A MODERN PARABLE
JESUS CHRIST Speaks
43 And now, I will show unto you a parable, that you may know my will concerning the redemption of Zion.
44 A certain nobleman had a spot of land, very choice; and he said unto his servants: Go ye unto my vineyard, even upon this very choice piece of land, and plant twelve olive-trees;
45 And set watchmen round about them, and build a tower, that one may overlook the land round about, to be a watchman upon the tower, that mine olive-trees may not be broken down when the enemy shall come to spoil and take upon themselves the fruit of my vineyard.
46 Now, the servants of the nobleman went and did as their lord commanded them, and planted the olive-trees, and built a hedge round about, and set watchmen, and began to build a tower.
47 And while they were yet laying the foundation thereof, they began to say among themselves: And what need hath my lord of this tower?
48 And consulted for a long time, saying among themselves: What need hath my lord of this tower, seeing this is a time of peace?
49 Might not this money be given to the exchangers? For there is no need of these things.
50 And while they were at variance one with another they became very slothful, and they hearkened not unto the commandments of their lord.
51 And the enemy came by night, and broke down the hedge; and the servants of the nobleman arose and were affrighted, and fled; and the enemy destroyed their works, and broke down the olive-trees.
52 Now, behold, the nobleman, the lord of the vineyard, called upon his servants, and said unto them, Why! what is the cause of this great evil?
53 Ought ye not to have done even as I commanded you, and—after ye had planted the vineyard, and built the hedge round about, and set watchmen upon the walls thereof—built the tower also, and set a watchman upon the tower, and watched for my vineyard, and not have fallen asleep, lest the enemy should come upon you?
54 And behold, the watchman upon the tower would have seen the enemy while he was yet afar off; and then ye could have made ready and kept the enemy from breaking down the hedge thereof, and saved my vineyard from the hands of the destroyer.
55 And the lord of the vineyard said unto one of his servants: Go and gather together the residue of my servants, and take all the strength of mine house, which are my warriors, my young men, and they that are of middle age also among all my servants, who are the strength of mine house, save those only whom I have appointed to tarry;
56 And go ye straightway unto the land of my vineyard, and redeem my vineyard; for it is mine; I have bought it with money.
57 Therefore, get ye straightway unto my land; break down the walls of mine enemies; throw down their tower, and scatter their watchmen.
58 And inasmuch as they gather together against you, avenge me of mine enemies, that by and by I may come with the residue of mine house and possess the land.
59 And the servant said unto his lord: When shall these things be?
60 And he said unto his servant: When I will; go ye straightway, and do all things whatsoever I have commanded you;
61 And this shall be my seal and blessing upon you—a faithful and wise steward in the midst of mine house, a ruler in my kingdom.
62 And his servant went straightway, and did all things whatsoever his lord commanded him; and after many days all things were fulfilled.
63 Again, verily I say unto you, I will show unto you wisdom in me concerning all the churches, inasmuch as they are willing to be guided in a right and proper way for their salvation—
64 That the work of the gathering together of my saints may continue, that I may build them up unto my name upon holy places; for the time of harvest is come, and my word must needs be fulfilled.
65 Therefore, I must gather together my people, according to the parable of the wheat and the tares, that the wheat may be secured in the garners to possess eternal life, and be crowned with celestial glory, when I shall come in the kingdom of my Father to reward every man according as his work shall be;
66 While the tares shall be bound in bundles, and their bands made strong, that they may be burned with unquenchable fire.
67 Therefore, a commandment I give unto all the churches, that they shall continue to gather together unto the places which I have appointed.
68 Nevertheless, as I have said unto you in a former commandment, let not your gathering be in haste, nor by flight; but let all things be prepared before you.
69 And in order that all things be prepared before you, observe the commandment which I have given concerning these things—
70 Which saith, or teacheth, to purchase all the lands with money, which can be purchased for money, in the region round about the land which I have appointed to be the land of Zion, for the beginning of the gathering of my saints;
71 All the land which can be purchased in Jackson county, and the counties round about, and leave the residue in mine hand.
72 Now, verily I say unto you, let all the churches gather together all their moneys; let these things be done in their time, but not in haste; and observe to have all things prepared before you.
~ D&C 101:43-72 (etc.)
A Continual Guiding Parable
This parable with its set of instructions seems to be a long range continual parable to be applied 'not in haste' but over the range of times and perhaps at specific times according to the eventualities to be contended with. That the incident of Missouri's expulsion was but the first of these might well be considered. But that other such challenges must also be met when they are encountered must also be considered as well.
Some things ought to be noted. The 'Redemption of Zion', though underway, has not been achieved to his point of completion. That is Christ has not yet come and the eventual meeting at Adam-ondi-Ahman has not yet taken place. And least those in position to lead may weary, there is a continual call to arms against the foes to be taken and applied to the situations as they may be.
Who could have predicted that the current events at hand would have specifically come upon us? Certainly some preparations were laid such as the Family Proclamation to the World, but who could have imagined that the current course of the United States itself would be towary the revoking and disclaiming of its religious foundations to even revoking of the tried and proven tenents of Religious Freedom over the athiests and intruders against worshipping God according to the long established doctrines of Christianity such as God's stand in respect to marriage and his commandments against the sins of the world?
Today we have such as a symbolic 'Tower' in Salt Lake City. It is the Church Office Building, a Towering Stucture for sure. Some have poked fun at it and even criticized it. But the allegorical significants of it particulary relative to this parable might well be considered. And even the raised questions may be addressed in respect to the current 'evolution' of the Church's development. Certainly we have advanced since the historic period when the full weight of Church leadership fell upon the Twelve Apostles after the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith. And certainly the taking of the gospel to the world has continued to advance. And even various lands have been and likely continue to be in due time and process purchases about that land of the center stake of Zion in Missouri. But what about the 'empending' warnings and dangers?
Ought we not be ever wary of the advances our the enemy and not weary of the duty to foresee and continue to build up our defenses rather than to let down our guards, or even 'cave' to the various societal presures of the time? And this least we fall victim to the even encroatching worldly matters which the wicked world is advancing upon the whole of society. If we do not keep up the guard and take the appropriate actions, even though unpopular with the world, we would fall victim to the entrappings of Satan. Our Standard is an Ensign to the world. We have a force of men to carry it to the world. Perhaps it need not be a physical embattlement. And perhaps it might be such as the 'fiery darts' of the Devil that we are contesting, but are we not continually engaged in that 'Continuing War of Words' that the War in Heaven was and so fought there in the pre-existence?
Now none ought to be offended by taking an inventory of position to detemine where one currently stands. And if that stance is in accord with the master design of the Lord or has creeping toward beginning to slip into the enticing of tolerance for acceptance of the avenues of Lucifer. And we do seem today to be envolved in the more meaningful determinations of the historical development of the Church and of Christianity as a whole. Does one dare ask—"Where do we go from here?"
What is the plan of attack from here and now? How do we get from here to where we need to be? What can and ought to be done? Why not do it? Active Offense?