News Release

Strong Families Are Connected to Good Stewardship of the Earth, Church Leader Says

Elder Patrick Kearon Speaks at the Global Faith Leaders Summit in Abu Dhabi

At the Global Faith Leaders Summit in the United Arab Emirates, held November 6 and 7, 2023, Elder Patrick Kearon, Senior President of the Seventy, spoke about the importance of families in teaching “good earthly stewardship.”

The two-day event in Abu Dhabi focused on environmental sustainability and promotion of interfaith dialogue. It was convened under the patronage of the United Arab Emirates president, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and organized by the Muslim Council of Elders in collaboration with the COP28 Presidency, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence of the UAE.

The summit gathered representatives of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Sikhism and other religious traditions from around the world. It also included government officials and scholars. Various breakout sessions were held during the summit on the topics of youth and women’s interreligious initiatives and joint actions to solve environmental issues.

Elder Anthony D. Perkins, President of the Middle East/Africa North Area, and Elder Roland J. Bäck, Second Counselor in the Area Presidency, were also among the participants.

In his address, Elder Kearon underscored the importance of the family in environmental stewardship. He stated, “If the family fails in this regard, other institutions will have a difficult, if not impossible, task to make amends.”

Elder Kearon urged that parents, with the support of faith communities, should teach children to be environmentally conscientious. “No other institution—not government, not the school, not the media, not religious faith communities—can fully compensate for failure to teach good earthly stewardship in the home,” he said.

Elder Kearon called for a unified effort involving governments, faith and community leaders, media, industry, scholars and families. He said, “We will do better as we think of the future for our children and grandchildren,” emphasizing the need to better integrate the potential and power of strong families into public discussions.

Read Elder Kearon’s full address, “Latter-day Saints and Environment.”

The objective of the Global Faith Leaders Summit was to gather religious leaders, who are “custodians of moral values,” to raise awareness about global challenges around environmental protection and to inspire action to address them.

“The gracious invitation for the Church to participate in this high-level interfaith summit is another sign of the deep commitment of the United Arab Emirates leadership to the ideas of tolerance and peaceful coexistence,” Elder Perkins said. “Our belief systems and views on certain things might vary, but we have a common desire to do good.”

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teach about the importance of taking good care of the environment. Though the Church does not typically take a stand on specific governmental or regulatory proposals for dealing with environmental challenges, it teaches these important principles of stewardship and reverence, and incorporates them into its daily operations worldwide.

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