Tuesday, July 2, 2002

Alma 32:37-38

"And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up and bring forth fruit unto us.  And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit.
But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out."
Alma 32:37-38

In college I used to have about 12-15 plants all the time.  Before my mission they thrived... one tiny fern that I bought in the tiniest-sized pot they had at the local garden place grew up until it was the central theme of the apartment living room.  I loved those plants, and would always find someone to take care of them even if I was only going to be gone one day.
Something changed.  Now whenever I get plants they promptly die.  It isn't that the plants themselves are different... it is me.  I always manage to neglect them just a little too much.  These verses, and this whole chapter, are about the gospel, but using the analogy of a plant.  The gospel is always good, and it can grow and thrive in our care, building our faith and our knowledge, or it can die within us or become overgrown with weeds.  I think that we expect the gospel to grow to be part of us without our help sometimes... we think that if it dies within us that it must not be true or something.  But that doesn't make any sense.  We can't expect God to do all the work... give him ultimatums without doing any work ourselves.  We'll never get a testimony by demanding one.  All we can do is plant the seed... try the experiment, and see if the seed is good.  And we can't find that out without some concerted effort on our part to take care of the plant, to give it a chance.  It's the same with relationships... we think that if this or that relationship isn't thriving that it wasn't meant to be, or that the other person hates us or something, but the plain fact is that if we don't put in any effort, we can't expect anything in our lives to work.  We have to believe in ourselves and work to accomplish our dreams.  The same with the gospel.  If we give the gospel the chance it deserves, it will grow to be the greatest thing in our lives.  If we sit back and expect it to just suddenly appear and make everything better without any effort, we will be sorely disappointed.

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