One of my favorite truths that we're taught in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that everything is a creation of our Heavenly Father.
We believe that every living thing has a soul. If you want to read further on teaching of the church concerning this, there is an article about it called "The Gospel and Animals." I took a lot of my sources from this article.
One of Grig's and my favorite stories about Joseph Smith, the first president of the church, happened during the Zion’s Camp expedition in 1834, an incident occurred that allowed a practical application of concern for animal life. As related by the Prophet Joseph Smith in his history:
“In pitching my tent we found three massasaugas or prairie rattlesnakes, which the brethren were about to kill, but I said, ‘Let them alone—don’t hurt them! How will the serpent ever lose his venom, while the servants of God possess the same disposition, and continue to make war upon it? Men must become harmless, before the brute creation; and when men lose their vicious dispositions and cease to destroy the animal race, the lion and the lamb can dwell together, and the sucking child can play with the serpent in safety.’ The brethren took the serpents carefully on sticks and carried them across the creek. I exhorted the brethren not to kill a serpent, bird, or an animal of any kind during our journey unless it became necessary in order to preserve ourselves from hunger.” ( vol. 2, pp. 71–72.)He goes on to state concerning the resurrection of animals:
“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.” ( vol. 5, pp. 343–44.)This is especially applicable and comforting to me today.
Dakota isn't doing well. After a lot of prayer and thought, we've decided it is time to put her down. The vet will be here soon to do so. It's been a difficult few months, but I know that Dakota will be happier when she's free of her mortal pain.
I just know her spirit's going to be running laps in joy and that she'll be waiting on the other side for the time when we join her.
While revising the Bible, the Prophet desired further understanding concerning the four beasts mentioned in Revelation 4:6 [Rev. 4:6]. Section 77 of the Doctrine and Covenants contained the response from the Lord. The answer revealed that “heaven, the paradise of God,” contained beasts, creeping things, and fowls of the air, and “every other creature which God has created.” (D&C 77:2.)I know that animals have souls and that God loves each and everyone of them. I know we will be accountable for how to treat the animals and people under our care.