Chapter 25: Truths from the Savior’s Parables in Matthew 13,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith

Chapter 25: Truths from the Savior’s Parables in Matthew 13

Attention Activity:

Share with the class one of Aesop’s Fables.   Here is a good one,

The Lion and the Mouse

Once when a Lion was asleep a little Mouse began running up and down him; this soon wakened the Lion, who placed his huge paw upon him, and opened his big jaws to swallow him.  “Pardon, O King,” cried the little Mouse, “forgive me this time.  I shall never forget it.  Who knows but what I may be able to do you a turn some of these days?”  The Lion was so tickled by the idea of the Mouse being able to help him, that he lifted his paw and let him go.  Some time after the Lion was caught in a trap, and the hunters who desired to carry him alive to the King, tied him to a tree while they went in search of a wagon to carry him in.  Just then the little Mouse happened to stop by, and seeing the sad plight that the Lion was in, went to him and soon gnawed away the ropes that bound the King of the Beasts.  “Was I not right?” said the little Mouse.

Ask the class what the moral of this story is.  Then ask what the advantages and disadvantages are to teaching using this method.  (List some of their answers on the board)  Is it better to just say “Little friends may prove great friends?”  Today we are going to discuss how Jesus taught in a similar way using parables.

Class Discussion:

At this point I would split the class into four sections and assign each group one of the parables. Have them go to Matthew 13 and read over their parable.  Then be ready to discuss the main lesson of each parable.  Give the class about 3-4 minutes.  (They don’t necessarily have to discuss it with their groups.  You can have them do this if you like, but in some classes this can prove to be ineffective.)  Then go through each parable and share the important points.  As a teacher you have to be prepared to tie in what they say to what Joseph Smith is teaching.  I have included some of the main points from the lesson for each parable.  Just make sure to always tie back to the lesson material from things that the class says.

Parable of the Sower

Men who have no principle of righteousness in themselves, and whose hearts are full of iniquity, and have no desire for the principles of truth, do not understand the word of truth when they hear it. The devil taketh away the word of truth out of their hearts, because there is no desire for righteousness in them.

You can discuss here the importance of our desires and how we show that we do have a “desire for righteousness” in us.

Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

As the servants of God go forth warning the nations, both priests and people, and as they harden their hearts and reject the light of truth, these first being delivered over to the buffetings of Satan, and the law and the testimony being closed up, … they are left in darkness, and delivered over unto the day of burning; thus being bound up by their creeds, and their bands being made strong by their priests, [they] are prepared for the fulfillment of the saying of the Savior—‘The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.’ [Matthew 13:41–42.]

Here Joseph teaches that the thing that binds the wicked are their own “creeds.”  How can false beliefs and actions cause us to be bound or lose freedom?  Could this possibly apply to some people who are members of the Church?  How do we protect against it?

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

“The … clouds of darkness have long been beating like mountain waves upon the immovable rock of the Church of the Latter-day Saints; and notwithstanding all this, the mustard seed is still towering its lofty branches, higher and higher, and extending itself wider and wider; and the chariot wheels of the Kingdom are still rolling on, impelled by the mighty arm of Jehovah; and in spite of all opposition, will still roll on, until His words are all fulfilled.”

How has the Church continued to fulfill this prophecy?  How do we apply this prophecy individually?

The Parable of the Leaven

“For the works of this example, see the Book of Mormon coming forth out of the treasure of the heart. Also the covenants given to the Latter-day Saints [the Doctrine and Covenants], also the translation of the Bible—thus bringing forth out of the heart things new and old, thus answering to three measures of meal undergoing the purifying touch by a revelation of Jesus Christ, and the ministering of angels, who have already commenced this work in the last days, which will answer to the leaven which leavened the whole lump. Amen.”

Take time to talk about each of the parables and allow class members to share their feelings.  Again, remember to always tie it back to the lesson manual.


5 thoughts on “Chapter 25: Truths from the Savior’s Parables in Matthew 13,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith

  1. This was so helpful for my lesson on Sunday….thank you thank you for doing this I hope you keep this up. I do great giving talks but teaching is a struggle for me and these ideas were very helpful as were the teaching tips listed on the home page. Thanks.

  2. Pingback: Truths of the Savior's Parables, Matthew 13 - Page 2 - LDS Mormon Forums

  3. Thanks so much on your insight in how to present this lesson!! Our R.S. is really good at doing group things like this. So this is good way to help get through all 4 of these parables with everyone involved. Hope you continue doing this!

    Much appreciated!!

    • Glad that you liked it! I will keep doing a lesson every week. I am also trying to do more with teaching tips, etc. Please give any feedback so I can make this site have the content you are looking for. And of course, tell your friends! 🙂

  4. I may be jumping ahead, but I’m starting to prepare for my next lesson, #30, ‘Valiant in the Cause of Christ’. i’d love to hear any thoughts or considerations others may have. I thought it interesting that the bible dictionary doesn’t list ‘valiant’ in its words. What is ‘valiant’ in the cause of Christ. What is meant by using this specific word? That was just one thought that came to mind after reading the lesson.


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