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Parable of the Sower & Prodigal Son

Parable of the Sower & Prodigal Son. The New Testament “Teach of Me” March 15, 2009. Quiz. What does “prodigal” mean? What 2 parables preface the parable of the prodigal son? What job did the prodigal son obtain in the far away country?

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Parable of the Sower & Prodigal Son

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  1. Parable of the Sower & Prodigal Son The New Testament “Teach of Me” March 15, 2009

  2. Quiz What does “prodigal” mean? What 2 parables preface the parable of the prodigal son? What job did the prodigal son obtain in the far away country? What was the Father’s first response when the prodigal son came back? In what way is the elder son also a prodigal? When “some seeds fell by the wayside”, what happened to them?

  3. Joseph Smith’s rule: What was the question that drew it out? What is the context? Luke 15:1-10  Why three parables about “lost” things? Sheep = lost out of ignorance Coin = lost out of neglect Son = knowingly strays The Context His “lost” children, and how they become lost

  4. Who is Christ talking to? Verses 1 & 2!!! What is this parable about? A denunciation of self-righteousness The Context

  5. The Context While Jesus was teaching the people, all the publicans and sinners drew near to hear Him; "and the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them." This is the keyword which unlocks the parable of the prodigal son. It was given to answer the murmurings and questions of the Sadducees and Pharisees, who were querying, finding fault, and saying,

  6. The Context "How is it that this man as great as He pretends to be, eats with publicans and sinners?" The hundred sheep represent one hundred Sadducees and Pharisees are in the sheepfold, “I have no mission for you; I am sent to look up sheep that are lost; and when I have found them, I will back them up and make joy in heaven." This represents hunting after a few individuals, or one poor publican, which the Pharisees and Sadducees despised.

  7. The Context I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety-and-nine just persons that are so [self]-righteous; they will be damned anyhow; you cannot save them. Joseph Smith, DHC 5:260-262 Luke 15:8 … “sweep”? diligence

  8. The Prodigal Son – Some cautions How often do things change instantly? (sons of Mosiah) Becoming Christ-like is a lifetime pursuit and very often involves growth and change that is slow, almost imperceptible. The scriptures record remarkable accounts of men whose lives changed dramatically, in an instant, as it were: Alma the Younger, Paul on the road to Damascus, Enos praying far into the night, King Lamoni.

  9. The Prodigal Son – Some cautions Such astonishing examples of the power to change even those steeped in sin give confidence that the Atonement can reach even those deepest in despair. But we must be cautious as we discuss these remarkable examples. Though they are real and powerful, they are the exception more than the rule.

  10. The Prodigal Son – Some cautions For every Paul, for every Enos, and for every King Lamoni, there are hundreds and thousands of people who find the process of repentance much more subtle, much more imperceptible. Day by day they move closer to the Lord, little realizing they are building a godlike life. They live quiet lives of goodness, service, and commitment. Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Oct. 1989, 5

  11. Luke 15:11-13 • Inheritance given to which sons? • Disrespectful to his living father to ask early • “gathered” • Selling items for money that was otherwise his inheritance for money • Took time and effort---intentional How does distance to “a far country” apply to us?

  12. Elder Neal A. Maxwell Like the prodigal son, we too can go to “a far country,” which may be no farther away than a vile rock concert. The distance to “a far country” is not measured by miles but by how far our hearts and minds are from Jesus! Fidelity, not geography, really determines the distance. Neal A. Maxwell, CR October 2000

  13. Is it better to repent (so )…. or to not go through the “refiners fire”? we can learn from experience, being able to relate and help others What is a “refiners fire”?

  14. The Prodigal Son – Some cautions Resistance to sin is better than repentance. Another error into which some transgressors fall, because of the availability of God's forgiveness, is the illusion that they are somehow stronger for having committed sin and then lived through the period of repentance. This simply is not true. That man who resists temptation and lives without sin is far better off than the man who has fallen, no matter how repentant the latter may be.

  15. The Prodigal Son – Some cautions The reformed transgressor, it is true, may be more understanding of one who falls into the same sin, and to that extent perhaps more helpful in the latter's regeneration. But his sin and repentance have certainly not made him stronger than the consistently righteous person. Spencer W. Kimball, MF 357

  16. The Prodigal Son – Some cautions Some Church members feel entitled to ‘a few free ones’ as they sow their wild oats and walk constantly along the edge of transgression. Or they believe that repentance requires little more than saying they are sorry. Constant emphasis on the availability of forgiveness can be counterproductive in such cases, suggesting—wrongly—that they can ‘live it up’ now and repent easily later without harmful consequences.

  17. The Prodigal Son – Some cautions Despite these reasons for caution, the blessing of making the Atonement more central to our lives outweighs any associated risks. When we habitually understate the Atonement’s broad meaning, we do more harm than leaving one another without comforting reassurances—for some may simply drop out of the race, weighed down beyond the breaking point with self-doubt and spiritual fatigue. Bruce C. Hafen, Liahona, Apr. 1997, 39.

  18. Either he is so disgusted he won’t eat, or… They won’t let him eat…he is, in their view, lower than the pigs! Luke 10:14-16 • The Jews disliked pigs • They viewed the son lower than swine

  19. Mosiah 4:2 “…they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth.” Alma 32:13 We can humble ourselves, or… We can be compelled to be humble Verse 17 – “came to himself” • What does it mean to be “humble”? • not distressed and wrought with hopelessness

  20. Elder Neal A. Maxwell The returning prodigals are never numerous enough, but regularly some come back from “a far country”. Of course, it is better if we are humbled “because of the word” rather than being compelled by circumstances, yet the latter may do! Famine can induce spiritual hunger. Neal A. Maxwell, CR October 2000

  21. Bondsmen – slaves Servants – subordinate to bondsmen Hired servants – the temporary help At this point in time, he just wants a quick fix, but is denying his faith God can help Verse 18-19 “hired servant”

  22. Hired servant, or God’s servant? verse 21 • Elder Scott: “We are not second-class citizens of the Celestial Kingdom.” Then who are we? Creation who we are condition we are in (carnal) The Fall Satan: condition you are in defines who you are You can’t change…might as well give up because it won’t happen God promises: condition you become defines who you are Men are free to choose liberty and eternal life2 Nephi 2:27

  23. Joseph Smith Christ said he came to call sinners to repentance, to save them. Christ was condemned by the self-righteous Jews because He took sinners into His society; He took them upon the principle that they repented of their sins. It is the object of this society to reform persons, not to take those that are corrupt and foster them in their wickedness; but if they repent, we are bound to take them.

  24. Joseph Smith Nothing is so much calculated to lead people to forsake sin as to take them by the hand, and watch over them with tenderness. When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what power it has over my mind, while the opposite course has a tendency to harrow up all the harsh feelings and depress the human mind.

  25. Joseph Smith It is one evidence that men are unacquainted with the principles of godliness to behold the contraction of affectionate feelings and lack of charity in the world. The power and glory of godliness is spread out on a broad principle to throw out the mantle of charity. God does not look on sin with allowance, but when men have sinned, there must be allowance made for them.

  26. Joseph Smith All the religious world is boasting of righteousness; it is the doctrine of the devil to mess up the human mind, and hinder our progress, by filling us with self-righteousness. TPJS 240-241

  27. We are told to “Come unto Christ” and believe in Him that He can change our very nature, character, and intentions. What must we do to “come unto Him”?

  28. This parable IS our lives… What does he repeatedly say? • Look at verse 18 --- • “I WILL”…determination to change! • What will the son say he will do? • “I will and , and will , Father, against heaven, and no more to .” • In our lives we cannot fall into self-pity, but instead with determination, , and in prayer, “ , please ”, and arise go to my Father say unto him I have sinned worthy be called thy son arise go to your Heavenly Father say unto him I am weak help me become strong through my effort allow Him to help you

  29. Thomas S. Monson In the private sanctuary of one’s own conscience lies that spirit, that determination to cast off the old person and to measure up to the stature of true potential. In this spirit, we again issue that heartfelt invitation: Come back. We reach out to you in the pure love of Christ and express our desire to assist you and to welcome you . . . To those who are wounded in spirit or who are struggling and fearful, we say, Let us lift you and cheer you and calm your fears. Take literally the Lord’s invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

  30. James E. Faust Success is usually earned by persevering and not becoming discouraged when we encounter challenges. Paul Harvey, the famous news analyst and author, once said: “Someday I hope to enjoy enough of what the world calls success so that someone will ask me, ‘What’s the secret of it?’ I shall say simply this: ‘I get up when I fall down.’ ” Find a support system that works for you, for blessing/helping others blesses yourself, because…

  31. Joseph Smith The nearer we get to our heavenly Father, the more we are disposed to look with compassion on perishing souls; we feel that we want to take them upon our shoulders, and cast their sins behind our backs. My talk is intended for all this society; if you would have God have mercy on you, have mercy on one another. TPJS 240-241

  32. The father and our Father • verse 20 • Father running with robe off the ground • Would’ve been culturally unacceptable • verse 22-24 • Restoring his son to sonship • ring = has authority for family market trading What little things did the father do to help his son?

  33. The Prodigal Son I know of no more beautiful story in all literature than that found in the fifteenth chapter of Luke. It is the story of a repentant son and a forgiving father… I ask you to read that story. Every parent ought to read it again and again. It is large enough to encompass every household, and enough larger than that to encompass all mankind, for are we not all prodigal sons and daughters…

  34. The Prodigal Son …who need to repent and partake of the forgiving mercy of our Heavenly Father and then follow His example? His Beloved Son, our Redeemer, reaches out to us in forgiveness and mercy, but in so doing he commands repentance. A true and magnanimous spirit of forgiveness will become an expression of that required repentance. Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, June 1991, 5 Difference between father and elder son regarding forgiveness?

  35. The Other Prodigal Luke 15:25-28 • In what way is the elder son also a prodigal? • verse 29-30 • Self-entitlement • “I did more work, so I deserve more” • How did the father respond to the older son? • verse 31-32

  36. The Other Prodigal General Conference - Ensign, May 2002

  37. Elder Jeffery R. Holland This son is not so much angry that the other has come home as he is angry that his parents are so happy about it. …He is …One who has heretofore presumably been very happy with his life and content with his good fortune suddenly feels very unhappy simply because another has had some good fortune as well. “The Other Prodigal,” Ensign, May 2002, 62

  38. Elder Jeffery R. Holland Who is it that whispers so subtly in our ear that a gift given to another somehow diminishes the blessings we have received? Who makes us feel that if God is smiling on another, then He surely must somehow be frowning on us? You and I both know who does this—it is the father of all lies. It is Lucifer, our common enemy, whose cry down through the corridors of time is always and to everyone, “Give me…honor.” continued later… “The Other Prodigal,” Ensign, May 2002, 62

  39. Parable of the Sower Matthew 13:3-8 • Prodigal son – fell away • Sower – keeping those good seeds, understanding how actions determine future Verse 3-8… where the seeds fell, and if that resulted in growth or pain

  40. Parable of the Sower, or Soils?! Matthew 13:3-8 Our Lord's emphasis is not on the sower or the seed, but on the soil. The seed is the word of God, the gospel, the truths of salvation, and all these are ever the same. But whether the seed sprouts depends upon proper planting in prepared soil; whether it matures depends upon the continued care given the growing plant. Thus, in view of the message taught, this parable aptly may be considered as the Parable of the Four Kinds of Soil. Bruce R. McConkie, DNTC 1:288

  41. James E. Talmage – Soil Types Matthew 13:3-8 Observe the grades of soil, given in the increasing order of their fertility: (1) the compacted highway, the wayside path, on which, save by a combination of fortuitous circumstances practically amounting to a miracle, no seed can possibly strike root or grow; (2) the thin layer of soil covering an impenetrable stony bed-rock, wherein seed may sprout yet can never mature; Jesus the Christ 284-285

  42. James E. Talmage – Soil Types Matthew 13:3-8 (3) the weed-encumbered field, capable of producing a rich crop but for the jungle of thistles and thorns; and (4) the clean rich mold receptive and fertile. Yet even soils classed as good are of varying degrees of productiveness, yielding an increase of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred fold, with many inter-gradations. Jesus the Christ 284-285

  43. Matthew 13:19  #1 Wayside Soil If the seed falls on a wayside path, on ground trodden down and unprepared, it never sprouts. Similarly when the gospel is preached to men whose souls are hardened by rebellion against the Lord's servants; when it is presented to those who have hearkened to the whisperings of Satan rather than the promptings of the light of Christ; Bruce R. McConkie, DNTC 1:288

  44. Matthew 13:19  #1 Wayside Soil …when its truths are offered to people who are prejudiced and bigoted, it falls on stony hearts and finds no place to take root. No conversion takes place when the hearers continue to walk in darkness. …like the prodigal son continued to work as hired servant, denying that God could help him Bruce R. McConkie, DNTC 1:288

  45. Matthew 13:20-21  #2 Stony Soil If the seed falls upon stony places where there is only a small layer of good soil, though the seed readily sprouts, it soon dies, for the roots attain no strengthening depth. Likewise, those who gain testimonies of the truth, but who do not give their whole souls to Christ; … those without sufficient strength of character to keep their enthusiasm alive in the face of obstacles; Bruce R. McConkie, DNTC 1:288

  46. Matthew 13:20-21  #2 Stony Soil …those who are only lukewarm -- the cause of righteousness; those whose testimonies are weakened because they discover other men have weaknesses -- all such are offended and fall away when persecutions arise and when they are called upon to make major sacrifices for the cause of Zion. Bruce R. McConkie, DNTC 1:288

  47. Matthew 13:22  #3 Thorny Soil If the seed falls among thorns, it is in good soil, as is evidenced by the growth of the undesirable plants. But the good plant is soon choked and dies because it cannot overcome the influence of the weeds and thistles. So it is with the members of the Church who know the gospel is true, but who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus, who are not affirmatively and courageously striving to further the interests of the Church. Bruce R. McConkie, DNTC 1:288

  48. Matthew 13:22  #3 Thorny Soil So it is of the saints who think more of the honors of men, the educational standards of the world, political preferment, or money and property, than they do of the gospel. They know the Lord's work has been established on earth, but they let the cares of the world choke the word. And instead of gaining eternal life, they shall be burned with the tares which overcame them. Bruce R. McConkie, DNTC 1:288

  49. Matthew 13:23  #4 Good Soil If the seed falls on productive, fertile soil, and if it is there -- after nurtured and cared for, it bringeth forth a harvest. But even here crops of equal value are not harvested by all the saints. There are many degrees of receptive belief; there are many gradations of effective cultivation. Bruce R. McConkie, DNTC 1:288

  50. Matthew 13:23  #4 Good Soil All men, the saints included, shall be judged according to their works; those who keep the whole gospel law shall bring forth an hundred fold and inherit the fulness of the Father's kingdom. Others shall gain lesser rewards in the mansions which are prepared. Bruce R. McConkie, DNTC 1:288

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