I ask this question as an “apostate” member of the Mormon Church. I don’t mean for my question to sound too direct or harsh. I am trying to reconcile the beliefs of the Church with the beliefs of my heart, and this question weighs heavily on my mind.
The world’s population estimated near seven billion people has put severe burdens on the Earth. As the Church grows, and with it the number of families with seven-plus children on the Earth, we create only more and more stress on the environment and natural resources. How can it be a commandment of a just and perfect God to bless and multiply when it seems to be destroying his children and Earth? Thanks in advance.
You express a commendable concern for the protection of the environment in which we live and which we will pass on to future generations. There is no doubt that each responsible person and organization should to whatever they can to maintain and preserve the earth and its environment as an acceptable habitation for mankind. That is a given.
However, there is a great deal of “crying wolf” among a number of groups who go to ridiculous extremes to protect the environment and preserve animal and insect habitats, for instance, where there is really no sane justification for doing so. As a simple case in point, there is a great need for an additional transportation route along the Wasatch Front in Utah. Rush hour traffic in both mornings and evenings is bumper to bumper at a near stand still. An alternative 120-mile highway from Lehi to Brigham City, Utah was proposed over ten years ago. This alternate route would solve the traffic problem for years to come. After adequate studies and approval by the Army Corp of Engineers it was approved by the State legislature for construction, and has been supported by an overwhelming majority of the local population However, minority environmentalist groups have been able to delay the project (which is still in controversy) up to the present time, at the cost of several millions of dollars. I am confident that the project will win final approval because of its critical need. However, many millions of dollars have been wasted by this minority controlled delay. It is true that the highway will run through the wetlands east of the Great Salt Lake. However, with those wetlands diminished by a minor degree, waterfowl will still have adequate room to rest and nest on their migratory transits. It seems that a few ducks are holding hostage an entire segment of human population.
I cite this as only one of many examples of such minority groups with more interest in a few miles of wetland than in the welfare of the local populous.
Take the case of global warming. There is an increasing crescendo of supposed need for action to keep the world’s people from the many expressed disastrous effects of global warming caused by the increased emission of “greenhouse gasses.” Carbon dioxide has been labeled the greenhouse gas because it reflects the heat radiated from the earth back to the earth, supposedly increasing the earth’s temperature. Once the effect is mentioned in the press it is used, (again by the very vociferous minority groups) to impose severe restrictions on the industries that produce CO2.
The escape of heat from the earth is in the form of infrared radiation, which is reflected by the supposed layer of CO2 high in the atmosphere. Just consider this one point. As the CO2 reflects IR radiation from the earth back to the surface, the same CO2 will reflect IR radiation from the sun back into space. The intensity of IR radiation from the sun is much greater than that emanating from the surface of the earth, thus more heat from the sun is radiated back into space than heat from the earth is radiated back to the surface. Therefore, the “greenhouse gasses” in reality produce global COOLING, rather than global warming. The global warming that does exist is undoubtedly related to some other cause.
Now, completely apart from those technical considerations that suggest that the problem may not be nearly as severe as it is shouted from the rooftops to be, there is another consideration that overrides all the above technical stuff. Your question is, “how can it be a commandment of a just and perfect God to bless and multiply when it seems to be destroying his children and Earth?”
True, it may SEEM to be destroying God’s children and the earth, but this is absolutely NOT the case. Can you actually believe that a a just and perfect God would ever do such a thing? Can you ever imagine that God has let things get out of control and the earth is being destroyed in spite of His good will? This earth belongs to the Lord, Jesus Christ. He made it. He has determined that it will become his own eternal, celestial home. There is a Psalm that says
The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.(Ps 24:1-2)
Further, that God who has all knowledge–O how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it. (2 Ne 9:20), who is really in control of the universe–has directed his prophets who preside over the Mormon Church in all matters concerning the faith. The suggestions of the prophets for the members to have large families (within reason and within the limitations necessary to care adequately for them) were all made under inspiration and revelation from our Father in Heaven. He is the Spiritual Father of all the children of men. The experience of our Father’s children being born into mortality in order to obtain a physical body and to prepare themselves for continued advancement through the eternities by making and keeping sacred covenants with the Father is absolutely essential to God’s plan for the exaltation of the his children.
So I would suggest to you that there is no need to worry.
Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend. (Mosiah 4:9)