Reverence towards Nature Benefits Us

"It is amazing to think that the influence of a single being can be present everywhere. Yet when we worship Christ, we recognize that in all of his creations he is present, that all forms of life are sacred and should be treated with great reverence. Is it strange to think that a meadow can bear testimony? This meadow bears a testimony to me. Through my simple walks here, I have learned to know the Master Creator and to rejoice in what he shares so freely with me."
Anselm Spring

"The Meadow" in April 1985 New Era.
"I have come to understand that I must love all things because He is in all things. If I love the Lord, then I cannot violate nature. If I love nature and respect it, then I will see God in it. If we look at the world through worldly eyes, we start to lose respect for our vicinity. It becomes common to us. But if all things were first created spiritually, and we can learn to look at things with spiritual sensitivity, then new vistas of understanding will open to our view, even when we study the tiniest objects in the most remote places. And if we can find the Prince of Peace in the least of his creations, what comfort there is in the thought that as we study his example and come to know him, we will discover that his light is in us as well."
Anselm Spring

"The Meadow" in April 1985 New Era.
"The eye of the carnal man is limited. He wants to possess things in order to enjoy them. To profit from them, he thinks, they have to be his own. But there is a beauty in everyday life that outshines man-made beauty, a beauty that evaporates when someone tries to own it. If you want to possess it, it’s gone. You can't buy it for money. All things are the Lord’s, and we inherit them only by entering the celestial kingdom."
Anselm Spring

"The Meadow" in April 1985 New Era.
"In the meadow there is art and there is beauty, as carefully crafted as the work of an artisan’s hands. The bright light of morning turns seed pods into brass sculptures. Dewdrops on a dragonfly’s wings become a cape of diamonds. Shadows on a leaf form bands of fluorescent green and black, abstract designs like those on a painter’s canvas. What from a distance had seemed a tapestry of interwoven colors, up close becomes a universe of individual realms. A plant becomes a city; a brook becomes a universe, each with its own structure, symmetry, visitors, and inhabitants. An ordinary spider’s web becomes an exhibit of form and function. Keep looking, closer and closer. Even in the smallest areas, design and order are evident. The Creator described himself as the light and life of the world. Everywhere I look in the meadow, I see his light and life."
Anselm Spring

"The Meadow" in April 1985 New Era.
"But as an intelligent being, if I have a mind capable of reflection, I wish to contemplate the works of nature, and to know something of nature's God, and my destiny. I love to view the things around me; to gaze upon the sun, moon, and stars; to study the planetary system, and the world we inhabit; to behold their beauty, order, harmony, and the operations of existence around me. I can see something more than that mean jargon, those childish quibbles, this heaven beyond the bounds of time and space, where they have nothing to do but sit and sing themselves away to everlasting bliss, or go and roast on gridirons. There is nothing like that to be found in nature—everything is beautifully harmonious, and perfectly adapted to the position it occupies in the world. Whether you look at birds, beasts, or the human system, you see something exquisitely beautiful and harmonious, and worthy of the contemplation of all intelligence. What is man's wisdom in comparison to it? I could not help but believe there was a God, if there was no such thing as religion in the world."
Church Leaders
John Taylor
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 1:151-2, June 12, 1853
"We have eyes and see not, for that which we cannot appreciate or admire we are largely blind to, no matter how beautiful or inspiring it may be. As children of God, it is our duty to appreciate and worship Him in His creations. If we would associate all that is truly good and beautiful in life with thoughts of Him, we would be able to trace His handiwork throughout all nature."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor, 39:627-28, October 15, 1904.
"When a man has found God and understands his ways, he learns that nothing in the universe came by chance, but all things resulted from a divinely prearranged plan. What a rich meaning comes into his life! Understanding which surpasses worldly learning is his. The beauties of the world become more beautiful, the order of the universe becomes more meaningful, and all of God’s creations are more understandable as he witnesses God’s days come and go and the seasons follow each in their order."
Church Leaders
Howard W. Hunter
Presidents of the Church
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W. Hunter
"What a glorious thing is life, surrounded by the beauties of the world in which we live. There is beauty in the mountains, the woods, and the lakes. There is beauty in the sea with its never-ceasing tides; beauty in the skies filled with fleecy clouds, in the sunshine and in the rain; beauty in the morning, the day, and the night. As the seasons come and go, we find beauty in the freshness of spring bringing new life to all nature, and beauty in the glory of the summer. Autumn ushers in an array of color before the silent winter brings its blanket of white. There is beauty everywhere if we look for the beautiful."
Church Leaders
Howard W. Hunter
Presidents of the Church
Conference Report, April 1970, pg. 7.
"My mother had taught me to pray and to thank Heavenly Father for all the things that I enjoyed. I often thanked Him for the beauty of the earth and for the wonderful times that I had at the ranch and by the river and with the Scouts."
Church Leaders
Howard W. Hunter
Presidents of the Church
"Sharing Time: I Believe in Being Obedient" - Friend May 1995
"Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism. Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine."
Church Leaders
Gordon B. Hinckley
Presidents of the Church
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley, 2016
"Some of the happiest people I know have none of [the] things the world insists are necessary for satisfaction and joy. Why are they happy? . . . They glory in the beauty of the earth. They glory in the rivers and the canyons and the call of the meadowlark. They glory in the love of their families, the stumbling steps of a toddler, the wise and tender smile of the elderly."
Church Leaders
Joseph B. Wirthlin
General Authorities
"Lessons Learned in the Journey of Life," Ensign Dec. 2000
"As I watched this magnificent scene in reverence, a window formed in the clouds; the glistening rays of the rising sun broke through the overcast sky, transforming everything with its luminescence, its color, its life. It was as if the Lord wanted to share an additional blessing, a symbol of the light of His teachings that gives brilliance and hope to everyone it touches. Tears of gratitude formed for this wondrous world in which we live, for the extraordinary beauty our Heavenly Father so freely shares with all that are willing to see. Truly, life is beautiful."
Church Leaders
Richard G. Scott
General Authorities
"Finding Joy in Life," Ensign, May 1996, 24.
"Do you take time to discover each day how beautiful your life can be? How long has it been since you watched the sun set? The departing rays kissing the clouds, trees, hills, and lowlands good night, sometimes tranquilly, sometimes with exuberant bursts of color and form. What of the wonder of a cloudless night when the Lord unveils the marvels of His heavens—the twinkling stars, the moonlight rays—to ignite our imagination with His greatness and glory? How captivating to watch a seed planted in fertile soil germinate, gather strength, and send forth a tiny, seemingly insignificant sprout. Patiently it begins to grow and develop its own character led by the genetic code the Lord has provided to guide its development. With care it surely will become what it is destined to be: a lily, crowned with grace and beauty; a fragrant spearmint plant; a peach; an avocado; or a beautiful blossom with unique delicacy, hue, and fragrance. When last did you observe a tiny rosebud form? Each day it develops new and impressive character, more promise of beauty until it becomes a majestic rose. You are one of the noblest of God’s creations. His intent is that your life be gloriously beautiful regardless of your circumstances. As you are grateful and obedient, you can become all that God intends you to be."
Church Leaders
Richard G. Scott
General Authorities
"Finding Joy in Life," Ensign, May 1996, 24.
"Year after year these wondrous works of nature delight me and encourage me. I always take my wife with me. I have long believed that no man can drink deep of the charms and love of nature without yearning for the companionship and sharing nearness of the partner of his life. We have sat, my wife and I, on the shores of Fish Lake, or moved a boat over its rippling, cool waters as the moon rose or the sun sank behind its wooded hills, and a peace and tranquility have enveloped us that passes understanding."
Church Leaders
Stephen L. Richards
General Authorities
“Avocation,” Improvement Era, June 1927, p. 685.
"What a marvelous boon is mother earth! How abundantly she yields of her hidden chemicals and nutriments to make the verdure and the vegetation that gladdens and supports the race. My brothers and sisters—countrymen of these mountain valleys—I fear we scarcely appreciate the inestimable privilege that we have to live on the soil."
Church Leaders
Stephen L. Richards
General Authorities
April 1940 General Conference
"I thought there would be exclamations of delight and wonder [at seeing Bryce Canyon]. There were not. They just looked and as they looked, tears flowed down their cheeks like drops of rain. I'm not ashamed to say my eyes filled too. There were no words, only feeling—feeling too deep for expression."
Church Leaders
Stephen L. Richards
General Authorities
April 1940 General Conference
"We are rediscovering 'moderation' and seeing afresh the importance of 'quiet,' of 'smallness,' and of 'green.' Sound at shock levels, dazzling strobe lights which titillate the senses, if not overwhelm them, are a poor preparation for those who want to see a sunset or watch the grass grow. The cacophony that often attaches to the celebration of sensuous things may prevent us from hearing the little sounds of life so that, figuratively, we are diverted from noise only by a larger noise, such as the rumblings of an atomic bomb . . . Insensitivities come in clusters, but the result is the same: we shut out people, nature, and God."
Church Leaders
Neal A. Maxwell
General Authorities
A Time to Choose, pp. 70-71
“It pleases our Father in Heaven when we, also, pause to note the beauty of our environment, which we will naturally do as we become more spiritually sensitive.”
Church Leaders
Douglas L. Callister
General Authorities
“Seeking the Spirit of God” Ensign (Nov. 2000).
“Think of what would happen if all of us took time to look carefully at the wonders of nature that surround us and devoted ourselves to learning more about this world that God created for us!”
Church Leaders
M. Russell Ballard
General Authorities
"God's Love for His Children," 1988.
“I thought . . . how important it is for every human soul to see and appreciate the glory and grandeur of God in everything about us . . . [T]hose who feel no reverence for the creations and the divine attributes of God likely will have little appreciation for other sacred things. Such a lack of veneration for God’s creations may diminish until a person becomes totally insensitive to the feelings of others.”
Church Leaders
M. Russell Ballard
General Authorities
"God's Love for His Children," 1988.
"We sometimes feel great respect and reverence for creative genius as expressed in great art or music. How much more should we revere the power and majesty of our Divine Creator?"
Church Leaders
M. Russell Ballard
General Authorities
“The Handiwork of God,” New Era, Mar. 2006, 5
"To truly reverence the Creator, we must appreciate his creations. We need to plan to take time to observe the marvels of nature. Today, we can easily become surrounded by brick buildings and asphalt surfaces that shelter us from real life around us."
Church Leaders
M. Russell Ballard
General Authorities
"God's Love for His Children," 1988.
"Men and women in all parts of the world have a desperate need to take time to look carefully at the wonders of nature that surround us and devote ourselves to learning more about this world that God created for us!"
Church Leaders
M. Russell Ballard
General Authorities
"God's Love for His Children," 1988.
"God created the earth in all its magnificent glory, not as an end in itself, but for us, His children . . . Those who feel no reverence for the creations and the divine attributes of God likely will have little appreciation for other sacred things."
Church Leaders
M. Russell Ballard
General Authorities
"God's Love for His Children," 1988.
"The key to understanding the things of God is to see Christ in them, including His creations."
Other Sources
Bruce A. & Robert J. Roundy & Norman
Other Writings of Mormons
"'All Things Denote There is a God': Seeing Christ in the Creation," in Religious Educator 6, no. 2 (2005): 51–62.
"It is through 'greater sensibility' that we both enjoy and endure, for the appreciation of beauty is nothing less than the key to survival. Nature has so provided that we actually enjoy most doing and sensing the very things most conducive to our survival; we delight in performing the most vital functions of life, and so simply by enjoying ourselves, we build up more formidable defenses against the powers of destruction than any accumulation of scientific data or learned admonition could provide. We eat long before we are in danger of dying of hunger and drink long before reaching a critical stage of dehydration, simply because we enjoy eating and drinking. If we ate, drank, breathed, and slept only when persuaded by irrefutable scientific demonstration that if we did not do those things we would die, we would not be long in this world. So it is in all things, and creatures as weak and vulnerable as man must cultivate a salutary sense of what is lovely and desirable and what is wrong and threatening, a feeling that hits them long before they can tell just why a thing is to be welcomed or dreaded."
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.
"As we form a relationship with the natural world through study, faith, and action, we have the desire to care for it, which in turn increases our reverence for God."
Other Sources
Danielle Montague-Judd
Other Writings of Mormons
“How Can Church Members Increase Their Environmental Awareness? ,” 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), 141–53.
"God declared the Creation to be 'very good'. When we care for and reverence His creations (including our fellow beings), we show love and respect for Him. Gratitude in turn brings additional blessings. The beauty of the earth goes beyond the surface to penetrate the careful observer's soul: 'That which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually' (Moroni 7:13). Reverence and gratitude for the earth lead to increased faith in a Creator who provides a wonderfully beautiful and awesome place for His children to live."
Book of Mormon
Danielle Montague-Judd
Other Writings of Mormons
“How Can Church Members Increase Their Environmental Awareness? ,” 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), 141–53.
"Recognition of all life as sacred and eternal, having God as its author and owner, should evoke in us a deep reverence and humility in our approach to the earth and all upon it."
Book of Mormon
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.
"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.
"God expects us to make use of nature, but the priority is on nature’s intrinsic beauty which bears witness of Christ’s love and for which we have an ethical responsibility to demonstrate due appreciation."
Other Sources
George Handley
Other Writings of Mormons
"LDS Belief and the Environment" on Save Our Canyons website
"LDS scriptures clearly announce the centrality of human beings as God’s offspring and declare that all of creation was provided for human enjoyment and use. Significantly, however, this human-centered view does not justify abuse of nature; enjoyment and appreciation come before use."
Other Sources
George Handley
Other Writings of Mormons
"LDS Belief and the Environment" on Save Our Canyons website
"[LDS members] are generally able to affirm and dismiss [the reverence-for-nature tradition] in one doublethink. There is a poetic truth about it, but most people today let scientific truth guide their thinking, and science teaches us to regard the earth as a lifeless object . . . This is not to say that Mormons are less environmentally responsible than other groups, only that their environmental consciousness no longer embraces some of the creative teachings of their early [church] leaders."
Other Sources
David Grandy
Other Writings of Mormons
"Heaven-Earth Wedges: The Mormon Experience," Proteus: A Journal of Ideas 15, no. 2 (1998): 59-60, 64.
"Brothers and sisters, if we truly love the Artist, let us not slash His painting. President David O. McKay taught that if we are to be great, we must reverence Deity and all things associated with Deity. To the degree that we believe the earth is associated with Deity, we must reverence the earth itself."
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.
"There is something that inspires us when we view a great work of art. Fortunately this experience is available to even those who are distant from an art museum or treasured private collection—we need only look at a flower, a sunset, or the stars above our head to realize that we live within an artistic masterpiece."
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.
"To appreciate God’s creations, you have to learn to see. I believe this is what the Savior is teaching us in the first part of section 88, how to see. Everything around us bears witness of its own creation and design. Every animal or plant, in filling the measure of its creation, praises God. We must, by fulfilling our creation, do the same."
Other Sources
Anselm Spring
Church Magazines
"The Meadow" in April 1985 New Era.
"We need to develop the sympathetic capacity that encourages us to see things in their particularity, their wholeness, and their (often hidden) potential."
Other Sources
Norman Wirzba
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
From Nature to Creation: A Christian Vision for Understanding and Loving Our World, 4
"I suggest that Christians can start by developing an imagination for the world as created, sustained, and daily loved by God. I stress the development of an imaginative capacity because it has become evident that more knowledge or information about the earth is not, by itself, going to be of sufficient help."
Other Sources
Norman Wirzba
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
From Nature to Creation: A Christian Vision for Understanding and Loving Our World, 3
"The only true voyage of discovery, the only fountain of Eternal Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to behold the hundred universes that each of them beholds, that each of them is."
Other Sources
Marcel Proust
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
"The Captive," Volume Two of Remembrance of Things Past (1927); translated into English by C. K. Moncrief, pg, 559.
1. For the beauty of the earth, For the beauty of the skies, For the love which from our birth Over and around us lies, (Chorus) Lord of all, to thee we raise This our hymn of grateful praise. 2. For the beauty of each hour Of the day and of the night, Hill and vale, and tree and flow'r, Sun and moon, and stars of light, 3. For the joy of human love, Brother, sister, parent, child, Friends on earth, and friends above, For all gentle thoughts and mild,
Other Sources
Folliott S. Pierpoint
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
"For the Beauty of the Earth," LDS Hymn #92
"That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics. That land yields a cultural harvest is a fact long known, but latterly often forgotten."
Other Sources
Aldo Leopold
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
A Sand County Almanac, and Sketches Here and There (1949), viii-ix.
"Every time you admire something in nature, it's a prayer to the Creator."
Other Sources
Vernon Harper
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Quoted in Shirley A. Jones's Simply Living: The Spirit of the Indigenous People, pg. 97.
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles."
Other Sources
Anne Frank
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
The Diary of a Young Girl
"If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown!"
Other Sources
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. Brooks Atkinson (New York: Modern Library, 200), 5.
“It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility.”
Other Sources
Rachel Carson
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
The Sense of Wonder (1965)
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”
Book of Mormon
Rachel Carson
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson (1999) edited by Linda Lear, p. 94
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter."
Other Sources
Rachel Carson
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
The Sense of Wonder (1965)
"One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, 'What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?'"
Other Sources
Rachel Carson
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
The Sense of Wonder (1965)
"[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
"I want creation to penetrate you with so much admiration that wherever you go, the least plant may bring you a clear remembrance of the Creator . . . One blade of grass or one speck of dust is enough to occupy your entire mind in beholding the art with which it has been made."
Other Sources
St. Basil the Great
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Hexaemeron, Homily V.2-3, “The Germination of the Earth.” In Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Edition Vol. VIII, p. 77. Eds. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. Erdmans, 1989.
"Some people, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Note it. Read it. God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead He set before your eyes the things that He had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that? Why, heaven and earth shout to you: 'God made me!'"
Other Sources
St. Augustine
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Sermon 126.6 in the Angelo Mai collection, Miscellanea Agustiniana 1:355-68, ed. G. Moran (Rome, 1930), in Vernon Bourke, trans. The Essential Augustine, Hackett, Indianapolis, 1974, p.123.
"Through my work I help others to appreciate and reverence the beauties of nature. It gives them a desire to help preserve and protect wildlife. I can pick up an old, dirty bird that someone has cruelly shot, restore its beauty, and show it to the boys. They can then more fully appreciate the glory and beauty of that which is destroyed when a bird is shot."
Other Sources
John Hutchings
Improvement Era
"Westerners in Action: John Hutchings, Naturalist," Improvement Era vol. 30, no. 8 (June 1927), pg. 686.
"One way we can feel a surety of the Creator’s existence is to observe His handiwork. While it is the Holy Spirit that conveys such a testimony to our hearts, we may first prepare our hearts to receive it. A marvelous way to do this is to gaze into a star-filled sky on a moonless night or at the intricate patterns on the back of a single maple leaf."
Other Sources
Mark J. Nielsen
Church Magazines
"The Wonder of Creation" in March 2004 Ensign.
"For the past several hundreds of years, Western society has been dominated by a belief in scientific rationalism—a belief that science alone provides the key to man’s advancement, progression, and happiness. Older ideas about the need and place of beauty in life and the importance of the spiritual side of man’s nature have been superseded by an obsession with objective facts. Science is very much a creation of man’s intellect; it is amoral—neither good nor bad. Those who worship science, and there are many, worship the wrong god, for it alone will not bring happiness."
Other Sources
A.B. Morrison
Church Magazines
"Our Deteriorating Environment" in Aug 1971 Ensign.
"There’s a special dimension in discovering nature for Latter-day Saints. We know that 'all things' were 'created . . . spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth.' (Moses 3:5) That element of eternity means that we can never be calloused or careless about any element of our mortal experience. Our attitude toward nature, I'm convinced, is vitally connected with our attitudes toward ourselves."
Other Sources
Sharon Dequer
Church Magazines
"Discovering Nature" in June 1977 Ensign.
"A question as important as 'How does it work?' is 'How does it fit in?' Here’s where events and relationships, both large and small, enlarge your understanding as you look for similarity and variety, adaptation and development, interaction and interdependence, change and continuity. Each discovery is a fascinating glimpse into the intricate relationships of creation, which relationships are the true substance of ecology."
Other Sources
Sharon Dequer
Church Magazines
"Discovering Nature" in June 1977 Ensign.
"Once, after a family-oriented discovery walk I conducted, a woman confided that she'd never seen her children so vitally involved and active. 'I've always told them ‘Don't touch!’ about everything,' she said, 'and now I see what a mistake that has been.'"
Other Sources
Sharon Dequer
Church Magazines
"Discovering Nature" in June 1977 Ensign.
"Gentleness they may have learned by example, but the rest is surely innate in the human child, curious to comprehend his world. Appreciation must surely begin with awareness; and awareness involves all one’s self."
Other Sources
Sharon Dequer
Church Magazines
"Discovering Nature" in June 1977 Ensign.
"[N]ature really can't be taught; it can only be discovered. And we adults cannot share in discovery until we reawaken our own ability to see the world through childlike eyes."
Other Sources
Sharon Dequer
Church Magazines
"Discovering Nature" in June 1977 Ensign.
"Think of the attitudes parents convey to children in such experiences, not necessarily attitudes about thunderstorms or snakes, but about life and the joy of living! Spiritual experiences can't be staged, but one fruitful avenue that involves our children and ourselves in inspiring experiences is to explore—fully and enthusiastically—God’s creations. In the course of growing up we tend to acquire a worldly sophistication that dampens this enthusiastic sense of wonder about nearly everything. Cultivating wonder about nature heightens our appreciation of all creation and begins to break down our artificial distinction between things temporal and spiritual (See D&C 29:34–35)."
Other Sources
Sharon Dequer
Church Magazines
"Discovering Nature" in June 1977 Ensign.
"The mighty gorge [Grand Canyon] is the demonstration of nature's power in changing the face of earth. How puny and insignificant it makes the strength of man appear! Humility and meekness are the burden of the message that rises from the silver ribbon of the river in its depths, up through the mists, to the reverent pilgrims who gather at this wonder of the world."
Church Leaders
Stephen L. Richards
General Authorities
April 1940 General Conference
"That the infinite and eternal nature of creation and redemption are beyond mortal comprehension we are frank to admit. We are grateful that the Lord has given us this glimpse of everlasting truth relative to his unending labors; it is a brief view from his eternal perspective. But this earth and all that thereon is are our concern. It is the truths about 'our creation,' as it were, that will chart the course for us in our enduring efforts to gain eternal life."
Church Leaders
Bruce R. McConkie
General Authorities
"Christ and the Creation" - Ensign; June 1982
"Just think of what science and astronomy tell us about the expanse of the solar system and the universe. Our solar system centers on the sun, one of a huge group of stars on the order of 100 billion stars swirling around a huge pinwheel-shaped mass called the Milky Way galaxy, which is about 100,000 light-years across. Astronomers cannot see to the end of the universe, but evidence suggests that the vastness of space contains billions of galaxies stretching for an expanse of 5 billion to 15 billion light-years away from the sun. Compared with such distances, our solar system occupies a very tiny amount of space. The universe is virtually incomprehensible to man."
Church Leaders
Robert D. Hales
General Authorities
"In Remembrance of Jesus," Oct. 1997
"Recognition of all life as sacred and eternal, having God as its author and owner, should evoke in us a deep reverence and humility in our approach to the earth and all upon it."
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.
"Mountains seem to answer an increasing imaginative need in the West. More and more people are discovering a desire for them, and a powerful solace in them. At bottom, mountains, like all wildernesses, challenge our complacent conviction—so easy to lapse into—that the world has been made for humans by humans. Most of us exist for most of the time in worlds which are humanly arranged, themed and controlled. One forgets that there are environments which do not respond to the flick of a switch or the twist of a dial, and which have their own rhythms and orders of existence. Mountains correct this amnesia. By speaking of greater forces than we can possibly invoke, and by confronting us with greater spans of time than we can possibly envisage, mountains refute our excessive trust in the man-made. They pose profound questions about our durability and the importance of our schemes. They induce, I suppose, a modesty in us."
Other Sources
Robert Macfarlane
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Mountains of the Mind: Adventures in Reaching the Summit
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
Old Testament
1-3 19
Psalms
Psalms 19:1-3
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
Old Testament
3-5 8
Psalms
Psalms 8:3-5
Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Old Testament
4-6 38
Job
Job 38:4-6
Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven,
Old Testament
37 38
Job
Job 38:37
The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
Old Testament
3 1
Isaiah
Isaiah 1:3
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Old Testament
19 3
Genesis
Genesis 3:19
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 had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men.
Book of Mormon
2 4
Mosiah
Mosiah 4:2
And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you.
Book of Mormon
25 2
Mosiah
Mosiah 2:25
I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.
Book of Mormon
21 2
Mosiah
Mosiah 2:21
For behold, the dust of the earth moveth hither and thither, to the dividing asunder, at the command of our great and everlasting God.
Book of Mormon
8 12
Helaman
Helaman 12:8
O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth.
Book of Mormon
7 12
Helaman
Helaman 12:7
Therefore let us go up; let us be strong like unto Moses; for he truly spake unto the waters of the Red Sea and they divided hither and thither, and our fathers came through, out of captivity, on dry ground, and the armies of Pharaoh did follow and were drowned in the waters of the Red Sea.
Book of Mormon
2 4
1 Nephi
1 Nephi 4:2
"And then Zion, the wonderland of patriarchal temples and majestic peaks. I think perhaps sfae is claimed more by our friends from the southwest of the mountains, but we all claim her and someday the whole world will know her entrancing, inspiring beauty. When I can, I go to see her in the early Spring before the little freshets that gush from crevices in the lofty towers and walls of rock have drained the meager reservoirs of snow stored in the dizzy heights. I like to see the new green of the foliage against its background of brilliant hues. Her lacy waterfalls, her riot of color and the glory of her stupendous piles exalt the very soul of man. In their presence he cannot be small or mean. His vision is enlarged, his sympathies are broadened, his love of his fellow-men is deepened and his trust in God and the universe is supreme. He is made a better man. Are not all these, my friends, gifts to us? Are we not in very deed debtors for them?"
Church Leaders
Stephen L. Richards
General Authorities
“Avocation,” Improvement Era, June 1927, p. 686.
"This creation, every aspect of it, was created for the purpose of giving each of us the opportunity to be blessed now and in eternity. This creation witnesses of the Creator, and if we preserve these special places in their unspoiled state, they will silently, eloquently witness of our God and inspire us onward and upward."
Book of Mormon
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"There is a spirit among the trees—are they not living souls? And, even more so for me above the timberline, amongst the mountain tops, where I feel a closeness to God. I love to sit or stand under the sky where heaven and earth meet, the high alpine peaks around me and to gaze at the stars at night, trying—always unsuccessfully—to wrap my mind around the eternity within my gaze, an eternity of both time and space (imagine, for example, the hundreds, or millions of light years it took for some of the light of the stars to reach this earth). Yet, I always marvel at the quiet knowledge that settles upon me in those solitary moments of tranquility that, despite the vastness of the cosmos, the Lord of the universe knows puny me."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"From my perspective, I absolutely believe in a greater spiritual power, far greater than I am, from which I have derived strength in moments of sadness or fear. That's what I believe, and it was very, very strong in the forest."
Other Sources
Jane Goodall
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Interview with Steven D. Greydanus.
And it came to pass that the people saw that they were about to perish by famine, and they began to remember the Lord their God; and they began to remember the words of Nephi.
Book of Mormon
7 11
Helaman
Helaman 11:7
"This creation, every aspect of it, was created for the purpose of giving each of us the opportunity to be blessed now and in eternity. This creation witnesses of the Creator, and if we preserve these special places in their unspoiled state, they will silently, eloquently witness of our God and inspire us onward and upward."
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.
"God declared the Creation to be 'very good'. When we care for and reverence His creations (including our fellow beings), we show love and respect for Him. Gratitude in turn brings additional blessings. The beauty of the earth goes beyond the surface to penetrate the careful observer's soul: 'That which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually' (Moroni 7:13). Reverence and gratitude for the earth lead to increased faith in a Creator who provides a wonderfully beautiful and awesome place for His children to live."
Other Sources
Danielle Montague-Judd
Other Writings of Mormons
“How Can Church Members Increase Their Environmental Awareness? ,” 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), 141–53.
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”
Other Sources
Rachel Carson
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson (1999) edited by Linda Lear, p. 94
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
New Testament
17-18 6
1 Timothy
1 Timothy 6:17-18