The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

Matthew 13:24–30, 36–43

24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. . . .
36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Elder L. Tom Perry said:

“One of the Savior’s parables, I believe, especially applies to our current day.

“It is contained in Matthew chapter 13, where we read:

“‘But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

“‘But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

“‘So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

“‘He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

“‘But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

“‘Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn’ (verses 25–30).

“That old enemy of all mankind has found as many devices as he can think of to scatter tares far and wide. He has found ways to have them penetrate even the sanctity of our own homes. The wicked and worldly ways have become so widespread there seems to be no real way of weeding them out. They come by wire and through the air into the very devices we have developed to educate and entertain us. The wheat and the tares have grown close together. A steward managing the field must, with all his or her power, nourish that which is good and make it so strong and beautiful the tares will have no appeal either to the eye or the ear. How blessed are we as members of the Lord’s Church to have the precious gospel of our Lord and Savior as a foundation on which we can build our lives.”

(“Finding Lasting Peace and Building Eternal Families,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 43–44.)

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