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At an environmental symposium on Oct. 10 at Utah State University, Elder Steven E. Snow, General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, encouraged all members of the Church to prioritize maintaining the Earth’s environment.

Elder Snow, a church historian and former member of the board of directors for Grand Canyon Trust, spoke at a seminar about the importance of preserving the earth, according to Newsroom.

“We will be held accountable for how we treat one another, the community in which we live, and the land that surrounds us, even the Earth itself,” Elder Snow said.

Leaders of the Church have encouraged their members to preserve the Earth for many years, but Elder Snow has said even more attention needs to be drawn to the issue.

“As beneficiaries of the divine Creation, what shall we do?President Russell M. Nelson said in the April 2000 general conference. “We should care for the earth, be wise stewards over it and preserve it for future generations. And we are to love and care for one another.”

According to Newsroom, over the past 45 years, the Church has produced ways of conserving energy and protecting the environment. During an oil crisis in 1973, the First Presidency of the Church urged their members to conserve energy by eliminating outside lighting at chapels, walking to meetings or carpooling and lowering thermostats in homes.

In 2009 the Church implemented a green-building initiative that produced energy efficiency that made facilities such as temples and chapels easier to maintain. The Church was recognized for their efforts in preserving the environment and received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the United States Green Building Council in 2009, according to Newsroom.

Elder Snow said even though the leaders of the Church have made great strides in preserving the environment, it is also the responsibility of the members of the Church to make efforts in their own lives to keep the earth healthy.

“Those who feel no reverence for the creations and the divine attributes of God, likely will have little appreciation for other sacred things,” said Elder M. Russell Ballard, in a 1988 address at general conference. “Such a lack of veneration for God’s creations may diminish until a person becomes totally insensitive to the feelings of others. This, I am afraid, is the condition in some parts of the world.”

Elder Snow gave several suggestions for how members of the Church can be good stewards of the earth. These include finding ways to conserve energy, supporting community recycling programs and starting a community garden.

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