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Wheat and Tares and Tolerance


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"Jesus sometimes taught using parables. Parables are short stories that use familiar things to teach gospel truths.

One parable that Jesus taught while he was in Galilee was about wheat and tares (a kind of weed). Jesus said that a man who had a field planted good wheat seed in it. While he slept, someone came and planted tares, which look a lot like wheat as they grow, in the same field. All the seeds started to grow, and blades of wheat and tares broke through the ground.

A worker in the field noticed the tares growing with the wheat. He asked the owner, “Didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?” (Matt. 13:27).

The owner of the field said that an enemy must have planted the tares. When the worker asked if the tares should be pulled up and destroyed, the owner said no. If the tares were weeded out, he explained, a lot of the wheat would be destroyed, too, since they were growing side by side.

So the wheat and the tares were both allowed to grow until harvesttime. Then the owner told the reapers to first gather and store the wheat safely in the barn. After that was finished, they were to gather the tares into bundles and burn them.

When Jesus’ disciples were alone with him, they asked him to explain the parable. Jesus said that the sower of the good seed represented himself and the Apostles; the field represented the world; the good seed, his righteous followers; and the tares, those who follow Satan. Satan was the sower of the tares. The harvest represented the end of the world, and the reapers represented angels.

Right now good and bad people are allowed to “grow” together. But at the end of the world, angels will separate the righteous from the unrighteous. The unrighteous—those who have chosen to break the commandments—will be punished and will wail and gnash their teeth. However, the righteous—those who have chosen to keep the commandments—will “shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matt. 13:43).

When we come to earth, we are given the freedom to choose between good and evil. It is up to us to choose whether we will be like the wheat or the tares."

---

I've read many pages of this forum before joining. I've noticed while the intent of this forum is to build and educate on a number of topics, (NO POLITICS... but sometimes politics), there are many who would have the Church change according to their personal beliefs and not according to the well established doctrines of the Church. Almost as if they want God and his servants to accommodate sin. 

President Nelson taught, "Tolerance is a virtue much needed in our turbulent world. But we must recognize that there is a difference between tolerance and tolerate. Your gracious tolerance for an individual does not grant him or her license to do wrong, nor does your tolerance obligate you to tolerate his or her misdeed. That distinction is fundamental to an understanding of this vital virtue."

 

"20 For behold, at that day shall he arage in the bhearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.

21 And others will he apacify, and lull them away into carnal bsecurity, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the cdevil dcheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell." -2 Nephi 28

My question is, do you believe tolerance of sin to the point of acceptance of sin is what will cause those who were once wheat to be choked and starved of their testimonies by the tares?

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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

This is a key element of this parable.  Tares are believed to be a plant called bearded darnel which looks a lot like wheat but can bring sickness, even hallucinations.

In other words a tare growing with the wheat is a member, not an outsider.  And it can literally bring false and delusive spirits to the Church.  It was not just about sin but about false teachings masquerading as truth that poisons from within.

Its sister parable would be the wolf in sheep's clothing.

Exactly. That is why I included the scripture in 2 Nephi 28. These are members being carefully led away by the adversary.  "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of bdoctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive"

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14 hours ago, PeaceKeeper said:

"Jesus sometimes taught using parables. Parables are short stories that use familiar things to teach gospel truths.

One parable that Jesus taught while he was in Galilee was about wheat and tares (a kind of weed). Jesus said that a man who had a field planted good wheat seed in it. While he slept, someone came and planted tares, which look a lot like wheat as they grow, in the same field. All the seeds started to grow, and blades of wheat and tares broke through the ground.

A worker in the field noticed the tares growing with the wheat. He asked the owner, “Didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?” (Matt. 13:27).

The owner of the field said that an enemy must have planted the tares. When the worker asked if the tares should be pulled up and destroyed, the owner said no. If the tares were weeded out, he explained, a lot of the wheat would be destroyed, too, since they were growing side by side.

So the wheat and the tares were both allowed to grow until harvesttime. Then the owner told the reapers to first gather and store the wheat safely in the barn. After that was finished, they were to gather the tares into bundles and burn them.

When Jesus’ disciples were alone with him, they asked him to explain the parable. Jesus said that the sower of the good seed represented himself and the Apostles; the field represented the world; the good seed, his righteous followers; and the tares, those who follow Satan. Satan was the sower of the tares. The harvest represented the end of the world, and the reapers represented angels.

Right now good and bad people are allowed to “grow” together. But at the end of the world, angels will separate the righteous from the unrighteous. The unrighteous—those who have chosen to break the commandments—will be punished and will wail and gnash their teeth. However, the righteous—those who have chosen to keep the commandments—will “shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matt. 13:43).

When we come to earth, we are given the freedom to choose between good and evil. It is up to us to choose whether we will be like the wheat or the tares."

---

I've read many pages of this forum before joining. I've noticed while the intent of this forum is to build and educate on a number of topics, (NO POLITICS... but sometimes politics), there are many who would have the Church change according to their personal beliefs and not according to the well established doctrines of the Church. Almost as if they want God and his servants to accommodate sin. 

President Nelson taught, "Tolerance is a virtue much needed in our turbulent world. But we must recognize that there is a difference between tolerance and tolerate. Your gracious tolerance for an individual does not grant him or her license to do wrong, nor does your tolerance obligate you to tolerate his or her misdeed. That distinction is fundamental to an understanding of this vital virtue."

 

"20 For behold, at that day shall he arage in the bhearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.

21 And others will he apacify, and lull them away into carnal bsecurity, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the cdevil dcheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell." -2 Nephi 28

My question is, do you believe tolerance of sin to the point of acceptance of sin is what will cause those who were once wheat to be choked and starved of their testimonies by the tares?

Virtual upvote: +1

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4 hours ago, rpn said:

I think the wrong takeaway from the parallel is that we are supposed to be hunting or pointing out tares.   That is likely the prophet's charge, and a bishop's for his own congregation.  But too often humans make judgments about others that are completely wrong, and often unrighteous.   


Agreed.

I see no indication in the parable that the role of those who consider themselves "wheat" is to pass judgment on who is or is not a "tare", much less to create divisions based on those judgments.   As @JLHPROF pointed out, a key point of the parable is that it is apparently very difficult if not impossible to reliably separate the wheat and the tares, and also according to the parable it would be premature to do so before the end of the world.  And even then, that is the job of the angels, not of the wheat. 

I think it would be a mistake to interpret this parable as a call to judge our neighbor.  That is not our role, so I don't think it's what Christ intended. 

Recall also that "the field" is "the world", so this parable is not limited to the Church. 

How can we know who in the world the good seed - the wheat - the followers of Christ - are? 

"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." 

3 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

I think the takeaway isn't to seek out the tares but to be sure we don't consume tares thinking they're wheat.  If we partake of false ideas, even masquerading as gospel truth, we will inevitably fall spiritually ill.

It's not about people - their sin or righteousness, it's about the ideas people teach, promote, and justify.  Even good people, faithful members, can be among the wheat of gospel truth and cultivate the tares of false doctrine especially in our current society.

I agree with this interpretation.  I think we are to be wise as serpents when it comes to which ideas we align with (acknowledging that our ideas may progress as we progress), but I think we are to be consistently harmless as doves when it comes to people.   

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1 hour ago, Buckeye said:

Can you point to a single example of someone on this board sincerely promoting something they (not you) think is sinful? I can’t find one.
 

I do see plenty of disagreement as to whether something is right or wrong, but all seem to be promoting what they believe is good. That’s a fundamental reason why I find value in the board. If it were otherwise, this would be just another worthless comment board like so much of the internet. 

False doctrine is false, even if we believe it true.  We are deceived.  That's why tares are also known as "false wheat".

If we could tell the difference easily the adversary wouldn't bother sowing the tares.

I've always said people don't have to be sinners or evil to be wrong.  That goes for politics as well as religion.  Conspiracy theorists are easily identifiable because they assume the person pushing an agenda they disagree with is automatically an evil person.  Usually those pushing evil agendas believe them good and are simply deceived.

People promote sin not recognizing it as sin all the time.  Probably most of us have done it at least once.  Avoid the false wheat beliefs.

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9 hours ago, Buckeye said:

Can you point to a single example of someone on this board sincerely promoting something they (not you) think is sinful? I can’t find one.

There are a lot of people out there that say eating other people is wrong and it surely is a sin. What we need to consider is whether other people are delicious enough to make the sin worth it.

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10 hours ago, teddyaware said:

For many years, I believed the devil’s counterfeit plan of salvation was centered of forcing people to keep the letter of God’s law, and it is by this oppressive means (compulsion) that he would destroy the agency of man. But since then I’ve come to believe the idea of Satan forcing people “to be good” is incorrect. My thinking has shifted, at least in part, because I now realize there’s more than one way to destroy the agency of man. 

What I now believe is that Lucifer’s unworkable, agency destroying plan was centered on the mistaken notion that men can be saved in their sins, casting aside the divine imperative that men can only obtain salvation by being saved from their sins. The Satanic deception that men can be saved in their sins is based on the agency destroying heresy that sin should go unpunished in the name of misplaced compassion, excesses of mercy untempered by satisfying the demands of the immutable law of justice.

I believe this destructive, soul destroying false doctrine of allowing mercy to overpower the demands of justice, without justice and mercy being brought into harmony divine, is a prescription for inevitable disaster and unremitting misery. It is only by exercising faith in Christ and his great sacrifice for sin, feeling genuine sorrow for sin and transgression followed by sincere and effectual repentance, and finally receiving divine pardon and healing through Christ that men can be saved.

More and more members now appear to be making all kinds of excuses for sin, which is one step away from beginning to say there is no sin and therefore no need for an infinite and eternal atoning sacrifice of God. Satan’s false plan of salvation would do nothing less than deprive mankind of any chance for peace and happiness, for there is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven upon which all blessings are predicated and wickedness can never bring salvation and happiness.

13 And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away. (2 Nephi 2)

An excellent example of the “stairstep” parallelism or anadiplosis. Key words or phrases are repeated and form a ladder that leads to the main point the writer is trying to make. Book of Mormon writers used this form to teach important doctrines, most often having to do with the Plan of Salvation. In this case he  teaching the necessity of opposition (good vs evil) in God’s Plan.

And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil.

And the law is given unto men….

And if ye shall say there is no law,

ye shall also say there is no sin.

If ye shall say there is no sin,

ye shall also say there is no righteousness.

And if there be no righteousness

there be no happiness.

And if there be no righteousness nor happiness

there be no punishment nor misery.

And if these things are not

there is no God.

And if there is no God

we are not,

neither the earth;

for there could have been no creation of things,

neither to act nor to be acted upon;

wherefore, all things must have vanished away.

And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning;

for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon.

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17 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

We discussed this in our elders quorum lesson on the second Sunday last month. 'Progressive' Western culture has purposely sought to gut all institutions that teach sin, guilt, and repentance, but only Christ can remove the natural consequences of sin, resulting in an upwelling of misery for those who no longer know how to repent or, perhaps more importantly, no longer believe repentance is even desirable.

It's a societal death wish -- one that cannot be fixed by all the counsellors, psychologists, and anti-depressants in 10,000 worlds.

That sounds like a worrying cultural trend but I found a solution.

used-to-care-but-now-have-pill-for-that-

 

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19 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Indeed. As we learn in Alma 1, Alma 30, and elsewhere, anything that denies the absolute and inescapable need for repentance and the Atonement is literally anti-Christ. It doesn't matter whether the false teaching is 'whatsoever a man does is no sin', 'in the end, all men shall have eternal life', 'be true to one's authentic self', 'I was born this way', 'God loves you just the way you are', or anything else that defends or celebrates the natural man.

We discussed this in our elders quorum lesson on the second Sunday last month. 'Progressive' Western culture has purposely sought to gut all institutions that teach sin, guilt, and repentance, but only Christ can remove the natural consequences of sin, resulting in an upwelling of misery for those who no longer know how to repent or, perhaps more importantly, no longer believe repentance is even desirable.

It's a societal death wish -- one that cannot be fixed by all the counsellors, psychologists, and anti-depressants in 10,000 worlds.

do you honestly believe this pure nonsense? Do you not know that while the natural man is an enemy to God, God is not an enemy to the natural man? Are you prepared to tell someone sorry but your genetic predisposition makes you unlovable by God, your abuse at the hands of your LDS Bishop father makes you unlovable by God. your need to go to therapy makes you unlovable by God. If you don't want to celebrate the "natural man" then don't  be a capitalist as that is pure Korihor thinking.  What institutions are not teaching sin, guilt and repentance? Do you think you can eat what you want, rot your teeth and your dentist will be happy? do you think you can break the law and the justice dept. will be happy about it? Why don't you you grow up and not wait for others to do stuff for you already, quit complaining about "Progressive western culture" 

I would hate to be in your EQ class and listen to this garbage

Edited by Duncan
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3 hours ago, Brahms said:

I accept sin as what it is, sin, and so far my acceptance of sin hasn't caused me to lose my testimony from God.  God has taught me a lot about sin and has been specific enough with me to let me know which types of acts or thoughts constitute sin.  I accept all that God has taught me about sin, and still I accept what God said.  So I think that to lose or forget about my testimony from God, I would need to 1) deny what God has taught me about sin, 2) think and dwell on any thoughts contrary to what God has taught me, and 3) ignore any further thoughts or counsel from God in preference to those other contrary thoughts.  Then, I think, that would result in me losing or forgetting about whatever God has taught and tries to teach me.  I think I came very close to that happening to me but later I remembered something God had taught me.

There have always been and there always will be some people who share some thoughts contrary to the thoughts of God.  I think we can all safely say that.  Hearing from those people doesn't necessarily cause us to lose our testimony from God; however, at least not while we also listen to God and prefer his thoughts over and above thoughts from people who are in opposition to his thoughts and feelings.

When I say "accept sin" I mean to allow it into our lives personally without repentance or to defend the sin because someone we love struggles with the sin. 

We are commanded to repent, so I don't think the acceptance of sin based on that thought is hard to understand.

We are also commanded to love one another. That does not mean we have to tolerate or accept the behavior of the sinner. The defense of the sinner's action puts us in the position of defending the sin. We can easily say, "I love him, even though he does these things contrary to God's law". That way we Love God and our Neighbor. We must also be humble enough to acknowledge that that sinner can say the same thing about us, as we are all sinners. I would hope no one accepts my sins, in this sense, because of their love for me.

I forget who said it but they said something to the effect of, "Do not hate me because I sin differently than you". We can love each other and not accept the sins we commit. Together we can work to throw off the natural man and draw closer to the open arms of Christ, who literally pleads for our repentance so we would not have to suffer like he did. That is the mission of the Church. 

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On 10/2/2022 at 1:42 PM, Buckeye said:

Can you point to a single example of someone on this board sincerely promoting something they (not you) think is sinful? I can’t find one.
 

I do see plenty of disagreement as to whether something is right or wrong, but all seem to be promoting what they believe is good. That’s a fundamental reason why I find value in the board. If it were otherwise, this would be just another worthless comment board like so much of the internet. 

Sexual sins, which for some reason seem to dominate portions of the page.

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32 minutes ago, PeaceKeeper said:

I forget who said it but they said something to the effect of, "Do not hate me because I sin differently than you".

Elder Uchtdorf quoting a bumper sticker he claims to have seen: '“Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you'.

Quote

We must also be humble enough to acknowledge that that sinner can say the same thing about us, as we are all sinners. I would hope no one accepts my sins, in this sense, because of their love for me.

This. We are all in the exact same boat, and each person's need for repentance is as great as any other's.

And in the end, all (but the Sons of Perdition) will have repented of every single sin and will be fully cleansed and redeemed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Might as well get started now!

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3 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Elder Uchtdorf quoting a bumper sticker he claims to have seen: '“Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you'.

This. We are all in the exact same boat, and each person's need for repentance is as great as any other's.

And in the end, all (but the Sons of Perdition) will have repented of every single sin and will be fully cleansed and redeemed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Might as well get started now!

You obviously believe there's a particular way to goodness and particular solution to evil. Yet you don't have a monopoly on the truth. Nobody does. 

Calling someone the worst kind of evil because they fundamentally disagree with your particular path to goodness is essentially a parlor trick. It's an easy, obvious way to a very dubious conclusion. It glosses over so many other good paths and good honest people who are truly joyful without the path you designate as right. Of course if anyone thinks about that very long that causes confusion and dissonance. Then, claiming it will all be sorted in a particular way is an easy way to avoid that cognitive dissonance and avoid accountability for spreading harmful ideas.

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53 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

You obviously believe there's a particular way to goodness ...

To goodness, no. To salvation, an unapologetic yes!

Quote

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

 

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I'm short on time at the moment, so I haven't reviewed the thread exhaustively.  I lay no claim to particularly penetrating or cogent insight, but my recent study has included a rather extensive review of the parable of the wheat and the tares, from several sources.  The nature of tares is that they are difficult to tell apart from wheat until the two have reached a certain state of maturity.  One who, in one's anxiety to rid the field of tares, attempts to uproot them prematurely is likely to take a good deal of the wheat right along with them.  Only when both types of plants have almost matured fully is it possible to tell the one from the other.

And of course, Christ makes this point in the parable itself, in Matthew 13.  When the Master learned that tares had been mixed in with the wheat, he told the servants:
 

Quote

 

28 ... An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

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.

 

Is it important to uproot the tares?  Yes, absolutely.  However, as the writer of Ecclesiastes reminded us, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: ...  a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted ..."  Ecclesiastes 3:1-2.  And as King Benjamin said, "See that all these things are done in wisdom and order."  Mosiah 4:27.

Edited by Kenngo1969
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