It is a fantastic story. Fantasy, some say. Unorganized matter in the immensity of the cosmos responds to the commanding hand of the Creator: “Let there be light!” Elements churn, spin, align, combine, obey. Waters come forth. Sea and earth, light and darkness divide. Seed and fruit thrive in abundance for beast and fowl to multiply. Earth is a living thing—formed and beautified through Godly power, fitted for His plan of salvation. His creation settles into its purpose and orbit in the universe; and it is declared “very good.”
Spirit daughters and sons of God watch and wait, for physical bodies and mortal experiences are God’s intent for His children. A veil of forgetting tests these earthly inhabitants’ loyalty to their Father. Years, decades, centuries march on as they subdue, control, and consume the Earth’s bountiful resources. Happiness and prosperity are their frequent companions; but also temptation, sin, vice, disease, war, destruction, death, and misery. The choices and consequences of men and women injure and oppress the once paradisiacal planet.
A seer, who watches the Earth through the eons of its existence and hears its groans from pain and weariness, cries out, “O Lord, wilt thou not have compassion upon the earth?” “When shall the earth rest?” (Moses 7:49, 58).
The Creator whispers hope and assures the seer:
And the day shall come that the earth shall rest, but before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve;
And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem. . . .
Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other;
And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest (Moses 7:61–64).
The earth shall be rolled together as a scroll, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat” (Mormon 9:2).
It must needs be sanctified from all unrighteousness, that it may be prepared for the celestial glory;
For after it hath filled the measure of its creation, it shall be crowned with glory, even with the presence of God the Father;
That bodies who are of the celestial kingdom may possess it forever and ever; for, for this intent was it made and created, and for this intent are they sanctified. . . .
The earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom, for it filleth the measure of its creation, and transgresseth not the law—
Wherefore, it shall be sanctified; yea, notwithstanding it shall die, it shall be quickened again, and shall abide the power by which it is quickened. (Doctrine and Covenants 88:18–20, 25–26)
Through apocalyptic death and glorious resurrection, the Earth becomes a New Heaven and a New Earth, a “sea of glass and fire, where all things” are manifest “past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord,” a sanctified orb of revelation (Doctrine and Covenants 130:7).
The story is not fantasy; it is prophecy. The great prophets Isaiah and John the Revelator saw this destiny for the earth.
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. . . .
For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord. (Isaiah 65:17–18; 66:22)
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away. (Revelation 21:1)
God revealed the destiny of the earth to other prophets:
And there shall be a new heaven and a new earth; and they shall be like unto the old save the old have passed away, and all things have become new. (Ether 13:9)
And also that of element shall melt with fervent heat; and all things shall become new, that my knowledge and glory may dwell upon all the earth. (Doctrine and Covenants 101:25)
The earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. (Article of Faith 1:10)
In its transformed and glorified state, the New Heaven and New Earth is a celestial and eternal abode for God and His Son.
It is a fantastic story that can be believed. Beautiful Earth was created for each of God’s children by a loving Heavenly Father. When it completes the “measure of its creation,” it will receive its eternal reward of rebirth and eternal life.