Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wheat and Tares

This afternoon my heart was pondering on the symbolism of the wheat and the tares.  Jesus shares a parable, which we have quoted in Matthew 13:30, which highlights what will happen to the "weeds" among us.

30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
My memory remembers this parable particularly well, and in my mind I always envision a field of wheat, which has been overrun by tares.  Due to the instructions of the parable, I view the separating that is to come as is narrated in Matthew.  However I never stopped to consider particulars.  For example, in the verse above, the tares are first gathered, bound and burned.  And meanwhile, the wheat is separated out and gathered into the owner's barn.

D&C 86:7 shares more thoughts on the concept.  

Therefore, let the wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest is fully ripe; then ye shall first gather out the wheat from among the tares, and after the gathering of the wheat, behold and lo, the tares are bound in bundles, and the field remaineth to be burned.
In pondering whether I am a wheat or a tare this afternoon, I remembered the line "separate the wheat from the tares".  Looking more critically, there is a field, overrun with tares.  But in this verse revealed from the Lord through Joseph Smith, we receive instruction and clarification on the idea presented in the parable.  The wheat is gathered first.  "Then ye shall first gather out the wheat from among the tares, and after the gathering of the wheat..."

When I have heard members of various churches refer to this sifting that is coming, the common undertone of the idea is that when someone leaves a church for any reason, they are a weak tare.  They are obviously not elect, not celestial, not worthy of enduring the refiner's fire.  But what if the Lord, in His mercy, is doing the gathering already?  Is it possible that He is removing the wheat from the tares which have overrun His church?

Wheat is the substance of which bread is made.  It is called the "staff of life" in D&C 89.  In opposition to the tares, it bears fruit which gives life, rather than thorns which injure, puncture, and wound.  When someone suggests that your beliefs may classify you as a tare, be girded up in your mind and heart.  Consider the tender mercies of the Lord in gathering the wheat from among the tares, whoever they may be.

God bless the wheat to receive sufficient nourishment to survive the day of the burning which is at hand.

With love,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Has this post affected you for good? Please share your thoughts.