God's Love and the Creation

"John saw curious looking beasts in heaven, he saw every creature that was in heaven, all the beasts, fowls, & fish in heaven, actually there, giving glory to God. I suppose John saw beings there, that had been saved from ten thousand times ten thousand earths like this, strange beasts of which we have no conception all might be seen in heaven. John learned that God glorified himself by saving all that his hands had made whether beasts, fowl fishes or man, and He will glorify Himself with them."
Church Leaders
Joseph Smith, Jr.
Presidents of the Church
The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph, 185.
"We have the assurance that through the sacrifice made on the cross all mankind and every other creature, even the earth itself, are redeemed from death and shall receive the resurrection and be restored to immortal life."
Church Leaders
Joseph Fielding Smith
Presidents of the Church
Man: His Origin and Destiny, Ch 18 (pg 233?)
"[T]he earth and its heaven shall, after passing away through death, be renewed again in immortality. This earth is living and must die, but since it keeps the law it shall be restored through the resurrection by which it shall become celestialized and the abode of celestial beings. The Lord intends to save, not only the earth and the heavens, not only man who dwells upon the earth, but all things which he has created. The animals, the fishes of the sea, the fowls of the air, as well as man, are to be recreated, or renewed, through the resurrection, for they too are living souls. The earth, as a living body, will have to die and be resurrected, for it, too, has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ."
Church Leaders
Joseph Fielding Smith
Presidents of the Church
Doctrines of Salvation (compiled by Bruce R. McConkie) 1:46.
"In the Pearl of Great Price also we read that the Lord created all things in the spirit before they were placed on the earth. All beings have been redeemed through the blood of Christ and shall come forth in their own order in the resurrection of the dead, to inherit salvation in that sphere to which they are designed. When we reach the 'next world' we will find there our friends the animals, but they are not the cousins of man! The great work of the Lord is not to save the beasts of the field, but to give to man immortal glory. However, man would not be contented to live in a world where no animals, plants or vegetables were found. They too live and pass through mortality according to the plan of the Great Designer, and not one mote shall be lost."
Church Leaders
Joseph Fielding Smith
Presidents of the Church
The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 17:153-154, April 1926.
"Every creature on the earth, whether it be man, animal, fish, fowl, or other creature, that the Lord has created, is redeemed from death on the same terms that man is redeemed from death on the same terms that man is redeemed. These creatures are not responsible for death coming into the world any more than we were, and since they have been created by the Father, they are entitled to their redemption and eternal duration. The earth itself shall be changed from its mortal body, for it too is a living thing now, under the curse of death, and it, 'abideth the law of a celestial kingdom, for it filleth the measure of its creation, and transgresseth not the law—Wherefore, it shall be sanctified; yea, notwithstanding it shall die, it shall be quickened again, and shall abide the power by which it is quickened, and the righteous shall inherit it.'"
Church Leaders
Joseph Fielding Smith
Presidents of the Church
Doctrines of Salvation 2:392.
"The simple answer is that animals do have spirits and that through the redemption made by our Savior they will come forth in the resurrection to enjoy the blessing of immortal life... As to where the beasts, birds, and fish, and all other creatures will go after the resurrection we can only express an opinion. John saw many of them in heaven in the presence of God. It is very probably that they, like mankind, will be distributed in the various kingdoms, celestial, terrestrial and telestial. We may well believe that in each of these kingdoms such creatures will be assigned."
Church Leaders
Joseph Fielding Smith
Presidents of the Church
"Your Question," The Improvement Era, LXI (January, 1958), 16.
"Not only is animal life capable of happiness, but it is also included within the scope of His redeeming power, as taught in this uniquely LDS scripture [D&C 29:23-25]: . . . Plainly, all forms of life identified in this verse have great value in the eyes of God, for they are the workmanship of His hand, and will be blessed by His redeeming power. This doctrine leads one to view plant and animal life differently, as living souls created by God."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
“[The Savior’s] ransom includes a resurrection for man and for all forms of life.”
Church Leaders
Bruce R. McConkie
General Authorities
Bruce R. McConkie, “Seven Deadly Heresies,” Speeches of the Year (1981), 7-8.
“[T]he Atonement fully extends its redemptive powers to . . . all forms of life thereon to the extent necessary to save them from physical and, where necessary, spiritual death.”
Church Leaders
Tad R. Callister
General Authorities
Tad R. Callister, The Infinite Atonement (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2000), 87.
"I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love."
Wendell Berry
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Another Turn of the Crank (1996)
"The earth itself, and mankind upon it, the brute beasts, the fish of the sea, and the fowls of heaven, the insects, and every creeping thing, with all things pertaining to this earthly ball,—all are in the hands of the Savior, and he has redeemed them all."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 388
"Who placed the dark stain of sin upon this fair creation? Man. Who but man shall remove the foul blot, and restore all things to their primeval purity and innocence? But can he do this independent of heavenly aid? He cannot. To aid him in this work heavenly grace is here."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 10:301
"Let me love the world as He loves it, to make it beautiful, and glorify the name of my Father in heaven. It does not matter whether I or anybody else owns it, if we only work to beautify it and make it glorious, it is all right."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 2:308
“Further, the mission of Jesus will be unfinished until He redeems the whole human family, except the sons of perdition, and also this earth from the curse that is upon it, and both the earth and its inhabitants can be presented to the Father redeemed, sanctified and glorious. Things upon the earth, so far as they have not been perverted by wickedness, are typical of things in heaven. Heaven was the prototype of this beautiful creation when it came from the hand of the Creator, and was pronounced ‘good.’”
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 23:175.
"Love begets love in all creation, and nature responds bounteously to the tender treatment of man."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor 53;182-183, April 1918.
"Kindness begets kindness and brings results. . . . Love, intelligently and humanely applied, has not only produced gentleness in the horse, but has contributed to the intelligence of the animal. And why does kindness contribute to intelligence? Because kindness is an attribute of intelligence. And like begets like. We know that restraint and self-control are necessary to the possession of the spirit of kindness, and these command the attention and submission of all domestic animals. . . . Why have the words of Jesus of Nazareth moved men to work and suffer, to think and feel as the words of no other man have done? It is the love, the intelligence, as well as the authority in which they were spoken. All nature responds to love. From love comes contentment, and the highest form of service."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor 48:84-85, Feb 1913.
“Prof. Pauls tells us . . . that 'six species of American birds are already extinct; fourteen other species are apparently doomed. Here are the next candidates for early extinction in this country: Trumpeter swan, whooping crane, roseate spoonbill, redbreasted sandpiper, sandpiper, bartramia, sandpiper, golden plover, dowitcher, willet, American egret, snowy egret, wood duck, sage grouse, prairie sharp-tailed grouse, pinnated grouse.' With these startling facts before us, is it not time that something be done by every organization in the world to discountenance extermination and favor protection of feathered beauties. . . . In all the teaching, the element of love for all of the creatures of the earth can be emphasized, and thus true religion imparted. ”
Church Leaders
David O. McKay
Presidents of the Church
Juvenile Instructor, Vol. 48 (May 1913), pg. 311.
"Wherever we live in this world, we see the glorious rising sun, which bears record of the Light of Christ that fills our hearts and enlightens our minds. The mighty rivers and the meandering streams bear record that the Savior is the source of the living water that can quench our thirst for spiritual things. The lilies of the field and even the smallest sparrow bear record of His generous and personal care."
Church Leaders
Susan L. Warner
General Authorities
"Bear Record of Him," Ensign Nov. 1998.
"Yes, as we have already discussed, the Lord gave to men and women agency, or the capacity to choose; however, we must bear in mind that he cares deeply for all life and especially for His children, and will hold us accountable for what we choose to do (or not do) with the bounties of His creation."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"These high peaks, humble in their magnificence before the God who designed and made this earth, touch the blue vault of the heavens. Although silent, they speak of the power and majesty of God—and of His matchless genius for beauty."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"As we have discussed, we live in a world in which individuals may choose to reject God and treat His creation with disdain. When this occurs, God and creation are pained. LDS scripture contained in the Pearl of Great Price relates a vision in which Enoch of Old Testament times saw that the God of heaven wept on account of the poor choices and suffocating selfishness of humankind—His children."
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"According to LDS scripture, when man pollutes this world spiritually or temporally, not only God, but nature also suffers!"
Church Leaders
Marcus B. Nash
General Authorities
"Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth." Speech at 18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on 12 April, 2013.
"God knows and loves each of us—personally and perfectly. Hence, there is incredible intimacy in the vastness of it all. Are not the very hairs of one’s head numbered? Is not the fall of each sparrow noticed?"
Church Leaders
Neal A. Maxwell
General Authorities
"Thanks Be to God," 1982
"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
"Is the power of the Almighty more manifest in the glorious firmaments above us, with its myriads of stars, than it is in the drop of water with its living population, or among the multitudes of creatures that by thousands may swim at once through the eye of the finest cambric needle? Who has, Eternal One, seen the beginning of Thy greatness, or understood the principles of Thy wisdom? For the heavens declare Thy glory, and the drop of water proclaims Thy power, with a thousand tongues!"
Church Leaders
Karl G Maeser
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 42:287, Feb. 1, 1907.
"Do you remember the first time you knew there was a God and could feel His love? As a boy, I used to gaze into the starry sky and ponder and feel His presence. I thrilled to explore the magnificent beauties of God’s creations—from tiny insects to towering trees. As I recognized the beauty of this earth, I knew that Heavenly Father loved me. I knew that I was a literal spiritual offspring, that we are all sons and daughters of God."
Church Leaders
Robert D. Hales
General Authorities
"Eternal Life—to Know Our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ," Oct. 2014.
"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), 59.
"The Lord has given us these animals to be a help to us. He has entrusted them to our care. They have His love and sympathy; and we need not think for one moment that He will overlook our neglect of their wants. He will hold us accountable for their proper treatment. If we neglect them and suffer them to go without food, or water, or proper shelter, so far as it is in our power to provide it, He will be offended, and we cannot escape the punishment that He will inflict upon us in some form for our neglect of these creatures of His care."
Church Leaders
George Q. Cannon
General Authorities
Juvenile Instructor 34:114, Feb. 15, 1899.
"We sometimes feel great respect and reverence for creative genius as expressed in great art or music. How much more should we revere the power and majesty of our Divine Creator?"
Church Leaders
M. Russell Ballard
General Authorities
“The Handiwork of God,” New Era, Mar. 2006, 5
But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.
Pearl of Great Price
35 1
Moses
Moses 1:35
1. As I watch the rising sun When the day has just begun, I am thinking of the love That comes daily from above.
Other Sources
Marie C. Turk
Other Writings of Mormons
"God's Daily Care," LDS Hymnal, #306
1. "Earth, with her ten thousand flow'rs, Air, with all its beams and show'rs, Heaven's infinite expanse, Sea's resplendent countenance— All around and all above Bear this record: God is love." 2. "Sounds among the vales and hills, In the woods and by the rills, Of the breeze and of the bird, By the gentle murmur stirred— Sacred songs, beneath, above, Have one chorus: God is love." 3. "All the hopes that sweetly start From the fountain of the heart, All the bliss that ever comes To our earthly human homes, All the voices from above." Sweetly whisper: God is love.
Other Sources
Thomas R. Taylor
Other Writings of Mormons
"God is Love," LDS Hymnal, #313
"O messengers of truth, go forth, Proclaim the gospel story, Go forth the nations to prepare To greet the King of glory. We shout hosanna, shout again, Till all creation blending Shall join in one great, grand amen Of anthems never ending."
Other Sources
Evan Stephens
Other Writings of Mormons
"The Voice of God Again Is Heard," LDS Hymnals, #18
"For Jesus died on Calvary, That all thru him might ransomed be. Then sing hosannas to his name; Let heav'n and earth his love proclaim."
Other Sources
George Manwaring
Other Writings of Mormons
"'Tis Sweet to Sing the Matchless Love," LDS Hymnal, #177
"When we confine creation to an originating event, we lose the sense of it as a dynamic place so cherished that God enters into covenant relationship with it, so beautiful that God promises to renew it, and so valuable that God takes up residence within it. Creation is not a vast lump of valueless matter. It is God's love made visible, fragrant, tactile, audible, and delectable. Because God's love is eternally hospitable and always fresh, creation will always have a place in God's life."
Other Sources
Norman Wirzba
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
From Nature to Creation: A Christian Vision for Understanding and Loving Our World, p. 21.
"[The earth] is not a material mechanism that runs according to its own laws. It is instead the material manifestation of God's love operating within it. It is not a pointless exercise of motion, 'full of sound a fury, /signifying nothing,' but a drama that witnesses to a divine, hospitable intention that invites our response and participation."
Other Sources
Norman Wirzba
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
From Nature to Creation: A Christian Vision for Understanding and Loving Our World, p. 19.
"Yet this glorious valley might well be called a church, for every lover of the great Creator who comes within the broad overwhelming influences of the place fails not to worship as they never did before. The glory of the Lord is upon all God’s works; it is written plainly upon all the fields of every clime, and upon every sky, but here in this place of surpassing glory the Lord has written in capitals."
Other Sources
John Muir
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Meditations of John Muir, by Chris Highland, pg. 119.
1. In hymns of praise your voices raise To him who reigns on high, Whose counsels keep the mighty deep, Who ruleth earth and sky. (Chorus) Exalt his name in loud acclaim; His mighty pow'r adore! And humbly bow before him now, Our King forevermore. 2. Beneath his hand, at his command, The shining planets move; To all below they daily show His wisdom and his love. 3. The little flow'r that lasts an hour, The sparrow in its fall, They, too, shall share his tender care; He made and loves them all.
Other Sources
Ada J. Blenkhorn
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
"In Hymns of Praise," LDS Hymnal, #75
"the human necessity is not just to know, but also to cherish and protect the things that are known, and to know the things that can only be known by cherishing. If we are to protect the world's multitude of places and creatures, then we must know them, not just conceptually but imaginatively as well. They must be pictured in the mind and in memory; they must be known with affection, 'by heart,' so that in seeing or remembering them the heart may be said to 'sing,' to make music peculiar to its recognition of each particular place or creature that it knows well. . . . To know imaginatively is to know intimately, particularly, precisely, gratefully, reverently, and with affection."
Other Sources
Wendell Berry
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Life is a Miracle, 137-138.
"I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love."
Other Sources
Wendell Berry
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Another Turn of the Crank (1996)
"[H]ow important must mankind be to God, seeing that He has created all of this for us? We are surrounded by signs of God’s love for us. The beauty of Creation itself is 'love which from our birth over and around us lies.'"
Other Sources
Mark J. Nielsen
Ensign
"The Wonder of Creation," Ensign, Mar 2004.
"We can draw three lessons from nature’s grandeur: first, God exists; second, God is powerful; and third, God loves us."
Other Sources
Mark J. Nielsen
Ensign
"The Wonder of Creation," Ensign, Mar 2004.
“I love my creatures far more than you ever could!”
47 8
4 Esdras
4 Esdras 8:47
Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.
Old Testament
7-9 147
Psalms
Psalms 147:7-9
To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever: The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever: The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Old Testament
5-10 136
Psalms
Psalms 136:5-10
Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers: thou blessest the springing thereof.
Old Testament
10 65
Psalms
Psalms 65:10
Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it.
Old Testament
9 65
Psalms
Psalms 65:9
Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.
Old Testament
22 2
Joel
Joel 2:22
And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
Old Testament
21 8
Genesis
Genesis 8:21
When thou shalt besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by forcing an axe against them: for thou mayest eat of them, and thou shalt not cut them down (for the tree of the field is man’s life) to employ them in the siege:
Old Testament
19 20
Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy 20:19
A land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.
Old Testament
12 11
Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy 11:12
And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
New Testament
4 9
Revelation
Revelation 9:4
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
New Testament
3 7
Revelation
Revelation 7:3
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
New Testament
29-31 10
Matthew
Matthew 10:29-31
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? . . . And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? (JST: (30) . . . how much more will he not provide for you, if ye are not of little faith.)
New Testament
25-26, 28-30 6
Matthew
Matthew 6:25-26, 28-30
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
New Testament
45 5
Matthew
Matthew 5:45
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
New Testament
6 12
Luke
Luke 12:6
For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing form God:
New Testament
7 6
Hebrews
Hebrews 6:7
Nevertheless he [God] left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.
New Testament
17 14
Acts
Acts 14:17
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
New Testament
8 4
1 John
1 John 4:8
The earth hath travailed and brought forth her strength; And truth is established in her bowels; And the heavens have smiled upon her; And she is clothed with the glory of her God; For he stands in the midst of his people.
Doctrine and Covenants
101 84
D&C
D&C 84:101
He remembereth every creature of his creating.
Book of Mormon
30 27
Mosiah
Mosiah 27:30
Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, even so will he clothe you, if ye are not of little faith.
Book of Mormon
26-28 13
3 Nephi
3 Nephi 13:26-28