|Mormon Spirituality and Nature|
From Terry Tempest William's book, REFUGE: An Unnatural History of Family and Place:
Wilderness courts our souls. When I sat in church throughout my growing years, I listened to teachings about Christ in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights, reclaiming his strength, where he was able to say to Satan, "Get the hence." When I imagined Joseph Smith kneeling in a grove of trees as he received his vision to create a new religion, I believed their sojourns into nature were sacred. Are ours any less?
There is a Mormon scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 88:44-47 that I carry with me:
I pray to the birds.
I pray to the birds because I believe they will carry the messages of my heart upward. I pray to them because I believe in their existence, the way their songs begin and end each day -- the invocations and benedictions of Earth. I pray to the birds because they remind me of what I love rather than what I fear. And at the end of my prayers, they teach me how to listen.
-- pp. 148-149.