“Hear Ye Therefore the Parable of the Sower”

Matthew 13:3–8, 18–23

3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. . . .
18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

President James E. Faust said:

“I am grateful that I was taught as a child how to plant seeds. Through the miracle of life, we planted the seeds and produced delicious fresh peas, corn, carrots, turnips, onions, and potatoes from our own garden. I clearly remember a most meaningful experience when my grandfather showed us how to sow alfalfa seeds by hand. He had plowed and harrowed the ground to prepare the seedbed. Then he took a handful of seeds, and with a wide swing of his arm he artfully scattered them as he paced across the field in geometric patterns. Although birds ate some of the alfalfa seed, the crop grew, and the stand was rich and plentiful for many years.

“This experience helped me later, as a missionary, to understand the Savior’s parable of the sower, which is actually a parable about different kinds of soil. He taught that ‘some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

“‘Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth. . . .

“‘And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

“‘And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

“‘But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold’ [Matthew 13:4–8].

“In this parable, the seed is the same but it lands on four different kinds of soil. The Savior also explained the meaning of the parable. The seed that ‘fell by the way side’ represents those who hear the word of God but do not understand it and fall into the clutches of Satan. The second seed, which ‘fell upon stony places,’ describes those who joyfully hear the word and thrive as long as all goes well. But when trials come and they feel peer pressure because of their beliefs, they are offended and do not endure. The third seed, which ‘fell among thorns,’ represents those who hear the word, but worldliness and riches are more important to them, and they fall away from the truth. The last seed, however, which ‘fell into good ground,’ represents those who hear the word, understand it, live it, and reap great eternal rewards [see Matthew 13:19–23]. . . .

“We . . . need to prepare our own seedbed of faith. To do this we need to plow the soil through daily humble prayer, asking for strength and forgiveness. We need to harrow the soil by overcoming our feelings of pride. We need to prepare the seedbed by keeping the commandments to the best of our ability. We need to be honest with the Lord in the payment of our tithing and our other offerings. We need to be worthy and able to call forth the great powers of the priesthood to bless ourselves, our families, and others for whom we have responsibility. There is no better place for the spiritual seeds of our faith to be nurtured than within the hallowed sanctuaries of our temples and in our homes.”

(“Of Seeds and Soils,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 46, 48.)

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