The Parable of the Prodigal Son


wenglund

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There is much to be learned from the parable of the Prodigal Son. Today, I learned something new and profound from the parable by switching from my typical manner of contrasting the two brothers, to comparing what they had in common in terms of attitude and perception. It became a powerful cautionary tale for me in how I view the gospel.

I would be interested to learn if anyone else discovered something new from the parable?

.  Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Guest Mores
8 hours ago, wenglund said:

There is much to be learned from the parable of the Prodigal Son. Today, I learned something new and profound from the parable by switching from my typical manner of contrasting the two brothers, to comparing what they had in common in terms of attitude and perception. It became a powerful cautionary tale for me in how I view the gospel.

I would be interested to learn if anyone else discovered something new from the parable?

.  Thanks, -Wade Englund-

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2002/04/the-other-prodigal?lang=eng

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8 hours ago, Mores said:

Very profound.  I am so glad you reminded me of this life-changing message.

My discovery, however, is related, but somewhat different. It goes to the core cause both for why people are enticed to seek riotous living or jealousy and coveting..

To me, the driving force behind each is a substantial lack of appreciation and gratitude for what we have.  The younger brother came to understand this, in part, after reaching the depths of despair, and was thereby caused to yearn for even just a portion of what he once had. 

The elder brother had yet to gain this insight, and was thus moved to jealousy, believing, as Elder Holland suggests, that what he had wasn't enough.

Sometimes, like fish in water, we fail to fully appreciate and value the living water of the Gospel. It is so commonplace that we take it for granted, that is, until we are taken out of the water and it is lost to us in ways of despair unto repentance.

My goal is to try my best now to see the incomparable value of the gospel without having to experience despair, and thus be moved like the father to fall on the neck, weeping with joy at the return of sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, to the gospel of Christ.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Guest Mores
8 minutes ago, wenglund said:

My goal is to try my best now to see the incomparable value of the gospel without having to experience despair, and thus be moved like the father to fall on the neck, weeping with joy at the return of sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, to the gospel of Christ.

So, is your discovery more like the grass is always greener?  I'm not sure if that is the message here.

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7 hours ago, Mores said:

So, is your discovery more like the grass is always greener?  I'm not sure if that is the message here.

No. As intimated, the message is that we ought not be like the two brothers who failed to correctly recognize and appreciate and be grateful for what the gospel has given them/us.  

This message is underscored by the parable of the Hidden Treasure and the parable of the Pearl

If we rightly grasp the incomparable value of the gospel, we will be less likely to seek after the far less valuable riotous living or be tempted by jealousy and covetness. 

Said another way, if we recognize the unfathomable riches and lofty mansions the gospel affords, why would we leave it for the vacuous slums of sin and low character?

Thanks, -Wade Englund- 

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On 5/12/2019 at 10:55 PM, wenglund said:

There is much to be learned from the parable of the Prodigal Son. Today, I learned something new and profound from the parable by switching from my typical manner of contrasting the two brothers, to comparing what they had in common in terms of attitude and perception. It became a powerful cautionary tale for me in how I view the gospel.

I would be interested to learn if anyone else discovered something new from the parable?

.  Thanks, -Wade Englund-

i found a good examination at https://www.gotquestions.org/parable-prodigal-son.html
The aspect of the eldest son acting like a Pharisee was something new to me.

Thank you,

Gale

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1 hour ago, GaleG said:

i found a good examination at https://www.gotquestions.org/parable-prodigal-son.html
The aspect of the eldest son acting like a Pharisee was something new to me.

Thank you,

Gale

That is an interesting connection to the Pharisees. I wonder, though, if the comparison could be extended to suggest that the older son represent the Jews, while the younfer son represents the lost tribes and the gathering thereof, or the Gentiles.   All through Christ's mortal ministry he was subtly preparing his disciples for taking the gospel into all the world.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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20 hours ago, wenglund said:

That is an interesting connection to the Pharisees. I wonder, though, if the comparison could be extended to suggest that the older son represent the Jews, while the younfer son represents the lost tribes and the gathering thereof, or the Gentiles.   All through Christ's mortal ministry he was subtly preparing his disciples for taking the gospel into all the world.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Never thought of that (Jews representing the eldest son).  I would say no because the parable
does not portray a redemption for them (if representative of the eldest son).

Jesus gave another parable of two sons in Matthew 21:28. One son represented the chief
priests and the elders; those who rejected Christ. The other son (the publicans and the
harlots) are those who repented and entered the Kingdom of God.

Thank you,

Gale

Edited by GaleG
elaborate context
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31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.

32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

Another interesting way to look at the scripture, though obviously not the only way...

It is interesting that the Father's response isn't actually a reproval of the faithful son, but rather an affirmation that even though they celebrate the prodigal's return, the faithful son inherits ALL that the Father has left. 

This means that the younger son already spent his inheritance, and though he is reliant upon his father for support now, in the future if the prodigal is to remain in good supports, it will be upon the faithful brother to give of his own inheritance in that way.

In this way he is trying to relay to the faithful son that he should be of great gladness that his brother has returned, for only if the faithful brother sees this in this way can the prodigal son have a measure of glad tidings and support after the Father passes and the faithful son receives his inheritance.

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4 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

Another interesting way to look at the scripture, though obviously not the only way...

It is interesting that the Father's response isn't actually a reproval of the faithful son, but rather an affirmation that even though they celebrate the prodigal's return, the faithful son inherits ALL that the Father has left. 

This means that the younger son already spent his inheritance, and though he is reliant upon his father for support now, in the future if the prodigal is to remain in good supports, it will be upon the faithful brother to give of his own inheritance in that way.

In this way he is trying to relay to the faithful son that he should be of great gladness that his brother has returned, for only if the faithful brother sees this in this way can the prodigal son have a measure of glad tidings and support after the Father passes and the faithful son receives his inheritance.

That is an interesting take. But, I am not sure how the envy and ingratitude of the older son will be overcome by the prospect of lording over the younger son once the father id dead. It seems to me that it would reinforce the bad attitude by countenancing prideful and self-centered comparisons to others.  

As I see it, a heavy dose of humility may be in order. The older son may be better served to undergo the depths of despair the  younger son experienced--which opened his eyes of appreciation for what he once had, but lost.

Hopefully, though, the father's counsel will enable the older son to learn from the younger son's mistake without him having to go through it himself.   And, the same goes for those of us, like myself, who may lack gratitude,  and who may dabble in prideful and self-centered comparisons to others.The last thing I need to be told is that those I envy will one day be dependent upon me.  

Thanks, -Wade Enlgund-

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