With the conflict at Standing Rock, it only seems appropriate to talk about the environment. I was raised with such a conflict in this area, I can’t even understand the level of cognitive dissonance that I encountered growing up in regards to it.
Religiously speaking, we were told that the Earth was in our stewardship. We had dominion over everything in it as God’s children. I’m not sure if it was this part of the doctrine or the waiting for the Second Coming that made us so blasé about caring for the Earth.
In second grade, on Earth Day we were given a presentation of the “Three R’s” and what we as kids could even do to help the Earth by putting the “reduce, reuse, recycle” methodology into practice. While my parents never actually said anything negative about it, even as a young child I got the impression that they considered it “hippy nonsense” or something along these lines.
When I think of it now, it makes no sense. Because he does have a great appreciation for nature. He loves the beauty found in the mountains and believes that God put the wondrous things in the Earth for us to find joy in them. As I grew up, I definitely inherited this love for nature and the beauty found in my surroundings. Even living in the US southwest, which is mostly just desert, I found a unique appeal to the landscapes there.
I don’t say any of this to make my parents sound obtuse or inconsiderate. And I’m not sure how much of this attitude of “don’t worry about because the Earth will be reborn after the Second Coming” is echoed throughout the Mormon Church. It could be a group denial in the face of evidence.
Talks about fossil fuels, alternative energies, and the Dakota Pipeline fill our news feeds on social media. I myself am at a loss for the solutions to the problems of our abuse of the Earth, except for going back to basics. Vote with our dollar. Be informed at the polls. Use the “Three R’s.” Find a cause. Get involved. Don’t sit passively to the side to watch our Earth be abused.