04 February 2008

Words of the Prophets

With the recent passing of President Hinckley, I have thought about and been curious to find words of the prophets regarding this earth and our environment. This is by no means complete, but is a sampling of some meaningful quotes I have come across.

Gordon B Hinckley
"What then shall you do with Jesus that is called Christ? This earth is his creation. When we make it ugly, we offend him."

Howard W Hunter
"This is a materialistic world, and Latter-day Saints must be careful not to confuse luxuries with necessities...There are some who unwisely aspire to self-indulgent luxuries that often lead them away from complete commitment to the gospel of our Savior."

Ezra Taft Benson
"Against this background of far too many failures in traditional food aid programs and the rapidly growing number of God's children throughout the whole earth, it is abundantly clear that a new approach is in order."

Spencer W Kimball
"We recommend to all people that there be no undue pollution, that the land be taken care of and kept clean, productive, and beautiful."

Joseph Fielding Smith
"So we see that the Lord intends to save, not only the earth and the heavens, not only man who dwells upon the earth, but all things which he has created. The animals, the fishes of the sea, the fowls of the air, as well as man, are to be recreated, or renewed, through the resurrection, for they too are living souls."

David O Mckay
"a true Latter-day Saint is kind to animals, is kind to every created thing, for God created all."

David O Mckay
"We have heard much about the necessity of conservation. We have been admonished to conserve our resources. Economy and thrift are fundamentals in the social organization and in the teachings of this Church. Conservation and care are in keeping with the example which Jesus gave his disciples. You remember on one occasion he fed the multitude, after which he said,'...Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.'" (John 6:12.)

David O Mckay
"With every progressive age of the world, intellectual, nobleminded leaders have sought a better way of living than that which was current....The Church...offers to the world the solution of all its social problems."

Heber J Grant
"If there is any one thing that will bring peace and contentment into the human heart, and into the family, it is to live within our means."

Heber J Grant
"That which we persist in doing becomes easy to do; not that the nature of the thing has changed, but that our power to do has increased."

Joseph F Smith
"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. … It is an unrighteous thing to treat any creature cruelly. … It will be a blessed day when mankind shall accept and abide by the Christ-like sentiment expressed by one of the poets in the following words: 'Take not away the life you cannot give, For all things have an equal right to live.' "

Joseph F Smith
"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."

Lorenzo Snow
"While moving slowly forward in pursuit of something to kill, my mind was arrested with the reflection on the nature of my pursuit—that of amusing myself by giving pain and death to harmless, innocent creatures that perhaps had as much right to life and enjoyment as myself. I realized that such indulgence was without any justification, and feeling condemned, I laid my gun on my shoulder, returned home, and from that time to this have felt no inclination for that murderous amusement."

Brigham Young
"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."

Brigham Young
"What power is legally ours? That which was given to Adam and the human family in former days. Power? Yes. Dominion? Yes. Glory? Yes. Honour? Yes. That which pertains to this world? Yes. That which pertains to the next? Yes. Let us understand this power and this privilege that God has guaranteed to the human family. He has first imparted power to mankind to control the elements; and when this is employed faithfully to magnify righteousness, then excellence, magnificence, splendour, beauty, honour, glory, and Godlike power will follow as the results."

Brigham Young
"We should waste nothing, but make everything in some way or other minister to our wants and independence. Everything which we use to feed the life of man or beast, not a grain of it should be permitted to go to waste, but should be made to pass through the stomach of some animal; everything, also, which will fertilize our gardens and our fields should be sedulously saved and wisely husbanded, that nothing may be lost which contains the elements of food and raiment for man and sustenance for beast."

Joseph Smith
"The greatest acts of the mighty men have been to depopulate nations and to overthrow kingdoms...before them the earth was a paradise, and the behind them a desolate wilderness; their kingdoms were founded in carnage and bloodshed, and sustained by oppression, tyranny, and despotism. The designs of God, on the other hand, have been to promote the universal good of the universal world; to establish peace and good will among men; to promote the principles of eternal truth; to bring about a state of things that shall unite man to his fellow man; cause the world to 'beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks,' make the nations of the earth dwell in peace, and to bring about the millennial glory, when 'the earth shall yield its increase, resume its paradisean glory, and become as the garden of the Lord.'"

Joseph Smith
"We crossed the Embarras river and encamped on a small branch of the same about one mile west. In pitching my tent we found three massasaugas or prairie rattlesnakes, which the brethren were about to kill, but I said, 'Let them alone--don't hurt them! How will the serpent ever lose his venom, while the servants of God possess the same disposition, and continue to make war upon it? Men must become harmless, before the brute creation; and when men lose their vicious dispositions and cease to destroy the animal race, the lion and the lamb can dwell together, and the sucking child can play with the serpent in safety.' The brethren took the serpents carefully on sticks and carried them across the creek. I exhorted the brethren not to kill a serpent, bird, or an animal of any kind during our journey unless it became necessary in order to preserve ourselves from hunger."

Causes openly supported by past prophets:

The Development of Zion National Park
Heber J Grant and George Albert Smith
"Later, when Scoyen was asked to identify the most influential park supporters, he listed Randall Jones as the most important person in southern Utah and called him "the Apostle of the Utah Parks." He also identified several Mormon leaders: Heber J. Grant, president of the church; Anthony W. Ivins, counselor in the First Presidency; George Albert Smith of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles; and former bishop and current state legislator David Hirschi."

Ezra Taft Benson Agriculture and Food Institute
A nonprofit organization dedicated to improve the quality of life of people throughout the world. Donors' money sponsors research and programs aimed at overcoming hunger and manutrition. Mission Statement - To raise the quality of life through improved nutrition and enlightened agricultural practices.

Ezra Taft Benson
"Secretary Benson expanded agricultural exports and a purchase program to remove excess commodities from the markets, and he helped to oversee the beginning of the surplus disposal program in international markets that became Public Law 480, named Food for Peace by President Eisenhower. When he left office, he was asked about his work on behalf of American agriculture. After all the policy and legislative debates, after serving a President for two terms, after meeting with countless foreign leaders, he said his work as a county agent gave him the greatest satisfaction. 'Helping boys and girls grow up to be good farmers and good citizens,' he said, 'assisting neighbors to improve their fields, their livestock, their marketing, and their homes.' Those words speak volumes about Ezra Taft Benson,' Veneman said."


Focus said...

There is an excellent book written by Eric N. Skousen, Ph.D. that I think you would enjoy entitled "Earth-In the Beginning".
On page 60, he explains how the population explosion is a myth, and how all the people in the world could live and exist in the state of Utah-leaving the rest of the planet open for food production. This book will definitely make one ponder a variety of subjects.....I heartedly recommend reading this wonderful LDS book.

Anonymous said...

Are you familiar with the Robert Millet and Greg Johnson dialogues? If so, what is your opinion?

Thank you,

Latter-Day Sustainablist said...

Awesome list. Thanks.

green mormon architect said...

Thanks for the link - I will definitely add the book to my reading list.

I actually took one of my religion courses from Robert Millet while in college...I just googled the two of them and recall hearing about their discussions, but I have not followed it. Without knowing the specifics, I think it's a good thing when two religous people can get together and discuss their beliefs in an open and intelligent way.

Th. said...


Funny, I just hit upon that last BY quote last night as I was hanging out in the ward library waiting for my wife.

The key word, of course, is stewardship.

Anyway, I enjoy your blog every time I stop by.

green mormon architect said...

considering all that BY said, that is definitely pretty random...

stewardship: to me it seems there is a disconnect between the teachings of the church and the actions of many of its members regarding the environment. I'm not exactly sure why, but I have a hunch that it is partially politically motivated.