Beth Wright

Last summer my greenhouse was full of beautiful, tall plants with many leaves and wonderful buds. While I thought everything was going well, near the end of the season, I discovered a problem with my tomato plants.

While my greenhouse was lush and the plants appeared to be thriving, it turns out lush was not healthy for the tomatoes. Through consultation and research, I found that my greenhouse was not well-ventilated, with too much humidity and no natural predators. This environment allowed pests to flourish. I trimmed off the most affected leaves and washed down the plants. Soon after this pruning session, the tomatoes started turning red. Trimming back the leaves gave the signal for the tomatoes to ripen.

At the beginning of the planting season, I didn’t know I would have pests. I would not have guessed that pruning the lush foliage of my tomato plants would hasten ripening. I wasn’t aware of these natural laws, but they governed my greenhouse nonetheless. In gardening, the more you understand about natural laws, the better your harvest.

More inside

Natural laws are also divine laws. God created the world and established natural laws. Some examples of natural laws include the law of gravity, our need for oxygen, and the importance of Vitamin D in developing healthy bones.

Pioneering heart surgeon, prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Russell M. Nelson shared the following insight. “When I was a young medical student, my rigorous study of the human body convinced me that God lived. And as I came to know that the body was God’s creation, I became increasingly intrigued with the laws of God that govern the function of the body. Through extensive laboratory research, I later learned the law that governs the beating of the heart. Further, I learned that the beating heart could safely be stopped temporarily to facilitate delicate surgical repairs. This could be done by changing the sodium/potassium ratio in the blood supplied to the heart. Later, when the heart was nourished by blood with a normal sodium/potassium ratio, the heart would again beat normally. These findings proved to be predictable, dependable, and repeatable. I recently had the opportunity to explain this to a medical school class. A learned professor who was present asked me, “But what if it doesn’t work?” I replied, “It always works! It works according to divine law.”

Nelson continues, “Divine law is incontrovertible and irrefutable. Divine law cannot be denied or disputed…. Agency…is a gift from God, nearly as precious as life itself. Often, however agency is misunderstood. While we are free to choose, once we have made those choices, we are tied to the consequences of those choices.”

In the New Testament, Jesus refers to sin—a violation of divine law—and its consequences. “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house forever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:34-35 KJV). Our choices come with consequences according to divine law. Jesus Christ’s infinite sacrifice allows us to become free from sin through repentance—although we cannot always be free from the consequences of our choices.

Studying scripture is a great way to learn God’s laws. He has promised to help us in our efforts to understand and follow his will. Every good choice strengthens our ability to grow and move forward.

Now that I understand a few of the divine or natural laws that govern greenhouse growing, I’m planning to cut back the number of plants I grow this year; I’ll keep the door open for natural predators. I might just read a few more gardening books to learn about other natural laws. Those natural laws—the more you align with them, the better your harvest!

Beth Wright and her husband Kerry have raised their four children in the Matanuska-Susitna valley and find great joy in being members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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