By Kent Larsen
An LDS Politician On How He Makes Environment Decisions
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- A Las Vegas Sun article looks at the difficulty
environmentalists have had in making alliances with religious leaders, and
includes the comments of LDS Church member Bruce Woodbury, a member of the
Las Vegas County Commission. Woodbury claims that his LDS beliefs influence
his decisions on environmental and development issues.
The article reviews the efforts of Joshua Abbey, son of the late
environmental activist Edward Abbey, to involve religion in efforts to
improve the environment. He says that his father would have looked at the
Las Vegas Valley, with its rampant development and accompanying pollution
and challenged water supply, and given up, choosing to put his efforts to
save other, larger wilderness areas.
But Joshua Abbey hasn't given up. He is using his Jewish religious
background to try and make progress on cleaning up the environment, but has
had little headway. "The religious community here just doesn't make the
environment a priority," he says.
Like many other Bible-following faiths, the LDS Church's beliefs emphasize
the role of stewardship over the earth, and Abbey says that this should make
believers more environmentally conscious, "The inference from Genesis is
that man was given dominion over the planet, yes, but that means that he
should care for it."
Woodbury says that this LDS belief does influence his decisions, "My faith
teaches me that our bodies and the world around us were given to us by God
-- that we don't own anything -- it's all on loan, and we are judged by how
we take care of it," he says.
Meanwhile, LDS Church spokesperson Will Stoddard agrees, but admits, "I
don't know that we have any particular programs or doctrinal proclamations
on the subject." He emphasized the Church's teachings, "The Earth is here
for our aid, use and enjoyment, and we certainly have a stewardship
responsibility to take good care of everything and not abuse it and not
cause undue damage -- within reason."
On hallowed ground
Las Vegas NV Sun 16Dec00 N1
By Stacy J. Willis: Las Vegas Sun