What stories do you remember from a recent general conference talk? What did you learn from the story? Why do they think the speaker chose to use a story to teach?
Stories and parables help us understand important concepts and principals. Since the stories are unique or familiar, we can easily remember them.
I've told you before of the time my seminary teacher brought in a casket and put it in the front of the seminary room. He asked us to imagine Christ was in the casket and that we were attending his funeral. He helped us appreciate the sacrament more by making it more visible and in a sense the "shock-value" of seeing a casket in our seminary class helped us all to appreciate the sacrament a bit more.
The savior often taught his disciples with parables. To understand parables and symbols in the scriptures, the we need to be able to recognize symbols, identify parts of the symbols, and interpret them. One way to recognize a symbol is to look for words such as like, likened, like unto, as, or as it were. Make a list of the parts of the symbol. Then to interpret the symbols, think about it and even refer to others how they have interpreted the parable. Do this whenever you find a parable or symbol in your personal gospel study.
What are the parables the Savior taught? List them out and choose one or two to dissect.
About 25 Parables of the Savior (from Harmony of the Gospels)
- The Candle
- The Tares
- The Mustard Seed
- The Leaven
- The Treasure in a Field
- The Pearl of Great Price
- The Net
- The Householder
- The Unmerciful Servant (Matt 18:23-35)
- The Good Shepard (John 10:1-21)
- The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)
- The Rich Fool (Luke 12:13-21)
- The Barren Fig Tree (Luke 13:6-9)
- The Wedding Feast (Luke 14:7-11)
- The Lost Sheep (Luke 15:1-7)
- The Unjust Judge (Luke 18:1-8)
- The Laborers in the Vineyard (Matt 20:1-16)
- The Pounds (Luke 19:11-27)
- The Two Sons (Matt 21:28-32)
- The Wicked Husbandmen
- The Wedding of a King's Son
- The Ten Virgins
- The Talents
- The Sheep and Goats