Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Giving Tree

Isaiah talks about how the "stem of Jesse" will come to judge us in righteousness. Olive tree are and were very common in Isaiah's area.

Here are a few things I learned from a talk called The Olive Press:
  • The olive tree is a perennial, not a deciduous tree. Its leaves do not seasonally fade nor fall. Through scorching heat and winter cold they are continually rejuvenated. The tree is thus evergreen, or “everolive.” 
  • Without cultivation it is a wild, unruly, easily corrupted tree. Only after long, patient cultivating, usually eight to ten years, does it begin to yield fruit. 
  • New shoots often come forth from apparently dead roots. 
  • Today some trees, still productive on the Mount of Olives, are known by scientific measure to be at least 1,800 years old. a 
  • Even after the harvest, the olives are bitter, useless to man or beast. To make them edible, one must place them in a large stone box, layer them with salt and vinegar, make more layers of olives, and add more purgatives. Slowly the bitterness is purged from them.
  • To produce olive oil, the refined olives had to be crushed in a press. The mellowed and seasoned olives were placed in strong bags and flattened on a furrowed stone. Then a huge crushing circular rock was rolled around on top, paced by a mule or an ox and a stinging whip. Another method used heavy wooden levers or screws twisting beams downward like a winch upon the stone with the same effect: pressure, pressure, pressure—until the oil flowed.
Truman G. Madsen spoke on this topic better than I about how Jesus Christ is the stem of Jesse and how Christ is similar to an olive tree and the fruit it produces. I encourage you to read Madsen's words.

My own paralells from the point above are:
  • We are forever living. Because of the atonement of Jesus Christ, we will gain immortality. We may grow and change with time but our spirit lives on.
  • Today we tied Ruth and Boaz to Obed to Jesse to David. Each was given the promise that Jesus Christ would be born through their lineage and what an honor it was for them. They were taught the commandments and given the choice to choose if they would follow Jesus Christ. "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ" (source). 
  • The gift of the atonement makes it possible for new life to come to each of us. We can repent and make a better life.
  • We lived before we came to earth, and we will live again after this earth life.
  • Some times we are bitter and mean, time, care, and experience helps each of us to be more specific in how we want to be better to ourselves and to each other.
  • The refining process comes to each of us in our trials. We can either choose to reach out and ask for the aid of the Savior or suffer on our own.
All things denote there is a God even the new growth from an apparent dead stump and the hope that comes with new life.

1 comment:

Sue said...

What great things you are teaching your kids!