Earthly and Heavenly Rewards

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A look at some of the Saviors greatest parables.

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Earthly and Heavenly Rewards

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Matthew 19:16–30 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

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The parable in Matthew 19:16-30 shows us a young man intent on worldly appearances and earthly wealth. He has kept all the commandments but is unwilling to give up his grandeur. He does not understand that by doing more than just honoring the commandment by obedience he can gain greater treasures in Heaven. If he had truly felt the spiritual uplifting behind obedience he would have had no problem giving up a wealth that would serve no purpose for him when he was dead. The Savior had promised that anything that was given up in this life to follow Him would be returned to him a hundredfold. This rich young man could not understand this. We can avoid this folly by keeping in our hearts every day the truth of the gospel. If we keep our hearts trained on the faith we build, and seek more faith, we will find it easier to recognize what is a true treasure and what are just the trappings of man.

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Matthew 20:1–16 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

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Let us look more closely at what was promised and what was received:

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We learn from this parable that everyone is treated the same in the Lord’s kingdom. No matter how late in life we come to the truth, all the blessings of the gospel can still be received. This is such a great parable for converts because it assures them that they have a place in the Lord’s kingdom and that no matter why they were late in coming to the gospel, their faith is equal to someone who has always had the gospel. They can still look forward to all the blessings that a faith in the Savior can bestow. I would point out to anyone who feels that this equal treatment is unfair that just because someone else has the same blessings as them, does not make their blessings of any less worth. If the blessings they receive can be tarnished because someone with less time with the truth than them has the same blessings, they need to think of how barren life is without those blessings and ask themselves why they would deny them to some one else. Did not the Savior promise that He came to earth to save everyone? If that is the case how can He justify not keeping that promise to a new laborer in His gospel?

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These parables help me realize the unfailing love of the Savior and Heavenly Father. They reaffirm for me that the forgiveness I received at baptism is full and complete. They also give me hope that though I had a late start in the gospel I can rise as high as my faith will allow. This is the true gospel as Christ taught it and He has placed a true prophet on earth to continue His mission. We live in amazing times and are blessed that the Savior and Heavenly Father visited Joseph Smith so that everyone has a chance to live the true gospel.

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