Generally, when we think of the creation, we think just of the physical creation of the Earth, but the truth is that the creation had its beginnings long, long before that, and its far-reaching effects can still carry personal meaning for us today.
In the very beginning, during the grand council in heaven, we agreed to the Plan of Salvation that Heavenly Father presented to us—a plan for His spirit children to progress and become like Him. In order for this to be possible, we needed to receive mortal bodies and a place where we could dwell. This place was created by the Lord Jesus Christ under the direction of Heavenly Father through the power of the priesthood.
In the Book of Genesis we read that Jesus created the earth and all things therein in six creative periods. The Book of Moses also recounts that everything created was created spiritually first before its natural state. During these six creative periods, Jesus organized the earth, the emergence of light and darkness which also included the creation of the sun, moon and stars. He also divided the waters from the dry land, creating rivers and oceans. He created trees, flowers and all kinds of plants. He also created animals on the land, fishes in the waters, birds in the air and all manner of living thing upon the land. And then man and woman were created in God’s own image and were given dominion over all the earth (Genesis 1:27). God then commanded Adam and Eve to multiply and replenish the earth (Genesis 1).
Everything that has been created was created for the benefit of man. “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; yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul” (Doctrine & Covenants 59:18–19). Therefore, it is our responsibility to take good care of it. The Lord said, “It is expedient that I, the Lord, should make every man accountable, as a steward over earthly blessings, which I have made and prepared for my creatures. I, the Lord, stretched out the heavens, and built the earth, my very handiwork; and all things therein are mine. And it is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine” (Doctrine & Covenants 104:13-15).
The creation itself testifies of the power and divinity of God. There have been many theories of how the earth was formed but the wonders of the creation are beyond what human minds can comprehend. We believe that only divine intervention can fully explain how the earth and all the life in it were made.
But how does the creation have bearing on our own lives? First, it reminds us that we have been given the divine role of stewardship over of the beautiful creations the Lord has entrusted to us. What can you do to better care for the Earth? We can care for Heavenly Father’s creations by being kind to animals, planting a tree, pledging to recycle more, or picking up litter if we see any outside, to name a few.
Secondly, while we wait for His coming, we can be creators using our divine capacities. Some take part in technological advancements, infrastructure, medical breakthroughs or other developments. Some have become creators of gospel-filled homes, virtue-filled friendships, and neighborhoods and communities filled with charity. Some build their own faith and some sacrifice time and effort to help others build theirs. Fathers and mothers create Christ-centered families. Children create their futures. Others devote their lives to the building of the kingdom of God here on earth. Painters, architects, software developers, grandfathers, siblings, government officials, priests, teachers, missionaries and many others take part, in one way or another, in the creation of things. May we use our God-given creative powers for good.
As we understand the significance of why we are here on earth and our role while we are here, our mortal existence will have more meaning and our choices will direct us towards eternal progression. In other words, by coming to know and appreciate the things around us, we will come to better know God and His love for us.