Creation is the Lord's

"When I carefully scan the subject, we can not, neither in this time nor in the spirit world, possess the least particle of element nor our own beings and call them ours, until we pass the ordeals the Gods have passed and are crowned with crowns of glory, immortality and eternal lives. And when we pass through the spirit world and hear the trump of Gabriel sound, and our bodies rise from the dust and again clothe our spirits, even then we are not our own. We have not passed through all the ordeals until the Father crowns a son and says, 'you have passed so far in the progression of perfection that you can now become independent, and I will give you power to control, and organize, and govern, and dictate the elements of eternities. There is a vast eternity stretched out before you, now organize as you will.' Not until then will we possess one particle that is really our own, and yet we see people clinging to the earth."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:341
"What do we see? All the elements that we have any knowledge of are the handy-work of our Father in heaven, and then you seer poor, pusillanimous man rise up—a worm of the earth whose breath is in his nostrils, and if God should say the word and withdraw his supporting hand, he is no more—and says, 'this is mine.' He has a purse obtained through the blessings of God, and says, 'this is mine.' He has a sack of silver, and say, 'this is mine.' He builds a house, and calls it his house. He makes a farm, and says, 'this is mine.' This poor, weak man does, who is not capable of making a single spear of grass. He cannot sustain his own existence on moment, without being dependent upon God for the next breath, and yet he says, 'these possessions are mine,' and he clings to them with the tenacity of death. This you see in mankind; they hold to the earth as though it was their all. You see this, every day of your lives."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:340
"No element that we see, no part of the earth, no part or portion of the starry Heavens, or of the deep above or below, but what is God’s creation, he organized it. Do we realize this, that every element that now is in existence, that we have any knowledge of, that we can conceive of, is organized by our Father in Heaven, and is his property? It is his in time and in eternity. The earth and its fullness are his and the Heavens are his; the height, the depth, the length, and the breadth all are his. Every capacity that the children of men possess is the gift of God."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:341
"[L]et all learn that the earth is not ours."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:342 "Duties of the Saints"
"But whence comes evil? It comes when we make an evil of a good. Speaking of the elements and the creation of God, in their nature they are as pure as the Heavens. When we see the vanity that is around us, the magnanimity of the Deity, and contemplate the extent of his knowledge, we can enjoy him as Supreme in every act, in every path of life, in every portion of life that belongs to the children of men, if we can understand things as they are. Was there ever a spear of grass or a single grain upon this earth, or in any other kingdom, but what was produced by that beneficent Being? Not one. Behold the vanity and extent of His knowledge in the creation of the elements! Every element is His. 'The gold?' Yes, he organized and made it, is a common term used. 'The silver?' Yes, he made it. 'The diamond?' Yes. 'And every other precious stone?' Yes. 'The rude rock?' Yes. The land and all are His. The earth that we walk upon, the air we breathe, and the water we drink, are His creation. He organized them and placed them here for our good. Take all the elements that God has created, and do you think we use them and not abuse them?"
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:341
“The riches of the world are natural, and common to the human family, but who governs and controls them?”
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 1:268
"[This people] say they are willing to do anything for salvation, to build up the kingdom of God on the earth. They are willing to forego everything they can and undergo all that is possible, to save themselves and the children of men, and bring the day of peace and righteousness upon the earth. Then let all learn that the earth is not ours. Let us learn that these elements are put into our possession to work with and improve, and to determine whether we know how to improve upon them. We wish to see Zion built up, the earth beautified and prepared for the coming of the Son of Man. We are looking forth to the day when Zion will spring into existence, and stand forth like a bride prepared to meet her husband, with all the beauty and glory that belong to the kingdom of God on the earth. We shall then see Zion in its beauty. We are looking for this. We look forward to the day when the Lord will prepare for the building of the New Jerusalem, preparatory to the city of Enoch’s going to be joined with it when it is built upon this earth. We are anticipating to enjoy that day, whether we sleep in death previous to that, or not."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:342 "Duties of the Saints"
"Not one particle of all that comprises this vast creation of God is our own. Everything we have has been bestowed upon us for our action, to see what we would do with it—whether we would use it for eternal life and exaltation, or for eternal death and degradation"
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:67
"Did you ever organize a tree, gold, silver, or any other kind of metal, or any other natural production? No, you have not yet attained to that power, and it will be ages before you do. Who owns all the elements with which we are commanded and permitted to operate? The Lord, and we are stewards over them."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 4:29
"All the creations are His work, and they are for His glory and for the benefit of the children of men; and all things are put into the possession of man for his comfort, improvement and consolation, and for his health, wealth, beauty and excellency."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 13:151
“It is the privilege of the Saints to enjoy every good thing, for the earth and its fulness belong to the Lord, and he has promised all to his faithful Saints; but it must be enjoyed without spirit of covetousness and selfishness—without the spirit of lust, and in the spirit of the Gospel; then the sun will shine sweetly upon us; each day will be filled with delight, and all things will be filled with beauty, giving joy, pleasure, and rest to the Saints.”
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:82
“We admit that God is the great source and fountain from whence proceeds all good; that He is perfect intelligence, and that His wisdom is alone sufficient to govern and regulate the mighty creations and worlds which shine and blaze with such magnificence and splendor over our heads, as though touched with His finger and moved by His Almighty word. . . . The heavens declare the glory of a God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork [see Psalm 19:1 ]; and a moment’s reflection is sufficient to teach every man of common intelligence, that all these are not the mere productions of chance, nor could they be supported by any power less than an Almighty hand.”
Church Leaders
Joseph Fielding Smith
Presidents of the Church
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2011)
"No doubt the spirits that possess the bodies of the animals are in the similitude of their bodies. In other words the bodies of the animals conform to the spirits which possess them, and which existed before they were place on the earth."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Man, His Origin and Destiny (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1954), 194.
"His power extends to all his creations, and his knowledge comprehends them all, and he governs them all and he knows all.""
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, (2011), 352–61
"[Man] is indebted to the Lord Almighty for his intelligence, and for all that he has; for the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof [see Psalm 24:1 ]. God originated and designed all things."
Church Leaders
Gordon B. Hinckley
Presidents of the Church
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith
This earth is his creation. When we make it ugly, we offend him. Our bodies are the work of our Creator. When we abuse them, we abuse him.
Gordon B. Hinckley
Presidents of the Church
"What Shall I Do Then With Jesus Which is Called Christ?", April 1984
I marvel when I think of this world so rich in beauty, so perfect in function. This world was created by Jesus Christ under the direction of our Heavenly Father. Creation is one of the characteristics that defines God. He takes matter without form and molds it into stars, planets, and solar systems. 'Worlds without number have I created,' He tells us.
Church Leaders
Mary Ellen Smoot
General Authorities
"We Are Creators," May 2000
"We as a church believe and so declare that in the end the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. When this is done it will be beautiful and glorious beyond finite conception. This being our doctrine, do you think it becoming in God's children to deface the earth while we sojourn here? Being the stewards and custodians of the resources which are committed to us, have we not an obligation to use them, preserve them and return them in the best possible condition of which our circumstances will permit? I think upon reflection you will say that we have such an obligation and that it is very definitely our task to make God's footstool as beautiful as we may. For 'the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof,' and the righteous 'and their generations shall inherit the earth from generation to generation forever and forever.' What a delightful abode for men this good earth could be if men would but make it so!"
Church Leaders
Stephen L. Richards
General Authorities
April 1940 General Conference
This earth is his creation. When we make it ugly, we offend him. Our bodies are the work of our Creator. When we abuse them, we abuse him.
Church Leaders
Gordon B. Hinckley
Presidents of the Church
"What Shall I Do Then With Jesus Which is Called Christ?", April 1984
"You have been taught, my young readers, that the work of revelation never can cease in the kingdom of God, that the Lord will continue to speak to the children of men by the voice of His Holy Spirit through His prophets and His priesthood; and is it otherwise in the material world? Suppose, there is a little swallow, taken from his nest when young, and kept since then in a room. Autumn has come, and the little bird gets restless and wants to be off. We open the windows and away he goes to the far off sunny south. Who told him of an approaching winter? Who showed him the way to milder climes? The voice of nature. Who taught the birds to build their nests so beautifully that no artist, with all his skill, can imitate them ? The voice of nature. The ostrich takes out of the nest one of the eggs, carries it some distance, knocks a hole in it, and leaves it exposed to the burning sun, which soon causes it to decay, and flies by thousands put their eggs in it. By the time that the young ostriches have been hatched out from the remaining eggs, that one which the mother threw away is full of worms, which are the first food for the young brood. Who told the ostrich mother to provide in such a manner for her young? The voice of God through nature. Who taught the bees and ants their social organization with captains and queens, and wild geese to choose a leader? Who tells the crows and storks of lands beyond the wide sea when and how to change their locations, and teaches the young lamb the voice of its mother? The God of nature. He directs them all, leads them all, organizes them all, and all creatures in the universe follow that voice; the sun, the moon, the stars, the rivers, the land and sea, the birds of the air, the beasts and creeping things—but man. He alone has departed from the ways god has marked out for him—he alone refuses to listen to the still, small voice. He alone denies the Almighty the right to govern and direct his worldly affairs, denying that God speaks to him any more. Should He who never ceased revelation in one half of His kingdom, have ceased it in the other half? No, never! The thought is folly."
Church Leaders
Karl G Maeser
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 42:39, Jan. 15, 1907
"Trees are more precious than gold . . . I consider the life of a tree so sacred that I am reluctant to destroy it, even when the tree is no longer useful where it is, and even when it is in the way of a better improvement . . . I would like to see our children taught to respect tree life as they do bird life and animal life and human life. All are parts of the great creation of our Father—and none of the workmanship of His hands should we presume to tamper with, wreck or destroy, except as our needs may justify or our intelligence suggest as necessary for the welfare of those concerned."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 34:266, May 1, 1899
"There can be no doubt in the mind of any person who believes in the God of heaven that He will hold man accountable for any ill treatment of the creatures He was placed under his control, and those who misuse or treat them with cruelty will be called to an account for such acts. It is not our acts to our fellow man alone that we shall be called to an account for, but our acts to the creations of our Father in heaven. These animals are His, He created them, and they are not outside of the reach of His love and care, and they cannot be badly treated with impunity. This is the lesson that should be impressed deeply upon the minds of the young, and when they are awakened to realize this they will be more humane to the animals they have in their keeping and be more likely to treat them with consideration and kindness."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor, XXIX (January 15, 1897), pg. 59.
"Our religion teaches us that human life is most sacred and should not be wantonly taken. The Lord also has spoken with great plainness concerning the animal creation. The beasts, fowls, and fishes are all the creation of His power and their lives are precious in His sight. No properly constituted person will lightly take the life of any creature; and every girl should be taught that it is wrong to adorn herself with feathers obtained from the slaughter of birds. Animals, fowls and fish are created for the use of man; but their lives should not be wasted. They are to supply the wants of man, not to be slaughtered for mere amusement or for the gratification of vanity."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 28:712-713, Nov. 15, 1893
"Truly, the heavens and the earth and all things in them evidence the handiwork of God, their Creator."
Church Leaders
M. Russell Ballard
General Authorities
"God's Love for His Children"
The heavens he made; the earth is his footstool; and the foundation thereof is his. Behold, he laid it, an host of men hath he brought in upon the face thereof.
Pearl of Great Price
44 6
Moses
Moses 6:44
1. "Great King of heav'n, our hearts we raise To thee in prayer, to thee in praise. The vales exult, the hills acclaim, And all thy works revere thy name." 2. "O Israel's God! Thine arm is strong. To thee all earth and skies belong, And with one voice in one glad chord, With myriad echoes, praise the Lord."
Other Sources
Carrie Stockdale Thomas
Other Writings of Mormons
"Great King of Heaven," LDS Hymnal, #63
"Recognition of all life as sacred and eternal, having God as its author and owner, should evoke in us a deep reverence and humility in our approach to the earth and all upon it."
Other Sources
Alisse Garner Metge
Other Writings of Mormons
“Conservation through Consecration,” in Stewardship and the Creation: LDS Perspectives on the Environment, eds. George B. Handley, Terry B. Ball, and Steven L. Peck (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center), 109–19.
"If Mormons are serious about ending inequality and they are serious about restoring dignity to the lives of the most poor and the most vulnerable in society, as the law of consecration demands, then they should be equally serious about respecting the creation as God's, understanding property as contingent, avoiding overconsumption in all of its forms, and honoring and protecting the sacred sources of physical life."
Other Sources
George Handley
Other Writings of Mormons
“Mormon Views of Environmental Stewardship” in Routledge Handbook on Religion and Ecology, edited by Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grim, and Willis Jenkins. 97-106.
"I have often thought that in our day and age—and I believe that there is some precedence in the scriptures for this, such as references to pollution in the last days and so on—one of the areas at which we could look seriously and about which we could feel good is this area of cleaning up our environment. I have a feeling that pollution is going to get worse and that there are going to be a lot of jobs in this area. I am convinced that the Lord is against pollution. He is against perversion. He is against prostitution—and prostitution has a much broader meaning than just its limited sexual sense; it really means perverting something from its correct use to an incorrect use. I would think that prostitution and pollution and perversion are all about the same, and God is against such things. How we treat him is reflected in how we treat others who are his children, and how we treat the elements and other forms of life on this earth, which are his. He created them. If there were one safe area in which to look for a livelihood, I think it would be in this area. I do not know whether this would be your avocation or not, but you might think about it. I am convinced in my own mind that we have not really fulfilled our mission in life as individuals or as a Church until we have demonstrated and shown as much advancement in other areas as we have in theology. We know how government ought to be, we know how society ought to be, we know what cleanliness ought to be, we know what the environment really should be; we should lead out in these areas. For instance, we recognize that we have environmental problems. I am not sure what the answer is, but I do not think the answer is what some 'environmentalists' think it is—that is, to stop whatever we are doing—because we as a race must produce. I am not sure how to do it, but I am sure that there is a right way; we just need to discover it. I do not believe that the Lord is pleased with the constant corruption and pollution we so willingly endure—not just spiritually, but physically—to achieve some of our goals. I personally cannot help but believe that there is a better way. I cannot help but feel that God knows how to transform all of these base materials into useful tools without all the choking clouds of dust and the stench of pollution in our rivers and streams. He put our resources here, he put us here, and he knows what we need. He knows what is here and how to get things done. I do not think that he is against energy. I think that he is for all of these things, and wants us to use them in the proper way to get around, do his work, and build up his kingdom. But my faith is that there is a better way than we now know. He wants us to use the elements—to mold them for our use—but in a different way. Now should that not be something that you students here at BYU could figure out—with the Lord’s help? (And who should be closer to him than you?) We have talked about missions for individuals, and we are all aware of the Church mission. In my mind, BYU, as part of the Church, should become the pollution control center of the world—not only spiritually, but physically. I feel that this is important. We take the gospel to all the world in a spiritual way; we ought to do it in other ways, also... I guess we could say that, as far as our life’s mission is concerned, both spiritually and physically, we could feel good about doing away with pollution and putting purity in its place. That is a real challenge and is something that we should do. You at this University should be the leaders in doing it."
Other Sources
John H. Groberg
Other Writings of Mormons
"What is Your Mission?" Brigham Young University 1979 Speech
"Old Testament scriptures taught that the earth is the Lord’s (Psalms 24:1), that the land was to rest every seven years (Leviticus 25), and that all humankind and animals were to rest on the Sabbath. New Testament teachings emphasized the Lord as a good shepherd who watched over his flocks (John 10) and a worker who tended the vineyards (John 15)."
Other Sources
Gary C. Bryner
Other Writings of Mormons
"Theology and Ecology: Religious Belief and Environmental Stewardship," in BYU Studies 49, no. 3 (2010)
"These principles have been well developed in the literature and are only summarized briefly here. First, the earth and all creation belong to God; they witness, bear record of, and reflect his power and love for humankind. The earth’s resources are to be used not just to meet human needs but also to elevate the human spirit. All forms of life have intrinsic value. All are creations of God. All living things have a spiritual as well as an earthly dimension, and all were created spiritually before being placed on the earth physically (see Moses 3:5; D&C 59:18). Second, our use of resources should be guided by principles of equity, conservation, and minimal waste; consumption that meets our needs; and restraint that encourages spiritual values (D&C 49:19–20; 70:14; 104:14–17). Third, materialism and overconsumption are threats to environmental and spiritual well-being. The biblical injunction of Luke 12:15, 'Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth,' is repeated in Mormon scriptures where members are urged to seek first the kingdom of God and to trust not in the things of the world (see Jacob 2:18–19; D&C 121:35). Fourth, humans have a sacred stewardship to protect and preserve creation for themselves and for succeeding generations (D&C 104:11–17)."
Other Sources
Gary C. Bryner
Other Writings of Mormons
"Theology and Ecology: Religious Belief and Environmental Stewardship," in BYU Studies 49, no. 3 (2010)
"Fear God, who made the water pure, The heavens, sea, and land. His judgment will be swift and sure; The day is nigh at hand. Then, all ye people, worship God; Give glory to his name! To spread these tidings far abroad The holy angel came."
Other Sources
Anonymous
Other Writings of Mormons
"I Saw a Mighty Angel Fly," LDS Hymnal, #15
"Happy the man whose hopes rely On Israel's God! He made the sky And earth and seas with all their train, And none shall find his promise vain."
Other Sources
Isaac Watts
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
"Praise Ye the Lord," LDS Hymnal, #74
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.
Old Testament
2-5 95
Psalms
Psalms 95:2-5
The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them.
Old Testament
11 89
Psalms
Psalms 89:11
The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun.
Old Testament
16 74
Psalms
Psalms 74:16
If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.
Old Testament
12 50
Psalms
Psalms 50:12
I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.
Old Testament
11 50
Psalms
Psalms 50:11
For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
Old Testament
10 50
Psalms
Psalms 50:10
The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
Old Testament
1-2 24
Psalms
Psalms 24:1-2
The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.
Old Testament
23 25
Leviticus
Leviticus 25:23
Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
Old Testament
5 19
Exodus
Exodus 19:5
And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the Lord; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the Lord’s.
Old Testament
29 9
Exodus
Exodus 9:29
At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth...
New Testament
25 11
Matthew
Matthew 11:25
But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool...
New Testament
34-35 5
Matthew
Matthew 5:34-35
In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth
New Testament
21 10
Luke
Luke 10:21
For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.
New Testament
26 10
1 Corinthians
1 Corinthians 10:26
And it is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine.
Doctrine and Covenants
15 104
D&C
D&C 104:15
I, the Lord, stretched out the heavens, and built the earth, my very handiwork; and all things therein are mine.
Doctrine and Covenants
14 104
D&C
D&C 104:14
And if ye seek the riches which it is the will of the Father to give unto you, ye shall be the richest of all people, for ye shall have the riches of eternity; and it must needs be that the riches of the earth are mine to give; but beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old.
Doctrine and Covenants
39 38
D&C
D&C 38:39
And I have made the earth rich, and behold it is my footstool, wherefore, again I will stand upon it.
Doctrine and Covenants
17 38
D&C
D&C 38:17
And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last;
Book of Mormon
39 10
Alma
Alma 10:39
But verily, verily, I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; Nor by the earth, for it is his footstool;
Book of Mormon
34-35 12
3 Nephi
3 Nephi 12:34-35
He ruleth high in the heavens, for it is his throne, and this earth is his footstool.
Book of Mormon
39 17
1 Nephi
1 Nephi 17:39
And when I had spoken these words, the Spirit cried with a loud voice, saying: Hosanna to the Lord, the most high God; for he is God over all the earth, yea, even above all. And blessed art thou, Nephi, because thou believest in the Son of the most high God; wherefore, thou shalt behold the things which thou hast desired.
Book of Mormon
6 11
1 Nephi
1 Nephi 11:6