We are not owners but rather stewards of the earth. This means we are responsible to care for it.
We learn from the tenth article of faith that the earth “will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory” after Christ’s Second Coming. So does that mean that we don’t need to worry about how we treat it before then?
Definitely not. This earth is an incredible gift from our Heavenly Father, and we should treasure it as such. On Mormon Channel, a brief video called “Our Home” reminds us of just that. Beautiful footage filmed by people around the world highlights many blessings that come from the earth, and an inspiring script emphasizes the importance of showing our appreciation for those blessings by caring for the earth.
Here are some ideas from the video about how we can live in appreciation for the earthly home with which Heavenly Father has blessed us:
- Recognize that the environment influences your soul and that you, in turn, influence the environment.
- Enjoy the beauty of nature.
- Be grateful for the life-sustaining resources the earth provides.
- Accept responsibility for taking care of the earth.
- Look for ways that nature witnesses of God to you and inspires you to reach toward him.
As we appreciate the earth through our attitudes and our actions, we show love for our Father in Heaven. We will also receive blessings in return. As the Lord promises in Doctrine and Covenants 78:19, “he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.”
Be reminded of the wonderful blessings our earthly home offers us by watching the brief video “Our Home.”
Source: Mormon Channel
—Alicia Stanton, Mormon Insights
feature image by sean stanton
Find more insights
Read Elder Marcus B. Nash’s remarks about what the Church teaches about the earth and how we should treat the environment.
Discover additional resources from Mormon Newsroom about how we can care for our environment.
Read this article by G. Michael Alder about appreciating the earth.
Take a look at another Mormon Insights article about environmental stewardship.
Ok, but really, the environment influences our soul. I always feel way better when I’m in a clean, well cared-for place. Thanks for sharing!
@ Jessica Palmer Amen! The earth is a beautiful gift, and I’m grateful for all the ways we have to take care of it.
I was surprised and happy that the #1 suggestion you highlighted was to “Recognize that the environment influences your soul and that you, in turn, influence the environment.” That reminds me of this story told by the Prophet Joseph Smith about an event during Zion Camp:
“We crossed the Embarras river and encamped on a small branch of the same about one mile west. In pitching my tent we found three massasaugas or prairie rattlesnakes, which the brethren were about to kill, but I said, ‘Let them alone—don’t hurt them! How will the serpent ever lose his venom, while the servants of God possess the same disposition and continue to make war upon it? Men must become harmless, before the brute creation; and when men lose their vicious dispositions and cease to destroy the animal race, the lion and the lamb can dwell together, and the sucking child can play with the serpent in safety.’ The brethren took the serpents carefully on sticks and carried them across the creek. I exhorted the brethren not to kill a serpent, bird, or an animal of any kind during our journey unless it became necessary in order to preserve ourselves from hunger” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith , 71; partially quoted on http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/environment-statements).
We often think of the peaceful ‘lion and lamb’ state of the Millennium coming because of Christ, but it seems like we have more of a part to play in bringing about that peace than most of us think! It doesn’t necessarily mean that talking nicely to a wasp will keep it from stinging us, but I do think that fostering benevolence in our hearts towards all living things does change US.