Earth Day: A Mormon Primer on Nature and the Environment

Looking to do a little LDS reading on Earth Day?   

 Some suggestions:

Hugh Nibley ,“Subduing the Earth” in On the Timely and the Timeless (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, 1978) and  “Brigham Young on the Environment” in To the Glory of God. Mormon Essays on Great Issues: Environment,  Commitment, Love, Peace, Youth, Man.  (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1972)

Emma Lou Thayne,  How Much for the Earth:  A Suite of Poems: About Time and Considering (Signature Books, 1983).

Terry Tempest Williams  Refuge:  An Unnatural History of Family and Place (Vintage, 1992)

 Thomas Alexander’s “Stewardship and Enterprise” in Western Historical Quarterly 25 (Autumn 1994): 340-64

Richard Jackson’s “Righteousness and Environmental Change: The Mormons and the Environment” in Essays on the American West 1973-1974, 5 (Brigham Young University Press: Provo, UT): 21-42

Jeanne Kaye and Craig J. Brown.  “Mormon Beliefs about Land and Natural Resources, 1847-1877.” Journal of Historical Geography 11(3): 253-267.

Aaron Kelson The Holy Place: Why Caring for the Earth and Being Kind to Animals Matters (Spotsylvania, VA: White Pine Publishing, 1999)

Terry Tempest Williams, William B. Smart and Gibbs M. Smith, eds. New Genesis. A Mormon Reader on Land and Community,  (Layton, UT: Gibbs-Smith Publisher, 1998)

 George Handley “The Environmental Ethics of Mormon Belief” in BYU Studies 40:2 Summer 2001: 187-211)

 Matthew Gowan and Philip Cafaro “A Latter-Day Saint Environmental Ethic” in Environmental Ethics 25 (2003): 375-94)
Mark J. Nielsen, Ensign, “The Wonder of Creation”, March 2004, pp. 60-65).


MESJ’s Environment Page 

Much of  Patricia Karamesines’ writing both at A Motley Vision and Times and Seasons

Green Mormon Architect

LDS Sustainability

An article about the roof of the Conference Centre

Amri’s awesomely titled post

All other suggestions gratefully accepted.


  1. Thanks, Kris.

    Your list will keep me reading for some months to come, since I was aware of only about a third of those titles, and have read even fewer.

  2. Thanks for the list, Kris. I have my suspicions, but what is your favorite?

  3. Well, of course I love Refuge. (You should stop doing research and read it!) I also really like Nibley and the Handley piece in BYU Studies.

  4. Steve Evans says:

    Awesome, Kris. I was hoping you’d provide some of these resources.

  5. Don’t forget today to turn to page 92 in your Hymnal and sing “For the beauty of the Earth”.

  6. Its a bit late, but good earth by Wendell Berry and writings by Edward Abbey

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