Learning About the Creation

"But as an intelligent being, if I have a mind capable of reflection, I wish to contemplate the works of nature, and to know something of nature's God, and my destiny. I love to view the things around me; to gaze upon the sun, moon, and stars; to study the planetary system, and the world we inhabit; to behold their beauty, order, harmony, and the operations of existence around me. I can see something more than that mean jargon, those childish quibbles, this heaven beyond the bounds of time and space, where they have nothing to do but sit and sing themselves away to everlasting bliss, or go and roast on gridirons. There is nothing like that to be found in nature—everything is beautifully harmonious, and perfectly adapted to the position it occupies in the world. Whether you look at birds, beasts, or the human system, you see something exquisitely beautiful and harmonious, and worthy of the contemplation of all intelligence. What is man's wisdom in comparison to it? I could not help but believe there was a God, if there was no such thing as religion in the world."
Church Leaders
John Taylor
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 1:151-2, June 12, 1853
"Just think of what science and astronomy tell us about the expanse of the solar system and the universe. Our solar system centers on the sun, one of a huge group of stars on the order of 100 billion stars swirling around a huge pinwheel-shaped mass called the Milky Way galaxy, which is about 100,000 light-years across. Astronomers cannot see to the end of the universe, but evidence suggests that the vastness of space contains billions of galaxies stretching for an expanse of 5 billion to 15 billion light-years away from the sun. Compared with such distances, our solar system occupies a very tiny amount of space. The universe is virtually incomprehensible to man."
Church Leaders
Robert D. Hales
General Authorities
"In Remembrance of Jesus," Oct. 1997
“Think of what would happen if all of us took time to look carefully at the wonders of nature that surround us and devoted ourselves to learning more about this world that God created for us.”
Church Leaders
M. Russell Ballard
General Authorities
"God's Love for His Children," 1988.
"Men and women in all parts of the world have a desperate need to take time to look carefully at the wonders of nature that surround us and devote ourselves to learning more about this world that God created for us!"
Church Leaders
M. Russell Ballard
General Authorities
"God's Love for His Children," 1988.
"But if the work has already been done, all the physical arrangements completed, and the vessel a model of perfection at the time we set foot on the deck, what remains for us to do on it and with it? That is for us to find out first of all, according to Brigham, examining the structure with care, studying its nature and possibilities meticulously, considering well before we lay about us with gun, fire, and plow."
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.
"Study of the natural world leads to increased understanding of the principles upon which the earth operates as well as an understanding of our kinship with the earth through the recycling of matter. Additionally, study in the outdoors allows one to live, however briefly, away from the busyness of the everyday world and contemplate the human role in earthly existence."
Other Sources
Danielle Montague-Judd
Other Writings of Mormons
“How Can Church Members Increase Their Environmental Awareness? ,” 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), 141–53.
"A citizens group that is uninformed about the true nature of the problem and its possible solutions may only prolong the time before improvement is made."
Other Sources
Richard Olsen
Church Magazines
"Ecology, Pollution, and Consumerism," in Sept 1971 New Era.
"We have been instructed to learn all things pertaining to our globe, 'things . . . in the earth and under the earth.' (D&C 88:79.) This request easily includes the study of ecology and the conservation of our natural resources, which are vital to the continuation of the good life on earth.
Other Sources
Robert J. Matthews
Church Magazines
"What the Scriptures Say About: Ecology" in March 1972 New Era.
"For the past several hundreds of years, Western society has been dominated by a belief in scientific rationalism—a belief that science alone provides the key to man’s advancement, progression, and happiness. Older ideas about the need and place of beauty in life and the importance of the spiritual side of man’s nature have been superseded by an obsession with objective facts. Science is very much a creation of man’s intellect; it is amoral—neither good nor bad. Those who worship science, and there are many, worship the wrong god, for it alone will not bring happiness."
Other Sources
A.B. Morrison
Church Magazines
"Our Deteriorating Environment" in Aug 1971 Ensign.
"Can Heavenly Father be any less pleased with this willful destruction of nature than when we break the Word of Wisdom? Certainly, if we are to become like him, we must begin to master the skills necessary to preserve and encourage the processes of life. It seems to me that part of our responsibility as caretakers for the earth is to learn about those processes and take advantage of opportunities to protect our world’s resources."
Other Sources
G. Michael Alder
Church Magazines
"Earth—A Gift of Gladness" in July 1991 Ensign.
“It is one of the most happifying subjects that can be named, for a person, or people, to have the privilege of gaining wisdom enough while in their mortal tabernacle . . . and understand the design of the Great Maker of this beautiful creation.”
Church Leaders
Brigham Young
Presidents of the Church
Journal of Discourses 1:111