“Climate change is real, and it’s our responsibility as stewards to do what we can to limit the damage done to God’s creation.” – Elder Steven E. Snow
Our role as stewards of the Earth is fundamental in the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We understand that the beauty and vitality of our world are divine gifts, and as such, we bear a sacred responsibility to protect them. Climate change poses a formidable threat to this entrusted heritage, compelling us not only to acknowledge its damaging impact but also to act diligently to counter its advancement.
Echoing the sentiments of Jason M. Brown in his article, “Whither Mormon Environmental Theology?”, we must consider the environmental crisis—pollution, species extinction, climate change—as symptomatic of our broader failure to engage with the Earth and its inhabitants morally. “…the problems associated with the environmental crisis – pollution, species extinction, climate change – are but symptoms of a much deeper failure on the part of our civilization to relate to the earth and its creatures in moral terms.” As stewards, we can and should reverse this narrative. James 2:17 tells us that “faith, if it hath not works, is dead,” highlighting that we need to complement our faith with sustained, concrete efforts to counter climate change.
“The evidence is mounting that we are doing ourselves and our mortal home serious damage.” – G. Michael Alder
G. Micheal Alder in the July 1991 Ensign warned, “At one time, there may have been reason to be skeptical about the idea that we are damaging the earth on a global scale. But no longer. The evidence is mounting that we are doing ourselves and our mortal home serious damage.” We must respond to this call, leveraging our knowledge to address climate change and protect the Earth, our divine inheritance.
Mormon Environmental Stewardship Alliance Position
The Mormon Environmental Stewardship Alliance affirms the reality of climate change and our divinely appointed responsibility to confront this human-driven issue. We recognize that this issue’s scale is unprecedented and that addressing it requires a concerted, global response.
Our teachings remind us that the world has “enough and to spare” but only if we use these resources judiciously. Climate change serves as a glaring example of our failure to heed this counsel, primarily through the overuse of fossil fuels, which has placed our common home at risk. As stewards, we are called to apply thoughtful and intentional principles to all aspects of our interactions with God’s creation. To quote Gary C. Bryner, “Working to slow climate change is a natural argument for people of faith to make.” Our faith guides and strengthens our resolve to confront the human-induced climate crisis.
Confronted with rising global temperatures and escalating sea levels, we are duty-bound to collaborate in modifying our habits and championing structural changes that would result in a substantial reduction of carbon emissions. In embarking on this course, we reinforce our commitment as guardians of the Earth, preservers of life, and custodians of our divine dwelling.
“Working to slow climate change is a natural argument for people of faith to make.” – Gary C. Bryner
The decisions we make today will determine the state of the Earth for generations to come. In our commitment to sustainability and justice, we align ourselves with our faith’s principles, nurturing a more harmonious relationship with our Creator and His creation.
By engaging with policymakers, fostering public awareness, and promoting sustainable practices, we aspire to catalyze meaningful change. Our journey may be arduous, but our resolve is steadfast. We invite all members of our faith and the broader community to join us in this noble endeavor, ensuring a habitable and thriving Earth for our descendants and for all God’s creatures.
What Can You Do?
- Rally Behind Renewable Energy and Carbon Reduction Measures: Support legislative efforts and initiatives that foster the use of renewable energy sources and promote the decrease of carbon emissions. Actively work towards transitioning from fossil fuels to cleaner energy alternatives, recognizing the long-term environmental and economic benefits.
- Champion Sustainable Practices: Advocate for the creation and application of sustainable strategies within our neighborhoods, workplaces, and organizations. From waste reduction to energy conservation, every effort counts in our shared journey toward a greener future.
- Support Climate-Smart Agriculture and Land Use: Agriculture and land use changes contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. Advocate for policies that encourage sustainable farming practices, responsible land management, and forest conservation.
- Participate in Climate Conversations: Engage in dialogue about climate change within your social circles, faith community, and local governance. Encouraging open discussions can spur creative solutions and broaden understanding of this complex issue.
- Erica Evans | Faith Is Action: Stewardship and the Climate Crisis | MESA Symposium Sept. 2020
- Soren Simonsen | Climate Chats with the Board | MESA Podcast
- Marc Coles-Ritchie | Climate Chats with the Board | MESA Podcast
- Paris Climate Agreement 5th Anniversary | MESA Fireside December, 2020
- Hannah Barton | Climate Chats with the Board | MESA Podcast
- Ally Isom | Water and Faith in the Era of Climate Change | MESA Fireside August 2021
- Steven E. Snow, “The Moral Imperative of Environmental Stewardship”, 2018,
- Gary C. Bryner, “Theology and Ecology: Religious Belief and Environmental Stewardship,” in BYU Studies 49, no. 3 (2010)
- Jason M. Brown, “Whither Mormon Environmental Theology?” in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011),
- James 2:17
- Laraine Day, “Improving Our Environment”, October 1971 Ensign
- Micheal G. Alder, “Earth–A Gift of Gladness”, July 1991 Ensign
- 2022 IPCC Sixth Assessment Report