant, and President Young ceaselessly counseled his people to do as Adam was commanded to do in Eden—when he dressed and tended the garden:"
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.
"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.
"While Genesis 1:28 speaks of 'subduing' the earth and exercising 'dominion' over its creatures (1:26), Genesis 2:15 speaks of 'dressing' and 'keeping' the Lord's garden."
Other Sources
Jason M. Brown
Other Writings of Mormons
"Whither Mormon Environmental Theology?" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011)
“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.
"The image [of God] refers, above all, to the God-given commission to 'image' God on earth, that is, to be the agents who represent and realize God's benevolent and peaceful sway on earth."
Other Sources
Bernhard Anderson
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
From Creation to New Creation, 108.
"Here are a few ideas you might consider in trying to take better care of the earth: Find ways to reduce unnecessary personal consumption of energy, water, wood products, and other products that come from scarce resources. Stop using products that damage the environment. Recycle metal, glass, plastic, and paper products. Be conscientious in disposing of chemical wastes properly. Learn more about natural processes and earth science. Cultivate a garden where possible; learn the art and science of composting. Adopt a conservation rather than a consumption attitude. Be grateful."
Other Sources
G. Michael Alder
Church Magazines
"Earth—A Gift of Gladness" in July 1991 Ensign.
And king Mosiah did cause his people that they should till the earth. And he also, himself, did till the earth, that thereby he might not become burdensome to his people, that he might do according to that which his father had done in all things. And there was no contention among all his people for the space of three years.
Book of Mormon
7 6
Mosiah
Mosiah 6:7
And thus it did come to pass that the people of Nephi began to prosper again in the land, and began to build up their waste places, and began to multiply and spread, even until they did cover the whole face of the land, both on the northward and on the southward, from the sea west to the sea east.
Book of Mormon
20 11
Helaman
Helaman 11:20
And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.
Book of Mormon
15 5
2 Nephi
2 Nephi 5:15
Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
New Testament
17-18 11
Revelation
Revelation 11:17-18