Contention is exhausting. Any parent will tell you: When your children aren’t getting along with each other, it saps your energy.
As Enoch saw a vision of the tumultuous future of the world, he heard a complaint from an unlikely source: the earth itself: “Wo, wo is me, the mother of men,” she said; “I am pained, I am weary, because of the wickedness of my children. When shall I rest, and be cleansed from the filthiness which is gone forth out of me? When will my Creator sanctify me, that I may rest, and righteousness for a season abide upon my face?” (Moses 7:48).
Filled with empathy, Enoch pleaded, “O Lord, wilt thou not have compassion upon the earth?” (Moses 7:49). Reassured that the Lord would do so, he began to ask about timing: “When shall the earth rest?” he asked ( Moses 7:54, 58). God responded:
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….
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 7:61-62, 64
Isaiah used similar terminology to describe a future time when Israel would be free from oppression:
The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.Isaiah 14:7, 2 Nephi 24:7
There are many things we can do to be better stewards of the earth. If we take Enoch’s depiction of the earth literally, one of those things is simply reducing the enmity and incivility in the world. While all of us can contribute to this effort, President Henry B. Eyring recently emphasized that women play an especially important role in that process:
My experience has taught me that Heavenly Father’s daughters have a gift to allay contention and to promote righteousness with their love of God and with the love of God they engender in those they serve….
Sisters, you were given the blessing of being daughters of God with special gifts. You brought with you into mortal life a spiritual capacity to nurture others and to lift them higher toward the love and purity that will qualify them to live together in a Zion society.“Sisters in Zion,” General Conference, October 2020
Today, I will strive to reduce contention and increase unity among the people I interact with. I will be particularly grateful for the influence of women who reduce conflict and engender peace.