Paul Gustave Dore's Adam and Eve Expelled
I had the opportunity to visit the London Temple one last time before leaving England, and while there, the primal commandment to “multiply and replenish” caught my attention within the context of a recent conversation referenced in an earlier post. As a Latter-day Saint, I believe this commandment was given to all, and I take it quite seriously.
Yet I was given pause to consider: what does this commandment mean for the period of time a Latter-day Saint is unable, for one reason or another—perhaps due to being unmarried as I was for 29 years, or an inability to conceive—to fulfill it in the traditional sense, through the bearing and rearing children? Is the commandment to “multiply and replenish” still in force?
I believe that it is. Single or married, barren or still trying, the command to multiply and replenish is God-given. I believe it requires creativity and quiet reflection in working out how we are to comply given non-traditional circumstances.
Yet philosophy aside, how does one multiply in real time, if not through bearing children? One might say that procreating is a way to replicate a better version of ourselves—to expound and share our talents by cultivating them (to the exclusion of our genetic weaknesses) in our children. For those not blessed, or not blessed right now, with children, one might consider other ways to re-create and replicate the best within us. What is that thing that we do best? How can we create or shape persons—real or corporate—such that the best within us lasts beyond our short time on earth?
Then there is the concept of replenishing, or restoring that which we consume. How does one create and share the best within oneself such that the creations proliferate in all dimensions – both temporally and spatially? How does one produce more than one consumes professionally, emotionally, financially, and otherwise?
Just a few questions I have been pondering for the last couple of weeks as I start a new chapter in my life and seek to begin creating anew.