The same issue of Collegiate Post I was published in way back in . . . 2002? saw publication of an excellent little article from a BYU professor about all those scriptures re: dominion over the earth and describing it as stewardship and a responsibility to do a good job rather than as permission to screw things up as badly as we please. And I knew it was true.
Similarly, I'm currently acquainted with a fellow who has a really hard time with the lights at the Oakland Temple being on all the time--the bright outside lights (which can be beautiful) and the visitor-center lights left on even when no one's in the room.
The first, symblolic. The latter, convenient. But the points are good.
Several weeks ago, I found this issue addressed by a blogger named Green Mormon Architect. Here's a fellow interested in the greening of Mormonism--an idea with a long heritage, as I'm sure you know. If you don't, read this post. Or the links in his sidebar.
I sometimes think the curious link in so many people's minds (including many Mormon minds) between AM-radio conservatism and the Church has led to instant reactions against any brand of thought that smells ever so slightly of hippy.1
Anyway, GMA is not the only sustainable blogger. Take this guy. And Lady Steed was meaning to write a post on those reusable bags today. So be expecting that soon.
(Lady Steed is actually something of a pioneer here. I'm hoping she finds the paper she wrote during her BYU days on this exact topic, viz. Mormon doctrine demands environmentalism.2)
Anyway, back to the lights on the temple. I don't feel capable of saying judging between the physical good of turning them off and the spiritual good of leaving them on, but I think it's great whenever we look towards treating the Earth as the God who gave it to us no doubt wishes we would.
A local paper ran an article a couple months ago on clubs that give up buying anything new for a year. Other than food, I suppose. And perhaps toilet paper? I can't remember. I loved the article and wanted to do it, but it was impractical. The amount of time that would be required to find everything we need used locally is prohibitive. Getting it shipped is no more earth-friendly than buying new, it would seem to me. And us poor people can't afford not to buy new and super-processed.
What a weird world we live in.
Now, we're ethical enough to stay out of Wal*Mart and we'll fork out a bit more for decent bread and so forth, but the economy is still aimed at white flour, white sugar--- Oh. Did you hear? I forget where, but this week, the cops found out that the panhandlers outside Wal*Mart were making more than the employees inside? And as was pointed out on Wait Wait, they probably had about the same health plan as well.
But I think the market's headed in a good direction. I believe in Clorox's good intentions, for instance, and I believe in the general good nature of humanity. Also, in self-preservation. And although I am highly suspicious of big money, moths are white again.
As we were out today, we saw a woman just toss a bag of trash on the sidewalk. I can't believe she views the Earth as a good gift from a great Creator. Or even that she is functioning on a fully human level.3
It comes to gratitude. And on that topic, I bring in the dearly departed:
Gratitude is a divine principle. The Lord has declared through revelation: "Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things . . . .
"And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things." (D&C 59:7, 21.)
Our society is afflicted by a spirit of thoughtless arrogance unbecoming those who have been so magnificently blessed. How grateful we should be for the bounties we enjoy. Absence of gratitude is the mark of the narrow, uneducated mind. It bespeaks a lack of knowledge and the ignorance of self-sufficiency. It expresses itself in ugly egotism and frequently in wanton mischief. We have seen our beaches, our parks, our forests littered with ugly refuse by those who evidently have no appreciation for their beauty. I have driven through thousands of acres of blackened land scourged by a fire evidently set by a careless smoker whose only concern had been the selfish pleasure gained from a cigarette.
last week's svithe