Sunday, March 22, 2009
Heaven on Earth
When I was in middle school back in Ohio, I remember clearly one day riding in a car with my mother. I remember looking out of the window and seeing buildings, subdivisions and parking lots everywhere. I turned to my mom and asked her if there was enough room for everyone on the earth. To me it looked like eventually there would be no space left to build houses for future families because the land was literally covered with them already. Once all the space was used, what would we do? Looking back now I would even add in, “what about all of the plants and animals, will they have room?” My mother could tell I was worried, and so I believed tried to comfort me by telling me “God has promised that there will be enough and to spare.” For a while this was good enough for me, my mother had said so and she must be right, because she is my mother. However as I grow older I see more and more clearly the troubles of this world and I cannot rely on the government or those higher up than me to just magically make things better somehow. I used to think that there was very little that I could do and if I just gave it time, someone else would find the solution to life’s troubles. After all, someone else discovered penicillin, someone else tapped the use of electricity, figured out how to make an airplane and so on. Surely someone will find a way to save all the endangered species, eliminate pollution and waste, and stop the deforestation and desertification around the world. Yet we know (we have talked about it in past blog entries) that if we all just look around and wait for that someone to step up, it will never happen. Instead I would like to address perhaps why we feel this way. While I was young my mother did a good job comforting me, yet now I find her advice slightly unsettling. There are many very religious people in the world who seem to dismiss their human responsibilities and say that everything is safely “in God’s hands.” In fact, there are also many people that I know who don’t believe in a God, and that humans are simply an ‘evolutionary accident’ yet they seem more environmentally responsible because since they believe there is no God, then it is absolutely up to us to make things right. I believe that God helps those who help themselves. Does God have the power to wipe us all out and begin the custodial clean-up? Of course he does. But will he? No. We are here to learn and grow and try to be more like him. If we have the foresight and take the time an effort to try to correct our past mistakes, if we do this with his will in mind he will help us. I think we as Latter Day Saints know the importance of this world and need to remind ourselves that we should not just sit in church on Sunday and wait for the second coming so that we may be glorified and live with our Father in Heaven forever. This world will be our celestial kingdom and we need to take care of it now, and prove to God that we will be good stewards. I think the best way to start to make a change is to picture the Earth and everything in it as it will be when it reaches its paradisiacal glory. Then, just as we view our bodies as temples, we can begin to see the earth as a temple and treat it as such.