Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Illustration by Andrew Banneker

A woman named Christa once worked for a small seed company. She loved her job. It was a source of immense wonder that each tiny seed she sold had the capacity to transform itself into something quite miraculous—a carrot, a cabbage, or even a mighty oak tree.

Christa loved sitting at her computer taking orders and answering questions. But one day she received a complaint that puzzled her.

“The seeds don’t work,” the customer said. “I bought them two months ago and still nothing.”

“Did you plant them in good soil and give them enough water and sunlight?” Christa asked.

“No, but I did my part,” the customer replied. “I bought the seeds. After all, they are guaranteed to grow.”

“But you didn’t plant them?”

“Heavens no. That would mean getting my hands dirty.”

Christa thought about this and decided that planting guidelines would have to be written. She resolved what the first guideline would be: “You must follow planting instructions for the seeds to sprout. You can’t set them on the shelf and expect them to grow.”

It wasn’t long before another complaint puzzled her.

“The seeds aren’t producing,” a customer claimed.

“Did you plant them in good soil?” Christa responded. “Did you give them the appropriate amount of water and sunlight?”

“Oh, yes,” the customer insisted. “I did all that―exactly as it says on the package. But they don’t work.”

“Did anything happen at all? Did they sprout?”

“Nothing happened,” the customer said. “I planted them just as directed. I was hoping to have tomatoes for dinner. Now I am very disappointed.”

“Wait,” Christa replied. “Are you saying you planted the seeds today?”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” the customer replied. “I planted them a week ago. I was not expecting to see tomatoes on the first day; I was patient. Let me tell you, there has been a lot of watering and waiting between then and now.”

Christa knew she would have to add another guideline: “These seeds conform to the laws of biology. If you plant the seeds in the morning and expect to eat tomatoes later that week, you will be disappointed. You must be patient and wait for the work of nature to unfold before you.”

All went well until Christa received another complaint.

“I’m very disappointed in your seeds,” the customer began. “I planted them just as the package recommended. I gave them water, made sure they had sunshine, and waited until finally they produced their harvest.”

“Sounds like you did everything right,” Christa said.

“That’s all very fine,” the customer replied. “But what I got was zucchini!”

“My records show that those were the seeds you ordered,” Christa said.

“But I don’t want zucchini; I want pumpkins!”

“I’m not following.”

“I planted the seeds in my pumpkin patch—the very same soil that produced pumpkins last year. I praised the plants every day, telling them what beautiful pumpkins they would become. But instead of large, round, orange pumpkins, I got long, green zucchini. Tons of them!”

Christa knew then that guidelines might not be enough and that it was necessary to state a principle: “The seed you plant and the time of the planting determine the harvest.”

The Law of the Harvest

The Apostle Paul taught about God’s harvest:

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:7–9).

In recent times, the Lord has given us additional wisdom and insight into this immutable law:

“There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—

“And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated” (D&C 130:20–21).

What we sow, we reap.

God’s harvest is unimaginably glorious. To those who honor Him, His bountiful blessings come in “good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over. … For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38).

Just as earthly seeds require effort and patience, so do many of the blessings of heaven. We cannot put our religion on a shelf and expect to harvest spiritual blessings. But if we plant and nurture gospel standards in the daily life of our family, there is a high probability that our children will grow up to produce spiritual fruit of great value to them and to future generations.

God’s answers to our prayers do not always come immediately—sometimes they do not appear to come at all—but God knows what is best for His children. Assuredly, one day we will see more clearly; and on that day we will recognize the goodness and generosity of heaven.

In the meantime, our goal and great joy is to walk in the footsteps of our Master and Savior and to live good and refined lives so that the promised and precious harvest of God’s priceless blessings can be ours.

What we sow, we reap.

That is the law of heaven.

That is the law of God’s harvest.

Teaching from This Message

Discuss with those you visit how the law of God’s harvest applies to relationships, conversion and testimony, or career and educational goals. You could read and consider scriptures related to this law, such as Proverbs 11:18; 2 Corinthians 9:6; and Alma 32. Encourage them to review previous goals and set new goals to achieve righteous outcomes. Help them develop a plan to act consistently in order to reach their long-term purpose.


Plan Your Harvest

God’s law of the harvest is that if we want something later, we have to work for it now. If we want to grow a garden, we need to plant the seeds, water them, and protect them from weeds. If we don’t do this, we won’t have any harvest later!

This garden shows some good “fruit” you may want in your life. On the lines below, write some things you can do this month to help you receive these blessings.