We hear these kinds of statements everywhere:
“The earth’s resources are being depleted every day.”
“Man uses more natural resources than the earth can provide.”
“Water is scarce; nutrients in the earth’s soil are almost gone.”
“Fossil fuels and mineral resources are being used at rapid rates and are not renewable.”
There are cries of famine and drought and extinction everywhere. While I do not dispute that mankind is using more of the earth’s natural resources than they did in the past, I submit to you that we live on a planet that was meant to sustain us. “For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.” (Doctrine and Covenants 104:17)
The universe offers us abundance. “Behold, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which cometh of the earth, is ordained for the use of man for food and for raiment, and that he might have in abundance.” (Doctrine and Covenants 49:19) If we focus on scarcity, that is what we will expect and receive. That doesn’t mean that we can waste and use more than we need. We are expected to be good stewards over what we have been given. “…we are in charge of our own world, being the Lord’s agents over that which He has entrusted to us.” But this earth was created to support and sustain and keep us alive, until our work is finished.
When I learned that I had bought into the lies about the earth not being able to sustain me, and I accepted the truth, that she was created to give nourishment to my body, I felt her pain. I felt I needed to apologize for believing those lies all of my life. That might sound weird, but I have come to know that the earth has an energy. She is alive and thriving. To believe that she is dying is to believe that mankind is dying and that God doesn’t care to support us. The earth needs our belief that she is there to support us so that she can. I have a new relationship with the earth now. We are partners in sustaining and supporting each other. I treat her with respect and accept her bounty, and she provides me with whatever I need.
I couldn’t have said it better than Marcus Nash: “…we have been provided this beautiful and bountiful world, teeming with life and resources to bless and strengthen and enliven mankind, and we are to use them joyfully—but we must do so as careful, grateful stewards over God’s handiwork. We are to use these resources with judgment, gratitude, prudence, and with an eye to bless our fellow man and woman and those of future generations, and in that way help Him to accomplish His purpose to help humankind progress, improve, and receive His blessings in time and eternity.” (Click here for the full article.)
Please join me in believing that the earth is an energy, a spirit, and that she exists to support the children of the great Creator, who also created her. Maybe the best that we can do is to simply be grateful. Our earth is an amazing gift. When one is given a gift, one should rightfully express gratitude for it, and ask what can be given in return. Robin Kimmerer, Professor of Environmental Biology at SUNY, said this: “As human people, most recently evolved here, we lack the gifts of our companion species, of nitrogen fixation, pollination, and 3000-mile migrations under magnetic guidance. We can’t even photosynthesize. But we carry gifts of our own, which the Earth urgently needs. Among the most potent of these is gratitude.”
I am grateful to the earth, for its beauty, its majesty, and for its unselfish purpose of providing me exactly what I need, in just the right amounts.