Sufficient Resources for Righteous Living

 But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin.
Doctrine and Covenants
20 49
D&C
D&C 49:20
“It is the privilege of the Saints to enjoy every good thing, for the earth and its fulness belong to the Lord, and he has promised all to his faithful Saints; but it must be enjoyed without spirit of covetousness and selfishness—without the spirit of lust, and in the spirit of the Gospel; then the sun will shine sweetly upon us; each day will be filled with delight, and all things will be filled with beauty, giving joy, pleasure, and rest to the Saints.”
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:82
“It is our privilege and our duty to search all things upon the face of the earth, and learn what there is for man to enjoy, what God has ordained for the benefit and happiness of mankind, and then make use of it without sinning against him.”
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 9:243
"The earth is here, and the fullness thereof . . . It was made for man; and one man was not made to trample his fellowman under his feet, and enjoy all his heart desires, while the thousands suffer. We will take a moral view, a political view, and we see the inequality that exists in the human family . . . The Latter-day Saints will never accomplish their mission until this inequality shall cease on the earth. If the people called the Latter-day Saints do not become one in temporal things as they are in spiritual things, they will not redeem and build up the Zion of God upon the earth."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 19:46
"All the creations are His work, and they are for His glory and for the benefit of the children of men; and all things are put into the possession of man for his comfort, improvement and consolation, and for his health, wealth, beauty and excellency."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 13:151
“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
Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 256.
"[W]e owe something to future generations and those that declare 'plenty more where that came from' are recklessly indifferent to the gravest responsibilities . . . The Latter-day Saints ought not to be governed by purely selfish motives in the use of their landed inheritances. The number among us who have converted a single acre of our farms into forestry must be extremely small, and yet it is a duty which we owe to ourselves and to those who have the right to rely upon us to give this matter our earnest munerative; but we are so accustomed to look for immediate returns that we insist upon an early harvest for all that we do. The policy of living for today is not only destructive of our material interest, but it begets a selfishness harmful to religion and discreditable to patriotism."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor 38:466-467, Aug. 1, 1903
"The scriptures plainly teach that the spirits of mankind are known and numbered unto God before their earthly advent . . . The population of the earth is fixed according to the number of spirits appointed to take tabernacles of flesh upon this planet; when these have all come forth in the order and time appointed, then, and not till then, shall the end come."
Church Leaders
James E. Talmage
General Authorities
Articles of Faith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1981), 193-94.
“Teach [children] the basic knowledge that the earth is the Lord’s. He has a marvelous system of replenishment and renewal so long as we care for, conserve, and waste not.”
Church Leaders
L. Tom Perry
General Authorities
"Train Up a Child," Ensign Oct. 1988
“[O]ur current way of life is simply environmentally unsustainable. The immensely complex and still not fully understood systems that sustain life on earth are being destroyed by human activities.”
Church Leaders
Alexander B. Morrison
General Authorities
Visions of Zion (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1993), 77-78.
"True disciples [of Christ] . . . would be consistent environmentalists—caring both about maintaining the spiritual health of a marriage and preserving a rain forest; caring about preserving the nutrient capacity of a family as well as providing a healthy supply of air and water . . . Adam and Eve were to 'dress the garden,' not exploit it. Like them, we are to keep the commandments, so that we can enjoy all the resources God has given us, resources described as 'enough and to spare' (D&C 104:17), if we use and husband them wisely."
Church Leaders
Neal A. Maxwell
General Authorities
A Wonderful Flood of Light (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1990), 103.
"This concern with man's developing a more harmonious relationship with nature by abiding by its physical laws is timely and legitimate. When we interrupt or destroy the larger ecology of man's relationship to God and to his fellowmen, we are violating transcendental laws that are as immutable and as inevitable as those breached laws of nature for which we are now beginning to pay a terrible price. (Later installments will be even more severe.) That we do not fully understand these transcendental spiritual laws neither excuses us from learning of them, nor excuses us from their harsh consequences when we violate them."
Church Leaders
Neal A. Maxwell
General Authorities
For the Power Is in Them (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1970), 10.
"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.
"The history of America during the first hundred years of Mormonism was largely the history of the frontier, and most Americans still like to imagine themselves living in a land of inexhaustible resources in which everything is 'up for grabs.' Brigham Young exposed and denounced that myth from the beginning, though he recognized its powerful appeal: 'We want to go where we can have plenty of range for our stock, . . . mount our horses, and ride over the prairies, and say, I am Lord of all I survey, . . . that we can get the whole world in a string after us, and have it all in our own possession, by and bye . . . This is the object many have . . . Elders of Israel are greedy after the things of this world.' 'Some want to be separated far from their neighbors, and own all the land around them, saying ‘all is right, all is peace.’' They simply are following the example of the adversary, who glories in his kingdom and his greatness where none dared molest or make afraid. But that illusion is not for the Saints."
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.
"It behooves us as fortunate visitors in the King’s palace to behave circumspectly, to look and admire, damage nothing, take nothing with us, and leave everything as nearly as possible as we found it. Restraint is the watchword in dealing with God’s earth: The products of the earth are 'to please the eye [that always comes first!] and to gladden the heart; yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell . . . to be used with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion' (D&C 59:18—20). We may neither waste nor exploit what we find around us; Mirriam-Webster defines extortion as the obtaining 'from an unwilling or reluctant person by physical force, intimidation, or the abuse of legal or official authority.' We have a right to take what we need, but when we would extend that right to justify taking things we do not need, that is extortion, and is expressly forbidden."
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.
“'Having food and raiment,”'says Paul, 'let us be therewith content' (1 Timothy 6:8). 'If we have our hundreds or thousands,' says Brother Brigham, 'we may foster the idea that we have nothing more than we need; but such a notion is entirely erroneous, for our real wants are very limited. What do we absolutely need? I possess everything on the face of the earth that I need, as I appear before you on this stand.' With our real wants thus modest, there is plenty on earth for everyone, 'for the earth is full and there is enough and to spare' (D&C 104:17), and no excuse whatever for competitive grabbing—'wherefore the world lieth in sin' (D&C 49:20). To take more than we need is to take what does not belong to us."
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
"What is Zion? A Distant View," in Approaching Zion
"The earth . . . is enormously productive and contains unlimited supply for all who come to live on it, as long as they use its bounty 'with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion,' the Lord has said (D&C 59:20), that is, properly distributed, without waste or inequality. It contains 'all things . . . made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul' (D&C 59:18-19). Notice here that the eye and the heart have priority over the stomach, that taste and smell have claims equal to appetite, that the enlivening of the soul is as important as the strengthening of the body."
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
Approaching Zion, p. 8
"God set the earth up so that it would provide abundantly for all His children who were to come here, if we fulfilled our stewardships properly. However, if we disregard His instructions concerning the earth's resources, we cannot expect the promised abundance for all. The Lord gave us our agency, and we, through wickedness, have crippled the earth in its ability to provide and have, through selfishness, misused that which it does provide. If there is scarcity, it is because we have not used our agency to do things in the Lord's way."
Other Sources
Alisse Garner Metge
Other Writings of Mormons
“Conservation through Consecration,” in Stewardship and the Creation: LDS Perspectives on the Environment, eds. George B. Handley, Terry B. Ball, and Steven L. Peck (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center), 109–19.
"Those of us who believe that the ecological problems caused by people are at least as much the result of what we are rather than how many of us there are, and Latter-day Saints are certainly among this number, have a tremendous responsibility. We have a solemn obligation to distance ourselves from those practices and trends that lead to the destruction of the Creation and to the related suffering of our fellow beings. We have an obligation to show the world that people can live peaceably with the Creation."
Other Sources
Aaron Kelson
Other Writings of Mormons
The Holy Place: Why Caring for the Earth and Being Kind to Animals Matters, p. 159-160.
"We know that the earth was prepared with all the resources we need and that it was given to us to choose how and what to use: 'For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves' (D&C 104:17). While it is clear the Lord has given us a full bank account, it might not be clear to all of us that He did not intend for us to waste or to allow us to be selfish in our use."
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.
"I hope we can learn to connect the dots and understand how we live and how we use resources and what resources we choose to use all affect the earth and the many communities of the poor across the world. We cannot pretend to live in isolation from these consequences. There is no scriptural foundation for believing that we live and act and consume in a vacuum."
Other Sources
George Handley
Other Writings of Mormons
"LDS environmental stewardship statement, recent talk share similarities with Pope Francis' encyclical," Deseret News, 19 June 2015.
"Stewardship emphasizes God's goodness in creating the world. Because human beings benefit from that goodness, we are obliged to make prudent and wise use of its bounty and to safeguard human health."
Other Sources
Jason M. Brown
Other Writings of Mormons
"Whither Mormon Environmental Theology?" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011)
"We in America seem to feel it is our right to eat whatever amount of animal foods we can afford, but this practice is not sustainable in the long run, especially as the world’s population grows and demands the same right. As Philip Wollen (former VP of Citibank) stated in a passionate address in defense of animals, 'The earth can produce enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.'”
Other Sources
Jane Birch
Other Writings of Mormons
Discovering the Word of Wisdom, pg 86
"Greed and egocentrism are the root causes of social and ecological unsustainability . . . Sustainability becomes possible only when we realize that the Planet Earth has 'just enough enough resources to satisfy everybody's needs but not everybody's greeds' . . . Equity in resource distribution . . . is in fact an essential requirement for sustainable development in Third World countries. Implicit in this concept is a belief that improvement and maintenance of ecosystem health and integrity also requires a parallel improvement in the health and life of the rural poor."
Other Sources
Gopi Upreti
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
"Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Development Require a New Development Approach," Environmental Conservation 21, no. 1 (Spring 1994): 21-22.
"Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites."
Other Sources
William Ruckelshaus
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Business Week (18 June 1990)
"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.”
Other Sources
Mahatma Gandhi
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Quoted by Pyarelal Nayyar in Mahatma Gandhi: The Last Phase (Volume 10), page 552 (1958).
“Any shortcomings of earth’s resources needed to support mankind are not due to a lack of proper preparation of the earth."
Other Sources
Mark J. Nielsen
Church Magazines
"The Wonder of Creation" in March 2004 Ensign.
"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.
Sing, O ye heavens; for the Lord hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.
Old Testament
23 44
Isaiah
Isaiah 44:23
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits , and doctrines of devils; . . . Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.
New Testament
1, 3-4 4
1 Timothy
1 Timothy 4:1, 3-4
But it must needs be done in mine own way; and behold this is the way that I, the Lord, have decreed to provide for my saints, that the poor shall be exalted, in that the rich are made low. For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves. Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment.
Doctrine and Covenants
16-18 104
D&C
D&C 104:16-18
And it is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine.
Doctrine and Covenants
15 104
D&C
D&C 104:15
And he that is a faithful and wise steward shall inherit all things. Amen.
Doctrine and Covenants
22 78
D&C
D&C 78:22
And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.
Doctrine and Covenants
20 59
D&C
D&C 59:20
Wherefore, it is lawful that he should have one wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation; And that it might be filled with the measure of man, according to his creation before the world was made.
Doctrine and Covenants
16-17 49
D&C
D&C 49:16-17
 But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin.
Book of Mormon
20 49
D&C
D&C 49:20
For, behold, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which cometh of the earth, is ordained for the use of man for food and for raiment, and that he might have in abundance.
Doctrine and Covenants
19 49
D&C
D&C 49:19
And if ye seek the riches which it is the will of the Father to give unto you, ye shall be the richest of all people, for ye shall have the riches of eternity; and it must needs be that the riches of the earth are mine to give; but beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old.
Doctrine and Covenants
39 38
D&C
D&C 38:39
And I have made the earth rich, and behold it is my footstool, wherefore, again I will stand upon it.
Doctrine and Covenants
17 38
D&C
D&C 38:17
For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?
Book of Mormon
19 4
Mosiah
Mosiah 4:19
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 now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.
Book of Mormon
23 7
Alma
Alma 7:23
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