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For reasons I do not like to relate, the shrubs, trees and plants around my parent's home were neglected for about 6 years.

Rhododendron bushes grew up past the windows. Hemlock and Spruce soared way above the roof -- of an already rather tall house. Holly grew into an unruly mass without shape extending many feet from its original limits.

And then there were volunteer trees -- some of them quite large now -- growing in places where their roots would damage things and where they were not wanted.

The Hemlocks needed to be topped so that the vast majority of those trees are gone. They will have to be shaped like Banzai trees now. Holly was tamed, Rhododendrons unfortunately lost their flowering tips but now look like a plant someone cares about.

I felt bad topping the Hemlocks, even though it needed doing, but the utter cutting of the volunteer trees at ground level -- beautiful, strong, young trees, surviving when others had died and putting forth many beautiful branches for birds to dance and nest in -- were cut down and destroyed. I did not like that feeling even though it was really the right thing to do for my Mom and for the House.

As I did it, I remembered the talk by Hugh B Brown, which he gave in several different forms and titles. Here is one: http://margiesmessag...m/currantb.html. It is about God being the Gardner.

I thought about these trees that seemed to say "You wanted your home to be beautiful and shaded -- I am only doing what all the other trees around here are doing -- growing beautiful, bringing birds to sing and shading the home! I saw what you wanted and I did not wait for you to plant me where I was wanted or needed but volunteered myself where I saw I was bet suited to grow in the way I want to grow. I am only doing what has been one in other gardens! Why have you cursed me and destroyed me when I am really doing your will?

Well, the answer is that the Tree was NOT doing what the other trees were doing and was in the wrong place steadying the wrong ark so to speak. But it thought so.

This led me to two final thoughts. The first is that this whole idea, this parable, may seemingly give justification to the Calvinists. God raises up some trees and curses others -- all for his own good pleasure. To the tree, it seems capricious. But to God there is a plan.

(I think that this idea sort of distorts God and His Love for His Children, but I can see how it might be used)

The second thought though was different and I am curious to see comments.

We know that Jesus has said that Tares and Wheat together sown will grow together until some time of harvest, when the Wheat will be gathered in and the Tares burned in a hot fire.

Do the Tares think that they are wheat? Do they believe that they are helpful in the garden as perhaps the adversary claimed in the Garden before God? Do the trees that grow up and shove roots into the foundation to crack and destroy it -- do they think that they are doing right? Do they think that the Gardner is never coming -- that he delayeth is coming? Or do they anticipate his arrival even with possible eagerness? Do apostates and fellow travelers who want to direct or coerce the Prophets and Apostles to manage the Church the way that they prefer -- do they really think that they are doing God's work? Are they sort of secret atheists or agnostics, not believing in the divinity of the Church and thinking that the Church is a man-made and totally man-run organization that will bend to and twist and move in the winds of opposition?

That was my actual thought process as I cut the "innocent" trees down that were growing near my Mom's windows and foundations and I thought then, that I would post my thoughts to see how other people view this.

I don't expect definitive answers -- and I am not looking for fights -- but I am curious about how people see this sort of thing. I would think some Catholics would have interesting perspectives on this with regard to their Church and may sort of have an advanced view of how the LDS Church and its members will be in the future. So if there are Catholics reading this -- what are your views with regard to such things in your Church?

So.. what say you? What of the Tares?

Edited by CASteinman
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I think you have a point up to a point. In my days of believing the church is the concrete truth I did try harder to read my scriptures and hold FHE, attend the temple which was always difficult for me, kept the Sabbath day holy, etc. and tried my best in most areas.

But you know CA, while I was busy being a worker bee I was ignoring alot the commandment to love thy neighbor as I have loved you. Now I see things a little differently. I don't feel separate from everybody that isn't of my faith. I don't feel nervous around someone who might "look" a little scary because they are covered in tattoos or have earrings all over. Or I am much more comfortable talking to family members who aren't active. Before there was always a wedge put between us and that was my believing they weren't living the way they should when all they were doing was not following the WoW. Everywhere else in their lives they were living much better than myself, oh except they also didn't go to church. But their family was strong and close etc. They volunteered in their community etc.

Also I've been able to help a homebound lady in my neighborhood, now going on a few years. In fact she called and asked if it was ok to have my name be the first to contact for a medic alert device she will wear constantly.

Before, in my staunch LDS days, I don't think I would have opened up to being there for her quite like I've been. I would have expected her VT to take more of that kind of role.

So now I wonder what exactly is the criteria for who the wheat will be and who the tares will be?

Edited by Tacenda
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So now I wonder what exactly is the criteria for who the wheat will be and who the tares will be?

I don't mean to be insulting but your description of being "staunch LDS" does not sound very much like it ought to. You sound better now.

Its an interesting question about who are the tares. Jesus did not exactly spell that out.

I have a story about the "stages of Faith" that seems applicable... but since it is off topic here, I will start a new post.

Edit: Actually I posted it up once before and it got no attention. But here it is:

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/58214-dispensations-of-the-bible-and-individual-progress-or-apostasy/

Edited by CASteinman
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even though he lived for many years in Alberta which is a forgivable transgression, President Hugh B. Brown is the man!

I came across this little ditty awhile back about the late Elder Spencer H. Osborn of the Seventy when he was called to be a Stake President

"Not long after I was installed. President

Hugh B. Brown of the First Presidency (also a

former President of Granite Stake) called me in

regard to one of his old friends in the Forest

Dale Ward who was denied a temple

recommend because he drank coffee. I said,

"Aren't those the instructions. President?" "Yes,"

he said, "but this brother just wants to witness

a marriage, and I don't feel we should be too

strict. You know I feel there will be lots of

people who drink coffee who will get to

heaven." "Will they serve it there. President?"

I asked. "No," he said, "They'll have to go to

hell to get it." The brother got his recommend".

Spencer H. Osborn history

Edited by Duncan
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But you know CA, while I was busy being a worker bee I was ignoring alot the commandment to love thy neighbor as I have loved you. Now I see things a little differently. I don't feel separate from everybody that isn't of my faith. I don't feel nervous around someone who might "look" a little scary because they are covered in tattoos or have earrings all over. Or I am much more comfortable talking to family members who aren't active. Before there was always a wedge put between us and that was my believing they weren't living the way they should when all they were doing was not following the WoW. Everywhere else in their lives they were living much better than myself, oh except they also didn't go to church. But their family was strong and close etc. They volunteered in their community etc.

Before, in my staunch LDS days, I don't think I would have opened up to being there for her quite like I've been. I would have expected her VT to take more of that kind of role.

With all due respect Tacenda, sounds like you were doing a lot of unnecessary and unrighteous judging... something a staunch LDS should not do as that goes against our teachings.

I consider myself "staunch LDS" and I have no trouble talking to members who smell of cigarettes, inactive members, non-members, people with tatoos/earrings, etc etc.

GG

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This led me to two final thoughts. The first is that this whole idea, this parable, may seemingly give justification to the Calvinists. God raises up some trees and curses others -- all for his own good pleasure. To the tree, it seems capricious. But to God there is a plan.

(I think that this idea sort of distorts God and His Love for His Children, but I can see how it might be used)

The second thought though was different and I am curious to see comments.

We know that Jesus has said that Tares and Wheat together sown will grow together until some time of harvest, when the Wheat will be gathered in and the Tares burned in a hot fire.

Do the Tares think that they are wheat? Do they believe that they are helpful in the garden as perhaps the adversary claimed in the Garden before God? Do the trees that grow up and shove roots into the foundation to crack and destroy it -- do they think that they are doing right? Do they think that the Gardner is never coming -- that he delayeth is coming? Or do they anticipate his arrival even with possible eagerness? Do apostates and fellow travelers who want to direct or coerce the Prophets and Apostles to manage the Church the way that they prefer -- do they really think that they are doing God's work? Are they sort of secret atheists or agnostics, not believing in the divinity of the Church and thinking that the Church is a man-made and totally man-run organization that will bend to and twist and move in the winds of opposition?

[...]

So.. what say you? What of the Tares?

Even though am trying to wrap my head around the central idea in your post (as i understand it to be): that apostates (may) also consider themselves "wheat". I just want to share my understanding of your "thoughts"

the first: I would want to believe that God being a gardener (following your analogy points my mind to Alma 13), had an agreement with the tree before the plantation began. Hence the tree venturing to perform another duty other than that agreed upon is a breach of contract, thus it should not seem capricious to the tree if God enacts the decreed consequence.

the second: i believe pages of the scriptures are repleted with numerous "tares" having a firm belief that they are "wheats", thus are doing "right" ; being helpful in the garden.

This is the exact state of these "apostates" (even though i don't like tagging them thus), i know they believe they're doing the right (off-course, we also believe/know we're doing the right as well), so in the end ONLY God KNOWS. But we walk by faith, believe/know we're in the right path, with the hope (which the apostates also have) that in the end we would be "wheats" not "Tares".

[Just my perceptions!]

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So.. what say you? What of the Tares?

I think there are all kinds of tares, all bad. From Jacon 5:32 (and elsewhere), "...there are all kinds of bad fruit; and it profiteth me nothing, notwithstanding all our labor…”

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With all due respect Tacenda, sounds like you were doing a lot of unnecessary and unrighteous judging... something a staunch LDS should not do as that goes against our teachings.

I consider myself "staunch LDS" and I have no trouble talking to members who smell of cigarettes, inactive members, non-members, people with tatoos/earrings, etc etc.

GG

It's not that I judged. I just didn't feel like we could be best buds because our lifestyles were so different, I absolutely felt love for them but set myself apart from them subconsciously not thinking I was better but thinking we didn't have much in common. I really wish I could go back and change how I put that in my post. I know most staunch LDS wouldn't feel that way it was just me. I felt like they were even judging me because on alot of occasions when family came to town they would get together and say if there was something I had to do in church I felt like they thought I put church over family.

Edited by Tacenda
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It's not that I judged. I just didn't feel like we could be best buds because our lifestyles were so different, I absolutely felt love for them but set myself apart from them subconsciouslly not thinking I was better but thinking we didn't have much in common. I really wish I could go back and chang how I put that in my post. I know most staunch LDS wouldn't feel that way it was just me. I felt like they were even judging me because on alot of occasions when family came to town they would get together and say if there was something I had to do in church I felt like they thought I put church over family.

I think that some LDS do get caught up in this sense of inability to really relate to those that have a different lifestyle. However, this is not something that is part of teachings, but has more to do with a certain part of a culture found within the group. We may be a particular people, but we should never be a clicquish people. Too easily a sanctimonious mind-set takes place with a minority of LDS (God, please let it always be a small minority) and they tend to want to judge others from drinking coke, coffee, tea, you name it and they will judge it. They also want, if not demand, that everyone wear a suit on Sundays, require men to be clean-shaven, and the list goes on.

Never should we perceive that because someone is different they are not as righteous as we are. This is a weakness found mostly with those who are proud; they have forgotten that a LDS, just as with priesthood holders, are servants of humanity first. We have programs in the Church that try to teach us to love others and serve them, but we too quickly think that we only need to serve our hometeaching families and no one else.

Tacenda, you are just like the rest of us. We all feel guilt for the things we have done wrong in the past. We each need to learn to forgive ourselves and make sure that we do better in the future.

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This is the exact state of these "apostates" (even though i don't like tagging them thus), i know they believe they're doing the right (off-course, we also believe/know we're doing the right as well), so in the end ONLY God KNOWS. But we walk by faith, believe/know we're in the right path, with the hope (which the apostates also have) that in the end we would be "wheats" not "Tares".

[Just my perceptions!]

Thanks. Perceptions and comments were interesting.

I see this:

"so in the end ONLY God KNOWS. But we walk by faith, believe/know we're in the right path, with the hope (which the apostates also have) that in the end we would be "wheats" not "Tares"."

I don't really want to play "Devils advocate".. he has enough of those, but doesn't this seem unfair to the "Tares"? Part of my post was related to that issue -- shouldn't they know? How would they?

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Yes, he's he only one doing the tasting in Jacob 5.

hmmm...

I didn't notice that,

but I noticed the labour's view contributed to a great extent in influencing decisions - meaning he is a key player.

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Yes, he's he only one doing the tasting in Jacob 5.

I am not sure how far to stretch such parables but I note that while it is the Master who tastes and nourishes, it is the Servant who cuts down and burns things.

To me, this passage was always so touching and heart rending:

"And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard wept, and said unto the servant: What could I have done more for my vineyard? Behold, I knew that all the fruit of the vineyard, save it were these, had become corrupted. And now these which have once brought forth good fruit have also become corrupted; and now all the trees of my vineyard are good for nothing save it be to be hewn down and cast into the fire."

How do the tares ever learn that they are tares? Or does it not matter?

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And CAS., to your post #12:

"For now we see through a glass, darkly;..." [1Cor. 13:12] I doubt they (like myself KNOW), but believe.

My Point: If there was a premortal life, then their acts now is a breach of contract (which the Lord thru the prophet is reminding them), then there are "Tares".

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I am not sure how far to stretch such parables but I note that while it is the Master who tastes and nourishes, it is the Servant who cuts down and burns things.

To me, this passage was always so touching and heart rending:

"And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard wept, and said unto the servant: What could I have done more for my vineyard? Behold, I knew that all the fruit of the vineyard, save it were these, had become corrupted. And now these which have once brought forth good fruit have also become corrupted; and now all the trees of my vineyard are good for nothing save it be to be hewn down and cast into the fire."

How do the tares ever learn that they are tares? Or does it not matter?

Ok, I have to ask here....I always thought my dad was the epitomy of a good christian...from him taking care of my mom with alzheimers and helping his neighbor and helping so many and the way he touched the lives of those in the care center where my mom eventually ended up. He would go around and cheer the lonely and weak and suffering in the care centers that my mom ended up in, which were many. She suffered for 10 yrs. with it.

And he had some issues with WoW, he drank coffee, he cussed a little and told some bad jokes, he never cracked open the scriptures, didn't attend church when my mom got worse. Now compare him with the Stake President that can check off each item in the checkbox of LDS life. Is the Stake Pres. the wheat and my dad the tare? I guess I'm just not getting who they are yet? The active LDS, temple goer, and so on, or the smoker dude that shows love to his neighbor and does things that aren't really seen by most people?

Edited by Tacenda
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Is the Stake Pres. the wheat and my dad the tare? I guess I'm just not getting who they are yet? The active LDS, temple goer, and so on, or the smoker dude that shows love to his neighbor and does things that aren't really seen by most people?

I like the questions.. but I don't have good answers.

I am pretty sure I know some Tares when I see them. And I believe I can spot some Wheat. But maybe its the nature of tares that they look like wheat and we can't really tell the difference at some points in the development of the plant.

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I think that there is something to the fact that Tares cannot change their nature --- but perhaps we can.

so long as we don't "kick against the pricks". [D&C 121:38]

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So.. what say you? What of the Tares?

D&C 101:65-66 has a good description of this.

Therefore, I must gather together my people, according to the parable of the wheat and the tares, that the wheat may

be secured in the garners to possess eternal life, and be crowned with celestial glory, when I shall come in the kingdom

of my Father to reward every man according as his work shall be; While the tares shall be bound in bundles, and their

bands made strong, that they may be burned with unquenchable fire”.

Regards,

Jim

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D&C 101:65-66 has a good description of this.

Therefore, I must gather together my people, according to the parable of the wheat and the tares, that the wheat may

be secured in the garners to possess eternal life, and be crowned with celestial glory, when I shall come in the kingdom

of my Father to reward every man according as his work shall be; While the tares shall be bound in bundles, and their

bands made strong, that they may be burned with unquenchable fire”.

Regards,

Jim

A good quote. I was thinking about the time before that burning. And also --- perhaps --- how does someone avoid being one of those Tares?

A Calvinist might say: "I have been cut down because of God's good pleasure which has a great and wonderful purpose."

I might say: "I did not know I was a tare -- could someone have warned me? Would I have listened anyway?"

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How do the tares ever learn that they are tares? Or does it not matter?

One kind of tare is addressed in Mormon 9 (those tares that do not believe in Christ despite every opportunity to accept Him). Some of these may be apostates (which are what I think the parable refers to) and some may not be. Another kind is addressed in Matthew 25:41-46 (those tares that treat people badly despite believing or claiming to believe in Christ). In this case, apostasy comes in the form of hypocrisy. Both seem to learn they are tares by a sudden dawning at the Judgment, but this realization can also occur at any time prior to that as well, and is an opportunity to repent.

Tares, in terms of apostates who think they are doing the right thing are thinking so only after having rebelled against the light they once had. Their lack of awareness is a fruit of their apostasy. They are walking in darkness at noonday. An example of this is in D&C 95 (note verses 5 and 6). I think these can repent as well, but not after the final judgment.

Following the example of the Lord, we can only labor and reach out in love (and sometimes "tough love"), and not seek to destroy them until He says enough is enough.

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In this case, apostasy comes in the form of hypocrisy. Both seem to learn they are tares by a sudden dawning at the Judgment, but this realization can also occur at any time prior to that as well, and is an opportunity to repent.

I want to repent of all my Tare-ish ways. And not merely because I do not want to be burned. I want to be Wheat.

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I want to repent of all my Tare-ish ways. And not merely because I do not want to be burned. I want to be Wheat.

I'd say that's a good non-tare-ish attitude to have!

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