Nov 23, 2008

The Law of the Cyberharvest

by Liz Adair

I have a friend who won’t cook with or eat any meat that has bones in it. To her, meat comes skinless and boneless in a Styrofoam tray, covered in plastic wrap, and she’s not interested in knowing about the journey from the feed lot to her table.

Our family, by contrast, has been intimately involved in that journey. We had a small farm—one that could be described as a hobby farm, but it wasn’t a hobby, since it provided most of our sustenance for a lot of years. We had a milk cow and raised our own chickens, beef, and pork. We had a huge garden and put up hay for the animals every summer. In doing all of that, we learned the law of the harvest.

I’ve often thought that that was the reason President Kimball asked people to plant gardens. Some people thought it was a prophetic pronouncement to help us escape the blight of preservatives. Others thought it was to prepare us for a catastrophe. But I thought it was the way to teach us hands-on about as you sow, so shall you reap and for everything there is a season: a time to sow, a time to reap.

There are a couple other lessons you learn as you live close to the earth. One is that it takes faith to plant a crop. Think about it. You’ve got this dried-up, dead looking thing that you’re going to put in a pile of dirt and then wait for a week or so before you have any evidence that anything is going to happen. It really is an object lesson in faith preceding the miracle. I never got over the wonder of seeing that straight row of green shoots pushing up out of the ground.

The other lesson is that you have to endure. You have to tend the crops. You have to feed and water the stock if you want them to thrive. You can’t harvest what you haven’t taken care of.
In the Savior’s parables, he wrote about husbandmen tending vineyards. Sometimes that’s hard for us to relate to. We’ve become such an instant-gratification society; we’re used to things happening right now. You want grape juice? You open a bottle of Welch’s. You don’t have to go to your neighbor’s vine, take a cutting, root the cutting, stick it in the ground and wait for a couple of years before it’s big enough to bear enough grapes to squeeze out a glass or two of juice.

That’s what I think about blogging. It’s easy and exciting to begin, especially if the goal is to do something good, to make a difference. But, if you have few visitors reading your blog, it’s just as easy to get discouraged and feel like you’re not accomplishing what you set out to do.

I think the law of the harvest applies to blogging, too. You’ve got to have faith. You’ve got to plant those seeds, mind the crops, keep at it, and trust that those who will profit from your blog will be led to it.

I blogged a long time ago about the missionary who taught the gospel to my Uncle Curtis and how this missionary’s efforts brought the gospel to my family and to people in Germany, Hong Kong, Bolivia and the Southern United States. He was seventy years old before he found out that his labors produced any fruit.

Something like that may happen to us, too. I think we need to blog in faith and not spell out our expectations of the good that can come or the time frame within which it will happen. Since things on the internet are there forever, it could well happen that those seeds we plant in cyberspace in faith today could, as the hymn says, ‘grow and flourish when the sower’s hand is cold.’ Or, it could happen tomorrow.

But, it won't happen at all if we haven't planted the cyberseeds.


  1. Liz, that was awesome!! I loved all of your insights. Thanks for all you do to make ANWA such a special place. I love your smile, your books, your encouragement and your workshop I attended... on and on.

    And thanks for sharing some of your books for our fundraiser. Someone got a wonderful treat when they bid on them. I gave one of your books to a gal I visit teach for her birthday last year and she's hooked.

    Thanks again for this wonderful blog post. You go girl ~ can't wait for you to come to AZ next year to reveal your new book!!!!


  2. Liz, you certainly have it right. Enduring is a lesson we all have to learn. My military father tried his best to make us kids keep working until the job was done...that included clean up detail. It worked best with me. I find I can't give up, maybe even, sometimes when I should.

  3. Great post, Liz! Thank you. I guess I never really stopped to think about the longevity of things posted on the internet. I missed my last couple of turns to post...not on purpose...I was ill, then my mom had a stroke...and I just kind of forgot. You gave me a lot to chew on for the next few days...

  4. Thanks so much for this post! I really needed it!


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