Human Character and Stewardship

"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."
Book of Mormon
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 10:320
"In this dispensation the keys that were committed to the father Adam will be restored, and we are to return into the favor and presence of the Lord. If we cease hostility, with the serpents and lay aside all enmity and treat all animals kindly, being humble and faithful with long suffering and forbearance no man need ever have a horse or a cow bitten by a snake. The serpents would soon become perfectly harmless, so that they could be handled without danger, children could play with them without receiving harm."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
The Journal of Brigham: Brigham Young's Own Story in His Own Words, comp. Lee Nelson, pg. 152.
"If the people take a course to bring the blessings of heaven upon them, they will increase in everything. If they refuse obedience to the Holy Priesthood, they will dwindle and go into unbelief and apostacy; they will be contracted in their views and feelings; the fruit trees will begin to refuse to bear fruit; our flocks will begin to refuse their increase, and our fields will refuse to bring forth their crops . . . and that land eventually, unless this government and the people of the government take a different course towards the Gospel, that the Lord has revealed in the latter days, will become desolate, forlorn, and forsaken."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
"President Brigham Young on Tithing," Millennial Star, vol 38, p. 344 (29 May 1876).
“The Spirit of the Lord and keys of the priesthood hold power over all animated beings. When Father Adam transgressed the law, he did not fall at once from the presence of the Lord . . . Men continued to sin and degenerate from generation to generation . . . During this time the earth and all creation groaned in sin, and enmity increased, and the lives of men and beasts decreased . . . In this dispensation the keys . . . will be restored, and we are to return into the favor and presence of the Lord . . . Cease hostility with the serpents and lay aside all enmity and treat all animals kindly.”
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
The Journal of Brigham: Brigham Young's Own Story in His Own Words, comp. Lee Nelson, pg. 152.
“[T]hat which is not of God burns, destroys, cuts down, ruins . . . Light and intelligence lead people to the fountain of truth; while the opposite principle says, ‘Don't believe a word, don't do a thing; burn up and destroy.’“
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 13:241
“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
"[President Young said that] God has given us a commandment that we should not waste meat, nor take life unless it is needful, but he can see a disposition in this camp to slaughter everything before them."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
William J. Clayton, William Clayton Journal, entry made on May 18, 1947, at 156-57.
"Keep your valley pure, keep your towns as pure as you possibly can, keep your hearts pure, and labour what you can consistently, but not so as to injure yourselves. Be faithful in your religion. Be full of love and kindness towards each other."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:80
“Brethren, we are gathering to this beautiful land to build up Zion . . . But since I have been here I perceive the spirit of selfishness, covetousness exists in the hearts of the saints . . . Here are those who are beginning to spread out, buying up all the land they are able to do; . . . thinking to lay foundations for themselves only, looking to their own individual families . . . Now I want to tell you that Zion cannot be built up in any such way . . . ”
Church Leaders
Joseph Smith, Jr.
Presidents of the Church
Approaching Zion (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989), 37.
“It is a grievous sin in the sight of God to kill merely for sport. Such a thing shows a weakness of spiritual character of the individual . . . Only for food, and then sparingly, should flesh be eaten, for all life is from God and is eternal.”
Church Leaders
Joseph Fielding Smith
Presidents of the Church
Church History and Modern Revelation, 210.
“When I visited, a few years ago, the Yellowstone National Park, and saw in the streams and the beautiful lakes, birds swimming quite fearless of man, allowing passers-by to approach them as closely almost as tame birds, and apprehending no fear of them, and when I saw droves of beautiful deer [feeding] along the side of the road, as fearless of the presence of men as any domestic animal, it filled my heart with a degree of peace and joy that seemed to be almost a foretaste of that period hoped for when there shall be none to hurt and none to molest in all the land, especially among all the inhabitants of Zion. These same birds, if they were to visit other regions, inhabited by man, would, on account of their tameness, doubtless become more easily a prey to the gunner. The same may be said of those beautiful creatures—the deer and the antelope. If they should wander out of the park, beyond the protection that is established there for these animals, they would become, of course, an easy prey to those who were seeking their lives. I never could see why a man should be imbued with a blood-thirsty desire to kill and destroy animal life. I have known men—and they still exist among us—who enjoy what is, to them, the ‘sport’ of hunting birds and slaying them by the hundreds, and who will come in after a day’s sport, boasting of how many harmless birds they have had the skill to slaughter, and day after day, during the season when it is lawful for men to hunt and kill (the birds having had a season of protection and not apprehending danger) go out by scores or hundreds, and you may hear their guns early in the morning on the day of the opening, as if great armies had met in battle; and the terrible work of slaughtering the innocent birds goes on. I do not believe any man should kill animals or birds unless he needs them for food, and then he should not kill innocent little birds that are not intended for food for man. I think it is wicked for men to thirst in their souls to kill almost everything which possesses animal life. It is wrong, and I have been surprised at prominent men whom I have seen whose very souls seemed to be athirst for the shedding of animal blood.”
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1939, pp. 265–66.
“Man in his wanton disregard of his sacred duty has been reckless of life. He has destroyed it with an indifference to the evil results it would entail upon the earth . . . The unnecessary destruction of life begets a spirit of destruction which grows within the soul, . . . [and] is a distinct spiritual loss to the human family. Men cannot worship the Creator and look with careless indifference upon his creations."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor 53:182-83, April 1918.
"[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
"We are a part of all life and should study carefully our relationship to it. We should be in sympathy with it, and not allow our prejudices to create a desire for its destruction. The unnecessary destruction of life begets a spirit of destruction which grows within the soul. It lives by what it feeds upon and robs man of the love that he should have for the works of God. It hardens the heart of man and makes him prey upon the social welfare which he should feel for the happiness and advancement of his fellow-man. The unnecessary destruction of life is a distinct spiritual loss to the human family. Men cannot worship the Creator and look with careless indifference upon his creations. The love of all life helps man to the enjoyment of a better life. It exalts the spiritual nature of those in need of divine favor."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor 53;182-183, April 1918
"Kindness to the whole animal creation and especially to all domestic animals, is not only a virtue that should be developed, but is the absolute duty of mankind. Children should be taught that Nature in all her forms is our Heavenly Father's great book of life. Furthermore, he who treats in a brutal manner a poor, dumb animal at that moment disqualifies himself for the companionship of the Spirit; for the Lord will not sanction an unrighteous act, and it is an unrighteous thing to treat any creature cruelly."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
"Kindness to Animals," Juvenile Instructor (February, 1912), 78-9.
"Kindness to animals and to all living things is one good way of expressing true religion. Cruelty to the dumb creation always shows an absence of the true religious spirit; and in most cases, is simply barbarous."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor 50:375, June 1915
"Kindness begets kindness and brings results . . . Love, intelligently and humanely applied, has not only produced gentleness in the horse, but has contributed to the intelligence of the animal. And why does kindness contribute to intelligence? Because kindness is an attribute of intelligence. And like begets like. We know that restraint and self-control are necessary to the possession of the spirit of kindness, and these command the attention and submission of all domestic animals . . . [W]hy have the words of Jesus of Nazareth moved men to work and suffer, to think and feel as the words of no other man have done? It is the love, the intelligence, as well as the authority in which they were spoken. All nature responds to love. From love comes contentment, and the highest form of service."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor 48:84-85, Feb 1913
"I never could see why a man should be imbued with a blood-thirsty desire to kill and destroy animal life. I have known men—and they still exist among us—who enjoy what is, to them, the ‘sport’ of hunting birds and slaying them by the hundreds, and who will come in after a day’s sport, boasting of how many harmless birds they have had the skill to slaughter, and day after day, during the season when it is lawful for men to hunt and kill (the birds having had a season of protection and not apprehending danger) go out by scores or hundreds, and you may hear their guns early in the morning on the day of the opening, as if great armies had met in battle; and the terrible work of slaughtering the innocent birds goes on . . . I do not believe any man should kill animals or birds unless he needs them for food, and then he should not kill innocent little birds that are not intended for food for man. I think it is wicked for men to thirst in their souls to kill almost everything which possesses animal life. It is wrong, and I have been surprised at prominent men whom I have seen whose very souls seemed to be athirst for the shedding of animal blood."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1939, pp. 265–66
"Habits of kindness bring joy to the heart and home of man as well as kindness and comfort to the animal world, even when practiced towards the lowest of creatures. The results of kindness come back to us as rewards of increased love and freedom from fear of man on the part of the animal world as well as from our own improved conditions of thought and feeling."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor 48:84-85, Feb 1913
"Doing wrong to animals is but a stepping stone to the doing of wrong to our fellowmen."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor 42:97, Feb. 15, 1907
“A true Latter-day Saint is kind to animals, is kind to every created thing, for God created all.”
Church Leaders
David O. McKay
Presidents of the Church
Conference Report (Priesthood), October 1951, p. 180
"Irreverence for God, of life, and for our fellowmen takes the form of things like littering, heedless strip-mining, pollution of water and air.  But these are, after all, outward expressions of the inner man."
Church Leaders
Ezra Taft Benson
Presidents of the Church
"Problems Affecting the Domestic Tranquility of Citizens of the United States of America,” Vital Speeches 42 (February 1 1976): 240.
“Surely you can see the inconsistency in the individual who insists that we be good stewards and not pollute our environment, and yet who is unscrupulous in his personal life. Again, physical and spiritual laws are interrelated. Pollution of one's environment and moral impurity both rest on a life-style which partakes of a philosophy of ‘eat, drink, and be merry’—gouge and grab now, without regard to the consequences. Both violate the spirit of stewardship for which we will stand accountable.”
Church Leaders
Ezra Taft Benson
Presidents of the Church
The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [1988], 644.
"It is not likely that someone who does not love his neighbor will be concerned with his adverse impact on the environment . . . If there is disregard for oneself, there will be disregard for one's neighbor. If there is no reverence for life itself, there is apt to be little reverence for the resources God has given man. The outward expressions of irreverence for life and for fellowmen often take the form of heedless pollution of both air and water. But are these not expressions of the inner man? You are among those who must undertake the task of alerting mankind to problems with regard to his physical environment, but do you not see that if you attempt to do this without giving heed to the spiritual law involved, you undertake an impossible task."
Church Leaders
Ezra Taft Benson
Presidents of the Church
The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988), 643
"A priesthood holder is kind. One who is kind is sympathetic and gentle with others. He is considerate of others' feelings and courteous in his behavior. He has a helpful nature. Kindness pardons others' weaknesses and faults. Kindness is extended to all—to the aged and the young, to animals, to those of low station as well as the high. These are the true attributes of the divine nature."
Church Leaders
Ezra Taft Benson
Presidents of the Church
"Godly Characteristics of the Master,"Ensign, p. 47, Nov. 1986
"[God] knows what course to pursue to restore mankind to their pristine excellency and primitive vigor, and health; and he has appointed the word of wisdom as one of the engines to bring about this thing, to remove the beastly appetites, the murderous disposition and the vitiated taste of man; to restore his body to health, and vigour, promote peace between him and the brute creation . . . Let men attend to [the Word of Wisdom], let them use the things ordained of God; let them be sparing of the life of animals; ‘it is pleasing saith the Lord that flesh be used only in times of winter, or of famine’—and why to be used in famine? because all domesticated animals would naturally die, and may as well be made use of by man, as not."
Church Leaders
Hyrum Smith
General Authorities
Times and Seasons 3, no. 1 (June 1, 1842): 799-801.
"When men go to the canyon for wood or lumber, those that have this difficult labor to perform should take with them a rich portion of the Holy Spirit; and they should realize that they have it to enable them to live their religion there, that God protects them in the canyons as well as any other place; and let them take all their religion with them that they carry to or from this Tabernacle . . . Do not leave your religion at the mouth of the canyon, or with the gatekeeper; do not leave it with your wagon; but take your religion and the Spirit of your God with you clear up to where you get your wood."
Church Leaders
Franklin D. Richards
General Authorities
Journal of Discourses 5:46-47, March 22, 1857
“There is law and order and precision in the universe, which is breathtaking! What is physical interconnects with the spiritual; what is spiritual, or eternal, or moral resonates with the physical. We respond in our very soul to the order in the universe, and how we respect these interconnections will have a profound effect upon our happiness.”
Church Leaders
Boyd K. Packer
General Authorities
The Earth Shall Teach Thee, 19.
"We can never afford to be cruel or indifferent or ungenerous, because we are all connected, even if it is in a pattern that only God sees.""
Church Leaders
Chieko Okazaki
General Authorities
"Cat's Cradle of Kindness," Ensign 1993
"The cause of Christ is to increase the amount of love in the world today—the amount of love in our hearts, the amount of love in our homes, the amount of love in our offices and businesses, the amount of love in our communities, the amount of love in our chapels, the amount of love in our nation, and the amount of love on our planet.”
Church Leaders
Chieko Okazaki
General Authorities
"Cat's Cradle of Kindness," Ensign 1993
"We hear much about cleaning up the physical environment—air, water, and other essentials that are being polluted in a way that is poisoning the physical environment for all of us. We may choose to join in such efforts. But we who are responsible to push back against the world should be at least equally concerned about forces that are poisoning the moral environment. I refer to such moral pollutions as pornography. I also refer to language that pollutes public communications with profanity, vulgarity, and morally degrading coarseness. Push back against these kinds of pollutions also. "In all of these efforts, we can trust in the great promises of the Lord. He has taught us, 'If ye are prepared ye shall not fear' (D&C 38:30). He has also taught us that He does not ask anything of us except He prepares the way for us to accomplish it (see 1 Nephi 3:7). He has shown us that while He may not immediately answer our prayers for relief, He will strengthen us to bear the burdens placed upon us (see Mosiah 24:14–15)."
Church Leaders
Dallin H. Oaks
General Authorities
"Push Back Against the World," BYU-Hawaii commencement, Feb 25, 2017.
"Of course this counsel to love, to avoid contention, and to be examples of civility is not meant to discourage us from participating in discussions, debates, and even taking adversarial positions against what we believe to be wrong or inadvisable. Within the limits of our own resources of time and influence we should take a position, make it known, and in a respectful way attempt to persuade others of its merit, at least for us. Positive action is essential to our responsibility to push back against the world. "Good examples of those kinds of positions where our voices need to be heard are the importance of religion and religious freedom for all citizens, believers and nonbelievers alike."
Church Leaders
Dallin H. Oaks
General Authorities
"Push Back Against the World," BYU-Hawaii commencement, Feb 25, 2017.
"Many of you have seen the spiritual and temporal pollutions, scars, and damage wrought by man upon this earth and well may we all chime in with Enoch and ask ourselves: will we not have compassion upon the earth? Or are we too caught up in our personal pursuits and desires?"
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.
"In the Book of Mormon, it is prophesied that in the latter-days there would be 'fires, tempests, and vapors of smoke . . . and . . . great pollutions upon the face of the earth,' and that such conditions would be coupled with 'murders, and robbing, and lying, and deceiving, and whoredoms, and all manner of abominations; when there shall be many who will say, Do this, or do that, and it mattereth not.' [Mormon 8:29-31] According to LDS scripture, there is a corollary between the selfish, materialistic man out to hoard money, material possessions, and/or the man with irreverence for life—and pollutions (spiritual or temporal) upon the face of the earth."
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.
"Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ teaches us to live lives of internal consistency, true to God, true to his present and yet-to-be born children, and true to the purpose of his creations. To the degree that it enlarges our understanding of who we are, why this earth was created, and inspires us to respect this earth as the handiwork of God and to think of others (including future generations), religion can change how we will treat the earth and all things thereon."
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.
"Faith and religion should have the capacity to stretch, enlarge, and change the human soul beyond self, and to inspire love of God and His creations, to think of others, and to consider the needs of future generations, even to the point of sacrificing personal desires. We need that soul-stretching, for the state of the human soul will directly impact the condition and health of the environment—which, in turn affects our quality of life."
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 the human soul is thus changed, the environment is better cared for. The doctrine and commandments of God lead us beyond the suffocating, self-limiting weight of selfishness, the blinding press of self-gratification or aggrandizement. The gospel of Jesus Christ helps us think beyond ourselves, to think of the earth and all life given by God and to think of others now and in future generations, rather than pursue the immediate vindication of our personal desires or avowed rights. If I pursue a selfish, irreverent course, I pursue a course that gives license to despoil the earth, for pollution, damage, and waste are almost always the product of selfishness or irreverence. To the degree that religion teaches reverence for God, for His creations, for life, and for our fellowman, it will teach us to care for the environment. In short, the state of the human soul and the environment are interconnected, each affects and influences the other."
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 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.
"According to LDS scripture, there is a corollary between the selfish, materialistic man out to hoard money, material possessions, and/or the man with irreverence for life—and pollutions (spiritual or temporal) upon the face of the earth."
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.
"Pollution and environmental deterioration are primarily moral and spiritual problems, rather than problems of technology."
Church Leaders
Alexander B. Morrison
General Authorities
"Our Deteriorating Environment," Ensign 1 (August 1971): 69
"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
"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.
"'A righteous man is merciful to animals.' This should be taught to the children in the Sabbath schools, that the children of the Latter-day Saints may be known for their kindness to animals."
Church Leaders
Karl G. Maeser
General Authorities
Conference Report, p. 76, April 9, 1899
"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
"Look at the animal creation, they were all created by law, and will fulfill that law by which they were created. But see the feeling and disposition that we have in our hearts to be cruel towards animals, and that same passion that we cultivate towards the brute creation, mankind by-and-by will have towards one another. Reflect upon the experience of the past and you will find it so."
Church Leaders
Heber C. Kimball
General Authorities
Journal of Discourses 9:336, April 27, 1862
“Children who are trained to respect the rights of the lower animals will . . . respect human rights and become good citizens.”
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 35 (Feb. 15, 1900), 124.
"Where we treat our animals in an inhuman manner we not only displease the Lord and are guilty of sin toward the animal creation, but we also set an exceedingly bad example to the rising generation, one which is very likely to have a bad effect on their whole character. Such examples harden the hearts of the children, and stifle the feeling of kindness and mercy that ought to be cultivated."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 34:113, Feb. 15, 1899
"We say again such cruelty as many boys and men practice towards animals, is very sinful, and they ought to be ashamed of their conduct. Will a man or boy who has the Spirit of God be cruel or unkind to dumb creatures because they are in his power? No, for the Spirit of God fills men and boys with love and compassion, and they would as soon think of abusing their companions as they would of abusing a horse, ox, or any other animal."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 6:76, May 13, 1871
"[We] should be kind to others, and to animals, and birds, and creeping things, because it is right to be kind."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
"Don't Be Cruel," Juvenile Instructor 4, no. 25 (Dec 3, 1869): 197.
"There can be no doubt in the mind of any person who believes in the God of heaven that He will hold man accountable for any ill treatment of the creatures He was placed under his control, and those who misuse or treat them with cruelty will be called to an account for such acts. It is not our acts to our fellow man alone that we shall be called to an account for, but our acts to the creations of our Father in heaven. These animals are His, He created them, and they are not outside of the reach of His love and care, and they cannot be badly treated with impunity. This is the lesson that should be impressed deeply upon the minds of the young, and when they are awakened to realize this they will be more humane to the animals they have in their keeping and be more likely to treat them with consideration and kindness."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor, XXIX (January 15, 1897), 59.
"The question which every sportsman should ask himself is, Have I need? Am I or my family hungry? If so, of course man is justified in killing animals or birds to satisfy his or his family's hunger. But if he has not any want of meat he "shedded blood," and he exposes himself to this wo which the Lord has pronounced . . . but, while this cannot be condemned without qualification, it is the spirit of destruction that we deplore and that we wish to call attention to—the disposition to destroy life and to slaughter the creatures which God has created, for the sake of sport. This is not right."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 34:592, Oct. 1, 1899
"Every child that is brought into contact with animals should be taught, by parents and by all who attempt to instruct the young, that it is a very great sin in the sight of the Almighty for the dumb creation to be treated with cruelty or even with neglect. A merciful man is merciful to his beast."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 34:113, Feb 15, 1899
"Cruelty to animals is always the sign of a weak and little mind, whereas we invariably find really great men distinguished by their humanity."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 4:108, July 3, 1869
"Children should be taught that it is a duty to protect and care for the creatures that are in their charge; to see that they are fed and watered and housed, so that they will not suffer. They should not be overworked. They should not be beaten improperly or abused; but should be treated with kindness. A child that is cruel to an animal exhibits a bad disposition. He will be apt to grow up to be an unfeeling, cruel man. Therefore children should be taught to be merciful to the brute creation."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 26:443, July 15, 1891
"A man who is cruel to a helpless, dumb creature like a horse or an ox, which cannot complain of him, has cruelty in his nature; and when he gets a child or a woman in his power, he will be unkind to her; he is not fit to be a husband or a father, and ought to be shunned."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor, VI (May 13, 1871), 76.
“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).
“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.
"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.
And when Enoch heard the earth mourn, he wept, and cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, wilt thou not have compassion upon the earth? Wilt thou not bless the children of Noah?
Pearl of Great Price
49 7
Moses
Moses 7:49
“Our doctrine is enormously progressive as it relates to the environment, but our cultural interpretation has not followed suit. Our theology has not translated politically into a powerful environmental ethic. Some hope is found, however, that the Mormon public is increasingly sensitive to things environmental.” (Craig Galli wrote of him to whom this quote is attributed: "Wayne Owens served as a member of the House of Representatives from Utah for Utah's 2nd congressional district from 1973 to 1975 and again from 1987 to 1993. He served as a mission president of the LDS Canada Montreal Mission from 1975 to 1978, after which he returned to Salt Lake City to practice law. As a member of Congress, he introduced a bill to reintroduce wolves to Yellowstone National Park and arranged a hearing about the effects of nuclear testing on nearby residents.")
Other Sources
D. Wayne Owens
Other Writings of Mormons
"Study Guide: LDS Perspectives on Environmental Stewardship," pg. 9
"To realize the objectives of ecologically sustainable development, Latter-day Saints should not only mobilize as an army of conscientious and environmentally responsible citizens but also couple this with the merits of gospel living. This is the only form of development that is truly sustainable. This is the Lord's formula and this is where the Saints add value."
Other Sources
David Osborn
Other Writings of Mormons
“Rattlesnakes and Beehives: Why Latter-day Saints Should Support Ecologically Sustainable Development,” 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), 155–64.
"The connection between the sacred and profane is entirely a proper one, and I welcome the excuse for a philosophical discourse. For as we learn even from the Word of Wisdom, body and mind—the temporal and the spiritual—are inseparable, and to corrupt the one is to corrupt the other. Inevitably our surroundings become a faithful reflection of our mentality and vice versa. The right people, according to Brigham Young, could convert hell to heaven, and the wrong ones heaven to hell."
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
"Stewardship of the Air," from Hugh Nibley's Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints; this talk was given 16 February 1989 in Provo, Utah, as part of a Clear Air Symposium at Brigham Young University.
"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.
"As we progress in incorporating gospel culture more fully in our lives, a deep sense of incongruence with physical surroundings that are ugly, polluted, and deprived of life grows within us. We are familiar with the many ecological promises God has made, such as the declaration in our tenth article of faith that the 'earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.' We wonder how we can participate with other like-minded people, including those not of our faith, in helping such promises be fulfilled, for we find them to be motivating, ennobling, and harmonious with what we know about the eternal nature of all mankind. We do not want to repeat past mistakes in our actions toward the Creation. Rather, it is our hope that the ebb and flow of intelligent, faith-directed action toward the Creation will give way to sustained improvement in attitudes and behaviors that are consistent with the eternal value of the Creation and its integral role in our own development."
Other Sources
Aaron Kelson
Other Writings of Mormons
“The Hope for Extraordinary Ecological Improvement,” 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), 89–95.
"During that period President [David O.] McKay wrote a lengthy article for the 'Superintendent's Department' of the Juvenile Instructor, which served as the official publication for the Sunday School. Decrying the use of bird feathers for women's millinery, he wrote that 'greed and vanity combine to destroy . . . some of the most beautiful of God's creatures.' Referring to the 'murder' of birds, he said the fate of the egret was 'tragic.' Appealing to the sensitiveness of his readers, President McKay portrayed 'the suffering of these helpless fledglings slowly dying, and calling in vain for the mother that never returns.' He then proposed that it was time that 'every organization in the world' should act to protect birds. 'True religion [is] imparted' by exercising 'love for all the creatures of the earth,' emphasized President McKay."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) Page 68, footnote: David O. McKay, "Protect the Birds," Juvenile Instructor XLVIII (May, 1913), 310-1.
"Also during Joseph F. Smith's time as Church President, superintendent of the Sunday Schools, and editor of the Juvenile Instructor, a special editorial on 'Humane Day' was published. Signatures accompanying the editorial were of the Sunday School superintendency, which included the future President of the Church, David O. McKay, and Stephen L. Richards, later counselor in the First Presidency to David O. McKay. This same editorial was repeated by Heber J. Grant, successor to Joseph F. Smith as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and editor of the Juvenile Instructor. Thus three Presidents of the Church gave their endorsement and published this important statement on zoophily in the Church. Because of its unique status this document is also reproduced in full. "'What is it to be humane to the beasts of the fields and the birds of the air? It is more than to be considerate of the animal life entrusted to our care. It is a grateful appreciation of God's creations. It is the lesson of divine law. To Him all life is a sacred creation for the use of His children. Do we stand beside Him in our tender regard for life? "Our sense of appreciation should be quickened by a desire to understand divine purposes, and to keep the balance of animal life adjusted to the needs of creation. Man in his wanton disregard of a sacred duty has been reckless of life. He has destroyed it with an indifference to the evil results it would entail upon the earth. Birds have been uselessly slaughtered, and pests have sprung up as a consequence to plague the people of the world. We are a part of all life and should study carefully our relationship to it. We should be in sympathy with it, and not allow our prejudices to create a desire for its destruction. The unnecessary destruction of life begets a spirit of destruction which grows within the soul. It lives by what it feeds upon and robs man of the love that he should have for the works of God. It hardens the heart of man and makes him prey upon the social welfare which he should feel for the happiness and advancement of his fellow man. "The unnecessary destruction of life is a distinct spiritual loss to the human family. Men cannot worship the Creator and look with careless indifference upon his creation. The love of all life helps man to the enjoyment of a better life. It exalts the spiritual nature of those in need of divine favor. The wanton destruction of life reacts upon the human family. There is something of the law of compensation which makes criminals injure and destroy life. Men who are unsympathetic toward the life of domestic animals entrusted to them usually receive the reward of the cruelty by the dumb animals which they maltreat. Love begets love in all creation, and nature responds bounteously to the tender treatment of man. "Men learn more easily in sympathetic relationships of all life than they do in the seclusion of human interest. Their minds are more open to the manifestations of that inspiration which all nature gives to those who lovingly enjoy her. Wisdom and virtue come from the animal and vegetable world which carries with it a spiritual as well as a material blessing. Nature helps us to see and understand God. To all His creations we owe an allegiance of service and a profound admiration. Man should be kind to the animals which serve him both directly and indirectly. An angry word or a brutal blow wounds the heart from which it comes. Love of nature is akin to the love of God; the two are inseparable.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) Page 64-5, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, LIII (April, 1918), 182-3; Juvenile Instructor, LXII (April, 1927), 190-1.
"The announcement [of Bird Day in the Juvenile Instructor] stated that 'kindness to animals and all living things' was a 'good way of expressing true religion.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) Page 64, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, L (June, 1915), 375.
"President [Joseph F.] Smith wrote that kindness brought joy to men and comfort to animals 'even when practiced towards the lowest of creatures.' Man's happiness is increased because of his kindness to animals for two reasons, wrote President Smith. Freedom from fear of man made for better relations between man and beast. Also beneficial to man was 'improved conditions of thought and feeling' in man."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) Page 61, footnote: Joseph F. Smith, "The Love of Animals," Juvenile Instructor, XLVIII (February, 1913), 84.
"A short announcement of Humane Day in 1911 commented favorably on recent legislation to protect animals in the United States. However, the 'editorial thought' was that while the passage of laws was helpful, education was the more effective approach to avoid cruelty to animals. It was stated that kindness to animals should be 'a matter of principle, not law.' The editor suggested that children 'be taught from infancy to be kind and tender' to the animals under human care. Further, he stated: 'When every soul gets into the condition of mind that he will go out of his way to ease the suffering of a dumb animal, then many of the cruelties now complained of will disappear from the earth forever.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) Page 60, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, XLVI (February, 1911), 83.
"The responsibility to punish animals was discussed. It was suggested by the anonymous writer that punishment of animals should be done with consideration of their 'intelligence and the real necessities of the case.' Considered more important that the cruelty done to animals was the effect the cruelty had upon the human being administering the cruelty. The explanation was that 'doing wrong to animals' was a 'stepping stone to the doing of wrong to our fellow men.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) Page 59, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, XLII (February, 1907), 97.
"As President [Joseph F.] Smith related the incident to the membership of the Church in general conference, he recalled the time of his baptism when a feeling of pure peace and love came over him. He added that he 'felt as though I wanted to do good everywhere to everybody and to everything.' In fact, he stated that he felt he 'would not injure the smallest insect' beneath his feet.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) Page 58, footnote: Conference Report (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1898), 66.
"He [Cannon] argued that those who hunt for the 'mere pleasure of killing' would develop a 'feeling of indifference' to suffering. People who were indifferent to the pain of animals, concluded Cannon, would 'more likely . . . use their weapons against their fellow-creatures' when provoked to anger. He stated that God had given animals to man for man's sustenance, but animals were 'not to be wasted, not to be killed for sport,' and 'not to be exterminated from the face of the earth.' Man would be held accountable to God for his treatment of animals, wrote Elder Cannon."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) Page 51, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, XXVI (July 15, 1891), 442-43
"Editorially, President Cannon continued to write on zoophilic topics. One editorial decried the 'far too general' disposition of Latter-day Saints to 'kill wild animals and birds, and every insect which crosses their path.' He asked, 'Why there should be such eagerness to kill these creatures.' If men hunted game 'because they have pleasure in taking their lives,' President Cannon suggested the hunter imagine himself in the position of the hunted. The editor admitted a 'great difference between animals and human beings,' but declared all were given life by God and so should be respected and treated with kindness. Animals were meant to be used by man for food, according to Cannon, but only with 'prudence and thanksgiving and not wastefully.' He contended that too often animals' lives were 'very much wasted to gratify the hunting propensity of some men.' He explained that if humans needed animals for food the 'Lord is not displeased if they kill it.' On the other hand, Cannon emphasized, if people hunted for the 'mere pleasure of killing' then sin was committed. Cannon then referred to prophecies concerning the time when 'wild and ferocious' animals would dwell together in kindness. But, Cannon warned, before that day would come, men must 'cease their war upon the animals, the reptiles and the insects.' In the peaceful state looked for in the future, Cannon promised that animals would be harmless and 'universal peace will prevail.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) Page 50, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, XXIV (December 1, 1889), 548-9
"Elder Cannon emphasized judgment by God in the same editorial when he commented that God had made the beasts and put men in charge of them. Thus, Cannon reasoned, God would 'call us to judgment for all our acts' in relation to animals. If man was cruel to animals it indicated he was 'a coward and a tyrant'. As a result of man's misuse of his power over animals, it would be taken from him in the hereafter. On the other hand, Cannon proposed, if man exercised his power over animals with kindness, more power would be given to him after the resurrection. The editorial advocate for kindness to animals suggested men decide how they would like to be treated by others who held power over them, and then to treat animals as they would have themselves treated. He expressed his sentiments with the phrase, 'Be kind, therefore, to all the creatures round.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) Page 46, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, VI (May 13, 1871), 76.
"[George Q.] Cannon explained that the only successful technique to catch the wild horses was by the lasso rope. But, he said, 'this is a very cruel way of catching horses, and ought never to be practiced by people like us.' President Cannon contended that lassoing horses was 'fit only for savages' and a 'rude, barbarous people, like the Californians were when we settled this valley.' The practice was further criticized in the editorial because the horses were 'ruined' by the operation. The use of spurs on the horses was also condemned because it was 'very cruel'. Expressing disgust with the use of spurs, George Q. Cannon stated, 'They treated the poor dumb creatures, which God had given them as though they had no feeling.' 'Such conduct is brutal and sinful,' the editorial continued, 'and punishment in some form will fall upon those who indulge in it.' Further developing the concept that man would be held accountable by God for his treatment of animals, Cannon said cruelty to animals was 'very sinful.' He asked the question, 'Will a man who has the Spirit of God be cruel or unkind to dumb creatures because they are in his power?' He answered with an emphatic 'No.' Indeed, he wrote, 'the spirit of God fills men and boys with love and compassion' and thus they would no sooner hurt an animal than they would a human companion."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) Page 45, footnote: Juvenile Instructor, VI (May 13, 1871), 76.
"No man or woman, no boy or girl, who has any kind feelings will inflict unnecessary pain upon any creature. Such persons will not hurt a worm. 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," The Juvenile Instructor, III (September 1, 1868), 132.
"Next to the scriptures, the most important pronouncements from prophets to the Latter-day Saints are statements signed by the First Presidency of the Church. During Brigham Young's term as President two such statements contained references to animals. The first was written "To the Saints in Utah" by Brigham Young and his two counselors, Heber C. Kimball and Jedediah M. Grant. It was dated September 14, 1854, and referred to people with a cantankerous attitude. They claimed that such 'a person becomes disagreeable to himself, to his family . . . to his animals for they have reason, and in short to all the true intelligences around him.' The second statement was signed by Brigham Young and a new pair of counselors, George A. Smith and Daniel H. Wells. Concerning those living a new type of economic order, the official statement gave advice to provide adequate food and shelter for 'humanely caring for stock during winter.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) Page 35, footnote: James R. Clark, ed., Messages of the First Presidency (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965), II, 150, 262-63.
"While marching, as the story went, a dog had growled menacingly at Sylvester [Smith]. Reportedly he had threatened, 'If that dog bites me, I'll kill him.' Heber C. Kimball recorded that Joseph Smith turned to the angry Sylvester and said, 'If you kill that dog, I'll whip you.' The Prophet, according to Kimball, showed 'the brethren how wicked and unchristian like such conduct appeared before the eyes of truth and justice.' Commenting further upon the incident, Joseph Smith said that men should be ashamed of such a spirit of contention and 'ought never to place themselves on a level with the beasts; but be possessed of a more noble disposition.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) Page 23, footnote: Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. B.H. Roberts (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1959), II, 83, 156.
"According to LDS scripture, there is a corollary between the selfish, materialistic man out to hoard money, material possessions, and/or the man with irreverence for life—and pollutions (spiritual or temporal) upon the face of the earth."
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.
"It is unrighteousness in general that is bringing the earth down, not just environmental abuse; indeed, one gets the impression from all that Enoch sees and hears in this vision that a little smog is the least of the earth's worries. But that in itself is an important point and teaches a lesson that is often overlooked in discussions about the environment: nature suffers when man is unrighteous. Enoch is telling us [in Moses 7:48] that the earth, like God, has a low tolerance for sin of any sort, and that the strip mining, overgrazing, air pollution, and animal abuse that constitute the meat and drink of mainstream environmentalism today are actually only part, and probably a small part, of the problem. Just as devastating to the planet, perhaps in ways not as immediately apparent but every bit as real, is the 'great chain' Satan holds in his hand, with which he veils 'the whole face of the earth with darkness' (Moses 7:26). One shows 'compassion upon the earth,' to use the prophet's phrase, by keeping all God's commandments, not just those that speak directly to the subject" (Moses 7:49).
Other Sources
Andrew Hedges
Other Writings of Mormons
“'Compassion upon the Earth': Man, Prophets, and Nature,” 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), 81–8.
"Maybe we have become too accustomed to looking to institutions and political processes for answers when we should instead look to ourselves. Perhaps a ground-level, faith-based practice of good stewardship will be helpful in reducing unnecessary polarization and, more importantly, in producing more fruitful and sustainable practices."
Other Sources
George Handley
Other Writings of Mormons
"LDS Belief and the Environment" on Save Our Canyons website
"I have often thought that in our day and age—and I believe that there is some precedence in the scriptures for this, such as references to pollution in the last days and so on—one of the areas at which we could look seriously and about which we could feel good is this area of cleaning up our environment. I have a feeling that pollution is going to get worse and that there are going to be a lot of jobs in this area. I am convinced that the Lord is against pollution. He is against perversion. He is against prostitution—and prostitution has a much broader meaning than just its limited sexual sense; it really means perverting something from its correct use to an incorrect use. I would think that prostitution and pollution and perversion are all about the same, and God is against such things. How we treat him is reflected in how we treat others who are his children, and how we treat the elements and other forms of life on this earth, which are his. He created them. If there were one safe area in which to look for a livelihood, I think it would be in this area. I do not know whether this would be your avocation or not, but you might think about it. I am convinced in my own mind that we have not really fulfilled our mission in life as individuals or as a Church until we have demonstrated and shown as much advancement in other areas as we have in theology. We know how government ought to be, we know how society ought to be, we know what cleanliness ought to be, we know what the environment really should be; we should lead out in these areas. For instance, we recognize that we have environmental problems. I am not sure what the answer is, but I do not think the answer is what some “environmentalists” think it is—that is, to stop whatever we are doing—because we as a race must produce. I am not sure how to do it, but I am sure that there is a right way; we just need to discover it. I do not believe that the Lord is pleased with the constant corruption and pollution we so willingly endure—not just spiritually, but physically—to achieve some of our goals. I personally cannot help but believe that there is a better way. I cannot help but feel that God knows how to transform all of these base materials into useful tools without all the choking clouds of dust and the stench of pollution in our rivers and streams. He put our resources here, he put us here, and he knows what we need. He knows what is here and how to get things done. I do not think that he is against energy. I think that he is for all of these things, and wants us to use them in the proper way to get around, do his work, and build up his kingdom. But my faith is that there is a better way than we now know. He wants us to use the elements—to mold them for our use—but in a different way. Now should that not be something that you students here at BYU could figure out—with the Lord’s help? (And who should be closer to him than you?) We have talked about missions for individuals, and we are all aware of the Church mission. In my mind, BYU, as part of the Church, should become the pollution control center of the world—not only spiritually, but physically. I feel that this is important. We take the gospel to all the world in a spiritual way; we ought to do it in other ways, also . . . I guess we could say that, as far as our life’s mission is concerned, both spiritually and physically, we could feel good about doing away with pollution and putting purity in its place. That is a real challenge and is something that we should do. You at this University should be the leaders in doing it."
Other Sources
John H. Groberg
Other Writings of Mormons
"What is Your Mission?" Brigham Young University 1979 Speech
"As Berry and many others suggest, the problems associated with the environmental crisis—pollution, species extinction, climate change—are but symptoms of a much deeper failure on the part of our civilization to relate to the earth and its creatures in moral terms."
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)
"Many of the current ecological issues form part of what I would call an ecological apostasy, the great falling away by Western civilization from sacred truths about the spirituality of the earth and its creatures which Joseph Smith began to restore in his vitalistic theology."
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)
"I believe that ceasing enmity toward animals will lead to a greater depth of spirituality, sensitivity, and charity in the hearts of the Latter-day Saints and help prepare the earth for the Millennium. We must change for harmony to exist in the world of nature and things. Only then can we be fully at peace with each other and with all of God’s creatures."
Other Sources
Jane Birch
Other Writings of Mormons
Discovering the Word of Wisdom, pg 86
"Environmental stewardship is ultimately a moral choice, requiring an important shift of heart and mind."
Other Sources
Donald L. Adolphson
Other Writings of Mormons
“Environmental Stewardship and Economic Prosperity,” 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), 5–14.
"I submit that no people should be more concerned about the earth than Latter-day Saints."
Other Sources
Dr. Joseph R. Murphy
Church Magazines
"Ecology, Pollution, and Consumerism," in Sept 1971 New Era.
"What we do about ecology depends on our ideas of the man-nature relationship. More science and more technology are not going to get us out of the present ecologic crisis until we find a new religion, or rethink our old one."
Other Sources
Lynn White
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
"The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis" in The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology. Ed. C. Glotfelty and H. Fromm. Athens, Georgia: U of Georgia Press, 1996.
"Men will turn again with renewed interest to the animal world. In these disordered days a stupid, uncontrollable massacre of animal species goes on—from certain angles of vision it is a thing almost more tragic than human miseries; in the nineteenth century dozens of animal species, and some of them very interesting species, were exterminated; but one of the first fruits of an effective world state would be the better protection of what are now wild beasts. It is a strange thing in human history to note how little has been done since the Bronze Age in taming, using, befriending, and appreciating the animal life about us. But that mere witless killing which is called sport today, would inevitably give place in a better educated world community to a modification of the primitive instincts that find expression in this way, changing them into an interest not in the deaths, but in the lives of beasts, and leading to fresh and perhaps very strange and beautiful attempts to befriend these pathetic, kindred lower creatures we no longer fear as enemies, hate as rivals, or need as slaves. And a world state and universal justice does not mean the imprisonment of our race in any bleak institutional orderliness. There will still be mountains and the sea, there will be jungles and great forests, cared for indeed and treasured and protected; the great plains will still spread before us and the wild winds blow. But men will not hate so much, fear so much, nor cheat so desperately—and they will keep their minds and bodies cleaner."
Other Sources
H.G. Wells
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
The Outline of History: Being a Plain History of Life and Mankind, pg. 1098
"We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity."
Other Sources
Al Gore
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Statement on the day of receiving Nobel Peace Prize; reported in "Gore says climate change 'not a political issue,'" Reuters, 12 Oct 2007.
"He that plants trees loves others beside himself."
Other Sources
Thomas Fuller
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Gnomologia (1732) no. 2247
"Moreover, when our hearts are authentically open to universal communion, this sense of fraternity excludes nothing and no one. It follows that our indifference or cruelty towards fellow creatures of this world sooner or later affects the treatment we mete out to other human beings. We have only one heart, and the same wretchedness which leads us to mistreat an animal will not be long in showing itself in our relationships with other people. Every act of cruelty towards any creature is 'contrary to human dignity.'"
Other Sources
Pope Francis
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Encyclical Letter Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home (24 May 2015)
"A sense of deep communion with the rest of nature cannot be real if our hearts lack tenderness, compassion and concern for our fellow human beings. It is clearly inconsistent to combat trafficking in endangered species while remaining completely indifferent to human trafficking, unconcerned about the poor, or undertaking to destroy another human being deemed unwanted. This compromises the very meaning of our struggle for the sake of the environment."
Other Sources
Pope Francis
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Encyclical Letter Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home (24 May 2015)
"The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also refected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life."
Other Sources
Pope Francis
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Encyclical Letter Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home (24 May 2015)
"Our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us . . . This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor."
Other Sources
Pope Francis
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Encyclical Letter Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home (24 May 2015)
"The serious ecological problems which face us have as their basis a disordered spirituality; they can be cured and prevented only by a reorientation toward the proper purpose of life. The gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by his church in these latter days can provide full answers to these problems."
Other Sources
A.B. Morrison
Church Magazines
"Our Deteriorating Environment" in Aug 1971 Ensign.
"An editorial published in the Juvenile Instructor in April 1918 was considered of such significance that it was repeated in April 1927. It stated: 'What is it to be humane to the beasts of the fields and birds of the air? It is more than to be considerate of the animal life entrusted to our care. It is a grateful appreciation of God’s creations. It is the lesson of divine love. To Him all life is a sacred creation for the use of His children. Do we stand beside Him in our tender regard for life? 'Our sense of appreciation should be quickened by a desire to understand divine purposes, and to keep the balance of animal life adjusted to the needs of creation. Man in his wanton disregard of a sacred duty has been reckless of life. He has destroyed it with an indifference to the evil results it would entail upon the earth. Birds have been uselessly slaughtered, and pests have sprung up as a consequence to plague the people of the world. Animals in the providence of the creation have been intended as a prey upon one another. They preserve a safe balance for the benefit of man. '... The unnecessary destruction of life is a distinct spiritual loss to the human family. Men cannot worship the Creator and look with careless indifference upon his creations. The love of all life helps man to the enjoyment of a better life. It exalts the spiritual nature of those in need of divine favor. 'The wanton destruction of life reacts upon the human family. There is something in the law of compensation which makes criminals injure and destroy life. Men who are unsympathetic toward the life of domestic animals entrusted to them usually receive the reward of their cruelty by the dumb animals which they maltreat. Love begets love in all creation, and nature responds bounteously to the tender treatment of man. '... Nature helps us to see and understand God. To all His creations we owe an allegiance of service and a profound admiration. Man should be kind to the animals which serve him both directly and indirectly. An angry word or a brutal blow wounds the heart from which it comes. Love of nature is akin to the love of God; the two are inseparable.'”
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Church Magazines
"The Gospel and Animals" in Aug 1972 Ensign.
"When such questions trouble us as parents, the gospel gives us perspective. We know that committed Christians are neither cynical nor slothful; and as we, with our children, develop an appreciation for our Father’s creations, we also develop those other elements of faith—a sense of wonder and a sense of truth. Together we are discovering nature—including human nature and the divine nature as well."
Other Sources
Sharon Dequer
Church Magazines
"Discovering Nature" in June 1977 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.
"Though the prophets have spoken frequently about man’s responsibility to show proper treatment to animals in this world, very little detail is known about the states of animals in the eternities. Greater emphasis is rightly placed upon man’s need to live the gospel and be worthy to return to his Heavenly Father where he will then learn the answers to such questions. Quoting again from the editorial cited at the beginning of this article: 'Men cannot worship the Creator and look with careless indifference upon his creations. The love of all life helps man to the enjoyment of a better life. It exalts the spiritual nature of those in need of divine favor.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Church Magazines
"I Have a Question - Where do animals fit in the eternal plan of things?" in March 1977 Ensign.
A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
Old Testament
10 12
Proverbs
Proverbs 12:10
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
Old Testament
9 11
Isaiah
Isaiah 11:9
And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Book of Mormon
4 2
Isaiah
Isaiah 2:4
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
New Testament
1 15
Romans
Romans 15:1
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
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
New Testament
8 4
Philippians
Philippians 4:8
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
New Testament
10 16
Luke
Luke 16:10
For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
New Testament
48 12
Luke
Luke 12:48
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as it becometh saints;
New Testament
3 5
Ephesians
Ephesians 5:3
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
New Testament
1 7
2 Corinthians
2 Corinthians 7:1
And whoso is found a faithful, a just, and a wise steward shall enter into the joy of his Lord, and shall inherit eternal life.
Doctrine and Covenants
19 51
D&C
D&C 51:19
Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created.
Doctrine and Covenants
34 29
D&C
D&C 29:34
And even I myself have labored with all the power and faculties which I have possessed, to teach you the commandments of God, and to establish peace throughout the land, that there should be no wars nor contentions, no stealing, nor plundering, nor murdering, nor any manner of iniquity;
Book of Mormon
14 29
Mosiah
Mosiah 29:14
And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.
Book of Mormon
26 4
Mosiah
Mosiah 4:26
And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.
Book of Mormon
16 4
Mosiah
Mosiah 4:16
And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.
Book of Mormon
13 4
Mosiah
Mosiah 4:13
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
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
Neither have I suffered that ye should be confined in dungeons, nor that ye should make slaves one of another, nor that ye should murder, or plunder, or steal, or commit adultery; nor even have I suffered that ye should commit any manner of wickedness, and have taught you that ye should keep the commandments of the Lord, in all things which he hath commanded you—
Book of Mormon
13 2
Mosiah
Mosiah 2:13
For so exceedingly do they anger that it seemeth me that they have no fear of death; and they have lost their love, one towards another; and they thirst after blood and revenge continually.
Book of Mormon
5 9
Moroni
Moroni 9:5
But behold, it is to get gain, to be praised of men, yea, and that ye might get gold and silver. And ye have set your hearts upon the riches and the vain things of this world, for the which ye do murder, and plunder, and steal, and bear false witness against your neighbor, and do all manner of iniquity.
Book of Mormon
21 7
Helaman
Helaman 7:21
And it was because of the pride of their hearts, because of their exceeding riches, yea, it was because of their oppression to the poor, withholding their food from the hungry, withholding their clothing from the naked, and smiting their humble brethren upon the cheek, making a mock of that which was sacred, denying the spirit of prophecy and of revelation, murdering, plundering, lying, stealing, committing adultery, rising up in great contentions, and deserting away into the land of Nephi, among the Lamanites—
Book of Mormon
12 4
Helaman
Helaman 4:12
And they did impart of their substance, every man according to that which he had, to the poor, and the needy, and the sick, and the afflicted; and they did not wear costly apparel, yet they were neat and comely.
Book of Mormon
27 1
Alma
Alma 1:27
Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.
Book of Mormon
7 17
3 Nephi
3 Nephi 17:7
And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Old Testament
4 2
Isaiah
Isaiah 2:4
Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing.
Doctrine and Covenants
22 128
D&C
D&C 128:22
For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.
Doctrine and Covenants
26-28 58
D&C
D&C 58:26-28