Wildlife & Habitat Preservation
“It is our responsibility to help bring peace to the earth and all of its living inhabitants.” – Gerald E. Jones
The Lord is the divine creator of all life forms, bestowing each creature, both beast and fowl, with a living soul: “And out of the ground I, the Lord God, formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and commanded that they should come unto Adam, to see what he would call them; and they were also living souls…”
Latter-day Saint scholar Hugh Nibley reinterpreted the term ‘dominion’, explaining that it signifies service and stewardship rather than exploitation. He emphasized, “Man’s dominion is a call to service, not a license to exterminate. It is precisely because men now prey upon each other and shed the blood and waste the flesh of other creatures without need that “the world lieth in sin” (D&C 49:19-21). According to ancient Jewish teachings and modern revelations, this is the underlying truth.”
“And out of the ground I, the Lord God, formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and commanded that they should come unto Adam, to see what he would call them; and they were also living souls…” – Moses 3:19
Emphasizing the significance of our role, Gary C. Bryner clarifies that humanity bears a unique responsibility toward all forms of life: “Humans have a particular obligation to ensure they act in behalf of the well-being of all forms of life since they alone have the power and opportunity to do so.”
Highlighting the divine nature of our obligation, Gerald E. Jones explains, “It is our responsibility to help bring peace to the earth and all of its living inhabitants.” This belief reaffirms our commitment to uphold the sacred covenant of stewardship and respect the intrinsic value of all creatures. It reminds us that our dominion should manifest as compassionate care and preservation, reflecting the love of our Creator for all His creations.
Mormon Environmental Stewardship Alliance Position
MESA is dedicated to safeguarding wildlife and preserving their natural habitats. We heed the wisdom of our church leaders, who have guided us to care for all creatures of God’s creation, underscoring our divinely appointed role as stewards of these living beings.
“Humans have a particular obligation to ensure they act in behalf of the well-being of all forms of life since they alone have the power and opportunity to do so.” – Gary C. Bryner
Every day, countless species fight for survival, and we are uniquely positioned to aid them. We can create habitats for native species in our backyards, advocate for land protection in our local communities, and ensure that our consumption habits do not jeopardize animals around the globe.
Dominion over Earth’s creatures, granted to us by the Lord, doesn’t imply exploitation. It calls for responsible stewardship, a principle reflected in the Word of Wisdom, which advocates for the sparing consumption of meat. This guidance reinforces our need to avoid excessive consumption and respect all God’s gifts, including the sacred lives of animals. Let’s embrace our role as conscientious stewards and ensure our actions honor the divine trust placed in us.
What Can You Do?
- Support your local conservation areas: Offer your time as a volunteer at local nature reserves or conservation areas. Encourage friends, family, and community members to join these efforts.
- Lobby for wildlife and habitat protection: Reach out to your local legislators and advocate for the preservation and expansion of wilderness areas. Help initiate or support legislation that protects the habitats of native species.
- Donate and encourage others to do so: Provide financial assistance to local wildlife refuges or environmental organizations. Encourage others to do the same, highlighting the importance of supporting these entities.
- Promote sustainable food choices: Advocate for a reduction in meat consumption. Encourage friends and family to consider plant-based alternatives which often have less impact on wildlife and habitats.
- Encourage bird-friendly practices: Install bird feeders to support native bird populations and educate others about the importance of these actions.
- Support policies against harmful industrial practices: Advocate for policies that restrict industrial activities harming wildlife and their habitats. Encourage collective action towards these regulations.
- Join or initiate local conservation campaigns: Participate in or start community-led campaigns for wildlife and habitat preservation. Use these platforms to raise awareness and foster active participation within your community.
- Moses 3:19
- Hugh Nibley in Kindness to Animals and Caring For the Earth, compiled by Richard D. Stratton (Portland, OR: Inkwater Press, 2004), 15.
- Gary C. Bryner, “Theology and Ecology: Religious Belief and Environmental Stewardship,” in BYU Studies 49, no. 3 (2010)
- Gerald E. Jones, Animals and the Church (2003) pg. 90.
- World Wildlife Foundation
- Wildlife Protection Solutions
- The Conservation Fund
- Center for Biological Diversity, Protecting Critical Habitat
- The National Wildlife Federation