Latter-day Counsel


"I do not believe any man should kill animals or birds unless he needs them for food, and then he should not kill innocent little birds that are not intended for food for man. I think it is wicked for men to thirst in their souls to kill almost everything which possesses animal life. It is wrong, and I have been surprised at prominent men whom I have seen whose very souls seemed to be athirst for the shedding of animal blood." President Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 1939

"Many worship the hunt, the fishing trip, the vacation, the wekend picnics and outings. Others have as their idols the games of sport, baseball, football, the bullfight, or golf. These pursuits more often than not interfere with the worship of the Lord and with giving service to the building up of the kingdom of God. To the participants this emphasis may not seem serious, yet it indicates where their allegiance and loyalty are." Pres. Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p 41

Brethren and sisters, once again I call to our attention the fourth commandment given by the Lord to Moses on Mount Sinai: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Ex. 20:8). Let us observe it strictly in our homes and in our families. Let us refrain from all unnecessary labors. Sunday is not a day for hunting or fishing, nor for swimming, picnicking, boating, or engaging in any other sports. The stores in areas where we are more numerous would not long remain open on Sunday if the Saints refrained from shopping on that day. Remember, the Lord has said: President Spencer W. Kimball, Oct Conf 1979

I have known men--and they still exist among us--who enjoy what is, to them, the `sport' of hunting birds and slaying them by the hundreds, and who will come in after a day's sport, boasting of how many harmless birds they have had the skill to slaughter, and day after day, during the season when it is lawful for men to hunt and kill (the birds having had a season of protection and not apprehending danger) go out by scores or hundreds, and you may hear their guns early in the morning on the day of the opening, as if great armies had met in battle; and the terrible work of slaughtering the innocent birds goes on. President Joseph F. SMith, Gospel Doctrine, 1939

After telling me what a great family he had and how well they had supported him during his missionary service, he posed a problem. He said, "The only big thing that is really bothering me about being home and being around the family is that my family is one that likes to do a lot of hunting. Now that used to be a great thing for me, but now it is a lot different, mainly because it means the family will be expecting me to go hunting with them on Sundays. So I am faced with a big decision right off the bat. I really don't want to go hunting on Sunday, but I don't want to upset my family because of it. Any counsel would surely be appreciated." He went on to assure me that he knew his family did not desire nor intend to ask him to do wrong. Hunting was just a long-standing activity. Elder Rex D. Pinegar, Oct Conf 1974

In this revelation the Lord counsels us to use meat sparingly. I have often felt that the Lord is further counseling us in this revelation against indiscriminately killing animals, for He has said elsewhere in scripture, "Wo be unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need." (D&C 49:21.) President Ezra Taft Benson, Apr Conf 1983