Today’s guest post is from Bishop Bill.
On 25 Feb, Elder Oaks gave a devotional at Church College of Hawaii, known by the younger generation as BYU-H. The title was “Pushing Back Against the World”. In the talk he gave a shout out to the dangers of global warming, and even a not so veiled reference about President Trump’s aggressive politics, and the uncertainty it brings to the world:
These are challenging times, filled with big worries: wars and rumors of wars, possible epidemics of infectious diseases, droughts, floods, and global warming. Seacoast cities are concerned with the rising level of the ocean, which will bring ocean tides to their doorsteps or over their thresholds. Global warming is also affecting agriculture and wildlife. Nations whose prosperity depends on world peace and free trade worry about disturbing developments that threaten either or both of these. We are even challenged by the politics of conflict and the uncertainties sponsored by the aggressive new presidential administration in the world’s most powerful nation.
This has not gotten much play in the Utah media. (There is a link to it on the front page of LDS.org, but it does not work at this time).
- Is it because his audience was very international at BYU-H, and the message might not play well at home? Global Warming and Trumps rhetoric are not welcome topics to conservative Utahns who voted for Trump.
- Will we see a continuation of this theme in General Conference?
- How far can Elder Oaks, and other GA’s push this theme without alienating their conservative base?
 The Trib has now picked this story up here.
First, I do not think this plays well with the base so it probably will not get a lot of play in conservative mormonsim. Second, I am not sure how much Oaks knows or understands the science behind global warming because the brethren say very little on the subject. I am surprised he even said the little he did in this talk. While they spend an inordinate amount of time denouncing the LGBT community, they neglect crucial issues such as global warming. These few comments seem more like lip service, but I hope I am wrong.
what Mike said
Is this the first time a general authority has acknowledged global warming?
The Deseret News reported on Oaks’ talk almost immediately, so I would push back a bit against the “not much play in Utah media” thing. While the article itself doesn’t have comments enabled, the few comments on Deseret News’ Facebook page in response to this article were quite tame. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865674276/Push-back-against-the-world-Elder-Dallin-H-Oaks-encourages-BYU-Hawaii-grads.html
Overall I really liked the talk. Oaks has previously talked about the ugly political climate in the United States right now (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865671367/Elders-Oaks-Holland-counsel-young-adults-regarding-political-divisions-and-lifes-challenges.html), so I’m not totally surprised at his remarks about the current administration.
Another quote from Oaks’ Hawaii talk that I found significant was “As followers of Christ, we know that all of the inhabitants of this earth are children of God. Use that knowledge to push back against the worldly prejudices that preach hate or hostility toward other nations, ethnic groups, or even political parties.” In looking at the talk as a whole, I think most people would walk away pretty upbeat and inspired. He spent some time on religious freedom, but it didn’t seem overbearing, He even said, “This subject is important, but not needful of further emphasis to this audience.”
Another quote from Oaks’ talk that feels a little less politically conservative, “We hear much about cleaning up the physical environment—air, water, and other essentials that are being polluted in a way that is poisoning the physical environment for all of us. We may choose to join in such efforts.” This was a lead-in to dealing with moral “pollution.”
Leonadude, based on a quick LDS.org search, it’s possible. “Global warming” popped up in a couple church magazine articles and a BYU Speech, but Oaks’ Hawaii talk was the only result that was a general authority.
In the corpus of general conference talks, there is no mention of “global warming” or “climate change.” “Ozone layer” gets a mention, but it was a passing metaphor by Elder Maxwell. “Pollution” is typically used as a moral or body issue. It seems like environmental application is just a lead in to moral issues (just like with Oaks’ talk).
A June 2015 Deseret News article about the church’s new official position on environmental stewardship said:
“Nash did not specifically address climate change, and the Mormon Newsroom page did not take a position. The position taken by Pope Francis garnered increased attention because he aligned himself with what the New York Times called mainstream science and classified climate change as a global problem.”
Well done Elder Oaks! Fingers crossed we have more talks like this.
Global warming is just a means to implement Globalist control over the populations of the world, it has little or nothing to do with saving the world from a heating catastrophe. The aggressiveness of the Trump administration will cause some level of chaos as it exposes the criminality of the US Government currently held occult via pedo honeypot compromise and blackmailing.
Just the same as how the pro-life movement is just a means to control women’s bodies and sexuality, and has little or nothing to do with protecting the lives of the unborn, right?
No Kullervo, you must have me confused with someone else. Do some research, what I wrote is nonpartisan.
Partisanship has nothing to do with it.
Okay well in that case, just no, wrong!
These comments got some coverage, but not a tremendous amount. Most likely it is because they are not very controversial. Most everyone believes that the world average temperature has been warmer in the past few years than it was say 40 years ago.
Also, most politically aware people recognize that our new President is aggressive. Many of his supporters count that as one of his strengths. The “politics of conflict” can be applied to many different political actors, especially almost anyone’s favorite political opponents.
Now if Elder Oaks had mentioned the reluctance to organize a global governing body dedicated to (large amounts of graft and rent seeking) limiting releases of certain atmospheric pollutants, or politicians who attack any opponent via certain social media sites, then we may have a big controversy.
“As followers of Christ, we know that all of the inhabitants of this earth are children of God.”
Does he know that includes the children of gay people? Does he know that includes gay people themselves” How about trans people?
gays aren’t considered people, and neither are their children. They’re the worst kinds of sinners created by God…
I have a friend that lurks on some right wing LDS message boards and he confirmed they were decidedly unhappy with the whole thing. “of course he’d be a shill for the MSM” stuff along those lines
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