Spiritual Creation

"God has given this great variety of intelligence. He has also given this great variety of forms—that eternal variety which we see upon this earth, not only among human beings, but in every class of all the creations of God; and they are all designed to be preserved to all eternity. None of them were made to be destroyed, except those that do not abide the law given them. The earth will abide its creation, and will be counted worthy of receiving the blessings designed for it, and will ultimately roll back into the presence of God who formed it and established it mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms. These will all be retained upon the earth, come forth in the resurrection, and abide for ever and for ever."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 8:8, March 4, 1860
“Well, how many lives are there in this grain of corn? They are innumerable, and this same infinity is manifest through all the creations of God.”
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 15:138
"There is not one particle of element, which is not filled with life. . . . There is life in all matter, throughout the vast extent of all the eternities; it is in the rock, the sand, the dust, in water, and gases, and in short, in every description and organization of matter whether it be solid, liquid, or gaseous, particle operating within particle."
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 3:276, March 28, 1856.
"The spirit constitutes the life of everything we see. Is there life in these rocks, and mountains? There is. Then there is a spirit peculiarly adapted to those rocks and mountains. . . . There is a spirit nicely adapted to the various productions of the vegetable kingdom.”
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
The Essential Brigham Young, ed. Eugene E. Campbell, (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1992), 82 (quoting sermon “When I Contemplate the Subject of Salvation” delivered February 12, 1854).
"Since all creatures and the plants and trees of the earth were created spiritually, we discover that not only man is entitled to the resurrection but every other living thing that suffered the fall through Adam's transgression. So we learn that this mortal earth, like all on its face, is growing old, and eventually shall die, be cleansed, and then come forth a celestial world and everything will be restored to life never to die again. This does not mean, however, that everything that has been on this earth in mortality will be assigned to remain on this earth when it is purified and has received the celestial glory and becomes a fit abode for celestial beings, human, animal, and plant, according to the divine decree."
Church Leaders
Joseph Fielding Smith
Presidents of the Church
Answers to Gospel Questions 4:130-131
"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.
“Latter-day Saints, at least, do not take the view that animals have no reason, and cannot think. We have the divine knowledge that each possesses a spirit in the likeness of its body, and that each was created spiritually before it was naturally, or given a body on the earth. Naturally, then, there is some measure of intelligence in members of the animal kingdom.”
Church Leaders
Joseph Fielding Smith
Presidents of the Church
Man His Origin and Destiny p. 194
"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.
"It is a very inconsistent notion which is held by some, that the resurrection will only come to human souls, that the animals and plants have no spirits and are therefore not redeemed by the sacrifice of the Son of God, and hence they are not entitled to the resurrection."
Church Leaders
Joseph Fielding Smith
Presidents of the Church
Answers to Gospel Questions 5:7.
"While it is true that all things were created spiritually, or as spirits, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth, this creation, we are informed, was in heaven. This applies to animals of all descriptions and also to plant life, before there was flesh upon the earth, or in the water, or in the air (Moses 3:5, 9; Genesis 2:5, 9)."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Doctrines of Salvation 1:47
"The idea prevails in general, I believe, in the religious world where the Gospel truth is misunderstood, that man is the only being on the earth that has what is called a 'soul' or a spirit. We know this is not the case, for the Lord has said that not only has man a spirit, and is thereby a living soul, but likewise the beasts of the field, the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, have spirits, and hence are living souls. But this does not make them kinsmen to the sons and daughters of God. They are our Father's creations, not his offspring, and that is the great difference between man and beast. It would be a very strange world where animals were not found. If, after the resurrection of the dead, we discovered that man was the only living creature with immortality, we would certainly consider it a very strange world. Yet the idea does prevail that man has a spirit and the animals have not, and this is the great thing that distinguished man from all other beings. The fish, the fowl, the beasts of the field, lived before they were placed naturally in this earth, and so did the plants that are upon the face of the earth. No doubt the spirits that possess the bodies of the animals are in the similitude of their bodies. In other words the bodies of animals conform to the spirits which possess them, and which existed before they were placed on the earth. The Lord has made nothing to be destroyed. He has not [built] to tear down, but what is done is done with the idea of permanency."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Doctrines of Salvation 1:40
"Every creature had a spiritual existence. The spirits of men, beasts, and all animal life, existed before the foundation of the earth was laid, and are living entities (D&C 29:22-25; Moses 3:4-9)."
Church Leaders
Joseph F. Smith
Presidents of the Church
Doctrines of Salvation 1:75
"Animals do have souls—that is to say, each animal is a spirit and a body, these together constituting the soul; and the same is true of the trees, plants and flowers. They were not formed for any merely temporary purpose, and are to be eternally perpetuated."
Church Leaders
Orson F. Whitney
General Authorities
Improvement Era 30:844, Aug. 1927
“[W]e are compelled to believe that every vegetable, whether great or small, has a living intelligent spirit capable of feeling, knowing, and rejoicing in its sphere.”
Church Leaders
Orson Pratt
General Authorities
The Seer, Vol.1, No.3 (Salt Lake City: Eborn Books, 2000), 34
"Since both plant and animal life are living souls, they are capable of experiencing happiness as they fulfill the measure of their 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.
"Not only did God create a beautiful world of mountains, valleys, rivers, streams, seas, sunsets and sunrises, but He also adorned it with plant and animal life. According to LDS scripture, each form of plant and animal life has a spirit."
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 one of the presidents of the Church, Joseph Fielding Smith, taught, 'the Lord gave life to every creature…[and] commanded [them] to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. It was intended that all creatures should be happy in their several elements.'"
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.
"This earth, all men, animals, fish, fowls, plants, all things—all lived first as spirit entities. Their home was heaven, and the earth was created to be the place where they could take upon themselves mortality."
Church Leaders
Bruce R. McConkie
General Authorities
"Christ and the Creation" Ensign, June 1982
And out of the ground I, the Lord God, formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and commanded that they should come unto Adam, to see what he would call them; and they were also living souls; for I, God, breathed into them the breath of life, and commanded that whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that should be the name thereof.
19 3
Moses
Moses 3:19
And out of the ground I, the Lord God, formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and commanded that they should come unto Adam, to see what he would call them; and they were also living souls; for I, God, breathed into them the breath of life, and commanded that whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that should be the name thereof.
Pearl of Great Price
19 3
Moses
Moses 3:19
And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth. For I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth. And I, the Lord God, had created all the children of men; and not yet a man to till the ground; for in heaven created I them; and there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither in the air;
Pearl of Great Price
5 3
Moses
Moses 3:5
And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.
Pearl of Great Price
33 1
Moses
Moses 1:33
"We believe that a spiritual creation occurred prior to the physical creation. That, to my mind, implies some planning—some sort of divine forethought. Creation was not an accident, and we should not be mindlessly squandering anything God has put thought into."
Other Sources
Rachel Mabey Whipple
Other Writings of Mormons
"Practicing Stewardship in a Consumer Culture," Sunstone 167, 25 June 2012.
"LDS scripture clearly teaches that animals are 'living souls' (Moses 3:19) who existed before this earthly life and will be resurrected after death; as such, they should be killed only in situations where human survival depends on it."
Other Sources
Bart H. Welling
Other Writings of Mormons
“'The Blood of Every Beast': Mormonism and the Question of the Animal" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011).
"To support his [Kimball's] view that animals do live a celestial life he referred to Elijah's vision of horses pulling war chariots. Asking, 'Where did they come from?' he answered his own question by referring to the doctrine of eternal existence for animal life and stated they were 'created before' in heaven. Concluding his remarks on animals, Kimball admonished all to 'let us be merciful to the brute creation.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) pg 37, footnote: JD, V, 137-8
"In a revelation given to Joseph Smith concerning the creation of animals, the phrase attributed to God is to 'let the earth bring forth the living creatures after his kind,' which indicated a previous existence of animals of this 'kind.'"
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 21.]
"Within these passages of section 77:2-3 of the Doctrine and Covenants is found the basis of Mormon zoophilia. Animals are given an eternal existence. In Latter-day Saint terminology, this means animals have always existed in the past as spiritual beings in heaven before their existence on earth and will continue to exist after this mortal life."
Other Sources
Gerald E. Jones
Other Writings of Mormons
Animals and the Church (2003) [Page 21.]
"The LDS concept of the preexistence promotes a heightened intimacy with and reverence for the creation of the earth. It emphasizes the need to understand the earth's importance in the plan of salvation. How can we despoil God's earthly creations over which we rejoiced in the the preexistence?"
Other Sources
Craig Galli
Other Writings of Mormons
"Enoch’s Vision and Gaia: An LDS Perspective on Environmental Stewardship" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 44, no.2 (Summer 2011)
"The concept of other forms of life experiencing joy coincides with the fact that all of God’s creation possess a spirit."
Other Sources
Craig Galli
Other Writings of Mormons
"Study Guide: LDS Perspectives on Environmental Stewardship," Section B, pg 6
"While LDS theology stresses the spiritual creation preceding the physical creation, it does not explain how the physical creation took place other than the fact that the creation and all natural processes are governed by eternal laws."
Other Sources
Craig Galli
Other Writings of Mormons
"Study Guide: LDS Perspectives on Environmental Stewardship," Section B, pg 6
"[A]ll God's creations—including animals, plants, even, it seems, the rocks themselves—have a spiritual existence and identity that can be loved and must be respected."
Other Sources
Eugene England
Other Writings of Mormons
"Gooseberry Creek: A Narrative of Hope," in New Genesis: A Mormon Reader on Land and Community, 89.
"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)
"Joseph Smith used 'living soul' for both humans and non-humans (Moses 3:7, 9, 19), providing a curious synthesis between the ancient Hebrew and the Western concept of the soul and making explicit the Mormon doctrine of plant and animals souls."
Other Sources
Jason M. Brown
Other Writings of Mormons
"Whither Mormon Environmental Theology?" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011)
"Within Mormonism, this vital primordial force is intelligence. Thus, the vitalistic tradition contains scriptures and teachings that elaborate on the nature of intelligence. It also includes teachings such as the eternal nature of matter and expands traditional Christian notions of spirit to nonhumans, including the earth itself, both of which join humans in possessing an eternal existence."
Other Sources
Jason M. Brown
Other Writings of Mormons
"Whither Mormon Environmental Theology?" in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 44, no. 2 (Summer 2011)
“The Earth is not a dead body, but is inhabited by a spirit that is its life and soul. All created things, minerals included, draw their strength from the earth spirit.”
Other Sources
Basilius Valentinus
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Quoted by Carl G. Jung in Psychology and Alchemy, vol. 12 of Collected Works (1968,) p. 342.
“The earth I tread on is not a dead, inert mass; it is a body, has a spirit, is organic and fluid to the influence of the spirit.”
Other Sources
Henry David Thoreau
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
The Writings of Henry David Thoreau: Journal, ed. by Bradford Torrey, 1837-1846, 1850-Nov. 3, 1861, pg. 165.
“[T]here can be nothing dead or mechanical in Nature. . . . [L]ife and feeling . . . must exist in everything. . . . [A] mountain, a tree, a river, the fish in the river, drops of water, rain, a plant, fire—each separately must possess a mind of its own.”
Other Sources
Peter Ouspensky
Inspired Writings of Non-Mormons
Tertiam Organum (1912/1981), pg. 165-166.
"The creation was two-fold, firstly spiritual, secondly temporal."
Other Sources
First Presidency
Improvement Era
Improvement Era, Nov 1909, pg 76
Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created.
Doctrine and Covenants
34 29
D&C
D&C 29:34
First spiritual, secondly temporal, which is the beginning of my work; and again, first temporal, and secondly spiritual, which is the last of my work—
Doctrine and Covenants
32 29
D&C
D&C 29:32
For by the power of my Spirit created I them; yea, all things both spiritual and temporal—
Doctrine and Covenants
31 29
D&C
D&C 29:31