Sunday, July 2, 2017


When I was in high school, like so many other things I never thought I would involve myself in during my adult life, there was gardening.

I suspect the dislike had started years earlier when my father had large gardens and I was able to keep track of my age by the number of rows in the garden I was expected to keep clear of weeds.

When we became Californians my first main gardening chore was to keep the dicondra front lawn we had free of all other types of weeds and grasses. It took very little time for me to realize the advertising for dicondra lawns was false. It was not self-weeding.

When we moved away from the dicondra lawn, my father decided to become an expert at raising roses. This was during my high school years and it became my chore along with weeding the garden area we had in the back yard to keep the crab grass cleaned out of the rose garden. It wasn't all that bad when I was weeding away from the bushes, but when I had to pull the weeds from around each rose bush, my bloody hands made me long for weeding the dicondra lawn.

It should be easy for anyone to understand that after Kathleen and I got married and purchased the home with the rose bushes from my parents, one of the first things I did was to convert my father’s rose garden into lawn. What was surprising, especially to me, is I completely landscaped the front lawn and the change included putting in a plot of dicondra lawn.

As our lives progressed and we changed homes several times, I was mysteriously drawn to planting, weeding and landscaping. I even got to the point where I did some landscaping for some friends and had a gardening business for a couple of summers.

Kathleen points out that ironically, in the golden years of our lives we now live where I neither plant, weed, mow or harvest as I did in my younger years. She also drew my attention to the fact that I was now harvesting the spiritual fruits of a life filled with planting seeds of gospel truths. (Sounds like a theme for another Thought on another day)

Before I make this entire Thought a trip down memory lane, I will make an abrupt switch into what triggered this little side trip of mine.

The Garden of Eden

Evidently a place which neither required weeding nor mowing nor planting, but only harvesting, but like so many areas of life, the garden provided Adam and Eve with everything, but had very limited opportunity for progression.

Like so many of our falsely placed desires to be able to escape many of the difficult activities of our lives, the drudgery of planting, weeding, mowing and harvesting we have to experience to be able to enjoy the fruits of our labors, is where our real growth will take place.

And Adam and Eve found joy in their posterity!

The Garden of Gethsemane

Even with all His preparation and foreknowledge the Savior, at the crucial moment of His Atoning sacrifice, wondered if it might be possible to have the cup removed. Yet by fulfilling His stewardship all of Heavenly Father’s children were blessed.

There is absolutely no doubt that I would have rather been involved in anything else, even washing the dishes, rather than pulling the crab grass from around the rose bushes, but the joy that shone on my father’s face as he took friends and neighbors on a tour of his roses, took the pain from the scratches I had suffered.

And the Savior entered into a fullness of His Father’s joy!

El Garden of The Sacred Grove

The young boy Joseph Smith went to the grove because he needed an answer to a question. He came out of the Sacred Grove commissioned to open the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times which would open the doors of salvation for all of Heavenly Father’s children.

We live in a day when there is no lack of information available, but it has become obvious that too many of Heavenly Father’s children are not asking the right questions. Too often our questions involve our own personal needs, when it seems what we should be asking is how I can meet the needs of a neighbor.

And Joseph saw the stone roll forth to fill the whole earth and his joy increases with every Temple that is built!

My Garden

My personal garden, like the Garden of Eden, may not be found on a map. My personal garden, unlike the Garden of Gethsemane, may not affect the whole of mankind. My personal garden, unlike the Sacred Grove, may not usher in a new dispensation. But I do have a personal garden and it is vast. It includes all the days of my life. It includes every interaction I have with every brother and sister I meet. It includes every advancing step I take toward returning as a faithful servant to dwell with my Heavenly Parents once again. It includes every misstep which must be repented of. It is my life!

The prophet Joseph Smith said, ‘Men and women will be judged according to the use of the light God gives them.’ If I understand his words correctly, then I begin to understand there will be no county fair where the fruits of my labors are compared with that anyone else. I will only be accountable for the nurturing of the seeds which have been placed in my stewardship. And the Judges of my garden with see the fruits of my efforts through eyes filled with love, mercy and grace.

May we tend our gardens well, so that our joy will be full!



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