Sunday, May 10, 2015

Parable of the Talents

God's course is one eternal round. He does not vary.
 For God doth not walk in crooked paths, neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left, neither doth he vary from that which he hath said, therefore his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round.
Doctrine and Covenants 3:2
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LISTEN to the voice of the Lord your God, even Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, whose course is one eternal round, the same today as yesterday, and forever.
Doctrine and Covenants 35:1
His focus is on us - to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life . . . eventually. (How long that takes depends upon us and what we choose to do or be.)
For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
Pearl of Great Price, Moses 1:39
Before the foundation of this earth, there was another round, a previous chance for us to rise up. Some did and some didn't.
And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come, and there is no end to my works, neither to my words.
Pearl of Great Price, Moses 1:38

And thus they have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, while, if it had not been for this they might have had as great privilege as their brethren.
Book of Mormon, Alma 13:4
Like Moses, we only know about this round.
But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you.  For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power.  And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them
Pearl of Great Price, Moses 1:35

(I would like to know more about the earths "that now stand.")

We bring with us the level we raised to previously, even though we don't remember what that level was.
And this is the manner after which they were ordained—being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such.
And thus they have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith . . .

Now, as I said concerning the holy order, or this high priesthood, there were many who were ordained and became high priests of God; and it was on account of their exceeding faith and repentance, and their righteousness before God, they choosing to repent and work righteousness rather than to perish;
Book of Mormon, Alma 13:3-4, 10
Some of us went one step higher, some five, and some ten - and that is what we brought with us from "heaven".
For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability;
Matthew 25:14-15
In this round, in this existence, we get to choose again. We can refuse to rise up. We can refuse to heed God. We can refuse to hear His messengers (and how unlikely a messenger they seem to be). We can refuse to follow Christ. We can refuse to seek His face.

In that case, we lose even the level we had risen up to before, in the last round, be it one, five, or ten. (I doubt that, in this case, the personal levels can be given to another - but what do I know? This present post is reflecting understanding I was recently given. It is a ladder that spirals round and round. If I continue, I will understand more and more about this stuff, about this parable's meanings.)
Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
Matthew 25:14
But, if we do rise up, if we do seek the face of Christ -
If we do seek to remove all
jarring
contention
envying
lust for power and wealth

and

replace them with
compassion
loving kindness
willingnes to share what we can with the poor and needy
sacrifice all things to God (not to an institution)

then we will increase our talents.

To the degree that we rise up to do God's will (not some man's will, no matter what authority he professes to hold - and men like this are not confined to legal institutions), to that degree our talents increase.

And the more we increase here, the more we will have in the afterlife, so that in the next round instead of being the man with one talent, we may be the one with five or ten (and the one with five or ten could just as easily forfeit his talents in this round as the one with one. There is no guarantee of success. It depends upon us and the choices we make).
Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.

And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.
Doctrine and Covenants 130:18-19
And about that word talent? Even though we know it meant "money" in the old days, we seem to teach each other that it conveys the modern meaning, thus we think it is telling us to enlarge our talents to sing, draw, build cars, collect money, and so forth.

What if the Lord used the word "talent" because it connoted something valuable in that society (as it [money] also does in ours), something many people set their heart on. What if the transfer of meaning was supposed to be "something valuable" - something that gives life? (In the United States, not having money means no food, no shelter, few (if any) friends, being shunned, etc.)

In any case, those are the thoughts given to me on this subject. No doubt, the parable of the talents has varied and deeper meanings. No doubt, if I rise up to a higher level of intelligence, I will look back on this post and consider it on a toddler level at best.


The two version of the parable of the talents:

Luke 19:12-27
He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.

And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.

Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.

And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.

And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.

And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.

And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:

For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.

And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant.  Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:

Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?

And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.

(And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)

For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.

But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

Matthew 25:14-30
 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.

And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.

After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.

His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:

And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

2 comments:

  1. Is not the talent the coin of the kingdom of God? The treasures of heaven, as it were? What are they, and to what use can one put them?

    7 But ye are commanded in all things to ask of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, considering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving, that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits, or doctrines of devils, or the commandments of men; for some are of men, and others of devils.

    8 Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given;

    9 For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me, that ask and not for a sign that they may consume it upon their lusts.

    10 And again, verily I say unto you, I would that ye should always remember, and always retain in your minds what those gifts are, that are given unto the church.

    11 For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.

    12 To some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby.

    13 To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.

    14 To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful.

    15 And again, to some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know the differences of administration, as it will be pleasing unto the same Lord, according as the Lord will, suiting his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men.

    16 And again, it is given by the Holy Ghost to some to know the diversities of operations, whether they be of God, that the manifestations of the Spirit may be given to every man to profit withal.

    17 And again, verily I say unto you, to some is given, by the Spirit of God, the word of wisdom.

    18 To another is given the word of knowledge, that all may be taught to be wise and to have knowledge.

    19 And again, to some it is given to have faith to be healed;

    20 And to others it is given to have faith to heal.

    21 And again, to some is given the working of miracles;

    22 And to others it is given to prophesy;

    23 And to others the discerning of spirits.

    24 And again, it is given to some to speak with tongues;

    25 And to another is given the interpretation of tongues.

    26 And all these gifts come from God, for the benefit of the children of God.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your reply, Log. I think it adds to the subject - gives me something to ponder.

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