Friday, December 4, 2015

On fruit

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
-3 Nephi 14

I have wondered on occasion about this passage an how it reflects real life. Many people will use this scripture to find fault with others and then declare that religion  or  the church specifically is bad because some members do bad things or some doctrines cause pain. In real life, no one is going to bring forth good fruit all the time. Too many mistakes, too many offenses, too many sins. So how can any of us say that we are good trees, the kind whose fruit will be gathered and not burned? And how can the Church collectively say that?

As I thought about this, my mind went back to fruit trees, and the phrase "gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles." On any given fruit tree there may be varying qualities of fruit. A young tree may not produce fruit of the same sweetness that a mature tree can produce. Different kinds of fruits may be attractive to different people (for example, I love apples, but in my opinion, red delicious are really pretty but taste terrible). Some fruit is better for cooking or baking, but without sweetener they are hard to swallow. Some can have a bitter taste. Too much of any one can make you sick. 

While all this is true, and while some may say that some fruit is "bad," really all of these fruits are healthful and useful. They are all good fruits.

There are some fruits that are bad, trees  that will never produce something fit for human ingestion. Jequirity, wolfsbane, white baneberry (yes I had to look those up), thorns. Some are beautiful, but they ultimately destroy life rather than sustain it. These are the ones we should be worrying about. The ones who aren't just a little hard to swallow, but rather draw us in but bring death in their wake. 

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