And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: Behold, I reveal unto you concerning this heaven, and this earth. . . . I created these things; yea, in the beginning I created the heaven, and the earth upon which thou standest. . . .
And I, God, said: Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, the fruit tree yielding fruit, after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit. . . .
And the earth brought forth grass, every herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit. . . and I, God, saw that all things which I had made were good. . . .
And I, God, said: Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl which may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. . . .
And I, God, created great whales, and every living creature that moveth. . . and I, God, saw that all things which I had created were good. . . .
And I, God, said: Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beasts of the earth after their kind, and it was so. . . and I, God, saw that all these things were good.
And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so. And I, God, said: Let them have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and over the fowl of the air. . . and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. . . .
And I, God, saw everything that I had made, and, behold, all things which I had made were very good. . . .
And I, the Lord God, took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden, to dress it, and to keep it. (Moses 2: 1, 11-12, 20-21, 24-28, 31; 3: 15))
The Lord created this beautiful earth and gave Adam certain charges regarding it.
He told Adam to multiply and replenish the earth, to subdue it, to have dominion over every living thing, to dress it, to keep it, to take good care of it (Moses 2: 28, 3: 15).
What exactly does the direction of dominion mean?
Hugh Nibley, in his book Nibley on the Timely and the Timeless (1978), has said,
"Lordship and dominion are the same thing; the responsibility of the master for the comfort and well- being of his dependents and guests. . . . [H]e is not a predator, a manipulator or an exploiter of other creatures, but one who cooperates with nature as a diligent husbandman.
The ancients taught that Adam's dominion was nothing less than the priesthood. . . with the understanding that 'from this time forth, man must work to improve the earth and preserve and take care of all that is in it, exactly as God had done before.' (88)
Man's call to dominion then is a "call to service," not a call to "exterminate" (Nibley 96)."
Dominion, when seen as a priesthood responsibility, becomes an even greater charge.
As today is Earth Day, I felt inclined to remind myself of this great responsibility.