Jacob 5 - 7

April 08, 2024 00:55:10
Jacob 5 - 7
Weekly Deep Dive: A Come Follow Me Podcast
Jacob 5 - 7

Apr 08 2024 | 00:55:10

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Show Notes

The allegory of the olive tree. What is means. What is the vineyard? What are the trees? What are the branches? What is the fruit? Difference between tame and wild. Transcript: 00:00:01 Welcome to the weekly Deep Dive podcast on the add on Education network. 00:00:07 The podcast where we take a look at the weekly come follow me discussion and try to add a little insight and unique perspective. I am your host, Jason Lloyd, and as you may have guessed, I am not in the studio. I’m actually in my basement on my own little home office here, …
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Episode Transcript

[00:00:01] Welcome to the weekly Deep Dive podcast on the add on Education network. [00:00:07] The podcast where we take a look at the weekly come follow me discussion and try to add a little insight and unique perspective. I am your host, Jason Lloyd, and as you may have guessed, I am not in the studio. I'm actually in my basement on my own little home office here, trying to make a semi decent recording for you guys at home to listen to without a producer. And obviously, there is a large difference in the production quality of me dabbling here on the side versus Nate with the full blown studio doing this for years. So I apologize for the lack of intro music. I apologize for the lack of refinement in the sound and the quality of the podcast, and I apologize for the lack of Nate. Nate's out of town this week. He had some work, and we couldn't quite get together to make this happen on another time. So I'm gonna fly solo on tonight, and we've got a few things to talk about in Jacob as we're going to the allegory of the olive tree. [00:01:11] And before I. Before I launched down this road, I felt like now would be a good time to talk about conference. Yeah, we just had it this. This past weekend, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I know it's not fair to say, oh, this conference was good. They're all good, right? They're all good. [00:01:31] And I don't know, maybe just feels like it because you're in the moment, but it always feels like whatever conference you're in seems to be the best one. But I really enjoyed this one. [00:01:41] And for me personally, I found a lot of messages, a lot of hope, a lot of things that I was looking for a lot of answers to prayers in going through these conference. So, I mean, I guess that's part of the game, right? But another thing that maybe I should bring out here on the show for. For Nate and I, we've been going down this. This exploratory road of covenants. What are covenants? Ordinances? And trying to really better understand this ourselves and dive through it with you guys and have kind of this experience. It's been something that's been on our mind a lot. I'm sure you guys are aware of that because it's. It seems like it makes its way into the show. Not too long ago, in two nephi 31, we kind of dove into the baptismal covenant and sacrament. And for me, it was great to see such focus and emphasis in general conference, talking about covenants. [00:02:38] I loved it, and I felt like we got more insight, more defining of what they are. I loved Elder Oaks, Elder Oaks president, Oaks talk and the clarity that he was able to bring to the subject and the parallels, talking about different oaths and covenants, even in similarities, when he's talking about emergency services or wedding and what he pulled into it. Honestly, I. I really enjoyed what he had to share. I'm sure Nate's gonna have some more thoughts on this, and so I'll wait for him to be back next week before we comment too much more down this road, but just some early insight for me. Anyways, I really appreciated that. I enjoyed it. I felt like. [00:03:23] I feel like there was a lot brought to the table to add some clarity to define where we stand and to help us better understand our relationship with God and the covenant relationship that we enter into. So just my two cent for what it's worth. And maybe it is just worth the $0.02, maybe it's not even worth that. But let's. Let's dive in. So I wanted to talk about Jacob five, and this is the allegory of the olive tree. And as we dive into this, let me first just kind of give you guys a heads up. I apologize in advance if this episode is going to run maybe a little bit shorter than what you're used to, and maybe for you guys, that's actually a good thing, and I shouldn't be apologizing. Maybe. Maybe you're celebrating. So in any case, and maybe I shouldn't even say how long it's going to be until I actually finish recording this and we see how long it's going to be. But that being said, let's take a look at Jacob, chapter five. And this is going to be, like I said, the allegory of the olive tree. I feel like there's a little bit of context I can help provide you with when you're reading the story, if you're feeling completely lost, that maybe you can understand this a little bit cleaner. [00:04:31] In my eyes as I read this story, I understand the VINEyard to be the earth, the world, and the trees to represent nations or geographical locations in this world. [00:04:52] So the one tree that he kind of prizes here I look at as the seed of AbrahAM. And this is the covenant that he's made with AbrahAm. Abraham. And geographically speaking, he's talking about Israel, the land of Canaan, the land that he swore to Abraham that he would give to him. And that eventually he does when he brings them out of EgyPt into this promised land. So this is where I think the focus of this story is, and if that's the tree, then the branches of the tree, I feel, are the individual people. [00:05:35] This is a family tree, right? Christ is a branch from the house of David. The branches, I feel like, are people, and therefore the fruit are the actions of people. So if we were to walk through this process, the vineyard is the earth, the tree is the geographical or the nation, the country. [00:05:54] The branch are the people within that country. And therefore the fruit are the actions that the people are doing what they're producing. [00:06:05] Now, there's also another important thing that's being brought up here, and that is the distinction between wild and tame. And I hope you caught that as you're reading through Jacob five. And he talks about this wild tree and this tame tree. [00:06:19] And I understand clearly the difference between a wild and a tame animal, right? If it's a tame animal, it's a pet. It's living in my house. [00:06:33] That's. That's very different from a wild animal, right? I happen to have a couple of cats, and these cats, they go to the bathroom in the litter box, they have their food, and, and they just, they behave a certain way that's expected, as opposed to maybe if I were to go find a mountain lion or a cougar or something and bring it into my house, it would be a very different experience, or a lion. [00:07:03] And so for me to look at a wild animal versus a tame animal, it becomes very, very apparent very quickly the differences between those two. When we talk about trees being wild and tame, I think there are a lot of gardeners out here that maybe this difference is very clear to see. But for some of us, maybe it's not quite as obvious. [00:07:27] And I think the difference is a tree that as well groomed, in a sense, it's pruned each year and it's got the suckers that are cut off being shaped in a certain way, and it's expected to grow. So you don't want these super high branches that you're not even going to be able to reach to get the fruit off. You're going to maybe cut some of those off and focus on producing branches and within reach of you. And you're going to try to not put all of these energy into these sucker branches that are going to steal energy so that the fruit doesn't get as much energy. And you're going to thin the tree. You're not going to have a ton of fruit in a short area to where they're competing with each other. You're going to start thinning that off to give it the best chance for success, as opposed to wild, you're not doing anything. So if we were to try to look at the difference between a tame tree and a wild tree, tame is something that, in a sense, you're giving up, maybe even some freedoms. And I feel like this was talked about in the conference as well. When, when we talked about sacrificing, and even in the same talk, it was President Oaks he was talking about, when we're making oaths and covenants, we are sacrificing some of that agency or that will, for expectations, right? If I. If I am making a covenant or an oath with my wife, to be married to her, to commit to her, to live my life with her, then in that commitment, I am choosing not to do other things that would pull me away from her. I'm not going to be having relationships with other women. I'm not going to be doing things without consulting her. I'm not going to. I give up a lot of my personal choices or abilities to choose to commit to this relationship. [00:09:30] And I think that's the difference between tame and wild. When we talk about these trees, the trees that are tame are trees that maybe have cut off some of their options. These sucker branches, they've cut off some of these fruit. They're not pursuing all of these different things. They're focusing their energy on a specific goal. They're giving up or sacrificing some things they could do to try to be successful with what they want to do. [00:10:03] And another way of putting this, I think you look at it, and it's the difference between order and chaos. [00:10:14] And go look at the creative process. When God creates the world and the spirit of God moves upon the face of the waters, what's happening? Well, the water is everywhere, and the wind of God tames the water. And you kind of see this in Christ when he's at the sea of Galilee and his voice calls out, peace, be still, and the waters are calmed. [00:10:37] You have water that's behaving in a way that it has overflown, flown, overflowed, over, surpassed its boundaries. Let's just go with that. I don't have. I don't have nate here to kind of make fun of me for my word choice where you just kind of make fun of me as we go ALong. [00:10:54] It has surpassed its bounds and kind of wants to be everywhere. And the wind of God is calming it, is putting it back within its restrictions. [00:11:05] And you're dividing the water from above the earth to the water below the earth. You're dividing the water from the dry land. Dry land. And creating these boundaries. And you're going to start separating. [00:11:21] And through this separation, you're creating, you're giving purpose. You're deFining, you're putting your energy into a defined goal to make something better than what you could have if chaos was raining. And so chaos is this wild, where the order, the organized, is the tame. And in order for it to be ordered or organized, it must be obedient. [00:11:50] The difference between wild fruit or a wild tree and a tame tree is order and obedience. [00:12:03] And go back to a marriage, obedience to the law of chastity, obedience to this commitment, this relationship, this covenant that you are making with this person. [00:12:19] You are sacrificing the chaos. You're actually slaying the chaos, calming it, putting an end to it. I'm not going to. And instead, you're focusing on the structure, this order, this organization. [00:12:33] And it's so interesting because you go to the very beginning, and what was the whole fight in heaven over? And the fight in heaven was for agency. [00:12:43] And yet you look at it and say, wait a second. God is wanting to establish our agency and give us all the agency in the world. [00:12:52] And Satan's the one that's trying to take over that agency and say, no, I will force everyone to be good. I will take everyone's choice away, and I will have them do this. So God was the champion of agency. Yet isn't obedience to God the slaying of that, the getting away, of giving away of our choice for not being as free? [00:13:15] And that's the paradox, right? That somehow with obedience, we actually obtain to a higher freedom. [00:13:24] But the secret there is in this equation is that I can't be forced to do this. I must freely choose to give up in order to get it. I mean, this is what Christ is saying. Those who lose their life shall find it, but those who try to keep their life shall lose it. So there's this interesting paradox about what it means to truly be free. And I think most of us get this. I think most of us have enough life experience to realize that if I value my ability to choose, I am going to prescribe to certain laws that will allow me to continue enjoying the greatest amount of choice. [00:14:14] And it might not sound right, but it is. We will see it. We can see it every day, right? We can see it every day and think, I want to be free. [00:14:32] Let's say. [00:14:33] Let's maybe dive into a few examples of this. [00:14:38] There are all sorts of choices in the world. Let's say that one choice I have that I want to make is to be free to play an amazing piece of music on the piano. That's a choice that I want to make. I I want to have that. I want to have that gift. I want to develop that. I want to be free to be able to. To move my fingers fluidly on those keys, to be able to make this music, to be able to produce it, to. To put emotion into it, to make it so that as I play this, I don't just hear it, but I feel it. And I want to put everything into this and make this sound just incredible. [00:15:22] I want that freedom. Can't I have everything I want, but I also want all of these other freedoms, right? I want the freedom to do this and the freedom to do that and the freedom to do this. Here's the deal. I will never be free to play like I just described. If I don't first sacrifice some of these other things that are competing for my time, I can't. I can't have it. [00:15:49] So the crux of this, even if I think I don't want to sacrifice anything, I'll just let chaos reign. Then really what I've done is sacrificed already a higher level of achievement in certain things that I could have valued a lot more. [00:16:10] And if I spend my time chasing every single thing, at the end of the day, I find out that I gained nothing because I didn't develop that skill, I didn't develop those talents. I didn't develop that gift to be able to do it by not sacrificing anything, I have already sacrificed everything. [00:16:34] It's interesting. It's. I don't know. I find it super interesting. And we could get into the philosophy with this, and we could dive down this tunnel, and I'm sure if Nate was here, he would have some things to say. I would love to hear what you guys have to say about these thoughts, but for, for simplicity's sake, going back to the allegory of the olive tree and help us kind of make some sense of this. [00:16:58] A tame tree in my mind as I read this and try to understand it, a tame tree is a tree that has the commandments of God, a tree that has the word of God and that has covenanted with God to obey those commandments, right? [00:17:20] It has prescribed to. In order to obtain a higher level of existence, in order to be like God, to be able to create, to be able to be free like God. It is willing to not kill, to not have any other gods before God, to order itself, to structure itself, to create itself, to being like God. It has received the commandments that are going to help it to maximize its potential and to be producing the best kind of fruit it can. That's a tame tree. [00:17:59] Whereas in a wild tree has not received those commandments, those structures. [00:18:05] It hasn't received those prunings of things that need to be cut out. Thou shalt not. But then also the focus is on what you should be trying to do. [00:18:14] That's, to me, a wild tree. [00:18:18] And as we go down this road and we start looking at how God, as the gardener, grafts branches back and forth, I find this parable very powerful. [00:18:35] We find examples of this all throughout the scriptures. It's one of the easiest things to describe, and they've done it so well in this allegory of the olive tree. [00:18:47] Think going back to the very beginning, we talked about Abraham being this tree and his seed, the covenant that God established with Abraham regarding his seed. And this is going to be the nation of Israel. And he promised him this land in Canaan. [00:19:04] However, what happened? [00:19:10] They were taken from the land that they lived in and brought down to the land of Egypt. Who was taken? The children. [00:19:20] The children of Abraham, the children of Isaac, the children of JaCOb. Jacob and his family. Who are Jacob and his family? It's not the tree itself. Remember, I'm saying that the tree is this geographical location, or this nation or this country. [00:19:37] It's the branches that have been cut out of the land and taken down into Egypt. Why? To preserve them. [00:19:47] They were in a drought. [00:19:49] Things weren't going well. [00:19:51] Boy, you want to talk about the drought? And often drought refers to not just a lack of water, but Water. If we're going to talk about symbolism and understanding the Bible and understanding the Scriptures really well, let's dive into all of these. Water is symbolic of revelation. [00:20:10] And when there is no Water, no rain, and a drought, it's because there is no revelation. You look at the state of JaCOb's family when they were willing to sacrifice one of their brothers, and their dad was so distraught, brought down near to the point of his grave. [00:20:29] I don't know. I kind of look at this and see parallels of Lehi. [00:20:33] When Nephi's bow was broken, and he kind of finds himself in a funk that he needs to be pulled up out of. [00:20:41] And the brothers, I mean, you're missing your Nephi in this case. Who's going to pull Jacob out of this funk? Who's going to guide their family? Who's receiving this revelation to help them. I feel like they're going through a really dark time, and they're going through a darkness in this period where they have somewhat disconnected from the Lord and you experiencing this drought. And the Lord says, look, these branches are important to me. This tree is important to me. [00:21:08] Why? Why is this so important, by the way? This tree is the lineage of Christ. I need to save these branches because they're going to produce the messiah, the atonement. And the fruit of this is the greatest fruit of all. [00:21:23] And so he takes them and he cuts them out of the tree, and he relocates them to another part of the vineyard where they can prosper, where they can thrive. And what's happened you even before he cut them out, he cut one branch out in the form of Joseph and took Joseph to another part of the vineyard, and Joseph was thriving. And not only is Joseph thriving, what's this tame branch doing to this wild tree? [00:21:51] This tame branch is helping tame the tree, that the tree might produce good fruit, and it's saving not just this branch, but the tree itself. And all of these other branches are becoming better branches and producing good fruit and prospering because of this, this grafting. And so we're going to see grafting going back and forth, and sometimes it's a single branch, sometimes it's a bunch of branches. But he's doing this, that he might save perhaps both trees. And there's importance in this, because there's. There is an interplay between the Gentiles and the Israelites, as these two trees all throughout the Bible is very important. [00:22:32] So he's taking these branches and he's grafting them down into this wild tree where they can be nourished, where they can be supported, and where they can grow. But what happens years later, now the wild has taken over, and these natural branches are dying. They're in slavery. They're in bondage. And he's going to lose those branches. What does he have to do? I need to try to take them and put them back into the tree where they came from and see if they can't prosper. [00:23:02] And so he sends Moses, and Moses is going to take those and graft them back into the natural tree, back to the land that he had promised their fathers. [00:23:12] And for a while, they're going to prosper here. [00:23:16] What's going to happen? The Assyrians are going to come down. The Assyrians are going to be destroying the land. And when the Assyrians destroy a country, what do they do? They take the people out of the land from where they are, and they put them in a different part of their kingdom so that they have a hard time unifying and revolting and overthrowing them so that they can keep them calm. [00:23:41] And so they're also taking people from other parts of the lands and putting them into the lands that they conquered. So Israel, the northern kingdom, is going to be populated by people from all over the world. [00:23:54] This is, again, this is how the author here is depicting what God's doing is this. Taking of these branches and taking wild ones and grafting them into the tree and taking the tree, natural ones, and putting them out into other trees and other parts of the vineyard where we might not even be familiar with where they're headed, where they went, or what's going on over there. But the Lord knows they're not lost to him. [00:24:24] And the interesting thing that happens with the Assyrians when they conquer and they do this, is that they notice in the land of Israel that they're not prospering, they're not bringing good fruit. And in Assyria's eyes, good fruit means taxes. [00:24:45] How can I charge good taxes if they're not prospering, if they have a bad economy, if their crops are failing, if they're just not doing well, then why aren't they prospering? Why are they struggling so much? [00:24:58] Well, apparently a bunch of lions were eating up the people in northern Israel, and that was not good for business. And so, as the king of Assyria's counseling and trying to figure out this problem, his wise men tell him, here's the problem. [00:25:15] The people that you have brought into this land don't know the God of that land. They can't worship him, and so they've displeased him, so they can't produce good fruit, their wild branches being grafted into a tame tree. [00:25:31] We need to tame these branches if they're going to produce good fruit. [00:25:38] So what does the king of Assyria do? He takes Levite priests that he had taken out of the land when he conquered, and he brings them back and puts them back into the land. What's he taking? He's taking these natural branches that he had pulled out. And to try to solve the solution, he is grafting them back into the parent tree, and he's trying to balance this so that he can save the tree, so that the wild can be tamed. [00:26:10] And this creates, by the way, the Samaritans and the problems that the Jews have, Jerusalem doesn't fall by the hand of Assyria by the way, they're saved. [00:26:22] And they look at these people in the north, the northern kingdom. There's always been kind of this rivalry ever since the kingdom split. The northern kingdom is headed by Joseph's son, Ephraim. And this is the northern kingdom is called Ephraim. The southern kingdom is called Judah. And you've heard about this, the envy between Ephraim and Judah. There's always been this rivalry and the fact that Ephraim in the north is now not a pure bread, for lack of better term, a pure race of Israelites, but now a conglomeration, a mixing of the Gentiles and the Israelites. And they say, you're not the seed of Abraham. You're the seed of Abraham plus Assyria, Abraham, plus whatever other country that you've mixed with. You're not. You don't. You don't get to have the same blessings. You don't have the same priesthood because you don't have the same purity in your genealogy. And we get the birth of the Samaritans in the north. [00:27:20] But what the Jews, I don't know, looking at their perspective on the north, go back to the story of the Olive TrEe, who is the one that is moving the branches around and who is the one that's trying to save them, and what the Jews, as short sighted as they were at the time. And it's easy for me to say that, right? I don't want to be passing judgment and too critical. And we say this, we're painting with very broad strokes. It's not to say every individual believes this or every individual thought that. I'm just trying to look at history and say in this parable, the Lord is not saying, I have only one tree that I care about. [00:28:08] Remember, his vineyard is the whole world, and he cares about all of them. But through the lens of the tribe of Judah, the Old Testament, how it's written, we are focusing on this one tree, but remember that the whole vineyard is the Lord's, the earth is the Lord's. [00:28:31] And as much as the people of the Old Testament and the people of the New Testament claim Abraham as their father and their birthright and the right to the priesthood and the right to be God's chosen people, what they're missing is all of the stories of the mixing that's happening and how the Lord is trying to save all of his trees and to try to keep going with this theme, this idea. I mean, if we want to go back and understand this, look at the story of when Israel comes out of the land of Egypt after they've wandered for 40 years. [00:29:14] And as they're coming into the land. And what happens when they run into Jericho and the walls that come falling down? [00:29:22] They save Rahab and her family. [00:29:26] Rahab and her family are branches from a wild tree that are being brought into the Israelites, and they prosper. In fact, not only does it prosper, Christ's line comes from Rahab, who wasn't right. [00:29:52] That's the point. [00:29:54] It's a grafting. You can't sit there and be critical and point at people and say you're not of this tree. When Christ, John the Baptist, actually says this very well to the Pharisees, you claim Abraham as your father, but I say to you that God could take these stones and raise up seed unto Abraham. That is the story of this grafting. Go back to the story of Ruth. [00:30:18] And Ruth is a moabite, and it is the israelite sons that go breaking their covenants and leave to go marry the Moabites. What's happening? You have these branches that are pulling away and leaving the tree, and they wither and die. But what happens because of that? This other branch, Ruth, is brought into the heart of Israel and marries Boaz and becomes an ancestor to Christ himself. [00:30:51] Why does Christ's line consist of so many gentiles? [00:31:01] Think about that for a minute before we try to criticize somebody for not being the same religion, for not being the same people, the same birthright, the same nationality, God, from the beginning, to save his people, it has always been about taking some and bringing some here and taking some and putting some there and mixing and trying to stabilize the earth through this, which, even, scientifically speaking, if you want to talk about survival, typically it comes through biodiversity. [00:31:43] The cheetah population is struggling. [00:31:46] And why are they struggling? Because they have no diversity. They're almost all clones of the same one. If you get some sickness, it's going to spread through all of them because they have no diversity there. But the lord has been mixing and taking some and moving some here and taking some here and bringing them in here. And it's quite the process, and it's happening all throughout the scriptures. [00:32:15] After Assyria, Babylon does the same thing. [00:32:21] What happens to the Israelites after Babylon conquers the area? [00:32:26] They are pulled out of their tree, these branches. [00:32:31] Some of them are thrown in the fire, some are destroyed, and some are brought into Babylon and grafted into a different tree. [00:32:42] And here we see Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego. We see Daniel, we see some of these thriving. And not only are they thriving, but because they're thriving, they're helping to save this nation. [00:33:00] Through them, the Gentiles are saved. [00:33:05] But through the Gentiles, the Jews are saved. [00:33:10] Does it not say that the kings shall be their nursing fathers and queens, their nursing mothers, that the Gentiles shall carry the Jews upon their shoulders and establish them in their lands? [00:33:25] The Jews brought the light to us and introduced to the world a belief in God and who he was. [00:33:37] And through respect and mutual love, we can help them be brought back to their covenants, brought back to their land, brought back to a knowledge of their God and restored in place as well as these trees go back and forth, the story of. And I say, the trees. I'm sorry, these branches go back and forth is a better way to say that. Go back to the story of Elijah. [00:34:03] There were a lot of widows in Israel who were starving and suffering in that time of famine, in that time of drought. But to none of them did Elijah come and promise them meal that wouldn't perish except to that gentile woman outside of the house of Israel. [00:34:24] Here you have a Jew, a prophet, a jewish prophet, this branch that was plucked out and taken away from his tree, that he might save this family, grafted into another tree and supported. [00:34:43] And it's interesting, when you read the story about Elijah, it says that he was fed by the ravens for however many days as he lived in the wilderness. Right? [00:34:53] The hebrew word for ravens could easily be translated not as ravens, but Arabs. [00:35:03] It was the Arabs that took him in, that fed him, that took care of him when he was rejected of his own people. [00:35:10] And if you want more on that, go look up the scripture. Go look at the episode we did on that when we were going through the Old Testament last. I guess it would be almost two years now for kind of a more in depth discussion on the Hebrew there and the translation and what that means. [00:35:29] I think it's more significant, this idea, this nourishing. The Gentiles nourished the prophet and cared for him and took care of him, just like Joseph was nourished in Egypt, in which in return, it comes the other way around. Now he is nourishing the widow and taking care of her. [00:35:53] So this story, it's a beautiful story, and it's something that we see throughout all of Israel's history. [00:36:04] We see it, and this is why it was so relevant to Nephi and Jacob, with Lehi being branches from the tree that were taken out of the tree and brought to a different place in the vineyard to a different tree to be nourished there. [00:36:26] Other groups left, other people left. And they have stories all over the place. [00:36:33] Throughout Europe, we read about jewish migrations, and we fast forward to our day today with the restoration of the gospel. [00:36:47] And I think we see a lot of the same thing. [00:36:51] And where would the church be today without the early migrations of the people from Europe, from the old world, who came at a time when the church was vulnerable, when it was being persecuted, when the natural branches here were being overcome by the wild branches, to where they were withering, to where they were going to die? And what happens? [00:37:17] Well, some of those branches were cut out. And you look at the civil war and things that happened here in the United States, but then you also have grafting in of other branches coming in, all of these people who took the gospel, who received the gospel, who migrated here, and the boost in the population of the church to be able to help it survive those early, difficult times. [00:37:43] Now go back and read the story of Jacob, of these olive trees and the branches and the grafting and the going back and forth, and keep in mind all of these stories that I'm telling you. And you start to see the hand of the Lord in caring for his people. [00:38:02] And he sent little branches, just like Lehi and his family left. The brother of Jared and his family left. [00:38:10] Mulek and his followers left. You have these branches that are coming, and sometimes they're small numbers, sometimes they're in large numbers. But you see a return almost on that, this return on investment, as you see some of the fruits of these efforts to save these trees. It's a magnificent story. But the early days of the church, and you look at missionary work and all of these little branches going into Hawaii, going into England, going into Europe, going all over the world, and the Lord's calling them to go, just to go spread the message that the gospel has been restored. These branches are being grafted in all over the place, almost like these Josephs down into Egypt, planting these seeds so that it might save a vast number of people later on. [00:39:00] And as this starts to play, and people go and look at the church, even down to today, in modern times, and you see people moving into populations of the. Of the church, where you have a lot of members, and you see the impact that it has on them as they move into these communities and they see the fruits that are being produced by these tame branches, and they're willing to prune themselves a bit, that they can achieve that higher level of success. As well. And they become tame, and they benefit from that. [00:39:39] And so it's important that some stay and be here to help these branches that are grafted in. [00:39:49] But to others, it's important that they leave, that they're pulled out of the tree and grafted in somewhere else so that they can do the Lord's work there. [00:40:03] And maybe it's worth asking you yourself the question, or asking God the question, where am I needed in your vineyard today? [00:40:15] Is it better that I stay, or is it better that I go? [00:40:21] And if so, where do I go? How can I help? [00:40:27] And let's not let anyone that stays be critical of those that leave, nor those that leave be critical of those that stay. [00:40:38] And understand that for God, it is important that he has both. [00:40:45] And it is important that he uses people in different ways, not always the same as what you're going to do. [00:41:00] There's a few other things that I wanted to point it out in this Jacob five story, this allegory, the allegory of the olive tree. And hopefully, maybe you guys already, this was such a beautiful chapter that you loved it. But if not, my hope is maybe you start to see some of these things and start to understand it and look at it differently and see the hand of God throughout history and appreciate that a little bit more. But there are a couple things that I wanted to point out before I moved on from this. [00:41:34] And one is when they tell the servants, let us gather together for the last time to go in and restore this tree. [00:41:44] I look at this as a restoration of the gospel. And when I say the restoration of the gospel, it's not just, I'm talking about the restoration of the covenants of Abraham. Let's talk about this in terms of what we heard through this conference, covenants. [00:42:01] How can you make covenants without the power and the authority of the priesthood? [00:42:10] We're going to come back and we're going to bring the priesthood back to restore people back to their roots, to reconnect them, to Abraham, to tie them back in the restoration of the gospel, the restoration of the priesthood, the restoring of these branches back into their trees, to the house of Israel, the gathering of Israel. [00:42:35] And when he talks about this last work in these last days, he says it's not just the servant of the Lord that's going to be doing these things, but also a few angels are going with them or a few servants with them. [00:42:50] And I believe he says the number of the servants is few. And correct me if I'm wrong, I'm kind of going off of what I remember here, reading through this, I like this. [00:43:02] And I'm trying to think of the difference between the branches on the tree that are being grafted all over and doing whatever, versus the angels that are going through the vineyard doing the work. [00:43:13] And it's not just the servant. Right? It's these angels. And I like that these angels are tied into the work of the restoration of the gospel and that their number is somewhat few, because I think of the angels that had a role to play with the restoration of the gospel. [00:43:37] I think of Moroni coming and appearing to Joseph Smith. [00:43:43] I think of Moses bringing back keys. I think of John the Baptist. I think of Peter, James and John, and the restoration of the priesthood. [00:43:51] I think of Elijah. [00:43:55] I think of the Kirtland temple and the special events that transpired there. As President Nielsen reminded us of in this past conference. [00:44:07] These are the handful of servants that came back to restore Israel to its promises and bring these branches back into that tree. [00:44:21] And some comfort I get from this is that it says when they do this. So I think a lot of us, when we try to think about end time prophecies and maybe we get crowded over in our minds. Crowded over. That's not the best way to say that. Maybe our minds get overwhelmed or overcome with this idea of destruction, death and destruction, that the second coming means that everyone's going to die and it's going to be terrible. It's going to be horrible. And lightnings and earth being shaken and the moon turned to blood and all these bad things. [00:44:57] Certainly a lot of bad things have happened to change the world, to be able to receive the gospel message. But look at what happens in Jacob five, in the allegory of the olive tree. [00:45:10] These small number of angels go out and they set their hand to recover the people a second time, to pull them all back together and they produce good fruit. [00:45:22] And they produce good fruit for a long time. [00:45:29] To me, it almost sounds like the return of the Lord and his handful of angels to recover Israel a second time and to gather them. [00:45:41] And I associate this with, with Joseph Smith's first vision. I associate this with the special appearances in the Kirtland temple when a house of the Lord is dedicated. I associate this with the restoration of the gospel, kicks off events that leads to more fruit being produced, more tameness, more gentleness, the spread, this growth that's going to lead for good fruit being produced for a long season. And I look at that long season and I think a millennium. [00:46:19] Isn't the restoration of the gospel laying the foundation, the footwork, the groundwork for the millennium. [00:46:27] And when it talks about the gathering of the branches that produce wild fruit and the branches that produce good fruit and bounding them together and casting the wicked into the fire, he doesn't say that as a precedent to the restoration or as a part of the process in the restoration. In fact, he even says, no, don't cut them out. [00:46:54] Isn't that also what he says about the wheat and the tares? Let's not destroy those, lest we destroy the good, too. Let them go together. [00:47:04] It's not till the very end, and in my mind, it's the end after the millennium, when we have this catalyst for this destructive event, where I don't know, I look at this story, and rather than be filled with fear or despair or focus on the destruction, the violence or the uncertainty, I look at the hope, I look at the light, I look at Israel being healed, brought back together, greater peace. [00:47:43] And don't be tired of doing a good work. [00:47:46] The blessings that are coming from this, the miracles. [00:47:51] Janessa and I had the opportunity, my wife and I. I'm sorry. I said, janessa, a lot of you don't even know who Janessa is. My wife and I had the opportunity to go to the temple last week, as we often do in this instance, we were doing sealings, and our first time up to the altar, we were asked to help seal a family of eight, which is interesting, because Janessa and I also have six kids. We are also a family of eight. [00:48:21] And as we knelt across the altar and we joined hands, and we put all six children there along the altar, and they all joined hands, and the sealer is doing the ordinance to seal this family. [00:48:36] And now think this family again, and look at this story, because it embodies the same message of restoration. [00:48:45] They died, they're scattered, they're lost. [00:48:50] Let's bind them up. Let's bring them together, let's restore them. Let's put it back. [00:48:56] And as we participated in this ordinance, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed with the love that God has for all of his children, not just the ones that we see regularly, all of his children, the ones that are lost and what other churches out there that cares about the ones that are out of sight, the ones that have passed away, the ones that are lost to this degree, that they're willing to spend this much time sacrificing to find them, to get their information, to spend time to physically do ordinances for those who can't do them for themselves. [00:49:48] What a message of love. [00:49:50] And it gave me a different perspective when we're talking about the 99 and the one. [00:49:57] What if that one who was lost is one who is dead? [00:50:04] Little sheep don't survive well on their own. [00:50:08] What if it did die? [00:50:11] And yet Christ went after that one and laid him on his shoulders and helped him and restored him? [00:50:21] And the widow who lost the coin and sweeps the whole house and takes the light and looks for it. [00:50:27] The power of Christ is not just for the living, but for the dead to bind us up, to save us from death, to take the captive and set them free. [00:50:39] And to me it was a great testimony to know that this is the church of Jesus Christ, because Jesus Christ cares about those that are lost, to bind them up, to heal them. [00:50:53] And Jacob, Jacob got this better than anybody, because Jacob read Isaiah and he looked at that and said, God is promising to restore the dead. And he took resurrection from those words. He saw Christ in all of the prophecies and he saw it clearer than anybody. [00:51:17] It's a shame we don't have more writings from Jacob. [00:51:21] He had a gift to be able to see and understand. [00:51:28] And so the story of the olive tree is a story of hope and a story of work, and we get to participate in that work, and we get bumped around and we get moved, and we all have a role to play. But if we want to produce good fruit as branches on a tree, and see, this is another very important message that I caught in conference that was repeated often, was that your foundation had to be anchored in the rock. [00:52:02] Christ is that rock. And Christ says that no branch will produce fruit unless it's connected to me. I am the light and the life. I am divine. Anyone who wants to come to the father has to come through him. [00:52:17] Go back to the Old Testament when they say, well, we want the priesthood, too. And they lay out their sticks, and only the stick of the tribe connected to Christ is able to grow and to produce and to have life. [00:52:30] If we want to be a branch that produces good fruit, we can't be wild. We have to be tame. [00:52:37] And that tameness comes with putting God first. That is how we anchor ourselves in him, is by doing his will. [00:52:49] And then we're able to flourish, not just produce small, bitter fruit, but mature, developed, wonderful fruit, because we've learned how to sacrifice our will in the process to be able to accomplish something so much greater that wouldn't have been within our reach without it. [00:53:15] That is the allegory of the olive tree. [00:53:23] There's a couple more chapters here. But honestly, I feel like I've said my piece. This, to me, was the heart of the message. This, to me, was the heart of the come follow me. And I promised you that this would be a shorter episode. As I look at the time, I'm already up to almost an hour, so I'm going to give you a couple minutes back and call this one short. Maybe with Nate we can revisit some of these others next week as we prepare to dive into Enos and some of these other shorter books that follow Jacob. [00:53:58] So for you that are out there listening, thank you. [00:54:03] I can't say it enough. [00:54:06] It means a lot to me to be able to share these thoughts with you and to have somebody listening and. And it helps mature my understanding and my testimony. I'm grateful for you being there. I'm grateful for the opportunity to do this. If you have any questions or comments or want to reach out, you can reach [email protected] or feel free to drop a comment on the website. It's the addoneducation.com. [00:54:33] And on there we have a podcast, the weekly Deep Dive. You can click on episodes. You can go all the way back to any of the other episodes. We try to link them with, with keywords, but each episode has a section for comments at the bottom. You can, you can drop some thoughts in there or however you want to do this. I believe Spotify or Apple. You can, you can leave stuff behind, too. [00:54:55] But more than anything, I just want to say thanks for listening. You guys have a great week. Next week we'll have Nate and we'll be back in the studio. So until next week, see ya.

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