Two kinds of pollution

    “Two kinds of pollution,” New Era, Apr. 1971, 39

    Two kinds of pollution …

    “The Spoken Word” from Temple Square, presented over KSL and the Columbia Broadcasting System, January 24, 1971. © 1971 by Richard L. Evans.

    “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”1 Then later this follows in the account of the creation: “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”2 Indeed it was: the wonder of it, the beauty of it, its functioning and fruitfulness, as water and the air are purified and replenished; as spring returns, as seeds grow—the trees, the sky, the sea, the precious minerals, and all other elements; the harvest we have, with “all things … in … season … for the benefit and [blessing] … of man, … to be used, with judgment, and not to excess.”3 The privilege and the trust that God has given on such an earth as this is awesome. To have dominion over all this is sacred and sobering. And when someone has given us something exceedingly beautiful and fine and functional, we have an obligation to use it well—or indeed we are ungrateful. And if we are to keep our trust with God, and with those who have gone before, and with those who come after, we will keep the earth as a place of beauty, as a place of peace, as a place of freedom and refreshment, a place that will provide for people far into the future; not wastefully dissipating its wealth, not defacing its beauty; not littering, not cluttering, not polluting; but replenishing and replacing, and keeping it clean. And in all of this there should surely be a sense of urgent concern. But it is not only in the realm of things physical that we should have a sense of urgent concern, but also in keeping clean the moral and mental and spiritual environment in which we live our lives, avoiding the pollution of lewdness and licentiousness, the befouling of the moral environment and atmosphere in sight and sound, in word and act and attitude, with filth and lewdness in picture and in print. Our concern for physical pollution is surely not more urgent than our concern for the pollution of the mind and soul of man.