After years of what one might term “black-thumb meddling” in our garden, I have taken it upon myself to learn more about the secret mysteries of growing food and try to develop a green thumb. I’m truly a beginner and grateful for so many resources that teach how to get started understanding soil and all the things that go into this practice. This and world events caused me to wonder what the scriptures say about gardening, weeding, thinning, pruning, roots, stems, and so on. It’s quite fun to explore the scriptures for words and see what they say about things.
Perhaps my favorite non-scripture quote of all time is this great statement penned by JRR Tolkien in “The Fellowship of the Ring,” spoken by Gandalf to Frodo:
“Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.”
I referenced this quote this week in chatting with someone and it got me thinking about “uprooting the evil in the fields that we know.” What evil is in a field that we need to uproot for our descendants to have clean earth to till? Weeds.
A search for weeds in the scriptures returns only a single verse with reference to Jonah in the belly of the whale and wrapped up in weeds. It’s a reference to sea weed, but in looking at the Hebrew and other translations for the verse, I noticed other verses where in other translations of the Bible, tares are called weeds and I realized the scriptures have quite a few references to weeds.
What do weeds do? They siphon off water and nutrients from other plants which inhibit the growth of good plants. In the scriptures, weeds and good plants are compared to types of people.
In the parable of the wheat and the tares, the householder planted good seed, but an enemy came and sowed tares. The tares were discovered growing with the good crop and the servants asked the owner if they shouldn’t pull them out. He warned them not to, lest their pulling of developed roots would negatively affect the roots of the good crop and cause them to be lost, concluding:
Matthew 13:30. 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.
The disciples ask Christ to explain the parable and he says:
Matthew 13:38. The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
The harvest is approaching.
In a recent blog post on the half hour of silence in heaven, I shared these verses in Doctrine and Covenants section 38 and the following quote.
11. For all flesh is corrupted before me; and the powers of darkness prevail upon the earth, among the children of men, in the presence of all the hosts of heaven—
12. Which causeth silence to reign, and all eternity is pained, and the angels are waiting the great command to reap down the earth, to gather the tares that they may be burned; and, behold, the enemy is combined.
God has held the angels of destruction for many years, lest they should reap down the wheat with the tares. But I want to tell you now, that those angels have left the portals of heaven, and they stand over this people and this nation now, and are hovering over the earth waiting to pour out the judgments. And from this very day they shall be poured out. Calamities and troubles are increasing in the earth, and there is a meaning to these things.
Remember this, and reflect upon these matters. If you do your duty, and I do my duty, we’ll have protection, and shall pass through the afflictions in peace and in safety. Read the scriptures and the revelations. They will tell you about all these things. Great changes are at our doors. The next twenty years will see mighty changes among the nations of the earth. You will live to see these things, whether I do or not. “Wilford Woodruff, Collected Discourses 1888 – 1898, speech given June 24, 1894.
It has been noted by Elder Dallin H. Oaks in his General Conference talk in April 2004 entitled, “Preparation for the Second Coming,” that natural disasters have been increasing for decades and “the accelerating pattern of natural disasters in the last few decades is ominous.”
Our time to store up oil in our lamps is shortening. The day will soon arrive where:
D&C 88:94. And another angel shall sound his trump, saying: That great church, the mother of abominations, that made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, that persecuteth the saints of God, that shed their blood—she who sitteth upon many waters, and upon the islands of the sea—behold, she is the tares of the earth; she is bound in bundles; her bands are made strong, no man can loose them; therefore, she is ready to be burned. And he shall sound his trump both long and loud, and all nations shall hear it.
This isn’t the Lord’s first reaping either. Israel and other wicked nations have been through this before.
27. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book:
28. And the Lord rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.
That’s what you call divine transplanting. In Jacob 5 it’s the scattering of wild olive branches which are later gathered. There are analogies all over.
Do a search for:
You will find over 100 verses that have some interesting information. Here are a couple verses I found interesting.
1 Kings 19:30. And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.
Plants have a sense of “bearing” to know which way is up and down and it seems to be determined by possible sensors in the plant that feel gravity tug upon them. I found a fascinating article on NPR’s website if you want to check it out here.
How do we get a sense of bearing so we don’t send roots upward to be scorched, and shoots downward where they can’t receive light to grow from?
While doing a search for “bearing” I came across this verse:
John 19:17. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
How did Christ maintain his sense of “bearing” through his life? His eye was single to God’s glory and he was completely focused on his life’s mission.
Paul taught the Corinthians:
1 Cor. 4:10. Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
We keep our bearings by our witness of Christ and always remembering him that we may always have his spirit to be with us.
Paul taught the Hebrews:
12. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
13. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
We cannot fear the world and what they can do to us. It is our task to bear the reproach of Christ and thus demonstrate that our roots are deep and our fruit is full. Doing so spreads the seeds of Christ and gives other courage to follow his example. It is the upward path that leads to exaltation.
Here are a few other analogies in the scriptures. Word searches always bear fruit (pun intended). You can search for lots of words related to this topic.
Job 18:16. His roots shall be dried up beneath, and above shall his branch be cut off. (the wicked)
Prov. 12:3. A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.
Isaiah 27:6. He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.
D&C 84:61. For I will forgive you of your sins with this commandment—that you remain steadfast in your minds in solemnity and the spirit of prayer, in bearing testimony to all the world of those things which are communicated unto you. (be a seed spreader – share you testimony)
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