Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Somehow I seem to get stuck with the tough lessons like the whole olive tree allegory Jacob recorded and Mormon included in Jacob 5. I did a ton of research and found a tiny miracle in the form of a free online book from the Neal A Maxwell Institute of Religious Scholars. There are several articles there that lay out a wonderful study of this important allegory. As always I remind the class that the BOM is for us, so what are the lessons we are to learn from this allegory.
We came up with the following: • Christ loves ALL of the vineyard, all his children therefore good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people, we are all his children and choices make things both bitter and sweet for all of us at different times in our lives. Christ “pruned” everywhere in the vineyard not one spot was left untouched by the master gardener’s hands • Doesn’t matter where you live gospel fruit can flourish • Before the Second Coming, there will be a process in place for all to produce good fruit (for the Millennium), a slow and steady removal of those producing bad fruit and a nourishing of those producing good fruit until there is no more good and evil but only good • This process is both with whole groups of people and with individuals • The conversional process is an individual weeding out of your personal “bad” fruit and a strengthening of your “good” fruit • Part of the pruning process is the reading of scriptures and prayer these two pillars of the gospel can keep you in line with the principles and revelations given by our living prophet. Jacob warns us that by taking this lightly we can be “cut down and “pruned out” or rather as we would put it lose our way spiritually. • Examples of nourishment to a whole group is when the Israelies defied God and demanded a king much to their regret; individually, we have been given the Word of Wisdom that started as a recommendation and is now part of the temple recommend to access your commitment to the gospel • To bring us to where the Nephites once were, a society so filled with love toward one another there was no poor, no sorrow, no hate, no war, no torture, etc. to usher in the Millennium • Chirst in the allegory and in our time has repeatedly assured us the church the living prophet will never lead us astray, there will no wholesale apostasy as there was before, keep your eyes and ears on the brethren • The laboring or missionary work will not be after the pattern of the world • Ultimately the allegory is about being reconciled to Christ through the atonement. The process is surprisingly simple
As aside I discovered there are olive trees in Israel that are 1,800 years old.