An Insider's Look at Mormon Culture

Posts tagged ‘World population’

Where the Deer and the Antelope Starve

I live in Bountiful, Utah where deer roam throughout the city. Beautiful as Bambi and friends are, nobody appreciates hungry deer barking trees, chewing off tulips, and devouring vegetable gardens. The deer in our area look pretty healthy—apparently our suburban landscaping sustains them. Not so the deer that enter our daughter’s yard in Evanston, WY. With no natural enemies, these animals have increased beyond the capacity of nature to feed them. We watched a gaunt, pregnant doe cross the fence into our daughter’s yard through deep snow to nibble the prickly branches of an Austrian pine—a pine showing the effects of a cold winter and too many hungry deer.

Like deer, we humans have the potential of reproducing ourselves into starvation and misery. Nations already fight over scarce energy resources. Parts of Asia and Africa currently face critical water shortages. Many Americans criticized China’s one-child policy as an assault on a basic freedom. Yet even with that drastic measure, China’s population swelled to over a billion and continues to grow. Which is more unkind—mandating birth control or allowing children to be born to starvation and disease?

The U.S. Congress—depending on which way the power plays—frequently holds up funding for voluntary birth control in foreign aid grants to developing countries—a hypocritical policy since few American couples of any religious persuasion opt to do with no form of birth control.

Mormons like to quote D&C 104:17, “For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare,” as evidence that the earth can provide for current and future population growth. In 1834, when that revelation was given to Joseph Smith, world population was less than 1.5 billion. World population is currently projected to reach 7 billion by 2020. Maybe it’s time for the prophet to ask for an update—particularly in light of the admonition in D&C 59:20 that God gives the things of the earth “to be used with judgment, not to excess.” God’s idea of excess may be far lower than our own.

Shutting our eyes to the real situation of a too large population on a finite planet is a recipe for disaster—and surely not what God expects of us.

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Saving the World with “Love You. Good-bye”

Statistics revealing world population at 6.8 billion and increasing by 220,000 each day scare me. Clearly, the world is already crowded with increasingly fierce competition for finite supplies of fuel and water. Adding ever more people is likely to make the human race even more testy and trigger happy. And I, for one, have an aversion to war and violence as a means of population control.

For several years I’ve pondered whether governments will eventually be forced to make unpopular decisions such as sneaking birth control meds into municipal water supplies. For a while, I had hopes that mandatory sex ed in US schools would turn American teens off sex the way education turns them off history, math and other subjects. So far, that hasn’t occurred.

Now hope for a solution to the population explosion appears from an unexpected source. LDS Relief Society President Julie Beck assuaged my fears in a recent address to CES faculty. According to Pres. Beck, LDS youth are reluctant to marry and have children because they don’t know how to form lasting relationships. So much of their young lives has been spent connected to iPhones and video games that they have not learned to communicate with and bond to real human beings.

Just think! Those omnipresent devices people use to block out the real human beings around them may save the planet.  Thank you Steve Jobs. You and your cohorts have saved the human race from extinction by over-breeding.

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