“What constitutes health, wealth, joy, and peace? In the first place, good pure air is the greatest sustainer of animal life.” — President Brigham Young
Our Latter-day Saint faith firmly advocates for the sanctity and importance of air quality. President Brigham Young declared clean air as the “greatest sustainer of animal life”, highlighting its inherent divine value. This divine gift, just like all others from God, requires our utmost care and respect, especially considering the potential threats from pollution and other harmful activities.
We are called to safeguard this divine provision against pollutants that endanger not just our health, but also the well-being of our planet. This responsibility is deeply rooted in our beliefs, emphasizing our role as custodians of God’s creations. As put by President Ezra Taft Benson, “Irreverence for God, of life, and for our fellowmen takes the form of things like littering, heedless strip-mining, pollution of water and air.” Our actions towards the environment, and particularly towards air quality, are a reflection of our reverence for all life forms.
“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.” — President Ezra Taft Benson
Mormon Environmental Stewardship Alliance Position
In harmony with our doctrine, MESA upholds the responsibility to protect and enhance air quality. We affirm the collective duty to preserve this divine gift for all life forms, advocating for policies and actions aimed at reducing pollutants and improving air quality. As Brigham Young heeded us in 1860, “You are here commencing a new. The soil, the air, the water are all pure and healthy. Do not suffer them to become polluted with wickedness. Strive to preserve the elements from being contaminated by the filthy, wicked conduct and sayings of those who pervert the intelligence God has bestowed upon the human family.”
Guided by our comprehension of air’s intrinsic value, we are active in promoting practices, regulations, and policies that ensure both community well-being and environmental stability. We stand against actions that degrade air quality, resulting in detrimental effects on both health and the environment.
“You are here commencing anew. The soil, the air, the water are all pure and healthy. Do not suffer them to become polluted with wickedness. Strive to preserve the elements from being contaminated by the filthy, wicked conduct and sayings of those who pervert the intelligence God has bestowed upon the human family.” — President Brigham Young
MESA is committed to addressing air pollution, a serious threat to both human and environmental health. We acknowledge our spiritual duty to protect God’s creations and are dedicated to honoring it. As Brigham Young noted, “The land and all are His. The earth that we walk upon, the air we breathe, and the water we drink, are His creation. He organized them and placed them here for our good.”
What Can You Do?
MESA emphasizes the significance of collective action and policy change as the most effective means to improve air quality. While individual actions are valuable, lasting change is achieved through systemic shifts in policy and sustained community activism.
- Establish open communication lines with your local and national representatives: Make sure they are aware of your concerns regarding air quality. Articulate how improved regulations can create healthier communities.
- Promote cleaner practices at your workplace or school: Seek permission to display “No Idling” signs, emphasizing the importance of reducing air pollution.
- Actively participate in city planning meetings: Use this platform to promote the advantages of public transportation and the necessity of bike/pedestrian infrastructure. These developments can significantly reduce the number of vehicles on the road, subsequently decreasing air pollution.
- Foster an active and eco-conscious community: Rally for the implementation of regular “Walk/Bike to Work” days. These initiatives encourage healthier habits and reduce carbon emissions.
- Advocate for green spaces: Urban green spaces can help improve air quality. Support local projects that aim to plant more trees and create parks in your city.
- Dr. Brian Moench | Air Quality and Climate Advocacy | MESA Fireside February 2021
- Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 8:168
- Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 1:272-73, November 1, 1879
- Ezra Taft Benson, “Problems Affecting the Domestic Tranquility of Citizens of the United States of America,” Vital Speeches 42 (February 1, 1976): 240
- Hugh Nibley, “Stewardship of the Air,” 16 February 1989, Clean Air Symposium at Brigham Young University.
- “Our Deteriorating Environment” by A. B. Morrision
- “Purity of Air, Water, and Land”, LDS Earth Stewardship Resource Collection