God gave Adam and Eve an important responsibility when he commanded them to “replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion.” (Gen. 1:28.) We have inherited from our first parents the responsibility to manage and care for the resources of the earth our Heavenly Father created.
The Lord’s instructions to “subdue” and “have dominion” imply that we must use well the land, minerals, air, water, plants, and animals in this world. To “replenish” suggests replacing some of what we have taken from the earth and air, so they can continue to bless us.
“Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart.” (D&C 59:18.) When we manage the earth’s resources wisely and well, we can feel joy and share it with others.
A woman and her husband bought a run-down house, then devoted hours of work and caring to transform the yard from weeds into an abundant garden. Passersby felt uplifted by the sight of the well-tended yard and the bright flowers.
A young bishop and his family carried harvest from their fruit trees to older neighbors living nearby. The parents and children shared their abundance both in fruit and friendship.
What can you do to brighten your corner of the earth?
While our generation knows better than ever before how to grow more crops per acre or hectare of land, we also create more waste, consume more fossil fuels and trees, and are capable of polluting our air and water more than ever. However, we can help preserve and replenish our resources.
Sisters in the Philippines dig compost made from garbage scraps and chicken manure into the soil of their vegetable gardens. With conservation of their resources, they convert waste products to fertilizers that add to family food.
Families in Japan and Taiwan use land along ditchbanks and around homes and factories to grow rice and vegetables.
Each family in villages on the denuded, dry plateaus of the Andes plants one fast-growing eucalyptus tree each year. After a decade, they can begin harvesting a tree a year to serve as firewood for cooking and heating. In many other areas of the world, people help replace timber trees and replant rain forests as resources for future generations.
Women can begin at home to reuse and conserve. We can use water sparingly. We can walk rather than ride, thus conserving gasoline made from fossil fuels and reducing air pollution.
Several years ago, a mother of five children decided she could help. She bought products of reusable cloth and glass instead of disposable paper. Her family became involved in community activities to recycle newspaper, aluminum, glass, and plastic. They studied endangered animal and plant species and how to help preserve them.
As we do our part to wisely manage the earth’s resources, we prepare ourselves to receive great blessings. The Lord has promised the faithful Saints that “they shall receive for their reward the good things of the earth, and it shall bring forth in its strength.” (D&C 59:3.)
In what ways do you help replenish our earth’s resources?