Once upon a time, an old olive farmer was in
distress. His favorite
olive tree, one he had planted in the middle of his vineyard, was
beginning to die. It grieved the owner that he would lose the tame tree and the
delicious fruit it bore. In
an effort to save the tree, he did the things a good vineyard-owner
would do: he pruned away the dead branches, he dug around it to aerate
the soil, and fertilized to nourish the roots.
His hard work, however, brought little return: a few new green shoots came
forth from the base of the tree, but the majority of the branches were
still about to perish.
Grieved by the results, the vineyard owner talked
with his right hand man about what to do.
'Let's do two things to insure I'll continue to
have this wonderful fruit,' the master said: 'First, let's cut out these
dying branches from this tame tree, and get some branches from the
thriving wild olive tree, and graft them back onto my tame tree. You see, the roots of my tame
tree are still alive, and if the new wild grafts can just take hold,
maybe they will still produce the wonderful fruit I desire. Second, let's cut off these new green shoots that sprouted
from recent fertilization--we'll plant them in another part of the
The work was done:
the master cut off and hid the young shoots from the tame mother
tree into other parts of the vineyard; simultaneously he pruned the
mother tree's dead branches and grafted on thriving branches from a wild
Many years passed by. After a long time, the master
said to his right hand man, "Let's go check on the vineyards'
The first stop was to check on the tame mother
tree. To the owner's
delight, grafting the wild branches onto the dying mother tree had done
the trick. The new grafts
were pulling moisture from the roots, and we're producing good
fruit--just like the original fruit the master desired. Without the wild tree's grafts,
the tame tree would've perished.
Then the master said: "Let's check on the
progress of the little branches we transplanted into other parts of the
vineyard." Enough time
had elapsed to allow the saplings to grow into adult trees.
To check on the remnant transplants, they made
three stops. At the first
stop, where the soil had been poor,
a sapling had been planted.
Lo and behold, it was now a thriving tree, bringing forth good
fruit, just like the original. The
second stop, to an even poorer section of ground than the first,
presented another healthy tree producing good fruit.
At the third and last stop, this time to a choice
spot of ground, the master and his right hand man found interesting
results: a large tree had
grown from the remnant sapling, but strangely enough, it was producing two kinds of
fruits: half was good, like
the original, and half was bad, and good for nothing.
The master's first inclination was to remove all
the bad branches from this last tree.
He suggested all the bad branches be cast into the fire and
burned, but the right hand man suggested that perhaps if they nourished
the whole tree, that perhaps it might be able to bring forth completely
pure fruit. The master
agreed to the plan. They
nourished not only this tree, but all the trees in the vineyard.
Now that all the trees had once again been
nourished, the master and helper left the vineyard for a long time. Many more years later, they knew the end was drawing near,
and it was time to pluck the desired fruit and store it for the season. They returned to the vineyard
for a final progress check.
At this visit, however, they discovered a strangely
different situation in the vineyard.
The original mother tree, which had the wild
branches grafted onto it, was producing lots of different kinds of
fruit, but none of it was good. Although
the master knew it's roots were still viable and pure, the wild branches
had overtaken the tame tree. The
master lamented that if the tame tree couldn't produce good fruit again,
it was good for nothing but to be burned.
At that, the master and helper headed for the
transplants. To his dismay,
the master realized that all three remnants had stopped producing the
good fruit: they had all become corrupt. If fact, the master discovered
something terrible about the last transplant: although it previously produced
both good and bad fruit, now the corrupt branches of the tree had
totally overwhelmed the good branches.
No good fruit was to be found.
He lamented that in leaving the bad branches on the
tree at his first visit, with hopes that they would improve through
nourishment, these very branches now strangled the good out of
existence. The master continued that, previous to planting this third
transplant, he had totally cleared away the trees that cumbered the
At this, the master was grief stricken. With no good fruit on these
trees as the original, there was nothing to do but burn them all. He had been diligent in nourishing the vineyard, but the
trees had failed to respond.
In thoughtful pondering, he made this observation: 'I know that the original mother
tree, the tame tree, still has roots that are alive and can produce good
fruit. And, I know the
source of the trees are common, so if they could just nourish each
other…….That's it', he shouted!
The transplants will get nourishment from the parent, and the
parent will get nourishment from the children!'
The master had one final plan to get the original
Since the transplants still have genetics from the
mother tree, let's prune off some of the worst part of the mother tree,
then graft part of the remnants back onto it. It's like bringing her children
home to her. Also, let's
take part of the original mother tree, and after pruning off the worst
branches of the remnants, let's put her branches back on them. It's like taking mom to the
kids. Ultimately we'll have
original branches on original roots--if they can only nourish each
other, we may get the original fruit back.'
But a wise warning came from the master to his
servant: don't remove too much bad at once, or all the trees will die
from shock. Instead, as
good branches grow, remove the bad only little by little to keep the
tree in balance.
The master viewed that a portion of the trees was
extremely corrupt, and he himself removed just those branches and cast
them into the fire.
But at this point, the master knew the job ahead
was a delicate task would require much help. He commissioned his right hand
man to call other helpers--ones who could and would obey the master's
command without question, and follow through with every detail with
exactness. The Helper found
other men who fit the description, but there were only a few.
The newly hired servants went forth with their
might, and the Lord of the vineyard went with them, directing their work
and laboring along side the servants.
To the delight of all, the final plan was working
and natural fruit was beginning to appear in the vineyard. The life blood of the tame
mother tree was nourishing the off-spring re-grafted to her; and
simultaneously, the transplants' pure essence was providing life for the
remnants once broken off. And
on all trees, as the pure natural branches emerged, wild branches began
to be plucked off, and all trees began to thrive exceedingly, bearing
With all diligence, the servants of the Lord of the
vineyard performed the work according to all the commandments of the
master. They labored together until all the bad had been cast out of the
vineyard and the trees--the mother and her transplants-- were once again
producing the delicious fruit desired by the master.
With joy, the master announced that his vineyard
was no more corrupt, and in nourishing the vineyard for this last time,
the natural fruit had been produced and preserved.
The servants were commended for their efforts and
were invited to enjoy with the master, the wonderful fruit of their
As they savored the delicious fruit in a vineyard
now free of corruption, the master prophesied that one day, when evil
fruit once again crept into his vineyard, he would have the good
separated and preserved unto himself.
And the bad would be cast into its own place. And at this time, he would burn
the vineyard with fire.
A few helps to understand the parable:
||People correctly responding to the true Gospel of
||People not responding to the gospel, or responding
to incorrect doctrine.
||The geographical world.
||The house of
Israel (covenant people)
(all outside the House of Israel)
|The transplanted shoots:
||Remnants of the House of Israel relocated, such as
|The 'Right Hand Man:
||Christ His Son
|Nourishing trees, vineyard:
||Preaching the true gospel of Christ
||Endowed Priesthood of last days.
||Sharing the gospel and bringing them in unto the
|Remnant tree w/ both fruits:
||Nephite/Lamanite people. Some believed, some
|Visitation after first effort:
||Christ's coming as a man, visited House of Israel
and lost sheep.
|Visitation at the end:
||Christ's coming to the church, to endow the
priesthood in the last days.