Friday Minute: Class warfare and the parable of the laborers

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  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 3, 2012 11:31 p.m.

    I am sure many business owners will love this parable for the wrong reasons: "those greedy workers expect to be paid more for more work! They should be happy just to have a job!"

    The point is, you have to think of the real meaning of the parable, and detach any worldly thinking in order to understand it. I LOVE this parable because it gives me hope. Some will find the gospel later in life, others earlier. Some will reap more fruit, others less. Some will baptize on their mission 200 people in South America, some, like myself, will see only a few join the Church in Europe. Some will not be able to go. Some will have high callings in the Church. Others will be in the background, still giving the best effort they know how. I myself have had the gospel my whole life, and I am grateful the Savior offers salvation to those who come much later than me. It cannot be any other way, but is still incredibly merciful.

  • gatsby Murray, utah
    Feb. 3, 2012 9:21 a.m.

    I have always loved this parable because it seems to turn so many things on their head. But it also sort of punches me in the gut, and bothers me--which is a great thing for a parable to do. Let's just say that it gets my attention. The Savior penetrates our pride, our egos, and here, even our earthly sense of "justice." And what a better way to do it (for modern day society) than to talk about jobs and money--some of our modern "gods"? What does it mean that the last shall be first, and the first last? As you have suggested here, maybe in part, it means that those who come to work in the vineyard later than others, will receive an equal reward. Thank you for your interpretation--I loved the modern day parallels.

    Keith Hamilton also has a fascinating take on this parable in his recent book Last laborer: Thoughts and Reflections of a Black Mormon. I don't mean to sell the book short, but in part, Hamilton muses that many Africans, and African Americans are coming to the vineyard (the Church) later than many others--for a whole host of reasons. But does that mean they should be "paid" any less, or receive less of a reward?

    And the "first shall be last and the last shall be first"--humbling if we consider ourselves as the "first." As the Savior knew, parables can be interpreted on so many levels, and I will continue to ponder this one for a lifetime. Thanks for some more insight that will prompt more personal spritual ponderings.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Feb. 3, 2012 7:14 a.m.

    How nice. You get to be a good soul and wait until you die to finally share the fruits of your labor.