To recap on that last blog, it doesn’t matter if you are humble or compelled to be humble, humility comes through the words of Christ. It is the words of Christ that softens the heart, so that it is pliable. The words of Christ is what we see thorough to identify for ourselves that the path we are taking is acceptable to God. All who want to partake of the tree of life, described by Lehi and Nephi, can only do so using the iron rod, which is the word of God.
Faith is the constant nourishing of the words of God. You can measure your faith by your attraction to the word. We cannot plant fertilizer, water, or weeding. Faith is not what Alma is directing us to plant. Alma tells us to plant the word in our hearts. Faith is what Alma tells us nourishes that seed (the word), until it produces the sweetest of all fruits, Christ. To nourish the word, we must study it out, discover the mind and will of God, and get rid of the false traditions (the weeds) that have been planted by the enemy.
This brings me to the subject of this blog. Many times we see parables as independent and different. As I went over Alma 32 and studied the symbolism between the word and the seed, other parables began to unfold to my mind. All the parables began to come together. That is what this blog will look at, the common message of multiple parables.
The allegory of the olive tree: in Jacob 5 seems to refer to the same natural tree, that was founded, or “rooted” in the word. When the branches get their moisture from the roots, which is the words of Christ, or the gospel of Christ, then the fruit is sweet. But if the branch does not get its moisture from the words of Christ, it produces bitter fruit, is cut down and cast into the fire and burned.
The parable of the sower of the seeds: The condition of the soil is dependent upon not casting the seed out by your unbelief, as stated in Alma 32. In this parable we learn of categories of the condition of peoples hearts:
- Cast by the wayside– the seed doesn’t even penetrate the ground, and the birds eat them up before they can get root
- Stoney ground– the ground has too many stones that the tender roots have no room to spread out, so the plant wilts and dies
- Good ground, with thorns– the ground is good, but the sprout is choked out by the weeds, which are the things of the world (we can’t seem to fit it in our schedule)
- Good ground– this good ground has no thorns, they’ve been cultivated and weeded out on a regular basis. This ground produces some sixty fold, and some an hundred fold.
The parable of the laborers to the vineyard: In this parable the ones that come to labor last are paid the same as the ones who have labored since the beginning. To most of us in this world, that seems unfair. That is because we think that by laboring longer we deserve more. The reality is that your labor is nothing in comparison to the promised blessings you are being given. That is the fruit of the tree described in Alma 32:42. Those who come early to the vineyard to labor know that their labor is tiny compared to the blessings poured out in return. All that matters is that we come unto Christ, first, last, just come!
Each parable points to the same objective, come unto Christ (literally). He is the fruit that is most precious, most delicious, most desirable. We are being invited to bring ourselves to Him now, so that He can make us whole. We are not told to come to Him perfect. No one ever does! Christ is who does the perfecting. We are just told to come unto Jesus.
Each parable points to the words of Christ as the root of the matter. Without the words of Christ you cannot understand the correct attributes, perfections and characteristics of God, therefore, you cannot exercise sufficient faith unto life and salvation. It is always through the word that we come to know the Father.
It is the nourishing of the word that produces the desirable fruit. When our moisture comes from the roots, which started out as the seed that was planted in our heart, then our fruit is sweet. The sweet fruit is taken up unto the Lord, for we become like Him. But those who do not exercise faith, are left under condemnation, they cast the seed out by their unbelief, they fail to get their moisture from the root of the tree, and fail to produce the good fruit; therefore, they are producers of bitter fruit, are cut down and burned by the Lord of the vineyard.
Conclusion: These are the parallels that mesh together in my mind. The words of Christ tell me that change is necessary. Change isn’t easy though. Sometimes people hear “the way I say what I say…” and judge me to be critical and negative! I have not been approved of God myself. That should communicate to you that my words are directed at me, just the same. I am looking in the mirror. I put my discoveries on this blog so that others may benefit from my work, so they don’t have to look blindly into the scriptures. I identify these corrections for the purpose of righting my ship so that I can be a producer of the sweet fruit, so that I can partake of the most desirable fruit, so that I can obtain my calling and election made sure, so that I can be redeemed from the fall, brought back into the presence of Christ, and see Him in the flesh (Ether 3:13-15). I don’t see any other reason to study the word.
I often hear people say, “I would die for Christ.” Dying is the easy part. Christ doesn’t want us to die for Him, he wants us to change! That’s why we are given the word. That is my objective, to change to fit the mind and will of God. I trust that God can make more of me than I can make of me.