Tender Plants

“Tender Plants,” Ensign, July 1986, 59

Tender Plants

Following President Spencer W. Kimball’s admonition to raise a garden has provided our family not only with bounteous harvests, but with many lessons of life as well.

One peaceful summer morning as I was attacking the ever-encroaching weeds with battle-like fury, I suddenly stopped short. Unwittingly, I had unearthed a tender vegetable plant!

As I leaned wearily on the hoe handle, frustrated by my mistake, my thoughts turned—rather uneasily—to our three small children. Could it be, my conscience seemed to ask, that at times I get so intense in my determination to “weed out” negative, annoying actions in these little ones that I sometimes thwart or actually uproot healthy growth in them also? The thought stunned me.

As I resumed my weeding, exercising much greater care this time, a resolve was taking root within me. I would endeavor with more concern to nurture the precious, tender traits growing within our children—and be ever so cautious about chopping at their “weeds.”

“Commend virtue and you will find few vices to condemn.” (Author unknown.)

Elizabeth C. Zaleski,
Parowan, Utah

Illustrated by Rohn Solomon