My mother will tell you that, as a child, I hated getting dirty. As an adult, I joke about being “indoorsy.” I have my three year old convinced that staying in an air conditioned cabin with running water, wi-fi, and real beds is camping. My older boys disagree. That doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.
I have always believed God exists, and to me, the evidence of a divine Creator is all around us. We recently visited several national parks in the American West, and my conviction in the existence of God was naturally strengthened (pun intended). The majesty of a redwood forest, the grandness of red rock arches and canyons, and the subtleness of a rainbow arched behind Half Dome all proved to me, again, that we are not on this earth by accident. While all these places are beautiful and awe-inspiring, I find just as much evidence in the grass that grows in my backyard that God “made the earth, and created man upon it.” Isaiah 45:12.
The creation of the earth is a key element in God’s plan. He provided this earth, with all its variety, for us to live upon in a mortal body, to gain experience and develop faith in Him, and to be happy while doing so. An apostle stated: “Grand as it is, planet Earth is part of something even grander—that great plan of God. Simply summarized, the earth was created that families might be.”
So, while I may enjoy all the comforts of the modern age, I continue to appreciate the beauty of the earth that is all around. More importantly, I know God lives and loves us as His children. If you’d like to read more about the role Jesus Christ played in the creation and its purpose, I invite you to read this article by Russell M. Nelson.