While working on President Hinckley’s August 2005 challenge to read the Book of Mormon, I came across a verse in Jacob 5 that cause me to ponder. In verse 47, the master of the vineyard is pining over the fact that his good olive tree has become overrun with wild fruit despite all his effort to encourage the growth of good fruit through pruning, fertilising, and aerating. His servant’s response is in verse 48:
“And it came to pass that the servant said unto his master: Is it not the loftiness of thy vineyard?¢‚Ç¨‚Äùhave not the branches thereof overcome the roots which are good? And because the branches have overcome the roots thereof, behold they grew faster than the strength of the roots, taking strength unto themselves. Behold, I say, is not this the cause that the trees of thy vineyard have become corrupted?”
It seems the grafted-in wild branches spread out to bear fruit more quickly than the roots could handle.
As I was pondering this, I wondered if perhaps some new members are similar to this tree. Not in the idea that they are bearing wild fruit or that their efforts are corrupted, but in the idea that perhaps they are spreading out quickly in an effort to produce a lot of fruit. Too quickly for their root system.
Do we expect too much of our new converts? Do they expect too much of themselves?