How can it benefit us to understand the role of animals, and what our responsibility is to them?
Gerald E. Jones, The Gospel and Animals, Ensign, Aug. 1972, 62
“Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. … And surely, blood shall not be shed, only for meat, to save your lives; and the blood of every beast will I require at your hands.” (JST, Gen. 9:9–11.)
That animals are to be treated with kindness is indicated in the law of Moses. The Lord enjoined the Israelites to show kindness to the ox by not muzzling it when it was treading the corn during the harvest threshing. (Deut. 25:4.) Undue strain on unequally yoked animals was forbidden as well. (Deut. 22:10.) The ancient Israelites were also to avoid destroying birds’ nests while working in their fields. (Deut. 22:6–7.)
What happens to them when after they die? Ensign March 2012
That animals have a spirit has been revealed.
What are we to understand by the four beasts, spoken of in the same verse?
They are figurative expressions, used by the Revelator, John, in describing heaven, the paradise of God, the happiness of man, and of beasts, and of creeping things, and of the fowls of the air; that which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal; and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual; the spirit of man in the likeness of his person, as also the spirit of the beast, and every other creature which God has created
Rev. 5:13 “John saw curious looking beasts in heaven; … actually there, giving glory to God. … (See .)
And that some creatures that are not humans exist in the celestial kingdom.
Further explaining John’s vision in the book of Revelation and the place of animals in the afterlife, the Prophet Joseph explained that John probably saw beings in heaven of a thousand forms that were strange beasts of which we have no conception, and that all animals might be seen in heaven. He also stated: John learned that God glorified Himself by saving all that His hands had made, whether beasts, fowls, fishes, or men. (DHC, vol. 5, p. 343.)
Says one, ‘I cannot believe in the salvation of beasts.’ Any man who would tell you this could not be, would tell you that the revelations are not true. John heard the words of the beast giving glory to God, and understood them. God who made the beasts could understand every language spoken by them. The beasts were four of the most noble animals that filled the measure of their creation, and had been saved from other worlds, because they were perfect. They were like angels in their sphere. We are not told where they came from, and I do not know; but they were seen and heard by John praising and glorifying God. (DHC, vol. 5, pp. 343-44.)
Should we preach vegetarianism? What about Hunting?
“And whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God;
“For, behold, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which cometh of the earth, is ordained for the use of man for food and for raiment, and that he might have in abundance.
“And wo be unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need.” (D&C 49:18–19, 21.)President Lorenzo Snow related in his journal the change of heart he had concerning hunting shortly after his baptism: “While moving slowly forward in pursuit of something to kill, my mind was arrested with the reflection on the nature of my pursuit—that of amusing myself by giving pain and death to harmless, innocent creatures that perhaps had as much right to life and enjoyment as myself. I realized that such indulgence was without any justification, and feeling condemned, I laid my gun on my shoulder, returned home, and from that time to this have felt no inclination for that murderous amusement.”
“Kindness to the whole animal creation and especially to all domestic animals is not only a virtue that should be developed, but is the absolute duty of mankind. … It is an unrighteous thing to treat any creature cruelly. … It will be a blessed day when mankind shall accept and abide by the Christ-like sentiment expressed by one of the poets in the following words: ‘Take not away the life you cannot give, For all things have an equal right to live.’”