Reader’s Forum Nov. 15


Is the environment an important political issue?

In speaking with friends and family about political issues, I often hear the following comment: “The environment isn’t really an important issue right now; there are more important issues.” When I hear this statement I wonder “When will the environment be important?

Usually my friends and family say that the economy, healthcare, and national security are more important issues. But if we care about the welfare of our economy and our descendants, it is crucial we don’t ignore the environment. If we destroy the environment today, the wealth and prosperity of our children will greatly diminish.

During this election, let’s talk about the environment. Let’s talk about how to best cooperate in international climate talks, and which one would create incentives for businesses to develop environmentally friendly technologies. If we don’t start investing in clean energies today, our economy will not be strong in the future.

A major aspect of the LDS religion is being responsible for our actions toward God. Consecration is an act of stewardship for the blessings and responsibilities the Lord has given us. Ever since Adam, God has given us the charge to look after the earth. In the words of President Russell M. Nelson, “As beneficiaries of the divine Creation, what shall we do? We should care for the earth, be wise stewards over it, and preserve it for future generations.”

James Longstaff
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

Preserving the freedom of the soul

Aggressive godlessness is a fashion statement and moral relativism is in vogue. It is this wholesale abandonment of time proven principles, that threatens our freedom of worship which has gone more or less unmolested in the states for the past century.

The emphasis the apostles have placed on religious liberty in the past year is startling. It has become the centerpiece for many of their talks at home and abroad.

Yet you may wonder, “We live in a free country, what are we so worried about?” Numerous lawsuits would be only the beginning. If the church refused to change its policies, BYU’s tax exempt and tax deductible status would be revoked, and BYU would never be the same. And these are only a few examples.

Our culture is so zealous to establish political correctness that it now borders on political censorship. And in the name of what, social progress? It was not MLK, Gandhi, or Mandela who pushed for the firing, non-hiring, ostracizing, and demonizing of those who disagreed, it was their unenlightened opponents. Begging the question, is our opponents’ motives to secure safety from discrimination, or a monopoly of it?

Spend the time necessary to be familiar with this issue, and to engage in bridge building discussions using all the tact and grace you can muster. Visit the church’s new Facebook page, Support Religious Freedom. To see the many talks given in conference, and elsewhere by the apostles on this important issue, visit and select Religious Freedom under topics.

James Cannon
Sandy, Utah

Cannon Center conundrum

The Cannon Center must stay open for longer hours to allow us to eat later. The students living in Helaman Halls rely on the Cannon Center for meals. When applying for housing, students are required to buy a meal plan that allows them to eat at the Cannon Center.

For all of the freshmen in Helaman Halls, the Cannon Center is necessary for food. However, it closes at 7:30 p.m. most days and 5:30 p.m. on Sundays. The current closing times of the Cannon Center force us to eat dinner earlier than many of us normally would. Late nights spent studying tend to result in an empty stomach without vending machine assistance. However, a later dinner could put off this hunger. To be clear, students should not be cooking for us until one in the morning; just being able to eat a later dinner would help us have more energy to make it through the late nights.

I understand that many would argue that students shouldn’t have to work late hours. Many students would actually be more available later at night because classes would be over. This would create more on-campus jobs. I saw an advertisement the other day in the Jesse Knight building advertising cleaning jobs at four in the morning. If we’re willing to make students work those weird hours, we should be fine with having them work later than 7:30.

This is a hungry student who writes this cry, this lament from the bottom of my stomach, this declaration of injustice against my appetite. Please. We just want to eat.

Zackary Windham
Pfafftown, North Carolina

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