A Young Folks' History of the Church HTML version
Once upon a time the owner of a very large garden planted therein a tree, the fruit of
which was very precious and of great value to all who ate of it. For a time, the tree grew
and bore much good fruit. But the owner of the garden had an enemy who went about
secretly sowing seeds of weeds and all manner of briers and brush, that they might spread
all over the garden and kill out the good tree which the master had planted. The enemy
also persuaded many of the workmen in the garden to neglect the good tree, and let the
briers and weeds grow up around it and so prevent its growth. Thus in time the once
precious fruit of the good tree became wild and scrubby, no better than the enemy's trees
which grew around it.
Years passed, and the master, grieving that the precious fruit should have become so
worthless, determined to plant the good tree once more in the garden. He did not try to
clear away a spot for it amid the old, overgrown parts of the land, but he called upon
certain workers to go to a distant part of the garden where nothing had been planted for a
long time, and there prepare the ground for the planting of the tree.
These workers were faithful to their master and did as they were told. Very few of the
enemy's noxious weeds were growing in the new soil, so it was not such hard work to
clear the ground and prepare a place for the master to plant his tree.
To be better protected against the enemy, the master told his workmen to build a high,
strong wall about that part of the garden. This was all done; and then one beautiful spring
day the owner came with his servants. They had with them the precious tree taken from
some other garden where it had grown without hindrance from weeds. The tree was
planted and put in charge of other servants to tend it. The warm sun shone on it, the rains
came from heaven to water it, and the tree took firm root and grew.
Now all the boys and girls who read this book will understand that the little story I have
just told is what is called a Parable, meant to make plainer some facts and truths. I can
not tell you all about that tree here, how it grew and bore fruit, and how many people
came and ate of its delicious fruit, notwithstanding the enemy came again and tried to
check its growth. I say, I cannot tell it to you in the form of a parable, but will tell it as it
actually happened. You may, if you like, imagine in your own minds the rest of the
parable, but the real story you will find more interesting than any made-up tale can be.
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.