“What Can We Learn from the Allegory of the Olive Tree?” Liahona, March 2020
In the allegory of the olive tree, the master of the vineyard finds his olive tree in a state of decay and says, “I will prune [the tree], and dig about it, and nourish it” (Jacob 5:4).
Pruning removes dead branches and bad fruit from a tree. The master cut off the dead branches and cast them into the fire (see Jacob 5:9). How does God help us “prune” our lives of sins and weaknesses?
Digging includes clearing away obstacles, such as weeds, from around a tree. Digging ensures nothing will hinder the tree’s ability to grow. What obstacles keep us from growing spiritually?
Nourishing keeps a tree healthy by providing minerals and other nutrients. Like trees, our spirits need nourishment. How can we nourish our spirits?
Throughout the allegory, the master and his servant visit the vineyard several times (see Jacob 5:15–18, 29–32, 37–42). Each time, the process of pruning, digging, and nourishing is repeated.
The master of the vineyard represents Jesus Christ. The tree and its branches represent His people. This allegory is much more than a story about trees and fruit. It is a powerful witness of God’s involvement in His children’s lives and the Savior’s mission and His love for all mankind.