Brigham Young: Prophet, Pioneer . . . Environmentalist?

brigham-young-prophet-pioneer-environmentalist Although Brigham Young is one of the most well-known Presidents of the LDS Church, perhaps second only to Joseph Smith, it seems most Mormons are completely unaware of his passionate beliefs about caring for the Environment.

We owe Hugh Nibley an enormous debt of gratitude for collecting Brigham’s teachings about the Environment and publishing them in his 1972 essay, “Brigham Young on the Environment”. When a home teacher shared the essay with me several years ago, I was shocked to read statement after statement by Brigham Young that one would expect to hear from a radical environmentalist, and I quickly discovered my need to repent and abandon my laisseiz-faire attitude toward the Environment.

What follows is my humble and feeble attempt to briefly summarize Nibley’s lengthy essay for those who haven’t come across it before:

It is staggering to consider the vastness of Brigham Young’s environmental stewardship. He had the task of settling hundreds of thousands of square miles of virtually untouched wilderness. And in the process of founding hundreds of communities in that pristine environment, he had to confront serious and delicate questions about how to care for the Earth while making it a more livable environment for mankind.

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