Yesterday, April 22, was Earth Day. But in the great Federal tradition of pushing all holidays off to the nearest Monday, I celebrate Earth Day today.
It should be, perhaps, self-evident that preserving the earth is a virtue.
The first commandment the Lord gives to Adam and Eve is well known. But in general, we seem to only want to do the multiply part, virtually ignoring the replenish part. Earth Day reminds me of the importance of replenishing the earth. According to the Genesis story, at least one of the purposes of human life on the earth is to serve as its stewards, to "dress it and to keep it."
The Enoch story goes even further, personifying the earth itself. In Enoch's apocalypse, the earth asks wearily, "When shall I rest, and be cleansed from the filthiness which is gone forth out of me?" Moroni likewise predicted that his record would be published during a time of "great pollutions." Joseph Smith's revelations say that natural resources are here for the "benefit and use" humanity, but also record the Lord's injunction that all things "be done in cleanliness before me."
So happy Earth Day. Let's replenish.