Trying to get back on track with my General Conference studying and reporting. It's been a really rough six weeks for me with personal illness and the final hospitalization death, and funeral of my dear, little grandma. I've listened to the sermons, but have been lax at recording my thoughts and impressions of said sermons. So...otra vez...The Parable of the Sower by Dallin H. Oaks. All quotes will be taken from this sermon unless otherwise noted. The text for this parable is found in Matthew 14, Mark 4, and Luke 8.
"different soils on which the seeds fell represent different ways in which mortals receive and follow...the teachings of the Master and His servants..." Brother Oaks sermon didn't focus on the hard hearted, wayside crowd. Instead he warned "us of circumstances and attitudes that can keep anyone who has received the seed of the gospel message from bringing forth a goodly harvest...If we are not rooted in the teachings of the gospel and regular in its practices, any one of us can develop a stony heart, which is stony ground for spiritual seeds...Spiritual food is necessary for spiritual survival, especially in a world that is moving away from belief in God and the absolutes of right and wrong...The most subtle thorns to choke out the effect of the gospel word in our lives are the worldly forces that Jesus called the “cares and riches and pleasures of this life"x...addicted...beguiled by trivial distractions...entitlement mentality...paralyzed by fear of the future...The Savior’s warning against having the cares of this world choke out the word of God in our lives surely challenges us to keep our priorities fixed—our hearts set—on the commandments of God...We have the seed of the gospel word. It is up to each of us to set the priorities and to do the things that make our soil good and our harvest plentiful. We must seek to be firmly rooted and converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ"
"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving," Colossians 2:6-7.
The gospel message is so simple. All throughout the scriptures and in most sermons, we are taught the same thing over and again. Keep the commandments. Develop a habit of constant prayer, service to God's children, and at least daily scripture study. Focus on eternal goals: repent, be baptized, be good, be happy. Develop hope/faith in God. Like anything worth pursuing, it's easier said than done. Nevertheless, a life so devoted is a meaningful and rich path to eternal life with God.