Friday, February 20, 2009

Fruits of the Spirit

First, Buttars lost his chairmanships in the Utah Senate over his most recent comments, though he won't be resigning and was defiant when asked about an apology: "They ain't gonna get one." It truly is fun to have him around.

Second, it will become clear soon enough that my pet issue is the environment. I feel pretty passionate about it and could not be more happy that we have an administration at both the national and state (Gov. Huntsman is a true surprise on several issues) level that seems to value conservation over extraction and exploitation. Instead of going too political, I thought I'd share something more personal. Last Sunday the priesthood quorum I was in studied the fruits of the Spirit, and focused on Galations 5:22-23:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
It occurs to me that feelings of peace and gentleness and goodness are near universal feelings when we leave the cities and towns and visit undeveloped wilderness. Some of the most spiritual and faith-promoting moments I have experienced have been outside in the mountains or deserts, away from development and sprawl. Getting away from the buildings and cars and pollution and noise offers a unique connection with our Creator rivaled only by the peace of the temple. To be so close to creation and to our own thoughts, and to be in near total peace and quiet, I think, allows a measure of the Spirit hard to receive almost anywhere else.

Conservation is a fundamentally moral issue and protecting our ever-diminishing natural treasures should be an absolute moral priority. We talk about protecting our society from moral decay, and rightfully so, but protecting the few remaining places where we can regenerate spiritually by being so close to the Spirit and creation is equally important.

There is no reason why we cannot balance our needs as far as food and energy and shelter with our needs as far as peace and nature. We can begin to live within our means not only in how balance our budgets, but also in how much we balance our consumption of goods and energy. We most definitely can protect our wild, spiritual habitats and our comfortable way of life, but first we have to understand just how important both are, and how much they are intertwined.

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