Thursday, June 7

Accounts that Teach Eternal Truths

 The Parable of the Unjust Steward
Luke 16:1-12
"The Children of This World Are in Their Generation Wiser than the Children of Light" (124)

On first reading, the parable of the Unjust Steward would seem to be an endorsement for malfeasance in office. Careful study will show, however, that it was given to teach the care with which the saints of God should approach the task of preparing for their eternal future. Knowing that he had but a short time left in his appointed post, the steward wisely tried to secure his future by winning some friends. 

“It was not the steward’s dishonesty that was extolled; his prudence and foresight were commended, however; for while he misapplied his master’s substance, he gave relief to the debtors; and in so doing he did not exceed his legal powers, for he was still steward though he was morally guilty of malfeasance. The lesson may be summed up in this wise: Make such use of your wealth as shall insure you friends hereafter. Be diligent; for the day in which you can use your earthly riches will soon pass. Take a lesson from even the dishonest and the evil; if they are so prudent as to provide for the only future they think of, how much more should you, who believe in an eternal future, provide therefor!” (Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 464.) 

Major Principle: Verse 10: He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
My Thoughts: Dishonesty will come back to haunt us. We must have integrity and treat others fairly. If our dealings with our fellow men are unfair, what is to stop God from judging us unfairly?

The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus
Luke 16:19-31
"What Do We Learn About the Spirit World from the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus" (124-125)
In the famous parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus we are exposed to two different conditions in the post mortal world: “Abraham’s bosom” and “hell.” The former is depicted as a place of rest, the latter a place of torment. Between the two “is a great gulf fixed” which prevents social interchange between the two. Such was the condition prior to Christ’s visit to the spirit world between the time of his death and his resurrection.

The Savior’s visit to the spirit world bridged the gulf between paradise (Abraham’s bosom) and hell, making it possible for the spirits in prison to receive the message of the gospel by authorized ministers.

“But now, since our Lord has proclaimed ‘liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound’ ( Isa. 61:1 ), the gospel is preached in all parts of the spirit world, repentance is granted to those who seek it, vicarious ordinances are administered in earthly temples, and there is a hope of salvation for the spirits of those men who would have received the gospel with all their hearts in this life had the opportunity come to them. ( Teachings, p. 107.) At this time, as Joseph Smith explained it, ‘Hades, sheol, paradise, spirits in prison, are all one: it is a world of spirits.’ ( Teachings, p. 310.)” (McConkie, DNTC, 1:521–22.) 

Major Principle: Verse 25: But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
My Thoughts: We will be dealt with justly. We should treat others well, keeping in mind that our situations could become switched easily.

The Ten Lepers
Luke 17:11-19
"Why Were the Ten Lepers to Show Themselves to the Priests" 
"Were There Not Ten Cleansed?" (130)

For a leper, “in the day of his cleansing,” the prescribed means of obtaining permission to reenter society required him to show himself to the priests of the people. (Read Leviticus 14:2,3.)
Jesus also told the lepers to show themselves to the priests as a test of their faith. When all ten believed and complied with the terms of the cure, all were healed “as they went” to visit the priests. (See McConkie, DNTC, 1:536.) 

The one who returned to give thanks was a Samaritan, and “perhaps this exhibition of gratitude by a Samaritan was another evidence to the apostles that all men are acceptable to the Lord and that the Jewish claim to exclusive superiority as a chosen race was soon to be replaced with a command to take the gospel of peace to all races.” (McConkie, DNTC, 1:537.)

Major Principle: 15-19: And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
My Thoughts: We must show gratitude to the Lord for the blessings He gives to us. We must remember that they only come through Him and keep in mind to always be grateful for the things great and small that He blesses us with. I love this parable and know it is always relevant. 

The Parable of the Unjust Judge
Luke 18:1-8
"Why Did the Lord Give the Parable of the Unjust Judge?" (131)

“The judge was of wicked character; he denied justice to the widow, who could obtain redress from none other. He was moved to action by the desire to escape the woman’s importunity. Let us beware of the error of comparing his selfish action with the ways of God. Jesus did not indicate that as the wicked judge finally yielded to supplication so would God do; but He pointed out that if even such a being as this judge, who ‘feared not God, neither regarded man,’ would at last hear and grant the widow’s plea, no one should doubt that God, the Just and Merciful, will hear and answer. The judge’s obduracy, though wholly wicked on his part, may have been ultimately advantageous to the widow. Had she easily obtained redress she might have become again unwary, and perchance a worse adversary than the first might have oppressed her. The Lord’s purpose in giving the parable is specifically stated; it was ‘to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’” (Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 436; read also D&C 101:81-92.)

Major Principle:Verse 1: And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.
My Thoughts: The unjust judge was lazy. He did not care about the feelings of others. He was selfish, only concerning himself with what was comfortable to him. He did not come to the woman's aid out of the goodness of his heart but rather to prevent her from being a further nuisance.

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican
Luke 18:9-14
"Why Did the Lord Give the Parable of the Pharisee and Publican?" (131)

“We are expressly told that this parable was given for the benefit of certain ones who trusted in their self-righteousness as an assurance of justification before God. It was not addressed to the Pharisees nor to the publicans specifically. The two characters are types of widely separated classes. There may have been much of the Pharisaic spirit of self-complacency among the disciples and some of it even among the Twelve. . . . The parable is applicable to all men; its moral was summed up in a repetition of our Lord’s words spoken in the house of the chief Pharisee. . . .” (Talmage, Jesus the Christ, pp. 472–73; read also Luke 18:14.)

Major Principle: Verse 14: I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
My Thoughts: We cannot be prideful, we cannot be fake. Heavenly Father sees right through our insincere acts of goodness. If we are doing good things only for the praise of men, God will not bless us.

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