The Law of the Harvest


L. Tom Perry
Living the Lord’s laws guarantees an abundant life

The Law of the Harvest

I often marvel as I read the life of the Savior how many times the Lord used the tilling of the soil as an example in his teachings. Do you remember the parable of the sower as taught in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 4?

“And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.

“And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,

“Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:

“And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.

“And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:

“But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

“And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.

“And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.

“And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:1–9.)

I relate to such teachings because I was taught as a child to have great appreciation for the Lord’s system of supplying us with our needs. My father spent his early life as a farmer. He had been trained in the Lord’s law of the harvest. It was only as a result of our home being blessed with three girls first that I missed the experience of being reared on a farm. After three girls my father decided there would be no help for him in his labors, so he sold out and enrolled in law school. Then he was blessed with three sons. However, the desire to till the soil never left him. We always had a cow, an alfalfa field, and a large garden. Part of our early training was learning the Lord’s system of production.

His growth cycle has always been a marvel to me—the process of fertilizing, tilling, planting, weeding, and irrigating to produce a harvest. I am continually amazed with the power in a single seed as it multiplies itself many, many times. I’ve tried to perpetuate this understanding in the lives of my children. Each has had his turn in tilling, planting, weeding, and watering. Exposing yourself to the Lord’s system cannot help but give you an appreciation for his bounteous blessings to us. There have been very few years in my life when I have not been responsible for a garden. Even now as a city condominium dweller, I still plant and harvest a garden each year.

When my daughter moved to Bountiful, Utah, three years ago, we went out to inspect her new home. To my great disappointment, the backyard was too small to produce much of a garden. However, in looking over her back fence, I discovered a vacant lot that was for sale. I quickly made arrangements with the owner to purchase it. Now the Perry family has its own welfare farm. As a family we soon learned to appreciate the parable of the sower. The vacant lot had been used for years by good neighbors as a dumping ground for weeds, grass clippings, rocks, tree limbs, etc. Many hours of work produced only a small garden of minimum yield that first year. The next year more of the good soil was made productive with additional hours of labor. Now, the third year, all but a small hill at the front of the property is bringing forth an abundant harvest. It has removed from us the worry of food cost inflation, for we have been able to increase our yield much faster than food cost inflation has increased.

The great blessing is that we are only beginning. The yield has no limits on its increase. Our labors will continue to bring forth more abundant harvest each year as we follow the Lord’s law of the harvest. He has bound himself to provide us with abundance so long as we will live his law in righteousness and labor for that blessing.

Each spring as I look over an insignificant, small seed and place it in a well-prepared seed bed, I marvel at how much it will produce. Then my soul is filled with thanksgiving when I realize what can happen when that small seed begins to multiply itself, and I contemplate my potential as part of the greatest of all creations, man. I am one of His spirit children. If a seed can multiply thirty, sixty, or even a hundredfold, what then is my potential if I would but cast out the stones, clean out the thorns, cultivate deeply into the soil for a good seedbed, irrigate, and nourish? It is then that I realize there is no limit to my potential so long as I conform my life to the Lord’s law of the harvest.

Let me encourage you to draw close to the soil. Have your own experience in planting a garden. Then make application in your own life of this great principle of the law of the harvest.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Richard Brown