Years ago I finally decided to return to my roots. I’d grown up with a mother most adept at gardening. Her gardens often stretched over an acre with healthy plants that fed us through the summer and fall. Despite this upbringing, when I looked at a vegetable and a weed, I couldn’t really tell the difference. So weeding was rarely my job. I can’t imagine why.
Nevertheless, one spring I decided to plant a garden that I might enjoy the fruits of my labor, so to speak. I broke up ground in the designated area, fertilized it well, added healthy soil to the mix and went to work. My plan was to buy plants already growing so that I could clearly determine between vegetable and weed. It worked. Within weeks I had a beautiful garden and shortly thereafter we began enjoying the tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, corn, etc. It was great! I felt as if I’d accomplished the impossible.
So taking this story and applying it spiritually is very interesting as well. We are born. We grow, taught in the ways of our parents, and reach adulthood with a set of expectations and understandings. As life goes on, we become set in our ways and the “gardens of our souls” become hardened, the soil less fertile and the boundaries fudged. Life becomes a little less clear, choices don’t seems so important and when the consequences of “overgrown weeds” choke out any healthy “plant,” we find ourselves in crisis mode.
That is when it is time to return to times past. Remember primary and being surrounded by children singing, listening and learning from primary teachers. The song “I Think When I Read That Sweet Story of Old” takes me back instantly to those times and lessons taught flow freely back into my mind. The gardening of your soul is somewhat similar. Make the choice to rid yourself of all the noxious “weeds” which are choking your spirit and restricting your growth. Once this choice is made, “fertilize” your mind and heart with the words and teachings of prophets and apostles. Lovingly tend the garden with continual care, adding music that makes your soul sing and the sunshine of the light of the Holy Ghost as He comforts and testifies of truth. Your spirit is once again in a flourishing atmosphere and you can simply grow as your Father in Heaven intended you to grow.
It’s not really so terribly difficult. We know if you pour gas on a garden it’s toast. Similarly, if you wallow in sin your spirit withers and becomes inconsequential in your quest for eternal glory. Find good friends and associates. Immerse yourself in life, but in a life balanced with all that is righteous, it is truly much more enjoyable that way.