First, let me explain to you the meaning of the parable.
The garden means the earth, and the owner is the Lord, who came to the earth about nineteen hundred years ago to die for the sins of the world. He also planted the good tree, that is, He brought the gospel and taught it to his followers. The enemy is the evil one, the devil, who stirred up men to work against the gospel and to kill those who obeyed it. He also mixed his lies with Christ’s truths, until in time the pure gospel was not to be found on the earth.
This was the condition of the world for hundreds of years. Then the Lord wished to restore the true gospel and again establish his Church on the earth. He therefore chose a place where all would have the right to believe the truth and be protected in that liberty. The Lord, therefore, moved upon Columbus to discover this land of America.
The servants spoken of, whom the Lord sent to prepare the land for the planting, were all those great and good men whom you have read about in your American history: Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and many others. You will remember how these men loved right and liberty, and how they worked so hard for it; and in reading the history of these men we can plainly see that the Lord was with them and helped them. These men built the high wall, which means that they made just laws that would protect the people and let them worship God in any way they thought right.
Thus was the way prepared for the gospel to be restored again to the earth; and the Lord himself came from heaven, also his servants Moroni, Peter, James, and John to bring the glad tidings to all who live on the earth.
Then the Lord called some more servants to preach the gospel to the world and build up his Church. The first and greatest of these servants is known by the name of Joseph Smith, the Prophet. How the Lord called him to this great work and delivered to him the gospel will be told you in the next chapter.
Topics.—1. The Parable. 2. Explanation.
Questions and Review.—1. Name some of Christ’s first disciples. 2: Tell how some of them were killed. 3. How long was the world without the gospel? 4. Tell how Columbus discovered America. 5. Who were the Pilgrims? 6. What was the Revolutionary war about? 7. What is the Constitution of the United States? 8. Find out what it says about religious liberty. 9. Why is America the “Land of liberty?”
The first vision.
At the time when Thomas Jefferson was president of the United States, there was born among the Green Mountains of Vermont a boy who was to become the great prophet of the last days. The hills and valleys of Vermont look beautiful in the summer, but at the time here spoken of they were no doubt covered with snow, for it was the 23rd of December, 1805, in the town of Sharon, Windsor county, that Joseph Smith first saw the light of the world.