Joseph W. Sitati: Be Fruitful, Multiply, and Subdue the Earth

Contributed By the Church News

  • 5 April 2015

Elder Joseph W. Sitati of the Seventy framed his remarks Sunday afternoon around the three fundamental “charges” given by God to His children found in Moses 2:28, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion … over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

“My prayer is that we might all more fully recognize and fulfill our sacred responsibility—our Father’s charge—to develop our divine nature so that we may navigate our journey more successfully and obtain our divine destiny,” said Elder Sitati.

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First is God’s charge to be fruitful.

“An important part of being fruitful that is sometimes overlooked is that of bringing forth the kingdom of God upon the earth,” Elder Sitati said.

The Savior taught, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (John 15:7-8).

“We become fruitful as we abide in Christ and we ‘take upon [ourselves His] name [and] … serve him to the end’ by helping others come unto Him,” Elder Sitati explained.

Second is God’s charge to multiply.

Physical bodies, Elder Sitati noted, are a blessing from God that provide God’s children the opportunity to experience life on earth.

“Marriage between a man and a woman is the institution that God ordained for the fulfillment of the charge to multiply,” Elder Sitati said.

It is a marriage performed in the temple where covenants are honored that creates “the best experience of love and preparation for a fruitful life.”

The promise given to those sealed in the covenant of eternal marriage is “that the adversary will never have power to undermine the foundation of their eternal companionship.”

Elder Sitati explained that God’s third charge—to subdue the earth and have dominion over every living thing—includes individuals gaining mastery over their bodies. This process begins with the humility to recognize weaknesses and the power available through the Atonement of Christ.

“Faithful Latter-day Saints who understand their divine potential and rely wholeheartedly on the power available through the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ are strengthened in their natural weakness and ‘can do all things.’ They are enabled to overcome the enticings of evil that have put many under bondage to the adversary.”