Matthew 13; Luke 8, 13

March 20, 2023 to March 26, 2023

Jesus’ parables are rich with meaning. Joseph Smith said, “I have a key by which I understand the scriptures. I enquire what was the question which drew out the answer.” (Joseph Smith Papers) With that in mind, we also can ask what situation or question the Savior was responding to when he told parables. 


“The Coexistence of Opposites: The Wheat and Tares Together,” excerpted from The Parables of Jesus: Revealing the Plan of Salvation, by John W. Welch and Jeannie S. Welch, with art by Jorge Cocco Santangelo and art commentary by Herman du Toit.

Jesus is the master who plants the field with good see. The enemy, Satan, sows the field with weeds.

 “Of Soils and Souls: The Parable of the Sower,” by Jared M. Halverson, Religious Educator 9, no. 3.

“Jesus refused to give up on the seemingly barren soil that surrounded Him…. In interpreting the parable of the sower, the Master was preparing His disciples for the wide range of soils they would encounter in their preaching, not that they might make final decrees but preliminary diagnoses.”

“Parables,” Susan Howe, Encyclopedia of Mormonism 

Jesus’ parables in Matthew 13 apply to the latter days.

“How to Read a Parable,” Richard Lloyd Anderson, Ensign, September 1974

Parables teach using simple stories that make a point, and we should not push the details so far that the story breaks down. 

Chart 9-7: “The Wheat and the Tares,” Charting the New Testament, John W. Welch and John H. Hall 

This chart shows Jesus’ interpretation for the parable of the wheat and the tares found in Matthew 13:24-43.

Chart 9-8: “Joseph Smith’s Explanations of Parables in Matthew 13,” Charting the New Testament, John W. Welch and John H. Hall

The quotations in this chart come from Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith and from various places in the Joseph Smith Papers.