In the temple, we learn that God organized the earth intending that all
living things should find joy in filling the measure of their creation.
God's love and concern extend to all beings, not only human beings (Ps.
104; Luke 12:6). We are even told that animals have their own eternal
destinies (D&C 77:2-4). These teachings
prompt us to see ourselves as part of a much larger ecological whole.
All created beings are called to glorify God and participate in the divine
plan (D&C 128:23; Rev. 5:13). There is
a powerful truth in affirming that every one of us is the focus of God's
personal attention. But it is also true—and painfully humbling—that
we are specks in a created order so vast that all of human existence,
from our most enduring accomplishments to our most horrific tragedies,
fades into utter insignificance (Moses 1:8-10; Job
Our Heavenly Parents have entrusted us to be stewards of the earth
(Abr. 4:26). While we may use the planet's bounty for our benefit,
God instructs us to do so judiciously, without excess or exploitation
(D&C 59:18-20). In fact, though, we have
not been wise stewards. As depicted in Enoch's vision, the earth prays
to be delivered from the evil we have inflicted on it (Moses
7:48). In the Restoration, God reaffirms gospel principles such
as consecration, temperance, and respect for life in hope of averting
the environmental disasters that the human race is bringing upon itself
(D&C 1:17-18; 5:5, 19). The work of ushering
in the Millennium includes environmental renewal—rebuilding urban
wastelands and restoring deserts to fertility (Isa.
61:4; D&C 133:29).
| All Creatures of Our
God and King (Hymns 62)
| All Things Bright and
Beautiful (Children's Songbook
|Joseph Smith: John [the
Revelator] saw curious looking beasts in heaven . . . , that had been
saved from ten thousand times ten thousand earths like this,—strange
beasts of which we have no conception. . . . John learned that God
glorified Himself by saving all that His hands had made, whether beasts,
fowls, fishes or men. . . . John heard the words of the beasts giving
glory to God, and understood them. God who made the beasts could understand
every language spoken by them.
|Teachings of the Prophet
Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1976), 291
|Joseph F. Smith: I do
not believe any man should kill animals or birds unless he needs them
for food. . . . I have been surprised at prominent men whom I have
seen whose very souls seemed to be athirst for the shedding of animal
blood. They go off hunting deer, antelope, elk, anything they can
find, and what for? "Just for the fun of it!" Not that they
are hungry and need the flesh of their prey, but just because they
love to shoot and to destroy life.
(Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1939), 265-266
Jeffrey R. and Patricia T.
Holland: How do we fill the measure of our creation? .
. . To be all that we can be, the only assignment for each of us
is (1) to cherish our course and savor our own distinctiveness,
(2) to shut out conflicting voices and listen to the voice within,
which is God telling us who we are and what we will be, and (3)
to free ourselves from the love of profession, position, or the
approval of others by remembering that what God really wants us
to be is someone's sister, someone's brother, someone's friend.
|On Earth As It Is in
Heaven (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989), 6
Boyd K. Packer: The
very purpose for which the world was created, and man introduced
to live upon it, requires that the laws of nature operate in cold
disregard for human feelings. We must work out our salvation without
expecting the laws of nature to be exempted for us.
| “The Moving of the
Water,” Ensign, May 1991, 7
Alexander B. Morrison:
This is not the place to recount in detail the extent of the environmental
damage that in every country poses a major challenge to the future
of the world as we know it. . . . There is, however, a broad consensus
among scientists: details aside, our current way of life is simply
|Visions of Zion
(Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1993), 77-78