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Monday, October 28, 2013

The Parable of Laura's Tree

Matthew 17:20 

20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

 

This is a parable that I used when I taught my Relief Society lesson this week on Jeffery R. Holland's "Lord, I Believe" talk in the April 2013 General Conference:

When Laura was 4 or 5 I signed her up for dance lessons.  This I should not have done.  She is no dancer.  But I didn't know that yet.  On the very first day of class, her teacher had all the little pink Martha Graham hopefuls clustered around her and she looked into their malleable faces and said, "Today, we're going to pretend to be trees."

The teacher crouched low to the ground like a seed planted in the earth.  Eight little girls followed her lead.  The music began to play and the teacher began to unfurl herself and lift herself out of the crouch and eventually stood straight and tall, her arms reaching up like branches.  Seven little girls followed her lead.

All but Laura.  Laura was still curled up on the ground and moving imperceptibly. The rest of the class moved on to the next exercise while she unconcernedly kept growing her tree.

So, we get to the end of class and I ask her, "What were you doing there when everyone was being a tree?"  "Mom," she said.  "Trees grow very slowly."


Elder Holland says this:  "The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue—it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know...What was once a tiny seed of belief for me has grown into the tree of life..."

Laura's parable teaches that not only do trees grow slowly, they also don't grow at the same speed.  We don't need to get caught up comparing our faith with the faith of others or lose heart when our faith in one principle is a fully furled tree while our faith in another principle seems like it's still a seed.  As long as we have 'integrity toward the faith' we do have and try to grow it always.


1 comment:

  1. Brilliant.

    Laura is a font of wisdom...and always has been. You should probably be keeping track of all the pearls of wisdom that drop from her lips.

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