The scriptures are full of stories called “parables” that compare a spiritual truth with something more familiar to people. In the parable of the Sower, the Savior uses the metaphor of planting seeds to talk about testimonies.1
This parable teaches us that we can help our testimony grow within our heart like a seed grows in good ground. President Dallin H. Oaks gave a talk explaining more about what parts of this story can mean for us today. 2
- The Sower: Jesus Christ is the Sower in this parable. He is the one who gives us the seed of Truth.
- The seed: The seed represents the word of God, which we can find in scriptures and the messages of prophets.
Here are some examples of poor ground, or the attitudes we want to avoid.
- Wayside: This is hard ground, where birds take the seed away. That’s like when the word of God is given to someone whose heart is hard and unwilling to listen to the Spirit.
- Stony ground: A seed planted in stony ground might start to sprout, but will eventually wither away because it has no place to grow roots. That could be like someone who stops nourishing their testimony, who ends up turning away from God when hard things happen that test their faith.
- Thorns: Seeds planted in thorns will get choked and tangled. That could represent someone who allows the riches of the world (possessions, addictions, etc.) matter more to them than the word of God.
So, what does good ground look like? It’s the kind of attitude we want to try to have.
- Good ground: When someone is trying their best to learn about Jesus Christ and follow Him, the word of God can be “planted” in their heart. As they keep trying to make good choices and nourish their testimony with holy experiences, it will take root and grow stronger—just like a plant growing and thriving!
Just think‚ our Church leaders like Elder Oaks were once a teenager like you. Their testimony grew stronger little by little, just like ours can. And they still need to nourish their testimonies every day, like we do.
Look for another post with an activity idea about how to create good ground in your heart!
1. Read about this parable in Matthew 13,nullMark 4, and Luke 8.
2. See “The Parable of the Sower” Apr. 2015 general conference.
The image above can also be found inside the back cover of the March 2023 For the Strength of Youth magazine.