Accountability

"All that we possess and enjoy are the gifts of God to us, whether they be in earthly substance, physical constitution, or mental power; we are accountable to Him for the use we make of these precious gifts. . . . It is not our privilege to waste the Lord's substance."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 11:136
“This land, about which I have been speaking, is called in some places in the revelation of God to the Prophet Joseph, the land of our inheritance. . . . If we shall be unwise in the disposition of this trust, then it will be very doubtful whether we get an inheritance in this world or in the world to come.”
Church Leaders
Orson Pratt
General Authorities
Journal of Discourses 21:151, November 1, 1879.
"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.
"Our test on this earth is whether we will choose wisely and follow God, treat His creations with respect, and use them to bless our fellow man and woman. The better we care for this world and all in it, the better it will sustain, inspire, strengthen, enliven, and gladden our hearts and spirits—and prepare us to dwell with our Heavenly Father with our families in a Celestial sphere, which members of the LDS Church believe will be the very earth upon which we stand today, but in a glorified state."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"Nevertheless, LDS doctrine is clear: all humankind are stewards over this earth and its bounty—not owners—and will be accountable to God for what we do with regard to His creation."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"When He [Christ] interviews us, I feel certain that one of His questions will, in essence, be the following: 'What have you done with the earth which my Father and I gave you as a home? Have you cherished and protected it? Have you dressed it and kept it, as your father Adam was commanded to do? Or have you laid waste to it, defiled its waters, destroyed its fertile lands, befouled its life-giving air?; To those questions, I fear there are many, even among those who aspire to become a Zion people, who will hang their heads in shame. The earth groans under the insults inflicted upon it."
Church Leaders
Alexander B. Morrison
General Authorities
Visions of Zion, p. 77
“A variation of the ‘I-can-do-as-I-please’ school of thought is the notion that it doesn't matter how badly we treat the earth because Jesus will return soon anyway and make everything right. That, too, is a spurious and specious argument. . . . First of all, the scriptures make it clear that no one knows the time of the Second Coming. Why should we live in a sewer while awaiting Christ’s return? Second, does a child have the right to burn down the family home just because his parents possess the ability to rebuild it?”
Church Leaders
Alexander B. Morrison
General Authorities
Visions of Zion, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1993), 88.
"This concern with man's developing a more harmonious relationship with nature by abiding by its physical laws is timely and legitimate. When we interrupt or destroy the larger ecology of man's relationship to God and to his fellowmen, we are violating transcendental laws that are as immutable and as inevitable as those breached laws of nature for which we are now beginning to pay a terrible price. (Later installments will be even more severe.) That we do not fully understand these transcendental spiritual laws neither excuses us from learning of them, nor excuses us from their harsh consequences when we violate them."
Church Leaders
Neal A. Maxwell
General Authorities
For the Power Is in Them (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1970), 10.
"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 (1869): 157.
"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 Lord has given us these animals to be a help to us. He has entrusted them to our care. They have His love and sympathy; and we need not think for one moment that He will overlook our neglect of their wants. He will hold us accountable for their proper treatment. If we neglect them and suffer them to go without food, or water, or proper shelter, so far as it is in our power to provide it, He will be offended, and we cannot escape the punishment that He will inflict upon us in some form for our neglect of these creatures of His care."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 34:113-114, Feb. 15, 1899
"We believe that we are God’s stewards on this earth and that we will be held accountable for our actions during this time of our probation. This accounting will include the part of the Lord’s creation that we have been entrusted with during our lives."
Other Sources
Rachel Mabey Whipple
Other Writings of Mormons
"Practicing Stewardship in a Consumer Culture," Sunstone 167, 25 June 2012.
“[I]f we choose to defile the earth, we must live with the stench, sickness, death, and ugliness of a ravaged environment, and will answer to the creator for desecrating his property. The Lord does not interrupt free agency, and he suspends the consequences of poor exercise of agency only for the repentant. Again our options narrow down to either desecration or consecration. If we choose consecration, the fullness of a renewed, paradisiacal earth will be ours, and we will inherit all the Father has. If we choose desecration, we will remain under degraded conditions, and the Lord will weep over our loss.”
Other Sources
Larry L. St Clair
Other Writings of Mormons
“Consecration, Stewardship, and Accountability: Remedy for a Dying Planet,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 28, no. 2 (Summer 1995): 95-96.
"These also are God's creation and, along with what strength I have left to enjoy them, his gifts, I am given stewardship for them; so are we all. We can't escape it, and Mormon scripture makes it clear that God will hold us accountable for our performance. That's sobering enough. But my grandchildren and their grandchildren will also hold me accountable. Loving them as I do and praying for them to enjoy in nature such beauty, peace, solitude, and soul-renewal as that with which the earth has blessed me, how can I fail to do my best?"
Other Sources
William B. Smart
Other Writings of Mormons
"The Making of an Activist" in New Genesis: A Mormon Reader on Land and Community
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has far more zoophilic teachings in an official capacity than other denominations in the United States. In addition to the premise that cruelty to animals breeds cruelty to humans, the Latter-day Saints have added as doctrine the principle that animals are to be resurrected and placed in kingdoms of heavenly glory with humans. As indicated by some authorities, this means that man may be accountable to God for the abusive treatment given to them on earth. Additionally, the Church's health code, known as the Word of Wisdom, admonished the use of meat 'sparingly' to be used in times of winter, or cold weather, or famine. This is all tempered by the doctrine that man is divine, and animals are definitely of a lower sphere of existence and may be killed to supply food for man. These doctrines form the basis for the Latter-day Saint emphasis found lacking in other denominations."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) pg 87-8
"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) pg 50, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, XXIV (December 1, 1889), 548-9
"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) pg 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) pg 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. Animals feel pain very acutely. They know when they are treated kindly and when they are abused. God has given them this feeling, and if men or boys abuse them, He will condemn and punish them for so doing. They prove themselves unworthy of the power they have, and, by their cruelty, they sink beneath the brute."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
"Editorial Thoughts," Juvenile Instructor 3, no. 17 (1868): 132.
"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)
"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)
"Comment 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)
"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]
"The Church does not need to take a position on environmental protection. Individual Church members, however, do need to become involved in local, state, and national environmental issues and exercise their agency as stewards . . . Isn't it possible that the Lord will need to know how we took care of our little stewardship in this life if He is going to trust us with creations of our own?"
Other Sources
Reed E. Harris
Other Writings of Mormons
“'Oh Say, What Is Truth?',” in Stewardship and the Creation: LDS Perspectives on the Environment, eds. George B. Handley, Terry B. Ball, and Steven L. Peck (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center), 73–9.
"The earth's resources are a gift to human beings for which we are accountable to God."
Other Sources
Jason M. Brown
Other Writings of Mormons
"Whither Mormon Environmental Theology?" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011)
"The Lord gave humans dominion over the animals, just as He gives parents dominion over their children. We are blessed with this opportunity, and we are privileged to act in the place of God to serve those weaker than ourselves. This is a sacred stewardship for which we will be held accountable."
Other Sources
Jane Birch
Other Writings of Mormons
Discovering the Word of Wisdom, pg 83
"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
“Failure to fulfill our obligations as faithful trustees of the gifts of God’s creation will inevitably bring God’s judgment upon us. The earth itself will rebel against our greedy and thoughtless exploitation of nature and our irresponsible fecundity.”
Other Sources
Richard Baer
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
"The Church and Man's Relationship to His Natural Environment," Quaker Life 12 (Jan. 1970), 421.
"Words that come to mind from the story of the Creation in Genesis chapter 1 are dominion and subdue. Sometimes these words conjure up images of an ultimate rule over powerless subjects. But no gift or station granted to us by God comes without responsibilities and expectations. Proper dominion over nature requires us to use the earth’s resources wisely."
Other Sources
Mark J. Nielsen
Church Magazines
"The Wonder of Creation" in March 2004 Ensign.
"At the Creation of the world God placed Adam and Eve as caretakers, with dominion over 'every living thing that moveth upon the earth,' and gave them instructions to 'replenish the earth, and subdue it' (Abr. 4:28). The earth, then, was created for us and given into our care. It is within our power to do with it what we like, but since it is God who entrusted it to us, it is to Him we shall answer for what we choose to do."
Other Sources
Mark J. Nielsen
Church Magazines
"The Wonder of Creation" in March 2004 Ensign.
"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.
"What will our answer be when the Lord asks how we treated the earth—this gift he gave us gladly and which he asks us to use with gladness?"
Other Sources
G. Michael Alder
Church Magazines
"Earth—A Gift of Gladness" in July 1991 Ensign.
"At one time, there may have been reason to be skeptical about the idea that we are damaging the earth on a global scale. But no longer. The evidence is mounting that we are doing ourselves and our mortal home serious damage."
Other Sources
G. Michael Alder
Church Magazines
"Earth—A Gift of Gladness" in July 1991 Ensign.
"God has made us responsible for the earth and all living things. How well are we doing?"
Other Sources
G. Michael Alder
Church Magazines
"Earth—A Gift of Gladness" in July 1991 Ensign.
And again, he saith: If my people shall sow filthiness they shall reap the chaff thereof in the whirlwind; and the effect thereof is poison.
Book of Mormon
30 6
Mosiah
Mosiah 6:30
And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.
Book of Mormon
27 4
Mosiah
Mosiah 4:27
Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again.
Book of Mormon
14 41
Alma
Alma 41:14
And now behold, is the meaning of the word restoration to take a thing of a natural state and place it in an unnatural state, or to place it in a state opposite to its nature?
Book of Mormon
12 41
Alma
Alma 41:12
Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.
Book of Mormon
10 41
Alma
Alma 41:10
For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.
Book of Mormon
24 34
Alma
Alma 34:24
And this they did, it being in their view a testimony to God, and also to men, that they never would use weapons again for the shedding of man’s blood; and this they did, vouching and covenanting with God, that rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would give up their own lives; and rather than take away from a brother they would give unto him; and rather than spend their days in idleness they would labor abundantly with their hands.
Book of Mormon
18 24
Alma
Alma 24:18
Now, if it had not been for the plan of redemption, which was laid from the foundation of the world, there could have been no resurrection of the dead; but there was a plan of redemption laid, which shall bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, of which has been spoken.
Book of Mormon
25 12
Alma
Alma 12:25
For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence.
Book of Mormon
14 12
Alma
Alma 12:14
Now, behold, I have spoken unto you concerning the death of the mortal body, and also concerning the resurrection of the mortal body. I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body, that is from death, even from the first death unto life, that they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided; thus the whole becoming spiritual and immortal, that they can no more see corruption.
Book of Mormon
45 10
Alma
Alma 10:45
Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.
Book of Mormon
44 10
Alma
Alma 10:44
The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt.
Book of Mormon
43 10
Alma
Alma 10:43
And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins.
Book of Mormon
37 10
Alma
Alma 10:37
And again I say unto you, the Spirit saith: Behold, the ax is laid at the root of the tree; therefore every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be hewn down and cast into the fire, yea, a fire which cannot be consumed, even an unquenchable fire. Behold, and remember, the Holy One hath spoken it.
Book of Mormon
52 5
Alma
Alma 5:52