The Sustainable Svithe:
crafted from recycled pieces of others' blog posts

Green Moroni.

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:
    Gordon B HinckleyGratitude 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


  1. You and GMA should hang out. You both have really good taste in friends.

  2. Have you read Ishmael? You should really read Ishmael. It isn't a book I'd recommend unilaterally because there's an awful lot of well-spoken false doctrine in it, but I trust in your ability to think and to see through sophistry, and if you read Ishmael, sifting through its various misconceptions, I think you'll find some of the most beautiful truths concerning this very matter.

    Ishmael. It's by Daniel Quinn. And it isn't very long.

  3. Growing up in California with hippie parents I never encountered this strain of anti-environmentalism until college. And it still weirds me out. I'm just a born (at home) liberal I guess..

    That President Hinckley quote reminds me of the story about a group of kids who decided to break into the Robert Frost House in Vermont and trash the place with a party (there's a story in the NY Times). I don't understand that kind of callous irresponsibility.

    Yesterday I went shopping and remembered to bring my own bags. I've also been writing a post about the guilt I feel every time I throw a diaper away. And another one about all the contradictions and issues with living a sustainable lifestyle (like varied diet vs. eating locally). Anyways, I just wanted to say that I love this svithe and give it a big "Amen!"

  4. .

    Thanks, all. And before I forget, where I got the Moroni image: http://www.wisegorilla.com/.

    Fob--do you actually know him then?

    Schmett--I'm keeping my eyes open.

    Foxy--right back atcha, sister.

  5. great post - thanks for your comments. mr fob and I go back to our undergraduate days in college.

  6. .

    That's so funny! So do me and Mr Fob!

  7. Not that I rank my friends, Number Four--uh, I mean Theric--but GMA does have several years on you. He is Fabio. (And now he will have both me and you killed in order to protect his identity.)

  8. .

    Wow, yeah, jeez. That's hard to compete with.

  9. .

    Although I should point out the odds of another undergrad friend of yours knowing you longer than I have is pretty darned likely.

  10. Yes - you both should fear for your lives now, especially since I found out from that personality test that I am also the Hulk...

  11. .

    I saw that.

    There's no reasoning with a Hulk....

  12. .

    [EDIT: Corrected coding flaw to repair link.]