Saturday, August 15, 2009

Wise Stewards over the Earth

I have been searching out the scriptural principles of responsibility towards the earth and how to sustain optimal health. I have found that the scriptures--some included below (at least in my estimation of things) coincide with the following "secular" works. I have begun to subscribe to many of these practices as best as I am able. Often its not very much, but I feel that I benefit from the awareness.

Food Matters: A guide to conscious eating by Mark Bittman
The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan
Having Faith: An Ecologists Guide to Motherhood
The Body Toxic

cloth diapering
sustainable food, body care products, household items, clothing, toys
avoiding dangerous chemicals, poisons, environmental contaminants

D&C 104: 13-15, 17
3 For it is expedient that I, the Lord, should make every man accountable, as a steward over earthly blessings, which I have made and prepared for my creatures.
14 I, the Lord, stretched out the heavens, and built the earth, my very handiwork; and all things therein are mine.
15 And it is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine.
17 For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.

D&C 59: 16-20
16 Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth;
17 Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;
18 Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart
19 Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.
20 And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.

D&C 89: 10-16
10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—
11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with aprudence and bthanksgiving.
12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be aused, only in times of winter, or of cold, or bfamine.
14 All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;
15 And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.
16 All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground—

Daniel 1:11-17
11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse (IE foods made of seeds, grains, etc.) to eat, and water to drink.
13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.
16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.
17 As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

2 Samuel 17:27-29
27 And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,
28 Brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentiles, and parched pulse,
29 And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness.

D&C 93:35
35 The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; and whatsoever temple is defiled, God shall destroy that temple

1 Cor. 6: 19
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

Blessings of
D&C 89: 18-21
18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
19 And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
20 And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I'm working on two projects right now: a letter writing campaign to the Presidential Advisor on Violence Against Women (an office of the Department of Justice) describing the violations of civil rights and federal law that frequently occur to women during the births of their children and applying to a PhD program for next year.

I have felt led to do both of these and so have continued in the faith that it was the right thing to do. I have also been seeking confirmation along the way. This is how I have received confirmation for both activities. Its either confirmation or coincidence.

The Visiting Teaching Lesson in the Ensign this month is "Seek Education and Lifelong Learning." Interesting that this topic would be published in the Church magazine and I would read it just after the decision to apply for continued education was made.

The Sunday School less this week D&C:124 where the Prophet Joseph Smith is counseled by the Lord to petition the President of the United States regarding the injustices occurring to the early Latter-day Saints in frontier Missouri and Illinois (during the 1840's). Isn't that an interesting parallel to the letter that I am writing as part of my non-profit?

Could this be coincidence? Sure, it could be. Or one could take into account the belief that "all things are spiritual unto the Lord."

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Can Latter-day Saints believe in evolution?

My short answer is yes.

Hugh Nibley lends support:
"It takes us back to the earliest drama of Adam and the animals. He lives with them on intimate terms. He must have because he called them all by name, and they were all around him in overwhelming force. He was living in another world then, and we don't know how long it lasted since "as yet the Gods had not appointed unto Adam his reckoning" (Abraham 5:13). This was before he entered with Eve into the garden and the covenant of marriage. It was the earth's turn to bring forth new types of "beasts after their kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after its kind; and the Gods saw they would obey" (Abraham 4:25). Again the moment of testing; it is as if new ideas were being tried out in the new world."

--source: from the Neal A Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

The length of time to create the animals of the earth could be (and based on the preponderance of evidence indicating evolution of species has taken place) long enough for animals to evolution and adapt based on natural processes. If one were to recall the commonly stated belief that extinct animals were "God's mistakes," it would be easy to reframe a mistake as a "test;" as species developed, adapted and changed to suit their environments, and as the earth itself changed over the course of time. Quite possibly the millions of years needed for those natural processes to occur. We can remember that God's time is not man's time--"in their times and in their seasons, in their minutes, in their hours, in their days, in their weeks, in their months, in their years—all these are one year with God, but not with man" (D&C 88:44).

I have in the past read other works that also lend credence to the idea that the periods of the creation allowed enough time--millions of years--before man came onto the world scene. The scriptures refer to each "day" of creation but the same could be understood as "creative periods." If I come across more evidence of this, I will edit and repost.