The Setting for the Plan of Salvation

"How grateful we should be that a wise Creator fashioned an earth and placed us here, with a veil of forgetfulness of our previous existence so that we might experience a time of testing, an opportunity to prove ourselves in order to qualify for all that God has prepared for us to receive."
Church Leaders
Thomas S. Monson
Presidents of the Church
"The Race of Life," April 2012.
"Grand as it is, planet Earth is part of something even grander—that great plan of God. Simply summarized, the earth was created that families might be."
Church Leaders
Russell M. Nelson
General Authorities
“The Creation, The Creation,” Ensign (May 2000), 84.
"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
"Thus, the Lord has created this planet—our customized schoolhouse—so carefully in order that it would be environmentally inhabitable. Likewise, God has carefully designed the curriculum to be used therein to be strictly consistent with his proving purposes."
Church Leaders
Neal A. Maxwell
General Authorities
"Thanks Be to God," 1982
And behold, the glory of the Lord was upon Moses, so that Moses stood in the presence of God, and talked with him face to face. And the Lord God said unto Moses: For mine own purpose have I made these things. Here is wisdom and it remaineth in me.
Pearl of Great Price
31 1
Moses
Moses 1:31
And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;
Pearl of Great Price
24 3
Abraham
Abraham 3:24
1. Our mountain home so dear, Where crystal waters clear Flow ever free, Flow ever free, While thru the valleys wide The flow'rs on ev'ry side, Blooming in stately pride, Are fair to see. 2. We'll roam the verdant hills And by the sparkling rills Pluck the wildflow'rs, Pluck the wildflow'rs; The fragrance on the air, The landscape bright and fair, And sunshine ev'rywhere Make pleasant hours. 3. In sylvan depth and shade, In forest and in glade, Where-e'er we pass, Where-e'er we pass, The hand of God we see In leaf and bud and tree, Or bird or humming bee, Or blade of grass. 4. The streamlet, flow'r, and sod Bespeak the works of God; And all combine, And all combine, With most transporting grace, His handiwork to trace, Thru nature's smiling face, In art divine.
Other Sources
Emmeline B. Wells
Other Writings of Mormons
"Our Mountain Home So Dear," LDS Hymnal, #33
"When Latter-day Saint readers view the account of the Creation in this way and see the physical earth as a heaven-designed structure built to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, they realize that the earth deserves complete reverence and respect. Like modern temples, the earth should be used for the benefit of man, but just as one would never deliberately defile a temple, Latter-day Saints should tread lightly on the earth, minimizing the long-term impact of humanity's activities."
Other Sources
David Osborn
Other Writings of Mormons
"Rattlesnakes and Beehives: Why Latter-day Saints Should Support Ecologically Sustainable Development,” 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), 155–64.
"The earth, says Aristotle, was made to be a home for man, permanently, and for that he must achieve a stable balance with nature, harmonious and pleasant to all. Cicero echoes this sentiment when he says that the earth is a fit home for both gods and men, and man has his part to play in taking good care of the garden. This must be a stable, eternal order with man at the top of the animal scale, held most responsible if things go wrong."
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
"Stewardship of the Air," from Hugh Nibley's Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints; this talk was given 16 February 1989 in Provo, Utah, as part of a Clear Air Symposium at Brigham Young University.
"Because of the Fall, man has become the enemy of his own environment, at odds with the whole creation, allergic to all manner of things good in themselves that afflict and torment him."
Other Sources
Hugh Nibley
Other Writings of Mormons
"Brigham Young on the Environment," from Hugh Nibley's Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints; Printed in Truman Madsen and Charles D. Tate, eds., To the Glory of God: Mormon Essays on Great Issues—Environment, Commitment, Love, Peace, Youth, Man (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1972), 3—29.
"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)
"Nephi explained that it was never intended that the earth be a barren, humanless sphere: 'Behold, the Lord hath created the earth that it should be inhabited; and he hath created his children that they should possess it' (1 Ne. 17:36)."
Other Sources
Robert J. Matthews
Church Magazines
"What the Scriptures Say About: Ecology" March 1972 New Era.
"The gospel teaches us that this world is our home, created for us under the direction of a loving Father in heaven, whose sons and daughters we are. In a celestialized state, it will be our eternal home. As such, it must not be misused or looted, for we are stewards entrusted with its care."
Other Sources
A.B. Morrison
Church Magazines
"Our Deteriorating Environment" August 1971 Ensign.
Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Old Testament
18 3
Genesis
Genesis 3:18
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Old Testament
17 3
Genesis
Genesis 3:17
For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
New Testament
20 8
Romans
Romans 8:20
And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
New Testament
10-12 1
Hebrews
Hebrews 1:10-12
And because he said unto them that Christ was the God, the Father of all things, and said that he should take upon him the image of man, and it should be the image after which man was created in the beginning; or in other words, he said that man was created after the image of God, and that God should come down among the children of men, and take upon him flesh and blood, and go forth upon the face of the earth—
Book of Mormon
27 6
Mosiah
Mosiah 6:27
For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility. Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.
Book of Mormon
11-12 2
2 Nephi
2 Nephi 2:11-12
And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.
Book of Mormon
15 2
2 Nephi
2 Nephi 2:15
And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon.
Book of Mormon
14 2
2 Nephi
2 Nephi 2:14
And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.
Book of Mormon
13 2
2 Nephi
2 Nephi 2:13
Behold, the Lord hath created the earth that it should be inhabited; and he hath created his children that they should possess it.
Book of Mormon
36 17
1 Nephi
1 Nephi 17:36