Lest one thinks being environmentally-conscious is only a “liberal” idea, the Church recently announced a pilot program where the roofs of new chapels are fitted with solar panels. In announcing the program, Bishop H. David Burton of the Presiding Bishopric stated, “for decades we have looked for innovative ways to use natural resources in our meetinghouses that reflect our commitment as wise stewards of God’s creations.” Furthermore, the Church has indicated their estimation that this program will save money in the long run, proving that being environmentally conscious is also in our economic interest. In addition to the solar panels, the new earth-friendly design includes, “high efficiency heating and cooling system that can interface with the solar power equipment, landscaping designs and plumbing fixtures that cut water use by more than 50 percent, and Low-E Solarban 70 windows that block 78 percent of the sun’s heat energy. ”
I’ve always felt that being good stewards of the environment was a Christian duty, and particularly an LDS duty. I recall one particular conservative friend from BYU who would always point to Doctrine and Covenants Section 59, verses 18-20 as evidence that humans could do whatever they wanted to the earth and to support his belief that environmental protection laws were not appropriate. The funny thing is that verse 20 states that our use of the earth must be done “with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion,” a point my conservative friend conveniently glossed over.
In speaking about our stewardship over our planet, President Gordon B. Hinckley once stated, “This earth is [God’s] creation. When we make it ugly, we offend Him.”