The first, is the talk by one of my favorite speakers (and almost all missionaries favorite speaker) Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. His talk spoke to me and I understood a lot because of the scripture study that Ive have had the priviledge of doing! I actually studied the parabol that he spoke about not too long ago, and he helped me increase in my knowledge and understanding of this marvolous teaching story. The parabol of The Laborers in the Vineyard. I got to thinking when i was reading this passage and at first, like Elder Holland states, it is natural to think of the Master as injust and honestly, kind of a jerk! But then when you ponder about this story, you can feel the wisdom and power - the justice and mercy in the Masters decision to give all of the Laborers the same wage at the end of the day.
We need to think about this in our everyday lives. If we do, we will become far more greatful and start to appreciate the things that we have even more. At first when we think about our lives, we might see ourselves as the laborer who got chosen at the very first of the day. The laborers who are most likely the most physicaly fit, and able to do the jobs, as those are the people that would most likely get picked by the foreman who is looking for some workers and not just some kids to stand around all day. They will be looking for men who are probably looking a little on the rough side, but that they know have the strength and ability to work throughout the day in the hot sun and get the job done, and do it well. This we might think, is us, but sometimes, we need to look in the mirror more than once before we can really tell what we look like.
If we see ourselves as this person, great! There is nothing bad about that, other than the fact that we might be a little more toward the PROUD side and scooting a little farther away from the HUMILITY side... and that is something that we can not afford to do. We should be willing to be the first pick and have the strength to do the hard work throughout the day (or our lives) but we should not see ourselves as the best and be upset if we ARENT the ones who get picked first.
There are a couple more explanations about the other workers who got chosen to work that day, but i just want to focos on the two extremes. The first to get picked, and the last to get picked. The last to get picked had probably been waiting there all day, tired as heck, and just wanted to go home. But, they stayed to see if there was any possible way to get chosen and maybe make a little money for the day so that they could feed themselves, or maybe the family that is waiting at home. The finally chosen worked the rest of the day probably to their full potential and were tired from not a full days work, but work nonetheless.
Then came the sweet part of the story that we all need to learn from, the Master came out. The master lined all of the tired and wornout workers up and then to all of their surprise, gave them all the full days amount of pay. Now this is the part of the story that we can take things differently from. If we are more towards that pride side, we might think, "hey! i worked all day, and these other guys just worked a couple hours!!! How the heck is this fair that they get the same amount as me?" Or from the other side of the road, "Woah, this must be some kind of mistake, I only worked a couple hours, but recieved a full days pay, what a blessing." I can imagine some tears rolling down some cheeks as the tired men who only worked a couple hours reveived more than they ever hoped for. They would be able to eat/feed their families. They could go home feeling good and satisfied. Probably even a little confused still as to why they recieved such a blessing in their lives.
We know that these questions were asked and it was disputed as to why everyone got the same amount of money, the Master had one of the best responces that he could have given........“My friends, I am not being unfair to you. You agreed on the wage for the day, a good wage. You were very happy to get the work, and I am very happy with the way you served. You are paid in full. Take your pay and enjoy the blessing. As for the others,”.............how awesome was his love and compassion on everyone! And better yet, was he not 100% right? It surely WAS his money, his gift, to give to any and all that he saw worthy. What mercy and what a lesson that we have to learn from this glorious man!
I feel like this talk stuck out directly to me and i applied it directly to myself. Even if i didnt work that much and got to the field a little late, it is always up to the Lord to decide what blessings he will give, and when he will give them, to his children (workers). I know that I am not the best person in the world and that I have definitley done my fair share of wrong things in this world, but im trying to be better. Im trying to get to the field when my Lord and Master chose me and now I am ready and willing to work my hardest until the days end, but I know that our Lord is a merciful one and he will give the same gift to all men who work their hardest for him. It does not matter who we are, where we are, or what the circumstances, we can start now. We can offer ourselves up to the Lord so that we can be his workers. His laborers. We can work our hardest, and I dont think we can EVER do too much. At the close of the day, or of our lives, I suspect that while looking back on our lives, none of us will be expecting the wonderful and great things that lay in store for those who work with all of their might to share this work and build up the Lords kingdom. I want those blessings. I want to be worthy of those blessings. I love this work so much.
It is for this that I am on my mission. So that I can share what I KNOW to be true with as many people as I can. As often as I can. And I do know this work and this Church to be the one and only true church of God. Jesus Christ personally reigns as King and Ruler over this church and it is only through him and revelation that we know what we are supposed to do so that we can be worthy of those great gifts that are waiting to be seized by us.
I love you all. I love this work. I love the Lord, and I wish you all the best,