The Parables of the Treasure Hidden in the Field and of the Pearl of Great Price

Matthew 13:44–46

44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

Elder Mark E. Petersen said:

“The Savior taught with many parables, and they are well known. But He also taught with pertinent and piercing questions. One of them was this: ‘. . . what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ (Matt. 16:26).

“This is particularly important when we realize that the Lord defined eternal life as the greatest of all the gifts of God.

“Each one of us has a soul to save. Each has the opportunity to obtain eternal life. Since our souls are so precious, we should leave no stone unturned in our effort to save them.

“The Savior illustrated this great fact with some of His best-known parables. For example, He said:

“‘. . . The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls; Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it’ (Matt. 13:45–46).

“‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he . . . goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field’ (Matt. 13:44).

“In other words, He is telling us that salvation is the pearl of great price, salvation is the treasure in the field; and if we only realized its worth, we would give all that we have to obtain it.

“Shall we not waken to this important lesson? It comes from the lips of God, who cannot lie.

“The thing which is of most worth unto us is to be in the service of the Lord.

“This means that we must not be blinded by the glitter of gold or the allurement of position or pleasure or even the false excitement of sin.

“We must open our eyes to the fact that to serve God is the greatest career in the world.

“To be saved in His presence is the greatest gift that can come to us, and to bring our family with us into the enjoyment of salvation will be the greatest achievement of our lives.

“But we must understand that salvation is not a free gift. The offer is free indeed, through the Atonement of the Savior. But its enjoyment must be earned, not with any halfhearted effort, but with wholesouled, undivided, concentrated application to a program of development which is called the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“If we believe in immortality at all, we must also believe in God. And if we believe in Him, we should accept the fact that it is possible for us to become like Him. Actually, this is what God expects of us.

“He gave us His Beloved Son Jesus Christ as a pattern to live by, and through Him we can become perfect, even as God.

“What a marvelous destiny! What an opportunity!

“Is it any wonder that the scripture calls it the pearl of great price?

“Then should we not make every effort to achieve it? But on the other hand, if we do not, what are we exchanging for our souls?”

(“What Will a Man Give?” Ensign, Jan. 1974, 110–11.)

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