It is all about Hope

atonementSo, here is what my struggles with the parable of the Laborers in the Field has taught me.

  1. The unfairness we experience in life was part of the Great Plan of Happiness.
  2. Everyone will get the opportunity to fully participate in the blessings of immortality and eternal life.
  3. Some will get this wonderful opportunity early, some late.
  4. Regardless of the timing of  our access to this great gift, we all the equal opportunity to the same reward — the chance to live with God again.

Rather than focus on the reward in this parable, what I learned, from my decade’s long debate with a difficult parable, is that those of us who are blessed to labor in the field should enjoy the experience. We don’t need to worry about living without hope. But, by being part of that labor force means we will have to work. To me, this means we will be subject to challenging commandments and high expectations that can, at times be a burden –a burden similar to laboring in a field all day long.

Yet this burden of Church membership can be the source of our hope. I feel that being a covenant people means we are yoked with Christ. To me, this means we need to strive to do our best not for a greater reward, rather because our willingness to be so yoked gives us hope now and later.

We have been blessed with a clarity of purpose being laborers in the field. So, when others come to the fields to assist, we should rejoice that they now labor along with us with the same hope with which we have been blessed. The work of salvation is not a contest.

redeemI have learned that to truly develop the mindset that Christ is promoting in this parable, I need to be more tolerant of others. I need to believe that regardless of what people have done, there is always hope. I need to internalize that the enabling power of the atonement and the fact that Christ answered the very end of law by suffering for all sins that we might not suffer, means there is no sin any of us can commit which can exclude us from eternal life. We all need hope.

This parable taught me that hope and happiness are found is taking full advantage of working in the field as best we can and welcoming those who join with us regardless of their timing. God loves all His children perfectly and sent Christ to provide all His children that hope to which we now have access.

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