...wherefore, they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer and the very points of his doctrine, that they may know how to come unto him and be saved. (1 Nephi 15:14)
Excellent commentary Adrian. As I've pondered this parable over and over again, there is one aspect of the story that seems to fall into the category of what we "ought to have learned" that I haven't heard many people try to address and I wondered if you would care to take a shot at it. There were at least two different groups of people who were able to abandon what they had previously thought was the way to accomplish the task and be WILLing to join with others, but they seem to come to that decision at different times/phases. I feel like one of the greatest challenges we had as a people with this effort and in which we could learn some of the greatest lessons would be in knowing when to stop laboring on our own and begin laboring with others. How does one know when to acknowledge that the house wasn't meant to be stone or wood, but was to be built with brick? What are the trigger points and how can we better recognize them?
Fascinating thoughts, Jim. I find it interesting that the groups who thought themselves prepared were unprepared, and the group who made no temporal preparations was most prepared. This tells me the brick group was prepared in the ways that mattered. They had faith in the Master and his purposes. They trusted his word alone, and started from the assumption that he would not ask of them what they could not accomplish. So, obviously, the best acquainted with the Lord, and therefore the most able to trust him and exercise faith, were the most prepared. The others were less prepared, and therefore required time and labor to change their hearts and prepare them to recognize the hand/voice of their Master.So how do we best prepare? It seems to me that being acquainted with the Master's attributes, words, and voice are the best preparation. To answer your question: How do we know when to change our approach? What are the trigger points and how can we best recognize them? My thought is that when you hear the Master's voice, or see the Master's hand, get aligned with them. As soon as you can determine the Master's will, do it. The sooner, the better. The stone haulers and the wood cutters never made any attempt to learn the Master's will. They only made assumptions. The brick makers actually went through the struggle to understand the Master's purposes, and this made all the difference. Some of the others recognized the Lord's work when it was told to them, some did not. Prepared hearts are the key.
Really liked this video series. I think the most valuable thing I learned from it was the importance of sitting down with material in quiet and letting the Lord teach you. Thanks for the work you put into this, Adrian. Good stuff.
Some quiet reflection is good, but there is nothing like gaining understanding from actually living the Lord's doctrine. You know that person who caused so much anguish to you, even insulting you, lying to you and hurting you bad.... Yeah, that's the one. Go bless them and see what happens.
Wise advice, thanks.
Thanks a million, and then some, for taking the time to do this. Not only did I learn a ton, but I came away with the serious commitment, to not just make it a "mental exercise" to answer the questions posed by the Lord---but I now believe I would be neglectful of showing my gratitude to the Lord for His condescension in speaking with us again, if I did not make the additional effort to prayerfully petition the Lord to reveal the answers to those questions specific to my weaknesses, and then record them in my journal and make them the focus of my internal compass to fix "what I yet lack." I thought I had been taking it seriously, and studying it, interpreting it, trying to apply it---but I see I can step it up several notches and give a greater degree of honor to the Lord for what He has shared with us.Thanks again, for the sacrifices in putting together something like this, that benefits us all.
I loved this Adrian! I especially loved the last part about Heavenly Mother and the quote that with God all things are possible. I needed to hear that! Thanks so much for taking the time to do this. I have learned so much from the two part series on the parable. Looking forward to more study! Lisa
Thanks Adrian for taking the time to put your thoughts together for others to gain from. I see things very similar to how you have. Here's a section of my notes with a different take that some may enjoy regarding the stone gatherers.BUILD A HOUSE – NOTESThe three groups I call three attitudes. The idea being any one of us could be found in that “attitude” anywhere in the parable. Individuals could be in one, two or even all three during this process.The stone gatherers to me represent any gospel position that we find ourselves staked out on, our hobby horse or one note. Our prized gospel tenant(s) or principle(s) we believe MUST be adhered too above all else in following our beliefs in God. We can be found obsessed with them and only see IT in anything God tells us. In this attitude, we are not spiritually nimble, we’re obsessed with it or them and they therefore cloud our ability to hear Gods direction because we are trying to make Gods command fit our prized position. Like trying to force a square peg into a round hole. For instance, focusing on just one or part of the Doctrine or Law of Christ not all. They can by themselves be a stumbling block for the person focusing on the narrow position(s). HOWEVER!This attitude blocks them from the joy of helping build the Lords house. BUT when brought together with other individual prized stones they became the pathway to the house. Each stone or prized teaching of one, laid beside the prized teaching of the others, they became a pathway, a road (the Doctrine and Law of Christ) to the house that they and others can use to go there and find joy in it. Something the Lord later gives recognition to.
All Offerings Were AppreciatedAt the end of His answer, the Lord summarized the main lesson to be learned from the parable is that all of the offerings were appreciated and that it was the desires of the heart that He cares most about, rather than exactly which solution was chosen.When one first reads the parable before knowing how it would end, was the ending obvious? Might it not have ended that those who took the wood tools were "right" and they might have had a nice wooden temple built and have been heroes while others collected stones. Or it might have turned out there was no clay nor trees and those bringing stones were "right" would have been the heroes. In those cases, the lesson at the very end would still have been the same, that the Lord loved all of their hearts who wished to serve him. He accepted all of their offerings!If the wood builders or stone builders had been "right", the Lord might have said, "Thou good and faithful servant because you knew it is not meet for me to command in all things." In other words, they might have been expected to build on prior knowledge.Note that the Lord never said that any of the approaches was "right" or "wrong"! What if the overarching lesson is that the only thing "wrong" was the criticism, backbiting, etc., but not any of the three approaches!So what were the three groups referred to, concerning that the reason for the parable to have been given at all was in response to the effort to produce a document? Let me suggest that the stone bringers were those who noticed that we have no system in place to determine "mutual agreement", which the Lord required. They saw that democratic voting could never succeed without total unanimity, which was not the requirement. Hence, they started to propose a weighty, ponderous, very slow approach which would solve the long term problem by building a path of an entire government which would also solve future problems.And who are those who reasoned that because there are no stones that we must use wood? Perhaps it was those who thought that even though we have no rock-solid method to achieve mutual agreement, perhaps the Lord wants us to vote as a democracy, even though that was never designed to achieve mutual agreement but instead only to find the majority's will. It became clear that simple democratic voting failed and would probably continue to fail on future assignments. Hence, the need for a stone path that is a firm foundation.And who were the brick makers? Were they not those who suggested the hybrid solution to choose lots from among representatives from each fellowship? That turned out to be a huge step forward in that it balanced the need for a long term solid solution, like a government, with the lack of a currently available process. Bricks are like an average between stones and wood. And it was the document made of bricks which indeed succeeded! That's why the brick makers could return and report to the others that the house was already completed. It had been done for months and all that required was for everyone to recognize that the task had been completed!
The awesome benefit of the Lord using a parable, as many interpitations as there are of us.Lesson learned for me.I know and love people who were in all camps on the SOP assignment and have had many discussions with a cross section of the covenant people, we are all are after Zion. All love the Lord and have real-intent about the work now underway. There aren’t any “bad people” among us. We need to gain more trust with one another. Trust that they, like me, love the Lord and have sacrificed many things for Him.
We have had discussion similar to all the ideas above. One idea that stands out is that this parable is certainly for what is coming and have we learned what we ought so we are better prepared and equipped to be in tune with what the Lord asks.
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