A few days ago I was listening to a podcast of a BYU devotional given by the dean of the religion department, Terry B. Ball. Dean Ball has a background in botany, but also spent many years with CES before his current position as dean. I was greatly interested in part of his talk and some symbolism he points out in Isaiah 28:24-29. Anyway, I enjoyed it so much I thought I would share. Following is an excerpt from an article summarizing Ball's points:
Using his training as a botanist, Ball helped the students see the principles of the gospel contained in the passage about a farmer plowing a field and sowing seeds. The seeds are sown according to their needs and individual characteristics in straight rows or tightly clumped together. Some of the seeds are planted in the center of the field where the soil is the finest, and some on the outside to form a barrier around the field.
"Obviously Isaiah is trying to do something more here than teach us about Old Testament agriculture," Ball said. "I believe Isaiah wants us to liken the farmer to our Heavenly Father, and the seeds to our selves. Have you ever wondered why you were born where and when you were born? …We believe that when it came time for us to experience mortality a loving Heavenly Father who knows each of us well, sent us to earth at the time and place and circumstances that would best help us reach our divine potential, and help him maximize his harvest of redeemed souls."
Some people can be seen as fitches and cummin, planted in tight-knit communities. Others can be paralleled to wheat, who like the staff of life, have been placed in promising places. Still others have been placed in some difficult circumstances, perhaps having to face handicaps and hardships.
Of course, there are likely other deeper meanings for this passage of scripture. But I found this to be insightful and very uplifting.
Scripture of the Day: D&C 20:42-43