Its seems like lately most of the semi-doctrinal pronouncements of the LDS Church have come from their Newsroom. So I was very interested when they posted the following release: “Environmental Stewardship and Conservation.” To quote from the first paragraph of the release:
God created the earth to provide a place for the human family to learn, progress and improve. God first created the the earth and all living things spiritually, and all things have great worth in his eyes.
Don’t get me wrong, this is an important statement. But I think it can be improved. Since the news release is not scripture, I hope I’m still on solid ground.
God is still creating the earth using evolution (the march of time), weather and other natural phenomenon, and the human family. This continuing creation has presented humanity with a unique opportunity to learn, progress and improve, all the while remembering that all living things have worth in God’s eyes.
My version owes a debt of gratitude to Process Theology, which is a quasi-religious movement that moves theology from the passive (static) to the active (dynamic). For example, instead of talking about a completed Creation, I would argue that we should be talking about an ongoing creation, and that humanity is an active and important component of the continuing creation of the earth. The earth is evolving daily, and humankind is the major player in this transformation.
I would also like to make slight alterations in the second paragraph of the news release:
The earth and all things on it should be used responsibly to sustain the human [and nonhuman] family. However, all are
stewardsco-creators–not owners–over the earth and its bounty and all will be accountable before God for what they do with His Creationstheir role in the ongoing creation of the earth].
For me, creating is a much stronger wording than creation. Co-creator (which is actually our role) is much stronger than steward (which sounds more like a caretaker, and not an active participant).
There is a photograph on the news release with a lengthy caption (which I shall also partially edit)