Mormons and Climate Change: A Moral Obligation to Act

Jessica Oglesby

Abstract


Climate change is among humanity’s most pressing issues; it is a global threat with increasingly severe implications. Yet, the scientific data alone has not been enough to generate the robust response that is needed to address it. In addition to the strong scientific evidence supporting climate change, there is an explicit and compelling moral argument to encourage action. Perhaps the greatest voice for such moral action can be found within religion. Churches, for example, can be powerful catalysts for social change within communities and would be valuable climate action allies. is essay will examine, in particular, how doctrine in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormon Church) instills a moral obligation to address climate change. The paper expands upon existing Mormon environmental literature by taking a unique approach that focuses on the social justice implications of climate change. ere are three main principles in Mormonism that make addressing climate change a moral imperative. ese include the moral obligation to (1) reduce poverty and suffering, (2) build up ideal societies where there is no inequality in wealth or resources, and (3) to acknowledge the close ties between posterity and ancestry. Based on these critical moral imperatives, which are strongly supported by LDS church doctrine, all Mormons have strong ethical and moral reasons to not only personally support, but to call for action on climate change both among individual members and in the LDS Church’s official capacity as a global organization. 


Keywords


Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; LDS; Mormon; Mormonism; Climate Change

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