Preparing for the Millennium

"The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in . . . The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment."
Church Leaders
Ezra Taft
Presidents of the Church
“Born of God,” Ensign 19 (July 1989): 4.
"Let the people be holy, and the earth under their feet will be holy. Let the people be holy, and filled with the Spirit of God, and every animal and creeping thing will be filled with peace; the soil of the earth will bring forth in its strength, and the fruits thereof will be meat for man. The more purity that exists, the less is the strife; the more kind we are to our animals, the more will peace increase, and the savage nature of the brute creation vanish away. If the people will not serve the Devil another moment whilst they live, if this congregation is possessed of that spirit and resolution, here in this house is the Millennium. Let the inhabitants of this city be possessed of that spirit, let the people of the territory be possessed of that spirit, and here is the Millennium. Let the whole people . . . be possessed of that spirit and here is the Millennium, and so will it spread over all the world."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 1:203
“We are for the kingdom of God, and are not going to the moon, nor to any other planet pertaining to this solar system . . . This earth is the home he has prepared for us, and we are to prepare ourselves and our habitations for the celestial glory in store for the faithful."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:294
“Not many generations will pass away before the days of man will again return. But it will take generations to entirely eradicate the influences of deleterious substances. This must be done before we can attain our paradisiacal state.”
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:64
“[A]s a member and chair of the Senate Committee on Public Lands and Surveys (often called the public lands committee) he played a key role in the passage of a number of laws and policies to protect our public lands. Smoot supported or sponsored measures that (1) strengthened the hand of the United States president and Forest Service director in protecting national forest lands; (2) established the National Park Service; (3) designated Zion and Bryce as national parks and Cedar Breaks as a national monument; and (4) required those who mined public lands or used river sites for the generation of electricity to pay royalties. For the most part, Utahns supported his efforts . . . He lined up with John Muir and other preservationists to oppose the Hetch-Hetchy Dam, which would flood the HetchHetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park in order to generate electricity and provide water for San Francisco. Smoot had two reasons for opposing the dam. The first was aesthetic, a value that he sincerely believed in. In a speech before the Senate, Smoot defended Muir's philosophy of preservation. But the conservative Smoot also was opposed to having governments operate utility projects. Despite opposition, Congress passed the Hetch-Hetchy Act. Smoot began as early as 1912 to propose laws to establish the National Park Service. Until 1916, each of the country's national parks had its own management, but no government agency provided overall direction. Although Smoot argued that the national parks needed some central administration, his bills failed . . . Concerned about the destruction of mountain watersheds from overgrazing and damaging logging practices, Smoot and like-minded senators supported the efforts of the Forest Service to regulate grazing and logging. In opposition, however, Weldon Heyburn and his supporters pushed through Congress a measure that prohibited the president from setting aside national forests in Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, or Colorado without congressional approval. Smoot, however, believed that the president should have the authority to protect the public lands from abuse. He and his supporters insisted that the law allow the president to continue to designate national forests in Utah, California, Washington, and Nevada. In an effort to publicize the need for conservation, President Theodore Roosevelt invited the nation's governors and conservation leaders to a conference in Washington, DC, in December 1908. Recognizing Smoot's solid support for the Forest Service, Roosevelt invited him to chair the Committee on Forest Reservations at the conference. In Smoot's keynote address to the committee he emphasized the need for the careful management of forest land and watersheds in order to protect land, cities, and businesses from damage . . . In addition, he continued to work for the designation of new national parks and the expansion of others, for the management of national forests, and for the reclamation of arid lands. He successfully secured legislation establishing Zion and Bryce National Parks and Cedar Breaks National Monument in southern Utah. He also supported legislation for the enlargement of Mount McKinley (now Denali) National Park in Alaska and Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas and for the preservation of sites on the Mormon Trail in Nebraska. He helped create the presidential forest reserve in the Kaibab National Forest near Grand Canyon. And he promoted the exchange of privately owned properties within national forests.”
Church Leaders
Reed Smoot
General Authorities
“Reed Smoot & America’s Natural Resources, 1903-33,” Utah History to Go.
"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.
"Don’t be part of the worldly attitude described in the characterization of your generation as the 'me generation,' interested only in 'what’s in it for me.' Always be willing to cooperate and even sacrifice in cooperative efforts for the benefit of the larger community."
Church Leaders
Dallin H. Oaks
General Authorities
"Push Back Against the World," BYU-Hawaii commencement, Feb 25, 2017.
“A variation of the ‘I-can-do-as-I-please’ school of thought is the notion that it doesn't matter how badly we treat the earth because Jesus will return soon anyway and make everything right. That, too, is a spurious and specious argument . . . First of all, the scriptures make it clear that no one knows the time of the Second Coming. Why should we live in a sewer while awaiting Christ’s return? Second, does a child have the right to burn down the family home just because his parents possess the ability to rebuild it?”
Church Leaders
Alexander B. Morrison
General Authorities
Visions of Zion (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1993), 88.
"Together with the narrative of the transformation of King Lamoni and his people, Nephi’s hunting story suggests that 'nature,' whether human or nonhuman, is not as immutable as it was, and is, generally taken to be. If human wickedness could exacerbate the effects of the Fall, human righteousness—in our dealings with all living beings—could help undo them. Through 'the wisdom and power of God, and the wisdom, obedience and faith of man combined,' as Hyrum Smith put it in an 1842 address on the Word of Wisdom, the howling wilderness could in reality be transformed into the peaceable kingdom—not instantly, by divine fiat, but 'eventually' and collaboratively, perhaps in a process of reorganization and re-creation that would parallel the process, as revealed in the Book of Abraham, by which the earth was originally created."
Other Sources
Bart H. Welling
Other Writings of Mormons
“'The Blood of Every Beast': Mormonism and the Question of the Animal" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011).
"While many Christian churches have responded by issuing statements, position papers, or establishing environmental offices, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has followed a more subtle and often unrecognized approach. Instead of official statements, Church leaders use environmental analogies or stories within broader doctrinal statements to encourage members to 'be anxiously engaged in a good cause.' Programmatically the Church supports several efforts that reduce both human poverty and environmental degradation. Through these quiet, long-term actions, the Church measures up well when evaluated using Lynn White's statement, 'The understanding of a society's value structure must be based less on what that society says about itself than on what it actually does.'"
Other Sources
William Rudy
Other Writings of Mormons
“A Latter-day Saint Perspective in the Environment-Religion Dialogue,” 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), 177–86.
"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.
"Disciples of Christ cannot choose the do-nothing option simply because there are competing and politically sensitive arguments. The duty to obey supersedes the detail."
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.
"[W]ith principles of conservation firmly in place, only slothful servants wait to be commanded in every detail. The prophets shouldn't have to tell us to recycle any more than they should have to tell us to floss our teeth."
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.
"If we choose to bless the Creation . . . by the intelligent application of our faith, should we be surprised by results that are nothing short of extraordinary? It is comforting and simply logical, given the comprehensive nature of gospel culture, for us to hope that faith-directed efforts to bless the magnificent Creation will reap extraordinary rewards in due time."
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.
"The Church does not need to take a position on environmental protection. Individual Church members, however, do need to become involved in local, state, and national environmental issues and exercise their agency as stewards . . . Isn't it possible that the Lord will need to know how we took care of our little stewardship in this life if He is going to trust us with creations of our own?"
Other Sources
Reed E. Harris
Other Writings of Mormons
“'Oh Say, What Is Truth?',” in Stewardship and the Creation: LDS Perspectives on the Environment, eds. George B. Handley, Terry B. Ball, and Steven L. Peck (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center), 73–9.
"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
“If we are respectful of the planet, the creation, if we have a humble and a meek attitude toward the creations of our Heavenly Father, each of us in some way can indeed make a difference. That may mean doing something as simple as turning off a water tap that’s running, or cleaning our home and property so it’s pleasant and beautiful, or being careful in how we use energy so we don't waste resources. It may mean treating domestic animals with kindness and compassion, or doing what we can to pick up litter and clean up local areas. I think the issue is not what we do; it’s that we do something, and that we do it with an attitude of praise.”
Other Sources
Paul Cox
Church Magazines
"Paul Cox—Preserving God’s Creations" in Nov 1998 Liahona.
"How wonderful it is that no one has to wait, but can start right now to gradually change the world!"
Other Sources
Anne Frank
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Give! (March 26, 1944)
"No matter what resolutions are made or not made at a forum such as this [the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, 1992], no genuine and lasting environmental improvement can take place without grass-roots involvement on a global scale."
Other Sources
Vigdis Finnbogadottir
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
UNCED 1992; quoted in Global Environment Outlook 3: Past, Present and Future Perspectives (2002) by United Nations Environment Programme.
"I am not at all fatalistic about the future. On the contrary, I am very hopeful; but I cannot escape the conviction that we need to become revitalized and fired anew with a common objective. That objective I like to think is building the finest civilization that it is within our power to imagine."
Other Sources
Lowry Nelson
Improvement Era
"The Mormon Village: Retrospect and Prospect," Improvement Era, March 1936, pg. 148.
"Our lives were already busy, but I took a look at the list and realized that while we couldn't tackle all the items at once, we could start with a few . . . We still have a long way to go on our list of 101 ways to help the environment, but we have learned that by making small changes, we can do our part. Also, the whole family is learning valuable lessons about not being wasteful . . . we enjoy working together to make our part of the world a better place."
Other Sources
Ann Fluekiger Larsen
Church Magazines
"Helping the Earth—A Little at a Time" Feb 1994 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.
"Here are a few ideas you might consider in trying to take better care of the earth: Find ways to reduce unnecessary personal consumption of energy, water, wood products, and other products that come from scarce resources. Stop using products that damage the environment. Recycle metal, glass, plastic, and paper products. Be conscientious in disposing of chemical wastes properly. Learn more about natural processes and earth science. Cultivate a garden where possible; learn the art and science of composting. Adopt a conservation rather than a consumption attitude. Be grateful."
Other Sources
G. Michael Alder
Church Magazines
"Earth—A Gift of Gladness" in July 1991 Ensign.
Therefore, it must needs be sanctified from all unrighteousness, that it may be prepared for the celestial glory;
Doctrine and Covenants
18 88
D&C
D&C 88:18
For if you will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you.
Doctrine and Covenants
7 78
D&C
D&C 78:7
And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation.
Doctrine and Covenants
58 45
D&C
D&C 45:58
And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.
Book of Mormon
27 4
Mosiah
Mosiah 4:27