Today is Blog Action Day. Bloggers all over the place are posting on the subject of the environment. All of my professional blogs address the environment. And here on my personal blog, I thought I’d talk about something that reallly bothers me about how some religious folks view the environment.
One of the things I have heard recently from Mormons and a few others is that it doesn’t matter what we do with the Earth because Jesus will just make it right at the advent of the Second Coming. Maybe this fits into religious beliefs where you don’t have to do anything but say you believe, but the LDS religion teaches something a little bit different.
One thing Mormons believe is that we have to do something in order to be “saved.” The grace of Christ is necessary. Humans could never in eternity “work their way into heaven” on their own. Grace from Jesus is definitely a factor that every human needs. However, I’ve noticed that Jesus doesn’t do for us what we can do for ourselves.
There are plenty of things in this life that Jesus could fix, but He generally allows us to do these things (like performing charity for others, paying tithes, etc.) so that we learn and grow. This includes taking care of the environment. Sure, He could fix it, but I bet that he has us spend part of the time after He arrives in the Second Coming cleaning up the mess we made of the Earth He created for us.
I don’t think that He is going to be happy that we took the “it doesn’t matter; he’ll fix it” attitude, either. We’re supposed to take care of the Earth, not rape it. When there are viable alternatives to what we are doing, when we know that what we are doing hurts Earth, we aren’t being very good stewards if we continue on that path. We now know what fossil fuels do. How dangerous they are to health (through pollution), workers (through mine collapses and oil rig explosions) and the planet. “He’ll fix it when he comes” sounds a lot like “planned repentance” to me.
Besides, who knows when that will be? Is it moral to hand our mess down to our children and ruin the world for their children? And even if we wait until He tells us to clean the mess up during the Second Coming, last I checked it is an “unwise and slothful servant” that has to be commanded in all things. We should be doing it right now. We should be showing gratitude for an Earth created for us by doing what we can to reverse the damage and become truly good stewards.
For your reading enjoyment:
Our Deteriorating Environment (from the Ensign)
What It Means to Be Green (from the New Era).
Preserving God’s Creations (from the Liahona)
Ecology, Pollution and Consumerism (from the Ensign)
Using Earth’s Resources Well (from the Ensign)
Earth – A Gift of Gladness (from the Ensign)
Improving Our Environment (from the Ensign)