Let them grow together


My text for this post is the parable of the wheat and tares. I don’t want to expound the whole thing. My only intention is to bring to light one single, doctrinal point. Nothing more. But to do that, I’m going to have to quote the parable in its entirety.

KJV Matthew 13:24-30 and Inspired Version Matthew 13:22-29

The KJV parable

another parable put he forth unto them | saying |

the kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man | which sowed good seed in his field |

but while men slept | his enemy came | and sowed tares among the wheat | and went his way |

but when the blade was sprung up | and brought forth fruit | then appeared the tares also |

so the servants of the householder came | and said unto him |

sir | didst not thou sow good seed in thy field |

from whence | then | hath it tares |

he said unto them |

an enemy hath done this |

the servants said unto him |

wilt thou | then | that we go | and gather them up |

but he said |

nay | lest | while ye gather up the tares | ye root up also the wheat with them |

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 Inspired Version parable

another parable put he forth unto them | saying |

the kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man | who sowed good seed in his field |

but while he slept | his enemy came | and sowed tares among the wheat | and went his way |

but when the blade sprung up | and brought forth fruit | then appeared the tares also |

so the servants of the house-holder came | and said unto him |

sir | didst not thou sow good seed in thy field |

whence | then | hath it tares |

he said unto them |

an enemy hath done this |

and the servants said unto him |

wilt thou | then | that we go | and gather them up |

but he said |

nay | lest | while ye gather up the tares | ye root up also the wheat with them |

let both grow together until the harvest |

and in the time of harvest i will say to the reapers |

gather ye together first the wheat into my barn |

and the tares are bound in bundles to be burned |

KJV Matthew 13:36-43 and Inspired Version Matthew 13:35-45

The KJV interpretation

then jesus sent the multitude away | and went into the house |

and his disciples came unto him | saying |

declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field |

he answered | and said unto them |

he | that soweth the good seed | is the son of man |

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 enemy | that sowed them | is the devil |

the harvest is the end of the world |

and the reapers are the angels |

as | therefore | the tares are gathered | and burned in the fire | so shall it be in the end of this world |

the son of man shall send forth his angels | and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend | and them which do iniquity | and shall cast them into a furnace of fire |

there shall be wailing | and gnashing of teeth |

then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun | in the kingdom of their father |

who hath ears to hear | let him hear |

The Inspired Version interpretation

then jesus sent the multitude away | and went into the house |

and his disciples came unto him | saying |

declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field |

he answered | and said unto them |

he | that soweth the good seed | is the son of man |

the field is the world |

the good seed are the children of the kingdom |

but the tares are the children of the wicked |

the enemy | that sowed them | is the devil |

the harvest is the end of the world | or the destruction of the wicked |

the reapers are the angels | or the messengers sent of heaven |

as | therefore | the tares are gathered | and burned in the fire | so shall it be in the end of this world | or the destruction of the wicked |

for in that day | before the son of man shall come | he shall send forth his angels | and messengers of heaven | and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend | and them which do iniquity | and shall cast them out among the wicked |

and there shall be wailing | and gnashing of teeth | for the world shall be burned with fire |

then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun | in the kingdom of their father |

who hath ears to hear | let him hear |

D&C 86:1-7

verily |

thus saith the lord unto you | my servants | concerning the parable of the wheat and of the tares |

behold | verily |

i say |

the field was the world | and the apostles were the sowers of the seed | and after they have fallen asleep | the great persecutor of the church | the apostate | the whore | even babylon | that maketh all nations to drink of her cup | in whose hearts the enemy | even satan | sitteth to reign |

behold | he soweth the tares | wherefore | the tares choke the wheat | and drive the church into the wilderness |

but behold | in the last days | even now | while the Lord is beginning to bring forth the word | and the blade is springing up | and is yet tender |

behold | verily |

i say unto you |

the angels are crying unto the lord day and night | who are ready | and waiting | to be sent forth | to reap down the fields | but the lord saith unto them |

pluck not up the tares | while the blade is yet tender |

for | verily | your faith is weak |

lest you destroy the wheat also | therefore | let the wheat and the tares grow together | until the harvest is fully ripe |

then ye shall first gather out the wheat from among the tares |

and after the gathering of the wheat |

behold | and lo | the tares are bound in bundles | and the field remaineth to be burned |

D&C 101:63-66

again |

verily |

i say unto you |

i will show unto you wisdom in me | concerning all the churches | inasmuch as they are willing to be guided in a right and proper way for their salvation | that the work of the gathering together of my saints may continue | that I may build them up unto my name upon holy places | for the time of harvest is come | and my word must needs be fulfilled | therefore | i must gather together my people according to the parable of the wheat and the tares | that the wheat may be secured in the garners | to possess eternal life | and be crowned with celestial glory | when i shall come in the kingdom of my father | to reward every man | according as his work shall be | while the tares shall be bound in bundles | and their bands made strong | that they may be burned with unquenchable fire |

The wheat must ripen among the tares

There is an idea, held by very many latter-day saints, that they are justified in leaving the church if it is deemed by them to be apostate.

Now, apostasy is kind of a relative term, since the church has been more or less apostate pretty much since its inception. The apostasy of the LDS church, then, is judged by people according to whatever degree of apostasy they are using as their standard. For some, the LDS church is labeled apostate from the time of Joseph’s death. Others take the stance that once they distanced themselves from polygamy, then the church apostatized. Others use the State as the measuring stick, meaning that since the church is becoming the State’s servant, or uniting with it, it must be apostate. And so on and so forth.

All of these rationalizations, although given with the very best of intentions and with the most sincere of hearts, are at variance with what the Lord Himself has stated concerning the prophesied path of His church and how His saints are to be gathered. This idea, which is embraced by these groups and individuals, is not given of God, but comes of the evil one, who tries, at all times, to get people to oppose the purposes of God.

God’s purpose is that all the penitent come into His church. Yes, the very church that all these people believe is too apostate to enter, too apostate to remain within. It is His stated purpose that everyone in the church grow together, both wheat and tare.

The gathering of the elect will not occur outside of the framework of the parable of the wheat and the tares. I have written much on this blog about the tribal model, but I’ve never written that it is Zion, nor that it supplants the church, nor that one should leave the church and just establish his or her own tribe. After I learned about the tribal model, I’ve always promoted both church and tribe.

Those who believe that they can remove themselves from the church and ripen into wheat, in isolation from the tares, are mistaken. It is the design of God that the wheat ripens among the tares, smack dab in the middle of them. There are multiple purposes involved in this process, but one is surely the effect that ripened wheat has upon unripened wheat and tares.

Angels appear when the wheat is ripe

There are many people who think they are wheat, but unless an angel has ministered to them, one cannot know for sure. It is the height of arrogance to think one is wheat without the ministration of an angel. Such people are merely fooling themselves or believing the delusion that the devil is sending their way, for they are still in the gall of iniquity and in the bonds of hell. Anyone who thinks that they are chosen of God without having been chosen of God (through His angel) still has his or her heart locked up in pride and is in need of repentance. The proper gospel attitude of one who has not, yet, been chosen, is not, “Oh, God, I thank thee that I have been chosen of thee to be saved, while my foolish brethren have chosen to perish,” but of, “Oh, God, have mercy on me, a sinner, and on my brethren who also have sinned, and grant us all mercy and faith unto repentance and salvation!”

The appointed sign of wheat is the ministration of an angel. This is how a person knows he or she is wheat, for unripened, earthly wheat and unripened tares are indistinguishable. When the wheat finally ripens, it turns golden. It kind of becomes shiny. People can see with their own two eyes a visible change come over the plant. It becomes plainly obvious that it is not a tare, which never turns golden or shines.

The gospel wheat, then, when it ripens, has some visible manifestation occur, which shines. Light, or fire, is imparted to these wheaty individuals. And having been baptized in this fire and seen the lightning light of the angel, they now can impart this light to others, or let their light so shine that others can give glory to God. So, ripened wheat bears testimony of the witness (or visible manifestation) that has come to them after the trial of their faith.

Prior to that manifestation, unripe wheat and unripe tares pretty much look the same. They may have differences in beliefs, as well as similarities, but belief is not what distinguishes a wheat from a tare. The distinguishing characteristic is primarily the ministration of angels, as well as other gifts manifesting.

This jolt, (the testimony of having been ministered to by angels), in the midst of the congregations of those who profess to know the Lord is what God has designed to occur. When a man is suddenly revealed as wheat, the tares will have a natural reaction to him, as well as all those around who are, as yet, unripened wheat. This helps both the unripe wheat and the unripe tares to fully ripen. This is the division that is prophesied to occur and it must and will occur only after both wheat and tares have grown together.

Until the harvest is fully ripe

Now, those of us in the church should not feel indignant that the wheat and tares are growing together in the church. Jesus told his very angels to let it happen. It is, therefore, in accordance with the will of God. What makes us think we are better or more informed than God or His angels? But one may wonder how long we must grow together, or how will we know when the harvest is fully ripe, or how will we know when it is time to depart from the tares?

Jesus answered this: when the angels are sent. The angels are sent when the harvest is fully ripe. Therefore, the harvest is fully ripe when the angels are sent. It is as simple as that.

There is no justification

There is no justification in telling people to leave the church, nor in telling people not to join her, for the gathering of the Lord’s people must be according to the parable of the wheat and the tares, which calls specifically for the growing together of both wheat and tare. And there is no justification in saying that the harvest time is fully ripe (and thus that it is okay to leave the church), for reapers (angels) will be sent individually (meaning to each individual wheat) when the time comes for the wheat to be gathered out from the tares, and until that time comes, no one is justified to tell unripe wheat to leave the tares.

Again, as I’ve said before on this blog, there may be extenuating circumstances which call for a temporary or extended leave of absence from the body of the church, but these are the exceptions to the general rule.

Will the church get worse? Yes. Will it grow together with the tares even more so? Yes. Will it totally unite with the State? Possibly. Is any of this reason to leave the church or encourage anyone to leave it? No. We are not to encourage anyone to leave the church, ever. Such instructions to leave will come directly to each person from an angel of God, whose duty is to gather the elect from the four quarters of the earth. Our current duty is to encourage all people to join and remain with the church body, to grow together with the tares and to ripen themselves into wheat among the tares.

Then comes the gathering of the wheat from the tares.  And then comes the gathering of the tares from the wheat.  But that is another story.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

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26 Comments

  1. What if the Church excommunicates you for your belief in the scriptures, etc.? What is your advice to such people.

  2. Find someone to baptize you into your own tribal church. And keep your covenants you make with God there.

  3. If it’s a case of transgression, then I would say repent, confess and seek re-baptism. If it is not a case of transgression, meaning that you have not transgressed the laws of God, at all, and you’ve been falsely accused and falsely convicted, then I would seek an appeal. If you cannot get an appeal, then I’d just leave it in the hands of the Lord and not worry about it. As long as you have not transgressed or broken your covenants, you’re okay. You can still establish your own tribe of Christ.

  4. Yes, God will give heavenly manifestations to the wheat of where the barn is (the gathering place of safety), but you impose unnecessary limitations on who the reapers can be. Nowhere did it say the angels are only immortal beings or disembodied spirits. In fact under the “Inspired Version” there are two appended phrases on the description of the reapers/angels:

    1) “he reapers are the angels | or the messengers sent of heaven”
    2) “for in that day | before the son of man shall come | he shall send forth his angels | and messengers of heaven”

    The first implies that the angels are messengers sent of heaven. Notice it didn’t say “sent down from heaven”, it said “sent of heaven.”

    The second appends “and messengers of heaven” to “his angels”, seemingly distinguishing between the angels and some other type of messengers.

    There is no requirement that one must be immortal or disembodied to be “sent of heaven.” In fact it would be out of God’s traditional way of doing things to totally ignore his priesthood here on earth and have angelic beings be his only workers in the harvest.

  5. The harvest is ripe now. D&C 45 states that in the generation that rejects the fulness of the gospel that the fulness of the gospel would be taken from the Gentiles and given to the house of Israel. A generation is at most 120 years and the Gentiles rejected the fulness of the gospel in 1890, so the harvest changed from the Gentiles to the house of Israel. We’re two years passed the deadline (2010) and the church continues to focus its missionary work on Gentile nations. Make of it what you will.

  6. John, you wrote:

    Yes, God will give heavenly manifestations to the wheat of where the barn is (the gathering place of safety), but you impose unnecessary limitations on who the reapers can be. Nowhere did it say the angels are only immortal beings or disembodied spirits.

    See D&C 129. I’ll quote the first seven verses:

    There are two kinds of beings in heaven, namely:

    Angels, who are resurrected personages, having bodies of flesh and bones—for instance, Jesus said: Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

    Secondly: the spirits of just men made perfect, they who are not resurrected, but inherit the same glory.

    When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you.

    If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand.

    If he be the spirit of a just man made perfect he will come in his glory; for that is the only way he can appear—ask him to shake hands with you, but he will not move, because it is contrary to the order of heaven for a just man to deceive; but he will still deliver his message.

    So, there are two types of heavenly messengers: angels (resurrected or translated beings) and messengers of heaven (spirits of just men made perfect).

    The parable is talking of both kinds of heavenly messengers. It is not talking of mortal men sent as messengers, for mortal men do not come from heaven. Men can be sent by God and can be inspired of heaven (see 3 Ne. 6:20), but they are not “sent of or from heaven,” for they are still of the earth.

    If you still do not believe me, review the words of Joseph Smith himself concerning the parable of the wheat and the tares, where he makes it plain that angels will literally be the gatherers of the wheat.

  7. The harvest is ripe now. D&C 45 states that in the generation that rejects the fulness of the gospel that the fulness of the gospel would be taken from the Gentiles and given to the house of Israel. A generation is at most 120 years and the Gentiles rejected the fulness of the gospel in 1890, so the harvest changed from the Gentiles to the house of Israel. We’re two years passed the deadline (2010) and the church continues to focus its missionary work on Gentile nations. Make of it what you will.

    Like I wrote above:

    For some, the LDS church is labeled apostate from the time of Joseph’s death. Others take the stance that once they distanced themselves from polygamy, then the church apostatized. Others use the State as the measuring stick, meaning that since the church is becoming the State’s servant, or uniting with it, it must be apostate. And so on and so forth.

  8. From the article you referenced:

    “‘As, therefore, the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of the world’ [Matthew 13:40]; that is, as the servants of God go forth warning the nations, both priests and people, and as they harden their hearts and reject the light of truth, these first being delivered over to the buffetings of Satan, and the law and the testimony being closed up, … they are left in darkness, and delivered over unto the day of burning; thus being bound up by their creeds, and their bands being made strong by their priests, [they] are prepared for the fulfillment of the saying of the Savior—‘The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.’ [Matthew 13:41–42.]

    We see one role of these angels is to “gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend.”

  9. That article also includes a very important warning by the Prophet:

    “We understand from this saying, that those who had been previously looking for a Messiah to come according to the testimony of the Prophets, and were then at that time looking for a Messiah, but had not sufficient light on account of their unbelief to discern Him to be their Savior, and He being the true Messiah, consequently they must be disappointed, and lose even all the knowledge, or have taken away from them all the light, understanding, and faith which they had upon this subject.”

    Will you be left behind because you’re expecting an angel to come and Christ appears to you just as a man?

  10. I fear all too many men are too wise in their hearts to hear and perceive when the word of God does come to them. They filter all things out but their own opinions and so God will leave them to their opinions and go on to greener pastures.

  11. “The prophet, foreseeing that they would thus harden their hearts, plainly declared it; and herein is the condemnation of the world; that light hath come into the world, and MEN CHOOSE DARKNESS RATHER THAN LIGHT, BECAUSE THEIR DEEDS ARE EVIL.”

  12. “Men who have no principle of righteousness in themselves, and whose hearts are full of iniquity, and have no desire for the principles of truth, do not understand the word of truth when they hear it. The devil taketh away the word of truth out of their hearts, because there is no desire for righteousness in them.”

  13. If you carefully read Joseph’s interpretation of Matthew 13, you’ll see that the angels are sent to burn the wicked which their priests have bound up with CREEDS. The righteous are gathered to the barn WHILE the wicked are being bound.

    “‘As, therefore, the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of the world’ [Matthew 13:40]; that is, as the servants of God go forth warning the nations, both priests and people, and as they harden their hearts and reject the light of truth, these first being delivered over to the buffetings of Satan, and the law and the testimony being closed up, … they are left in darkness, and delivered over unto the day of burning; thus being bound up by their creeds, and their bands being made strong by their priests, [they] are prepared for the fulfillment of the saying of the Savior—‘The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.’ [Matthew 13:41–42.]

    “We understand that the work of gathering together of the wheat into barns, or garners, is to take place while the tares are being bound over and preparing for the day of burning; that AFTER THE DAYS OF BURNINGS, ‘the righteous shall shine forth like the sun, in the Kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear’ [Matthew 13:43].”

  14. The righteous are gathered by the warning call of the “servants of God” to the nations. If you want to interpret “servants of God” as being only angels, so be it, but then you may very well miss the warning. None are so blind that those who will not see.

  15. Okay, I see I have created more confusion with my link. So, I’ll just quote Joseph’s words in their entirety (the ones about the parable of the wheat and the tares, that is) and highlight the pertinent parts. I apologize to all the readers that I must quote the entire thing. So, here it goes:

    “‘Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, [which parable has an allusion to the setting up of the Kingdom, in that age of the world also,] the Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field, but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also; so the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence, then, hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 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.’ [Matthew 13:24–30.]

    “Now we learn by this parable, not only the setting up of the Kingdom in the days of the Savior, which is represented by the good seed, which produced fruit, but also the corruptions of the Church, which are represented by the tares, which were sown by the enemy, which His disciples would fain have plucked up, or cleansed the Church of, if their views had been favored by the Savior. But He, knowing all things, says, Not so. As much as to say, your views are not correct, the Church is in its infancy, and if you take this rash step, you will destroy the wheat, or the Church, with the tares; therefore it is better to let them grow together until the harvest, or the end of the world, which means the destruction of the wicked, which is not yet fulfilled. …

    “‘… disciples came unto Him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the Kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one.’ [Matthew 13:36–38.]

    “Now let our readers mark the expression—‘the field is the world, … the tares are the children of the wicked one, the enemy that sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the world, [let them carefully mark this expression—the end of the world,] and the reapers are the angels.’ [Matthew 13:38–39.]

    Now men cannot have any possible grounds to say that this is figurative, or that it does not mean what it says, for He is now explaining what He has previously spoken in parables; and according to this language, the end of the world is the destruction of the wicked; the harvest and the end of the world have an allusion directly to the human family in the last days, instead of the earth, as many have imagined, and that which shall precede the coming of the Son of Man, and the restitution of all things spoken of by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began; and the angels are to have something to do in this great work, for they are the reapers.

    “‘As, therefore, the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of the world’ [Matthew 13:40]; that is, as the servants of God go forth warning the nations, both priests and people, and as they harden their hearts and reject the light of truth, these first being delivered over to the buffetings of Satan, and the law and the testimony being closed up, … they are left in darkness, and delivered over unto the day of burning; thus being bound up by their creeds, and their bands being made strong by their priests, [they] are prepared for the fulfillment of the saying of the Savior—‘The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.’ [Matthew 13:41–42.]

    “We understand that the work of gathering together of the wheat into barns, or garners, is to take place while the tares are being bound over and preparing for the day of burning; that after the day of burnings, ‘the righteous shall shine forth like the sun, in the Kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear’ [Matthew 13:43].”9

    (9.

    History of the Church, 2:267, 271; first set of bracketed words in first paragraph in original, and first set of bracketed words in fourth paragraph in original; punctuation and capitalization modernized; paragraph divisions altered; from a letter from Joseph Smith to the elders of the Church, Dec. 1835, Kirtland, Ohio, published in Messenger and Advocate, Dec. 1835, pp. 226–29.)

    It was never my intention to expound this parable. All I wanted to do with this post was to show that the wheat and tares must grow together, but I guess I’ll point this out, too:

    There are seven groups or individuals spoken of in the parable.

    1. The sower of the good seed, which is the Savior.
    2. The sower(s) of the good seed, which were the apostles (per D&C 86)
    3. The sower of the evil seed, which is the devil
    4. The wheat, which are the saints
    5. The tares, which are the hypocrites, or pretended saints
    6. the servants of the house-holder, which are the priesthood leaders of the Lord’s church
    7. the reapers, which are the angels

    Joseph Smith wrote of a preparatory work to be done, prior to the reaping done by the angels. This preparatory work is done by the servants of the house-holder. Then comes the reaping by the angels. The preparatory work done by the servants is not to be confused with the reaping done by the angels.

    Hopefully, that will be sufficient to clear up the confusion…

  16. I agree that no one should encourage anyone to leave the church. I think it is a basic gospel tenet for man to not counsel their fellow man.

    Nevertheless, I don’t understand your logic in using this parable to demonstrate that God wants the wheat and tares to grow together in the church.

    I do not think your interpretation of the parable of the wheat and the tares provides a compelling reason for the logic and therefore does not support your premise.

    It appears as if you assume, without any documentation, that the phrase “let the wheat and tares grow together” has specific reference to the boundaries of church membership.

    You seem to think that the only way the wheat and tares can grow together is if they are both in the church and therefore you feel it is wrong to leave the church in order to fulfill the declaration and/or commandment of the Lord in the parable.

    I don’t think that is consistent with the definition of the terms given in the parable.

    The boundaries given in which the “growing together” takes place, according to the parable, has reference to the “field”.

    The field does not have reference to the “church”, it has reference to the “world”. (see section 86:2)

    That would mean there will be wheat and tares mingled among ALL of the billions of people on this planet, not just among the relatively small amount of people in the LDS Church.

    Members of the church often delude themselves into thinking that the wheat(“elect of God”) are only found in the Mormon Church.

    I don’t think this is true.

    My interpretation of the scriptures that speak of the final fathering is that the elect will be gathered out from all four corners of the earth and will be found in all walks of life and probably in all religions when the final gathering takes place.

    There are wheat and tares in the church but there are also wheat and tares found outside of the church.

    A person does not need to be a member of the church nor do they need to remain a member of the church in order to be participating in the “growing together” of the wheat and the tares.

    I believe the parable was not concerning itself with the state of the church or the importance of the church as much as it had to do with why the elect would not be successful in separating themselves from the world during that generation even though they had initially been commanded to gather and in fact did attempt to gather but failed.

    The primary point of the parable seems to have to do with explaining that God had an ultimate remedy for the problem that Zion was not going to be successfully established during that generation.

    It seems to me that it is erroneous thinking to assume that when the harvest is fully ripe and the angels come to gather the elect that they will only be extracting the elect from out of the existing LDS Church, regardless of whether it is in an apostate condition as some suppose or whether it has maintained the integrity of the righteous laws and powers upon which it was founded.

    One could argue that the parable shows blatant disregard for the purpose of the church and was therefore marginalizing the importance of the condemned church that had failed to successfully gather. Such an argument actually proves the opposite of what you are suggesting.

    I may have misunderstood the point you were making and if that is the case I apologize. I am open for correction if my interpretation is wrong, but it seems that your article rests on the definition of the term “field” in order to make the case that the church plays an an essential role in the growing together of wheat and tares.

  17. SkywalkerNinga,

    This is probably going to be a really long comment, but you put a lot of effort into your own comment and I think the subject requires that I lay this all out. I will link to some scriptures and you can just click and read them online, while other scriptures I will quote for you. So, please bear with the length of this comment.

    Two manifestations of the same church

    The first manifestation is the mystical or spiritual church, or body, of Christ. These are people who accept the gospel with all their hearts, or who would have accepted it with all their hearts, if they had had the opportunity to receive it. See D&C 137:5-10. This church includes both baptized and unbaptized people, but eventually all of these people will be baptized and established as the church of Christ through the ordinances of the gospel and priesthood power. This first manifestation of the church (the mystical church) contains no tares.

    The second manifestation of the church or body of Christ is the established church, meaning that body of believers who have been established by the ordinances of the gospel and priesthood power. This latter manifestation of the church includes both wheat (who are the mystical church) and tares (pretended saints), but will at some point in the future be made like unto the mystical church (meaning there will be no tares in her.)

    The church in the wilderness

    When the scriptures speak of the church being driven into the wilderness, or coming out of the wilderness, they are not referring to the mystical church of Christ, but of the established church of Christ. The mystical church of Christ is hidden. No one but the Lord (and those to whom He reveals this knowledge) knows who is a member of the mystical church of Christ. But the established church is not hidden, but is revealed to all the world, for this is the design of the Lord, that it may serve as standard or beacon or ensign to the nations, that they may see it and gather to it.

    The parable of the wheat and the tares is not talking of the mystical church of Christ, but of the established church of Christ, and how it will becomes like unto the mystical church, even without tares. So we read in D&C 86:

    the field was the world | and the apostles were the sowers of the seed | and after they have fallen asleep | the great persecutor of the church | the apostate | the whore | even babylon | that maketh all nations to drink of her cup | in whose hearts the enemy | even satan | sitteth to reign |

    behold | he soweth the tares | wherefore | the tares choke the wheat | and drive the church into the wilderness |

    but behold | in the last days | even now | while the Lord is beginning to bring forth the word | and the blade is springing up | and is yet tender |

    So the church was driven into the wilderness or became hidden again. In other words, the established church disappeared, or went back to being the mystical-only, unestablished church.

    But that is okay because the Lord had planned that in our days He would bring forth the wheat again and have its blade spring up again, establishing it again as His physical or corporate church.

    So, the Lord gives us the “rising up and the coming forth of my church out of the wilderness” scriptures (D&C 5:14;33:5;109:73) and shows that once the church comes out of the wilderness, it will then shine. The shining refers to the ripening of the wheat, where the powers of God will be manifest among His people. But before that, the church must first come forth out of the wilderness, so that the people see it. In other words, it must be established. D&C 33:3-6 reads:

    for behold | the field is white | already to harvest | and it is the eleventh hour | and the last time that i shall call laborers into my vineyard | and my vineyard has become corrupted every whit | and there is none | which doeth good | save it be a few | and they err in many instances | because of priestcrafts | all having corrup minds |

    and verily | verily | i say unto you | that this church have i established | and called forth out of the wilderness | and even so will i gather mine elect from the four quarters of the earth | even as many as will believe in me | and hearken unto my voice

    So, when the mystical church of God is called out of the wilderness, it gets physically established (by the ordinances) and gathered as a body. This is the appointed means whereby God will gather His elect, through the physical manifestation of His church (which currently contains tares.)

    It is the order of God to establish His church

    The idea that some have that we need not gather or congregate to His church, that we may remain separate from it, when it (the church) is pointed out to us by the Holy Ghost, and still be saved, is erroneous. The mystical church of Christ must be established and built up, for this is what the perfecting of the saints is all about. (And the tares actually help the wheat to ripen and perfect themselves.)

    Now, all of this talk of the establishing of the Lord’s church does not refer to the spiritual establishment of the mystical church, which is done by the manifestations and power of the Holy Ghost, but to the physical establishment of the mystical church, “it being regularly organized and established agreeable to the law of our country” (D&C 20:1.)

    When the apostles go forth

    When the apostles and other elders of the church go forth preaching the gospel, they are given power to build up the church.

    behold | this is the way that mine apostles | in ancient days | built up my church unto me | (D&C 84:108)

    The apostles did not build up the spiritual or mystical church of Christ, for that was the duty of the Holy Spirit. No, what they did was sow the gospel seed, the word of God, among the people, and wherever that seed began to sprout into wheat, by the operation of the Holy Spirit upon it and the faith of the individual, they were empowered to establish the mystical church, which had sprouted, into its physical manifestation, by their priesthood power and the ordinances of the gospel.

    Again, the apostles had the charge to build up the church (establishing the physical manifestation of the mystical church) in all regions they traveled in. The apostles were to be representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. These twelve elders were to be a missionary force, going to all the world, or to all nations, building up the church wherever they saw the gospel seed sprouting into wheat by their preaching and the Holy Spirit’s power.

    This was both the ancient apostles’ charge, as well as that of the disciples of Christ among the Nephites, as well as that of the apostles during the time of Joseph Smith. They were to be sent outward, or outside of the established boundaries of the church of God, to those who did not have the gospel, to preach to them and heal them and work all manner of miracles among them, doing the very same works as Jesus, and greater also, to the end that all would believe the gospel, and those who believed (who were the mystical church) would be established as the physical church of God. The apostles had power and authority to “regularly organize and establish” these people according to the laws of their land. They could administer all necessary ordinances and organize them into churches (gathered bodies of believers.)

    Now, our current apostles do not do this. They do not operate as a missionary force, taking the gospel to the world, preaching and doing all manner of miracles, etc. Instead, they regulate the established churches of Christ, contrary to their mandate, taking upon them the high priesthood and its duties, and not the office and duties of an elder, which is what an apostle is. But that is besides the point. Suffice it to say that the charge of an apostle is what the scriptures speak of, not the nonsense that currently goes on.

    The field is the world

    With these principles in mind, we can see how the parable makes more sense, for the sower of the seed is Christ, but the sower of the seed is also the apostles (per D&C 86.) So, the apostles’ charge is to sow the seed, or preach the gospel, to the world, meaning their originally given jurisdiction was outside of the established churches of Christ. Thus, their field is the world, where they sow the seed. But when they sow the seed, they build up and establish churches. And it is in the context of these established churches of Christ that the parable is given, for after the wheat is established into a “house,” the servants of the “house-holder” ask Him if it’s okay if they pluck up the tares.

    Again, the gospel is given jurisdictionally, so we must ask ourselves who these servants are and what jurisdiction they have. Also, is the field different than the house? The field we know is the world, where the seed is sown, but there is also a house, right? For how could there be a house-holder without a house, and how could there be servants of a house-holder without a house?

    So, we’ve got more than a few things going on at once, all intended to point our minds to the jurisdictional relationship that the sowers (apostles), servants of the house-holder (leader’s of the Lord’s church or house), and reapers (angels) all have with the Lord.

    So, yes, the field is the world, as stated by the Lord, but that isn’t the final answer to all things, for the servants of the house-holder want to pluck up the tares which are among the wheat. They desire to do this because they have jurisdiction, meaning that is entirely within their rights to pluck up the tares.

    Now, has is any leader of the Lord’s church been endowed with rights to remove the tares among the world? The answer is no. No church leader has been given any such jurisdiction. Nevertheless, the leaders of the Lord’s church have jurisdiction to remove people from the church when there are sufficient witnesses and no repentance or confession. So, these servants are not talking about removing tares from the world, but from the church or house of God, for they have no jurisdiction over the world.

    But before I continue, I suppose I’ll have to show that the servants are the leaders of the Lord’s church, huh?

    Who the servants of the house-hold are

    JST Luke 12:41–57

    For, behold, he cometh in the first watch of the night, and he shall also come in the second watch, and again he shall come in the third watch.

    And verily I say unto you, He hath already come, as it is written of him; and again when he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, blessed are those servants when he cometh, that he shall find so doing; for the Lord of those servants shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

    And now, verily I say these things unto you, that ye may know this, that the coming of the Lord is as a thief in the night.

    And it is like unto a man who is an householder, who, if he watcheth not his goods, the thief cometh in an hour of which he is not aware, and taketh his goods, and divideth them among his fellows.

    And they said among themselves, If the good man of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through and the loss of his goods.

    And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, be ye therefore ready also; for the Son of Man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

    Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speaketh thou this parable unto us, or unto all?

    And the Lord said, I speak unto those whom the Lord shall make rulers over his household, to give his children their portion of meat in due season.

    And they said, Who then is that faithful and wise servant?

    And the Lord said unto them, It is that servant who watcheth, to impart his portion of meat in due season.

    Blessed be that servant whom his Lord shall find, when he cometh, so doing.

    Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.

    But the evil servant is he who is not found watching. And if that servant is not found watching, he will say in his heart, My Lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants, and the maidens, and to eat, and drink, and to be drunken.

    The Lord of that servant will come in a day he looketh not for, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him down, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

    And that servant who knew his Lord’s will, and prepared not for his Lord’s coming, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

    But he that knew not his Lord’s will, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required; and to whom the Lord has committed much, of him will men ask the more.

    [Continued in the next comment…]

  18. So, the servants are the rulers over the Lord’s household, the ones who are supposed to be feeding His sheep, or giving them their portion of meat in due season. In other words, the priesthood leaders of the Lord’s church. This is the jurisdiction that they have been given. The apostles have a different jurisdiction, going to all the world (the field) to preach the gospel and establish the church. Whereas the servants have the jurisdiction to give meat to the church in the season thereof. So, the concerns of the servants is the already established church. And this is the context of the parable of the wheat and the tares.

    A few more items

    I think that covers about half of your comment. The other half will take me all over creation in explaining every point, because it depends upon the timeline we are talking of to fully explain all that is prophesied to happen, so I’ll just give some general principles and you can take what you want from it:

    First, there are three roles in the latter-days: that of apostle, servant and reaper. Apostles establish the church in the world, servants feed the church in the world and angels reap the church.

    Second, there are different stages of the church: the works of the Father, the works of men and the works of the devil.

    Third, there are different phases of gathering. Currently, we are gathered as a scattered church, being scattered among the nations of the earth. Later, the church will no longer be scattered, but will be gathered together at Zion and her stakes (the real stakes, not the current, temporary kind.) I’m only speaking of church gathering. There is also tribal gathering to consider.

    Depending on the stage of the church and the phase of gathering, the apostles and others sent out to preach will preach in a different manner. First, they will fish (as is done now), taking in all kinds. Later, they will hunt, finding the one or two elect among the congregations of the wicked.

    Likewise, depending on these variables, the angels will reap and gather in a different manner. For example, during our time an angel might appear to a man and give him instructions to leave or to remain where he is (among the congregations of the LDS church.) But if we fast-forward on the timeline, we might find that when the angel appears to the wheat living among the congregations of the wicked, the angel no longer gives instructions to go somewhere, but physically plucks the man up and carries him to the safety of the congregations of the non-scattered church. This, that the man may survive his conversion. (And his conversion will come through the preaching of the apostles, seventy, elders, 144,000 and others who will be sent to the congregations of the wicked, to hunt out the elect.)

    Fourth, all reaping by the angels begins with the wheat, for the judgments of the Lord must begin with His house. Later, the angels will reap the tares (among the wheat). Finally, the angels will reap the tares found among the congregations of the wicked.

    In closing, it is the purpose of the Lord to divide the earth into two separate bodies: the congregations of the righteous, which have no tares among them, and the congregations of the wicked, which have no wheat among them. The prophesied burning of the field will only occur when every last person has been gathered to one group or the other.

  19. Something just occurred to me as I was reading LDSA’s first comment. The phrase “house of Israel” in the Old Testament is often synonymous with the word “church” in the New Testament. The householder, therefore is the leader of the house of Israel. Obviously the house of Israel has been in a state of apostasy for some time, but God still considers her his and he desires to reclaim her. I would equate LDSA’s conception of a mystical church to the house of Israel: those who are potential church members, whether they have been preached to and converted or not.

  20. Your comments about the different types of gathering are perceptive. Yes, the first gathering of Joseph Smith was like a fisherman, gathering all kinds. The latter gathering in like a hunter, gathering a specific kind.

    In response to your statement:
    “Apostles establish the church in the world, servants feed the church in the world and angels reap the church.”

    “And verily, verily, I say unto you, that this church have I established and called forth out of the wilderness. And even so will I gather mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, even as many as will believe in me, and hearken unto my voice. Yea, verily, verily, I SAY UNTO YOU, that the field is white already to harvest; wherefore, THRUST IN YOUR SICKLES, AND REAP with all your might, mind, and strength.”
    (D&C 33:5-7)

    The heading of this revelation reads “Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Ezra Thayre and Northrop Sweet.” Now we know both of these men were not angels (not ministering spirits or resurrected men) at the time the revelation was given, so we can see that reapers can be just be mortal men called of God, to say otherwise is to ignore scripture. We can’t just pick and choose scriptures that fit our paradigm. Either it fits all scripture or it’s not true.

  21. noblenarcissist,

    There is (metaphorical) reaping spoken of in the scriptures, in the context of missionary work, and then there is (metaphorical) reaping spoken of in the scriptures, in the context of the gathering work that the angels will be doing.

    Thus, when the scriptures say that you reap what you sow, or that you will sow and also reap, metaphorically speaking, in terms of missionary work, that is not to be equated with the reaping that occurs afterward, done by the angels.

    There is a preparatory work and then there is that which follows the preparation. We first sow, through our missionary work, the seed into the field. The field has already been sowed, though, for the Bible and its teachings has gone forth to the ends of the earth, through the work of the ancient apostles and also the primitive saints, continued on through the efforts of Christians of past and current ages. So, the fields have already been sown. But we LDS elders also sow the word of the Lord which came through Joseph Smith. So, the field is white, already to harvest, and the field still needs to be sown. Both statements are true, depending on the perspective of what or which word has been sown.

    When the word of God grows in the hearts of man, the wheat starts to grow, and we reap that wheat, or gather it into churches. This is a preparatory reaping. It is in this sense that we bind the tares in the world by their blindness and refusal to hear the truth preached by the elders, or believe the truth, and their insistence of believing their creeds, etc., as Joseph Smith wrote above. This is all a preparatory work, which precedes the actual reaping done by the angels.

    The preparatory (missionary work) reaping is a type of gathering and the rejection of the word by the world is a type of binding. But these things are but shadows or types of the real thing that happens later, even the work done by the angels when the wheat and the tares ripen.

    The context of the parable of the wheat and the tares is not the missionary work reaping, for this parable occurs “while men slept,” meaning after the apostles “have fallen asleep.” So, this reaping is not the missionary work type of reaping done by the apostles and other elders and missionaries which have been, are and will be yet sent, but the reaping done by angels, which occurs at the end of the world, or the destruction of the wicked.

    Remember what Joseph wrote, “Now let our readers mark the expression—‘the field is the world, … the tares are the children of the wicked one, the enemy that sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the world, [let them carefully mark this expression—the end of the world,] and the reapers are the angels.’”

    Why must we carefully mark this expression, Joseph? Why is the expression, “the end of the world,” so important to the understanding of this parable? Because it points us to what it is actually talking about: not the missionary work type or shadow reaping, but the actual angelic reaping. Also, because this parable is speaking more specifically of our times and of us, who are living in these last days.

    So, to sum it up, there is a preparatory reaping which is done by men, which consists of gathering the growing wheat into churches, through missionary work, and then there is the actual reaping done by angels, which consists of gathering the ripened wheat into barns. This parable is talking of the latter reaping.

  22. Here, I’ll give you a scripture to show that there is a missionary type, or shadow, reaping:

    You shall declare the things which have been revealed to my servant, Joseph Smith, Jun. You shall begin to preach from this time forth, yea, to reap in the field which is white already to be burned. (D&C 31:4)

    So, preaching and reaping, in this context, are synonymous. This is the missionary type of reaping spoken of in the scriptures, and it is a shadow of what occurs later when the wheat is ripe, for the angels, also, “declare the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him” (Moroni 7:31.)

  23. I don’t see why reaping (missionary work and gathering the wheat) would occur any differently at the end of the world than it did at the beginning. I agree that angels are actively involved in the reaping. They always have been. In fact I would even go as far as to say that angels preside over this reaping and always have. The archangel of this sixth dispensation is the prophet Joseph Smith. He is the one who guides angels and mortals in this work. Mortals are just as important to missionary work as they are to temple work.

  24. I don’t see why reaping (missionary work and gathering the wheat) would occur any differently at the end of the world than it did at the beginning.

    My understanding is that it will be because conditions among men will have changed drastically by then. Catastrophism, combined with unheard of depths of iniquity and unheard of heights of righteousness and abundance of miracles, as well as a re-configuration of the planets, will bring about this change in conditions.

  25. Here is another scripture that speaks of the gathering work of angels at the end of the world. This is taken from JST Luke, chapter 17.

    and when he was demanded of the pharisees | when the kingdom of god should come | he answered them | and said |

    the kingdom of god cometh not with observation | neither shall they say |

    lo | here |

    or |

    lo | there |

    for behold | the kingdom of god has already come unto you |

    and he said unto his disciples |

    the days will come | when they will desire to see one of the days of the son of man | and they shall not see it | and if they shall say to you |

    see here |

    or |

    see there |

    go not after them | nor follow them |

    for as the light of the morning | that shineth out of the one part under heaven | and lighteneth to the other part under heaven | so shall also the son of man be in his day | but first he must suffer many things | and be rejected of this generation |

    and as it was in the days of noe | so shall it be also in the days of the son of man |

    they did eat | they drank | they married wives | they were given in marriage | until the day that noe entered into the ark | and the flood came | and destroyed them all |

    likewise | also | as it was in the days of lot |

    they did eat | they drank | they bought | they sold | they planted | they builded | but the same day that lot went out of sodom | it rained fire and brimstone from heaven | and destroyed them all |

    even thus shall it be | in the day when the son of man is revealed |

    in that day | the disciple who shall be on the housetop | and his stuff in the house | let him not come down to take it away | and he who is in the field | let him likewise not return back |

    remember lot’s wife |

    whosoever shall seek to save his life | shall lose it | and whosoever shall lose his life | shall preserve it |

    i tell you | in that night | there shall be two in one bed | the one shall be taken | and the other shall be left |

    two shall be grinding together | the one shall be taken | and the other left |

    two shall be in the field | the one shall be taken | and the other left |

    and they answered | and said unto him |

    where | lord | shall they be taken |

    and he said unto them |

    wheresoever the body is gathered | or | in other words | whithersoever the saints are gathered | thither will the eagles be gathered together | or | thither will the remainder be gathered together |

    this he spake | signifying the gathering of his saints | and of angels descending | and gathering | the remainder unto them | the one from the bed | the other from the grinding | and the other from the field | whithersoever he listeth |

    for verily | there shall be new heavens | and a new earth | wherein dwelleth righteousness | and there shall be no unclean thing | for the earth | becoming old | even as as garment | having waxed in corruption | wherefore | it vanisheth away | and the footstool remaineth sanctified | cleansed from all sin |


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