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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended December 22, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 18Dec00

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


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