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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Enduring in the Garden


     Early morning, older kids are gone to work and we have just had breakfast. Dad comes in and says to us, "Let's go weed in the garden."

     This was a pretty typical thing to hear on a cool summer morning when I was a younger kid. I'll be honest with you, at the time I sure hatted to hear it. And it still slightly makes me cringe. Now this wasn't just any typical garden. Being from a big family we needed a big garden to help feed us all. We had two actual garden plots aside from the raspberries and rhubarb that we grew. One was about 40 x 20 and the other was more like 40 x 60. So as you can see we knew that when the day came to weed the garden we knew it was going to be an all day type of chore. Dad would usually go out and work some before he would ask us to join him right after breakfast and sometimes even before breakfast. I believe that he would do that so that he could show us what he wanted the finished product to look like.

     This is where the bad part came in to play. Dad was gone a lot when I was younger and we (the kids) seemed to neglect the garden a bit when he was gone. We would water it because that part was easy. The weeding we rarely even thought about doing. When Dad would finally be home for longer than a few hours before he left again or on a Sunday these were the days we definitely had to work outside in the garden if we weren't gone else where. This you might find funny, but I found it kind of fair, we would give each person a couple rows to do for their part. The older you were the more that you had to weed.

 

     Myself, I usually had only about two rows and sometimes only one. I worked so hard but I had a couple problems that I faced. Since while Dad was gone I didn't bother to go out and weed, the weeds were growing quickly and so big. You know the saying... "Growing like a weed"? That's not just some old man's crazy thought up saying. It is real and comes because of how fast weeds grow. Plants take a lot of time and nourishment, and weeds take just a little water. So, because I didn't weed my rows, in just a couple weeks the weeds I had to pull were four foot tall with a tree stump for a root (or so it seemed to me at that young age). So what better thought than the one my brother and I had. We had an old machete that we liked to play around with and we figured we would put it to good use. How convenient right? We get to play and work at the same time. It was like we were in the jungle or the forest. We would get all our might and chop the weeds down at the ground and when we were done we would loosen up some dirt and cover the bases of what was left. Now if you were half blind and knew nothing about weeding you could walk on by and think that we had done a grand old job. Then Dad would come home...

     So here's a man that grew up eating from a garden, he weeded that one and has had one ever since. He comes home typically late at night. This is when he would do his first check on the garden. It would appear all nice and freshly weeded at midnight with only a half moon. I imagine he would be some what pleased and go get some rest for the night. The next morning was the problem. He would go out and check the rows for good to see how well we did. So from what you already know we know how he found in my rows. They would look halfway good and great in my eyes. It was then that my Dad began to get frustrated with me it seemed and get me out there a working. He would tell me and make it obvious just like I knew inside that I had to get the whole root out of the ground or I hadn't done my job. So I would spend a couple more days out in the garden slowly digging around each root and then pull them out with my hands. I would try a thousand different strategies and with time they all would work. I got the roots and finally my row would look all nice and pretty just like his.

     This is the process that I remember happening week after week, month after month, and even year after year when I was younger. It never was my favorite to go and work in the garden for a full day at a time. I had sticks to break and some bike jumps to make. It was never my dream to be out in the garden all day for a couple days at a time when I was a young boy.

     But it was those long days and the ones to come that would teach me one of the most important lessons about life that I would love to have learned a lot sooner in life than just recently as I have been looking back and pondering all these stories.

     In the following years from these experiences my Dad had a change in situations and could be at home a lot. Now it was so much harder to get away from the garden. It seemed to me that I found myself out there working with him and my siblings so much more than usual. Now we were catching the weeds when they were just grown up about a foot and some times two. These were the years where our garden really began to blossom. I can't ever remember just how many bags of corn and potatoes we harvested, but I can tell you that it was a lot. Once we started seeing that it was better to weed when the weeds were smaller than four foot tall and a big old root Dad started to see that we could use some extra knowledge.

     He was finally able to get his point across that if we were to just go out on a weekly basis and sometimes more often and weed the garden we wouldn't have these problems. He always said that the plants would grow so much better and the garden would look more presentable.  When I remember him starting on this strategy I was getting older. Now I had a job out of the house all summer long and I was rarely home for a day when a could do a lot. I still had my part but not nearly as much as if I was right there every day.

 

     Dad always set the good example, he would go outside and start his day by working in the garden. Every time I saw him doing this I thought that he was sort of crazy. The weeds were small and sometimes seemed to even be non-existent. He would do this so frequently that the garden always appeared to be freshly weeded and the harvest was so much more successful.

       This brings to my point where we relate this to our lives. We can have the gospel in our lives and have some good seeds planted, but if we can't just let it sit for weeks on end and only give it water. We will end up with these huge weeds and problems in our lives that seem so hard to get rid of sometimes we don't even try. But if we follow my Dad's example, often we will go out and work in our life garden.

     In our lives we each have a garden for the gospel seeds. We must nurture them and help them grow in every way we can. We have all the tools we need to do the work we just need to learn the process and the timing. When you think about this story you can see the sins and trials that we have and how they are the weeds that cause the problems. And when these weeds are bad enough the yield or harvest is just meager. We all want as much from the gospel as we can have. So how can we do it?

     My Dad taught me the great principle of Enduring to the End from these long days in the garden. If in our lives we are to go out with faith that our harvest will be great we will go and pull the weeds out so that the weeds can grow and change. This change in the garden is simply called repentance. We then add the water and some sun. Be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. And now what do we have? We have a prospering garden with only one missing step. We need to Endure in this process! We must on a regular basis go and pull the weeds out of our lives and freshen up our soil, followed by some water and some sun. It is only when we do this that we can get the harvest that we wanted when we first bought the garden seeds. One thing that you never see is what's under the surface in the garden. Some time you are happy because you are going to get all of these great surprises and other times the harvest seems like it will be so small. Then when you dig it up you find that there is more than you ever thought.

     We must apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives, and most importantly we have to Endure to the End, the part that sometimes you hate to hear and it really makes you cringe. It is when we go through that process that we can see the blessing of Eternal Life and gain our Exaltation.

    Can I leave you with an invitation?......Please begin this gospel process where you last left off.

     I know that when you apply the gospel in your life you are going to see your life enhanced and the blessings will begin to flow from heaven into your life in abundance.
     

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