Saturday, March 14, 2015

Gospel Doctrine NT c11: Parables-Matt 13

Gospel Doctrine NT c11 Parables Matt 13
“True Conversion Brings Happiness,” Richard G. Scott, Gen Conf.,  Apr 2002
Have you ever been in the car driving somewhere and you’re looking out the window. Appreciating all the beauty around, trying to take it all in? And then someone will say, “Look, a deer?” So you turn to look out their window and they are actually pointing out YOUR window. And you wonder, How could I have missed that? I was looking out that very window, same as everyone else and I completely missed it.

We’re going to talk about parables today, which relates to that experience.

?What is a parable? A symbolic story that teaches gospel truths by comparing them to earthly things.

Bible Dictionary says: “The word parable is Greek in origin and means a setting side by side, a comparison.”

READ: Bible Dictionary says: “Most teachers, especially those in the Middle East, have used some form of parable in their instruction, but none so exclusively as Jesus at one period of His ministry. During part of the Galilean ministry the record states that “without a parable spake he not unto them.” Jesus tells us why in Matthew 13:13-14.

READ Matt 13:13-14 “Therefore spake I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.  And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:”

Bible Dictionary continues: “The parable conveys to the hearer religious truth exactly in proportion to his faith and intelligence; to the dull and uninspired it is a mere story while to the instructed and spiritual it reveals the mysteries or secrets of the kingdom of heaven. Thus it is that the parable exhibits the condition of all true knowledge. Only he who seeks finds.”

READ: Parable of the Sower Matt 13:3-8

Draw the parable on the chalkboard (Christine?)

?What keeps the seeds that fall on the wayside from sprouting?
?Why do the seeds in the stony soil wither away?
?What happens when some seeds fall among thorns?
?What happens to the seeds that fall in the good soil?

???What does Jesus say after he tells the parable?
READ Matt13:9 “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

The next verses (that we aren’t going to read) make it clear that the multitude didn’t understand. Their ears and eyes were not ready and not willing. But the disciples who were with Jesus received understanding, which we will

READ in Matt 13:18-23
Seed: word of God
WAYSIDE: ?What are some things we might do that prevent us from understanding God’s word? What must we do to be able to understand the word of God? How does lack of understanding make it easier for Satan to take away the word from our hearts?
Scott question: Could that happen to you, in the wrong environment, with the wrong friendships?

STONY PLACES: Why do some people not allow the word of God to take root in them? How can we allow the word to establish keep roots in us? How will this help us endure the heat of tribulation, persecution and offense? (Alma 32:42)
Scott question: Have you ever been in a circumstance when someone proposed something inappropriate and you did nothing to resist it?

THORNY PLACES: What are the thorns in our world today? What can we do to prevent these thorns from choking the word of God in us?
Scott question: Have there been times when you wanted something so badly that you justified an exception to your standards?

GOOD SOIL: What can be done to keep our soil in good condition? How can we be more receptive to God’s word?
Scott: True conversion yields the fruit of enduring happiness that can be enjoyed even when the world is in turmoil and most are anything but happy. Of a group of individuals in difficulty, the Book of Mormon teaches: “They did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.” (Hel. 3:35)

??Why do you think the parable of the sower focuses more on the ground than on the sower or the seed?

Anyone with a garden knows that it is work to keep the soil good, free of weeds, stones and thorns. What we are actually talking about is conversion. Converting our soil from thorny and stony, to good.

Elder Scott says: “Converted means to turn from one belief or course of action to another. Conversion is a spiritual and moral change. Converted implies not merely mental acceptance of Jesus and his teachings but also a motivating faith in him and his gospel. A faith which works a transformation, an actual change in one’s understanding of life’s meaning and in his allegiance to God in interest, in thought, and in conduct.”…
“Stated simply, true conversion is the fruit of faith, repentance, and consistent obedience. Faith comes by hearing the word of God and responding to it.”

Increase your testimony and true conversion by understanding and perceiving, and tending to your garden.

READ Matt 13:16 “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”

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